Garage band or Logic?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by yoshiii, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. yoshiii macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    #1
    Hello I work for a teen activies program and we are building a music studio here. We will be using the new Intel IMacs. I have a question. I know Garage Band is good for doing demos, but is it good enough for doing decent full length records? Or should Logic be used for that? The idea is to give the teens a chance to use Garage Band to experiment with and record demos, but we also want to beable to record records that the teens could sell or send out to record labels and so on. We are not expecting professional studio results but we want to get the most out of it that we can.

    Help
     
  2. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #2
    The application is no-where near as important as the microphones/other hardware you have, and how much experience you have recording.

    Spend your money on hardware, and get proficient with garageband.
     
  3. yoshiii thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2006
    #3
    I have experience with recording, but I have to detail everything to my boss, he uses Garage Band at his house but he only plugs straight into his EMAC and doesnt use any kind of interface of preamps or anything. So I am explaining to him we need an actual interface either a mixing board type with firewire so we can have a actual physical control surface or get the 8 or 10 input firewire interfaces that different companies sell. He understands we need more but I have to detail everything we need.

    What would be your opinion of what supplies we need. Right now we only have SM 57's and the IMACs, we havent hooked anything up yet, but I know with the IMAC you need a interface to use Garage Band.

    Help
     
  4. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #4
    So you have the Intel iMac's and the sm 57's.

    To be able to record drums, you are going to need microphone stands obviously (check www.musiciansfriend.com). As far as more microphones, you might want to get a kick (bass drum) mic, and a condenser for the cymbals. However, the sm 57's are going to serve you very well regardless.

    You need a mixer. Nothing extremely expensive. Any 10+ track will fit your needs most likely.

    To record bass, I really recommend using a mic directly into the mixer and then right to gargeband. Line in options won't give you as much bass as you want.

    Really, you just need to get a decent 10+ channel mixer, some good stands, and a kick mic + condenser if you can afford them.

    This is a very basic setup, but will allow you to record and get quite acceptable results.
     
  5. yoshiii thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2006
    #5
    Cool thanks. Do you think that Logic would be useful at all for us? Also how well are the Garage Band loops? We want to use stuff like Reason and Fruity loops, but dont know if it can be used with Garage Band. Also do you think we need any other stuff such as a tube mic preamp or compressors or anything? Just want to be able to get good non digital sounding results.
     
  6. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #6
    I would start with what I said. You will get 'non-digital' results (as they won't be digitized at all outside of using a computer instead of analog recording). You will get very good results with this, don't worry. It all comes down to practicing with the application.

    Logic will give you more options hands-down, as it is the pro-app counterpart to garageband basically. However, garageband will work perfectly. The loops aren't INCREDIBLE, but just take a look at what they give you. They are much better sounding that many other programs.

    Garageband is the best part of iLife if you ask me.
     
  7. yoshiii thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    #7
    Cool will give it a try. We will get the kick drum mic and the compressor mike and the firewire mixer. Can you Recommend any firewire mixer, drum mic and compressor mike that is good to have but not too expensive?

    And will Fruity loops and Reason work with Garage Band?
     
  8. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

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    Jan 24, 2006
  9. margotspop macrumors regular

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    Jan 12, 2004
    #9
    I would go with GarageBand. If you have ever heard any good recordings made with GB you would see that you can achieve some amazing results with it. Like others have said, the quality of the production is ultimately down to the hardware.

    Remember - it's all about the music. The less time you need to study and learn the software the more time you have for making the groove. GB is incredibly intuitive. Logic, though more sophisiticated, has a much steeper learning curve. GB has given me more pleasure that any other piece of software!
     
  10. mandoman macrumors 6502

    mandoman

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    #10
    I second getting good hardware. I recommend a Mackie Onyx Mixer w/Firewire card option. This will serve you VERY well. It's an analog mixer which will be useful for live situations too, easy to add monitors to. The firewire card makes it very easy to get sound into the computer. If you are on a budget, Alesis, Yamaha, and Behringer make similar analog boards with digital firewire or usb interfaces.

    I'd start with Garageband. Logic is frustrating to learn. You can add this later if you feel you need more than 8 tracks, but really, get the mixer first and more mics.

    Mandoman
     
  11. VanNess macrumors 6502a

    VanNess

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    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #11
    Hardware (mixers, mics, etc.) issues aside, I strongly recommend Garageband, particularly considering who your end users are. Garageband's UI does an excellent job of exposing only the basics to new users and beginners, but still packs a pretty deep repertoire for advanced recording and production as skill levels advance. It's not as capable or advanced as Logic, but Logic is geared more for pro users, folks like sound engineers who make a living at recording music, not beginners.

    More important than hardware or software is the material, the song itself. Garageband excels at getting fresh, spontaneous ideas into a mix and, once there, access to various tools to make it sound creative and interesting - all pretty effortlessly. The point is, you want to spend time making music, not figuring out how to record it or what to do with it once it's recorded. The quality of the loops are generally great, and there are a ton of third party loops out there. Speaking of third party stuff, Garageband is AU compatible, which means any AU compatible effects such as these that can be added to Garageband's existing arsenal of AU processing for recording and mastering.

    For non-pro users, Garageband is, imo, peerless and it's no slacker when it comes to producing high quality sound. All things being equal (good studio equipment such as mixing board, mics and so on) I would have no problem whatsoever using it as the primary tool for recording songs for a self-produced CD, unless 8 discreet tracks of real audio recording was for some reason too limiting. In any event, Garageband won't be so much an issue as the skill level and talented ear for producing a master quality sounding product. Record label submissions opens up a can of worms beyond the scope of this thread, but generally, now matter how good the quality is, it's pretty rare that a major record level will end up using a self-produced master recording. Ultimately, the labels are interested in getting hit songs, not master quality recordings.
     
  12. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #12
    that's not true. a major contributing factor to why so many big and medium-sized studios are closing is because of the explosion of bedroom and basement studios.

    i'm not saying it's right, but if a label wants to distribute an album and the recording is "good enough", why would they bother ponying up the money to re-record it?
     
  13. VanNess macrumors 6502a

    VanNess

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    #13

    First of all, just to be clear, I was referring to the major labels and not independent labels. I'm not sure whether they would end up using a self-produced master or not.

    Second, insofar as the major labels are concerned, "good enough" isn't going to work. It has to be better than perfect, it has to be pristine. Anytime you listen to a song from the major labels, regardless of whether you like the song or the band, there is an amazing amount of work from the studio that goes behind each and every note you hear. If you have worked in a professional recording environment, then you'll have an idea about what I mean.

    Third, home-grown studios are still no match for top-tier recording studios (which are what the major labels generally deal with). In terms of equipment (mixing boards, mics, software, effects, et al), a top-tier studio will have access to stuff that even well-equipped home studios don't have and likely couldn't afford in the first place. Then there is the design of the recording room(s). I took a tour a number of years ago of what I would call a middle-tier studio. They were doing mostly film soundtracks, commercials, some corporate work, and also music. They were more than happy to point out how their large, main recording room was designed. One of the features of the room was that it was "tunable." It had roughly 30 or so moveable wood panels hung at specific locations on the walls of the room that could be individually turned in any direction (or removed) in order to fine tune the room for a "live" sound, or a completely dead sound, or anything in between. This, before any digital processing takes place. How many home-based studios would have anything even remotely close to that?

    Fourth, when a relatively unknown band signs a recording contract with a major label, one of the first things that will happen is the label will assign a producer to shape the sound into something they are comfortable putting into wide release. Even if the demo was miraculously pristine sounding, the producer will go to work on arrangements, performance, style, and an overall sound that they know the label will be happy with. Producers, by and large, work with specific engineers and studios they are familiar with in order to get the exact sound they are looking for. Again, it isn't completely unknown for a demo product to be released as-is, I've heard of it happening before, just extremely rare.

    Nevertheless, it doesn't surprise me that at least some recording studios are closing. The equipment and software that's readily available and affordable today gives everyday amateur musicians access to sounds and technologies that they could only dream about 10-20 years ago. So a lot of demo work and independent CD projects that commercial studios would see before now is probably shifting towards completely home-grown solutions. Like I mentioned earlier, I would have no problem using garageband for a self-produced CD, if all the other pieces fit into place. But there is a world of difference between demos or self-produced CDs and the music from the major labels that eventually ends up on commercial CDs (and iTunes).
     
  14. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #14
    it's still done. labels, especially the majors, are looking to save money anywhere they can. not in all instances and not for all artists, but it's a growing trend.

    well, no, it has to be radio-ready. anymore, that means mixed w/o much depth and smashed to all hell at mastering. and that's why they can "get away with" using less-than-stellar mixes, because the attitude is "fix it at mastering."

    even tom dowd cracked, years ago, "we'll fix it on the album cover."

    imo, the gear gap is the smallest. the talent gap is narrowing and the room gap still has a way to go. despite your assertions otherwise, smaller guys can afford and do have access to top-notch gear. not so much with, say, a neve desk, but one can purchase a couple neve pre's and sum through, say, an API mix buss and be miles ahead of what was available to the smaller recordist even a decade ago.

    this is a good point. but i'll say that it's not the demo recording which demands a new session, but the arrangement.

    i don't think that gap is as big as you think it is.
     
  15. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #15
    That is some seriously great advice!
     
  16. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

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    Sep 3, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    I don't think Logic has been ported over to Universal Binary yet, has it? So it's not really even an option until the Intel-compatible version comes out.
     

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