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Music Production Gear suggestions for a new G5 owner?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by MoreBass, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. MoreBass

    MoreBass Guest

    Hello all –

    I’m a newbie here, so go easy! I’ve used the search function, but haven’t found opinions that are directly on target … so I’m hoping you will tolerate what is likely a frequently asked question.

    I’ll give you the short question first: What Mac-based setup (i.e. - hardware and software) would you recommend for audio editing, mastering, softsynth + sequencing, and production?

    If it’s helpful, here’s some background …

    I’ve been a bassist and cellist for years now, most recently freelancing with singer-songwriters. I’ve been working on a Yamaha AW4416 with Event PS6 monitors for the last few years, mostly recording demos and pre-production mixes to rough out ideas before going into the studio. I also have a Yamaha QY70, which I occasionally use for pads and sweeteners … FWIW, I’m a relatively quick study with computers (did tech support for a while in office gigs), and have a good deal of experience in analog recording environments.

    We’re about to get a new home computer (likely a G5, because my wife is convinced she wants a Mac and I’m convinced we should buy as much computer as we can afford). And simultaneously, I’m starting to get more seriously into “producing” singer songwriters.

    I’d like to begin working with softsynth and computer-based sequencers (i.e. Reason, etc), and I’d like to be able to use the computer for mastering and audio editing, which is a pain in the neck on the AW. I’d like to start at around $1000, to get off the ground.

    A couple friends have suggested an Mbox + Reason – but I also hear folks complaining about ProTools, and I’m still going to need a MIDI interface (right?) ... I’ve heard good things about Cubase, but I’ve also heard that Cubase has problems running with Reason on Dual-Processor Macs. And recently I recorded in a studio where the engineer was using Logic, which he loved … so, I dunno.

    Suggestions? (And if you know of specific threads or other resources that would enlighten me, please suggest!)

    Also, since I haven't placed the G5 order yet, is there anything I should make sure to include, to optimize for music?

  2. johnthemiracle

    johnthemiracle Active Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    vienna, austria
    Home Page:
    i would recommend logic. it comes with a whole plethora of software instruments including the very ressource-effective exs sampler (which is unparalleled in performance) and the very nice space designer reverb. workflow can be adjusted similar to cubase (all shortcuts are fully assignable as well), and since apple owns emagic now you can expect timely updates as new os versions arrive. i hear and read its hard to max out logic on a g5, although there are lots of instruments included to do just that - rhodes emulation, d6 emulation, es2 synthesizer, b3 emulation...great sounds btw...not to forget the vocoder! i came to logic from cubase and i like it a lot better now...
  3. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    i would recommend at least a gig of ram .... and an xtra hd

    it is not a good idea to use the same drive for system and audio

    the mbox is a really nice device and can be used with all the programs you mentioned...... and it comes with protools

    regarding wich program to use it's almost a matter of religion for someone...... having worked with all 3 of them i would say that:

    logic has the advantage of being an apple program and will always be the most up-to-date with processor usage etc. and has great softsynths......but..... this is the least logical piece of software i have ever used and althoughlogic users love and defend their software i find it working against my creativity again and again!!

    cubase sx is a great program too.... alot easier to use than logic and great automation..... not as many great softsynths.... but you can almost feel the fact that steinberg is now primarily a windoze company

    last but not least.... protools...... by far the easiest piece of software on earth...... use it all day every day..... at work and at home.... when it comes to recording and editing of audio it is second to none.... the midi editing has a bad reputation but is really easy to use .....once you get to know the way you handle audio you know how to handle midi.....cause it's exactly the same..... protools comes with almost no plug's worth mentioning .... so a lot of peolpe use it with reason..... a free limited version is bundled with the mbox...

    as far as midi goes you will only need a midi interface if you're going to use external midi devices..... alot of masterkeyboards today has usb for direct connection to the g5

    the g5 is an awesome computer...... you and your wife will love it.... it's cool and quiet..... and the good thing is you can actually go on the internet without the paranoia of having viruses..... cause it's a mac!!
    if your used to pc just put in an ms-office bundle and you can read and write all the common pc-attachments
  4. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Distinguished Member

    Mar 19, 2003
    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    G5 is a great choice. It will come loaded with Garage Band.

    So all you need to get started is a USB keyboard controller. You'll be aking Music in less than an hour.

    Take a look at the MOTU 828mkII audio interface. http://www.motu.com

    figure out how much you want to spend, then we can have a better idea about what fits into that range.

  5. maintiger

    maintiger Distinguished Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Home Page:
    i second the motu 828 mkii as an interface- its rock solid and you can get up to 18 trks audio-
    my program of choice is Digital Performer but logic or protools would be fine too. the main thing is to get started!
  6. carlisle

    carlisle Guest

    For a midi interface, if you can find a used MOTU MTP AV--the USB version--thats a nice piece.

    Software? The choices I know of for Mac are:

    1. Pro Tools
    2. CubaseSX/ Nuendo
    3. Logic
    4. Digital Performer

    I've used DP for years, and its all I've used, so I can't comment on the others. I'd suggest reading forums that are specific for each to get a feel for user satisfaction. They all have their plusses and minuses.

    I have been quite happy with DP and its helped to make me a lot of money over the years, but if you are planning to use softsynths a lot, or a TC or UAD card, I must inform you that DP does not have delay compensation to keep everything in sync. Thats a problem with softsynths, unless you are running a very low buffer setting--which is processor intensive. You get a "lag" betwen your hardware midi and the softsynths. You get a lag if you use a UAD plug in and you can't automatically adjust your MIDI tracks to sync.

    I just got a UAD card and I have to add aux buses and calculate delays and adjust them to make things work. It does work, its just a lot of extra thought.

    DP is really strong in the MIDI/sequencing department and very good recording audio. It has a ton of creative and helpful features. Its just dealing with the latency that irks me. IMO, its the next thing they should be implementing in their software. If they don't address it, people are goijng to start jumping ship for Cubase and Logic, which would really be a shame because the program is excellent overall.

    As for the others, I can't review them objectively because I haven't used them. If I were to switch (and I might), I would probably choose Logic. Good luck with your purchases!
  7. trock

    trock Active Member

    Aug 20, 2004

    I am a newbie G5 guy also, came from the PC world so MAC was a huge new world for me. I love my G5 though!

    I run cubase Sx 2 and think it is really nice, however to second what someone else said, you can almost feel it leaning to windows now. Cubase has had issues with OS X and getting help and updates from them is like pulling teeth ESPECIALLY if you are on a MAC

    If you really want to learn about cubase inside and out then go to this forum


    thsi si run by Steinberg and you can find out EVERYTHING you ever would want to know
  8. tundrkys

    tundrkys Guest

    Like mentioned previously, Your new G5 will come with Garage band, which will help get you started. Get a little USB midi keyboard, and start playing around. Find out if the computer thing is for you. Find out what you like about Garage Band, and what you don't, then come back with those specifics.
    Also go spend time with the guy who is using logic, I think Garage Band and Logic are closely related. See if he'll let you get your feet wet.
    Off the top of my head, the M-Box and one of the Cubase Le packages is probably the only way you'll get started under 1000.
    Ever go to AW4416.com they offer (for free) a utility (AWExtract) that allows you to extract all your audio data from a Back up CD made on the AW4416. But it only works on PC. (don't throw your old PC out yet).
    mY set up right now, consist of the AW4416, with a MY8AT card(8channels of ADAT lightpipe). Then I have an RME Soundcard in my PC (running Sonar). I set the 8 outputs of the MY8AT to the direct outs of inputs one through 8 of the AW4416 analog ins. That way, I have quality A/D conversion at the AW4416, and can track 8 channels at a time. I also get to use the faders, and a bunch of the buttons to control Sonar.

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