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Thread: Help with MAC Home Recording Setup!

  1. #1

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    Help with MAC Home Recording Setup!

    Hi all,

    I recently bought a MAC and tried the same setup as with my previous desktop PC but nothing seems to work. I have the following equipments:

    1. Mixer with RCA cables -> Main output goes to my BMB speakers
    2. M-Audio Audiophile Interface
    3. Korg LE Triton
    4. MacBook Pro with 2 USB ports

    May I know how do I connect everything such that I can record my keyboard and guitars (plugged direct into mixer) on my Mac via both audio and MIDI if possible, and my Mac plays through the BMB speakers?

    Appreciate all your expert advice. Thanks a lot!!!


  2. #2

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    Re: Help with MAC Home Recording Setup!

    There might be some compatibility issue with the new Mac OS. You may want to check which OS you are using and ask M-Audio if it is ok.

  3. #3

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    Re: Help with MAC Home Recording Setup! <-- this yes? <-- check your latest drivers? Legacy > Audiophile USB > OS etc etc.. <-- this one your keys yes?

    here's how I'd wire them up.

    [Playback :]
    Macbook Pro>Maudio audiophile USB AI(audio interface) > RCA output > BMB speakers. (if there isn't RCA inputs, get adapters until it works so) and headphones if there's any?

    [For a quick jam recording :]
    Guitar/etc/Mics > Analog mixer.
    Analog Mixer+RCA cable > RCA Cables > Maudio AI's RCA inputs

    Korg LE Triton > 1/4" audio output > Maudio AI's 1/4" inputs
    Korg LE Triton > MIDI i/o > Maudio AI's midi interface.
    so you can tweak your MIDI playing in DAW and re-process the sound again accurately.

    [For layered track audio recording]
    Guitar > 1/4" > Maudio AI 1/4 #1 input > cabinet simulation via DAW/VST if it supports.
    or Guitar > 1/4" > a guitar pedal with cabinet simulation > Maudio AI 1/4 input.
    whichever sounds better.

    Unplug it and plug the -Midi/audio setup- I mentioned above for Korg keys recording.

    Unless your guitar / korg preamps gain is not enough, then resort to your analog mixer for more juice. but otherwise I believe you can get a cleaner recording plugging in Direct 1/4" than analogmixer+RCA.

    anyway if you haven't , do read / , they're old. but still applies.

    For DAW, you can try with GarageBand , or . I'm assuming you know how to configure your soundcard and arm the tracks etc in your DAW already? so I'll skip that part of the info.

    good luck have fun.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Help with MAC Home Recording Setup!

    Thanks everyone for your prompt and helpful replies! It seems that my ancient M-audio Audiophile USB is not compatible with my current MAC OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 according to the M-audio technical support staff. Any other alternatives or do I have to get another audio/MIDI interface. If so, what do you recommend?


  5. #5

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    Re: Help with MAC Home Recording Setup!

    Haha yeah it is a little ancient. Well you can't downgrade your Mac OS can you? Then either use back the old pc to fully utilize or get a new audio interface. You wanna get something more upgraded with more inputs ? Or use back that old RCA inputs and 2 1/4" jack inputs setup? Not forgetting midi input/output support over a USB interface.

    Your closest replacement I feel is a Focusrite scarlet 6i6.

  6. #6

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    Re: Help with MAC Home Recording Setup!

    Thanks a lot for your help bro! Just a few clarifications:

    1. Is the Focusrite scarlet 6i6 compatible with Mac OS X Yosemite 10.10.4?

    2. Should I choose to plug everything through my mixer, how should the set up be?

  7. #7

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    Re: Help with MAC Home Recording Setup!

    1. google popped this one out , thread's fresh, so you SHOULD be safe. but I can't personally guarantee, you will have to email focusrite yourself.

    Re: Any issues using Yosemite 10.10.4?

    Postby DaveP Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:37 am
    Delighted to say all fine here too!
    iMac 2.7 2013, 8GB RAM, Yosemite 10.10.4, Cubase 8.0.20 Pro, Halion 5, GA4,
    Waldorf Suite, EZ Drummer, Camel Audio Alchemy.
    Nektar Impact LX 61. Focusrite Scarlett 6i6.

    2. erm if you plug everything through your mixer, wouldn't it be just "Left/Right" channels for a live jam? wouldn't be too ideal for recording unless you have it perfectly "balanced" before recording. I think you should make it a little easier for me to help by letting me know what analog mixer you're using heheh. till now I'm just guessing how many inputs. maybe 4 to 6..
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  8. #8

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    Re: Help with MAC Home Recording Setup!
    This is my current mixer with many inputs. Haha

    Since I have already exposed myself as a noob, please don't mind me asking more questions:

    1. With regards to the -MIDI/AUDIO SETUP-
    Korg LE Triton > 1/4" audio output > Maudio AI's 1/4" inputs
    Korg LE Triton > MIDI i/o > Maudio AI's midi interface.
    so you can tweak your MIDI playing in DAW and re-process the sound again accurately.
    - Does this mean I can record as MIDI and edit as necessary (e.g. note duration, etc.) then re-process the recording as an audio sample using my sound card?

    2. It seems from your setup and some online reading that with the audio/MIDI interface (with adequate inputs/outputs of course), there isn't a need for an analog mixer for home recording. Is this true? If so, I'm gonna sell it off. Haha

    3. I read through your comprehensive article and was comparing some audio/MIDI interfaces online. There are a few distinct differences which I'm not sure if it really makes a significant impact when comes to sound quality for recording/playback:
    a. Phantom Power
    b. Balanced vs Unbalanced Input/Output
    c. Zero latency vs Low latency (<1.4ms)
    d. Sampling rate - 24bit/96kHZ vs 24bit/192kHz

    What do you think of the Steinberg UR 44 as compared with the Scarlett 6i6 which you recommended as the price is about the same and it has more inputs with phantom power.

    Thanks so much for your help!

  9. #9

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    Re: Help with MAC Home Recording Setup!

    oh hey Mackie 1202-VLZ PRO is a very nice mixer, even though it's been more than a decade. I've seen it being used in professional studios.

    haha don't be too worried about appearing as a "noob" . lifelong learning is the norm.

    1. MIDI/Audio setup
    so for example , if you arm the midi track, record your "PLAYING" (midi notes / velocity / sustain). that's just data. but on your keyboard you're playing the "piano sound module" , but you don't like the piano sound and the playing is off. you could quantize , fix the playing, add more notes subtract, increase sustain, increase velocity (hardness of the note) etc. then ultimately have a perfect "PLAYING" track then decide that you don't want a piano sound , you want a... violin instead. and take note , the nature of sound is that some violin-sound modules's ATTACK comes in late, unlike the sound of a piano (hammer on a string) , so it would all sound "late" but all that needs to be done is pull the entire perfect quantized track back by a notch.

    where this "sound" is going to come from, is your MIDI TRACK > MIDI OUT INTO > YOUR KORG LE MIDI IN , PLAY the track, and your Korg LE (hardware sound module) will play the "perfect playing" and you're going to record it from its audio output.

    if you don't want to utilize the hardware sound module (Korg LE) , then what people (arrangers) usually do is software sound module, a.k.a VST Instruments/VSTi. and trigger within the DAW software.

    2. Technology has improved since my DIY recording FAQ . we used to be all mostly analog and the whole PCI (like a computer chip to install on your computer mainboard) audio interface came in, then USB and Firewire / standalone multitrack recorders was the new thing (I used to use a Korg D888, PC-less, mobile recording) I almost would agree with you on not having a need for an analog mixer, but there're times a sub-mixer would be handy. especially a mackie 1202vlz with nice high quality preamps. if it were something lower end then yeah you could ditch it. otherwise we've advanced to a convenient age of recording where I'd use my favourite audio interface as an example Zoom R16, is simply powered by a USB cable. 8 inputs, 2 with phantom power, onboard stereo mics, audio interface when plugged in via USB , standalone recorder , possible to run on batteries.

    a.Phantom Power - this is usually used for Condenser Microphones and DI Boxes. XLR carries phantom power.
    Why Condenser ? it's like if you used a DYNAMIC Shure SM58 to record , it's still clear etc. but that high crisp/clarity would not be as sensitively captured as using a CONDENSER Rode NT2. actually all the info can be mainly found from google.

    DI Boxes, mainly used for live sound so your guitar > 1/4" > DI box > travel 100 metres with little or no signal loss > mixer.lesser noise etc. there's more "impedance/geek talk" about it which I myself I'm not sure, I just listen and go with what sounds better. in recording production situation, I use DI box mainly because I want to record the clean dry signal for reprocessing. that's another can of worms..

    b. guitar > 1/4" (unbalanced) > audio interface. vs guitar > 1/4" (unbalanced) > DI Box (balanced) > XLR + phantompower > audio interface

    c. latency is a lot of marketing talk haha. everyone tries to achieve the true zero. I personally work with 2ms,5ms , 8ms, even at times 13ms. anymore than that becomes a little distracting. you do know what ms stands for right. it's just like clapping in a big living room. I've heard all that hoohah about kids talking about "oh I can't work with latencies more than 1ms" and ironically their mixes are filled with glitches , poor punch-ins and misses. (personally my speed of hearing is about 2 ms. what that means is I can hear any mistakes in a mix if it's slower than that.) but hey what's most important is as long as the consumer can't hear it.
    to get low latency, you need a good audio interface like RME UFX which costs like $3000 i think ? and a super high end computer that costs another 4 digits.. and so on . does almost no contribution to your sound. as long as you're within the 13ms (in my opinion) limit. where I get the 13ms from is when I used to work my audio mixes at my day job office with no audio interface, just onboard soundcard and using drivers.

    d. samplerate, the higher the resolution (16/24/32bit) and samplerate (44.1/48/88.2/96/192/DSD recorder level) , the more power and storage it takes. your basic requirement is 16bit 44.1khz (known as 16/44 , cd quality) the sample rate isn't too big of a difference, it's the resolution , 16bit / 24bit that does. but then again, I've worked with mixes by other studios purposely tampered downsampled to 16bit/44.1khz and passed me the audio tracks (when it was originally recorded at 24bit/48khz or 24bit/96khz) but end up my mixing and re-recordings for vocals at 16bit/44.1khz sounded superior than the original studio's 24/48khz. it's just that small bit more of quality. I'd just keep it 16bit/44.1khz. or at most go 24bit/44.1khz for convenience. if you don't believe me you can go and try, but don't blame me when you have to spend more cash on hard disk storage.

    Steinberg UR 44 is not bad too. whatever works man. most important thing in an audio interface function is STABILITY. Drivers! (i think you know better by now). I've heard people tell me Zoom R16 preamps are crap, it is kind of, but my mixing makes up for it. what's important is it doesn't screw me over when I'm recording the band. crashing and all since I earn $ with it. I've sold my Zoom R16 since and upgraded to a Focusrite LiquidSaffire56 for $100 hehe.
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