Garageband multitrack audio recording + MIDI sync

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by macstatic, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #1
    I've just bought a Focusrite 18i20 audio/MIDI interface which came with Ableton Live 9 Lite which I find overwhelming, having no experience with DAW software from before. So I thought I'd start out with the more user-friendly Garageband 10 to get started.

    Having lots of "old school" gear (synths, drum machines, MIDI sequencer etc.) I want to record several tracks at once (i.e. 8 individual outputs from a drum machine, each to their separate audio track in Garageband so I can EQ and effect them individually), then record additional multiple tracks in the next go while keeping in sync with the existing recorded tracks. The Focusrite 18i20 has MIDI so I suppose MIDI sync is the way to go if Garageband supports it.
    Basically I want the Mac to act as a traditional multitrack tape recording studio with a mixer and effects, and have the ability to sync those tracks to a MIDI sequencer.

    Is this possible, or do I have to learn Ableton Live 9 Lite, or even buy some other DAW?
    It'll be running on a 13" i5 Macbook Pro with OSX 10.9.5.
     
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #2
    To be clear, you're programming the drum machine patterns for the entire track on the drum machine itself and not using midi tracks in the DAW to trigger the drums?
     
  3. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #3
    No, I'll be using an external MIDI-sequencer to trigger the drum machine sounds and play the various synth tracks, not the DAW. With my Focusrite 18i20 I should be able to record up to 8 Garageband audio tracks at once, meaning the ability to input up to 8 audio sources (i.e. drum machine individual outputs, synths or whatever) in one go.
    I need the DAW to be able to sync with the external MIDI sequencer so that my next 8 tracks (different synths/sounds) will be synced with what I first recorded.

    I've been trying to find out more about Garageband's MIDI capabilities and it seems that at least earlier versions (couldn't find anything about the current version 10) needed an additional plugin called "MidiO" to get MIDI out capabilities. Alas, I'm not able to download it from anywhere (all links are to the app's website which apparently is no longer around) and I read some comments somewhere about (I think it was regarding Garageband 9) it no longer working with more current versions of Garageband. Is this correct? Are there other alternatives, or does Garageband 10 have some MIDI capabilities earlier versions didn't?

    It just occured to me that if nothing else works I could likely hook up my sequencer's SMPTE output, record the timecode on a separate audio track (through the Focusrite 18i20 obviously) and play back that track to the sequencer's SMPTE input again for syncing the next batch of tracks to record. Much like in a pre-digital 24 track recording studio. Never tried any of this so please chime in if you have any comments.
     
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #4
    Same answer with either scenario, I suppose, since midi out isn't included. MidiO can be found here if you want to give it a try anyway.

    A SMPTE track should work.
     
  5. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #5
    Thanks for the midiO download link -didn't work with GB 10 though :(
    So I suppose I'll go with SMPTE sync on one of the audio tracks and use GB as a pure audio recorder with built in mixer and effects.

    This is with the assumption that I can route a GB track to a specific audio output and not just have everything mixed down to stereo.
     
  6. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #6
    There's a good possibility it won't work because of that. If GB won't route channels back out via your Focusrite (other than 1 & 2) then I suppose you could monitor in mono on one channel and have the SMPTE out on the other.

    GB is pretty basic.
     

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