just starting out

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by clayton154, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. clayton154 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    #1
    Hey thanks for reading. This is a very long paragraph so just skip to the end where its theres bold type.


    Ive been recording music on garageband for a while, nothing serious just messing around i guess. But now i have learned alot and im ready to get serious. The problem is i have no idea where to start.

    I have a ibook G4, an imic, a few guitars and of course an amp, now i have been just recording from my guitar to my computer but now i have a band i need to take this to the next level.

    How could i record more than one intrument live?
    I considered how much freaking money it would cost for like 6 imics so that would just be stupid.
    So i did some research and i came to the conclusion i will want a mixer, a mixer that is digital with a firewire or usb output. Why? Because i will want to be able to control and change effects on my computer after the recording as apposed to it being mixed into one track.

    Ive seen a few of these including the mackie 1620. But that dosent come with a Firewire adapter card which is pretty expensive.

    More importantly do these mixers integrate with garageband or should i step up the software to something higher?

    My main question i guess is how will i be able to record music with a mixer that will allow every intrument to be on a seperate track in garageband or any other mac software

    thanks

    clayton
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    for simultaneous recording, your track count is limited to the number of a/d channels you have. if you get, say, an 8-channel apogee rosetta800, then you'd connect direct outs 1-8 on your mixer to channels 1-8 of the rosetta, and assign those to tracks 1-8 in the software.

    for a digital mixer, i'd assume it works about the same, gotta check with manufacturer.
     
  3. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #3
    ?

    what's your budget look like? I ask because I'm wondering if it's possible to get the setup you want for less than about $1500.
     
  4. Quantum Man macrumors member

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    Jan 3, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #4
    Yes it is possible for less than half that. For $600 you can get the Firepod which has 8 analog inputs and comes with Cubase LE. It will allow you to record 8 different tracks simultaneously. That doesn't include the cost of mics of course, but that's what eBay is for. :D
     
  5. Kernow macrumors 65816

    Kernow

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    Kingston-Upon-Thames
    #5
    There's also the M-Audio Project Mix I/O, which combines the M-Audio 1814 firewire audio interface with a control surface. Over here in the UK at least, it also comes bundled with the full version of Ableton Live 5
     
  6. beatzfreak macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    Alesis has a series of firewire mixers,

    http://www.alesis.com/

    I think I recently saw these on sale for a few hundred dollars.
     
  7. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #7
    hmm...

    see that's what mainly concerned me, the microphones. Those are going to run between $90 and $100 each. And I'm thinking for this application you'd need at least 8, so...

    however, Firepod/Cubase sounds interesting. I'm not looking to change my setup anytime soon, but it's worth keeping in mind.
     
  8. LaoTzu macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    #8
    Wow, how many instruments?

    USB 1.1 has a max of 2 tracks.... some imply you *could* do 2 stereo tracks ( but that is not the same as 4 mono - and may be buggy.... according to USB DRIVER ENGINEERS )

    Mic's can be VERY expensive.... but depends what you want.... You can also get a set of 8 or 10, from Drums to vocals & Guitars for $100 @ Guitar center....

    iMic is cheap, and works I hear, but not what I'd call quality.... You can also record one track at a time, and over dub, say a USB I/O ?

    Again, how many inputs do you need? Do you want to mic a whole drum set, with 12 Mic's, + Bass, 2 stereo guitars, stereo keys... because that can be pricey!

    Since * Most* guitarists have a multi FX unit ( Say Line 6 Pod, Digitech, with effects, amp models, digital/ 24 bit stereo I/O - so do keys.... drums are always tough....

    Some options are Sub Mix ( Mic 12 drums - mix so they sound OK, use 1 input.... ) Powerbooks have 24/96 analog & S/PDIF I/O which is a lot.....
    I tried using the built in mic, and it was remarkable. 24/96 like a good condenser....

    A LOT of this is not about gear.... ypu can use 1/8" stereo, cable & do multiple takes..... quality is a mix of work, talent, work, work, effort, work, and some knowledge.... Also to hear what you recorded - vs. what the speakers say, is very important.
    We use Near Field Monitors, which in flat, plain, clarity play every mistake we record.... then no matter which stereo it's heard on, we know what they get.... luckily, there are now Headphones like AKG 240 DF, "Mastering headphones"....

    I strongly suggest M Audio, MIDIman, for whatever you decide..... most bang 4 buck, & always class compliant drivers, so works with ANY X App.


    You can read about this stuff..... also..... lots of info.....

    GB might be fine for you.... Logic still needs UI help!

    Good luck,
    L.T.
     
  9. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #9
    i'd rather mic a drumkit with one $800 mic than 8 $100 ones.

    but that's just me.
     
  10. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

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

    I hear you...it's about a ton easier to use an area mic, but the results are not usually that great since you can't apply compression to the kick or snare or the toms individually. So any inconsistency on the part of your drummer you just have to live with. It's a much more "live" sound, though. I know some people mic the kick/hi-hat/snare/toms separately and also set up an area mic either above or in front of the kit so they can create a mix of the individual and overall drum sounds in post. Guess it all depends on what you're looking for...
     
  11. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #11
    such limitations exist, but that doesn't necessarily result in a bad recording. with the right room, drummer and mic placement...

    that said, the minimum number of mics i've used is two.
     
  12. clayton154 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    #12
    ok

    hey
    first off thanks for all the replys
    im looking at electronic drum kits
    yeah i know
    not as good
    but so much cheaper in the long run
    i guess that would leave me needing 2 or 3 good mics
    depends if i run lead directly into the mixer
    ok
    i would prefer to spend under 1000 if possible
    so you guys wouldent recommend the mackie?
    im still not shure what mixer to buy
    and if i should stick with garageband or if i should just get a better program

    also i looked through your all of the advice you guys gave me

    The alesis MultiMix 12 FireWire looks stellar, very affordable
    but does it work with macs/garageband?
    Im wondering how well it would integrate
    would it be able to control the mixer on garageband through the physical mixer?( like the icontrol)

    but on the other end of the spectrum we have the M-Audio Project Mix I/O
    it looks sweet
    im shure it has better quality electronics too
    but its a bit expensive
    and on the site it dosent say its gonna work with garageband
    the whole software thing is confusing me more than the actual hardware! lol

    and the last one was the firepod
    that one confused me
    yeah i know im quite a noob
    is it just a pre amp?
    what exactly is it

    another question
    if i mic the drums ( or electronic) mic the ryhtym guitar amp
    but the lead guitar is run through the mixer straight
    then how can the band hear itself together?
    headphones?
    buying lots of mics is one thing
    but 5 super high quality might just push me over the edge financially
     
  13. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
  14. clayton154 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    #14
    yes

    yea i have read it
    i understand if this is making you angry
    its not recording thats my problem
    its more what i should use to recordi know line in or imic works
    but theres no information on what soundcards or mixers will work with garageband ( that i can see)
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #15
    i'm not angry.

    this stuff can be overwhelming, not just from an piece X vs. piece Y perspective, but from a wholesale approach perspective:
    - mixer or mixerless?
    - intergrated piece or separate modules?
    - concentrate or hardware or software?
    - great input chain or fix it in the mix?

    these are big questions. while we can say what approach we're taking and why, it's really up to you to figure out what will work best for you. expect that to take time and regretting a few decisions along the way.

    it's easy to feel the paralysis. so a good plan today is better than the perfect plan tomorrow.

    or is it? :)
     
  16. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #16
    some studios go whole hog and provide headphone mixes for each band member. this is easiest using a mixing board, but it also requires a headphone distribution amp and musicians tend to bitch if they don't get their own personal mix.

    another approach is to put the band in one room, isolate the instruments some but not totally, and record them like they're in their rehearsal space. it doesn't work for all styles of music, or all bands, but when it does it makes it a lot easier. works better if you're going for a good groove, rather than perfection in every track, 'cuz you will get bleed through and parts of the take will probably be a little loose.
     
  17. chasemac macrumors 6502a

    chasemac

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    In a house.
    #17
    I use the MOTU Traveler. It is an excellent mixer for recording/mixing on the go. Works great with GB. You can also daisy chain it with another Traveler to add more tracks. Its firewire based and gets powered through the firewire bus or power adaptor. Also, has 4 built in pre-amps and can be used to record up to 8 tracks simultaneously. I'm still learning its features.
    http://www.motu.com/products/motuaudio/traveler/
     
  18. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #18
    this might help you...

    I run a Mackie DFX-6 Mixer into an M-Audio 2496 sound card. I use a Shure SM57 as my only mic. Typically I'll play a guitar part with the mic right up on the cabinet, and then (if I want "ambience") I'll move the mic to some other location in the room and play the part again. Cheaper than having 2 mics, also a little more chaotic sound, which is what I like. Bass I plug into a compressor and then straight into the mixer, and add cabinet effects in GB. For drums I use iDrum.

    The Mackie DFX-6, by the way, is not a firewire or usb thing; it's a mixer you'd use as a sound board at a small venue or some such. But since I only record one track at a time it works fine for me. I'm pretty sure M-Audio makes a GB compatible mixer, though I don't really know since I'm not in the market for one.

    At any rate, my setup cost me less than $400, and it'll let me grow if I choose to add more stuff.

    Hope this helps
     
  19. Quantum Man macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #19
    To answer your question about "What is the Firepod?", it is a rack-mountable interface containing 8 analog ins with 8 pre-amps, and connects to your computer via FireWire. You use Cubase LE with the Firepod, it comes with this software. For the amount of ins/pres you get, it's a good bargain. I myself am a Pro Tools person, but it is far more expensive than I am sure you are willing to pay to get the same ins/outs and pres.
     
  20. clayton154 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    #20
    so

    i decided on the Alesis MultiMix 12 FireWire

    but before i go out and buy it i need to ask does anyone own it? and does anyone know if it has decent quality?
    also
    what mics to buy?

    thanks for all the help so far

    clayton
     
  21. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #21
    above, you said 2-3 mics for $1000.

    here's one configuration, for general purpose:
    - shure ksm32, $500
    - shure sm7, $350
    - shure sm57, $90
    - spend the rest on some quality XLR cables (check out redco)

    here's another config, w/ a matched pair:
    - avenson audio sto-2, $500/pr
    - shure ksm32, $500

    i own all of the above mics.

    i don't own, but have used quite a bit, the $300 AT 4040. you can sub that in for the ksm32 to save a few bucks (though i do like the ksm32 better). that's about the minimum i would recommend spending on a condenser mic; all the cheaper ones i've tried leave me wanting.

    the sm7 is a nice dynamic which i use for vocals at times, especially when the SPL is unusually high.

    the sto-2's are wonderfully flat omnis which are like a cheaper pair of earthworks. but as with all omnis, best results are gotten in a good sounding space.

    all those mics are quality pieces which you're unlikely to outgrow. should you decide to get a nicer preamp than what you'll find in a cheap mixer, the mics will sound even better. even that 57 can sound awesome through the right pre.
     

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