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PreSonus AudioBox and IPad Advice

Hello,

I'm an extreme novice when it comes to recording. I purchased a PreSonus AudioBox and have been using my Ipad mini to do some simple recording of myself and the acoustic guitar. Last week I did a recording and it sounded not bad. Last night I tried and the vocals were way overpowering. I had it on the same levels so not sure why this came out different.

I guess my question is based on everyone's experience what levels for the guitar and vocal are a good balance to use with using an interface and garageband via and ipad mini?

Thank you so much for the help!

Comments

dvdhawk Mon, 09/05/2016 - 15:34

You can connect the iOne directly to your PC with a USB cable if you like, OR you can record on the iPad with the Capture software and transfer the files to the PC later. In either case, StudioOne will not run on the iPad. It's much too processor-intensive to run on a tablet. StudioOne will be in your PC, and what you use to edit and balance the levels between your guitar and vocals after you've recorded them.

FrankieD Mon, 09/05/2016 - 15:40

dvdhawk, post: 441038, member: 36047 wrote: You can connect the iOne directly to your PC with a USB cable if you like, OR you can record on the iPad with the Capture software and transfer the files to the PC later. In either case, StudioOne will not run on the iPad. It's much too processor-intensive to run on a tablet. StudioOne will be in your PC, and what you use to edit and balance the levels between your guitar and vocals after you've recorded them.

Makes sense thank you. Have you found that studio one is better than GarageBand with the PreSonus in your experience?

dvdhawk Mon, 09/05/2016 - 19:57

I'm afraid I can't compare the two, I've never used GarageBand. After I stopped recording to actual tape, I started out using ProTools (which was the defacto pro-audio industry standard) for a very long time - long before there was a GarageBand or StudioOne. I eventually switched to StudioOne, when I got my first StudioLive console and have found StudioOne to be every bit as powerful as ProTools - and in many ways much more streamlined. Compared to the stock plug-ins that came with my old PT LE software, the stock StudioOne plug-ins are infinitely more useful. Back then using PT, you were almost forced to spend another small fortune for a Waves bundle to get usable processing. I've been quite happy with the stock plug-ins with StudioOne, and have only added couple 3rd party things because I wanted to, not because I HAD to. I still have that ProTools interface and computer system, and they'll probably continue collecting dust unless/until I need to reopen one of those old sessions for some reason. There are one or two relatively insignificant features of PT, I wish I had on S1, but nothing I can't live without.

There are a bunch of good DAW programs, and generally speaking they function more or less same, but they all have their strengths, weaknesses, and little quirks to their workflow and Graphical User Interface. Everybody here has one (or two) they love for a variety of reasons, even if it's just familiarity - or the fact they came by it free, cheap, or bundled with hardware.

If you're into loops and pre-fab groove music, then the GarageBand, Fruity Loops, or Acid type apps might be more to your liking. But since this is a recording forum, you'll find the regulars who haunt the place and who are likely to offer advice, are into hardware/software that we can use to create and capture more organic music (not saying that can't use loops / samples / drum programming). As long as there are human beings and microphones involved in there somewhere we're going to be interested. So our preferences of DAW would clearly lean away from anything that relied on loop libraries, presets, and that sort of thing.

I have done some sessions where we used my PreSonus console with a friend's laptop and Logic Pro software as the DAW and it all behaved perfectly together. But, if I wanted to take the resulting mix from his Logic sessions and bring them into StudioOne, (or ProTools, or any other DAW) it would be impossible. The raw WAV files can be imported relatively easily, but not the Logic file containing the mix session. The best we could do is export the 'stems' and I'd have to create my own mix/plug-in settings from scratch - and couldn't alter or undo anything he rendered into the stems. Either way, it would be an ordeal with some serious limitations. In your case though, the session you start with Capture will open right up in StudioOne for the next step of mixing and editing. Capture isn't intended for mixing or editing, it's meant to act as a recording device. When I record a live show, that's exactly what I do. I multi-track the show using the Capture software in my laptop, which is connected via Firewire to my PreSonus StudioLive system, just making sure I'm getting good levels without clipping. Then I would open that Capture session in StudioOne when I get home and start mixing and editing. It doesn't take long for it to import the files into StudioOne, but it will be dependent on the length of the session and number of tracks.

If you already own GarageBand and are comfortable with it, great. If you're not deeply entrenched into GB, I would encourage you to at least try StudioOne, because it's already bought and paid for in your interface purchase. I think it's safe to say it's more powerful and more capable than GB, but there is probably going to be a corresponding difference in the 'learning curve'. If you find it's just too complicated for you, you're not out anything but a little time. You can invest your time into learning GB, or Reaper, or whatever. If you decide to invest more money and go buy something else, watch some YouTube introductory videos for each one first and see if one makes more sense to you than another. Like anything else in life, (your guitar playing, your singing, your mastery of anything) it will take some level of commitment if you want to get good at it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I would point out that although I do sell PreSonus gear (among many other brands) as an install contractor. I focus on live sound installations for churches and schools, not outfitting peoples' home recording set-ups, so I'm not here to shill one DAW program over another - or sell anyone anything. I'm just reporting my personal experience with StudioOne.

Sean G Tue, 09/06/2016 - 03:30

To add to what Hawk was saying, there really is no comparison between the two...Garageband is very limited in what you can do, whereas Studio One Artist is a full functioning version of Studio One with the limitation of only being able to use their native plug-ins (no third party plug-ins) and you don't have a few other more advanced features found in Studio One professional.

The native plug-ins will be more than enough for you to be able to produce what you want. Another bonus is that if down the track you do want to upgrade, Presonus actually offer discounts every now and then to S1 Artist users who do want to upgrade to Studio One Professional...with free version upgrades continually.

bouldersound, post: 441020, member: 38959 wrote: From what I've read GB is a toy, a Fisher-Price imitation of a real DAW

Garage Band is good if you want to get an idea of how a DAW works to a degree, but when it comes to functionality and what it is capable of compared to a real DAW platform, then as Boulder stated, its like a Fisher Price toy in comparison.

Think of it like this...comparing Garage Band to a true Digital Audio Workstation is like comparing a bottle rocket to the Space Program.

Studio One is a way better option than Garage Band...as a matter of fact, any DAW you use will be a better option than Garage Band. ;)

IMHO.

FrankieD Tue, 09/06/2016 - 05:30

dvdhawk, post: 441045, member: 36047 wrote: I'm afraid I can't compare the two, I've never used GarageBand. After I stopped recording to actual tape, I started out using ProTools (which was the defacto pro-audio industry standard) for a very long time - long before there was a GarageBand or StudioOne. I eventually switched to StudioOne, when I got my first StudioLive console and have found StudioOne to be every bit as powerful as ProTools - and in many ways much more streamlined. Compared to the stock plug-ins that came with my old PT LE software, the stock StudioOne plug-ins are infinitely more useful. Back then using PT, you were almost forced to spend another small fortune for a Waves bundle to get usable processing. I've been quite happy with the stock plug-ins with StudioOne, and have only added couple 3rd party things because I wanted to, not because I HAD to. I still have that ProTools interface and computer system, and they'll probably continue collecting dust unless/until I need to reopen one of those old sessions for some reason. There are one or two relatively insignificant features of PT, I wish I had on S1, but nothing I can't live without.

There are a bunch of good DAW programs, and generally speaking they function more or less same, but they all have their strengths, weaknesses, and little quirks to their workflow and Graphical User Interface. Everybody here has one (or two) they love for a variety of reasons, even if it's just familiarity - or the fact they came by it free, cheap, or bundled with hardware.

If you're into loops and pre-fab groove music, then the GarageBand, Fruity Loops, or Acid type apps might be more to your liking. But since this is a recording forum, you'll find the regulars who haunt the place and who are likely to offer advice, are into hardware/software that we can use to create and capture more organic music (not saying that can't use loops / samples / drum programming). As long as there are human beings and microphones involved in there somewhere we're going to be interested. So our preferences of DAW would clearly lean away from anything that relied on loop libraries, presets, and that sort of thing.

I have done some sessions where we used my PreSonus console with a friend's laptop and Logic Pro software as the DAW and it all behaved perfectly together. But, if I wanted to take the resulting mix from his Logic sessions and bring them into StudioOne, (or ProTools, or any other DAW) it would be impossible. The raw WAV files can be imported relatively easily, but not the Logic file containing the mix session. The best we could do is export the 'stems' and I'd have to create my own mix/plug-in settings from scratch - and couldn't alter or undo anything he rendered into the stems. Either way, it would be an ordeal with some serious limitations. In your case though, the session you start with Capture will open right up in StudioOne for the next step of mixing and editing. Capture isn't intended for mixing or editing, it's meant to act as a recording device. When I record a live show, that's exactly what I do. I multi-track the show using the Capture software in my laptop, which is connected via Firewire to my PreSonus StudioLive system, just making sure I'm getting good levels without clipping. Then I would open that Capture session in StudioOne when I get home and start mixing and editing. It doesn't take long for it to import the files into StudioOne, but it will be dependent on the length of the session and number of tracks.

If you already own GarageBand and are comfortable with it, great. If you're not deeply entrenched into GB, I would encourage you to at least try StudioOne, because it's already bought and paid for in your interface purchase. I think it's safe to say it's more powerful and more capable than GB, but there is probably going to be a corresponding difference in the 'learning curve'. If you find it's just too complicated for you, you're not out anything but a little time. You can invest your time into learning GB, or Reaper, or whatever. If you decide to invest more money and go buy something else, watch some YouTube introductory videos for each one first and see if one makes more sense to you than another. Like anything else in life, (your guitar playing, your singing, your mastery of anything) it will take some level of commitment if you want to get good at it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I would point out that although I do sell PreSonus gear (among many other brands) as an install contractor. I focus on live sound installations for churches and schools, not outfitting peoples' home recording set-ups, so I'm not here to shill one DAW program over another - or sell anyone anything. I'm just reporting my personal experience with StudioOne.

Great post. In fact great input by everyone so I cannot thank you enough. Since it's just myself and an acoustic guitar, what I'm really looking for something that would enhance those sounds and have it sound clear. Yes GB is easy to use but I do want a challenge also. I think I will start playing with the capture one software on the ipad and then trying studio one on the PC to refine the track. What's everyone's thoughts on that?

Sean G Tue, 09/06/2016 - 06:01

Which ever way you decide to go and how far you want to progress is entirely up to you. Only you can make that decision.;)

My advice is something that you will see echoed on threads here on RO quite a lot....that is when you start off on a DAW platform, which ever one that may be, whether it be Studio One, Reaper, Audacity, Fruity Loops, Cubase, Samplitude, Pro Tools or whatever you choose, stick with it and learn as much as you can about it.

There is a host of info here on RO with past threads and much of the information is generic from one platform to the next, regardless of the DAW.

There are many members here on RO who use different DAW platforms and they are also willing to help out with any questions you may have.

There are also many informative videos that are brand specific to each DAW program on Youtube as well, and these can help guide you through when starting out and can also cover specific functions relevant to each individual DAW program. Much of the general information you find on these videos can be translated from one DAW to the next, so you are not limited to info just on your specific DAW. But just about every DAW will have videos posted by users covering everything from starting out to the more advanced features and functions for each DAW.

Like anything you do, the more you do it, the easier it becomes and the more familiar you become at using or doing it...but you have to put that time in with it, invest your time in the knowledge and teach yourself the how-to's and before you know it, using your DAW will become second nature. Remember, every DAW program has a help feature too if you get stuck in the moment.

Stick with one DAW and learn it inside and out, use it to its full potential and make some great music along the way...then one day down the track if you do find you are wanting for something a little more than what you have you will be able to move up to something that may have a little more than what you are using.

But my advice FWIW...find something you are comfortable with, stick with it, learn it inside and out and you will get the most out of it. Grow into it until you outgrow it.

IMHO.

kmetal Tue, 09/06/2016 - 06:30

FrankieD, post: 441031, member: 49970 wrote: Is reaper for the iPad?

No just PC

FrankieD, post: 441052, member: 49970 wrote: Great post. In fact great input by everyone so I cannot thank you enough. Since it's just myself and an acoustic guitar, what I'm really looking for something that would enhance those sounds and have it sound clear. Yes GB is easy to use but I do want a challenge also. I think I will start playing with the capture one software on the ipad and then trying studio one on the PC to refine the track. What's everyone's thoughts on that?

You should be fine. The advantage over using garage band is studio one and capture are designed to work seamlessly together so you should be able to transfer tracks from your iPad to your PC very simply as hawk described.

onve you have a feel for studio one you'll understand DAWS in general. And from there you can keep things as is, or more upgrade or switch programs with more knowledge of exactly what you'd like.

For the type of recording you describe you should have plenty to work with.

FrankieD Tue, 09/06/2016 - 06:32

Sean G, post: 441054, member: 49362 wrote: Which ever way you decide to go and how far you want to progress is entirely up to you. Only you can make that decision.;)

My advice is something that you will see echoed on threads here on RO quite a lot....that is when you start off on a DAW platform, which ever one that may be, whether it be Studio One, Reaper, Audacity, Fruity Loops, Cubase, Samplitude, Pro Tools or whatever you choose, stick with it and learn as much as you can about it.

There is a host of info here on RO with past threads and much of the information is generic from one platform to the next, regardless of the DAW.

There are many members here on RO who use different DAW platforms and they are also willing to help out with any questions you may have.

There are also many informative videos that are brand specific to each DAW program on Youtube as well, and these can help guide you through when starting out and can also cover specific functions relevant to each individual DAW program. Much of the general information you find on these videos can be translated from one DAW to the next, so you are not limited to info just on your specific DAW. But just about every DAW will have videos posted by users covering everything from starting out to the more advanced features and functions for each DAW.

Like anything you do, the more you do it, the easier it becomes and the more familiar you become at using or doing it...but you have to put that time in with it, invest your time in the knowledge and teach yourself the how-to's and before you know it, using your DAW will become second nature. Remember, every DAW program has a help feature too if you get stuck in the moment.

Stick with one DAW and learn it inside and out, use it to its full potential and make some great music along the way...then one day down the track if you do find you are wanting for something a little more than what you have you will be able to move up to something that may have a little more than what you are using.

But my advice FWIW...find something you are comfortable with, stick with it, learn it inside and out and you will get the most out of it. Grow into it until you outgrow it.

IMHO.

Great advice and I thank you so much for it :)

DonnyThompson Wed, 09/07/2016 - 01:31

FrankieD, post: 441052, member: 49970 wrote: Since it's just myself and an acoustic guitar, what I'm really looking for something that would enhance those sounds and have it sound clear.

In this scenario, your guitar, mic(s), preamp, converter and the room you are tracking in are going to matter more than your DAW platform.

That's not to say that you shouldn't have a good recording platform, because it is important....and you should get to a point where you know it very well; but for acoustic work, those things mentioned above are more important.

FrankieD Wed, 09/14/2016 - 08:31

I did a take today with CaptureDuo and then the same song with Garageband. The Capture Duo was not only easy but it did sound better. I take I cannot send the files to myself like I do in garageband, it has to be connected to the PC to go into the software correct?

Also, I wanted to add another guitar track on there. I know I can do it with garageband but I don't think I'll be able to do it with Capture Duo is that correct? If so, any solutions?

Thank you.

dvdhawk Wed, 09/14/2016 - 09:24

It can send the files via wifi, using the "Share" icon on the iPad, as long as the PC is on the same network. Share the file(s) to StudioOne. Working in StudioOne will let you add as many guitar (or anything else) tracks as your computer can handle.

Tutorials, did you watch them? This one would be of interest to you today:

DonnyThompson Fri, 09/16/2016 - 23:13

It really all comes down to what you want to do... but you have to think ahead, too.

GB might serve your purposes fine right now; but at some point, as the recording "bug" bites you, you'll probably start wanting to take things further, and do things that it's not capable of, and you'll want to move up to an actual DAW that is suited for more professional applications. And, as DAW technology grows - as it always seems to - offering more features and capabilities, you may find that GB hits a point where it starts holding you back. I think it's probably fine for what you are doing now, but who knows what you'll be into next year?

As mentioned above, there are many platforms that will offer pro results ( as long as you know what you are doing with them); Pro Tools, Sonar, S1, Samplitude, Logic, Harrison MixBus, Reason, Audacity... are all DAW platforms that are suited more to pro production than GB is. There are some that are more expensive, with features aimed at those who are professionals and who do this for a living, ( Pro Tools, Samplitude, Logic,) and some are more basic and aimed at those who simply want to record their own stuff to get their ideas down ( Reason, Audacity).
Based on what you've told us, I don't believe you should get into a complex DAW right now ( PT, Samp); I'd stick with something more streamlined, like Reason or S1.

Understanding DAW basics is an important ( and necessary) part to recording these days; certainly if you are recording others, but even for recording your own stuff as well, no matter how simple or complex.

If you find a solid DAW platform that you like, and you get to know it inside and out, then your recordings ( and mixes ) are gonna improve, as long as you understand the DAW and the various audio processors most commonly used.
No DAW in and of itself, regardless of its pro level, will "automatically" make you sound better. Even the best-equipped DAW platform available has no "Make Me Not Suck" function. ;)
You need to know how the program works, along with the various audio processors most commonly used. You need to know how to place mics, how to set proper gain structure, how to best capture performances; using the right mics for the right applications, understanding mic placement, gain structure, and even some basics of room acoustics. And... you need to play well. ;)

There are loads of instructional vids for all different kinds of DAW platforms on YouTube, as well as plenty of good vids on mics and mic technique, gain structure, preamps, and interfaces.
Learn all you can... or ... if you'd rather just be a musician - and there's not a thing wrong with that - don't rule out finding a good studio with a knowledgeable engineer to handle the tech side for you while you stick to the music. ;)

kmetal Sat, 09/17/2016 - 17:12

DonnyThompson, post: 441342, member: 46114 wrote: I don't believe you should get into a complex DAW right now ( PT, Samp); I'd stick with something more streamlined, like Reason or S1.

I don't disagree with you D. Particularly because there's a significant investment in money in some of the larger DaW's.

But I've got to ask, do you really find protools that complex? When it came around in the early 2000's (to mainstream) it was touted as 'easy to use'. Particularly becuase of the 'smart tool' and use of only two screens (mix/edit).

I personally don't find it to be any more difficult than reaper or cubase, or any of the others. I'm not saying that as an experienced person just in general.

To be honest I think they're all about the same when it comes to basics like recording and editing and simple mixing. I found GB no easier than any of the other either.

What I think is complex is more the feature set when you get into things like beat detective, pitch correction, or spectral editing, things of that nature.

I'm just curious what you think may be more intimidating to a beginner about something more full fledged.

For the record (no pun intended lol) I found digital performer to be very difficult / steep leanrnomg curve. It had some things I grew to like but overall I very much disliked it. I wouldn't reccomend it to anyone. At that point I had been engineering for 12 years (for fun) and had learned 3 different DaW's enough to do complete projects on. DP is not user friendly or intuitive even to expeiemced engineers imho. That said I think it's the only one in that catagory.

I found ableton a little strange but usable, but I think that's just due to their intentional approach to be different, and because I'm mainly a live tracking type engineer.

Fwiw I've used pretty much all the DaW's From anywhere to a few hours to years. Except sonar.

DonnyThompson Sun, 09/18/2016 - 04:11

kmetal, post: 441357, member: 37533 wrote: But I've got to ask, do you really find protools that complex?

Perhaps "complex" was the wrong description... maybe I should have used the term "bloated" instead; in that the novice user would have too many commands and options available. My own experience with more recent versions of Avid has left me with the impression that it's too feature rich for the novice user, that it has odd nomenclature, and that the editing is clunky... but, that's just me.

And, cost does factor into the scenario. Because I've heard from clients and peers that PT isn't really all that special anymore, in that they don't exclusively own the DAW market like they used to, and that there are DAW platforms out there now that are easier to use and provide the same quality.... so if I could get a copy of Reaper or Audacity for $60 bucks or so - for full blown versions - why would I spend up to three times that much on a DAW that's no better? Especially if I was a novice user?

I understand fully that Avid has become an industry "standard", and that thousands of hits have been recorded and mixed on the platform, but I don't believe it's because PT is really any better than other DAW's, it's just that they've been around so long now; since the very beginnings of computer audio production; and they have loyal users who have invested a lot of money into their PT rigs over the years, and, who know the platform inside and out. If I'd done the same thing, I wouldn't be switching, either.

But ...Avid ain't the only hot gunslinger in town anymore. ;)

kmetal Mon, 09/19/2016 - 10:58

Agree. I think it became standard when there were at less competitors and now prior investments / and the fact that people move files around a lot on the high level has kept it in tact.

I find protools not the best sounding and least stable. Having not used it since v7 I'm out of the loop. Also a financial burden::

I was gonna go PTHD for its video cability and 7.1, but I've decided to snag the regular one on eBay for $300 (academic version) so I can organize my old files and have it for incoming of sessions

I've decided t bite the 3k sequioa bullet instead of PTHD for 1200$:

Sequioa does much more that pt can't, has killer coding, and Gives me 3 licnences, instead of one.

If low latentcy tracking with effects is main priority PTHD and the hardware can't be beat yet. .7ms round trip. Other than that, as a daw I think magix has an edge sonically and feature wise and cost wise...

kmetal Mon, 09/19/2016 - 20:22

bouldersound, post: 441394, member: 38959 wrote: UAD claims sub 2ms latency for their Apollo 16 while using its effects. I don't think it matters what DAW you use it with.

Is that for the thunderbolt? Thunderbolt is interesting becuase from my understanding it goes directly into the pci bus on the motherboard.

Focusrite (Scarlett 2nd gen)is claiming 2.7ms at 96k in Logic Pro, on a Mac Pro. That's on a USB 2 connection.

On their higher model products (I forget off hand if it's the clarett and or the red series), there using double comverters to essentially split the sampling between to sets of comverters and then combing them at the analog stage. This gives ultra low latency. If I remember correctly it's like 1.5 ms or so.

Any of these are fast. I found up to 256 buffer size on my old FW interface to be acceptable for guitar amp sims and anything else. 128 was preferable and I had no issue at all. I think that lands somewhere around 12ms.

That said even 2ms is 3x slower than PTHDX I've never used used a PTHD system although there is an old one at the studio now. I would imagine having .7ms latency is similar to using a digital console, and a lot of fun. If I was super rich I'd consider it.

I wonder what the uad dsp cards have as ft as latency spec is. I couldn't find it on the website.

bouldersound Mon, 09/19/2016 - 23:07

kmetal, post: 441408, member: 37533 wrote: Is that for the thunderbolt? Thunderbolt is interesting becuase from my understanding it goes directly into the pci bus on the motherboard.

I suppose so, but it's not the connection to the computer that matters as far as I can tell because the latency is just through the interface without going to the computer at all. Having effects integrated with the interface allows them to be used without a pass through the computer as well.

FrankieD Tue, 11/08/2016 - 11:22

Hello again. So I've been delving into studio one 3. I like it way better than garage band. However, I'm still such a novice that I'm unsure what I'm doing. Even after watching the tutorials. So If I imported a wave track or something from capture duo. Am I mixing and then attempting to master to get a fully optimized sound? When does the EQ aspect come in? Sorry for the newbie questions. Just trying to figure this out.

Thank you.

x

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