#1
I've been spending a lot of time thinking about a laptop based recording setup. I'm going for laptop mainly because of power outages and potential damage to a desktop. I've looked at a couple UPS's but the reviews of those did not instill confidence. So I guess that leads to the first question, how badly, if at all, can loss of power screw up your system/projects etc? Secondly, I'm pretty much set on a Macbook Pro but am willing to be swayed if someone could allay my fears that windows 8 doesn't suck copious amounts of ass. Question 2, will Garageband be good enough for mixing/mastering of hard rock/heavy metal songs? I am cognizant of it's limitations but is it enough to get a great sound, if not some alternatives would be appreciated. As far as budget I'm pretty much looking at the whole setup (laptop, daw, interface, headphones/monitors, mic(s), glyph hd, etc) to be around or under $3000 US. Any help would be great, thanks.
#2
Sounds like someone needs a new amp.
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#3
Quote by XtheAxeman
I've been spending a lot of time thinking about a laptop based recording setup. I'm going for laptop mainly because of power outages and potential damage to a desktop. I've looked at a couple UPS's but the reviews of those did not instill confidence. So I guess that leads to the first question, how badly, if at all, can loss of power screw up your system/projects etc? Secondly, I'm pretty much set on a Macbook Pro but am willing to be swayed if someone could allay my fears that windows 8 doesn't suck copious amounts of ass. Question 2, will Garageband be good enough for mixing/mastering of hard rock/heavy metal songs? I am cognizant of it's limitations but is it enough to get a great sound, if not some alternatives would be appreciated. As far as budget I'm pretty much looking at the whole setup (laptop, daw, interface, headphones/monitors, mic(s), glyph hd, etc) to be around or under $3000 US. Any help would be great, thanks.



1. Definitely get a Macbook or something Apple related.

2. Garageband sucks major balls.

3. KRKs are the bog standard cheap but effective studio monitors.

4. Logic/Reason/Protools are best for mixing/mastering.
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#4
focusrite scarlett 2i2 or higher and reaper. i use mine on windows 8 with no problems whatsoever - though i'm not on 8.1 yet so who knows how that will turn out.
if money was no object, i'd have myself a mac and logic pro with superior drummer etcetc, but i can't justify spending that money on it when all i'll want it for is that 1 programme. also, recording forum.
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#5
Quote by moody git
focusrite scarlett 2i2 or higher and reaper. i use mine on windows 8 with no problems whatsoever - though i'm not on 8.1 yet so who knows how that will turn out.
if money was no object, i'd have myself a mac and logic pro with superior drummer etcetc, but i can't justify spending that money on it when all i'll want it for is that 1 programme. also, recording forum.

If you're recording actual instruments, then get the 2i4. Why? Because it has a pad (read: instrument) button, which means you'll get clearer recordings for guitar/bass.

TS, I advise you to put all future questions related to recording in the Recordings Forum.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Oct 24, 2013,
#6
If you're that concerned about power outages, use external hard drives. Worst case scenario; power outage while you're either saving a file to the drive or transferring data, in either case damage will 99% of the time be isolated to the file in question, no damage to other things.
Either way, you'd be pretty unlucky, or be living with several outages a week to lose data on an internal drive if the current just gets cut.


As for macbooks...I hate apple and everything they make so I am slightly biased, but objectively speaking they are hugely limited hardware wise compared to other machines. The OS is nothing but a matter of taste, if you have to have a UNIX based system then there are still other alternatives like CentOS or Solaris, even Ubuntu though you'd be limited on DAWs if you went with the latter.
Windows 8 isn't the worse since the last update, if you hate the tile menu that much you can just install a Windows 7 shell and run it like the old OS with the taskbar/start button etc. Software runs exactly the same on it, and it functions almost the same.
As for a DAW, Garageband is good for beginner tracklaying and jams, but Reaper is tenfold better for mixing properly on, and it's also "free", though you are greatly encouraged to pay the license after trial period as it's got nearly as high functionality as top-line DAWs but at a tiny fraction of the cost. If you want something more expensive, Cubase is (IMO) the most intuitive and easy to get good results without weeks of trial and error.
Interfaces are more of a grey area as it's again up to your taste, but the best lower-budget ones would be something like Focusrite, Line 6, M-Box. If you're planning on using a condenser mic make sure the interface has 48v phantom power, and also make sure it has any sort of preamp if you want to plug a dynamic into it, but nearly every interface over $50 would have one these days.
Microphones are a wide, wide area for choice and very much depend on what you want to use them for. Prices here ramp up very quickly towards the quality end, but for great all-round standards look into Shure SM57/58 for dynamic mics, or something like a Samson C01 or an Audio Technica AT2020 for condensers. Hell even the C01U (Samson) is a good one, but it's a USB condenser and therefore doesn't require phantom power or even an interface. If you want to blow a bigger part of your budget on an excellent mic, splash on either an AKG 414 (or 214) or a Shure SM7B.
Headphones, again, highly subjective choice so just read around some reviews for what you think suits you best. Brands to keep an eye on are Audio Technica, Sennheiser or AKG. Anything above $100-150 should be absolutely fine for non-professional mixing.
M-Audio do some great budget monitors for bedroom mixing, as do Alesis and Bose. The thing to be careful with here is spending too much on too good monitors, or you'll find the excess you spend won't be audible in difference without a sound treated mixing area.
#7
Where the **** is the bear?
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#8
Quote by SkepsisMetal
If you're that concerned about power outages, use external hard drives. Worst case scenario; power outage while you're either saving a file to the drive or transferring data, in either case damage will 99% of the time be isolated to the file in question, no damage to other things.
Either way, you'd be pretty unlucky, or be living with several outages a week to lose data on an internal drive if the current just gets cut.


As for macbooks...I hate apple and everything they make so I am slightly biased, but objectively speaking they are hugely limited hardware wise compared to other machines. The OS is nothing but a matter of taste, if you have to have a UNIX based system then there are still other alternatives like CentOS or Solaris, even Ubuntu though you'd be limited on DAWs if you went with the latter.
Windows 8 isn't the worse since the last update, if you hate the tile menu that much you can just install a Windows 7 shell and run it like the old OS with the taskbar/start button etc. Software runs exactly the same on it, and it functions almost the same.
As for a DAW, Garageband is good for beginner tracklaying and jams, but Reaper is tenfold better for mixing properly on, and it's also "free", though you are greatly encouraged to pay the license after trial period as it's got nearly as high functionality as top-line DAWs but at a tiny fraction of the cost. If you want something more expensive, Cubase is (IMO) the most intuitive and easy to get good results without weeks of trial and error.
Interfaces are more of a grey area as it's again up to your taste, but the best lower-budget ones would be something like Focusrite, Line 6, M-Box. If you're planning on using a condenser mic make sure the interface has 48v phantom power, and also make sure it has any sort of preamp if you want to plug a dynamic into it, but nearly every interface over $50 would have one these days.
Microphones are a wide, wide area for choice and very much depend on what you want to use them for. Prices here ramp up very quickly towards the quality end, but for great all-round standards look into Shure SM57/58 for dynamic mics, or something like a Samson C01 or an Audio Technica AT2020 for condensers. Hell even the C01U (Samson) is a good one, but it's a USB condenser and therefore doesn't require phantom power or even an interface. If you want to blow a bigger part of your budget on an excellent mic, splash on either an AKG 414 (or 214) or a Shure SM7B.
Headphones, again, highly subjective choice so just read around some reviews for what you think suits you best. Brands to keep an eye on are Audio Technica, Sennheiser or AKG. Anything above $100-150 should be absolutely fine for non-professional mixing.
M-Audio do some great budget monitors for bedroom mixing, as do Alesis and Bose. The thing to be careful with here is spending too much on too good monitors, or you'll find the excess you spend won't be audible in difference without a sound treated mixing area.

Thanks! any thoughts on MSI or other high performance windows laptops?
#9
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
If you're recording actual instruments, then get the 2i4. Why? Because it has a pad (read: instrument) button, which means you'll get clearer recordings for guitar/bass.

TS, I advise you to put all future questions related to recording in the Recordings Forum.

Noted!
#10
Quote by HypernovaGlow
Where the **** is the bear?

I laughed so hard reading this.
#11
Quote by HypernovaGlow
Where the **** is the bear?


Came here to see this, I thank you
#12
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
If you're recording actual instruments, then get the 2i4. Why? Because it has a pad (read: instrument) button, which means you'll get clearer recordings for guitar/bass.

TS, I advise you to put all future questions related to recording in the Recordings Forum.


I bought a 2i2 and then like six months later they released the 2i4

But yeah, the recording forum's one of the forums on UG that actually knows a lot of what they're saying. They can help you out a ton, TS. To answer a few of your questions though;

how badly, if at all, can loss of power screw up your system/projects etc?


Well, if you're running a laptop, not at all, since it'll just start running off of your battery, and you should have enough time to save and exit. It's always good to back up regularly though. Nothing worse than losing a week's worth of work to a crash. It's $100-$200 that will save you endless headaches and heartaches.

Secondly, I'm pretty much set on a Macbook Pro but am willing to be swayed if someone could allay my fears that windows 8 doesn't suck copious amounts of ass.


It does. Loved XP to the point that I fought to keep crappy dying computers alive so I didn't have to move over, hated Vista to the point I bought a Mac, liked Seven and was planning on returning to Windows when this thing died, but now I hate 8 more than I hate Vista. I disliked that Macs seemed to be going towards a more phone-like design, but Windows 8 jumped the shark in that regard. Do remember to upgrade the RAM if you're buying one of the ones with 4GB. It's a cheap, easy modification, but you need at least 8, and god it is worth the $50-100 to get some from Crucial.

Question 2, will Garageband be good enough for mixing/mastering of hard rock/heavy metal songs? I am cognizant of it's limitations but is it enough to get a great sound, if not some alternatives would be appreciated.


Yes and no. It's good to get started with and to work with for hobby stuff, and fun to screw around with, but if you start getting serious with it at all, you'll find yourself banging your head against its limitations. It is a handy program though - I'm still finishing up my first album I put together with a different DAW, so if you want to hear what a guitar album made hastily by someone still learning what they're doing with Garageband sounds like, it's what I used for the ones in my sig.

Personally I really like Logic Pro, but Pro Tools is also outstanding. Depends on what you want more out of your DAW, Logic I think is better coming in with a basic idea and really experimenting and expanding on it into a song, whereas Pro Tools feels better to me for purely editing and producing work, so makes more sense if you already have the idea clear, fleshed-out, and ready to go. It also doesn't have as nice a roster of synth/MIDI instruments and drum machines, for whatever that's worth, so if you need digital instruments, there's that. Probably has a nicer collection of third-party tools though.

It's also worth noting that unless you're upgrading from a previous or lite version of Pro Tools, or are a student, Pro Tools is $500 more than Logic. An Apple product that's the cheaper one, crazy, isn't it?

Can't comment on the mastering abilities of Pro Tools or Garageband since I've only done mastering work with Logic so far, as all I've mastered are my own things. I imagine Pro Tools is great for it though, since that's what I always see being used for professional final masters.

As far as budget I'm pretty much looking at the whole setup (laptop, daw, interface, headphones/monitors, mic(s), glyph hd, etc) to be around or under $3000 US. Any help would be great, thanks.


MacBook: $1,200. As long as you upgrade the RAM, the bottom-end MacBook Pro should do just fine. It's up to you though, futureproof is always good.
8GB RAM upgrade: $80.
External hard drive: Personally I wouldn't buy the Glyph considering that for $10 more than their 500GB model, here's a 2TB drive. Your call though.
Logic Pro X/Pro Tools 11: $200/$700
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4: $200
Sennheiser HD280 monitor headphones: $100. I use these, and they're amazing headphones. Especially for the price. Plus they're fully user-repairable, and Sennheiser sells replacement parts, so any problem can be fixed by you, not sending it off to be fixed. And that's all on top of a two-year warranty, too.

I don't know enough about monitors as I'm still trying to decide on a pair to advise you, and what mics to get is a whole new bucket of fish with a whole new set of questions in need of answers. Again, recording forum is your friend and a great resource.

Hope some of that helps
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Last edited by necrosis1193 at Oct 24, 2013,
#14
Quote by necrosis1193
I bought a 2i2 and then like six months later they released the 2i4

But yeah, the recording forum's one of the forums on UG that actually knows a lot of what they're saying. They can help you out a ton, TS. To answer a few of your questions though;


Well, if you're running a laptop, not at all, since it'll just start running off of your battery, and you should have enough time to save and exit. It's always good to back up regularly though. Nothing worse than losing a week's worth of work to a crash. It's $100-$200 that will save you endless headaches and heartaches.


It does. Loved XP to the point that I fought to keep crappy dying computers alive so I didn't have to move over, hated Vista to the point I bought a Mac, liked Seven and was planning on returning to Windows when this thing died, but now I hate 8 more than I hate Vista. I disliked that Macs seemed to be going towards a more phone-like design, but Windows 8 jumped the shark in that regard. Do remember to upgrade the RAM if you're buying one of the ones with 4GB. It's a cheap, easy modification, but you need at least 8, and god it is worth the $50-100 to get some from Crucial.


Yes and no. It's good to get started with and to work with for hobby stuff, and fun to screw around with, but if you start getting serious with it at all, you'll find yourself banging your head against its limitations. It is a handy program though - I'm still finishing up my first album I put together with a different DAW, so if you want to hear what a guitar album made hastily by someone still learning what they're doing with Garageband sounds like, it's what I used for the ones in my sig.

Personally I really like Logic Pro, but Pro Tools is also outstanding. Depends on what you want more out of your DAW, Logic I think is better coming in with a basic idea and really experimenting and expanding on it into a song, whereas Pro Tools feels better to me for purely editing and producing work, so makes more sense if you already have the idea clear, fleshed-out, and ready to go. It also doesn't have as nice a roster of synth/MIDI instruments and drum machines, for whatever that's worth, so if you need digital instruments, there's that. Probably has a nicer collection of third-party tools though.

It's also worth noting that unless you're upgrading from a previous or lite version of Pro Tools, or are a student, Pro Tools is $500 more than Logic. An Apple product that's the cheaper one, crazy, isn't it?

Can't comment on the mastering abilities of Pro Tools or Garageband since I've only done mastering work with Logic so far, as all I've mastered are my own things. I imagine Pro Tools is great for it though, since that's what I always see being used for professional final masters.


MacBook: $1,200. As long as you upgrade the RAM, the bottom-end MacBook Pro should do just fine. It's up to you though, futureproof is always good.
8GB RAM upgrade: $80.
External hard drive: Personally I wouldn't buy the Glyph considering that for $10 more than their 500GB model, here's a 2TB drive. Your call though.
Logic Pro X/Pro Tools 11: $200/$700
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4: $200
Sennheiser HD280 monitor headphones: $100. I use these, and they're amazing headphones. Especially for the price. Plus they're fully user-repairable, and Sennheiser sells replacement parts, so any problem can be fixed by you, not sending it off to be fixed. And that's all on top of a two-year warranty, too.

I don't know enough about monitors as I'm still trying to decide on a pair to advise you, and what mics to get is a whole new bucket of fish with a whole new set of questions in need of answers. Again, recording forum is your friend and a great resource.

Hope some of that helps

Awesome, thanks a lot.
#15
Quote by necrosis1193
I bought a 2i2 and then like six months later they released the 2i4

But yeah, the recording forum's one of the forums on UG that actually knows a lot of what they're saying. They can help you out a ton, TS.

Also in the Recordings forum we have a sticky that answers pretty much everything you need to know about getting started with recording.
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#16
It's almost like we have a specific forum for this kind of thing...

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#17
-Yeah MacBook is definetly mandatory.
-Garageband sucks.
-Protools,Cubase,Logic.
-I always liked KRK Rokit.
-And for mic probably SM57/58 for decent price.