Recording equipments with MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by swamesp, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. swamesp macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hello,

    I have finalized to purchase Bx5a or KRK 5s (comparing which sounds better and weighing less). I would also purchase a 13" mbp in few days. Now the next set of questions are given below.

    What are the softwares and hardwares required for recording the songs in a group? There will be two guitars (electric & acoustic), a djembe, few vocals (may be a keyboard after few months, if this would help).

    What are the equipments that I need? All these are not serious mixing but just to improve ourselves to perform at a bigger stage sometime later.

    Please help me and share your thoughts if I need a better mbp or studio monitor? I cannot spend too much on every thing. But a good to better model in all.

    Monitors - < $300
    rest all - < $200 (if realistically possible)
     
  2. ModestForumName macrumors regular

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    #2
    Software wise I use Logic Studio 9. Great suite of hardware. From my understanding, if you want to record multi-layered tracks like I do, you'll have to get a Core i5 at least. As for interfaces, M-Auido has some great multi-input interfaces that connect to your MBP via firewire. Great starting point. As for mixing, you can do that all with Logic Studio
     
  3. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thank you for the details.

    Should MBP be an i5 if I'm recording say 2-3 tracks?

    How about this Midi interface? I will also be checking at the other brands as well. Anything precise that I should search for while choosing the interface?

    Will the Bx5a or KRK work good for this exercise as a speaker? Which brand or model would you recommend?
     
  4. adrvocaldesign macrumors newbie

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    #4
    I run Logic Studio 9 on my 2.5Ghz Core 2 Duo MBP and it runs it like a champ, so I am sure the i5 can do it very well. I have been able to record 16 tracks simultaneously without problems (via Firewire). However, using many effects per channel, I really began to feel the limit of the processor.

    If you plan on getting the 13" screen I highly suggest also getting an external monitor for all your plug-ins, etc. Even on my 15" the resolution seems a bit limited.

    As far as recording also check out the Presonus Audiobox. It's a great little box. I believe it ships now with Studio One Artist, which is a great recording suite as well. It is really well made and the preamps on it sound really good. I bought mine a while ago for $150 US.

    For monitoring, I hands down would pick the KRKs. I was in the same situation years ago deciding between the M-Audio and KRK. The KRKs have a more natural (flat) sound and have a crisper high end. The Bx5s have a little too much bass response when it supposed to be "flat" as well as sounded a little bit muffled in the higher range. Definitely go with the KRKs.
     
  5. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Thanks, the 13" MBP has only C2D and the audio recording is once in a while thing and I don't make money out of it. The maximum tracks I might do is 2-3 normally and 5 or 6 (at the max) very rarely when my flutist and other djembe player joins me. Hopefully 13MBP should work fine for it.

    Regarding the mixing, should I buy a passive or active mixer? There are few mixers in Mackie like this which are around 100$

    Should I look for firewire mixers or USB mixers? M-audio has this USB mixers with 5-6 I/P.

    The reason for choosing Bx5a(6Kg per spkr) is, it will be lesser in weight than KRK 5s (8Kg/Spkr). Also Bx5a is $240 compared to KRKs ($300). Are the KRKs worth the price?

    About the software, Logic Studio seems to be costing (with tight budget I may not be able to buy it right now) is there any freeware that I could use now and purchase them down the line?

    I might head to guitar center this evening to find which suits me.
     
  6. brc88 macrumors newbie

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    #6
    It really depends on budget - but I'd look at getting either 15" or 17" laptop, as a 13" laptop will drive you bonkers. I had one and I went crazy as you can't see anything. Logic ideally needs a large screen to see what's going on unless you're also using the laptop to perform live and need something lightweight. Interface wise I'd look at getting an Apogee Duet over anything else as their microphone preamps are the best on the consumer/semi pro market (ie the quality/clarity is the best I've heard yet, & I work in a recording studio working in the UK top 20 area whose main studio run a £40k Digidesign ProTools rig), Apogee's hardware sounds even better than Avid/Digidesign, who own M-Audio.

    But it's really down to you and your budget, but for the price, a basic 15"/17" MacBook Pro (for screen space), Apogee Duet and either speakers would be ok. The *most important* thing to spend your money on is what you are recording through; so that's microphones (anything that's not made in China) and interface, and sample rate.

    If you are just recording audio in Logic 9, Logic and your interface (whichever you choose) will allow you to record at various sample rates (meaning Logic will be able to "hear" more of what you record with your microphones)

    As a test when you get Logic 9, record some guitar at the normal "CD quality" of 44.1Khz (when you get Logic, control + click the transport bar at the bottom of the screen, and select customize, and enable sample rate to see what you're recording at). Try recording something at 44.1khz, and 48Khz. You should hear that your guitars have more presence and "air" compared to what you recorded at 44.1.

    So to recap: my advice would be: 15 or 17" MBP, Apogee Duet, any speakers you can afford. The most important thing is the recording chain, so decent mics and the best interface you can afford. Speakers are sort of secondary. But what do I know :p

    Ben

    www.bencollier.com
     
  7. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Thanks Ben. I was looking at 13" for two reasons. One is that portability and the other is I will use an external monitor for mixing it later. In that case do you still recommend 15"/17"?

    Monitors - I have settled with Bx5a as they are comparatively compact than KRKs and Mackie and cost wise cheaper as well. I got a deal in GC for $230 including tax.

    About the interface, Apogee Duet seems to accept only 2 simultaneous input. I would like to have a minimum of three inputs. What would be the suggestion here?

    Can I get a compact mixer (multiple inputs) and send it through interface (simple) to my MBP? Let me know if this will work?

    I get your point about the mics, which I will definitely look at.
     
  8. al2o3cr macrumors regular

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    #8
    No you do not. I've recorded 16 tracks simultaneously on an old iMac G5, and mixed with 50+ tracks with FX (even some Space Designer stuff) on the same machine without ever seeing the "too much CPU load" message (well, except for when the Digi002 was flaking out, but that's different...).
     
  9. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Then the current 13" should work fine. Which interface did you use....????

    Most of them are two inputs. For more than 2 they are all around 300$ which seems to be out of my budget. Any help on this regard????
     
  10. lttlordfault macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Re: Recording equipment with MBP

    The C2Duo should be completely fine for your needs, I'll agree with the above posts that screen real estate will definitely become an issue, but given your budget constraints, just look at getting an external monitor perhaps at a later date.

    I cant really advise you on a particular audio interface as I'm stuck with USB (Grr!:mad:) and you should definitely be looking at firewire interfaces. All I will say is you'd probably be better off looking at a straight forward interface without a mixing desk built in as you'll get more for your money now and you can always get a cheaper MIDI mixing desk later on to control faders and such.

    As to software, if you're new to Mac then see how you get on with garage band to begin with, it's a bit basic but starting out it's a very good base. After that you often find audio interfaces ship with lite versions of different DAWs', it's worth trying a few before stumping up cash. (Garage Band is effectively Logic lite)

    For me, I've got both the latest Logic studio and Ableton Suite. Both are fantastic at different things, I tend to play with Ableton more as it lends itself far more to experimentation and improv, though it can end up sounding very processed, which is when I turn to Logic which is much better at producing rich full sounds.
     
  11. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Thanks for the tip, on 13" and using garage band.

    Let me look at FW interfaces. But how to find if they have inbuilt mixers or not....??? Will be they mentioned explicitly?
     
  12. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
  13. silentnite macrumors 6502a

    silentnite

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    #13
    The key words you use are I'm not using it to make money. So when you start talking about things like KRK or Apogee duets this is more geared to people who have already been around the block and have some experience. If your just starting out and want to work your way up, M-audio Bx5a is not a bad place to start or maybe av40's. M-audio also has some decent USB audio interfaces in the range of $99 to $249 that can do the trick. I also say the 13"macbook pro is not a bad place to start your base if you don't mind putting out that kind of money. Logic is a great place to start but if your not making money with it you can always start with logic express & upgrade.
     
  14. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Thanks for the suggestions. Yes, as you have mentioned, I have settled with Bx5a (after the first AV40 blew upon me).

    13" MBP to be bought is for general purpose, irrespective of whether I record or not ( Budget doesn't allow 15"/17").

    I was not sure about the Logic express. The other user here said I should look at Garage Band for starting and then may be logic studio later if required.

    I'm trying to buy only a better - good level products as this is only a hobby. For the interface I'm looking to buy with at least 3 inputs and the new products are around $300.
     
  15. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    I have got few more questions. I'm thinking may be interface is too much for me considering that I have very less time for all these.

    So should I buy an audio mixer? Mixer's output will not allow me to edit the tracks, but that's fine, I'm not yet into editing tracks and modifying them.

    Now in this case, what should I do?
    Buy:

    - a passive mixer (I already have active studio monitors, Bx5a)?
    - or mixer and interface combined?
    - Interface and a software mixer?

    Please suggest. Waiting to hear from you guys. Budget should be around $250-$300.
     
  16. vca macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I had the KRK's and ended up getting Samson Rubicon R5A's: tighter bass and the ribbon tweeters are great.
     
  17. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #17
    KRKs used to be great, back when they were still made in Long Beach.

    OP, GearSlutz is your friend.
     
  18. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Just now had an online chat with apple expert. The person we could not record directly from mixer and need some interface for recording. Is that true....??? :confused:

    I'm trying to record my songs (not even a setup, a simple recording at my home). So no editing nothing.

    Do I need an interface or a mixer for that? I need have 4 or 5 mic inputs. Mixers seems to be cheaper solution.

    What would you guys suggest?
     
  19. geta macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Im producer\DJ and still working in the studio with PowerMac G5 with out any problem.
    for live\ mobile recording setup im using MBP 13" with Echo AudioFire 4, and still running logic pro 8 coz of the G5....

    about your questions -
    MBP 13" will be very good for your needs, just change HD to 500GB\7200 RPM, and if you can get a second display for the house\studio.

    for sound card i can recommend you the same one im using - Echo AudioFire 4 i think you can find it around 300$.

    as for program, you can start with Garage Band since its free (coming with the Mac) but basic, or try to demo others (not all the programs got demos...). or get Logic Express.

    about the monitors- get the best you can (dont think about the whit).
     
  20. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    Thanks geta.. Glad to hear from someone who is currently doing things with C2D. I will stick with 13" MBP, Bx5a and Garage band. How about the next part?

    I want to record the songs with all my various instruments, that's it (no editing). For this should I buy an interface or a mixer? :(
     
  21. geta macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    i would go with sound card (interface) over mixer.
    i dont know how much ins\outs you need, but i think one of these sound cards will fit your needs and budget :
    - Echo AudioFire 4 (this is the one im using with my MBP)
    http://www.echoaudio.com/Products/FireWire/AudioFire4/index.php

    - PreSonus FireStudio Mobile (all so you get free daw - studio one artist)
    http://www.presonus.com/products/Detail.aspx?ProductId=58

    - and if you can afford - RME FireFace 400
    http://www.rme-audio.de/en_products_fireface_400.php

    ps - for more info, check this forum :
    http://www.gearslutz.com/board/
     
  22. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Thanks for sharing the information.

    I currently need at least 4-5 mic inputs and my budget is only $300 as I have spend for mics too. That's the reason for looking at Mixer which are comparatively cheaper than the interface.
     
  23. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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  24. geta macrumors 6502a

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    #24
  25. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    Thanks geta.

    The only that freaks me in ZED-14 is it's weight which is almost 15lb.

    I have finalized to buy a mixer/interface thing and no more vacillation. How about ZED-10 or ZED-10FX? Is there anything that I would miss between these 14s and 10s except the number of input channels?
     

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