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Somewhat Inexpensive Recording


Sean Hurt

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anyone have any suggestions for an audio interface or usb mixer that works decently for a relatively small price (preferably<$500US)? oh, and it needs to be Mac compatible. i know this isnt really the right area to post this, but i feel more comfortable here

 

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When you say USB mixer, how many input channels do you need? You also have the choice to mix within the software with individual inputs from the various musical sources. I use a 2 channel interface, Tascam US-122, and then mix when all the inputs are extant. It seems that you incrementally pay for the number of input channels.

 

Davo

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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Check M audio stuff they are good and cheap also alesis is always good for stuff like this

 

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"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

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Are you going to be using a workstation or a laptop?

 

What are you planning to record?

 

What other recording gear do you have?

 

Just to expand on my reason for recommending a Mbox:

 

Pros

====

1) Protools LE is bundled in, widely used and the newer version (7.x) has a nice, usable UI

 

2) Portable, USB based (power and data)

 

3) High resale value if you want to ditch it and upgrade

 

4) digidesign has good support (RMA'd items are usually handled the same day and shipped out overnight back on their dime)

 

5) A good amount of decent to good low-cost or free plug-ins are available.

 

Cons

====

 

1) Not the cheapest option

 

2) You cannot use Protools with any non-digidesign hardware (even to mix)

 

3) Hardware is not top notch (but I think it is on-par within the pricerange)

 

 

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I use Logic with my mac ibook, which seemed to be the obvious way to go. These days though I'm not sure there's much difference between Logic and Protools, certainly not for a beginner. The user interface is probably more important.

 

Davo

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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I'm told Pro Tools has a more intuitive interface than Logic, but that they're otherwise more or less comparable. Pro Tools is tied to certain hardware, so Logic would give you a lot more interface choices, including some nice M-Audio stuff. I got the Mbox 2 Pro Tools LE bundle because the package price was pretty affordable and my son uses PTLE and can (and does) help when I get myself into a jam. Another option might be to just get a USB interface to use with GarageBand, if GB does what you need. Be aware, though, that PT does not yet work with OS X 10.4.9 or 10.5.
As an illustrator, I might hope my work could someday touch someone's heart, but a musician has the potentital to touch a person's very soul.
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Edirol makes good stuff. Presonus also offers several good Firewire boxes in your range. I use USB boxes frequently, but Firewire will let you get lower latencies and put less stress on your CPU.

 

In general, I think it is rare for audio hardware to be limited to Mac or Windows. The software doesn't always work cross platform, but the hardware should.

 

Getz is right about Pro Tools, but I will add another reason: I would argue that its price/performance ratio at the low end is pretty much unmatched right now. The MBox 2 Mini is what, $300? It's a pretty decent little interface. I used it for some location recording and editing at my last job, and it handled that pretty gracefully. And with that you get some industry standard, solid recording software. Even with Logic's price drop for the most recent release, it's still probably cheaper to get Pro Tools.

 

The new version of Pro Tools, in my opinion, really stepped up on usability, when they started added context menus. Every other application on earth has had those forever. The inability to right-click a region and choose from a set of actions in versions prior to 7.3 was a little embarrassing.

 

Consider spending an extra $100 for the wrapper from FXpansion that lets you load standard plugins into the Pro Tools environment--although again, the Factory plugins cover almost all the options I can imagine a novice would need.

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