Audio Recording & Editing on the Mac

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
I am interested in doing some experimental audio recordings on my Mac. The audio space seems to change, evolve and explode to a point of utter confusion for the beginner/novice.



I have heard of Pro Tools MBox ($500) with ProTools for audio recording and editing but can anyone suggest an alternative? (I don't really like the UI on first glance).



First, I am not a musician so hooking up a guitar is not important. I would like to record ambient sounds around my environment and input the recording, edit and compose.



Can anyone reccomend a starter package or sw/hw combo beyond sticking a USB mike into my system and using FCP? (around $500 or under). OSX is preffered.



Thanks

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    Check out MOTU(Mark of the Unicorn) Firewire Grear. It seems highly recommended in many circles. <a href="http://www.motu.com"; target="_blank">www.motu.com</a>
  • Reply 2 of 13
    the cool gutthe cool gut Posts: 1,714member
    don't knock the Protools UI on the basis of a "first glance". It sin't the industry standard for nothing.



    instead, go to <a href="http://www.digidesign.com"; target="_blank">www.digidesign.com</a> then to support, then downloads, and download Protools Free. It is feature complete and only limits you to eight tracks ... great for getting started.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    [quote]Originally posted by the cool gut:

    <strong>don't knock the Protools UI on the basis of a "first glance". It sin't the industry standard for nothing.



    instead, go to <a href="http://www.digidesign.com"; target="_blank">www.digidesign.com</a> then to support, then downloads, and download Protools Free. It is feature complete and only limits you to eight tracks ... great for getting started.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Thanks. You're right, it isn't the industry standard for nothing. I was just wondering what the #2 or #3 players were so that I can compare and contrast. Also, ProTools currently runs on OS9 and the ProTools free that I download v5.01 does not run on OS X as of yet. (that I am aware of)



    cheers
  • Reply 4 of 13
    chucksterchuckster Posts: 56member
    Tascam has some USB interfaces that are pretty reasonable. The MOTU firewire stuff is awesome, but more expensive. I don't think any of these are running in OS X yet.

    For the ultra-cheap approach: I just saw a shareware app called Amadeus II (runs in OS X) on Versiontracker that is only $25. Use your built-in mic or add a USB microphone and you're good to go... There may even be a freeware app out there, too.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    zerozero Posts: 39member
    Check out the Emagic EMI2|6 USB Audio Interface. It has 2 Input and 6 outputs. Just perfect for 5.1 surround. Last week they released OS X drivers.



    For OS X AudioRecording Software have a look at: <a href="http://www.osxaudio.com/index.php?category=6"; target="_blank">http://www.osxaudio.com/index.php?category=6</a>;



    cheers

    zero
  • Reply 6 of 13
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by zero:

    [qb]Check out the Emagic EMI2|6 USB Audio Interface. It has 2 Input and 6 outputs. Just perfect for 5.1 surround. Last week they released OS X drivers.



    For OS X AudioRecording Software have a look at: <a href="http://www.osxaudio.com/index.php?category=6"; target="_blank">http://www.osxaudio.com/index.php?category=6</a>;



    --------------------

    Thanks much! I have noticed that the Germans are very creative at developing audio apps. I saw this app from Ableton called Live, its more of a mixer for DJs but awesome nonetheless. It looks like they are from Berlin. Thanks for the Emagic pointer.



    cheers



    [ 05-30-2002: Message edited by: [email protected] ]</p>
  • Reply 7 of 13
    mac's girlmac's girl Posts: 556member
    for hardware, like USB audio i/o, check out music stores also. i've seen stuff at <a href="http://www.americanmusical.com"; target="_blank">www.americanmusical.com</a> (american musical supply) and <a href="http://www.musiciansfriend.com."; target="_blank">www.musiciansfriend.com.</a> i get their catalogs, and i noticed it in there. (i dont use it myself, however.)
  • Reply 8 of 13
    trevormtrevorm Posts: 841member
    Protools is quite all right (I use 001) in OS9, but for a portable option try the MBOX, but if you want something else give MOTU a go as their portable I/O options are far better!



    <a href="http://www.digidesign.com"; target="_blank">Digidesign</a>

    <a href="http://www.motu.com"; target="_blank">Mark of The Unicorn</a>

    <a href="http://www.sweetwater.com"; target="_blank">Sweetwater Sound...Great Shop</a>
  • Reply 9 of 13
    badtzbadtz Posts: 949member
    I like DP 3 :_)
  • Reply 10 of 13
    Audio software for OSX hasn't fully arrived yet, except for a handful of early adopters. LIVE by Ableton is a great chunk of software (easy, stable, and powerful - and supports OS X right now!) - it has an edge over other sequenceres in that it can automatically time stretch your audio to fit a tempo, which makes composing a breeze - IF you need everything to say in sync and make perfect loops.



    I know Cubase will support OSX within a few months, the others I'm not sure about.



    The only sound card with OSX drivers that I can think of off hand is the Delta series by Midiman / M-Audio. <a href="http://www.midiman.net/products/m-audio/delta.php"; target="_blank">http://www.midiman.net/products/m-audio/delta.php</a>;



    The major software alternatives to ProTools are:

    Cubase by Steinberg <a href="http://www.steinberg.net"; target="_blank">www.steinberg.net</a>

    Nuendo by Steinberg

    Logic Audio by Emagic <a href="http://www.emagic.de"; target="_blank">www.emagic.de</a>

    LIVE by Ableton <a href="http://www.ableton.com"; target="_blank">www.ableton.com</a>

    Digital Performer by MOTU <a href="http://www.motu.com"; target="_blank">www.motu.com</a>



    Most of these will work with a wide variety of hardware so you are free to mix and match - i don't feel capable of giving USB hardware advice, but hopefully this is useful to you.



    [ 06-01-2002: Message edited by: blairistic ]</p>
  • Reply 11 of 13
    [quote]Originally posted by blairistic:

    <strong>Audio software for OSX hasn't fully arrived yet, except for a handful of early adopters. LIVE by Ableton is a great chunk of software (easy, stable, and powerful - and supports OS X right now!) - it has an edge over other sequenceres in that it can automatically time stretch your audio to fit a tempo, which makes composing a breeze - IF you need everything to say in sync and make perfect loops.



    I know Cubase will support OSX within a few months, the others I'm not sure about.



    The only sound card with OSX drivers that I can think of off hand is the Delta series by Midiman / M-Audio. <a href="http://www.midiman.net/products/m-audio/delta.php"; target="_blank">http://www.midiman.net/products/m-audio/delta.php</a>;



    The major software alternatives to ProTools are:

    Cubase by Steinberg <a href="http://www.steinberg.net"; target="_blank">www.steinberg.net</a>

    Nuendo by Steinberg

    Logic Audio by Emagic <a href="http://www.emagic.de"; target="_blank">www.emagic.de</a>

    LIVE by Ableton <a href="http://www.ableton.com"; target="_blank">www.ableton.com</a>

    Digital Performer by MOTU <a href="http://www.motu.com"; target="_blank">www.motu.com</a>



    Most of these will work with a wide variety of hardware so you are free to mix and match - i don't feel capable of giving USB hardware advice, but hopefully this is useful to you.



    [ 06-01-2002: Message edited by: blairistic ]</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Thanks Baliristic and Trevor. Great advice!
  • Reply 12 of 13
    junkyard dawgjunkyard dawg Posts: 2,801member
    There are some low end solutions that may work for you as well:



    A lower cost alternative is Bias Peak. It's not as powerful as Protools, but if you're not a professional musician it's probably enough for you.



    For sound input, you might try the Griffen iMic, again it's a low cost USB solution, essentially it provides a microphone and line in port.





    Finally, if you don't need an uber-powerful audio editor with a zillion DSPs, then you can get the following at <a href="http://www.versiontracker.com:"; target="_blank">www.versiontracker.com:</a>



    Felt tip sound studio: <a href="http://www.versiontracker.com/moreinfo.fcgi?id=10003&db=mac"; target="_blank">http://www.versiontracker.com/moreinfo.fcgi?id=10003&db=mac</a>;

    Amadeus II: <a href="http://www.versiontracker.com/moreinfo.fcgi?id=7392&db=mac"; target="_blank">http://www.versiontracker.com/moreinfo.fcgi?id=7392&db=mac</a>;



    These are cheap shareware apps that can be used for a while in demo mode. They have a surprising number of features for "free" apps, and I've found that for hobby recording they produce very professional sounding results....but then I'm of the opinion that a dual GHz protools setup recording N-Synch will sound like a$$, whereas a boombox recording of someone like Hendrix will sound utterly beautiful. People put far too much emphasis today on the recording and producing tools, at the expense of what truly matters.
  • Reply 13 of 13
    copied from a post I made in another thread:



    Well, the latest rumor over at the <a href="http://www.unicornation.com"; target="_blank">www.unicornation.com</a> board is that Apple has bought out MOTU, and that they have been working furiously to make DP 3.1 OSX compatible. MOTU's website has not been updated in ages, and the DP 3.1 update is already several months behind schedule. One of the last updates on MOTU's page was a feature article about how nicely Mac's and MOTU play together ;-) This is nothing but extreme speculation, but fun speculation nonetheless.
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