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Author Topic: GarageBand vs Logic etc  (Read 5148 times)
hadden
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« on: August 29, 2012, 01:31:28 PM »

For recording acoustic, what do the more pro oriented recording programs have that GarageBand lacks. Is the sound shaping editing better? To my mind you shouldn't need much sophistication to record good stereo tracks of an acoustic. I've been mulling over getting a set up for a while and I'm thinking Duet 2/Mac.

What specifically is superior in Logic?
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L-03 Italian Spruce
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2012, 03:02:09 PM »

I'd stick with Garageband based on what it seems you're trying to do.  It is by far the easiest recording SW to use and will get most people as far as they'd ever need to go.  I've used just about everything: Sonar, Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools, Live, Reaper, Ardour, Reason, Acid, etc...

Logic and Ableton Live are my next recommendations if you need 'more'.  Logic is probably more suited to what you want and is very similar to GB as far as the workflow.  Pro Tools is the biggest headache DAW I've ever had the misfortune of using.  It is not very user-friendly and not geared towards a musician at all.  I will never recommend PT to anyone after my experiences with it and considering all of the other DAWs out there that I've been able to work with faster and easier.

The bigger DAWs (in comparison to GB) give you more features... that's really it.  Things like MIDI routing/out, better stretching/quantization tools, other editing tweaks, more automation control, etc... Some also come with better built-in effects, although, with the exception of those in Live, are not really anything to write home about.  Garageband WILL see AU plugins so you can try finding or purchasing better EQs, compressors, reverbs, etc...  I also think GB cannot record above 44.1kHz, 16b (although now there is an advanced option for 24b depth).  I think most people, including myself, cannot tell a difference with anything above.

RE: the interface and computer:  GO MAC!  My god it's so much nicer and, in my experience with many interfaces and the above SWs, far more stable.  I've never looked back and am super happy.  The interface is kinda important so if this is something you want to do for awhile, get a nice one.  The Apogee stuff is great, some of the Focusrite stuff, and def RME if you have the extra $.  RME, in particular, allows the lowest latencies of any FW/USB interface out there and also the most stable.  I have a Babyface I may be willing to sell if you're interested (I need to upgrade to more IO as I'm recording full bands now).
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hadden
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2012, 04:03:16 PM »

I'd stick with Garageband based on what it seems you're trying to do.  It is by far the easiest recording SW to use and will get most people as far as they'd ever need to go.  I've used just about everything: Sonar, Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools, Live, Reaper, Ardour, Reason, Acid, etc...

Logic and Ableton Live are my next recommendations if you need 'more'.  Logic is probably more suited to what you want and is very similar to GB as far as the workflow.  Pro Tools is the biggest headache DAW I've ever had the misfortune of using.  It is not very user-friendly and not geared towards a musician at all.  I will never recommend PT to anyone after my experiences with it and considering all of the other DAWs out there that I've been able to work with faster and easier.

The bigger DAWs (in comparison to GB) give you more features... that's really it.  Things like MIDI routing/out, better stretching/quantization tools, other editing tweaks, more automation control, etc... Some also come with better built-in effects, although, with the exception of those in Live, are not really anything to write home about.  Garageband WILL see AU plugins so you can try finding or purchasing better EQs, compressors, reverbs, etc...  I also think GB cannot record above 44.1kHz, 16b (although now there is an advanced option for 24b depth).  I think most people, including myself, cannot tell a difference with anything above.

RE: the interface and computer:  GO MAC!  My god it's so much nicer and, in my experience with many interfaces and the above SWs, far more stable.  I've never looked back and am super happy.  The interface is kinda important so if this is something you want to do for awhile, get a nice one.  The Apogee stuff is great, some of the Focusrite stuff, and def RME if you have the extra $.  RME, in particular, allows the lowest latencies of any FW/USB interface out there and also the most stable.  I have a Babyface I may be willing to sell if you're interested (I need to upgrade to more IO as I'm recording full bands now).
Very helpful. I am new to this and frankly not a technical sort -- is it possible to get a "finished" sounding track in terms of  comparison to logic? I find widows computers non-intuitive and have wanted to throw mine off the balcony a couple times
in other applications, so Mac now I think.
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L-03 Italian Spruce
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 10:14:36 PM »

It's definitely possible!  Some of the more feature rich plugins require lots of tinkering and practise to figure out.  I'd wrap my head around the GB FX first then figure out if there's something 'missing.'  For guitar, the biggest one that'd make the most noticeable difference would be different reverb plugs... so many different types.  The GB one may be what you're looking for idk.  Experiment!  I'd first start of with one or two decent microphones.  Condensers will give you nice full range and sensitivity you'd need.  Ribbons are good too but by themselves might be too 'warm' (they are essentially LPFs).  They are also pricey and most require an equally expensive preamp.  Just make sure you're interface has decent preamps (transparency and gain) and ability to phantom power.  If you have a good room to record in with natural reverb, you can play some overheads and rely on that for verb.  A good room is sometimes hard to find though.

Phil
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Denis
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2012, 10:56:12 PM »

I've been using GB for about 2 years now, recording acoustic guitar pretty much exclusively and I'm always learning something new.  It's fun and a great tool.  With a bunch of  effects, mastering presets you can fool around with...so much to work with.  Like Phil said, a good interface, some decent condenser mics and GB delivers some great sound. 

When I was a teenager, people were recording on little cassette 4-track machines.  Hisssssssssss.......
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hadden
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2012, 12:11:37 AM »

I've been using GB for about 2 years now, recording acoustic guitar pretty much exclusively and I'm always learning something new.  It's fun and a great tool.  With a bunch of  effects, mastering presets you can fool around with...so much to work with.  Like Phil said, a good interface, some decent condenser mics and GB delivers some great sound.  

When I was a teenager, people were recording on little cassette 4-track machines.  Hisssssssssss.......
I know Phil mentioned other plugins you can get, but have you found the stock GB reverb to be good Denis?
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L-03 Italian Spruce
Denis
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2012, 12:38:53 PM »

I know Phil mentioned other plugins you can get, but have you found the stock GB reverb to be good Denis?

I'm not exactly a seasoned expert on this.  I think they sound good and clean.  They're easy to edit and play around with.  What's not to like?  A friend of mine uses Ableton and some friends use Pro Tools or Logic...At the end of the day, you need to spend time learning how to use the software.  Once you've figured out how to set everything up the way you like it, mixing and playing with your sound is a blast.  You can always get what's considered better but working more with what you've got can be very rewarding.  It's like playing the guitar, you can only play one at a time.  And no matter how good you get at it, you'll never know it all.  I spend more time trying to get a good take than I do on my sound. 
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2012, 05:32:42 PM »

Denis is on point for sure.  And the whole 'getting a good take' thing is the absolute most important part.  It has to be great from the gate.  You can fix little issues here and there but some of that takes forever and sometimes can't be resolved.  I hate having to fix bad takes... especially my own :D  Usually I end up just going back and rerecording it.

On the reverbs, I don't have too much experience with the GB reverb TBH.  I've used it here and there and didn't find any issues.  For acoustic guitar and some other instruments I use a super old Lexicon LXP-1 reverb unit.  Awesome for vocals and acoustic instruments.  You can score them cheap on ebay since most people have no clue how to program them.  For electric I use a WET which would probably also sound great on acoustic (haven't tried it yet - *add to todo list*).  You can take the out of your interface and 'play' the recorded raw track through any hardware stuff you may want to try... it will come in as a wet bounce (just make sure the phase is correct - just shift the tracks around till they are perfectly aligned/inphase).  All kinds of stuff to try out!  GB is a fine tool.  Trust me, I'd much rather be using GB (or Logic) than dealing with this PT nonsense.  GB or Logic never gave me, as a musician, a creativity-hindering experience when trying to record new ideas or a song.  As a musician first, we need to find tools that don't impede what is really important.  If we all had our own engineers, we could let them deal with all the nonsense and 500 shortcut keys.  To me, there is software designed for musicians and that which is designed for engineers.

If you ever need any help/tips, feel free to ask!

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Denis
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2012, 07:06:16 PM »

A good clean take, good levels and little or no mistakes...always a challenge.  It seems like the harder you try the harder it is to get the right take!!!    

PS, my first EP and the tune That Face were recorded in a studio using Logic I think.  Everything since then was recorded in my spare room using Garageband.  I'm sure more discerning ears could tell the difference but I don't think I have that kind of talent or knowledge.   I'm pretty sure my first recording are decent but I also think that they keep getting better as my GB experience grows. 
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hadden
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2012, 08:55:03 PM »

Thanks again guys. I just ordered a pair of Line Audio cm3 condensers. Will get a MacBook Air and a Duet 2 soon. I have Sennheiser 600 phones for monitoring -- they are great. For tracking I have AT-m50 headphones; though last night the left side started up with crackly distortion. I am going to replace them with Senn 280s if I can't get them going again. Speakers eventually too of course.
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L-03 Italian Spruce
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2012, 10:15:05 PM »

Awesome!  The 280s I love for tracking!
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Denis
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2012, 12:37:03 AM »

I used a pair of cheap Audio Technica headphones for nearly 2 years that are dead now.  They were a return to a local shop, $20.  I have some Shure in-ear monitors I use for everything headphone wise these days.  I've got a little M-Audio Fastrack interface and an Audio Technica AT2035 & 2050 combo.  Very nice mics for the price, both of them.  Those little Line Audios are going to be very nice hadden.  A matched pair of small condensers like those is tried and true method when it comes to recording acoustic guitars. 

By today's recording standards, this is almost rudimentary.  Thing is, rudimentary is pretty advanced in 2012 so all you should be doing is concentrating on the writing and the performance.   

 
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