Using the Macbook as a live performance tool?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by kay4575, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. kay4575 macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2009
    Hey everybody. This is my first post on the macrumors forum, so hopefully this is in the right section.

    I'm planning on starting to perform live at some school/city events and whatnot - I have my own music page online and people know me for my music. The thing is, I'm a one-man band, and so the idea of performing live has always daunted me.

    However, I am looking to my Macbook to solve my solitary woes. I do all my recording in Garageband, and I'm familiar with its "Cycle" feature, so that spurned the idea of me recording a track live onstage, "looping it" using the "Cycle" feature, and then singing/playing over it in real-time. In essence, I'm using my Macbook as a loop machine.

    How I plan on going about doing this is:
    1) Record the track that is going to be looped, e.g. a repeating riff in the song
    2) Define the Cycle region, so that when I press play, it keeps looping the recorded track.
    3) Record a Software-Instrument drum track (if needed). This will also loop in the Cycle region.
    4) Have two basic tracks (one for my singing, and one for my guitar) whose monitors will be enabled. Thus when playing and singing, I can hear the looped tracks (riff & beat) also.
    5) Have all this outputted through the Macbook's headphone jack, and into the PA system of the venue.

    The reason I am trying to do this is to give my audience an in-studio experience. I also plan on having an external monitor facing towards the crowd so they can see everything I'm doing in Garageband. But that is a different story.

    So what I'm asking is the hardware that will be needed. I am pondering on whether to buy a FireWire audio interface, so I can connect my guitar, microphone, and MIDI controller to it. The thing is, if I do buy a FireWire interface, will I be able to arm all the tracks for recording separately?

    Also, as of now, I do not own MIDI controller either. (I used "Musical Typing", but I am worried about the latency if I choose to use it live.) Are there any recommendations for this hardware?

    If you read this whole post, thank you very much, and thanks in advance for any help. :D
  2. coday182 macrumors regular


    Jul 26, 2006
    Jamestown, IN
    I use cdj's now, but for the longest time I dj'd straight from my laptop. I would strongly recommend not using garageband. If you are performing from your laptop, and not using turntables, then Ableton is by far the only way to go. Check out

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