Direct Recording For Dummies

Messages
162
Hey folks,

So I got a MacBook Pro with GarageBand and would like to know the best/easiest way to record directly into GarageBand with my amps, pedals, etc.

I’m not looking to record an album. I just want something to record demos and ideas I have. I used to have a UAD Arrow and a UAD OX but never really spent enough time trying to record with them. From my understanding, in order to capture my amps sound and record directly into GarageBand, I will need a reactive load device (think that’s what it’s called) and an interface. Correct?

If so, what are some affordable options? I care most about quality, not an overwhelming amount of features.
 

eclecto-acoustic

Coal-hating feral hippie
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,338
Correct. If you don't intend to mic up the amp, and it does not have built in facilities for direct recording, a reactive load into an interface is what you need. When you say affordable, what does that mean?
 

Kronos147

Member
Messages
397
What if: You record all of your guitars direct with a direct box and send it to a plug in, then, when you like your tracks, go into a studio and play back your tracks through the amp loud?
 

nl128

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,192
Got any recommendations for an interface? What’s the difference between the UAD Arrow or the UAD Apollo? They look the same lol.
(warning I have limited recording experience)

I just moved from an arrow to a Apollo twin .
Im pretty sure the only difference is available DSP (except the Apollo solo, they’re basically the same) .
They both have the same sound quality as far as I know . The major difference how many UA plugins You can run at once.

I bought the Apollo quad hoping that would be enough DSP but now that I’m trying to mix I finding out I’m probably going to have to buy a UA OCTO satellite .

I love how UA plugins run outside your computer but I also hate it at the same time.
 
Messages
162
(warning I have limited recording experience)

I just moved from an arrow to a Apollo twin .
Im pretty sure the only difference is available DSP (except the Apollo solo, they’re basically the same) .
They both have the same sound quality as far as I know . The major difference how many UA plugins You can run at once.

I bought the Apollo quad hoping that would be enough DSP but now that I’m trying to mix I finding out I’m probably going to have to buy a UA OCTO satellite .

I love how UA plugins run outside your computer but I also hate it at the same time.
What exactly is DSP? Lol. I have an amp with a built-in reactive load. Would I just need to buy an interface assuming I only use this one amp?
 

kiki_90291

Member
Messages
3,985
What exactly is DSP? Lol. I have an amp with a built-in reactive load. Would I just need to buy an interface assuming I only use this one amp?
DSP = digital signal processing. Every interface has some DSP to convert everything, do basic signal processing tasks (like mixing, leveling, etc.) The UA devices offload some of the plugin processing from your computer to the interface, so having sufficient DSP can be important if you're running lots of plug ins. If you already have a line level signal coming from your amp, a basic interface should be all you need. MOTU just released a couple of lower cost units that are getting raves (MOTU M2 and M4).
 
Messages
162
DSP = digital signal processing. Every interface has some DSP to convert everything, do basic signal processing tasks (like mixing, leveling, etc.) The UA devices offload some of the plugin processing from your computer to the interface, so having sufficient DSP can be important if you're running lots of plug ins. If you already have a line level signal coming from your amp, a basic interface should be all you need. MOTU just released a couple of lower cost units that are getting raves (MOTU M2 and M4).
Cool, so what exactly are the plug-ins and what do they do? Yeah, I wasn't kidding when I said I didn't no **** about recording. I used the Arrow and UAD OX for a fancy headphone/silent practice setup. I never really used them for their intended functions.
 

eclecto-acoustic

Coal-hating feral hippie
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,338
The plugins included with an audio interface will vary, but they are usually somewhat utilitarian. Reverb, delay, maybe a comp, and some amp simulation if you are lucky. More elaborate (see: expensive) setups will come with more tools and allow you to offload more.
 

kiki_90291

Member
Messages
3,985
Cool, so what exactly are the plug-ins and what do they do? Yeah, I wasn't kidding when I said I didn't no **** about recording. I used the Arrow and UAD OX for a fancy headphone/silent practice setup. I never really used them for their intended functions.
A plug in is a virtual effect or instrument that “plug in” to your DAW (or other software). So if you’re running GarageBand and you want to use a Line 6 amp model, you use Helix Native and Plug it in to GarageBand. There are hundreds of thousands of plugins out there to do pretty much anything you’d want in a studio.
 
Messages
162
What if I went with these two units? How would I connect them, and would the Scarlett plug right into a Thunderbolt 3 port?

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...odctry=US&prodlang=en&channel=online&storeid={product_store_id}&device=c&network=g&matchtype=&locationid={loc_phyiscal_ms}&creative=359712374850&targetid=pla-777509253062&campaignid=1465808290&gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=CjwKCAiAhc7yBRAdEiwAplGxX9lr5qBpL3JG91M5_-voAmqWwVyGbKHfPwvBxtudJjK1fwgkx7eyghoCHR8QAvD_BwE

Fryette Power Load Reactive Load/Cab Sim
https://reverb.com/item/27193300-fr...n=6445914868&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google
 

eclecto-acoustic

Coal-hating feral hippie
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,338
What if I went with these two units? How would I connect them, and would the Scarlett plug right into a Thunderbolt 3 port?

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...odctry=US&prodlang=en&channel=online&storeid={product_store_id}&device=c&network=g&matchtype=&locationid={loc_phyiscal_ms}&creative=359712374850&targetid=pla-777509253062&campaignid=1465808290&gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=CjwKCAiAhc7yBRAdEiwAplGxX9lr5qBpL3JG91M5_-voAmqWwVyGbKHfPwvBxtudJjK1fwgkx7eyghoCHR8QAvD_BwE

Fryette Power Load Reactive Load/Cab Sim
https://reverb.com/item/27193300-fr...n=6445914868&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google
I won't comment directly on the reactive load, since that's not really my area.

Regarding your interface choice, yes. You just have to have the right cable for it. The one that ships with it is USB-C on one end, and USB-A on the other. You'll need USB-C to USB-C, or a straight up Thunderbolt cable.
 
Messages
162
I won't comment directly on the reactive load, since that's not really my area.


Regarding your interface choice, yes. You just have to have the right cable for it. The one that ships with it is USB-C on one end, and USB-A on the other. You'll need USB-C to USB-C, or a straight up Thunderbolt cable.
Thunderbolt 3 cable?
 




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