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Adobe Audition vs. Garageband on a Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Waffles and Scotch, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. Hey guys,

    I just got a Macbook Pro for Christmas, and one of my main uses for it will be recording. I'm a newb to recording/mixing/mastering, but I plan on taking some classes on it when I go back to school (been 12yrs since I've studied anything...not sure how easy it'll be to get back on that horse), and want to make sure I have software that will do anything I might need for said classes. Anyway, on my (now deceased) PC I had Adobe Audition and loved it. My new Macbook came with Garageband already installed on it, and I can get an upgraded version of Garageband for $15.

    My questions are:
    1. How do the 2 programs stack up against one another?
    2. Has anyone run into any issues using Adobe Audition on a Macbook Pro?
    3. Will there be any conflicts if I use both programs? (not at the same time, obviously)

    I'd appreciate any advice you could offer. Thanks in advance!
  2. DBCrocky


    Oct 18, 2011
    Cary, NC
    I can tell you that I am running Adobe Audition on an old iMac with much success. Since this is the first release of Audition for Mac, I think they did a really good job. I have been with this software since it was Cool Edit Pro, so I have a lot of learning time investment.

    There are a few slight UI differences that are a bit annoying until I get used to them. Now, my machine is old, so recording direct to the Mac is difficult because of latency. I record to an ADAT HD24 and move the tracks onto the Mac for mixdown/production. Also, I haven't been able to get the free Anwida reverb to work in Mac Audition, this is my favorite reverb. Other than that, I've had good luck.

    I have never run Garageband, so I got no info.

    Good luck!
  3. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    Okay, from what I can tell there's no comparison between the two programs.

    Garageband is a free program pre-installed on Macs whether or not you have any interest at all in music. It is a great simple-to-use program for the novice musician and can sound VERY good in the hands of an experienced pro.

    Adobe Audition would be better compared to Apple's Logic, which is more of a full-featured studio environment, and probably more like what you'll be experiencing when you take those classes (which will probably use ProTools or Cubase which are as complicated and difficult as they are powerful IMO).

    Recording is an art which is entirely separate from the art of music creation, and- just like your instruments- you choose a program that suits your own hands. Most of them all do the same thing at different price scales. Then there's REAPER which is super powerful and dirt cheap but doesn't come with any MIDI instruments or flashy GUIs. If you're fond of Audition, already own it and know it well, keep using it.
  4. Thanks for the replies, guys - it's much appreciated!
  5. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I came from Audition 2.0 and 3.0 to Logic 8. For me Audition was ridiculously antiquated by comparison. I haven't used Audition since version 3.0, so I'm not sure how it has been changed, but I do know that I almost never hear about it compared to Logic, ProTools, Cubase, and Reaper.
  6. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Check out my items for sale in the classifieds! Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    does Abelton have a mac version?
    thats what i use on my PC and its the best music program i have found.
  7. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
  8. I guess the program is evolving in Adobe's hands, but before "Audition" used to be similar to Apple's "Soundtrack" software. That is, it's software designed to best handle the audio aspect of film/video making. The audio program made to compliment the video program.

    That's quite a difference from in concept from multi-track music making software for musicians.
  9. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Going further back, Audition owes its lineage to Cool Edit from back in the 90's, which is a straight up audio editor... Of course you're right insofar as once Adobe got their hands on it, integration with Premiere became a requirement...

    Conceptually it's a decent multitrack recorder and a good audio editor. If you need your bells and whistles on the audio editing side, rather than the MIDI side, it's an interesting option.

    However, they have just re-written it for the 5.5 release so it's probably not the best time to hop on the wagon.
  10. Well, it seems I'm SOL. I thought I had discs with both the PC and Mac versions of Audition 3.0, but it turns out I have the PC versions of 3.0 and 2.0. Guess I'll have to purchase something new...

    Logic looks like a great program (Apple - Logic Pro 9 - Write, record, edit, and mix your own music.). I'll look into the others mentioned above as well. Thanks again!
  11. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    I don't think there was a mac version before 5.5..?

    you might be able to upgrade from your 3 to a mac 5.5? but do check out the timing thing I mentioned.
  12. Tom_RCJ


    Jan 4, 2010
    Cardinal, Ontario, Canada
    Band is sponsored by Trinity Amps and Sennheiser.
    Logic is up there at a level where one's choice will be more personal preference based. The two big ones I have experience with are Logic and Pro Tools. People can argue all they want but they're both excellent DAWs. There are others but those are the two I've used enough to know they're top notch.

    Garage Band is excellent for demos, writing songs, quick ideas, pod casts... simple stuff. It's a light program that does incredible things for what it is, but even though you can get it sounding great, it just doesn't have the full complement of features a pro level DAW has. I've also found a few ways to crash it hard enough to give me the black screen of death, a rarity on a mac. It hurts me to admit that cause I'm a bit of a mac snob, but the truth is the truth and Garage Band has limitations and a few bugs. It's generally very stable and the issues aren't enough to dissuade me from using it (the crash thing is only when I change the tempo of a project with multiple tracks, loops and plug-ins, it tries to warp all the tracks and the computer instantly goes boobies-up, but usually only if done during playback).

    Logic will do pretty much anything you want. The tools available within it are endless and very powerful. I personally find it easy to use, but any pro level DAW gets a bit complex and can have a bit of a learning curve if you get into the heavy production stuff. I haven't touched the new Pro Tools, but I've heard nothing but glowing reviews about it, and the older version I used was great. Pro Tools also has a bigger name to it. It's been an industry standard for decades now, with good reason. As for Audition; never used it, know nothing about it so can't comment on it.
  13. I'll do that. I'm not sure I'd want to upgrade if it costs any significant amount of $$, however, as I got the software for free, and the more I ask around the more I hear about better alternatives...

    One more question - when I open Garageband it says you can just use an adaptor to record an analog instrument through the audio-in, and I assume the same would hold true for Logic. Is there any disadvantage to this? Any recommendations on good audio interfaces when I have some $$ to upgrade in the future?
  14. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010

    Built-in audio cards won't have good enough preamps to plug an instrument straight in. If you are going through an external pre-amp first, it's still unlikely to be great quality, but it may well be good enough... or you might get all sorts of horrid noise off the computer. You have to suck it and see, really.

    If you want to monitor the signal though effects applied on the computer, you need an interface capable of low latency, which probably means an external soundcard.
  15. Thanks for the info Tom!
  16. Thanks! I'll search around and see what I can find. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears. :)
  17. Major Sinner

    Major Sinner

    Dec 30, 2011
    When I started out a had a Tascam fire one.. Fantastic FireWire interface that is also a jog wheel with shuttle control.. You can get one now on eBay for less than £50. The only reason I upgraded was because I outgrew the two inputs.. But other than that I couldn't fault it !! Its Better than the Tascam U series that replaced it..
  18. Tom_RCJ


    Jan 4, 2010
    Cardinal, Ontario, Canada
    Band is sponsored by Trinity Amps and Sennheiser.
    I hear the Apogees are great among others. I especially like the idea behind the Jam plug, damn that thing looks convenient and affordable. Apogee's digital conversion has been praised as well, I just haven't had the chance to try it yet. If you try the Apogee One or the Duet, I've read reviews saying the break-out cables are a little on the delicate side but many have said it's a good product. Again no personal experience though. They also have other models with plenty more inputs and functions.

    Worst case scenario, you sorta can plug into the built in input on a macbook pro, although if I remember correctly the 13' doesn't have one. My 15' has one and I've used it both in Logic and Garage Band, just set audio input to "Line in" in system preferences and "built in input" in Logic or Garage Band. It's not ideal, not by a long shot. I use it to practice playing bass but I have to use a 1/4 to 1/8 adapter.

    The sound is good, but a patch cord plugged into an adapter ends up being a good 3-4 inches long plus the cable itself hanging off the side of the computer. The strain has been very hard on my 1/8' input jack and I have to jerk it around now to get a signal through even though I have it on a table that supports the whole setup (don't just let it hand off the side and don't move the computer with this setup plugged in, you'll be bending metal in your input jack).

    The sound quality itself is fine even if not the best available. There's no artifacts or weird things unless your physical connection starts screwing up. If you get latency, just reboot you DAW or even your computer and maybe turn off some plug-ins or freeze some tracks while tracking. I don't recall trying to plug a mic into this input so it's anyones guess there. But again I've found this to be a bit taxing on the physical input jack, and I personally am not satisfied with this set up. It feels "cobbled together".
  19. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    I am a proud Logic endorser. If that's on your table of options then take it. Not only is the sound engine and DAW great, but the instruments and sample player that come with it are phenomenal. Even the lighter Logic Express is probably more than you will ever need unless you're planning on opening a full production studio.
  20. $99?? Wow! I paid considerably more for my Tascam and Line 6 interfaces for my PC...and it'll work with my iPhone 4? I'm sold.

    Yep, based on what I've read here and elsewhere, and a handful of coversations I've had with fellow musicians, I think I'll be getting these.

    Apogee JAM Guitar Input - Apple Store (U.S.)

    Apple - Logic Pro 9 - Write, record, edit, and mix your own music.

    Thanks again for all the help guys - it's much appreciated!! :)