Want to record a bunch of different instruments onto my Macbook Pro.

January 24, 2011 2:29 PM

I have trombones, a hollow-body electric guitar, a p-bass, v-drums, and one Macbook Pro. Help me connect them so I can record and make muzak.

I am a classically trained trombone player turned ska/reggae/rock trombonist of a few years. Last year I started to pick up guitar and bought an awesome Gretsch G5120 Electromatic Hollow Body and a a cheap acoustic just to play around with. I also have a Squier P-Bass that I've just had for a long time but only began to try to learn last year parallel to the guitar.

I also own a Roland TD-3SW, and I can play basic 4/4 rock beats and the most basic of fills and splashes.

With this assortment of musical gear, is there any sane way to hook them up and record what I'm playing with my Macbook Pro without it being obscenely expensive? What are good entry-level / beginner friendly recording / mixing software.. Garage Band? Logic? Pro Tools? I have no idea. Would it be better to just learn how to make simple percussion beats instead of hooking up my Roland V-drums?

I've never really recorded only myself playing, and I want to start recording so I can finally start to write my own songs. I have an interest in a broad range of genres... but I'd like to write some ska or rock or punk tunes (or a mix!), ideally.

I do have a Shure 98H/C and a pre-amp for my trombone. For my guitars, I just have standard practice amps but I'm assuming I would have a direct cable from guitar to computer or something between them to connect?

Any help appreciated.
posted by xtine (3 comments total)

Garage Band is the most beginner friendly, and it comes with your computer, so give that a try and see what you think. You'll need a simple audio interface, though. I'm not sure what the best entry level one is, but I've had decent luck with M-audio in the past. Good luck!
posted by umbĂș at 6:59 PM on January 24, 2011

It's no problem to set up V-drums to record into software. I suggest Reaper to start out with (FREE!) but both Garageband and Logic will get you there too. (Logic is awesome and what I use).

You'll need a simple audio/midi interface like the M-Audio MobilePre to get the sounds (via mic, instrument or midi) into your computer. That's really all there is to it. You can either record your guitar amps or use a direct signal from the guitar and process it thru a virtual amp (like the ones built in to most DAW packages these days).

There is a bit of a learning curve to dealing with latency (depending on your setup) but overall there's nothing wrong with what you intend to do.
posted by unSane at 8:29 PM on January 25, 2011

I did all of these with just the built-in mac mic, the microphone input on my laptop, and garageband.
posted by Jon_Evil at 11:14 PM on January 27, 2011

« Older Phil X! Plays Vintage Guitars   |   Music 2.0? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments