Just bought my first mac

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by volerium, Feb 6, 2014.


  1. volerium

    volerium

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    and it's being delivered tomorrow. I've never used a mac OR done anything with music on a computer before so this is going to be all new ground to me.

    I was gonna see if there's any must have programs or apps you guys use. Either for instruction or recording, or whatever. I know it comes with garageband and I've been watching some videos on youtube of that.

    I bought an imac for desktop use. I don't have an interface but I do have an h4n and I believe it can be used as such.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Kubicki440

    Kubicki440

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Location:
    Florence, Ky
    I use Logic Pro X with MainStage 3, along with Guitar Rig 5, and Amplitube 3. I really like the GK amp in Amplitube. Interface is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.
  3. BulbousMoses

    BulbousMoses

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I use a Mac Mini with a Steinberg UR22 and Cubase AI 7. A great little recording setup. Welcome to the World of Apple..
  4. Kubicki440

    Kubicki440

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Location:
    Florence, Ky
    If you are on a budget, Reaper is a decent DAW. Yes, Welcome to the world of Apple.
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  6. ngh

    ngh

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    i say use pro tools.
  7. BulbousMoses

    BulbousMoses

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    +1 Reaper is very capable and given the price, probably the best DAW going.
    Kubicki440 likes this.
  8. dannyk

    dannyk Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Location:
    Southern California
    I'm a long-time Mac user. I like Logic Pro X, too, with Guitar Rig 5. My audio interface is a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24. I do have Pro Tools (it came with my Eleven Rack) but I like the "feel" of Logic more. And, comparatively speaking, it is competitively priced.
    Kubicki440 likes this.
  9. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Logic is a bargain, i'd consider it for many reasons, most of all compatibility besides price...
    Before choosing pro tools there's a lot to take into consideration; it requires making sure the program version you have is compatible with any system updates. You can get really screwed if you get your system ahead of the pt version you are using.
    Although I use pro tools and Avid consoles professionally, I consider it a virus of a program and hate it to the depths of my soul. lol.
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    Sorry to hear about your switch OP but on the plus side apple does not have any kind pf copy protection so if you have a friend with prpgrams you can easily install them to your computer. The same applies to their OS.
  11. volerium

    volerium

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Yeah I've never even sat down at a mac before. My pc died on me last weekend so I called up mf and ordered the base imac. All the stuff I read online said to get the 27" and more ram but I really just didn't have the money. And I'm thinking this should fit the bill just fine for someone just starting out.
    I hear macs aren't as vulnerable to viruses and that they're good for making videos and music so decided to give it a go and find out for myself.
    I'm making a list of these programs to check out.
    How would someone share programs with each other if the computer has no cd drive?
  12. BulbousMoses

    BulbousMoses

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    USB Memory stick
    SD Card
    Portable Hard Drive
  13. Dave Martin

    Dave Martin

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville, Tennessee
    My used applications on my Macs are Mail and Itunes (which come with the OS) MS Word, MS Exel, and Quickbooks Pro - along with Cyberduck for ftp transfers.

    Recording is a different thing; the Pro Tools computers (one for each room in the studio) are both macs, but they're used ONLY for Pro Tools - nothing else. Files get moved around either by moving hard drives (PT sessions) or by file sharing between the laptops in the PT systems (for small stuff like mixes).
  14. Dave Martin

    Dave Martin

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Actually, many of the programs DO have copy protection - serial numbers and online registration are common, but so are hardware keys. If it weren't so, I wouldn't have a couple of Iloks hanging of the front of my main Pro Tools computers...
  15. Marial

    Marial Proud Papa Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Garageband is pretty damn capable at this point. I would start there. I used Macs until my Powerbook Titanium was finally rendered completely obsolete and I loved Garageband. I've finally come to terms with Cubase and can use it effectively now (I couldn't afford another Mac so I bought a Lenovo laptop PC), but I miss the simplicity and ease of use of Garageband.
    Kubicki440 likes this.
  16. azureblue

    azureblue

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Winston Salem, NC
    Garage Band is a great starter app. There is no need to jump i and buy Pro tools or honking audio interfaces, until you have gotten to the point of actually needing them. If you are just recording audio, and not doing any fancy editing, it will serve your needs. GB also has a decent loop library, drum kits, etc., that can be expanded, and VST plug ins can be added to GB, also. I have both GB and Cubase, and my VST library serves both of them. Since you have been studying GB on youtube, you are on the right track. And check the Apple GB users group, too. GB also is a great teaching device - there are all sorts of how to play lessons for it. GB will do a drag and drop of audio files. iRig works great in GB. it will work in real time.

    GB saves all data and audio tracks into a single folder. You can open that and copy / move audio tracks out of that, if you need. One thing that GB does is that it will see into your iTunes library, and import MP4 as well as aif wav and MP3 files. GB will also automatically see you audio interface and set it up for GB. No need for drivers. If you want to use a midi keyboard, you will need a midi interface if the keyboard does not have a USB out on it. If it does, then the Mac will see the midi keyboard through the USB port..

    As far as interfaces, I prefer firewire, but that has been more or less discontinued. A simple USB interface will work in the beginning stages - I'd suggest getting a used one, that you can resell later when it's time to upgrade. I suggest getting an external hard drive for backup of your work - this is good advice for any computer.

    If you are learning, get iReal Pro. It's a cheap app that works as a play along (no melodies) that has hundreds of songs, including a lot of the Real Book. It displays a Real Book type lead sheet with a marker, and plays the chords, bass and drums. It will change keys and tempos, even styles, very easily, and will display guitar and piano voices for each chord, if you buy the plug in.

    GB and iReal Book are available for iPhone, too. Scary...


    This :

    "I hear macs aren't as vulnerable to viruses and that they're good for making videos and music so decided to give it a go and find out for myself."

    This is true. But to be sure, use adblock and noscript with either Safari or Firefox. they are both free apps. Noscript is the virus stopper, and adblock stops those ads that appear. I have been a Mac user for decades and have never gotten a virus. iMovie will share iTunes and GB files, and movies can be dropped into GB

    "I'm making a list of these programs to check out.
    How would someone share programs with each other if the computer has no cd drive?"

    If you mean "Share programs" as in copy, don't do that. that is piracy. If you mean share audio files, email, drop box, flash drives, etc. GB has a "Share" drop down to do that. It will format and normalize to the file type of your choice. And why bother when GB is free?
  17. atheos

    atheos

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    GarageBand is amazing, especially for the price. So is Logic Pro X. The nice thing is, Logic Pro can import GarageBand session files so you can start with GB and move on to Logic when you reach GB's limits.

    If you decide to get an interface, just make sure it's Core Audio compatible. Then all you have to do is plug it it and start using it. Probably my #1 reason to like Macs, you can simply forget about pretty much everything related to drivers, excluding e.g. iLoks, 3G USB routers and some more specific stuff like Wacom tablets.

    And remember; it's not a Windows PC. It will behave differently in many ways. If you encounter something that you think doesn't work as expected, ask somebody or find out how it's supposed to work and then learn the right way. Apple has pretty good own telephone support, too.
    Kubicki440 likes this.
  18. MeLikeBass

    MeLikeBass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    I have used Macs for nearly 20 years and also have never had an issue with viruses BUT they are still slightly susceptible so you can't be too safe :) As well as the programs azure blue suggested, there's a free anti-virus program called AVG that works well, as well as avira and avast both also free.
  19. kevteop

    kevteop

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    York, UK
    Reaper is stupidly good for the money. Logic is a truly great DAW and well worth its price tag too. Depends how your budget goes, but if it's tight you can't go wrong with Reaper.
  20. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Media:
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    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    a couple years back I migrated from Pro Tolls*
    to Presonus Studio One. Entry level is free, next versions up get more and more plug in 's and software features. I like the workstyle. it feels more streamlned and more 'analog' to me. I have upgraded at about $100 a throw to the 2nd from the top tier and it is very capable and way easier for me than PT ever was. ymmv

    *that's no typo...
  21. Big John66

    Big John66

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    I'm going to be keeping a close eye on this thread. I'm a digital recording noob and I'm looking to get a Mac laptop to record with. Some of this info is already answering questions for me.

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