Posted 22 July 2008 - 07:48 AM
Basically, what I am curious to know is about 1) how to reduce clipping in general, 2) which interface to buy 3) how well GarageBand works for mixing. Also, 4) how much memory/hard drive space, etc. a person doing recording should have on their Apple, just so that I make sure that I can find a good enough laptop.
Posted 22 July 2008 - 07:59 AM
1. Clipping. You have to adjust your pre-amp levels before you start recording. You want to leave yourself some headroom for transient peaks, meaning that when you are testing your signal out and you're looking at a meter, you want to leave yourself some room in there in case there is a random part of the recording that suddenly becomes much much louder than the rest. I find this to happen the most in vocals with "p" words. However, this little problem can be fixed by buying a pop filter, a must for any vocal recordings. You want to have your pre-amp level loud enough however so that when you turn up the track later, you don't have to turn it up so much. The more you have to turn the signal up, the more noise you are turning up as well.
2. Interface. This depends on a myriad of things, including personal preference, what you are recording, budget. I currently have a PreSonus Firepod that I bought for 400 dollars. It has 8 inputs and records up ot 24 bit/96k. The 24 bit part is pretty much the dynamic range of the recording. For each bit, you tend to get a range of 6 db. the 96k part means that there are 96,000 samples of the signal taken every second. CD quality is 44.1k/16bit and HD recordings begin at 48k/24bit. Also, at this time, firewire interfaces are going to be faster than USB interfaces.
3. Garageband is fine for mixing. You can get a lot done. In essence, its just a really stripped down version of Logic. It's very user friendly and a great place to start. I have no problem recommending Garageband.
4. Hard Drive. Rule of thumb here is that you always record to a separate hard drive than what your recording program is on. This means that you should get an external hard drive to record to. Once again, firewire is recommended. Make sure that the drive is at least 7200 rpm as this is generally accepted as the lowest write speed needed for audio recording.
Any more questions, just ask. Hope this helped.
Edited by Little Wing, 22 July 2008 - 08:01 AM.
Posted 22 July 2008 - 09:23 AM
Interface - like what he said up there. Depends.
RAM - as much as you can afford, often plug-ins use a lot. I have 2 GB in my MacBook Pro and it's worked OK so far, I am going to buy more when I upgrade to OSX whaeverthelatestthingiscalled. (Don't buy Apple RAM is very high quality but arguably it's overpriced. I get mine from Crucial. Super cheapo-bargain RAM should be avoided.)
Garageband - a surprisingly good piece of software especially as it's a freebie extra. Logic is worth considering, it's very low priced and has some very good plug-ins too.
Hard drive - like what he said. External, 7200 rmp - and turn off journalling.
Posted 22 July 2008 - 04:16 PM
Posted 24 July 2008 - 04:31 AM
I think the ZOOM H4 is the perfect recording tool from someone on the go. It does triple duty.
1. 4 track recorder
2. USB interface to PC or MAC
3. Can be used to record live situations in stereo w/ 2 great condenser mics.
The inputs can handle 1/4" or XLR and it provides phantom power for condenser mics.
Runs on 2 AA batteries that will give you 4 hours of recording time onto a maximum 4GB flash card.
I recorded this w/ the H4 on 2 tracks and only added a smattering of reverb using COOL EDIT PRO
Edited by ninjato, 24 July 2008 - 04:35 AM.
Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:17 PM
I think the ZOOM H4 is the perfect recording tool from someone on the go. It does triple duty.
Wow this is great! I never new there was a recording tool like this one. I think I'm going to possibly grab one....
Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:28 PM
I have several external drives, including some Firewire drives, but all of them are slower than the internal HD, so I use the external drives for doing back-ups of songs and associated data. Otherwise, the external drives simply are too slow . . .
On the newer Apple computers with Intel chips and a different overall architecture, using external drives might not be a problem, however . . .
For the Firewire audio interface, I use a MOTU 828mkII, which is great!
If you have a drumkit with a lot of microphones, MOTU has additional units that provide XLR connections (MOTU 8pre), so that you do not need to use external mixers . . .
The current model of the primary Firewire audio interface is the MOTU 828mk3, and it comes with AudioDesk, which is the scaled-down version of MOTU Digital Performer . . .
Regarding plug-ins, which are special programs that do a variety of effects and instruments, some are not so resource intensive, but others require a lot of computer resources, with the IK Multimedia "Amplitube 2" plug-in being one of the resource intensive plug-ins. At present, I can run only one instance of Amplitube 2, because it is all that the iMac G5 can handle in addition to Digital Performer, multiple tracks, and so forth, so I do not use Amplitube 2 very often (although I like it) . . .
Overall, it is much easier to do digital recording with an Apple computer, and at some point you probably will want to get an 8-core Mac Pro, especially if you use a lot of plug-ins for special effects and so forth . . .
So long as I avoid resource intensive plug-ins, the iMac G5 easily handles 24 tracks, which is more than sufficient for what I need to do, at least for a while . . .
On the other hand, there are advantages to a MacBook Pro, especially for recording live performances, since it is a very powerful computer and is portable. You need a Firewire audio interface, perhaps several if you have a lot of microphones and want to record all the different channels, with one way being to record using sends from the sound system mixing console . . .
Regarding which Apple computer will work best, it depends on what you need to do . . .
If portability is important, then a MacBook Pro is the best choice, but even this depends, since "portability" can have different definitions . . .
By the time you max the memory on a 15" MacBook Pro 2.5-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and upgrade to the 7,200 RPM internal HD, the price is around $2,750 plus sales tax, since the internal HD upgrade typically is done at the factory . . .
This is a great notebook computer, and it is very powerful, but it is not so powerful as an 8-core MacPro, which is important to understand, because you can get an 8-core 2.8-GHz MacPro at Amazon.com if you are in the US for approximately $2,500 with the Amazon.com rebate (which they actually honor) . . .
You will need a display if you decide on a MacPro, so that increases the total by $900 if you get the 23" Apple Cinema HD display or $700 if you get the 20" Apple Cinema display . . .
The advantage of the MacPro strategy is that you have four times the computing processors (dual quad-core vs. a single dual-core), and for plug-ins the key resources are processors and memory rather than hard drives . . .
As some of the other folks observed, Apple memory might be nice, but it is very expensive . . .
For the most part, all the memory is made in Asia, probably in Korea, and the general rule on memory is that if it works for a week, then it will work forever, so it is not very bright to get Apple memory . . .
I like memory from Other World Computing, and it is considerably less expensive than memory from Apple . . .
If you are not certain whether you want to focus more on recording live performances than on studio recording, then you might want to focus more on a MacBook Pro, but if you plan to use the computer primarily for studio work, over the long run you can do more with an 8-core MacPro, since it can be expanded well beyond anything a MacBook Pro can do . . .
For example, the MacPro can be expanded to 32GB of memory and four 1TB hard drives (internal), all of which have massive bandwidth busses and so forth, although there are some simple rules that need to be followed to get the maximum bandwidth for memory and hard drives . . .
The more information you have, the better decisions you will be able to make, so a good place to start is to get more information on the various Apple computers and their prices, especially if you are on a budget . . .
Another possibility is getting a 24" iMac, which is somewhat portable (not so portable as a MacBook Pro, but more portable than a Mac Pro and a separate display). I do not recommend the new 20" iMacs, because the displays are different. The 24" iMac has an excellent display, and it is the most bang for the money, overall, so if getting a notebook is not a key factor, then the 24" iMac is a great choice, and you get a faster processor and a larger internal hard drive . . .
When Apple was using PPC processors, there was a difference in the PowerBook as contrasted to the iMac, where the PowerBook was much faster virtually all around, but as best as I can determine, this is no longer the case with the MacBook Pro (which replaced the PowerBook) and the new 24" iMac . . .
The primary difference now is size, where the MacBook Pro is smaller and more portable, while the iMac is a bit larger and not quite so portable, but the 24" iMac has a faster processor and a larger hard drive, so if the busses are the same, then the 24" iMac will be faster, with this being an important factor in digital recording, as well as in doing video work . . .
The reality is that the best way for you to determine what works best for your needs is to get more information on the various Apple computers, as well as getting information on Firewire audio interfaces, digital recording software, and plug-ins, because the more information you have, the better you can decide how to proceed . . .
As noted, I really like MOTU products, and I use Digital Performer . . .
There are hundreds of plug-ins, so you will want to do some research on plug-ins, as well . . .
The entire thing is very complex, so there is a lot of new stuff to learn, but this is the way it works when you embark on a new project, which is fabulous . . .
Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution . . .
Reply to this topic
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users