Newbie interested in making Music on Macs

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Hi



I'm interested in setting up a home studio just for fun and was wondering if some of you guys could help seeing as there seems to be quite a few audio buffs on these boards



Hardware wise, I'd say I'm almost there (G3 500 Pismo with 1Gb RAM, 32Gb HDD, Videologic Sirroco Pro Series), but I'm unsure what's the best route to go with MIDI... do I need a serial port, or do I get OMS installed, which I'm told is about as useful as one of Steve's Photoshop bake-offs. <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />



Also, what's a good keyboard? I know how to play the piano, but what's a decent keyboard... or even, who's the best keyboard manufacturer?



Software wise, I dunno which way to go with this... Cubasis?? A lot of cash for Logic Audio and the like, considering I just want to dabble. Also, are any apps out there OS X savvy?



Any other tips and such are gratefully recieved. Thanks in advance!



-Ed

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,142member
    ED,



    Music as with everything is all about opinions. I won't give you any since I'm just a lonely non Chordal Sax player but here are some of my fav links.



    Cubase is probably the most popular Sequencer

    <a href="http://www.steinberg.de"; target="_blank">www.steinberg.de</a> VST is a well supported Protocol



    Digidesign-www.digidesign.com- these are the DAW Stalwarts...you can download Pro Tools lite for free and their Digi001 system has lots of fans. Also Digidesign distributes lots of plugs ins for VST and TDM their cross application protocal



    Great overall site for music is <a href="http://www.harmony-central.com."; target="_blank">www.harmony-central.com.</a> I check it everyday it has news review and a forum



    Another site is <a href="http://www.sonicstate.com"; target="_blank">www.sonicstate.com</a> they are not bad also.



    As for keyboards...it depends on what you play.



    Roland is always popular <a href="http://www.rolandus.com"; target="_blank">www.rolandus.com</a>



    I personally have my eye on Yamaha's new Motif boards. I have always loved the Yammies sounds and the fact the there is a MLan option for them is enticing with Apple supporting this futuristic protocol. Check'em out at <a href="http://www.motifator.com"; target="_blank">www.motifator.com</a>



    Of course you will also want to check out the new HD recorders that do 24bit/96khz from Alesis(HD24) <a href="http://www.alesis.com"; target="_blank">www.alesis.com</a> and Mackie at <a href="http://www.mackie.com"; target="_blank">www.mackie.com</a>



    The options are just endless. What you will have to decide is what kind of compositions do you need. Are you doing electronica or will your be recording vocals and live instruments. How much overdubbing do you normally do? Lot's of questions but the more answers you provide the easier it will be to pick the right system. Good luck. I am right there with you.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    evil edevil ed Posts: 106member
    [quote]Originally posted by hmurchison:

    <strong>Cubase is probably the most popular Sequencer

    <a href="http://www.steinberg.de"; target="_blank">www.steinberg.de</a> VST is a well supported Protocol</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Ok, VST: what do the plug-ins give you? Extra sounds? Different instruments? Is this what "soft-synths" are? Sorry if I sound clueless, but unfortunately I AM! <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />



    [quote]<strong>Digidesign-www.digidesign.com- these are the DAW Stalwarts...you can download Pro Tools lite for free and their Digi001 system has lots of fans.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Errm... what's DAW? I can't seem to get Pro Tools lite as a download, but I'd imagine it must be available somewhere.



    The other links are also pretty kewl, thanx!



    [quote]<strong>As for keyboards...it depends on what you play.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Is MidiMan any good? i'm eyeing up this one: <a href="http://www.midiman.com/products/midiman/key49.php"; target="_blank">MidiMan USB Keystation 49</a>. I dunno if it's any good, but it saves me buying a separate USB MIDI interface and it's bus-powered too.



    [quote]<strong>I personally have my eye on Yamaha's new Motif boards. I have always loved the Yammies sounds and the fact the there is a MLan option for them is enticing with Apple supporting this futuristic protocol. Check'em out at <a href="http://www.motifator.com"; target="_blank">www.motifator.com</a><hr></blockquote></strong>



    Is MLan an alternative to OMS? And what's the MOTU 828 all about... it uses FireWire, which seems cool, but I don't understand it's purpose! <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />



    [quote]<strong>Of course you will also want to check out the new HD recorders that do 24bit/96khz from Alesis(HD24) <a href="http://www.alesis.com"; target="_blank">www.alesis.com</a> and Mackie at <a href="http://www.mackie.com"; target="_blank">www.mackie.com</a><hr></blockquote></strong>



    Apple seems to make a big deal of <a href="http://www.apple.com/macosx/technologies/audio.html"; target="_blank">24bit 96Khz technology</a> in Mac OS X. Does this imply that X is a better platform to produce audio in? And what the hell is <a href="http://www.nuendo.com/index2.html"; target="_blank">Nuendo</a>?? Seems the same as Cubase <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />



    [quote]<strong>Good luck. I am right there with you.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Thanks for your kind words, hmurchison! I appreciate the support: all the audio options are quite overwhelming to me.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    Hmurch, no offense but your recommendations are too advanced for a beginner.



    Cubase is overkill and would only be confusing to someone who has never even tried audio/midi sequencing. Just go with Cubasis and if you decide you're really into it and need more power & options, THEN get Cubase.



    For a beginner, a keyboard like that Midiman you mentioned is a good idea -- functions as a rudimentary midi controller AND interface, and it's cheap. Of course, it doesn't make any sounds by itself, so maybe you'd be better served by a cheap used synthesizer as a controller, plus a cheap USB interface (again, Midiman is a good brand there).



    I also think worrying about 24/96 before you've even gotten started is like trying to learn to drive in a Formula One race car. Overkill!



    Again, as with Cubase/Cubasis, try plain old 16 bit & 44.1khz recording and if you enjoy that and long for better quality, THEN invest the extra money to upgrade.



    It shouldn't cost $10,000 to build a "fun" project studio to play around with and decide whether or not you're really interested in recording music. Take some of the easier, cheaper options, buy some of your gear used, and you should be able to have fun and learn a lot without spending five times the amount you spent on your Mac.



    Lastly, Evil Ed, though OSX will eventually be a great platform for digital audio multi-tracking, forget any ideas about recording digital audio in OSX any time soon. OS9 is still where it's at for digital audio. You won't be able to find any kind of digital audio interface that will work with OSX, at least not yet.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    I too think that Cubasis is the place to start. I think it comes with the Universal Sound Module, so an external keyboard does not necessarily need to have any sounds in it.



    Edirol has a similar keyboard : <a href="http://www.edirol.com/products/prosheets/pc300.ddp?session=75057177&itemcode=362171"; target="_blank">http://www.edirol.com/products/prosheets/pc300.ddp?session=75057177&itemcode=362171</a>;



    It comes with Cubasis A/V, which will save you a bit of money, I believe.



    VST provides your basic effects and is also the format for virtual synths/drum machines/samplers. It's very cool.



    You're also going to want to get some way to get audio into your machine. I don't think that your model has audio inputs, but I may be mistaken. There are a bunch of USB devices out there, none of which I know anything about.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    I could use a midiman external midi device, I have a bunch of AWESOME hardware and no way to efficantly use it with my computer(I can record through the 1/8 inch input,thats about it)

    the new soundblaster extigy looks pretty damn cool(since its like a sound hub, even for recievers I REALLY hope that they make mac drivers,cause then iMac and notebook owners get 5.1 options and that would be great(not to mention midi)
  • Reply 6 of 8
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,142member
    Sizzle ...none taken



    I'm still pretty new to this as well and I figure I have no choice but to build it slow. I'll check out Cubasis myself. Man in just the last 5 years there has been just an explosion of new gear. I remember when a Tascam Cassette 8 track was jaw dropping with all of it's crosstalk and hissing.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    trick falltrick fall Posts: 1,271member
    Evil, some good advice has already been given so I'll just mention another site you should check out. Go to <a href="http://www.musicplayer.com"; target="_blank">www.musicplayer.com</a> They have a few different boards, the best one for a beginner is prolly Craig Anderton's Sound Studio & Stage.



    I'd actually recommend anyone who's into recording check this site out. A lot of cool, very informed people post there. I've learned tons just lurking there.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    Wow, thanks very much everyone



    I'll let you know how I get on, and I'm sure I'll be quizzing you lot further.



    Thanks again!



    -Ed
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