Audio Recording

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Prohybe, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Prohybe macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2011
    #1
    Hey guys i have a MacBook Pro with GarageBand and i have a Rode NT2 mic. I want to learn how to record audio to my mac using GB and NT2. What adapter do i need? How to work with GB?? (i want to record my voice and guitar... it's the same process)

    thanks
     
  2. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Hell, AL
    #2
    What's your budget?

    Popular these days is the Apogee Duet 2. It is a good unit, but do not mistake its AD/DA converters for the more expensive Apogee units. They are not the same. Plenty good for most use, though.
     
  3. Prohybe thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2011
    #3
    I can spend until 1000dollars. How does this thing work?
     
  4. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Hell, AL
    #4
    Ah, so you are completely green?

    the short of it

    1. you plug the Apogee into a USB port
    2. you plug the microphone into the Apogee
    3. you make the noise
    4. you record it in your digital audio workstation (DAW) of choice (Garageband as you stated)
    5. you listen to playback, preferably through the Apogee unit.

    Have patience and try to enjoy it.

    A couple of links:

    Apogee Tutorial
    DAW definition
     
  5. Prohybe thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2011
    #5
    thanks!
     
  6. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Hell, AL
    #6
    No problem. PM me if you are stumped or need more advice on purchasing. I have been through a lot of gear.
     
  7. iLukeJoseph macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    #7
    The Duet 2 is absolutely amazing at that price point. Get it if you can.

    Even though it may be over kill for you. You could spend half and still get a very good unit. Focurite makes some of the best entry level equipment. I would stay away from M-Audio (getting way to commercial and QC is starting to go to crap).

    If it was me, and in your budget. I would get a $200-300 audio interface. Good headphones ("Beats" are NOT good), maybe some tried and true Sony 7506's (about $100). Some decent near field monitors (very very very important, you cannot mix with headphones), I really like the Tannoy's for the cheap lines, or Mackie,Adam if you can afford it. Get the best you can afford, don't skimp here.

    Then if you have some money left, get a Shure SM57. It is very versitle, and every home studio should have at least one. What you could do is place the SM57 near the sound hole of the guitar, and then place the NT2 about two feet away. Can get a real nice acoustic sound if mixed properly.
     
  8. fisherking macrumors 603

    fisherking

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #8
    you can certainly start with a cheaper interface: check out the apogee one (same people who make the duet), or the focusrite scarlett 2i2.
    both sound amazing, and are a lot less money.
     
  9. iLukeJoseph macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    #9
    Wouldn't recommend the apogee one. Build it really is a cheap piece of plastic.
     
  10. thegrapeguy, Apr 6, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012

    thegrapeguy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    #10
    I own and operate a recording studio so my studio rig is all high end stuff. I recently decided to do some work at home on my MacBook. I did a lot of research and recommend (and now use) this:

    http://www.sounddevices.com/products/usbpre2.htm

    It's about $650. It's a different concept than the Duet in the sense that this is bigger, more robust. But still very portable... I researched the range of inexpensive converters and settled on this because it requires no drivers on MAC and is more of a piece of "hardware". Just plug in, set your sound preferences to choose this device as the input and output and GO!

    It has more hands on "analogish" controls. Like knobs for speaker volume, headphone volume, mic level. It has a limiting feature on each input that you can turn on and off via little dipswitches on the back. The dipswitches are very little toggles that you switch up and down with a paper clip on the back panel. They control things like phantom power, 15db pad, what the knobs on the front control, etc. I've found that once I've set them I rarely change them.

    This device can be used as a stand alone box on location as just a mic pre. It also allows 2 headphone outputs (one is 1/4 inch and the other 1/8 inch). Nice feature if you plan on recording with 2 people. You'll need a Direct Box if you want to plug in a keyboard or a guitar directly into the USBPre 2. This changes the impedance from Hi to Low so that the instrument becomes a mic level signal. Like this:

    http://www.radialeng.com/r2011/prodi.php

    You'll need a 1/4 inch hi impedance instrument cable to go into it and a microphone cable to go into the USBPre 2. The Duet has a cable/tentacle thing that allows different cables to be plugged into it whereas the USBPre 2, being bigger, has the jacks right onboard.


    As with all these converters you need a mic cable, 2 powered speakers and 2 balanced cables (if you plan to use speakers), headphones, etc... It comes with supplied USB cable. I definitely agree you should use speakers for mixing.

    I believe the Duet uses a Maestro software which brings a window up on your computer. There you will control parameters of your sound. On the USBPre 2 you will control everything from the box.

    I considered boxes like the RME Babyface, Duet 2, because of the great amount of positive reports online. However I saw enough reports of paint chipping off the Babyface and the Duet having Driver issues that I went with a no Driver unit. To be fair there were a few issues with the USBPre 2 on Windows, which I believe requires an ASIO Driver. Apparently they are solved... But there will be issues with everything,

    That is why I like this unit's concept. It's a piece of hardware more than anything.

    I eliminated all the inexpensive devices like MAudio because I wanted higher quality conversion and pro quality. Can the cheap devices work? Hell yeh it's what goes in and out of the converter that trumps the converter. The music man! My brother bought a $250 Samson microphone that is the converter, headphone amp and microphone all in one. It worked great. Could you tell the quality difference between that one and mine? Yes... But not that huge of a difference as long as you follow correct recording techniques and have decent talent. Pros though need that extra quality/fidelity to go along with the talent/ability...

    Let me know if you need any help if you decide to get the USBPre 2. Oh yeh another important thing - every time I called Sound Devices with a question they picked up the phone and got me right through to tech support.
     
  11. darkslide29 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco, California
    #11
    Quick question - I own the Apogee Duet 1 and have been holding out on upgrading to the Duet 2. Generally speaking, do you think it's worth the upgrade?

    I plan on buying a new macbook pro when the refresh happens this summer, and hope the macbook pro keeps firewire. If not, with the Duet 2 being USB, I may be forced to upgrade anyway.
     
  12. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Hell, AL
    #12
    In a word, no. Wait to see what comes out.

    I actually do not own the Apogee Duet, but I think it is a decent bit of kit. I think it is way overhyped, though. It sounds good, but it is not the be-all/end-all. Most people see very happy with it and (generally) Apogee can be counted on for good OS X drivers.

    I hear you there. My current setup is MOTU Firewire (Ultralite mk3 and a pair of 8pres). Performs well and I am very happy with it, but who knows what the future holds.

    Most of the gear in this price-range is pretty interchangeable. Most of them sound pretty similar at the end of the day because when you are spend so (relatively) little on AD converters, there is only so much you can squeeze. But most of it is more than adequate for hobby or even reasonable-quality independent releases. This is especially true now that the vast majority of music is listened to in MP3 format with crap earbuds.

    Just my opinions.
     
  13. darkslide29 macrumors 65816

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    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco, California
    #13
    Thanks for taking the time to reply, I appreciate the insight.

     

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