Bought an iBook for an aspiring singer

California

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 21, 2004
3,766
42
I just bought a new 1.2 12" iBook for a friend's daughter who is 19. She's a great singer and is already recording cds with established producers. I know nothing about music production on macs, and she knows nothing about computers/macs at all. Are there any programs or externals I should be thinking about for her? (I barely use my own iTunes or iPod; in fact, my 6gb ipod is still in the box!) With a stock 30 gig hd in the iBook, she's going to run out of space, I'm sure. I guess I'd like to know what sort of microphone/programs/ equipment would be appropriate for her to produce the best quality sound on the little iBook. Any suggestions?
 

erickg

macrumors 6502
Nov 4, 2004
327
0
As mentioned by Lara F, Garageband would probably be where to start. If she feels she needs something more, I believe Logic Express would be the next step, which probably has student pricing as well (if she is a student). Unfortunately the iBook doesn't have any audio-in, but there are plenty peripherals that can be bought that connect via firewire/usb2. Probably if you search the forum, you will come up with lots. 30 GB isn't that much to work with, especially since OS X and iLife 05 already take up quite a lot of space. If you bought the newest iBook, it should be with 40 gig HD though. Still, it would probably be a good idea to get an external, as they aren't too expensive. Upping the ram should help a lot with Garageband too. I think Crucial is the preferred ram provider on these forums

Hope this helps!
 

VanNess

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2005
904
163
California
Being a former musician myself (guitar player) I can tell you that Garageband is an amazing app. Basically, you have a built-in professional recording studio on your Mac with a virtual back-up band ready to play. You can write, record, edit and produce almost anything imaginable on it, from something very simple to something surprisingly intricate and sophisticated. And the sound quality is astonishing for a supposedly non-professional app.

But all of that isn't even the best part. The best part is how unbelievably easy it is to use. Learning the basics is a snap. And what else is there to learn about the program after the basics? Nothing. After you learn the basics, you're go to go.

I've been fooling around with Garageband every chance I get since it was introduced, and I'm still amazed at what it can do. It also pretty addictive. You can go for hours into days using this program. Experimenting with loops, effects, mixing, production - you name it. IMO, it's one of the greatest, if not the greatest, songwriting tools out there.

Since she's a singer, she'll need a usb interface to plug in a mike into the iBook. Several choices here. Also, Garageband is very resource hungry; the only thing it likes more than memory is your CPU's full, undivided attention. So the first and most important tip for a good Garageband experience is to get as much memory as you can, and quit any open applications before you launch it. Make room for the band, lol.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,418
124
Location Location Location
VanNess said:
Basically, you have a built-in professional recording studio on your Mac with a virtual back-up band ready to play.
I have Garageband but have never played with it. Can I just make a virtual band and make up a bunch of beats and put a song together and make it sound however I want, including piano, drums, guitar, bass, etc? I can't play any instruments, but if I can muck around like that, I'm keen. :)

California said:
(I barely use my own iTunes or iPod; in fact, my 6gb ipod is still in the box!)

:eek:
 

VanNess

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2005
904
163
California
Abstract said:
I have Garageband but have never played with it. Can I just make a virtual band and make up a bunch of beats and put a song together and make it sound however I want, including piano, drums, guitar, bass, etc? I can't play any instruments, but if I can muck around like that, I'm keen. :)
Sure! One of the great things about Garageband is that you don't even need to be a musician to use it.

Garageband comes with a huge assortment of pre-recorded sound snippets called instrument loops. Drum parts, bass parts, percussion parts, piano, organ, guitar, horns, strings, synthesizer and much more. Garageband has them all organized by instrument (drums, bass, guitar, etc) and you can refine the choices further by choosing a particular style (rock, blues, jazz, etc) and mood (cheerful, dark, etc). Just about every loop is designed so it can be played back repeatedly and the part will play seamlessly, over and over again. You decide how many times it will repeat, or you can set it to repeat indefinitely.

So you can build songs right from the start by selecting the various loop parts you like; just explore, mix and match. Garageband takes care of the technical stuff in the background, such as making tempo adjustments and key changes. And it's all done with drag and drop simplicity. Everything is represented graphically in Garageband and it's very easy to pick up and understand.

As time goes on and you want to get even more adventurous, you can start recording your own parts, using the virtual instrument of your choice, to go along with the pre-recorded loop parts. Garageband has a virtual keyboard that you can use your mouse to tap in individual notes, and as of Garageband 2, you can use your computer's keyboard to play parts.

Before you know it, you've just written your own song. A star is born, lol.
 

berkleeboy210

macrumors 68000
Sep 2, 2004
1,641
0
Boston, Massachusetts
I go to one of the best music schools in the Country (Berklee), and we use Garageband the most out of everything else they make us pay for.

That being said, It's a Great App. and is good for the beginner or for the advanced expert.

When ready to kick it up a knotch, move up to Logic Express student pricing is $149 i believe, compared to regular retail of $299.

Good Luck!
 

California

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 21, 2004
3,766
42
Hey thanks for the tips everyone. Berklee boy how do you like it there? Do they have voice training/ classes for pop singers -- not classical? (Just curious, I'm not a singer, but writing about music lately) And do you all think the iMic would be a good place to start her off with using Garageband == let her get into it and buy the more pro stuff as she needs it?
 

berkleeboy210

macrumors 68000
Sep 2, 2004
1,641
0
Boston, Massachusetts
California said:
Hey thanks for the tips everyone. Berklee boy how do you like it there? Do they have voice training/ classes for pop singers -- not classical? (Just curious, I'm not a singer, but writing about music lately) And do you all think the iMic would be a good place to start her off with using Garageband == let her get into it and buy the more pro stuff as she needs it?
Berklee isn't a classical school at all. It's highly recommend for Jazz,Pop,Rock type of Musicians. I'm a Classical Pianist, but I ended up at Berklee b/c I want to expand my styles of Music. Berklee is the best place for me to be at right now.

I love it!

iMic is pretty good i hear, but I've never used one.
 
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