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> Apogee Mac Interface, Which one?
Sircraigery
post Mar 5 2012, 05:32 AM
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Hi folks,

Looking to purchase a device to use my guitar with, while in Texas for 3 months. I have a MacBook pro with GarageBand '11 (?).

Basically I want to use my setup as an amplifier while living in a hotel room. I was thinking this is a good opportunity to spring for an apogee, since I keep hearing how awesome they are. I also don't want to waste cash for a device I'll only use temporarily. I can alway use this device later to score when the time comes.

I do have a concern with GarageBand though. When using the mic input, the amp models sound HORRIBLE! (terrible amount of noise, and just bland tone - the built in mic sounds about the same, to give you a reference). Will the apogee remedy this? Will it make the amp models actually feasible to use?

Also, how do pedals sound when running into these things? Or are they meant strictly for pickup signals?

Thanks to anyone who can give me insight. Im done university in 2 months, then leave for Texas for the next 3 - my poor guitar will start fooling around with other players if I don't take it with me to fondle while im gone. Lol


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spacebran
post Mar 5 2012, 07:42 AM
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I don't prefer macs, so I can't entirely answer your question, but I can tell you this: Unless you have some sort of audio interface, your guitar will sound terrible by just using the mic/line-in.

I can't speak for macs, but I bought a good interface by steinberg that I use with my PC for about $100 and I've seen some as low as $70. Apple stuff is probably more expensive, but either way, it's worth having. I find mine especially useful because I use Guitar Rig.

Also, I haven't actually tried using my pedals with it yet since I've mainly been using Guitar Rig, but I don't see why you wouldn't be able to use them. The audio interfaces are basically sound cards that pick up the signal and convert it so you can do what you want with it. You would just pick up a modulated signal instead.

This post has been edited by spacebran: Mar 5 2012, 07:45 AM
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Sircraigery
post Mar 5 2012, 07:50 AM
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Ok, thanks for the info. I figured an interface would sound better, though I thought it was mainly an upgrade for home professionals.


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Quest Acoustic [Stock]

Effects:
Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff
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Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401

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SpaseMoonkey
post Mar 5 2012, 10:29 PM
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Like spacebran says, an input/line-in will be horrible no matter what you try and do, regardless of pc/mac. Most interfaces run both, Apple is more noted for music/graphics compared to PC. I have a Presonus USB interface cost me I want to say $150, I ran it on my mac mini and now currently on my pc. You can do a DI or record via a mic. I wanted a Apogee because they were small and light but since I'm not really traveling I just got my little box, slightly bigger but doesn't take a lot of room up.


Ola uses a SM57 into an Apogee One for recording into logic 9.


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 6 2012, 03:35 AM
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Todd here. smile.gif I do prefer macs actually (only platform with Apple Logic 9 of course) Yup. The Garage Band Presets for guitar emulation with any amount of gain are a bit crap. Make that total crap. When you say "mic input" what is your signal chain exactly? For emulation, I'd say start with a better emulation, perhaps amplitude, overloud, guitar rig, take your pick. Then run straight in to the apogee with a guitar cable.

If you are using a mic, and amp, skip that. For recording, just run straight in to the interface. Monitor with decent headphones. If you want to play through an amp, that's a separate thing. You can run out of garage band/amplitude/guitar rig, then in to your amp, but you could just skip the amp and use headphones. If you run cabinet emulation back in to a guitar cabinet, it can get wonky. You can get around it, but it's a lot of tweaking of presets.

So get a stomp box to play quick and dirty with the amp. Use a better plugin and record direct and skip the amp when in the mood. I've got wads of presets for Guitar Rig and Others, in my forum.

Here is the Guitar Rig preset thread

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=37629

The overloud Threads as well.

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=42250

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=42013

Don't beat yourself up if you don't sound like OLA straight out of the gate though smile.gif


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SpaseMoonkey
post Mar 6 2012, 04:13 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Mar 5 2012, 09:35 PM) *
Todd here. smile.gif I do prefer macs actually (only platform with Apple Logic 9 of course) Yup. The Garage Band Presets for guitar emulation with any amount of gain are a bit crap. Make that total crap. When you say "mic input" what is your signal chain exactly? For emulation, I'd say start with a better emulation, perhaps amplitude, overloud, guitar rig, take your pick. Then run straight in to the apogee with a guitar cable.

If you are using a mic, and amp, skip that. For recording, just run straight in to the interface. Monitor with decent headphones. If you want to play through an amp, that's a separate thing. You can run out of garage band/amplitude/guitar rig, then in to your amp, but you could just skip the amp and use headphones. If you run cabinet emulation back in to a guitar cabinet, it can get wonky. You can get around it, but it's a lot of tweaking of presets.

So get a stomp box to play quick and dirty with the amp. Use a better plugin and record direct and skip the amp when in the mood. I've got wads of presets for Guitar Rig and Others, in my forum.

Here is the Guitar Rig preset thread

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=37629

The overloud Threads as well.

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=42250

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=42013

Don't beat yourself up if you don't sound like OLA straight out of the gate though smile.gif

Hey Todd,

When you record a cab do you prefer using strictly one mic or would you use 2 inputs and record 2 mics together and blend to taste to give a more dynamic sound? I ask because I bought a SM57 the other week and I've been using that, but I also have an e609 sitting around the room. I was just wondering your input on this.

Ola also I believe has a degree in music engineering also. He quit using the apogee but its the first example I could pull to show how great of quality you can get from it.


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Guitars:
Ibanez RG920QM (Black Ice) , Ibanez S770PB (Natural Flat) , Ibanez RG470XL (Black Perl) , Squire IV Jazz Bass (Sunburst)
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Sircraigery
post Mar 6 2012, 08:09 AM
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Thanks guys, and Ola is god. I would also like of his new strictly7 guitars.

I was plugging directly into the line input via a cable I made. Wasn't too terrible if I was using a distortion pedal, but I don't think it's good for the computer (different voltages?).

One more question, could I record 2 guitars at the same time with the duet? Would be very helpful during jam sessions.



--------------------
Guitars:
Ibanez Prestige RG2610E [BKP Cold Sweat]
Ibanez Prestige RG2550E [Carbon Fiber Plastics]
Ibanez Roadstar II RS-135 [Stock]
Quest Acoustic [Stock]

Effects:
Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff
Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah
Boss DR-3 Dr. Rhythym

Amp:
Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401

'Only the dead have seen the end of the war.' - Plato
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SpaseMoonkey
post Mar 6 2012, 12:22 PM
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QUOTE (Sircraigery @ Mar 6 2012, 02:09 AM) *
Thanks guys, and Ola is god. I would also like of his new strictly7 guitars.

I was plugging directly into the line input via a cable I made. Wasn't too terrible if I was using a distortion pedal, but I don't think it's good for the computer (different voltages?).

One more question, could I record 2 guitars at the same time with the duet? Would be very helpful during jam sessions.


If you are going to use 2 mics then yes. Just have to to arm 2 tracks and let one be input 1 the other input 2 and it will take care of itself.

Solar7s I'd love one myself they just look so nice minus the price of them starting at like 1,500 USD. But then I'd love to go check out the factory and play some guitars, considering they are located around about a hour away from me.

This post has been edited by SpaseMoonkey: Mar 6 2012, 12:24 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 10 2012, 04:33 AM
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QUOTE (SpaseMoonkey @ Mar 5 2012, 10:13 PM) *
Hey Todd,

When you record a cab do you prefer using strictly one mic or would you use 2 inputs and record 2 mics together and blend to taste to give a more dynamic sound? I ask because I bought a SM57 the other week and I've been using that, but I also have an e609 sitting around the room. I was just wondering your input on this.

Ola also I believe has a degree in music engineering also. He quit using the apogee but its the first example I could pull to show how great of quality you can get from it.


Great question! I usually start with one Mic and work my way up. smile.gif A SHURE SM57 is a great place to start. (58 will do in a pinch, just take off the windscreen) then But my Fav mics are my two cheapies. (Both near $100 U.S which about a tenth what you'd pay for a really nice studio mic)

***BTW your 609 is an awesome mic and a bit wasted just as a room mic IMHO, try it on the cab with the 57 and pan them left/righ about 10 and 2 oclock.

MXL Condenser
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and my

EV RAVEN
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These two together can be KILLER. I have pulled out my mics/cabs again since getting an 8 string. So far, none of my software emulation does it justice yet.




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The Uncreator
post Mar 10 2012, 05:00 AM
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Mixing mic's is amazing I think, colors the tone a lot. A '57 and 421 are a good combination.
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Todd Simpson
post Mar 10 2012, 05:50 AM
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QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Mar 9 2012, 11:00 PM) *
Mixing mic's is amazing I think, colors the tone a lot. A '57 and 421 are a good combination.


That is a good combo! It's actually semi along the lines of what I'm going for in my setup. I'm using the raven instead of a 57, but both have some hype in the mids and are dynamic mics. I"m using a large diaphragm condenser instead of the 421, both have extended range and very good bass response. (see pic above) But the mxl is condenser and not dynamic. The mixing of different sonic "colors" really does enhance things.

QUOTE (Sircraigery @ Mar 6 2012, 02:09 AM) *
Thanks guys, and Ola is god. I would also like of his new strictly7 guitars.

I was plugging directly into the line input via a cable I made. Wasn't too terrible if I was using a distortion pedal, but I don't think it's good for the computer (different voltages?).

One more question, could I record 2 guitars at the same time with the duet? Would be very helpful during jam sessions.




That's one way smile.gif But I"d say get some sort of interface if possible. Even the cheapest line six with a single input will do the trick. Have you checked the DUET documentation to see if it supports multiple track recording? Many interfaces will let you record on more than one input at a time. You just need to arm two tracks in your daw and assign them.

I"m using a tascam interface and have recorded 8 tracks at time but most of the time It's only a couple.



This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Mar 10 2012, 05:51 AM


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maharzan
post Mar 10 2012, 09:12 AM
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I would recommend you to get a smaller standalone interface. I have iRig and haven't used it much. Its too noisy at times. With the high cost of Apogee, you could get a better interface I guess.


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Bogdan Radovic
post Mar 10 2012, 11:34 AM
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For stuff on the road any usb interface will do well. Its hard to make those models in Garage Band sound great, but you can use other modeling software (Guitar Rig etc). Choice depends on the quality you want to get for those recordings. I prefer Line 6 Pod Studio stuff, even GX version would do for recording 1 guitar and you get the amp/cab modeling bundled (which sounds decent) - but its not meant to produce amazing recordings rather home demos. I wouldn't recommend mic'ing guitar in home studio application (unless you are set for building a dedicated room, getting quality mics etc) - usually its much harder to achieve a great sound vs recording direct and using software emulation (which is easy to work with etc).


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 10 2012, 01:09 PM
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QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Mar 10 2012, 05:34 AM) *
For stuff on the road any usb interface will do well. Its hard to make those models in Garage Band sound great, but you can use other modeling software (Guitar Rig etc). Choice depends on the quality you want to get for those recordings. I prefer Line 6 Pod Studio stuff, even GX version would do for recording 1 guitar and you get the amp/cab modeling bundled (which sounds decent) - but its not meant to produce amazing recordings rather home demos. I wouldn't recommend mic'ing guitar in home studio application (unless you are set for building a dedicated room, getting quality mics etc) - usually its much harder to achieve a great sound vs recording direct and using software emulation (which is easy to work with etc).



Well said! Micing at home is a serious challenge. Having dived back in to it, I am remembering why I gave it up to begin with! There are so many great emulator plugins out there. It's a great time to be a musician smile.gif

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Mar 10 2012, 01:09 PM


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audiopaal
post Mar 11 2012, 12:11 AM
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I have the Apogee Duet 2, and I have no complaints.
Works like a charm, easy to operate and sounds good smile.gif

Just get one, you won't regret it!
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