GarageBand, Presonus preamps, Ensoniq, Now which computer?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by berg, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. berg macrumors member

    berg

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    #1
    I'm getting ready to put together some gear to record a concert band .. I'll also be doing small jazz groups and chamber ensembles. I already have a rehearsal room and adjacent studio room ... the setup will be permanent ...

    Right now I have inherited 2 - 8 channel Digimax Presonus preamps each with their own power supplies and an Ensoniq controller ...

    I've been told I should think about having an external Firewire Drive to record and work from ...

    So now I am wondering which computer to get .... I'm kind of leaning toward the dual core iMac 7200 (does it come in 7200 rpm?) ... but I'm flexible ...

    I have a nice LCD monitor ... but I heard the mac mini is probably not a great idea ... what do you think ...

    I'll be using GarageBand to begin with and might eventually work up to Logic Express ... Will all this stuff work with Garageband ...
    I do have a budget to get other combinations if needed ...

    I need the easiest, simplest way to get this going .... is iControl a better controller? Do I need other brands of preamps for more compatability with GarageBand? What is the ideal preamp, computer, and controller combo for Garageband for a novice user?

    Do I need any special drivers? This gear was used in the past for a Paris setup and OS9 ...
    I've got everything else I need as far as mics, monitors etc ..

    Thanks for your opinions on any of this or anything else ...
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    i think the computer is the least of your concerns. for that kind of music, in order, i'd be concentrating on:
    1. the room
    2. the mics
    3. the monitoring
    4. the pre's

    for the mics, i'd be looking at earthworks or a stereo ribbon, like the ones available from royer and aea.

    for the pre's, i'd be checking out something clean like the john hardy.

    but first i'd make sure i had the best room i could afford.
     
  3. berg thread starter macrumors member

    berg

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    #3
    Hi Zim ...

    Thanks for the reply ... I amended my post cause I guess I wasn't clear on my situation ...
    The room and studio are already set up ... I just need to update or change the gear ...
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #4
    imo, the computer barely matters. do indeed get a second drive for audio, whether that be an external firewire drive (look for a min. of 7200 rpm and 8 mb cache) or an internal drive if you get a tower.

    even my old, clunky g3 ibook could record 8 tracks @ 96/24 while playing back 16 of the same.

    i maintain that you should be concentrating on your front end. what mics do you have now? are you investing in good cables?
     
  5. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #5
    ?

    I guess you're looking to buy new? what's your budget?
     
  6. berg thread starter macrumors member

    berg

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    #6
    It's not so much budget ... just what will do with what I have and what I plan to be doing ...

    Will a fast dual core intel mini suffice ... does it have all the right connections?

    What's nice about the mini is that you can stack the mini look alike FireWire drives with it ...
     
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #7
    LOL -- looks is the last thing to worry about, my man! ;)

    Re: the equipment list -- I don't see a USB or Firewire interface in there. The Presonus Digimaxes are a better than average preamp, they have an ADAT lightpipe out --- but the Mini has no audio in, and the iMac's audio in is stereo only

    So you need an interface. An option is to get one with one or two ADAT inputs, and use the Presonus as your D/A. ADAT Lightpipe optical carries 8 discrete channels of digital audio at 16/44.1 if I remember

    as Zim says, every component of the chain is important.

    For a machine, Myself I would look for a lightly used iMac G5 or a refurb. I'm not 100% sold on audio under Rosetta yet (although that will resolve itself with version upgrades in time). All of the iMacs will have 7200 RPM 3.5" drives.

    The Mini is nice, but restrictive. I'd rather have a machine with a fullsized drive.
     
  8. berg thread starter macrumors member

    berg

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    #8
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    No, not at all the Presonus' are a good piece of kit, and they can integrate nicely with a USB or Firewire interface, as long as the interface has an ADAT input - and the better ones do. It's just that the Presonus' cannot DIRECTLY plug into a Mac.

    THe big problem with interfaces is the lack of preamplified microphone inputs, and you already have 8 (or 16) of these at hand in the Presonus. Good score. With 8 channels of variable-volume preamp into digital audio, you may not even have to use a mixer.

    Search these forums for Audio interfaces - we have discussed models up down and sideways already.

    What precisely do you mean by a controller? Do you mean a MIDI controller like a keyboard, or a control surface that will allow you to use knobs and sliders with your software?

    You already have the basic software control device you need -- the mouse. Anything more is just icing on the cake, and may be desirable depending on how you want to work with the machine.

    I wouldn't jump right into a controller until you start using Garageband for a while.

    If you have extra cash now, put it into a backup hard drive, and int one really good microphone. Then think of the extras.
     
  10. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #10
    Intel...

    just a word:

    I dunno (you may wanna check me on this), but I don't think Logic has been ported to the Intel Mac as yet. I doubt it's a consideration for you now, but it could be...

    anyway, FYI...
     
  11. berg thread starter macrumors member

    berg

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    #11
    Thanks again Canadaram and others ..

    Can you please recommend an interface or two for my situation?

    Do the new Firepods have variable volume preamp controls and would they solve my dilemma?

    thanks very much ....
     

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