Best portable system for use with Macbook Air? Looking for condensing mics too...

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by matthewHUB, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. matthewHUB macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I was wondering whether you could help me out. I'm a cellist and i record stereo at the moment using a ZOOM and 2 Rode NT5 condensing mics. I often record with piano, but usually only record ambient as micing the instruments individually is not always possible.

    Have just ordered a Macbook Air. Would like to use this to record instead of the ZOOM. I have the NT5s on 'loan' from a friend who doesn't use them any more, but i'd like to buy my own. Are then any other matched paired condensing mics you'd recommend that aren't as expensive as the Neumann 184s??!! It seems like there's a big jump from one to the other. But my budget is $800 for mics.

    I also am looking to buy a preamp for the mics. I have looked at a tascam US122 but i don't know much about them as this will be my first time using my mac to record. I need the whole system to be portable, so i can't buy a fat 50lb preamp. What about the m-audio products? Any advice would be most helpful.

    Thanks,

    Matt
     
  2. matthewHUB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 29, 2005
    #2
    OH... i looked at the apogee duet, but it needs to be a USB interface for use with the Air. (don't get me started on that...)
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
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    Location:
    toronto
    #3
    include these and especially these in your search.

    i own the former and am planning on buying the latter.
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #4
    btw -- for the kind of recording you'll be doing, why are you so enamored of bringing a laptop and a DAW? that's the kind of recording where i would want to bring something dedicated, like your zoom.
     
  5. matthewHUB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 29, 2005
    #5
    Well i don't like my zoom. the OS is a nightmare, and navigating around is horrible. It's also clunky for what it is, and the microphones on it blow, so that takes up extra space. Plus, i just bought a MBA so i'd like to use that for as many things as possible if i could. Besides, i'll have it with me anyway all the time. Also, it would be nice to have the mics set a few feet away, and have my MBA on a chair near to me to i can test levels and stuff without having to get up and make a huge hassle.

    Those mics seem nice. Is there anything else in-between that pair and the rode ones in terms of price/quality?

    Such a shame the Duet is Firewire.

    Oh, and the mics need to be cardiod, not omnidirectional.
     
  6. paul.b.davis macrumors 6502

    paul.b.davis

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    #6
    hate to say it, but you probably should have gotten a macbook (or a macbook pro) for what you are doing. The MBA looks to me to be a bit underpowered for recording purposes. Plus the other laptops both have firewire.

    However, there are a decent amount of USB recording interfaces and that Tascam you are lookng at would not be bad. I used to use a Tascam unit myself, but switched over to CardBus

    For the mics, check out Behringer products. They work great with a low price tag.
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #7
    ugh. The rode's are better.
     
  8. paul.b.davis macrumors 6502

    paul.b.davis

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    #8
    They are still pricier than a Behringer. It sounds to me that the recordings being done in this scenario will not be affected too much by using a Behringer mic. All of the Behringer stuff I use surpasses the expectations I had considering their price.
     
  9. matthewHUB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 29, 2005
    #9
    Why don't you think it'll be powerful enough? I thought for just recording 2 tracks it would be plenty fast enough. even with the 4200 drive. So the tascam is good then? How big is it? i've looked on all the specification pages and none of them say dimensions.
     
  10. paul.b.davis macrumors 6502

    paul.b.davis

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    #10
    as long as you are not running a lot of effect plugins it should be enough power to do two track recordings.

    as for the unit, I have never used the one you are talking about, I was just speaking for Tascam in general

    did you check Tascam's website for info on the dimensions?
     
  11. fernmeister macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    #11
    The MBA will easily have enough power to do the task. It's not an ideal notebook for audio because of the specs and connectability issues, but the power is there.

    The Duet is firewire beause, well, most interfaces are firewire. It's a better platform for that task.

    The Edirol UA-25 is a decent USB interface that will let you track in Stereo.

    For $800 you could pick up a pair of AKG C1000, or AT4047, or SE2200A. All those are different, but they could all work for your situation.
     
  12. matthewHUB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 29, 2005
    #12
    Yeh i did. here is a link.

    http://www.tascam.com/products/us-122l;9,15,69,16.html

    That's the specification page. no mention of physical dimensions.
     
  13. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
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    Location:
    toronto
    #13
    there's a pair of akg c451's for sale here. i'm in no way connected to the sale, so proceed at your own risk. seems a good price, though.
     

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