Basic recording setup

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2006
    First I'd like to say that I've read MacRumors forums for quite a while (despite my lack of posts), but I've never ventured into the Digital Audio subforum. I'm very pleasantly surprised at all of the great info you guys have posted here.

    I don't mean to ask the archetypal newbie question on recording on the mac, but hopefully someone can help me out a bit:

    I've read quite a few posts here (including the stickies which gave me a good starting ground), but the advice I need is quite basic. I would like to know what pieces of equipment I would need to record quite good sounding demos for a 4 piece band (guitar, bass, drums, keys; plus vocals). I have mics, amps, etc., but I am clueless as to the recording process in the digital world (other than random messing around with Garageband and Line-in). Based on what I've read, I figure I'll either need a Firewire or PCMCIA Interface (what exactly do these do?) to start with. For software I already have access to Garageband, obviously, as well as Logic Express. My sig has the specs of my computer.

    Can someone give me some guidance and point me in the right direction? Thanks a lot.
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    assuming you're going with Logic, you still must determine:
    1. how many simultaneous channels you need
    2. your budget

    for example, to track drums, you can do it with four mics, which means you'd need 4 simultaneous channels on the interface. that means you'd have to overdub everything else.

    or, if you want to track the whole band at once, you could get a setup with 8 channels, 16, 24, etc. And you'd need a similar number of microphones, stands, cables, room treatment, et. al.

    getting "decent" recording quality can get tricky, because then you're also talking about a nicer monitoring setup. do you have a nice sounding room? is it treated? how good are the monitors, and the digital to analog conversion? all things to think about. and spend money on.


    interfaces are basically all-in-one boxes of what you need in a studio: mic pre's, converters, monitoring. as is typical with such things, there are tradeoffs in price vs. quality. the more you spend, the better the stuff will be.

    the interface would replace your use of the mac's line in. you'd plug your mics into its mic pre's, set up Logic to see your interface and record from its channels, and away you go. when you play back, the interface box would supply the necessary digital->analog conversion and interfacing for you to plug in headphones and / or monitors.

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