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Newb GarageBand Q802USB Multitrack questions

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by DaDo625, Feb 11, 2019.


  1. DaDo625

    DaDo625 Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2017
    Thanks in advance for your help and patience…
    G
    Me: Late to the Bass but lovin’ it – reasonably tech savvy but new to recording.
    Take lessons and my instructor Clay also works as a Music Director/Mixer of tracks etc.

    In addition to practice and lessons when I can fit them in – I have a regular once a week “Jam” with an experienced guitar player (John) who has been playing the role of “musician(s) better than you” so that I can do that “you will get better if you play with musicians who are better than you” thing.

    What we are trying to do: Record our sessions and get to the level of “demo tape” while we look for “other outlets”

    The recording thing started when on whim we set up the iPhone and recorded a couple of takes using voice notes.
    When I played it for Clay his response was: “that’s good, but you need to switch to a swing beat, to match John”
    Next thing I know we are talking about simple recording setups.
    Since I use a Mac, he suggested a Behringer Q802USB, reminded me to look for a USB interface.

    And even with the problems outlined below – recording our practice has been a huge help in improving the quality of our output.

    Being able to hear it “after” has helped me focus my practice - I wish we had started this when we first started playing together a year+ ago.

    The Gear

    Mac Air that I had from an upgrade and could dedicate to the project. (Currently High Sierra 10.13.6 )
    GarageBand 10.3.2
    Behringer Q802USB
    Bass Amp – MarkBass CMD 121 – Balanced XLR out to ¼ at the Q802
    We Mic John’s Roland Practice AMP with a Sure-type Mic to the Q802 (Clay recommended an inexpensive but very serviceable clone)
    BeatBuddy Drum Pedal – we have done both stereo from the BB to the 802USB and Mono to the 802USB.
    Roland Micro Cube Bass RX – used as a speaker for the BeatBuddy/Drum Track

    Our future plan is to add vocals “someday”

    Short question: Is this setup capable of multi-track recording? (even two at a time would help)

    What we have been doing is recording the drum track using the BB separate/first.
    Next, we use the output on the 802B to a Roland Bass Cube as a speaker for the drum track (so we can both hear it)
    John plays the guitar and I play the Bass (Fender Jazz Deluxe - Active)
    We end up with one track with the BeatBuddy (Drums)
    And one track with the Bass and Guitar (Newb – I assume that would be a “mixed track”)
    Since the Drums on a separate track I believe I will be able to edit out the beats during the stops/vocal only sections.

    What we would like to do is record the Bass and Guitar on separate tracks at the same time.

    Having the Drum track down has worked out – and it relieves me of stop/start/accent/fill duties while I am trying to play Bass (too many tasks for my limited skills)

    I’ve not been able to find anything on this specific set up that addresses the question and I don’t know if:
    a. This can’t be done with this setup
    b. Problem is my operator error with GarageBand (it can do it and I am doing it wrong)
    c. We need to change the (connections, settings, software on the Mac etc.)
    d. We need a different (Mixer/Interface/Software on the Mac/Etc.)
    e. Just don’t go there Sonny Boy – work with what you got…

    Thanking you in advance for your forbearance…
     
  2. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    That mixer will only record the stereo out (two track, or more correctly left and right channels of the stereo track)...one track at a time as you've seen.

    To lay down each track separately in GarageBand, you'd need an audio interface with more inputs and outputs "I/O" (2x2, 4x4, 8x8 and so forth). Something like the Focusrite Scarlett is a good place to start. Other brands make similar products (Presonus, Behringer, etc) at similar price points.
     
    DaDo625 likes this.
  3. DaDo625

    DaDo625 Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2017
    Thank you for decoding this and the suggestions.
     
    DirtDog likes this.
  4. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    You can do this with the gear you have. Make 2 tracks in garage band, one for bass and one for guitar. Set the input of each track to one of each of the two channels on the behringer. Read the behringer manual to see how it works, you should be able to get 2 things on 2 separate tracks at once.
     
  5. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Theoretically, but depends how the USB connection is enabled. If GarageBand can “see” two distinct channels coming from the mixer (instead of a single stereo mix), he could pan drums hard left and bass hard right to separate the two signals, passing through the stereo mix, as it goes into GarageBand. Track 1 on GarageBand would see the left half of the mix and Track 2 would see the right half of the mix. Maybe.

    I’m going to try this on my almost identical Alesis mini USB mixer and report back.
     
    knumbskull likes this.
  6. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Never heard of a USB interface having only the option for stereo output, every one I've used offers dual mono. The behringer x18air has individual digital outs for all of its ins... I would assume their smaller units work the same but I haven't read the manual so....

    But yes, hard panning would work if this were the case.
     
    knumbskull likes this.
  7. knumbskull

    knumbskull

    Jul 28, 2007
    UK
    I was looking into this the other day – as far as I could find, USB mixers (as opposed to interfaces) only output a single stereo track of the "master" mix. or at least most of them do.

    OP: Behringer also make a very affordable new series of 2, 4, and 8 channel interfaces, the U-phoria series. the 2- or 4-channel version would be ideal for your needs.
     
    And I likes this.
  8. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    The “mini USB mixer” topology is not like the multi IO interfaces and modern digital mixers (or hybrids like Soundcraft 22MTK).

    This older design is essentially an analog mixer, with some DSP and single channel USB out bolted on to the main mix.

    That’s why they can make and sell them so cheaply.
    Limited functionality and definitely not multitrack for this particular type of kit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
    DaDo625, And I and knumbskull like this.
  9. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    I checked the manual, and sure enough, the USB out is just a copy of the main stereo bus, so my assumption was incorrect, sorry.

    Panning guitar and bass hard left and right will get you a stereo track. You can use a wave editor (audacity, cool edit, etc) to then split the stereo file into 2 mono files that can be mixed independently.
     
    DaDo625, DirtDog and knumbskull like this.
  10. DaDo625

    DaDo625 Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2017
    Thanks to all for the input and legwork.
    Since I am such a Newb to recording - all of this sounds like this:



    I've read, and re-read the manual and Quick start guide and believe that the Q802USB is what it says it is...a mixer, that you happen to be able to pull a USB feed from...Like DirtDog says...

    And it does a very good job at that - I was able to send an MP3 file to my Instructor and his message last night was: "I wish my first recordings sounded half this good"
    (I don't think he was talking about my playing...maybe recording quality, beat buddy input, John's guitar...)

    Appreciate the help and confirming that:

    a. This (multitrack recording) can't be done with this setup
    and...
    D. We need a different (Interface)

    Even with my Blind Squirrel skillset - recording has been extremely helpful in improving my playing and it has been well worth the effort and frustration.

    Thank you all again for the time, effort and great suggestions for solutions.
     
    DirtDog and knumbskull like this.
  11. dlb1001

    dlb1001

    Jan 30, 2007
    DaDo625 likes this.
  12. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    You can do what you need with the current gear you have. Pan the guitar and bass hard left and right while recording over the pre-recorded drums. You will get a stereo file with guitar on one side, bass on the other. Open this file in Audacity (Mac | Audacity ®), and split the stereo file into two mono files. Import these mono files into your garageband session. Now you have separate guitar and bass tracks.

    However, it sounds like upgrading your audio interface would be worthwhile. The Tascam US 2x2 is a good entry level pro-sumer choice. Each input can do instrument level (so you can plug guitar and bass right into it at the correct impedance) and you'll get 2 independent mono tracks in garageband so no need to mess with splitting a stereo file.
     
    DaDo625 likes this.
  13. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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