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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think I need some help. :confused: I can be technical but at the same time, I can be a real Deux d'Pic. ;)

I have an 8-channel Yorkville Audiopro that I use as my main *control*. But I'm wondering if the pre-amp signal going into the Mac can do damage to the MAC. Last week, I was recording some guitar (in GarangeBand), doing a few different tracks and all of a sudden, when I tried to record another track, no sound came through GarageBand. All the controls were fine (set to record and all). I saved my session, went out (quit GB) and launched it again. It worked fine after that for another while.

OK,
-the Mac "audio out" to ch 7 and 8 (so anything that I play back from GarageBand, iTunes, ... goes through the board and out to either "Nexxtech" pc speakers or headphones).

-"Audio in" back to the Mac (and GB for recording) goes out through sub 1 and 2 of Audiopro. *** And this is where I think that I am sending a "pre-amp" signal that might be damaging the Mac.

- my Cybertwin comes through it's headphone jack into ch 1 (of Audiopro). 2 mics and a drum machine on other channels of the board.

- I use the "Nexxtech" speakers as my monitors but the signal comes out of the main (on the board, Audiopro).

- From the "monitor" jack out of the board, the signal goes to the headphones.

So everything runs through the board. My drum machine for instance, is a little older (TR 505). But with this set up, I run it through the board (Audiopro) and the mix between the dry pre-fader with the post effects (echo/reverb) make it sound kind of cool.

But to the point, I believe that this board has a pre-amp capability... right? :confused: So, is the *current* (or signal) of this pre-amp *reaking havok* on the sound card of the Mac?

Any help or recommendations you may have would be appreciated.
 
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Let me add to this post that nothing is peaking. I made sure that I set the gains and other controls and knobs to levels below peaking.

Another thing is that I use the board as an alternative to a firewire. It still doesn't allow me to record more than one track at a time in GB but it allows me to record more than one instrument on one track. I usually keep it to a max of 2 instruments for one track (either drums and guitar or vocal and guitar, ..) Could this "overload" the Mac and Garageband?
 

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Overload

While your arrangement is really not condusive to good hard disk recording practice, it is most certainly not damaging your Mac's sound card. The line-level output of your mixer is still line-level, no matter how hard you drive it. The sound card is just an analog device, up to the point where the signal is converted to digital data.

The worst that can happen in the setup that you described is that the signal reaching the sound card causes it to clip (the digital equivelant of going into the red). No damage can come to the sound card from this.

In the case where GarageBand stopped accepting audio, that was just Garageband having a brain fart (as you proved by rebooting and seeing that all was well again afterwards).

Your Mac's sound card is not the best way to get audio into your computer. You should consider a proper digital audio interface. There are lots of good, cheap ones on the market today. I use the Tascan US-122 (less than $200.00) and it works just dandy.

Jeff
 

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Just wanted to thank you Jeff for your input. I checked out the Tascam site yesterday and did a bit of research on recording, recording terms and so on (I finaly know what DAW stands for ;) ). I printed the US-122 user manual and read through it but the words all started blending in after a while :D

I can be *technical* if I put my mind to it but that's just it, I just want to plug and play right now. But your input gave me a little push; there's a beginner's guide to recording link on the Tascam site which looks interesting. I'll just bite the bullet and devote a bit of time here and there and acquire some knowledge.

In the meantime, am I on the right track to think that a device like the US-122 can be used between the mixer and the Mac? The better memory management that you talk about is by using the USB port?

One more thing. The US-122 comes with recording software (Cubase LE and Gigastudio). But there seem to be problems using these products on a Mac. Could I still use Garageband with the US-122? (I just went back to Mac in recent months and I'm starting to regret it).

Thanks again,
Martin
 

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I'm using a Line Six POD to an Alesis Multimix 8 through usb into my G5. Output is through line-out to a pair of left and right guitar amps. You don't have to worry about overloading your soundcard. As was stated, its line level stuff and no more, its the amps that do the real work.
If you have odd problems in Garageband you may want to go to your Apps folder - Utilities - Audio midi setup.app and check that the proper defaults are enabled. Also check your in/out formats for the correct settings. I had largely the same glitch and solved it this way.
 

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Baba Rumraisin said:
I'm using a Line Six POD to an Alesis Multimix 8 through usb into my G5. Output is through line-out to a pair of left and right guitar amps. You don't have to worry about overloading your soundcard. As was stated, its line level stuff and no more, its the amps that do the real work.
If you have odd problems in Garageband you may want to go to your Apps folder - Utilities - Audio midi setup.app and check that the proper defaults are enabled. Also check your in/out formats for the correct settings. I had largely the same glitch and solved it this way.
Hey Baba, thanks for your reply. I'm currently exploring my options. I'm not sure what to do anymore. My amp is a cybertwin; I bought it originally for home/studio use. I've got line outs and S/PDIF out of it so I'm thinking that I shoud take advantage of these and so get a device (with usb to Mac) with these types of inputs. The line out of CT (l and r) are xlr so I asume that I would need to use 2 xlr input on the device I will get. Right?

I'd love not to have to plug and unplug cables all the time so I'm thinking that I need something with a bunch of inputs. Maybe not. I guess I first need to define what and how I want to record. I think that I'd like a minimum of 2 recording tracks at once (1 guitar and one vocal). But then I think what if I want to record 2 people? Both with acoustic guitars, that would mean 2 mics each for our guitars and 2 mics each for vocal. But what if we both go through an amp each with xlr line outputs? That would mean 4 xlr inputs for both amps and 2 xlr for mics?

I thought about the multimix too. That might just be what I need. But then there's no midi in/out. I kept my Roland drum kit (“trap kit” + additional pads). I thought about making room in my music area and play the drum tracks I want to record. But do I really have the space? Do I want to *bother* my neighbours? (floor vibrations mainly) Maybe I should just stick with the loops in Garageband.

I also read about the Line 6 POD but I'm not sure that I need the amp modulations (I've got a bunch in the CT although I don't have marshall or mesa etc..). See I’m not quite sure what else the Line 6 POD does. If I think of your setup, you have the pod going in the multimix. So I assume that you use it for your guitar instead of an amp and plug mics (drum machine?) into multimix? Use drum loops in garageband?

I’m babling on now and as you can see, I’m all over the place. I’m not exactly sure how to *fit* the features that come on various devices to their fullest and at the same time, I’m not too sure how I want to capture (and what) instruments.

How about you tell me a little more about the way you use your setup? Do you still use Garageband? Do you record your amp live as well? Mics for vocals? Drum machine? Any “latency” issues? ...

Thanks again.
 

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First of all, if you're using a Cyber Twin as your final amplification then you're adding your effects behind your computer. Right? Unless you have a loop circuit that you feed the amp's output back into your recording program.
What I'm doing is: My guitar is plugged into my POD and the two outputs (left and right) from the POD are plugged into channels 1 and 2 of my mixer and then the signal goes on to my amps. The signal enters my computer through the USB connection and exits at line out back into the mixer for playback capabilities. The are no latency issues.
With this setup I've added my effects before the signal gets to my mixer or to the computer. This pretty much relegates my big ass expensive G5 to the status of a recording machine, except for the fact that it records digitally.
Lines 1 through 4 of the mixer have the capability of getting effects from the mixer itself added to the POD, some of which are not bad. 5&6 and 7&8 are pretty much passthroughs except for volume and tone controls, of course.
So it goes: Guitar - POD - Mixer - amps+computer.
For drums I use my Casio Keyboard. Yes, the Alesis doesn't have Midi capabilities but the Casio has a 1/4 inch jack output and I find the soundfonts on the Casio acceptable. That being said.....
I also have a Windows XP machine with an Audigy ZS Platinum setup in it networked to the Mac. The Audigy does have Midi send/return on it and it works really good. So I can play through my Mac and use the Windows programs I have for processing drums from the Casio there, and then send the files back to the Mac.
So my amps are fed through the Main Out on my mixer. The Mac gets input from USB. Its output comes back through the Line Out back to the mixer at 2-channel stereo-in. The windows computer gets signal from the Control Room Out channel of the mixer and it comes back into line 5&6 and thence the amps. So the mixer has 8 mono inputs and two stereo inputs and 2 pairs of output. It also has two sets for send/return for external effects. Oh yeah, there are also 4 Mic inputs or acoustic (XLR), if you wish. The first 4 inputs also have separate gain settings and 48v phantom power for mics.
Left channel amp is a Princeton Chorus and right channel amp is Deluxe Reverb RI, so I can get loud enough to hurt myself.
I've been trying to get away from Garageband as I don't like some of its restrictive oddities. The drum loops that came with the program are nice, but way too much work to get them to fit in with what I'm doing. The Alesis came with Cubase LE, which I can't use yet because the version(1.07)on the disk isn't compatible with OSX, but Alesis has promised to fire one right out to me with the proper prog(1.08). Why Steinberg or Alesis don't have a download at their site only God knows. Anyways I have Cubasis, Cool Edit and a few others to play with for recording on the Windows machine.

I take it for now that you have just the CT and are considering a mixer. The Alesis was on sale right now for under 200 cn. A good deal.
 

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Baba Rumraisin said:
First of all, if you're using a Cyber Twin as your final amplification then you're adding your effects behind your computer. Right? Unless you have a loop circuit that you feed the amp's output back into your recording program.
Not really and yes. :) Not really because I'm not really using the CT as my final amplification. Should I? The way I see it is that I'm using the CT maybe much like you are using your POD. I plug the guitar into CT, amp sound and effects on the guitar done at that point, send to mixer (passthrough, add no fx here (I suppose you could)) and from mixer to mac (garageband). Use a clean track in GB (use no guitar presets) and record what you want from CT (I've got a Blues Driver pedal between guitar and amp so I guess that would be considered my external fx).

And yes about the loop circuit that feeds the amp's output back in the recording program. Only it's not really a loop in the sense that I don't send the main out of my mixer back to amp. Why do you set it up this way? Maybe so you can hear the whole mix in your amps (guitar, bass, drums, vocals,...)?. That would way too much *studio monitor* for my townhouse :)

Baba Rumraisin said:
Left channel amp is a Princeton Chorus and right channel amp is Deluxe Reverb RI, so I can get loud enough to hurt myself.
I see :D

There's lots to talk about here. Keep talking if you want. No pressure though. And if anyone else wants to chime in, go for it (but no seal hunt pamela solid stage to whole balloons here) :D

Edit: btw I'm using a mixer (Yorkville Audiopro) that is not usb. Subs 1 & 2 out from mixer to line-in/mic-in jack in iMac. Mainout from mixer goes to computer speakers (my *studio monitor*).
 

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Since you're using the Ct for effects and amp mods it makes perfect sense to drive through there first before you get to the recording stage. I figured you would considering what I've heard about the CT. No reason why you'd do it otherwise.
No you wouldn't send the main back to your amp as you've already got what you want to hear.
The way I've set mine up is I can play a rhythm track and record it and then play it back through the computer and then play a lead to it in real time. The main from my mixer goes to my amps because, if it didn't then I wouldn't be able to hear it. I don't like computer speakers. I also like to feel what I'm playing. It kind of brings me back to being onstage. :) My family has gotten used to it. Either that or they're just being nice to the old guy.
I've kind of lost track here, I think that what you originally asked was whether the setup you're using will damage you soundcard, but we got into setups. But thats okay.

Why are you plugging and unplugging cables all the time?
 

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Baba Rumraisin said:
I've kind of lost track here, I think that what you originally asked was whether the setup you're using will damage you soundcard, but we got into setups. But thats okay.
Back in the fall of 2005 (a few months ago), I started thinking about buying a new pc and recording program. Didn't read much about it all. I came across what I thought a great deal; the new iMac was coming out (built-in camera, remote,...) and resellers were getting rid of older models. The old iMac was $1599 and shortly after the *new* iMac came out, the price of the *old* ones went down to $1199, I came across one that was returned (considered an opened box) so they gave me an extra deal on it: they threw in a pair of wireless headphones (retail $149). So I got the *old* brand new iMac for a good deal. I *knew* about Garageband so I figured that this ‘ll be good enough.

Took it home, plugged a mic into the mic input (xls reducer to 1/4", reducer to 1/8") and recorded stuff. I was all excited so I went and got the used mixer (Audiopro). I should have read about where DAW is at nowadays. I would have gotten a usb device. And this is where I'm at now. My set up works but I’m limited. So it started with the soundcard concern but it’s developed into researching the best option.

I'm reading about (usb) devices and trying to understand the scope of the features that come with them so that I can make the best purchase (on a budget) for my use now (living in a townhouse) and if my situation ever changed (a house with a basement). If I buy a small device, I’ll have to do a lot of plugging and unplugging. I may not have the dough to buy the *complete* “thing” that *I need*. That’s just it. I’m not quite sure what I need. And I may not need a *complete* “thing”. Do I need midi? And I know that I’m not the only one.

I read a lot of threads, lots of musicians out there looking for recording methods, tips and equipment. It's interesting to see how everybody's got their own spin on it. But it remains that when people ask for advise on how to go about it that people chime in and say I use this and that. There’s often a whole world in connecting and using these devices.

Baba Rumraisin said:
...I figured you would, considering what I've heard about the CT. No reason why you'd do it otherwise.
Maybe to get Marshall, Mesa and others amps sounds (I believe you get those in your POD right?). If I should go with a set up that is all pc inclusive (amp modulations, drum sequencer, bass, violin etc), then I’d like to bounce ideas and explore the different possibilities. Some people may only use the POD straight into pc. But although you still seem to be somehow in a transition (Win XP, G5, waiting to *install* Cubase LE, ...), you seem to have a pretty decent setup.

I had to make a diagram as i was reading your setup to understand what went where and it raised a few questions. That’s why in my previous post that I said keep talking if you want. What I’m thinking is to look at the different areas or processes of your setup and understand how it works for you. I know it would help me and I’m sure that it would help others too. And like I said, no pressure. It’s not like we have to write everyday. I need time to let things sink in, I’m getting old you know? :)

Baba Rumraisin said:
..The way I've set mine up is I can play a rhythm track and record it and then play it back through the computer and then play a lead to it in real time. The main from my mixer goes to my amps because, if it didn't then I wouldn't be able to hear it. I don't like computer speakers. I also like to feel what I'm playing. It kind of brings me back to being onstage.
See that’s something I’m wondering. You probably mean you send your pc track(s) to one of the amp and solo (and record) the other amp? Otherwise you’d re-record your rhythm track with your solo. Something I’m not getting? I’d love to have a set up where my amp is my *studio monitor* too, I’m not crazy about pc speakers sound either.

What about your late night options, headphones?
 

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Baba Rumraisin said:
Why are you plugging and unplugging cables all the time?
I've been looking for a *device* and ideas for a home studio that I could have cords plugged in at all times. As I'm becoming a better player (and this may take some times) :) I think that it would be cool if a friend showed up and we jammed and that I was able to capture the whole thing just by checking levels and adjusting the mics positions.

I'm not too sure what I was looking for but for some reason, the USB devices I was looking at seemed to me that I was going to limit myself in a near future. The Tascam US-122 for instance, has 2 xlrs and 2 instrument jacks (guit, bass, ..) (similar inputs on your POD I believe). So I kept thinking that 2 people could jam and sing and it could be recorded but that would be the limit of the device.

Even as for the instruments (2 guitars let's say), they'd have to use *internal* amp modulations. Which is ok. But I'm realizing that I'm maybe more of a *purist* :wave: and that I seem to want to *capture* amps, voices and even maybe room ambiance. I was thinking mics mics mics. A mic in front of my amp, a mic in front of his amp, a mic each for vocals, maybe even an overhead mic? *Edit: and what if another friend shows up and plays congas and tamborine? more mics.*

So you're probably dying to jump in and say, "what about an 8-track Multimix then?" I think that I read something today that the usb multimix allows only 2 tracks to be recorded at a time (eventhough you have 8 channnels) (what was stopping me was the fact that it didn't have midi). Please let me know, not only if I'm off the road but especially if my car is dangling off the cliff :D

I started another thread (Firewire vs USB) and you'll see there *the progress that I think I made today*. :)

** I still want you to tell me about your *final amplification*.
 

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Here I am again, ofender. Long.

Okay, here's what I'm doing.
I've got a G5 PowerMac with dual 2G processors and an AMD 2500/Windows XP hooked together. The G5 has 1.5G of ram and the Windows has 1G. The windows (PC) also has a Creative Audigy 2 ZS soundcard and bay mounted IO. The Mac is stock from the factory with just the built in sound system. It also has Airport and Bluetooth and connects to a Airport Extreme base station, but these are not any sort of issue for the sound system. The Mac connects to the internet through the Windows modem (dial-up) and a firewire cable. I used to use a networking cable but the firewire is far and away much better. The firewire is plugged into the Audigy card at the back of the PC. The Mac seems to handle the internet considerably better than the Pc. It loads pages routed through the PC faster than the PC can load them itself.
I bought the Mac for its audio capabilities and also to get away from the net threats and instability of Windows. So far the Mac has been excellent for the net but not so great for audio. (I'll get to that)
For sound output I use a Fender Deluxe Reverb (RI) on the right and a Fender Princeton Chorus on the left. There are no other speakers for my system.
So...my guitar is plugged into a POD2 processor and its two outputs are plugged into an Alesis Multimix 12. From there it follows the USB cable into the PC.
(I did have it routed into the Mac but whenever I start any sound program I get this background high pitched whine coming through which, I assume, is processor or fan noise. Suprising for such an expensive machine, but for now I've decided to deal with that later.)
From the audio out of the Creative card the signal is routed back into the Alesis Mixer and from there to my amps.
Control Room from the Alesis is routed into the PC on the card's line-in. Probably not neccessary but what the hell. Although it will generate some impressive feedback if I start the wrong feed.
Alt-out from the Alesis is fed to the line-in of the Mac. The Mac's line-out comes back to the mixer's 2 Track input.
Midi is routed through the front of the Creative IO into the PC from my Casio keyboard.
So far, this system is running just tickety-boo. I still get to use my Windows programs for audio and can surf the net in relative security with the Mac.
The only problem is, I didn't buy the Mac so I could surf the net. I bought it because it's touted as the epitome' for audio/visual processing. As it turns out, if anyone intends to buy a G5, they had better also buy a good soundcard for the system because the built in setup is just not up to snuff.
The system comes with Garageband, which is okay for awhile untill you want to do some serious mixing. I just don't find it very capable. Cubase runs in the Mac but still seems somewhat wanting in resources.
When I first got the machine it was fine in regards to noise. But now, after using the mixer, I get, as I said, this high pitched whine thats very irritating. At this point, I don't really want to, or have to, deal with this sound problem since my PC is handling everything just fine. But later I'll be buying a soundcard for the Mac and then we'll have to take a close look at what's going on.

Why am I posting this?
If you want to keep your music files safe and sound from internet threats and you hate spending money unneccessarily and you're thinking of a Mac then you should either:
1) Spend a ****load of money on the Mac and get EVERYTHING installed from the factory (trust me)...
or
2) Spend about half that for a kick butt PC and isolate it totally from the internet and use it only for music and nothing else.

What would I do if I had it to do all over again? Depends on my mood at the time. I'm shopping for a car right now and some days I'm looking at pricey sports cars and some days economical family cars. The family cars will probably win that contest considering I'm not alone with the decision. (Thank God!)

Any suggestions?
 

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Baba Rumraisin said:
If you want to keep your music files safe and sound from internet threats and you hate spending money unneccessarily and you're thinking of a Mac then you should either:
1) Spend a ****load of money on the Mac and get EVERYTHING installed from the factory (trust me)...
or
2) Spend about half that for a kick butt PC and isolate it totally from the internet and use it only for music and nothing else.

What would I do if I had it to do all over again?

Any suggestions?
The original title of this thread is about Garageband and Audiopro (line mixer, not usb, not firewire) and I've come a long way since I posted it. And I feel that I've got a long way to go but things are slowly coming together. The mixer (Audiopro) will definitely be out of my recording equation and so will Garageband.

I've started an 8-week recording class (one evening a week for 1 1/2 hour) and last week, we had an overview of various recording programs, talked about pc vs Mac etc. I worked with Cubasis before too and it sounds like Cubase is going to replace Garageband for me for sure. And much like you, I'm starting to *regret* having bought the Mac for its “epitome for audio/visual processing” but I’ll probably have to work with it for now. I may add an external HD to dedicate for recording.
 

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That 8 week of classes is probably the best idea. You've got me thinking of it myself. It will, at least, do away with some of the preconceptions I have about recording. Why make the same mistakes that others have already solved and overcome. May even save money. How has the class helped you so far?

Oh yeah, congrats on becoming the "Ultimate Guitar Lord". It must be quite thrilling....tee hee
 

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Baba Rumraisin said:
Oh yeah, congrats on becoming the "Ultimate Guitar Lord". It must be quite thrilling....tee hee
I guess I'm now officially *Sir* Ofender ;) :D


Baba Rumraisin said:
That 8 week of classes is probably the best idea. You've got me thinking of it myself. It will, at least, do away with some of the preconceptions I have about recording. Why make the same mistakes that others have already solved and overcome. May even save money. How has the class helped you so far?
You're right about preconceptions; these often develop when there is information and choice *overlaod*. A course like this is excellent to put the whole thing in a more familiar perspective. Recording has been happening for a long time and the methods haven't really changed, only some of the tools have *evolved* to the digital world.

The course is an overview but is also *detailed* enough to provide a good foundation to make better decisions about setting your home studio and buying the right equipment. There is so much out there and some of what’s available may not be what you need at first. I think that in that sense, it can save you some money and get you going a little faster. I recommend it.
 

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Baba, we were all a little surprised to find out that people come from as far east of Toronto as Peterborough and as far west as Cambridge and everywhere in between. I'm not sure where you are exactly and coming down to Mississauga on a weeknight may not work for you but he's thinking of putting together the same course but on a Saturday(s).

I live close by and I find it a little difficult on a weeknight as well. I'm up early in the morning so sitting there in the evening from 7:30 to 9pm after a day at the office is not the best scenario for me and I can imagine what it can be for someone who has had to drive for a couple of hours (during rush hour and all). It's very interesting so it's ok that way.

But I could see doing this on a Saturday morning, let's say a couple Saturdays from 9am to 1pm or something along that line. You pick up a cup of coffee on your way and you're fresh and well rested. Like I said, you might want to get in touch with him because if he has enough people to do this (on Saturdays), then he'll go for it and I believe that he said that he has people interested already. That may work better for you unless you find something in your area.

Even if you’re not planning on taking the course necessarily, I recommend that you make a point to drop by the store. They have a great selection of just about anything that’s out there for recording (hw and sw), they are very knowledgeable so they could give you great ideas to tweak your current setup and they also have free seminars from time to time. I think that later on this week (Thursday night?), they’ll have a rep from Sonar talk about some of the new features and things like that.

http://www.revolutionaudio.ca/
 
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