Multi-Track Recording Simultaneously

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by LERsince1991, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    So i've just bought my first mac. 2.4GHz Aluminium Macbook.

    I'm trying to do some recordings in garageband and adobe soundbooth. Not done this 'properly' before though.

    I was wondering how to record multiple tracks simultaneously?
    Is it possible to record via the mac's line-in AND the built-in mic in the Macbook at the same time in different tracks?
    I can't seem to set it to accept both as in the preferences (garageband) it requires that I choose the mic OR the line-in input.
    Also is there any cheap equipment I can buy that will accept multiple inputs and outputs for the mac like usb or something? Like allow say 2,3 or 4 inputs?

    Cheers!
    Luke
     
  2. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #2
  3. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Cheers, I read to the end of the second page... It's hard reading that :p
    Maybe I'll come back to it when I'm not so tired.

    Would anyone be able to recommend me one piece of equipment (a break Box?) that will work with no other box's. Just out the box sort of thing... Ya I know I'll have to install drivers etc.. but you know what I mean.

    I would like maybe 2 inputs (Mic and acoustic guitar) and 1 or 2 outputs for headphones/speakers (A.K.A my monitor).
    USB 2.0 connection
    and works with decent sound quality for that price range
    I have no clue what these cost but just want the 'cheap' one thats good enough.

    Cheers.
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4

    You will need more than just the box. In addition two mics (one for the acoustic guitar and one for vocals) . A mic cable for each and a mic stand for each. Your box will need two XLR mic inputs.

    There are a lot of USB audio interfaces. All of them have good features and bad features. If there was on e that was best the others would be out of business. Your best bet is to look at the web sites of Guitar Caenter, Sam Ash, Sweetwater and the others and read the specs. One it is narrowed down go to the manufacure web site and download the user manual and read it. Buy the box with the best and most understandable user manual that clearly does what you need.

    Or just walk into any of the big chain music stores and tell the sales guy you need two mics, two cable and a USB box to plug them into andbe sure and say this is going into Garage Band.

    Now you can ask which mic to buy.
     
  5. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #5
    edirol makes some nice interfaces. that should be a great starting point
     
  6. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Sorry I didn't state what I already have.

    I have an electro/acoustic, which I would like to plug in to get better quality than an external, extra mic.

    I have a mic and mic stand. Actually I have 2 mics but I just use the better one. Its not expensive, just does the job.

    I have tons of cables but I have no XLR leads because I never needed them at home. I normally use 1/4" jack leads and when i plug into a computer I have all sorts of gold adapters that I've got with headphones in the past and bought a few. I normally use a 1/4" to 1/8" jack to go into the laptop.

    So ya basically all I need is the box.

    I also have a box that I use when I just want to record it all in the same track. Its a nobels SPX-31 signal splitter and mixer... again, not ideal but does the job. I plug all my equipment into it and then have an output to the laptop and then the output of the laptop to my Sennheiser HD 205 headphones. This 'merges' all the inputs into one track, works, but I'd like to have them in separate tracks now. Any simple box to do this?

    Thanks again.
     
  7. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #7
    without an interface plugging an input into your computer wil only show up as well... exactly what you have plugged in.


    like i said before. look into edirol's usb interfaces they are very nice and affordable.
     
  8. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Ok Thanks for suggesting edirol.

    I've had a look on their website but unsure what I'm looking for.

    Do I want a USB Audio Interface or USB Audio Capture?
    They only sell 1 USB Interface.

    Cheers
     
  9. Mattaut macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #9
    I think there's a solution to your problem without spending money on an interface. In Utilities go in the Audio/MIDI Setup, then under the Audio menu select Open Aggregate Device Editor(should be the only option in the menu). Then click on + to add a new aggregate device and give it a name, then select all the inputs that you want to use simulataneuosly and click Done. Then in Garageband go to preferences and select the aggregate device you made.
    I'm pretty sure this will work, though not 100% cause I have never tried it. Also getting an interface will still probably be a good idea because it will get you a better signal for the guitar instead of plugging it into the built-in line input
     
  10. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    good idea but I think it's impossible to 'unmerge' an analogue signal. Setting up an aggregate device would not help because there is still only one input on the Macbook. I would have to merge the mic and guitar signals into one line to input into the mac.

    ... Unless (smirks :p)....
    Both the inputs are mono (mic and guitar), the 1/8" jack the mac has is stereo (obviously). In garage band I have to select mono from line 1 in the stereo.

    Could I set up (somehow) a method of getting the two mono input signals to go into 1 stereo signal then in garage band I can set 2 separate tracks up each using a different line from the stereo input....

    Genius? :p no?
     
  11. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    OooOh

    I cut some wires up, tapped some together and plugged it in and it works well :p Surprisingly :D Obveously not going to be as good as any equipment that's bought but it's the most simple and basic method that could possibly exist and it does everything I want it to :D

    Multi-track recording with a single basic line in on a out of the box macbook :p
     
  12. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #12
    Did you say you were recording an acoustic guitar?

    If so, you'll get the best and most realistic sounding results by mic'ing it. DI'ed acoustic is usually only used live when you're trying to prevent feedback, or as a different flavour for a track, but it doesn't sound anything close to an acoustic guitar in a room.
     

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