Using my PowerBook G4 to record audio / midi

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Zotaccian, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Zotaccian, Feb 10, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014

    Zotaccian macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #1
    First of all I am not audio professional, I have recorded some stuff and somehow managed to get everything working in Windows environment, but now I would like to make use of my PowerBook, just for fun.

    I have guitar, bass and electric drums + 2 very cheap microphones. I borrowed this Roland UM-1 box thing from my friend and this thing allows me to connect my drums to my external soundcard which Soundblaster Extigy, probably not the best thing around but I just happen to have it. It uses USB and I have been told that especially for machines this old FireWire is highly recommened. I am not 100% sure if Extigy is compatible with Leopard but I think so, I have find its AC adapter which is here somewhere :)

    And now the main question, what software to use? In Windows I have used Cakewalk Sonar and it has worked fine with multiple effects and stuff, I actually didn't even use guitar amp but Guitar Rig and in real time, drums were made with Ezdrummer so I only had guitar and computer, now it's different.

    With PowerBook my plan is to not use heavy software audio effects, but I need to get MIDI recorded and this is actually new thing to me, I have never recorded by using MIDI, only audio so I'm pretty sure there is lots of stuff which I don't understand.

    Any tips? PowerBook would be nice because of its size, I currently don't have instruments arranged reasonable way because of space constraints so I could just move the laptop when needed.

    EDIT: Hmm, looks bad for Extigy:

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/9466641#9466641

    I could of course downgrade even to Tiger if I absolutely needed.
     
  2. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #2
    Software (read about the following applications on wikipedia!):

    - audacity (sort of an advanced tape recorder on your Mac), free (for midi you will have to find VSTs you can load in it)

    recording rack + virtual instruments + midi + syntheziser/sequenzer:
    used versions of
    - Reason
    - Cubase
    - Logic 7 or 8 (Logic 8 has some hardware requirements, which you will want to keep in mind, when searching for a PowerBook. Do you already know what PowerBook you will get or you have?)
     
  3. Zotaccian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #3
    I'm planning to use the one in my sig. It would barely be enough for Logic Pro 8 apparently (min. 1.25GHz G4 and 1 gig of ram).

    Still have to find the AC adapter to test that soundcard. I'm not sure if it works in Vista or 7 either but it is the only external soundcard I have and only way currently to hook my drums to a computer.
     
  4. harrymatic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #4
    Logic 8, although stating that it requires a 1.25 GHz G4 & 1GB RAM, will run quite happily on lesser hardware - I'm running it on a dual 867 MHz G4 with 2GB RAM and I've run into no problems.
     
  5. Zotaccian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #5
    OK, I'll try that. I have used Garageband in the past but we only needed one audio track which the machine of course handled fine (was 1.67GHz).

    However I had the chance to basically swap my 12" 1.5GHz for 15" 1.67GHz + get some cash which I did so now I just wait for it and then try setting this thing up. Good thing is I can now have 2 gigs of ram.
     
  6. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #6
    Do you use sample instruments? Also, you have two processors.

    It seems that for ibooks/PowerBooks it makes a difference, due to the single processor, and the MDD has a 7455 and the PowerBook G4 1,25GHz has a 7447 (a 7447 Dual 1,8GHz compares to a 7455 Dual 1,25GHz). Recording 8 tracks seem to be ok, but adding some samples to it will slow the performance down, like driving with an active handbrake.
    Though there seem to be workarounds that can be chosen from in Logic 8, to still be able to work under sub optimal conditions.
     
  7. harrymatic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    I use very few virtual instruments - almost all of the audio comes from outboard hardware MIDI gear going into an audio interface. I use Logic mainly as a multitrack recorder. Adding too many effects slows it down somewhat, but if that's happening I just take it as a sign that I'm doing it wrong ;)
     
  8. Zotaccian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #8
    Just tried this "new" PowerBook with Garageband which was installed on hard disk (from original discs).

    I don't know what I do wrong but I cannot get same software to run on same Windows-version (7 64-bit) in my PC laptop without much glitching on audio than what I did with my desktop PC which I donated to my parents. Must be driver issue or something, I am using built in soundcard and tons of software from different makers after all.

    PowerBook works fine and even includes its own selection of guitar amps so for now this old machine works better than newer Windows PC for my audio recording needs, strange. Still haven't found that AC adapter so I guess I have to buy new or buy a totally new sound card.
     
  9. MrPilot macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    #9
    8 tracks? ive done 30 on this pbg4... and yeah, you'll need to freeze/bounce quite a lot
     
  10. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    #10
    I'm an amateur producer on mac for a few years and I would have to recommend Logic Pro 100%. If you want something a little less intense, then I'd say for for GarageBand.

    I wouldn't bother using something Audacity as GarageBand does an infinitely superior job of being an entry level DAW.

    Personally, I think Protools and Logic have the best and cleanest layouts of all the DAW's I've used.

    (I found Ableton, Cakewalk, and FL studio to be needlessly messy and confusing for my tastes)
     
  11. harrymatic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #11
    Funny you should say that about Cakewalk - although I've since retired it for audio work, I still wouldn't dream of using anything other than Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 (from 1999!) for working with MIDI tracks. I've tried other software and I just find CW to be so much more intuitive and flexible. I have a dedicated machine running Win98 and CWPA9, connected to an ancient rackmount Opcode MIDI interface. :D
     

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