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Need to record bass tracks on my G4


tnb

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Is there an IN jack on your laptop. If there is plug the output of your amp into this ( you will need adapters) Using whatever the mac movie creating thing is record your tracks. Good luck.

I knew a girl that was into biamping,I sure do miss

her.-ButcherNburn

 

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http://www.digidesign.com/

 

Go to products-->ProTools LE-->Hardware-->MBox2

 

http://www.digidesign.com/products/mbox2/basics/images/Mbox2.jpg

 

Is it the best game in town? That's debatable...but for $500 you get a complete hardware/software package. The interface plugs into your USB port and will give you a hell of a lot better sound than trying to plug an instrument-level high-impedance signal directly into a sound card that wasn't designed for such a signal (think tinny and buzzy).

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Originally posted by thanny XIII:

Is there an IN jack on your laptop. If there is plug the output of your amp into this ( you will need adapters) Using whatever the mac movie creating thing is record your tracks. Good luck.

This is not true for all G4 laptop models. Please do some research before responding.

 

The Mbox2 is certainly a great solution, but if you just need a couple tracks into your computer, the combination of Garageband 3 (which is part of Apple's iLife collection) and a very inexpensive USB interface will get you going.

 

iLife is eighty bucks and includes a great suite of other software. LINK TO GARAGEBAND 3.

 

The M-Audio Fasttrack USB retails for $129.00...I think the street price is around a hundred bucks. FAST TRACK LINK.

 

So under 2 bills and you can do a LOT more than just record your bass. The FastTrack is compatible with Pro Tools, MPowered Edition, so you can upgrade in a modular fashion.

 

Let me know if I can be of any assistance. Dealing with this crap is about 25% of my day job.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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There's quite a few USB audio interfaces that are $100-200...even cheaper used off Ebay, etc. There's an M-Audio USB interface that's about $150 that looks pretty good...I believe it's called the M-Mobile or something like that. Tascam also makes one that's about $200 new. IIRC, the Tascam interface comes with a bundled copy of Cubase LE, which runs on either Mac or PC. The M-Audio interface might as well, but I just don't recall right off. (Just as a side note, the Zoom B2.1u modeler/multiFX pedal that I recently bought for about $200 includes a USB interface for direct-to-PC recording and a bundled copy of Cubase LE as well, so if you have any interest in an effects processor as well you migth want to consider killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.)

 

I haven't looked at firewire interfaces because I don't have a Mac, but I'll bet there are even more for firewire than there are for USB.

 

These won't sound as good as some of the high-end stuff, but just about any of them should be worlds better than using adapters to plug into your existing soundcard to record.

 

If you don't have some recording software already, I believe Audacity (which is open-source freeware) has a Mac build...I know they have Winders and Linux builds. Google for that. I've never used Audacity myself, but lots of folks seem to really like it. It's free, so it can't hurt to give it a try.

 

HTH,

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Thanks to everyone who has posted. So far it doesn't sound all that bad or too expensive.

 

Keep the ideas coming and I'll keep asking questions - lots of questions.

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TNB: Tell us if you have a USB port or only a firewire port.

 

Here's a refurb M-Audio firewire interface at MF for $140.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Recording/Computer/Hardware?sku=701364V

 

Again, I'm assuming you need firewire since it's a Mac...if you have a USB port as well that opens additional possibilities. However, as I understand it, firewire is a little better because it has full-duplex capabilities (meaning it can send and receive simultaneously faster...like when you're recording and monitoring ;) )

 

If you have a USB port, Yamaha has two new little mixers (MW10 and MW12) that have a USB ports specifically for computer recording...here's the MW10 at $200:

 

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product?sku=630204

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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The Tascam is a good value: two XLR or instrument inputs, phantom power, two midi ports, and direct monitoring, all USB powered. Its ASIO driver seems to be pretty good, and the latency is actually low enough for realtime effects if your computer can handle them. I haven't had any problems, but some people have seen stability issues. My biggest problem is it's very quiet, probably due to the low power requirements of USB.

 

It also comes with light versions of Tascam's Gigastudio, which is apparently a very nice sampling application for keyboard or midi.

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I agree that ProTools is the standard for professional studios, but I don't agree that it's the cheapest way in for home recording. Just as a note...don't think that by getting ProTools LE are you getting what is used in professional studios. The user-interface is the same, but ProTools systems used in professional studios involve dedicated ProTools hardware and software (not a PC and ProTools LE...for instance, dedicated hardware handles effects processing, not a PC's cpu). I'd say you'll get similar quality and functionality out of ProTools LE, Cubase LE, or pretty much any of the home-studio software packages because their performance is going to be a function of the hardware you run them on. The disadvantage to ProTools LE is that it only works with the DigiDesign hardware (to my understanding...someone correct me if I'm wrong). If you want to learn ProTools so you can go work in a professional studio and already know the software, by all means go for it. If that's not a goal, then choose the hardware and software that will get you what you need in the most cost-effective manner. That's all MHO, of course.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

I agree that ProTools is the standard for professional studios, but I don't agree that it's the cheapest way in for home recording.

Read it again... I said it is the cheapest way into ProTools, not home recording.

 

Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

Just as a note...don't think that by getting ProTools LE are you getting what is used in professional studios. The user-interface is the same, but ProTools systems used in professional studios involve dedicated ProTools hardware and software (not a PC and ProTools LE...for instance, dedicated hardware handles effects processing, not a PC's cpu).

You are completely missing the point regarding the ubiquity of ProTools.

 

ProTools LE can work with ProTools HD and ProTools TDM files and ProTools M-Powered sessions. Try getting Cubase LE to open a ProTools session. Good luck.

 

Additionally, the OMB file format (the "standard" exchange file for sessions) is not easily exported out of ProTools (you need to pay $800 for a plug-in), so if you are working with a friend who has ProTools and you ask him to send you a sessions and you don't have ProTools, have fun.

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Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

I haven't looked at firewire interfaces because I don't have a Mac, but I'll bet there are even more for firewire than there are for USB.

That is no reason to not look at firewire interfaces. PCs support firewire interfaces and have for years.

 

Between Ben and zeronyne's responses, you already have a good idea of what to get depending on your budget.

 

As far as I'm concerned there are only two options with multi-track recording software: ProTools and Sonar. All the others that I've tried, seen, used in some degree have been nothing but a headache at some point in time - usually when trying to import/export from/to another format.

 

Personally, I use M-Audio hardware and Sonar 5 Producer. I can (and have) exchanged tracks with Pro Tools with minimal difficulty. I like Sonar because for ~$700 US you can record as many tracks of audio and/or midi data as your PC can handle. With LE and other scaled down versions of ProTools you are limited in the number of tracks that you can have in a project (24 in LE?). Ultimately it comes down to choices that only you can make - do you want to use what is currently the industry standard? are you ever going to be exchanging tracks with others? do you need more than 24(?) tracks?

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I was just talking to the drummer that I will be working and living with for the next month. For my needs the M-Audio Fasttrack USB will work just fine. He has also offered is invaluable assistance.

 

I am positive I will have more questions and will edit the title of this thread accordingly.

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Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

Again, I'm assuming you need firewire since it's a Mac...if you have a USB port as well that opens additional possibilities. However, as I understand it, firewire is a little better because it has full-duplex capabilities (meaning it can send and receive simultaneously faster...like when you're recording and monitoring ;) )

Two things here... no, three.

 

One: Macs have firewire and USB ports - they have for years. Even the POS 'mac mini' has both: click me

 

Two: You should avoid monitoring via your recording software at all costs. I don't care what version of what program you are using. There is a certain amount of latency that you will have to deal with regardless of the platform that you use or the program that you choose. (ooooh, I'm such a poet) Latency sucks. It sucks ass. I don't care what anyone says, you CAN HEAR 4ms of latency - mostly in the groove/feel of the song.

 

Three: Firewire v. USB. I just wrote War & Peace and decided it was worthless. Here is the quick and dirty version:

 

Firewire is a name brand that Apple owns. The industry standard for Firewire is IEEE 1394.

 

Taking serious liberties and over-simplifying: IEEE 1394 is basically an extension of the SCSI bus design that supports more target IDs and is non-linear. USB is basically like an IDE bus that supports more target IDs and is non-linear. USB 2.0 has larger bandwidth numbers when compared to IEEE 1394 which makes it appear to be the faster solution. Oh how wrong that is.

 

The big performance difference that kills USB is that its a master/slave bus design. With USB (and IDE hence my earlier comparison) the CPU does all the managing of the bus: it tells what device to transfer data, where to transfer it, when it CAN transfer it, manages bus conflicts, etc. With IEEE 1394 the bus manages itself. Its a peer-to-peer bus (like SCSI) that manages itself. The devices handle bus contention and they can transfer data back and forth without using CPU cycles.

 

IEEE 1394 stomps ass all over USB and always will.

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Personally, I use M-Audio hardware and Sonar 5 Producer. I can (and have) exchanged tracks with Pro Tools with minimal difficulty.
Trading audio tracks is simple. Trading sessions is not.

 

IEEE 1394 stomps ass all over USB and always will.
Well put. USB is fine for 2-channel audio. Forget about it for anything more, especially if you have other USB devices (drives in particular)
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Originally posted by getz76:

Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

I agree that ProTools is the standard for professional studios, but I don't agree that it's the cheapest way in for home recording.

Read it again... I said it is the cheapest way into ProTools, not home recording.

 

Fair enough. However, don't assume everyone has an affinity to ProTools...they may not.

Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

Just as a note...don't think that by getting ProTools LE are you getting what is used in professional studios. The user-interface is the same, but ProTools systems used in professional studios involve dedicated ProTools hardware and software (not a PC and ProTools LE...for instance, dedicated hardware handles effects processing, not a PC's cpu).

You are completely missing the point regarding the ubiquity of ProTools.

Nope, no point missed. ProTools may be ubiquitous in professional studios, and may also be quite common in smaller project studios, but is definitely not ubiquitous in the so-called home studio. IMHO, ProTools loses it's value proposition for the home studio user. There are less expensive ways to get as good or better results. Some folks will stick with ProTools because of the brand name recognition and the reputation that goes along with that. If they're happy with that, and it works well for how they work, then there's certainly nothing wrong with that.
Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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I would like to add my 2 cents into the whole Pro Tools thing.

 

I am primarily a keyboard player, and every single day except for when I am physically away from my studio and laptop, I open the following music DAW software: Digital Performer, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, and Live (not to mention about 30 software instruments and about 100 effects plug ins). There are also a slew of DAW programs that I use occasionally: Cubase, the mighty but buggy Nuendo, the unbelievable SAWStudio, Acid, etc...

 

I primarily deal with other engineers and programmers around the country. The crux of my interaction with them is sending stems out to be embedded in multimedia applications, jingle work, music loops, interface design, and the occasional game or video soundtrack.

 

Regardless of the platform I start in, I end up sending out a Pro Tools file 99.999999% of the time. This is a very important point... in the 8 years or so that I've been doing this type of work, I can only think of a single time that I've sent out a multitrack file that was not in Pro Tools format or an OMF file.

 

I just accidently deleted about 6 paragraphs, but suffice it to say that if you are going to jump up from Garageband and you are a clean slate when it comes to recording software, there is absolutely NO reason to NOT go with Pro Tools.

 

It's by far the easiest multitracking software to use and, more importantly, understand. Well, Mackie has Traktion, which is think has the best interface known to man, but who the hell uses it? Ubiquity, as Maury inferred, equals compatibility, which will save you time (which can be spent writing more material).

 

There's nothing wrong with Audacity, but avoid it if you are a novice. I'm not going to justify that suggestion, but in this instance, please trust me. And while it IS free, it CAN hurt to install it on your Mac.

 

Again, as stated above, all flavors of Pro Tools (MPowered, LE, HD3) are compatible. It's really a no brainer.

 

BUT I would repeat my recommendation that you start with Garageband to see if you really need something more complex. And as a beginner, I would say avoid used interfaces, especially external. If something isn't working, you're going to want to have a fallback or at least be able to eliminate the possibility that the last user cleaned his bong with the interface.

 

The used prices mentioned above are higher that the price for a new FastTrack USB, so you'll have compatibility with Pro Tools if you decide to upgrade. Or if you are sure this is going to be something you do on a regular basis, go ahead and spring for the MBox. It comes with a bunch of limited edition software on top of PTLE that will get your feet wet. It's definitely worth it.

 

In the interests of full disclosure, I want to add that my main software of choice is Logic Pro, but you'll want to keep that decision in perspective because unlike you, I:

1) Am primarily a keyboard player

2) Use a bunch of software instruments

3) Print notation/lead sheets daily

4) Am into pain and suffering

 

Good luck!

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Well, I've been tracking to my PowerBook G4 for a while now. It all started when I noticed that the included GarageBand software could be used to record. [Aside: Yes, my PB G4 has USB and FireWire ports.]

 

I've been using the built-in sound ports. This is not ideal, but it can get you started for no additional cost.

 

1. The sound-in port is a 3.5mm stereo jack. Most musicial instrument devices use 1/4-inch phono (mono) plugs. Although you can use a small 1/4-inch to 3.5mm adapter (stereo or mono), the weight and tension of an instrument cable is too much for the sound-in jack.

 

2. I have a passive bass. If I plug in direct, I get no sound. (I know, I hear all of you saying "duh!" :P ) What I use is my Zoom BFX-708 effects box, but anything that brings your bass up to line level should work. [Note that you would not want to take the "speaker out" connection from your amp!] Do you have an active bass, do you have a DI/effects box or preamp, or does your amp have direct out or effects send?

 

3. Latency. Bumpcity nailed this issue. If you go in through the sound-in and monitor through sound-out, you're going to get latency. It will drive you crazy. Trust me. Get an external device as soon as you can!

 

4. Recording with GarageBand is fairly simple. Either import the click track or turn on the metronome in GB (making sure the tempo is correctly set). When you get used to GB you'll want to make your click track using a MIDI drum set instead of that damn metronome.

 

5. Double-click on that default track (for a new song) or make a new track. Select "real instrument" and then "no effects". You're probably sending a mono signal, so select this option. Make sure channel 1 is selected (not channel 2). You can turn the monitor on, but as I said, it will have latency. If you don't turn it on and you're not playing through an amp, you won't be able to hear yourself.

 

6. Check your levels and make sure you're not clipping. Try to do this with your gear and not the GB fader.

 

7. Hit the record button and jam!

 

Great, now you have a recording. How do you share it with someone? Unfortunately, the only option in GB is to "export to iTunes". This isn't too bad, as iTunes can then export in a variety of formats. It's just a pain because you have an extra step. I suggest exporting from iTunes in WAV format, or at least not MP3, as MP3s may be hard to sync up later.

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Last night I tracked something using the Zoom B2.1u's USB interface and Cubase LE on my laptop. Now I remember why I've always just stuck with stand-alone digital recorders.

 

I should mention that...depending on what your goal is, a stand-alone machine might be a good choice. You don't have nearly the same editing capabilities on most stand-alone machines as you do on a PC...but then what do you spend most of your time doing? For me, it's tracking and mixing. I can pull a track off to a PC to edit it, then put it back on the digital recorder. If you're considering $500 for an MBox/ProTools combo, then for a little more you can get a stand-alone DR that will be very reliable (with maybe the exception of the Tascam 2488, which I've read some not-so-great things about).

 

Or you could pick a middle ground...use a stand-alone DR to track (no latency issues to deal with at all) then move everything over to a PC to mix/master. Alex has taken that approach and seems to be quite happy with it.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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I use an M-Audio MobilePre USB Pre-amp and Garage Band to record on my Mac all the time.

 

Works very nicely ;)

 

Here's a link to it:

 

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Recording/Computer/Hardware?sku=701368

 

Apart from the fact that it records very nicely, one of the benefits is that it runs on USB Bus power, so you don't need an AC power supply handy. A very nice feature when recording on a laptop.

 

:thu:

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Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

Or you could pick a middle ground...use a stand-alone DR to track (no latency issues to deal with at all) then move everything over to a PC to mix/master.

Nearly all modern A/D D/A interfaces have direct hardware monitoring, which means you have zero latency; they route the analog in to an analog out, which means you can monitor what is going INTO the DAW without latency.
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Getz...indeed correct. The Zoom B2.1u has direct monitoring as well, and it seems to work fine. It IS quite strikingly odd to watch the meters move in Cubase after you've stopped playing though. :freak:

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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