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Mac IBook, Garage Band and M-Audio

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by lawndart, Jul 20, 2004.


  1. lawndart

    lawndart

    Oct 4, 2003
    Northern NJ
    Im going to be purchasing a G4 IBook in a few days/weeks and i see its loaded with GarageBand. Then i stumbled across M-Audio products(www.m-audio.com) for interfaces and midi keyboards, monitors, etc.

    I want to be able to lay down some bassline ideas at my home and burn them and bring them to practice or even bring the whole setup and record a practice.

    I guess what Im getting at is, has anyone tried this route to record? And if so do you have any recomedations what to or not to buy?

    thanks
    sean
     
  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    If he doesn't pop in you might PM Wrong Robot, I think he uses a similar set up and gets some great results. I don't use that gear, but what you listed should more than do the job.
     
  3. lawndart

    lawndart

    Oct 4, 2003
    Northern NJ
    wow...that was fast!!! Thanks for the reply. I'll try and catch up with Wrong Robot.
     
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    :ninja:
     
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    The only big downside to the iBook is that it doesn't have an external microphone input built in. This isn't a problem, just an inconvenience. What it means is that you need some sort of USB adaptor to give your iBook that capability.

    Ironically, it's this shortcoming that becomes somewhat of a convenience , because if you HAD an external mic input(like every other apple computer) then you would still have to buy an external something er other for MIDI(or a USB keyboard)

    eitherway, pretty much everything you need is right here M-audio MobilePre USB

    as for a keyboard, I recommend This oneit's the cheapest 49 key I've seen, the reason it's cheap is because it doesn't have parameter knobs, but GB doesn't recognize those anyway, so no lose.


    Garageband is great, but it's kind of a hog in terms of processing power consumed, make sure you have a lot of RAM.


    edit: in case you were wondering, I use Garageband with a Powerbook and a 1/4"->1/8" adaptor
     
  6. lawndart

    lawndart

    Oct 4, 2003
    Northern NJ
    wow!!! You came to me instead of the other way around.....I thank you. I hear you are THE person to speak to for questions.
    I was curious how many insturments/mics you can use with the MobilePre and or GarageBand at one time. Like can you DI my bass with my SABDDI and say a drum kit and guitar at the same time or just one instrument? I noticed it had 2 input gain knobs, so is it possible to just set up two area mics at a practice session and record the whole band? When i want to lay down some sample bass lines that i have in my head that i dont want to loose i can plug my bass in with the SABDDI? My appologies for the bombardment of questions....this is all new to me.

    ps i also just realized you have a Powerbook and not an Ibook. I hpoe this wont be a problem...then again Im not looking to make a studio quality/mastered copy. then again........
     
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Okay, Garageband is a consumer music making application, it was never intended to compete with or offer all the same features as more high end apps like logic, cubase, protools, DP..etc.

    So, garageband can't do simultaneous multitracking.

    It can have unlimited virtual tracks, with live audio or MIDI, but you have to record one-at-a-time.

    Garageband's strength is that it's DAMN EASY to learn, it has amazing virtual instruments, and amazing looping abilities, and it's free!

    so, that's why the Mobilepre is perfect for GB. That said, it's able to do 2 tracks at once, but you might get a little lag, because it's USB, which is kind of slow relative to internal PCI or Firewire.

    So like, if you intend to record your band with GB and stuff, you can, but it'll all be on one track. Kind of a bummer, but hey, it's a free program, what do you want ;)

    If you got a Mixer, then you could pre mix as much as you could, and recording to one track wouldn't really matter too much, plus once it's in GB you can add effects and EQ and stuff to make it sound a bit better.

    But if you need multi tracking, you're going to end up spending a lot more money, on a better audio interface($500-700), better software($230-1000) a good mixer(~$300)
     
  8. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    you might not be able to handle as many tracks as I can without lots of lag, but you shouldn't have too many problems, live audio is easier for GB to do than MIDI since their MIDI **** is really top notch.
     
  9. andrewd

    andrewd

    Sep 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    recently we recorded part of band practice using the built-in mics on a G4 iMac and garageband. i was extremely surprised how well it sounded.

    we have drums, bass, two guitars, vocals (sometimes), up to three keyboards, occaisional saxophone. could we mic everything into a mixer and run it into one of those M-audio things?
     
  10. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    yes, but as mentioned earlier, everything will be on the same track.
     
  11. ian_logsdon

    ian_logsdon

    Jul 14, 2004
    Columbia, MD
    in my e_perience, you want to record vocal tracks separately, even if you record the rest of the band all at once. vocals are VERY hard to get perfect, so your entire band may wind up recording the son 8-20 times just to get it right if you do it that way. just MHO
     
  12. Don W

    Don W

    Jan 30, 2004
    East Bay, CA.
    I actually have the exact setup that you're talking about. A 1Ghz G4 iBook, Garage Band, and an M-Audio USB preamp and I get some pretty good recordings with it. The only problem that I've had is that if I have several tracks on one song, and especially if they are effected at all, sometimes it bogs the computer down pretty bad. But mostly I don't record over three or four tracks so I don't run into that problem often.
     
  13. lawndart

    lawndart

    Oct 4, 2003
    Northern NJ
    how much RAM do you have....im planning on getting 768. I know the more the merrier.
     
  14. Don W

    Don W

    Jan 30, 2004
    East Bay, CA.
    I bought mine directly from Apple a few months ago and at that time the most I could get was 640MB which is what I have. But if you can get 768 got for it.
     
  15. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    it's really effects that bog it down like nothing else, I've had 40 tracks on one song, with very little lag, because I used mostly out-board effects, the internal GB effects are really good, but they are a big chore for the processor to render.
     
  16. dirtgroove

    dirtgroove

    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Maybe a llittle out of date bu for this thread, now but I recently got hold of this M-Audio set up, -well next model up on each- and I'm very impressed with it so far.... ..preapare to be bombarded over in the recordings section.
     
  17. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    WR, lawndart et al.,

    What I was planning on doing towards the beginning of 2005 (replace the iBook), I was forced to do as a result of being burglarized this last Friday. The bandits made off with my iBook (olskool 500/g3) along with various other things...

    So, I picked up a Powerbook g4 this weekend and OMG! With in 15 minutes I was able to put down a couple bass tracks, toggle with some of the stock drum loops and I dragged the file from GB to iTunes and then burnt a rough CD of that one tune. Really fast and with no real prior knowledge of the program. All I needed was a 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch adapter and I was set.

    What can I do to help eliminate latency (in monitoring)? Are there any suggested settings?





    ...here is a link to that impromtu recording:

    http://www.icompositions.com/auditorium/showphoto.php?photo=6189
     
  18. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Smooth groove there dude. Isn't garageband wonderful!

    What model Powerbook did you get?

    Generally, all of them should be able to handle GB with no lag, but, if you got a 12" I think those only come with 256 RAM, so that would kill you trying to run GB.

    there are some performance settings in the preferences, also apple released an update v1.1 that improves performance quite a bit.

    additionally, if you really just opened the book and got to tinkering, then chances are it was running on battery power, and thus "reduced processor performance", that would also generate more latency and/or lag.

    additionally, if lag IS a problem, you can use the Renice tool to change processor priorities and inch out a little extra power.

    That said, the first thing you should want to do is upgrade the RAM in your powerbook, max it out if possible, it's AMAZING the performance difference it makes. like, it'll feel like a whole new computer and then some.
     
  19. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    Thanks man, GB is the shizz.

    I actually did take a second to plug the laptop in, so it was running on regular juice. The fact that with really no training or walk-thru of any sort and I was able to record, blew me away!

    The Model I ended up buying was the 12 inch with the Superdrive (256). I must say the Bluetooth capabilities with my Palm Piglet rocks... no cord needed for syncs or passing any file (jpeg's, mp3's, voice notes or text...) back and forth.

    Thanks WR for the suggestion of the Renice tool (and iComposition), I'm going to tinker with the mac this evening.

    What are some other sites that I can grab loops, samples and what-no that I can use on GB?

    What do you reocrd with these days?
     
  20. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    iCompositions.com should have information for all the 3rd party expansion packs to garageband. Apple's is the best, it's called jampack and is $99, but it's worth it, 100 new instruments, 2000 more loops, some new amps and effects.

    So you got the 12", yea, you're *definitely* going to want to throw in, at least 512 more RAM in there. 256 RAM is a joke, it's a shame apple still sells any computers with it, OS X alone can barely be happy with 256 RAM, needless to say GB is going to suffer greatly with that little ram too.

    Be sure to update to v1.1, if it isn't already, once you have, you'll be able to use reason as a slave instrument in GB, and also you'll be able to use Sound Fonts, which are midi instruments that don't suck as much as general midi.

    the apple loops are far more advanced than any other audio program's loops, apple gives you complete control over them, essentially what you get to manipulate is the same thing that the sound designer that made them was working with. There are about 6 GB loop expansion kits out there so far, there might be more, I dunno, personally, I just want more instrument expansion, I got jampack, but that's still not enough.

    I pretty much only record with GB, it's everything I need, why change?