Recording on a Mac

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by ChiliPepper, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. What are you guys using on your Mac ? I've asked this before but i'm still not sure what i should buy. I also want to buy a keyboard someday...
  2. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    i'm using Logic Pro, i should say...LEARNING logic pro 7. i have only had it for about a month now. its great though, pretty much everything you need comes in the box. its natively limited to AUs though, so you need an additional piece of software to do VSTs.

    if you are new to Macs though, Garageband is amazing for the price. easy 8 track recording and MIDI plus a very stable audio engine.
  3. Piedro


    Jan 23, 2001
    Montréal, Qc, Canada
    Endorsing Aguilar Amp product.
    i just get my powerbook.. and i'm searching for a Program. i'd love to get Logic.. but Oh my god that's not cheap!

    any other suggestion?
  4. hieronymous

    hieronymous Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    I've been using the Mbox with Protools for a few years now. It only has two inputs, but that's usually enough for me. My copy is old though - still using it on OS9! I don't know what has changed with OSX.

    Wait for more replies and do some searches. I think it also depends on what kind of recording you want to do - do you want to record a band or do live recording or mess around at home?

    The links in my signature were all done with Protools at some point. "Over There," "Taurus VI," and "Five Storied Pagoda" were all done exclusively on my computer (well, the drums on "Overe There" were done in GarageBand on a different computer, then flown in), while anything with real drums was recorded at a friend's analog studio, then dumped into Protools and messed around with more afterwards.
  5. I just discovered Audacity (open source). Multitracking, VST-compatible, easy to use. You must have a prober Audio-in, though.
  6. Protools + MBox on OS X
    I've tried many others, but this is the best for me.
  7. D.A.R.K.


    Aug 20, 2003
    i use ableton live alot.
    i also use logic and pro tools...
    logic is amazing, and great for laptop/travel work because you don't need a proprietary interface...just a dongle.
    great midi implementation.
    but it's rather complex and not straight-foreward to learn.
    pro tools is very intuitive and easy, great for tracking and editing.
    but you need a pro-tools interface.
    ableton live is my favorite, good for tracking, midi, sampling, looping...
    i consider it an instrument itself. you can do all these things and sequence on the fly...i use it as my fx processor and looper,
    sampler and sequencer for audio and video live. no dongle or interface necessary for travel/use.
  8. mess around at home describes it the best :D
  9. hieronymous

    hieronymous Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    Not sure if you've bought your computer yet, but if you haven't, you might want to read this article. If you're not doing graphic design stuff then it may not matter, but I found the article the other day.

    I'm thinking MBox might be the way to go for you - only on a couple of occasions have I found having only two inputs limiting (usually where I wanted to record a direct signal and then two effected ones, which is kind of overkill anyway). However, like I said, I don't have any experience with the most recent versions.
  10. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I use a Motu 828MkII and Digital Performer. I've also used Logic 6, I find DP to be a lot more usable.
  11. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I use a presonus firepod into an iMac g5 17" running garageband. I also have an 88 key electronic piano and a roland jp8080 synth.

    I use garageband because... it's... so...easy.

    there are no bottlenecks when I'm using GB. I never get hung up trying to learn how to do anything, stifling the creative process. It's remarkably straight forward and easy to use. I have all 4 expansion packs plus a handful of 3rd party expansions that give me tons of sounds to work with. I'm pretty satisfied with it all.

    I intend on getting logic pro 7 one of these days, but that'll be a big investment both monetarily and time wise, so I'm waiting till I know I can dedicate myself to learning the ins and outs of that program.
  12. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti

    Jun 7, 2005
    I'm in the same boat as the people LEARNING Logic. It may be complex, but it is turning out to be one hell of a program. I'm running a PowerBook 15" 1.67 Ghz 1.2Ghz ram, 100GB HD with a 19" ViewSonic Monitor. I've got an Onyx 1620 Mixer/Interface that I am using, so it's pretty cool.
  13. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    I went for the cheap, all-in-wonder M-Audio Ozone keyboard/sound interface USB box thingy.
    And I use GarageBand, which came with my iBook.
    Works quite well.
    It isn't a professional package, but it lets me quickly and easily make simple pieces of music for whatever needs there are (a jingle for a short video, for example).
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Digital Performer with a MOTU 1224 as the interface. Rock solid, and even a dummy like me can make it work.
  15. My rig:

    -12" Powerbook G4 (1.5 GHz, 1.25G RAM, Tiger)
    -M-Audio 1814 Firewire interface
    -Logic Express 7.1

    Works like a charm now. Initially I had some problems, the 1814 and Logic didn´t get along, but updating Logic from 7 to 7.1 corrected the situation. Performance is pretty good too, although a G5 would be nice. Only time I have really pushed the limits was when I made some orchestral music for a short film, an I had 10+ tracks of Garritan Personal Orchestra running. With digital audio (20+ tracks and the usual plugins) things have been glitch-free.

    Now would I recommend this setup for you? Depends on what you are going to do. since you are going to "mess around at home", 18-input interface would certainly be overkill. If I was looking for a stereo interface, I would probably buy an USB2 one because they are hotswappable. FW interfaces should be too, in theory, but most manufacturers strongly advice against it.

    About software: the great thing about Garageband is that unlike "pro" equencers, it does not try to emulate a traditional studio workflow but rather it is designed for people with no experience in recording. It is great for learning the basics and making quick-and-dirty-demos using the default software instruments and plugins (some of them are quite good actually). But when things get more serious, GBs limitations are pretty obvious. Routing is nonexistent, editing and mixing automation are primitive, etc.

    But as I said, GB is a great way to start, especially since it´s free. It also has it´s uses even after you move on to more sophisticated software. Speaking of which, Logic Express, despite its "little brother" status is very capable program.

    Different people have different needs of course, but IMO there´s little reason for a beginning home recordist to invest in Logic Pro, when you get 90% of the functionality for 30% of the price with Express. I consider myself pretty experienced (I´ve been recording for about 15 years, starting from a 4-track cassette) and LE has everything I need and then some. Only thing that bugs me is that the number of inputs is restricted to 12. While that is more than enough 95% of the time, there have been situations when I´d have wanted to use all of M-Audios 18 inputs (mainly recording live gigs using the channel direct outs of the FOH desk) But I am working on something to go around this problem...

    Of course there are other good software solutions outside Logic like Pro Tools, Cubase, DP etc. However, the same thing applies: I don´t recommend buying top-of-the line pro version. In fact, sometimes completely free program may be all you need. I haven´t tried Audacity but I´ve heard it´s pretty good. If you have money burning in your pockets, you´ll be better off investing in good non-computer-related hardware: mics, preamps, monitor speakers, headphones...
  16. Great thread guys.

    I just invested in a G4 15" Powerbook and I've only just gotr round to playing about the GB and it's simply excellent for what it is. Wrong I'm interested in the expansion packs you mentioned - can you post me some links to the ones you use please?

    I've also got hold of Logic Express but simply haven't had the time to start really getting into it - luckily a couple of guys from my band have Logic and understand it to a reasonably high level - so I'm going to get some lessons from them.

    I have the BFD drum module as well but I was a bit gutted to find that LE doesn't support VST - and when I've tried to install BFD on my machine it's caused havoc with my personal settings etc and appears to be causing all manner of problems in actually installing it - it works fine on my PC which is typical I suppose!

    Any thoughts on these problems and or recommendations for improving what I already have would be most welcome - I shall spending a lot more time in this forum from now on!