Simple Audio setup for new iMac

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by jazzer15, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. jazzer15 macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    I recently purchased a late 2009 i7 iMac and would like to use it for (among other things) some light audio recording (recording saxophone). I would like some suggestions on a relatively inexpensive audio interface (I probably don't need more than 1 XLR input) and advice on how to setup my computer, if anything special is needed.

    What I plan to be doing is either creating or (more likely to start) using pre-made background tracks (by importing mp3s or other audio tracks or perhaps midi files) and recording on top of that (one or more tracks), then adding some light effects and mixing. I will likely use Garageband to start and see if it is sufficient for my needs and upgrade to something else later IF I find it necessary.

    As far as set up, I was wondering if it is necessary to partition my hard drive (I have a 2 TB drive) so that the data files are saved on a different partition from where the program resides, or if I should otherwise use an external hard drive.

    Any other suggestions or advice is appreciated.
  2. Leddy macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2008
    Hi Jazzer15,

    You could try the Apogee One for a lower cost, reasonable quality, single channel audio interface or the Duet (2 channels) if your budget stretches a bit further. Both are pretty well regarded.

    The One/Duet or any audio interface for that matter will show up in Garageband and you will be able to set-up your routing from within the program. Apogee also supply a program called Maestro which gives you more fine-grained control over their interfaces.

    I'd be inclined to save any audio to a fast external drive as it improves performance, in saying that, a couple of tracks of saxophone and a backing track are probably unlikely to stretch your iMac too far. Another reason to store files on an external drive would be if you accidentally hose your system somehow, you won't lose your recordings - something to consider.

  3. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    Thanks for the response. I was looking at the Apogee products and they seem like pretty good options. Do you have any idea how they would compare to the Presonus Firestudio (mobile) or one of the M-Audio interfaces? The only thing that concerns me a little about the Apogee units is the fact that they are useable only with a Mac. Now that may turn out to be a good thing because of the integration, but it could potentially be limiting down the road too. Perhaps I shouldn't worry about that...

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