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mac and garageband?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by wattsup32, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. wattsup32

    wattsup32 Member

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    I am just starting to record. I am just going into my ibook and garageband. The tracks I get seem kinda noisy or hissy (especially vocal tracks). Is there a way to decrease this? Can I run a mic into the ibook? If so, is there one that you can recommend?

    Thanks in advance. I am trying to record a track I recorded as a birthday present on June 25th, so there is sort of a time issue.

    Any advice you can give me, even if it isn't specific to the questions I posed would be appreciated greatly.

    thanks
    shawn
     
  2. holyears

    holyears Member

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    If your using a built-in mic on the laptop then the tracks will be noisy b/c it's picking up all the CPU & fan noise.
    My first recomendation would be to pick up a digital audio interface. You can then plug any mic or guitar into the interface which would then sync up to your ibook via Firewire or USB. Interfaces have become very inexpensive and the ones made by M-Audio seem to work well with Macs/Garageband. ibooks don't have an audio input jack (the new macbooks do, but not the ibooks), so an interface is your best bet. M-Audio makes a "Fast Track" interface for @ $100 and they get better from there (as the price goes up), but it's a worthwhile investment if you plan on continuing your recording experience. Have Fun!
     
  3. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    There's no fan noise on my iBook and the hard drive is pretty quiet (I don't hear any noise from the CPU), but more importantly the built-in is just a cheap little mic, a convenience.

    Just a fine point, because the advice above is good. Some M-Audio devices come bundled with a "lite" version of Ableton Live, which you might prefer to GarageBand. If it costs an extra $50 that might be worth considering.

    You asked for a mic recommendation: if you're tracking vocals only, a Shure SM58 is about $95. If guitar and vocals a Shure SM57 can handle both just fine, about $85.
     
  4. retro

    retro Member

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    I'm guessing also, that you are using the built in mic?

    You can run a mic into the iBook. There are a few USB mic's out there that may or may not work well enough for you. Like Blue Mic's Snowball for example.

    It's a 16bit 44.1KHz (like Garageband is) condenser mic.
    Despite that and going through the Mac's converter...it may be all you need.

    http://www.bluemic.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Products&file=index&prod_id=18

    The other route, as mentioned when you don't have an audio in jack built in, is an audio interface and mic.

    The consideration then is the choice between USB or Firewire. Dynamic or Condenser mic.

    Personally I would choose or recommend a firewire interface.

    And if you need only one mic that has to do a variety of recording tasks. I would tend to recommend a large diaphragm condenser mic over a dynamic. But the SM57 is also one fine mic and a studio standard.

    But I don't know what you currently may have or what type of needs and budget you have.

    And if you haven't been here this may be helpful also...
    http://www.tweakheadz.com/guide.htm
     
  5. ronin32

    ronin32 Member

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  6. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    I got the iMic for work so we could do some small audio production, it worked well with even a crappy headset mic. Worked well and had a nice little demo to show.
     
  7. retro

    retro Member

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    The Griffin guitar cable AFAIK doesn't provide the correct instrument level for a guitar to the line level input.

    And I don't know how well the mic cable works at matching a low impedance mic levels to line input. (It should be noted it is for dynamic mic's and not phantom powered condensers).

    Nor do I know how the iMic addresses matching levels either.

    But something to consider and get the answers to beforehand I think.
     
  8. clayville

    clayville Member

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    Interfaces are better (and getting cheaper all the time) but when I first got started I used an iMic with a cheap Behringer mixer upstream to give me phantom power and more control over levels. Worked really great for what it was, and I continue to use the mixer now that I've upgraded everything else to help control the wire spaghetti from a bunch of tone sources, to send signal to my monitors and, again, to control the levels going in.

    http://www.behringer.com/UB802/index.cfm?lang=ENG

    Total investment (with an SM57 already on hand) = about $80
     

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