Just got a Mac... now how do I record?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by lespauldoc, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. lespauldoc

    lespauldoc Member

    Messages:
    361
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Nashville, TN- Ft Bragg, NC
    :drool

    So, I just won a macbook in a contest (lucky me) and I'm all excited about recording through Garageband as I have heard alot of good about this. What do I need to:
    1) record guitar (just a 1/4 to 1/8 cable for the mic input on the mac?)
    2) vocals (mic to a 1/8 cable?)

    do I need a preamp, or can i cope with the 1/4-1/8 cable until i get this stuff later?

    Thanks,
    L
     
  2. Elmer

    Elmer hell is chrome

    Messages:
    2,919
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Location:
    DFW
    You won a Macbook? How cool is that! For no-budget recording, it is possible (but not really advisable) to record using the built-in mic with the laptop parked in front of your amp. A 1/4" to 1/8" cable won't work, the guitar doesn't put out enough of a signal. Otherwise, you'll need an interface of some sort. Plenty of companies make 'em: M-Audio, MOTU, Apogee, Presonus, Roland, RME, Tascam, etc. You can go from as low as $40 for something like an Alesis GuitarLink up to some serious coin for higher end stuff. Kinda depends on what your needs are and how much you want to spend.
     
  3. acroberts

    acroberts Supporting Member

    Messages:
    195
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    N.E. Ohio
    PreSonus interface of some sort...you won't go wrong and won't shell out tons...
     
  4. stevel

    stevel Member

    Messages:
    12,943
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    To expand on what Elmer said, the input signals from guitars and mics are different, and to put it simply, they need to be "driven" by something.

    A Microphone works best with a Low Impedance XLR signal flow, so even if you're doing this "cheap", I'd get an interface with at least a single XLR input jack - it will have a built-in pre-amp.

    Virtually all of these guys now come with a "guitar" input for 1/4" - but be careful, there are "line" inputs on most devices - but they're made for true line level devices like synths, drum machines, etc. I'd look for something specifically with a "guitar" jack - one that's been designed with guitar input in mind. It won't be as good as mic'ing a guitar cabinet, but it will be very workable.

    For messing around with garageband, a USB interface with one XLR and one Guitar input would be nice.

    You might want to check into some of the Line 6 products, as they not only have the interface, but also typically come with software - especially the kind you can emulate guitar amps with.

    You might want a decent pair of headphones (not earbuds) or monitor speakers if the speakers in the Mac don't cut it (the new iMacs sound WAY better than the ones of just a year ago)

    HTH,

    Steve
     
  5. jazzmonkey007

    jazzmonkey007 Member

    Messages:
    256
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal
    I would go with an Apogee Duet, just perfect with a Mac and made for Garageband and Logic. Tried a lot of quality interface and this one is the one I like the best by far. The integration with Mac and the quality of the converters is just awesome.
     
  6. xntrick

    xntrick Member

    Messages:
    3,658
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Location:
    chicago area
    i use an imic for recording, seems to work fine until i get a firewire interface
     
  7. lespauldoc

    lespauldoc Member

    Messages:
    361
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Nashville, TN- Ft Bragg, NC
    thanks for the suggestions. I'm completely new and am looking into everything at this point. Definitely going to look into the specific ones suggested. Thanks!

    Keep 'em coming!
     
  8. Clumsy Fingers

    Clumsy Fingers Member

    Messages:
    528
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Good advice all-around.

    Can you tell us what you'd like to spend, how many inputs you'd like, what sort of MIDI capability you'd like/need, and perhaps most important, how much time and energy do you want to invest? In other words, if you know that you'll be GASsing for better equipment, and you're the type to jump into the deep end with it, take your time, buy smart, and you'll avoid the headaches of buying inexpensive gear that you'll outgrow in 6 months.


    Most of all, have fun! There's a lot you can do w/ GB, and it's pretty easy.
     
  9. lespauldoc

    lespauldoc Member

    Messages:
    361
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Nashville, TN- Ft Bragg, NC
    I'm a bit limited on a budget right now with med school and everything....
    I think I'm mainly interested in an imput for guitar, and one for a mic. I'm looking (as of now) for a casual hobby- recording brief guitar parts to show the church band for practice etc...
    Maybe some gear reviews for my blog. I'm not going to cut a record with it or anything as of present.
    I'm mainly looking for a cheap route to get my feet wet and tide me over a year until graduating and paychecks come in. Then I'll look into getting decent mic's for my amps and cabs.
    What advice do you have?
     
  10. vashuba

    vashuba Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,350
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Location:
    StL / LA
    just got a macbook as well. would like yo get the apogee duet cuz all i need is 2 inputs. MOTU is makes good stuff compatible with macs. the motu traveler is my second choice
     
  11. lespauldoc

    lespauldoc Member

    Messages:
    361
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Nashville, TN- Ft Bragg, NC
    a buddy donated to me a MAudio Black box... think I could get by with this?
     
  12. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,032
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    I was going to suggest a MAudio interface as well. After a lot of research, that seemed to be the best "bang for the buck" for simple recordings.

    Welcome to the Mac world! I LOVE my Macbook Pro!
     
  13. lilshopohorrors

    lilshopohorrors Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    I use the BlueSnowball. Its an awesome mic basically made for garaage band
     
  14. lonejackrd

    lonejackrd Member

    Messages:
    111
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    Be sure to check out APogee One

    1/2 price of Duet and does guitar very well
     
  15. jgraham

    jgraham Member

    Messages:
    1,077
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Location:
    1977
    I too am a new MacBook Pro owner, received as a holiday gift! Trying to make the PC to Mac switch right now...

    I'd like to get started asap with Garageband (I've used cakewalk in the past) and eventually get into Logic when finances allow.

    Would a MBox be a good interface? I see them used on CL occasionally.
     
  16. MoPho

    MoPho International Man of Leisure Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,895
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    DFWTX
    ^ I did the same move recently and used all the same hardware and (mac version) software of everything I had already purchased for the PC:

    Line 6 UX2 which I view as a cost-benefit leader for laying down tracks
    Reaper and Ableton Live (rarely use and would recommend just sticking it out with Reaper) DAWs...I'm used to them so I haven't really done Garageband yet.
    Toontrack - a bunch of their stuff as I also play V-drums

    Switch went smooth and I really like the speed of the Mac (I have a Mac mini with 4 gigs).

    I have guitar, bass, keys, vocals and a complete recording studio at my disposal for cheap.
     
  17. Timmylikesthing

    Timmylikesthing Member

    Messages:
    489
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Actually after seeing this I believe great things can be done with much less.

    Good luck.
     
  18. Wheeler004

    Wheeler004 Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    +1. Great interface with high quality preamps and A/D conversion.
     
  19. lespauldoc

    lespauldoc Member

    Messages:
    361
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Nashville, TN- Ft Bragg, NC
    Okay... thanks for the many kind words and advice. I'm seriously considering
    the blue snowball microphone:
    http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Blue-Snowball-USB-Microphone?sku=423201

    and the Apogee ONE: http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Apogee-ONE-USB-Interface-with-Microphone?sku=502416

    Any other words? What is the difference between the Apogee One and teh Duet-- for a humble guy who just wants to lay down a few tracks will the difference be big enough that I'll want the Duet?
    Will the Blue USB microphone perform well for normal recording, or do i really want the Apogee stuff?

    I'm listening and researching it all on my own. Thanks for the continued comments.

    -L
     
  20. DOMINIC

    DOMINIC Member

    Messages:
    648
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007

Share This Page