I want to record a H.S. Band Is GB good For that?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ursa, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. ursa macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2004
    I'm a band director. Instead of getting the big clumsy set ups that usally go with recording, can a ibook with a couple of mics and GarageBand give me a good recording? Will it allow me to edit?
    If so, do I need an interface and what type of microphones?
  2. kanker macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2003
  3. KC9AIC macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2004
    Tokyo, Japan or Longview, Texas
    What kind of mic will you be using? That will make a lot of difference. The iBook doesn't have a built-in line in port, so I'm assuming you'd use an external interface.

    There are threads in the GarageBand forum about which mics to use.
  4. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Shure SM-57/58s are a good standard, not too expensive and a really good sound.

    Garage band may not really suit your needs, you may want to do more multitracking with other gear.
  5. Oroboros macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2004
    Er... Not really

    > Instead of getting the big clumsy set ups that usally go with recording,
    > can a ibook with a couple of mics and GarageBand give me a good recording?

    Good recordings are defined by the quality of your sound source, the environment that source is in, and the recording devices.

    Assuming your instruments are fine, you have to consider your acoustic space. No point having top-quality mics if you're recording in a tunnel at peak time traffic, for instance.

    Finally, the recording method. GarageBand is not primarily a recording environment. It's a self-contained mixing environment... that allows you to record original source. Using GB for the purposes described is a bit like using a Swiss Army Knife at a formal banquet - The job will be done, but you'll find that with the wide range of tools comes the limitations of non-specialisation.

    > Will it allow me to edit? If so, do I need an interface and what type of microphones?

    Microphone selection and placement is a can of angry giant centipedes for the beginner. A simple arrangement can be to use your head as the 'mixing environment'. Arrange the band in an acoustically pleasing distance from you as the conductor. Have an especially critical ear toward echoes and reverberations the room you're playing in has - You might want to isolate and absorb some frequencies with blankets, foam and dampners placed on walls or at strategic locations.

    Set up two identical, studio mics in a crossed-pair arrangement for stereo recording, positioned above your head.

    Those mics would be connected to a pre-amp mixer-D/A converter, which would then run into your Mac.

    The software you'd use might vary. I'd recommend against GB for your purposes, because it occupies RAM with software you will never use, RAM that would be better used to store recorded sound. There are a number of simple sound recording applications around that will allow you to edit and mix. Heck, if you have a Classic partition set up on your Mac, you could use several Classic-based applications. When I'm doing serious sound mixing, I use DigiDesign's ProToolsFree, which is an exceptionally powerful sound and MIDI editor, dedicated to recording and post-production.

    Hope this helps,

  6. cpjakes macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2003
    Buffalo, NY
    There's a reason for the big and somewhat "clumsy" settings, they work. Using an iBook and GB is not your answer. The iBook maybe, but you'll need other good (read $$) hardware to make it worthwhile.

    What are you using these recordings for? If they're for analysis and listening to your band, I'd try an all-in-one CD burner or portable studio that can be found at Guitar Center, Sam Ash, etc. Being in education, you could try sweetwater.com. They're great for education pricing.

    On the other hand, if you're looking to do something for a fund raiser or to enter competitions, the big "clumsy" is better for results.

    Recording concerts is what I do for a living, so I understand both sides - looking for simplicity AND quality.


    Edit: If you want some recommendations for user-friendly gear, specify a budget that you have available.
  7. Engagebot macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2003
    LSU - Baton Rouge
    for a band/orchestra application like that, you really need M-S micing (stands for mid-side, not microsoft). its a really great stereo mic technique almost ALWAYS used in the studio for orchestra or classical applications. it involves using a figure-8 pattern mic in conjunction with a regular cardiod. read up about it online or email me. you can get mics especially for this purpose, and probably that one MS mic will be great for you. these are the mics you see hung right in the front of the stage in a concert hall.

    if not that, get a a few small diaphragm condensers and at least one large diaphram condenser. that'll give you a better representation of whats going on the the whole room. placing specific instrument mics like SM57s will be good, but especially with classical music you're recording the thing as a whole, including the natural sound of the room itself.

    SM57s are traditionally for a single application/instrument. not great for an ensemble. small condensers in an X-Y over your head with a large condenser in the room will give you better results.

    another alternative: google for the 'blumlein' stereo technique. this is another effective, fairly cheap stereo tecnique that will yeild pretty good results for your application. you're going to need two figure-8 pattern mics for this.
  8. Snarf! macrumors member


    Mar 10, 2004
    BG, Norway
    I use a iBook G4 800, M-Audio firewire 410 external sound card and logic audio 6. This is for my home setup. (for my studio it`s a completely diffrent thing.)
    But for recording scemiPRO this is great. Add a small mixer wich you line out and into the 410, and you can use as many mics as you want.

    I`ve made some pretty good recordings on the road, at rehearsals and at home with this limited equip. I recomend LOGIC express instead of GB. You get Logic 6 and the 410 interface together for 800-900 dollars. If you already have the laptop, just add some mics and your ready.
    But all this is asuming you have the proper amplification gear. If you don`t ahve gutar amps, just the guitars, than you need an aditional guitar amp modeler also. SO if that`s the case, than GB is an easy low budget (but also lower quality) alternative.

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