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Audio hardware for recording into laptop (Mac)?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by TheMoonInJune, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. If this has been asked before, I couldn't find it, but perhaps you could direct me to it.


    I am trying to figure out how to can record live drums, guitar, synth (separately or together) onto my laptop directly into Ableton Live.

    From brief research it seems that the best idea is a mic and an MBOX...is that correct?

    Thank you for any and all help =)
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    For live drums you would need at the least an Mbox2 Pro which is a firewire interface. That would give you 6 simultaneous inputs. W/factory bundle that'll run you about $800 rounded off.

    For around the same price you could get a Presonus Firepod or Firestudio or whatever they are calling it now giving you 8 simultaneous inputs.

    Then you need to consider an external hard drive and monitors.
  3. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Forget the MBox if you do not really want to use ProTools. MBox2 Pro does not give you more than 2 mic pres and they are just about OK. I'd look for a FW unit wth 8 mic pres and stick to the DAW I know.
  4. Do you have any suggestions (cfaalm) on what I should get?
  5. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    I think huseph made some good suggestions there.

    When working with anything else then PT you can buy just about any interface that sounds good without having to worry if it will work with your DAW, in your case Ableton.

    You really have to do the digging yourself. If you read some more in this forum you will notice certain interfaces are popular.

    One FW interface that comes to mind is the Mackie Onyx 800R. Motu has a few too that might be interesting. Dont forget to look at the Presonus that huseph mentioned.
  6. Is this the Presonous Hueseph was talking about?

  7. hummel

    hummel Guest

    There is also this version: http://www.zzounds.com/item--PRSFSPROJECT which is a bit cheaper. There are a lot of other similar interfaces you could get.

    Before jumping into a big expense, you might want to do some more research. One basic question is: how many tracks (e.g. mics) do you want to record simultaneously? Along the same lines, will you use 1 or 2 mics for the drum set or will you have a mic for each component of the set (meaning you will need 6-8 mics just for the drums). If you have a suitable room where the whole band can play together and you want to use only two mics for a sterero signal, you could get a smaller audio interface (e.g. Firebox) than if you need to record 8-12 tracks simultaneously. Similarly, if you decide to record the band one instrument at a time, you would need a less powerful interface.

    EDIT: In my first version of this response, I missed the 'Mac' aspect of the thread. Assuming that you will be using a Macbook or Macbook Pro, then MOTU becomes quite attractive as an audio interface option. You will also have to think about computer issues. How new is the laptop? How much RAM do you have (you'll likely want 1 or 2 GB). The Macbook hard drives spin at 5400 rpm which can be limiting. They also can be rather small in capacity. You'd need to think about adding an external 300-500GB Firewire drive which would run at 7200 rpm.

    You can get some good background info at this site
  8. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I would take this one over the project version. This Firestudio has 16(?) channels of lightpipe. Could come in handy if you decide to expand your inputs.

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