Garageband - practice setup

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by jejagua, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. jejagua macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #1
    I'm considering the following setup to use Garageband '09 primarily as an electric guitar practice rig with limited recording.

    Alum iMac 2.8GHz

    USB Guitar Interface:
    M-Audio JamLab Personal Guitar System

    My main question, the answer to which may seem elementary to some, is, can I monitor the Garageband stacks and pedal effects in real-time, or are they applied only post-recording?

    From the Garageband tutorial, it appears it has an excellent array of effects. I'm trying to avoid buying a costly amp/effects. I have a 500W speaker system for my iMAC, so I think I'm good there.
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    I don't play guitar but I've connected my keyboard to my iMac and tried out the guitar sounds. The first thing I tried was Richtie Blackmore's "Smoke on the Water". My verdict... keyboards can never sound like guitars. I went back to the Grand Piano.

    Ok it would work as you want but there is a problem with "latency". That is a slight delay between playing and hearing. Different audio interfaces and software drives, guitar effect processors and your setting of the 'buffer size" and the speed of your computer together determine the amount of latency.

    The other way to record guitar is go trough the amp. If the amp has a line out or headphone jack and then in effect both you and the computer listen to the amp and have zero latency. Of course you could mic the amp too but not at night when others are trying to sleep.

    Try both ways. Some like on others like the other.
     
  3. jejagua thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #3
    I've read a lot of postings about Latency and how to mitigate it. It appears there are a lot of different causes and solutions.

    I saw a video how-to that described how to adjust a low latency setting in Garageband. I wonder if Garageband '09 will do anything special to improve audio delays.

    Does most of the latency originate in the audio interface or in Garageband? Also, does a firewire interface exhibit less latency than USB?

    Does anyone have a suggestion for a low-latency guitar interface for <$100?
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    Every link in the chain adds latency. So simply replacing the interface may not do much if the "big link" is the software effects processing.

    But it may not matter. It might be good enough for you. Sound travels at about, roughly one foot per millisecond. So if you read about some 20 ms latency that is the same as if you had a 20 foot cord and moved the amp back 20 feet. Do you notice? Would you notice of the amp were 100 feet away? Likely not. Try software monitoring and figure if you don't like it the fall back plan B (direct monitoring) is available.

    When I tried the software monitor with my keyboard It sounded OK but then one time I forgot to disable the sound generator on the key board and then I was able to hear an echo that sounded pretty bad but with the local keyboard's sound off I did not notice the delay although I could prove the delay was there by turning on the local sound.
     
  5. jejagua thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #5
    I bought an M-Audio Fast Track USB Interface over the weekend and the setup works great. No latency problems at all. I'm looking forward to Garageband '09!
     

Share This Page