Apple GarageBand Recording/Practice

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Sako, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. Sako


    Nov 4, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    I'm looking for two things: 1) recording music on my Mac, 2) practicing with drums, and 3) having an arsenal of effects on hand. Sadly, I've always been bad at math.

    I've never had ANY experience with recording, but this is what I'm thinking. I have GarageBand on my Mac laptop:

    - Mac OSX 15" titanium, 750mg RAM, 1.25ghz, 80gb HD
    - external 120gb HD
    - GarageBand
    - Audacity
    - a free copy of Traction
    - access to Bias Peak Express and Soundtrack at work.

    and I want to get either a Digitech GNX4, Bass PODxt, or a PODxt Live (even though it is really for guit*r), and connect it to my Mac. I would like to use GB's drum loops, record my basslines, and either record the guitar parts or get a friend to lay that down on his system, then import.

    Do I need any other equipment, such as the M-Audio MobilePre USB, for recording? Couldn't I plug into the Mac directly from the Digitech or POD? I want to start simple with GB and go from there.

    Is it possible to use preamp like a Sansamp BDDI or an Aguilar before the multi-effects pedal, then plug the multi-effects pedal into the Mac for recording?

    As for practice (sorry about the multiple issue thread), if I go with the Digitech, there are drums built-in. If I go POD, could I use drum loops running from GarageBand into the POD for practicing?

    Note: I have a Fender Jazz and a Fender 400 Pro combo. I'm interested in a multi-effects unit because of easy assess to many effects, headphone plug-in for practice (can't wake up the baby), cost vs. buying many pedals, as well as to use for playing live.

    Thanks in advance for your time.
  2. I would say that you definitely want to get a mobile pre or something or that nature in general to actually gain balanced inputs into your computer. The quality and the convinience of effort will well be worth it.
  3. tubster


    Feb 5, 2003
    Southwest Spain
    One of the pods (XT?) has a USB output which should do great with GB. BUt hold on, don't buy any effects box just yet!

    I would reckon that you would need some kind of decent pre to get in your mic'ed bass, vocals and any other analog input plus midi input.

    I realize that you are not a keys player but it is amazing what can be done with GB, its built-in sounds and software instruments and one of those M-Audio/Edirol keyboards. I don't think that you can tap the full potential of GB without keys as an input device. The Ozone I think has an audio pre + midi + usb whcih would give you....

    a) midi and usb input
    b)analog audio for bass, guitar and vocal.

    We as bass players and guitarists are used to a very analog style of working - we plug the bass into an effect and what we hear is what we want to record. GB and other such programs show that there is another way to think and work. I have had GB2 only a matter of weeks but it has made me consider this new concept that effects and sounds can be manipulated AFTER recording the 'notes'.

    The drum loops on GB are great (especially with the Jam Pack) and the flexibility of the program makes it such an easy platform to use.

    I have tried: Cubasis and cubasis vst and pro-tools LE with my Mac but never managed to get out the starting blocks until GB came along - it has been a revelation. We use it for: recording the band at rehearsals (via a DIGI 002r, total overkill which I bought in moment of misguided enthusiasm!), doing backing tracks for duo stuff, rehearsal tapes (without guitar/bass/keys etc) so you can practice to it. It will tax your Powerbook but get yourself the David Pogue "Missing Manual" or go to for great training and ways to get the best out of Mac and GB.

    GB has made 2 of my bandmates go out and buy Mac Minis and they are both PC stalwarts.

    My 2 cents: maybe the best way is to sit down with someone who has GB and play around to see what it can do with the various items: real instruments, software instruments, your voice and bass plus all the loops. After you have done that, you will then understand more clearly how GB can work for you. That will lead you to the perfect interface. You don't want to make an expensive mistake as I did -DIGI 002r is great but GB?!

    Good luck!
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Easiest way: Take the 1/4" output on any of those FX processors(or anything really) and put it into the powerbooks' Audio line in(next to the headphone jack on the left side) via 1/4" ->1/8" adaptor. Open Garageband, create new live instrument track, hit 'r' to record and have at it. (make sure the sound input (system preferences - sound) is set to line in and not internal mic)

    I record everything in Garageband with the same computer as you(which btw, isn't titanium, titanium ended at 1.0 ghz, they are now aluminum), my tunes are in my sig.