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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've decided its time to try to take music to a different level, and start recording original stuff. I'm wanting to be able to make my own drum tracks, and record acoustic and electric guitar, synth, and vocals.

I'm looking into buying a mac specifically for this application. I'm wanting this computer to be dedicated to recording, and I intend to connect the instruments/mic to it and leave it. I don't really gig, or even jam with people. Can anyone suggest the specs I should shoot for? I've been a die hard PC user my whole life, so I need someone with a lot of experience to sell me on this.

Would a mac mini with two gigs of ram (which is the max offered) perform? Or should I really upgrade to the mac pro with 3 or 4 gigs? What about a laptop? Money is a huge factor.

How is the amp modeling built into this program? Do I need to invest in a podxt? Or can I get a great sound recording direct?

What about the vocal effects? I want choirs of evil robots and big breasted valkyrie vikings belting out techno opera! Is garageband really THAT cool?

Apple makes a keyboard specifically for use with garageband. Is it any good, or should I invest in something different?

All you Mac Jedis, this is your opportunity to turn me to the dark side! I know absolutely NOTHING about recording, or apple computers. This is a whole different planet for me. Tell me everything you know!

Thanks so much!
 

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I use a PC for recording...garageband doesn't really cut it for me....and trust me my demos are pretty basic.

I use an Mbox with Protools LE. It's not as complex as it sounds and the recording quality is excellent. You plug all your instruments or whatever into the back of the Mbox and that gets connected to your PC.

I also use an external hardrive so the music files are kept seperate.

No need to buy a Mac unless you are going seriously professional.
 

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I love Garageband. I own 2 Macs because of it. I still own some pcs, for my 2nd pvr and a little gaming. I won't enter the Mac/Pc debate. The right tool for the job. For me and for recording thats a Mac. If you prefer a Pc, whatever. Plus you can boot camp an intel based Mac, so you can have both.

A mini should do what you want. You can boot it off an external Firewire drive if you need more drive space or speed. 123macmini.com has a lot of info.

There are 2 limitiations in Garageband:
1. You can't adjust a songs tempo mid song.
2. You can't automate effects paramaters.
Number 2 is easy to work around if you loop things, just change the settings on a seperate loop. Number 1 is nothing I ever have had to do anyways. For me garage band is a quick easy sketch tool that isn't the only tool I'll ever need but does most of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses folks!

Chimp, is there an online reference about pro-tools LE? I'm not really familiar with the software, but I'm very interested in learning more about it. I'm pretty set up on the PC front already, if it offers the same basic functionality as Garageband, I definitely want to check it out.

Thank you!
 

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I've only had pretty limited experience with Garage Band, (mostly because our drummer does the mixing/producing of demos), but from what I figure, it seems pretty baseline. The set up they give to work with is simple, which can be both a good and a bad thing: good because idiots like me can work it pretty quickly off the bat but bad because you might find yourself running out of ways to expand your music through the program.

The sample/backing tracks they already have on it are pretty anemic IMO. I wouldn't use them for anything really.

If you bother to mic up well, then sound quality can get acceptable, but it takes some toying around.
 

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Garage Band and pro-tools LE or (pro-tools M-Powered), are two world appart. The first is a cool tool for amateurs, and the second is a tool for more serious work. If you are serious about your music go with Pro-Tools, or with Sonar, Cubase, Logic, Samplitude, etc. About PC vs MAC, the are not that far away, if you feel fine with PCs try first that to do your work
 

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I'll use GB on occasion to lay out an idea or work out a riff/harmony but that's about it. You can work out some nice drums with it but overall the program is too limited for serious recording.

If you really want to get into recording I'd go with some of the other recommendations such as Pro Tools.
 

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i use an Mbox 2 Mini with Pro Tools LE, and im loving it! such bang for your buck! Pro Tools is Power! :)
 

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Is there a tutorial anywhere on how to make drum tracks with Garageband? If not would someone write one up here in the forum? Thanks!
 
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