Multitrack recording and editing

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by ajoyce, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. ajoyce macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2007
    As I've been reading the various posts and subjects in this forum I have been unable to find anything that remotely relates to my situation. I do not "create" music I simply record it. My needs are relatively simple but I've been unable to find Mac OSX software to run on my MacBook Pro that will do what I want to do smoothly.

    My church records their service for putting out on our church website as well as making cassette recordings for some prisoners that we minister to. We are using a Firepod to isolate the various mics and have a total of 8 tracks that we are trying to keep unique so we can increase/decrease gain, silence, balance, and then make a master mp3 file that can be put on the website and recorded onto cassette (not CD - the prisoners can't have a CD player in the prison where we have contact).

    Those 8 tracks are: (though I guess it's not that important that you know this but here they are anyway)
    1. pastor
    2. piano
    3. flute
    4. guitar
    5. keyboard
    6. organ
    7. mic for picking up the congregation singing
    8. all other mics coming through the mixer

    In GarageBand I may need to increase the volume of one of the mics because of it being too low. I can increase the volume control but only to a certain point beyond which I just can't make it go higher. Because the Firepod is feeding into my MacBook Pro at a constant level (based on the gain set on its controls) there may still be sound coming from one or more of the mics when all I want to do is capture one mic for a segment of the total time. But trying to edit the sound level down to nothing is a real hassle. Obviously I could cut out sections but I also need to worry about keeping the tracks in sync with one another.

    So, my question is this: Is GarageBand able to increase gain beyond the "track Volume" maximum? Would there be a better multi-track program that would allow me to do more sophisticated editing (such as what you might find in Sound Studio or Amadeus)? CuBase LE came with the Firepod but I found it to be difficult to use as well. Most everything seems geared toward creating music from loops mixed with real instruments. I don't particularly need to worry about beats or transposing or shifting instrument sounds to make a flute sound like an oboe.

    Previously when I was only able to record the service on a single track we had to try to keep the mix balanced between the "house" and the recorder. Sometimes that was diametrically opposed to one another. Also, when I do a mixdown from the multi-track file I find that the music portion is always a huge jump in the sound wave over the speaking part of the recording. I've tried "normalizing" but that has never yielded good results. So, when I take the mixdown recording and then try to isolate the music part of the file to decrease the gain, you can always tell where the gain reduction is performed. It's a problem.

    Thanks for any direction you might give to me.
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    pro tools is the king of recording and editing, imho.

    your issue isn't the software, it's not knowing how to gain stage or, really, how to be a recording engineer. it's not a slam, it's just something that must be learned.

    if you're in the situation that you run out of headroom, then that means that, overall, everything is too loud. be sure to record 24-bit, and gain stage so your peaks are low, like -18 dB or even lower. mix your song like that (turn up your speakers so it sounds loud), then apply gain to the 2-track later to make it "loud enough."

    if you decide to use PT, i recommend massey L2007 limiter for final gain makeup.
  3. maybury macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2008
    Go Analogue

    We have the same situation, about 12 channels that want mixing for a record mix (live sound mix is a long way from the record mix we would want. Here is an alternative solution:
    go analogue, use a loom out of the live sound desk to a record sound desk (mackie (or their tapco range) do suitable mixers at about £150), a good pair of drummers headphones ( for sound isolation from the live sound) so you can do the mix in real time and record a single mixed track straight to garage band (and your tape recorder) and you are ready by the end of the service to burn CD's.

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