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I know this is a bit early, but hey. I had tried to plug a guitar into my mac before, but it never worked because all I have in a line input, not a mic input, so I would always have to borrow a preamp. However, with GarageBand and the software amp in it, would this be required, or can I just plug it in and have it work as my preamp? Same with a microphone, although there was nothing mentioned about any other built-in amps. Or is there some other software that I can use to boast the input, or am I going to have to resort to buying a sound card or an iMic or something similar?
 

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The signal chain:

guitar output > preamp > ADC (Mac) > digital gain and manipulation (software)

I haven't tried an app like Ampfarm with a guitar just plugged straight into the Mac. But if you look at the my signal chain you'll see an analog preamp before the ADC (analog to digital converter - could be the built-in sound card or an add-on interface) - otherwise lots of digital gain will be required to get this low-level audio up to an audible level.

Maybe these programs just crank up the digital gain by default - but this would be the equivalent of blowing up a low-resolution GIF. It's bigger and louder yes - but the pixels become more obvious. You should really try to hit the ADC at an optimum level and employ all 16 bits of resolution at your disposal (on the built-in sound card - pro interfaces are typically 24bit).

Some audio interfaces have built-in preamps - which allow you to adjust the gain to optimise signal level before converting it into digital information. The Digi 001, M-Audio FW410, MOTU 828, Presonus Firestation etc etc. - they all have a couple of preamps. If your card does not have a preamp (or if you are using the Mac input) then you can use a mixer (with direct outs) to boost the signal or a stand-alone preamp stage of some sort - there are tons of options.

hope this helps - anyone out there plugging your Strats direct into your Macs?
 

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Here's a link to the accessories they're offering for GarageBand (for plugging in/etc.)...

GarageBand Accessories
 

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I love what Apple is doing with Garage Band (not sure that I like the name). I love it when ppl are empowered and given a easier solution to create. Something very good will come of this. Imagine, you can now really encourage your child to spend time in the computer ;)

Here's my Q?/concern:

is Apple telling me that I can record on legacy G3 600 with a 4200 HD?? That's sounds a little funny to me. Although this is some low level type recording (mid-fi??), but surely an iMac 600 will not be the same as a Tower with a 7200. Dunno - Never done much recording yet - but this needs to be tested... ;)

H!
 

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According to Apple's iLife site, these are the requirements, according to them, I don't think that a Sawtooth can run it.

Macintosh computer with a PowerPC G3, G4 or G5 processor

600MHz G3 or faster required for GarageBand
G4 or faster required for GarageBand software instruments

733MHz G4 or faster required for iDVD

256MB of physical RAM

Mac OS X v10.2.6 or later (Mac OS X v10.2.8 or later recommended)

DVD drive required to install GarageBand and iDVD

4.3GB of disk space required to install GarageBand, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie and iDVD; or 250MB to install iTunes, iPhoto and iMovie only.

Eric
 

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System Requirements
</font>
  • Macintosh computer with a PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor. 600MHz G3 or faster required for GarageBand; G4 or G5 required for GarageBand software instruments</font>
  • 256MB of physical RAM</font>
  • Display with at least 1024-by-768-pixel resolution</font>
  • Mac OS X v10.2.6 or later (v10.2.8 or later recommended)</font>
  • QuickTime 6.4 or later (QuickTime 6.5 included)</font>
  • 4.3GB of disk space required to install GarageBand, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD; or 250MB to install iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie only</font>
Important Notes:
</font>
  • DVD drive required to install GarageBand and iDVD</font>
  • iDVD requires a 733MHz PowerPC G4 or faster.</font>
  • Burning DVDs using iDVD requires an Apple SuperDrive.</font>
  • Burning iPhoto archives to CD or DVD requires Mac OS X v10.2.8 or later.</font>
  • iPhoto book and print ordering services are available only in the U.S., Canada, Japan, and select territories; fees apply.</font>
 

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Ohenry, you can be sure that performance will be different from machine to machine. The audio QUALITY doesn't differ. Just the NUMBER of tracks, instruments and effects you can use at once. Also - a G4 processor (at least) is REQUIRED to run Garageband's software instruments. I assume with a G3 that you can still record, mix, play loops etc.

Hard drive performance is a major factor (but everything else comes into play too) in how many audio tracks you can play/record at once . A 4200rpm disk is fully capable of recording and playing a few tracks at once - depending on fragmentation of free hard-drive space.

Also, the resolution of the audio stream will influence the number of tracks etc. ie a 48kHz, 24bit recording will make more demands on your system than a 44.1kHz, 16bit (CD quality) recording. (I haven't found any specs yet, but I'm guessing Garageband will be limited to 44.1kHz, 16bit.)
 

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I would hazard a guess and state that a Sawtooth G4 would probably run GarageBand. Although there may be performance slowdows, a G4 400 and a G3 600 aren't that far off if you take Alti-Vec into account.

And I'm willing to bet GarageBand will utilize Alti-Vec.

Also, I have successfully run earlier versions of iDVD on my G4/450 Sawtooth model. As long as you can install the software (ie: have a DVD drive to read the media) you will be able to run it.

Just don't expect blazing-fast speeds, as you are taxing the system... But it should be fine...

:D
 

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I would just say a G4 400 is faster than a G3 600 and leave it at that.

Remember the MacMantra,</font><blockquote>code:</font><hr /><pre style="font-size:x-small; font-family: monospace;">I shall not equate clock frequency with overall speed</pre>[/QUOTE]Therefore, G4 400 satisfies the requirement of "G3 600 or faster".
 

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Speaking of GarageBand accessories, I found a great deal on the 1x MIDI interface they offer in the Apple US store but not in the Canada store. They're selling it at Kelly's Music and Computers for a lower price. http://www.kellysmusic.ca/productinfo.asp?id=-1724553963
Actually there appears to be some confusion between the 1X and the 1SX in the photos - they have both - confirm before buying.

[ January 10, 2004, 09:23 AM: Message edited by: elmer ]
 

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If you really want to shake things up, get one of THESE BABIES from Tascam...especially the US-428 or the US-224. I have been dying to get my hands on one of them! They are sooooo freakin' awesome!
 

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I have the 428 of those Tascam mixer/input/midi boxes and I can highly recommend it, its been reliable.
 

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I'm assuming that users will be able to use some of their own loop presets - right?? Hope so, as that would be make it so much more interesting.

So there is no real user controllable sequencing, right?

Also, where does this leave Soundtrack?

h!
 

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The M-Audio Keystation 49e USB Midi Keyboard at $139. CDN seems like a good deal, but this is an area where I have no experience. (We have been discussing what kind of music keyboard would be appropriate for our children to begin music theory. I'll ask about good music teaching software later.)

Can the keyboard be used without tying up the family iMac, perhaps with the 9 volt battery power and a set of headphones? I don't see a headphone port.

There is a sustain pedal input however. Is this a common accessory? (Can't find it on the M-Audio site.) Seems necessary if we progress to "piano" lessons.
 

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D k Cornelius,

M-Audio Keystation 49e - USB Midi Keyboard is a MIDI controler. From what I can read there are no instruments native to the keyboard. Just like my Oxegen8 from M-Audio. You would have to use "software synths" to get any noise out of the keyboard. This basically means the keyboard will have to be hooked up to the computer to get any sound from it.

If you are looking to use a keyboard with the computer, but still want to use it as a piano then I suggest you look into a good Casio or Yamaha. A friend of mine just bought a Casio at Costo that has all the instuments built in and you can also use it to control MIDI. This unit, even though it IS a Casio, sounds great. I was inpressed with the grand piano sound. He also has the foot pedal with it.

Cheers,
B.
 

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do i have to install all the loops for garageband on my iBook, or can i just run them off the disk? putting the whole thing on there will leave me about a gig of disk space. lame.

p.
 

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A Little Question

I am thinking of buying the m-audio 49e, i already own a keyboard and for the price of buying a midi interface i rather buy a sleeker keyboard that i can have the pitch wheel, my only question however is, how fast of a machine would you need to produce realtime effects, such as synth bass guitar grand piano. i have a 1ghz powerbook 12inch with 768 megs of ram is this sufficient? or would a 1.42ghz mac mini with 512 megs of ram work? thank you for any assistance
-kiwiflorida
 

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I have the same PB as you do and bought the same m-audio keyboard that you're considering and the grandkids love it!

Mind you, I'm no musician, so I can't tell if they're missing anything in the experience and frankly neither can they, all I can say is that it does work and to the extend that their little fingers have mastered their piano lessons, it does work.

Of course if you need and excuse to buy a Mac Mini...........


Have fun, Margaret
 
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