I just got a Macbook.....

Jimmydeez

Supporting Member
..... and I'm thinking of recording some stuff.

The Mac book comes with Garageband but I haven't dived into it yet.

My question is what type of mic should I get. I'm thinking one USB mic that can handle vocals, electric guitar and acoustic guitar. I am not looking for great quality. I am looking for something about $100.

Has anyone used one of these:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Snowball/
 

iamhammill

Supporting Member
I've used the Samson ones with good results. Not sure of the model, it was one the more traditional looking models though.

Another option would be if you have any sort of mixer with a line out, you can just plug any mic you want into that, then run the line out into the Macbook's line in. That gives you more versatility to use any mic you have and DIs for things like bass and some acoustics.


Of course, firewire options are always the best and most preferred. Someone makes a nice like two channel firewire for around $100.

Good luck! I did my bands first EP on garageband, it's awesome.
 

stumboid

Member
..... and I'm thinking of recording some stuff.

The Mac book comes with Garageband but I haven't dived into it yet.

My question is what type of mic should I get. I'm thinking one USB mic that can handle vocals, electric guitar and acoustic guitar. I am not looking for great quality. I am looking for something about $100.

Has anyone used one of these:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Snowball/
cool! That was the first mic I bought when I got my first Mac to use Garageband (the blue snowball). I like it, you may want to consider buying a ten foot USB cable to go with it as the one it comes with is only 6' and can be difficult to set up due to the short length.

Overall, the mic is pretty decent, not the best though. The mic is great if you want to do spoken word or podcasting (i.e. it is great for recording a talking voice) but not so great when you expose it to loud sounds like a guitar amp. It's decent for acoustic recording, but like I said, not the best.

Here is my budget setup that I recommend for simple, cheap recording:

A cheap condensor like n MXL 990 $60 (http://www.mxlmics.com/condenser_mic/900_Series/MXL990/mxl990.htm)
I use an MXL 2001 which I don't think are made anymore but I love to use it for everything.

A cheap mic preamp to hookup the mic: ART Studio Pro tube $30 (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/ART-Tube-MP-Studio-Mic-Preamp?sku=180581)

Finally a 1/4" to USB converter: M-Audio Jamlab $30 (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/MAudio-JamLab-Personal-Guitar-System?sku=241104)

This comes out to a little over $100 but that should get you recording relatively cheap and easy. If you want quality you have to pay for it, you know? PM me or ask on this thread if you have any more questions.

BTW, I am by no means a pro at recording so I am not the go to guy for advice on this subject (It's just a hobby of mine) . However, I am happy with the way my recordings sound and I do know how to set everything up to work with GB or Logic so I can answer those questions.
 

stumboid

Member
By the way, in the meantime, you can simply use the built in mic in the macbook to record even if it is just to get acquainted with the Garageband interface. I did exactly that for a few months until I got the snowball. Since then I dont use the snowball because the quality was just not as good as other cheap condensers.
 

Jimmydeez

Supporting Member
I actually have an SM57 but I was interested in the snowball because it has the USB port.

But.... I just found out my buddy is going to give me a M audio Mobile pre. So looks like I just need some USB and Mic cables.
 

theHoss

Member
Jimmy,

Congrats, you are really going to enjoy it. Garage Band is really powerful. Feel free to PM me any questions. I use it quite a bit.

Good luck man!
 

Jimmydeez

Supporting Member
Thanks man.... I am excited.

The M Audio Moble Pre looks perfect for what I am going to be doing.
 

Jimmydeez

Supporting Member
Well I got the M audio Mobile Pre today. I am going to try and track some electric guitar tonight. This should be fun.
 

stumboid

Member
Well I got the M audio Mobile Pre today. I am going to try and track some electric guitar tonight. This should be fun.
Enjoy! Garageband is a really nice peace of software. I actually bought a book on it when I started to get deep into using it. I got it really cheap off of Amazon, I think its called "Garageband: The Missing Manual". You wouldnt think of how much stuff is in Garageband or what GB can do. I'd check it out.

Have fun! And posting some clips here in this thread would be interesting if you are willing.
 

Jimmydeez

Supporting Member
Ok so I have a problem. I can' get garageband to recognize the mobilepre. I downloaded the driver and I can see the pre in system preferences but it isn't listed in garageband when I make a new track and try to change the input.

any help?
 

stumboid

Member
Ok so I have a problem. I can' get garageband to recognize the mobilepre. I downloaded the driver and I can see the pre in system preferences but it isn't listed in garageband when I make a new track and try to change the input.

any help?
hmmm.. so you have went to the garageband preferences and selected the m-audio as your input?

Remember to turn monitoring on in the track details to be able to hear what you are recording.
 

Jimmydeez

Supporting Member
hmmm.. so you have went to the garageband preferences and selected the m-audio as your input?

Remember to turn monitoring on in the track details to be able to hear what you are recording.
I don't see the M-audio as an option. I am going to uninstall and reinstall the driver tonight and hope that something starts to work.
 

stratology

Member
I would advise against a USB mic, because you can only use it with the USB input of your Mac (and not with a mixing board, audio interface etc.). I'd suggest you get a cheap mic and a cheap little preamp (like the Behringer tube pre), and record with the internal soundcard, using the line in. The results are surprisingly good.
Then, when you have some experience, get a Firewire interface with more than 2 channels and good pre-amps (e.g. Presonus). You'll still be able to use your mic and pre with that..

Frank
 

Jimmydeez

Supporting Member
I would advise against a USB mic, because you can only use it with the USB input of your Mac (and not with a mixing board, audio interface etc.). I'd suggest you get a cheap mic and a cheap little preamp (like the Behringer tube pre), and record with the internal soundcard, using the line in. The results are surprisingly good.
Then, when you have some experience, get a Firewire interface with more than 2 channels and good pre-amps (e.g. Presonus). You'll still be able to use your mic and pre with that..

Frank
Yeah I got a M-audio Mobile pre and I have had a SM57 for awhile now. I just can't get garageband to recognize the pre.
 

stumboid

Member
Still weird. It should recognize. Try going into the Audio Midi Setup Application (simply search for this with the finder search funtion). Check to see if your m-audio is listed in the Aggregate Device Editor (I think that is what it is called: click the "Audio" drop down menu and select aggregate devices).

If it is not listed there, it sounds like a connection issue. Maybe re-installing the driver will work. I have an m-audio jamlab that works fine so yours should work as well.

Have you tried using the interface on a different computer? Perhaps on a PC to see if it works? That is what I would do before anything else, if it is broken, then you could stop trying to figure out what is wrong. Hey, anything could happen. Maybe get a USB 2.0 compatible cord?
 

Jimmydeez

Supporting Member
Still weird. It should recognize. Try going into the Audio Midi Setup Application (simply search for this with the finder search funtion). Check to see if your m-audio is listed in the Aggregate Device Editor (I think that is what it is called: click the "Audio" drop down menu and select aggregate devices).

If it is not listed there, it sounds like a connection issue. Maybe re-installing the driver will work. I have an m-audio jamlab that works fine so yours should work as well.

Have you tried using the interface on a different computer? Perhaps on a PC to see if it works? That is what I would do before anything else, if it is broken, then you could stop trying to figure out what is wrong. Hey, anything could happen. Maybe get a USB 2.0 compatible cord?
I am using a brand new USB 2.0 cord and I am getting power to the mobile Pre. I am starting to think the driver isn't working correctly.

So when I start up garageband what are the steps to using the Mobile Pre?

I usually just create a new real instrument track and then try and change the input on the bottom righthand side. Last night I was only getting Mono and Stereo versions of the built in mic (which sounds pretty good I might add).
 


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