recording help me please!

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by bipolardiscs, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. bipolardiscs macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2005
    i want a laptop to start recording w/ gb2. what kind do i want? ibook or powerbook? why? firewire? whats that? ideas so i don't have to use the 1/8 in mic jack? so far all i know is:

    tiger os x
    10.3.6 or higher
    1 g ram
    40g + hard drive
    733 mgh +

  2. faintember macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2005
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    Just wondering if this is more for a "just want to play around/learn the basics" system, or more of a "i want to learn more and get serious about recording".

    Let us know that way we can give you some information that is taylored to your desires/needs!

    I can say that if you do not want to use the 1/8 mic in, then you will have to buy an external hardware interface (i prefer firewire ones, as most of my other perphrials are usb, and firewire is just faster), a mic, cable, and mic stand (if needed). Also there are USB microphones (Samson CO1usb) although i have heard they are only good for quick recording (i am considering buying one just to use for a quick/low-fi recording solution when out and about in the field).

    For firewire interfaces look at Edirol or M-Audio. They are fairly inexpensive and are good quality. Sweetwater is a good place to look, just to get prices, check out specs, etc.

    Either a iBook or PB will fill your needs, but i like a larger screen and a bit of a faster processor, so i tend to reccomend a 15" PB.

    In the meantime, i hope this helps a bit. I am sure that many others here will be willing to give you some help. Like i said earlier, just post back and let us know more of what you are intrested in doing with recording/GB.

  3. bipolardiscs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2005
    ok is an ibook with 1.25 processor fast enough?
    i have used it before for a couple of days on a friends desktop. he moved away, so now my singer is going to buy a laptop, so we can track and mix on the go. already recorded 6 songs, but they're not quite mastered yet. i am very serious about recording, and i'm a talented song writer. i know music, but not computers. gb is very easy, but as i said, i'm new to this, so any tips would be appreciated.

    we used the 1/8" jack before, but it was very annoying. does the external box have 1/4" and xlr inputs? to firewire out to computer?
    does gb have mastering tools?
    can i put my tracks on disc and send them out to get mastered?
    our plan is to make a full length cd, master and duplicate, sell and become famous :) have some mp3 of what we've done, but don't know how or where to post.
    is there a video output so i can see everything on my tv?
    how fast of a processor is needed? ibook isn't fast enough? can't have the thing dragging...
    thanks for any help
  4. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    Sounds to me like you need to look at Logic seriously, GB is great for finding your feet, but it's going to be a grind for full scale production and it doesn't really include anything you'd call mastering tools...

    The 15" PowerBook has an s-video output, and is plenty quick enough for recording, you might want to get a second external drive for the audio, as it makes life quicker in the long run.

    faintember's suggestions are solid and you should go look at the site he posted.

    Are you planning on using MIDI and loops, or is this all acoustic recording?

    If it's the latter you might want to look at Digidesign's Protools, either it's M-box or M-powered versions.
  5. bipolardiscs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2005
    acoustic, electric and loops (drums and samples etc.) i like the ease of gb. whats logic? like cuebase? i've read that people use ibooks for gb, but i also seee people sell ibooks to get powerbooks. i only want to buy 1, and don't want to get off on the wrong foot. funds are a concern, so i've been looking on ebay, but with all the different laptops out there, it's hard to make a decision. ibooks are cheaper...but i don't want to make any mistakes. i hate all these options...someone please just tell me what to get...

    thanks again everyone
  6. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    OK, go get the quickest 15" PowerBook you can afford, make sure it has at least 1 Gb of RAM and check out the M-audio interfaces (the 410 FireWire is cool) if you need lots of inputs take a look at the M-audio 1418 or the Mark of the Unicorn 828. Get an external drive as well, the Lacie FW800 drives are particularly good (and not to expensive).

    Learn your recording with GB, it's cool, then get Logic when you're happy with the process, Logic Pro 7 is light years ahead of Cubase, but does roughly the same thing, but it does need some experience to get the best out of it.

    Keep asking questions.
  7. faintember macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2005
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    Wintermute's advice is spot-on, and i would listen to him seriously. He has been in the business much longer than I and therefore has seen a lot more than I.

    Now i will get to your previous questions;

    1/8' inputs will NEVER really give you top-notch quality. It may sound ok on your speakers, but once you hear them on some nice studio monitors (lets say some Genlec's) you will very much be able to tell the diff b/t a 1/8" recording and a xlr/1/4 recording. Partially it is the connection and partially it is b/c most high quality mics use xlr to xlr or xlr to 1/4 cables. The external hardware interfaces can accept a variety of inputs, from rca, to xlr, to 1/4, to SPDIF, to lightpipe. You would want one that has either xlr or 1/4 inputs. The firewire cable will power the external unit (some also have phantom power avaiable on the external units to power mics that require phantom power) and will also transfer the audio information into the computer and to the software program of your choice. Your computer then can send audio out of the computer, to the external device via firewire, and then the external box can send it to your amplifier or powered speakers/monitors via a variety of connections (typically either rca, 1/4" outputs or lightpipe out).
    Ehhhh, not really. If you want something quick and dirty it may pass. I have heard some really good recordings done with free recording programs, but it typically takes a lot of time, a lot of work-arounds, and still produces what i would call a lackluster result compared to what could be achieved with a better software program. Look at Logic Exp, Cubase or Pro Tools. DP (Digital Performer) is also a choice, but i can not reccomend it as i have not used it since the OS 9 days. hehe
    Maybe. Talk to some studios in your area. If they would be willing to do it they may have a specific format they want the audio in. This can also be expensive. However if you have little or no experience with mastering audio i would reccomend getting a audio engineer to either do the mastering or work with you on it. It really is not as easy as it seems. (I know from experience, lol)
    Kudos! Good luck. A good way to start out is to get some webspace and post some clips, a band bio, some pictures, etc. Gig a lot, make connections with other bands, etc. Talking to older musicians or musicians in your area that have been in the field longer than you can give you valuable info. Be warned though, not all musicans are as free with their advice (well, you may get some free advice, but it may not be very poilite :))
    Yeah, as Wintermute said, the PB has s-video out. If you are thinking of using the tv as an extra or bigger monitor you may have some problems. Unless it is a HD tv it is probably going to be VERY hard to see details when your are doing editing. And dont even think about reading text! However if you are intrested in doing video, such as making a low-budget music video then Logic Pro (i dont think Logic exp has this ability) can handle video. I have played with this a little bit and it seems to be "ok" although i am by NO means a video person. :p
    The 1.33Ghz iBook should be fine, although if i was spending the money i would go for the 15" or 17" PB. Why? Well the 15" PB gives you a faster processor, a larger HD, bigger screen, firewire 800, etc. It will also last you longer in my opinion. Also the PB can support more ram (up to 2 gigs).

    As far as interfaces go if a small device is more attractive look at:
    M-Audio firewire 410, the edirol FA-66 or the PreSonus Firebox.
    I have used the Firewire 410 and really like it (it has 8 1/4 outputs, nice for 8-channel surround work). The PreSonus Firebox comes with a copy of Cubase LE, which i believe supports up to 48 tracks. Also the Mbox by Digidesign is a option (i think it still comes with Pro Tools LE...)

    If a larger device (rack mountable) is acceptable look at:
    the PreSonus FirePod (also comes with Cubase LE), the MOTU 828 mkII, or a Digidesign Digi 002 (includes Pro Tools LE). I have a older MOTU 828 mkI and it works well, and i also own a Mbox but havent used it much in a while since i refuse to buy Pro Tools for OS X (i will be downloading the coreaudio drivers for Tiger when they are released though).

    Wow, thats a lot of information! I hope it all makes sense. Good luck with your recording and your dreams of releasing the CD. If ya have any more questions, just shoot. :)

    oh yeah, a lot of recording is trial and error. You can plan many things, but sometimes, things just wont "work" or wont "have the right sound". This is part of the business, and part of the coolness of music. Play around with GB, and see what happens. That experience will help you learn other software, which has a fairly steep learning curve (although it is not that bad, reading the manual, doing the tutorials and just using the software will help you greatly). Of course you can ask us questions but sometimes if you try to work things out on your own, you can come up with some creative and great solutions. Thats why music and recording are art!

  8. bipolardiscs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2005
    you guys rock!! i can't thank you enough! keep it comin, i'm a sponge!
  9. The Truth macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2005
    at my wits end (in Australia)
    I haven't thoroughly read the other posts so I may be repeating some stuff here. Basically I would not want to use Garageband with anything less than 1.25GHz. It will work on less but you will have problems with multiple tracks and effects. The iBook/mac mini is fine for this except that it does not have audio inputs so you will have to buy a breakout box of some description. iMic if you want to do it cheap or and Edirol FA-101 if you are serious. Of course there are many devices in between. Good luck.
  10. manc0161 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2011

    Can anyone help i carnt get any sound comin out the microphone on nuendo it was working and now its not i dont no what i have done 2it its a external mic running threw a usb pre amp
  11. SFXsource macrumors newbie


    Mar 5, 2009
    For an interface, I would go with the Presonus Firestudio Mobile. Awesome solid product with quality preamps.

    I know Maudio was suggested .. but .. their interfaces are "hissy" in my experience, lots of noise

    Now the MAudio Firewire 410 is .. actually was .. a good product until it started not functioning with Logic Pro updates. The damn thing used to work great until MAudio dropped the ball on updating their drivers. I've got one in a closet if you want it! :)

    Anyhow, good luck ... go with the Presonus hand down!

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