Pro Tools or Logic/Garage band for Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Mixing' started by jouglard, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. jouglard

    jouglard Guest

    I want to start up my own portable recording studio using my macbook pro and wanted to know which software I should use and what equipment to get. I plan on recording voice and instrumental tracks, mainly for songwriting.

    My question is, should I go with an MBox2 bundle with Pro Tools LE or an Apogee Duet with Logic or even Garage Band? I'm aware that the price of the MBox2 bundle is a lot cheaper than the Duet route but the money isn't the main issue.

    Which software would best fit me, Logic/Garage Band or Pro Tools?
    Also, which equipment route is best.

    I'd appreciate your guys' help!
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Home Page:
    Going with Logic allows you a full choice of interface hardware. By contrast, ProTools constrains you to DigiDesign or M-Audio hardware.

    If you got an Mbox2 bundle, you would have only two mic inputs. Can you run a serious recording studio with only two mic channels?

    Also, whilst not denigrating GarageBand for what it is, it's not the software on which to run a recording business, unlike Logic.
  3. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    MBox2 vs Apogee Duet - Apogee Duet is better sounding.

    ProTools LE vs Logic Pro - Logic Pro, no limitations of LE software and perhaps more flexible; great paring with the Mac.

    GarageBand - a great little program for recording up to 8 tracks at a time.

    The Duet offers only 2 inputs, but you can buy a different interface with more input later as you need it.
  4. bigmac

    bigmac Guest

    Pro Tools:
    -32 tracks (only 16 stereo), this becomes problematic with aux. bus.
    -no OMF/AAF support out of the box ($500USD plugin LE only)
    -no 5.1
    -Only supports digidesign or m-audio hardware (might not suit your needs)
    -Only 1 MIDI instrument out of the box (a very recent addition)

    -255 mono or stereo tracks, 64 buses
    -OMF, AAF and XML support out of the box
    -up to 7.1 mixing out of the box
    -use a variety of hardware
    -backwards compatible with garageband
    -comes with a heck of a lot of instruments (both MIDI and DI)
  5. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    Logic is by far the more complete package, and the best value.

  6. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    I use a macbook and a presonus firestudio with Logic Studio, quite satisfied with the results. If you plan to go this route get an external USB2.0 drive to write the sessions to, also get at least 1Gig of ram per core. Being I have a core 2 duo, I have 2G ram. This will allow your internal drive to be free to do the chores the system will ask it to do. Running a firewire interface will produce a slight delay. Set your buffer no lower than 128 and record at 96k, you will be pleased with the results.

    Best wishes,
  7. jouglard

    jouglard Guest

    THANKS! Some last minute help!!!

    Thank you all. I think I might go with the Logic route. Now that I've made my decision, what should I actually buy?

    So far, I think I should buy:
    1) Apogee Duet (Ensemble way too expensive and I don't need it right now)
    2) Logic Express (Or if I have enough money, Logic Studio)
    3) Microphone (USB??? or not?)
    4) Microphone Accessories (Pop filter, mic stand, shockmount)
    5) Headphones
    6) External Hard Drive???
    7) Multi-tap for USB???
    anything else?

    Keep in mind that I'm mainly using this for songwriting and vocal recording.
    What do you guys think?

    Lastly, thank you guys so much. I'm pretty much a newb at this but with a lot of passion for it. So its certain that I will learn and improve in all of this. Currently I am a vocalist/songwriter and instrumentalist but wishes to record my work.
  8. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Scotland, UK
    3) Microphone (USB??? or not?)

    Quality microphones do not connect via USB. The Apogee Duet is for plugging mics into.

    5) Headphones

    Agreed. Some open back ones will do nice. Keep em quiet and you
    - Keep your hearing,
    - Keep bleed issues away from your mic.

    6) External Hard Drive???

    This is like asking your dog if it wants to hump your leg. Yes, yes, yes.
    Get one at 7200rpm that connects via eSata or USB 2.0 or a 2nd internal one if possible. Do NOT write realtime audio streams to your system drive especially in laptops because things are likely to fail.
    (Also, external drives are awesome).

    "7) Multi-tap for USB??? "

  9. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    USB Mics are not good because of the latency. Since you are thinking about the Apogee Duet, you will have two great mic pres built into the unit.

    USB mics have a bunch of work to do, think about it. They have to take the mic signal and boost it to line level (Mic Pre) then they have to convert the line level to digital (buffer creates the latency) and send it to the computer via the usb cable. Then the USB mic robs power from the usb bus to feed the process. You end up spending a lot of money on everything but the microphone and it is not as good.

    Spend your money on a decent mic.
    If you were to ask me which mic I would buy on a budget I would say look for an Oktava MK319 if you can find some.
    Awesome mic for the money. I have two of them, I would suggest you find two because then you can record in stereo or two vocals/instruments at the same time.
  10. jouglard

    jouglard Guest

    Sorry bout "multi-tap" meant USB port. Would I need one?
  11. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Scotland, UK
    Still what.

    However if you're referring to a USB hub, you do not want one. Even if you need it, you do not want one for recording audio.
  12. jouglard

    jouglard Guest

    Oh ok. That answered my question. I didn't know what it was called but yeah, its the external device with the multiple usb inputs.

    So yeah, I guess I'll be going with Logic Express and the Apogee Duet. Gotta save up that $$$!

    Thanks again for all your help!!!
  13. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    Some may disagree, but this is what I would do. Pick up a Shure SM57 ($100), can't be beat as a good overall mic -- vocals, guitar cabs, most anything.

    Next I would look for a good condenser mic (for vocals and some other applications) like a A-T 4040, Rode NT1-A, Shure KMS27, Blue Bluebird, or Studio Projects C1 (all in about the $300 range). If that's too high, an A-T 2020 or AKG Perception 120 run about $100@.

    An external hard drive for the song files, FireWire or USB 2.0, 7200 RPM. Headphones for mixing that are any good (not suggested to do BTW), start at about $100. A pop filter is about $25. Good mic cables. A couple of mic stands.

    What you buy depends on what you are recording. You may need 2 small diameter condenser microphones or 2 SM57s.
  14. jouglard

    jouglard Guest

    I was actually looking into saving up for this:

    and for headphones:

    Would that be good enough for my use? What do you guys think?

    I'm coming down to the wire with this decision. Thanks again guys!
  15. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    Nuremberg, Germany
    Home Page:
    Do you have the new or the old macbook pro? If you have the old one (with seperate firewire 400 and 800 ports) you should get a firewire 800 harddrive, because it's faster than usb 2.0 (especially useful when you're working with many tracks and/or sample libraries) and you'll still have both usb-ports available for other hardware.
    I have a macbook pro with logic studio and two daisy-chained firewire800 drives (one for the audio and one for samples). Works really well even with 30+ tracks.

    You should use the internal usb-ports only for audio stuff. Because the macbook has only 2 usbs I bought an express-card usb-hub for all the non-audio hardware (like printer, backup drives, ilok (which luckily works on a hub), card reader...). This way I can use one usb for my line6 toneport (which doesn't work on a hub at all) and still have one internal usb-port left for anything else that needs it.

    by the way, the bundle looks good for a start.
  16. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    That first recording package looks good to me. You can upgrade to Logic Studio as your needs expand.

    I'm not familiar with those headphones, but if you've auditioned them against others and like them, go for it. I use Sennheiser HD 280 PRO and others like the Sony MDR-7506 'phones.
  17. jouglard

    jouglard Guest

    I have the older macbook pro. I got it when it went on sale. I'll look into the firewire 800 hard drive. Thanks!

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