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Need advice for a mac user just starting.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by gdh, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. gdh

    gdh Active Member

    I am just getting started in the home recording area. I have a G3 500 mz iMac with over 700 meg ram. I just bought a Vox Tonelab to go with my Gibson EB bass, 67 Hofner 500/1 and Fender Strat. (also have a midi). I am need of advise as to what I should get as far as software to purchase etc so I can start the home recording process.
  2. noit

    noit Guest

    I don't know what a midi is. I think you're phrasing that wrong.

    Cubase is a hellish nightmare. I curse the day it was born. I have a venomous hatred for it. But, it's the best thing available. So go buy it.

    Your also going to need a soundcard that can proccess input and output at the same time. I have one with multiple ins and outs, by Echo. Motu is another brand.

    If you need to do this cheap, there are cheap/free Mulitrack programs to use instead of cubase. Also, you could probably get a good solid card on ebay.

    Your best bet is to have someone who's done it before help you build your system. Otherwise your going to make a lot of mistakes and maybe waste money.
  3. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    SX is not going to work very well/at all on your machine.
    Minimum system requirements are 867 G4, dual cpu recommended.

    SX is the worst performing Mac DAW, with the most bugs.

    It choked my ancient G4/400, without even having a session loaded. It was not useable on that machine, moved my license to PC.

    Logic6, and DP4 run fine on my G4/400 and 12inch Powerbook.
    Basic sessions 32-48 tracks with moderate plugs. No problem.
  4. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Digital Performer and a Motu interface such as an 828 mkii should work well for you- you should be able to get 16 to 24 tracks of audio out of your set up, depending on how heavy you used the plug ins. The program and the interface will set you back about $1200+ The good thing about the 828 mkii is that it comes equipt with 2 preamps- a lotta of other interfaces don't come with preamps at all and you have to spring for those too. If you need to record more than 2 tracks at a time you're gonna have to get more preamps- the 828 will give you up to 20 inputs at a time 2 with built in preamps, 8 analog plugs, 8 via adat and 2 via spdif so its very expandable down the line-
  5. dudge

    dudge Active Member

    I second maintiger.

    The 828 mkII is the most expandable unit, with Audio Desk software included, if you don't need midi. If you need to do midi get Digital Performer. You don't even need a mixer to do your no latency monitoring, as Cuemix is included. It's a very full featured unit.
  6. akira_k

    akira_k Guest

    Cubase sx 2

    Steinberg just has released SX2 update, which fixes most dramatic bugs. I recommend buying faster machine and an UAD.

  7. gdh

    gdh Active Member

    thank-you so much for your advice, it is greatly appreciated. I will definately try to find an 828 to see how it all will work, and will likely have to upgrade to a G5.
  8. jayzen

    jayzen Guest


    I am running a G3 iMac 400mhz with 512 ram. I have an 828mkII, it is a great unit. After doing lots of research it really does seem to be the most expandable for the price.

    As for the performance with the iMac, recording tracks is no problem, (in 44.1khz mode, forget about 96khz with this iMac) but mixing them and working with plugins really wears the iMac down. I record stereo tracks a lot and use stereo effects, so it really limits it somewhat. I really think it is the iMac's architecture, not just the ram and processor. I have a Lacie Firewire drive which is 7200rpm also.

    But I have been able to get good results with about 10 tracks or less and using Aux tracks for effects instead of each channel. But my machine's specs are below yours...

    To really record and mix down projects well I would go for 800mhz or greater G4 or of course G5.

    But it is really nice that everything works out of the box, using Audio Desk and as the software and hardware are the same company, there are no compatability problems.


  9. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    It didn't help performance as far as being CPU-hungry.

    Mostly bug fixes, like I said LOTs-O-BUGS, about thirty or so this time.

    Check out the bugfix list for SX2 if you have the time.
    Link removed

    I also own Logic6 and DP4 and performance wise it's no contest.

  10. gdh

    gdh Active Member

    This is great info. thank-you all so much. I just got back from a Tony Capizzi's place near Buffalo who has Sir Paul's original Hofner twin. It is well documented to be the only other Hofner lefty made in 62, but Paul may play this bass for a show on this year's tour.
    This is an amazing site, I am starting to feel more confident now. Again I can't thank-you enough all for your time and advice.
  11. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    How about starting with some good education? Go to Barnes and Noble and get some book's on recording so you can learn about what these people are telling you...
  12. gdh

    gdh Active Member

    Already done that, as well as headed down to see my cousin who received the Order of Canada for Music last year. He has a reocording studio at home and works with many of the world's top jazz musicians. My father is a jazz musician as well so I will lay down some bass lines, email to Vancouver for my father to add piano, then back to Toronto/LA for my cousin to do the arranging. I just bought my father a PS-90 and will pick up a MOTU for him as well thanks to you all, my cousin has a professional setup and is away more than home.

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