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Turn a Powerbook into a language lab

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by billyboy, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. macrumors 65816


    Hi, just asking the pros out there if they know how to achieve the following set-up.

    Probably a cinch to them that know, but I know nothing - yet.

    Firstly, I want to play a voice recording in iTunes with 10 students listening in on their own headphones.

    Secondly, which is probably impossible without some serious hardware addition, 10 students each read out text into their own mics (ie all working at the same time) and each track is recorded into mp3, which can then be played back to them.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. macrumors 65816


    we do this in my italian class...we just use a headset with headphones and microphone built in...they are cheap...

    otherwise most macs have a mic built in
  3. macrumors 68000


    Do you want to have 10 students speaking all at once into ONE powerbook, recording at the same time, or TEN powerbooks?
  4. macrumors 65816


    It might be possible with Logic Express (which can record up to 12 tracks at a time), a sound interface with 10 channels in and 10 channels out (in other words a firewire interface), and an external hard-drive. I guess it all depends on your requirements.. I'll look around for some ideas and prices.
  5. macrumors 65816


    I think if you combine an M-Audio Firewire 1814 and an M-Audio Octane you get 10 ins and 10 outs. It won't exactly be small, and it won't exactly be cheap.. $599 + $599 at music123.com to be exact.. There must be some cheaper way, but I'm not aware of any right now.. That you need both 10 ins AND 10 outs makes it more expensive at once.

    I can't seem to find any right now, but dig around a bit and you may find something. :)
  6. macrumors 65816


    Hey Poff

    Thanks for going to the trouble. It sounds like the sort of set up I need, and at that price, although not cheap, it is not beyond the realms of possibility selling that idea to my head of school - 10 Powerbooks and 10 headphone/mics is is sort of beyond my wildest budget. :rolleyes:

    I also asked SweetCare and they suggested the following set up which would work with 8 students at once from one Powerbook.

    1 x 896HD Firewire Audio Interface
    1 x DigPerfCom Competitive Upgrade to DigPerf
    2 x HP4 4-Ch Headphone Monitor

    excluding their suggested headphones and mics which seem way way too high specced, (CH700 Studio Headphones and SM58 Dynamic Microphones), the hardware and software works out at about $1500.

    How does that system compare to what you suggest in terms of ease of use and dependability?

    Also, I assume the upgrade software means I have to buy some basic software too. Any ideas on which of these packages is the most suitable? Opcode, Steinberg, emagic, Digidesign, Cakewalk, SEK'D, etc... including Cubase, Logic, any version of Vision or Studio Vision, or MOTU's own AudioDesk.

    As far as alternatives, I was wondering if there was any way to use a set up with 8-10 2nd hand iPods. (The only justification I could dream up to buy one!) It wouldnt be a problem syncing them with the audio files I wanted students to work with in a lesson, but I guess for recording their voices, each iPod would need an add-on, which pushes the price up.


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