Recording Equipment

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by intwo, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. intwo macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2011
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    What to buy depends a LOT on your background and the space you have for recording and what you are going to record. By your questons I'd guess you are a beginner? If so don't go out and buy all of that stuff. Start slower.

    Use Garage Band until you can identify some reason no to use it. You don't provide any reason why GB would not work for you.

    Why a "duet". I hate dongles and two inputs is very limiting and there is only one knob. And I'd like to see UV meters or LED on the device for each input. Other interfaces will include the MIDI ports on the same box, saving you some cable mess.

    Why Melidyne? You've tried Apple's pitch corection and don't like it? Buy things ONLY if you have a good reason.

    the SM57 is good for some uses not ideal at all for others. What are you going to use it for?

    I don't see any acoustic treatment materials. Are you building a studio or does all of this need to be portable? If portable then you are basically recording a live show. Mic made for studio use are senitive and will pick up every little noise. Mics for live use are placed very close and they are more directional. Need to know who a mic would be used
  3. intwo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2011
    Thank you for your response.

    I've been using Garageband for awhile and I'd like to have more control over the parameters, such as reverb, the compressor, etc. I'd also like to build my own synthesizer sounds using the samplers. I currently "make" most of my synthesizer sounds using existing Garageband instruments and tweaking their individual parameters until I achieve the desired sound. I enjoy buildings sounds on my Roland SH-201 synthesizer, but I prefer working on the computer. I think that the Logic samplers will provide a similar process.

    I've used the pitch correction on Garageband and it generally dehumanized the vocal sound. I also tried the 30 day Melodyne trial and achieved much more "natural" results. I especially enjoyed being able to edit each individual note. I assumed that Logic Pro did not have a similar feature, but I haven't actually used Logic yet. I included Auto-Tune because I thought it was more popular than Melodyne, but I haven't used it either.

    I currently have a Yamaha GO46 audio interface. It has two inputs, MIDI i/o, and it's portable, but it didn't communicate well with my old MacBook Pro. Even with the drivers installed, I would have to restart a few times for Garageband to recognize it. My friend has the original duet and his MacBook Pro recognizes it instantly. Since the Duet was built for Macs, I figure it'd be the best option. It doesn't have MIDI i/o, but I can use the MIDI to USB cable in addition to the Duet. The two inputs have not caused any problems yet because I've only recorded vocals and guitar. I don't plan on recording any drums, but I assume I could somehow manage to get a decent mix with two microphones. If not, my friend/roommate also has a FirePod and a collection of microphones I could borrow; however, I don't really like his FirePod (sound cuts out often) and I'd rather have my own equipment.

    As for microphones, I picked the top selling Shure SM57 because many reviews stated that it was rugged and versatile. It'd be nice to have a microphone to throw on a cabinet for a raw sound (although I heard the amps in Logic are great). The Bluebird was on the Apple website so I figured it couldn't be too terrible. Plus I could use a condenser. I have a few terrible dynamics microphones and a dynamic ribbon microphone that a music store sales associate persuaded me into buying. It's good for lows, but it cuts out at around 15kHz. Any suggestions on microphones is highly appreciated. They'll be used for acoustic guitar, vocals, and assorted percussion instruments.

    I've never owned studio monitors so I picked the best selling set. Any suggestions on studio monitors would also be highly appreciated. I have some questions though: Is the subwoofer necessary? Can I also use them to listen to music on iTunes? When I get my new MacBook Pro I intend on loading my cds at 192kbps, which I hope is enough to not damage the speakers.

    I'd like to soundproof my room, but the foam is expensive. Any suggestions on less expensive, alternative options? I'm renting an apartment for a year, so permanent treatments are out of the picture.

  4. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    foam is likely to kill too many highs and give the room too dead of a sound. i can almost guarantee that, like the rest of us, your room needs the lower frequencies tamed.

    you can do so inexpensively and effectively by purchasing sheets of Owens-Corning 703 and wrapping them in burlap to make bass traps. if you buy bass traps from realtraps or gikacoustics, it's just OC 703 inside, anyway.

    best bang-for-the-buck is to make four 2'x4' traps, 2-4" thick, and straddle them in the corners of the room. huge difference just from doing that.

    then if you want to get fancy, you can make a few more, 1-2" thick, and place them at initial reflection points between your monitors and your sitting position: on the ceiling, left/right, behind your head, on the wall in front of you.

    do that and you'll have a better sounding room than (ime) 90% of home studios.

    this is WAY more important than the quality of the monitors, imho, though i reckon that's a controversial opinion.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I was really asking all those questions because it is impossible to know what to recommend or if your selections made sense without knowing a lot about your plans and background.

    Now only a few more points.

    Any audio interface that does NOT require drivers will work well with Mac OS X. That should be your test: Is the interface "class compliant?" and therefore able to use the driver built into Mac OS X. If you you wil not have driver issues. I still don't like the user interface in the duet.

    About sound proofing aroom... FOAM IS NOT SOUNDPROOFING.
    Foam's purpose is to kill reflections. Sound proofing is something else entirerly and is MUCH harder. So sound proof a room first plug every hole where air can move. That means solid weather stripping around the doors. Even the AC wall outlets might have air leaks. Next you need to mechanically isolate the room's surfaces (wall, ceiling and floor) from the room's structure (wood frame) Some sort of springy materal is use for that. Lots of methos and you can even use air gaps to trap bass. Sound proofing is way-expensive and a lot of work.

    Coverring about 1/3rd of the walls with sound absorbency might be all you need. Building insulation batts covered in cloth work well for that. Book cases and rugs help too

    As for sound proofing yo can start by simply weather stripping the doors. The next step required ripping out the drywall, adding insulation then putting the drywal back using spring clips and then you can go as "nuts" as you can afford to.

    All that said the simple way to thing about it is
    1) "sound proofing" deal with how sound moves BETWEEN yor roon and other rooms
    2) "foam" (and other absorption panels) deal with how sound moves WITHIN your room.

    As for studio monitors, What you want is "accurate". Ideally you would not need a sub because the monitors would go down to cover bass themselves. But maybe you can't afford that? So if your music has bass and you need to hear it (likely) then get a sub but make sure the crossover point is "way low" You don't want the cross over to be inside the range of anu instrument like a guitar or keyboard so the musician does not play through that. Well the bass guitar is going to break that rule but do as best you can.


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