How do I make a song using....


Active Member
I'm completely new to the realms of recording so stay with me....

I bought an iMac last summer. The biggest one they have :crazy

It came with Garageband, obviously. I want to record some stuff of my own. Just some basic stuff, nothing supernatural or the next Billboard smash hit.

I have a Boss DR-670 so I can make my own drums. Not the best sounding drum-machine but it's better than using just loops. I don't have a real-life drummer to work with at the moment. :bonk

All I need now is a decent/affordable audio interface and a good mic right?

For audio interface, I was thinking about this: M-Audio Fast Track Pro USB Audio Interface. Here's a link to it:

Would that be a good audio interface for me just starting out? Is there something better but also affordable?

Also, what would be a decent microphone for recording my amp?

If I have this all correct, basically all I do is the following?:

-Hook up interface to Mac
-Plug microphone into interface
-Hang microphone over amp to record my amp
-Turn on Gargageband
-Start jamming, recording??

Of course i'll have to equalize settings, tweak knobs and etc. But is this generally the right direction i'm heading in?

Help this newbie out guys!
Sounds like you have the gist of it, as far as the how-to aspect.

After a few very bad encounters, I couldn't recommend M Audio products to anyone. Other people may have different experiences- mine were abysmal*, to put it mildly. I think Presonus, Edirol and others offer I/O boxes that would be better quality at a similar price. And, if you need a minimal number of inputs, the Solo or Duet from Apogee is hard to beat.

Good luck, and have fun!

* a friend of mine had the exact same issues w/ their products as I, so I know that I'm not crazy paranoid.


All things being equal, get a firewire interface vs. USB. would be the replacement. Though the poster above isn't happy with M-Audio, I've used my FW solo for years without issue. The only problem -- waiting for them to come out with new drivers for new OS versions. But as far as function, I've been waiting for the damn thing to die so I can get something fancier, and it keeps ... on ... working.


Senior Member
I have an Maudio firewire 410 that has always functioned perfectly and sounds great.

My main card is an RME though. I think PCI is the best way to go, but firewire is the next best thing.


-Hang microphone over amp to record my amp
If hanging is important, than you need something shaped like this Sennheiser, which can be draped over the top of the cab:


If you weren't being literal, and you don't mind also getting a mic stand, the Shure SM57 is considered the standard. While it's the standard, finding the right placement for this mic is not entirely without its struggles. You'll find a lot of recording people will "X" the sweet spot on the grill of their cabinet for the SM57, since it took so long to find it. For that reason, I like the Sennheiser I mentioned (the e906 is what I have), since it's a lot easier to find the right placement.

I've only been recording for a few years, so I'm also a noob, but I've found the combo of an e906 and a SM57, dual miked, gives me my best tone. I can then mix the two according to taste to get the sounds I'm after.

Hope this helps. You're at the top of a very slippery slope of cost, time, effort and personal reward.


Play it like you mean it ~
Platinum Supporting Member
A friend of mine who works for M-Audio hooked me up with a Firewire Solo two years ago. I think it was a used or refurbed unit. It's been fine for my novice attempts at recording on my iMac. I use 2 small Art Tube pre-amps before the Solo so I can have 2 XLR inputs instead of just the 1 on the Solo.

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