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A few questions on MAC recording.

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by BassSurfer, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. I have a standard Macbook Pro with no line in jack on the side ( just headphones )

    It has garageband as well, but would the best option be just getting an audio interface for this? I don't have that direct line in, but does this even matter? I am very new to this so anyone who can point me in the right direction, it would help a-lot!

    Don't want anything TOO serious, but any recommendations on a audio interface would be nice to hear too..

    ANY help would be great!


    EDIT: was just told the jack is a combo line in/headphone jack..is this true?
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Forget that jack. Get an interface with USB or firewire.
  3. Good enough for me, thanks bongo.
  4. bassistloaded21

    bassistloaded21 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    If i were you i would go with the new pro tools boxes. The Mbox 3 mini would probably be perfect. I was thinking of getting the apogee one, but with the pro tools products, you can use them on both Logic and on Pro Tools. Cant do that with most other products.
  5. plangentmusic

    plangentmusic Banned

    Jun 30, 2010
    All done with just garage band and a $90 interface.

    Get one. You'll need it. You won't regret it.
  6. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
  7. adamb1026


    Nov 6, 2010
    Interface If you used you Mac's internal soundcard you are gonna get some awful sound no matter how expensive the mic or amp you use.

    I work in an electronic store and too many people think using a £100 mic into their Dell laptop will sound fantastic without an interface.

    Apogee one, or the M-Audio is great and not too expensive
  8. [​IMG]

    MAC :D?

    In all seriousness though, I'm with everyone else in suggesting that you find yourself a nice interface. I've got an Echo AudioFire4 and it works great for what I need it to do. I've heard good the Line 6 UX1 and UX2 and they come bundled with some software and plugins to use if you want.
  9. depalm


    Apr 22, 2004
    São Paulo
  10. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    I'm interested in recording some stuff at home, as well as capturing some rough recordings of band practice. Is there a definitive answer of which interfaces are best, or which ones should be avoided? It seems like everyones got their own views on it; some praise M-Audio, others Presonus, and some like Line 6's stuff. I just want to be able to plug in a couple of mics, or a bass or guitar, and do some recording with Garageband.
  11. depalm


    Apr 22, 2004
    São Paulo
    I think today is more a question of how much do you want to expend on an audio interface.

    I'd prefer the more traditional brands like APOGEE, MOTU, RME, M-AUDIO etc… every brand has their budget line where you can choose from.
  12. Like with any gear out there there's no definitive answer to which is best. I have experience with all of the three brands you mentioned. IME presonus has the best pre's you can get for the money one of their units cost. I own a M-audio Fast track pro now,and I hate the fact that you can't bypass the pre's and the drivers are really bad.
  13. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    2 of the most important issues with interface quality are:

    The pre-amp (how much gain it has)
    -cheaper units are usually in the 50db gain range
    better ones are in the 60-80db range
    Phantom power needed for condenser mics
    Many have posted here that they cannot get enough gain to get proper recording levels with some of the cheaper units. If you have to run the pre-amp full volume you get more noise.
    (M audio profire 610= Adjustable Gain >53dB without pad)
    (presonus firestudio mobile=Gain Control Range (± 1 dB) –10 dB to 70 dB)
    Signal to noise ratio around 100db or higher is good too.

    The other factor is the quality of the digital converter.
    one of the specs to look for is Jitter. listed in Picoseconds
    the higher the jitter number the lower the accuracy of
    consistent sampling intervals (translates to loss of clarity.

    Not all publish these specs in their documentation.
    (Jet PLL Jitter Elimination Technology)

    some of the interfaces under $600 that have decent pre-amp gain are:
    Apogee Duet 2 pre's (Mac only) firewire
    Motu Ultralite (mac or PC) 2 pre's- 6 line ins -firewire or usb
    Presonus fire studio project (mac or PC) 8 Pre's - firewire
    PreSonus FireStudio Mobile (mac or PC) 2 pre's 6 line in -firewire

    Check manufacturer website for compatible driver for the operating system you are using on your puter.
  14. For not too serious and no money, if you have an amp with headphone out, you can run that into the line in on the Macbook. Works great.
  15. A.Diva


    Dec 31, 2008
    Houston, TX
    After reading this thread, I looked at my manual and see that I have a "audio in/optical digital audio in" port. How would I exploit this?


    I was already decided on the MOTU MicroBook before reading this thread, but I am just curious.

    Not for serious, just thought it might be fun to play around with in addition to lessons.
  16. The jack is there, so I think it makes sense to learn how to use it. If you have an active bass, a mic pre, or a mini-mixer and an 1/8" adapter, you can get a moderately good sound running direct into your Macbook.

    It's a little noisy, the frequency response is only so-so, and headroom is limited, so you'll have to watch your levels like a hawk. With some care, it can be good enough for YouTube audio, recording rough demos to show your band, etc.

    But unless you bought your mic from Radio Shack, you're definitely going to hear a major sonic improvement once you step up to an external audio interface.
  17. A.Diva


    Dec 31, 2008
    Houston, TX
    Thanks Steve!

    I have an active bass and about six 1/8" adapters laying around. I'll give it a whirl. I'm still keeping the MOTU on my list though. I like gadgets and want to learn how all this stuff works.

    Thanks for the advice.
  18. n3vo


    Dec 2, 2010
    i put this thread in the recording section ( wrong area) http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=717535

    if someone could check that out and tell me if the problem occurs because i am plugging directly into the line in jack on my macbook, i get a clap noise when starting the tracks, the info is in the other thread, thanks!

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