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Assuming that all amateur musicians (Hi!) suddenly up and purchase "Apple Garageband" as part of the $59 iLife ‘04 package...

Has anyone given any thought to the MIDI interface you'll need to connect external devices? The alleged $99 (US) USB MIDI keyboard itself will be fine (which, by the way, is mysteriously absent from the Canadian site), but a guitar or line-in mic will need a MIDI interface like this one right?

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/canadastore.woa/72108/wo/t32sCyxUqDxZ2DRBbYKRnPmHXpM/4.3.0.5.10.3.42.13.0

...at $300? Youch!

So if you can also find a product that works through the USB port for mic and instrument-in, why are Apple selling the above device anyway?

Is there a cheaper alternative? Is there an alternative keyboard that is supported by Garageband?
 

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Guitars don't need MIDI; they use audio; see above.
If you have an existing MIDI keyboard, the USB Midisport 1x1 connects it to the Mac for around $60.
 

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Troutmagnet, as the others have alluded to - i would just say... Don't confuse MIDI and AUDIO.

Sorry if this is pedantic - but it is easy to confuse them. Many keyboards, for example, are capable of outputting both audio AND MIDI information. But these are two different things. Audio (in this case) refers to the electronic representation of the sound itself - which can be amplified and heard through headphones or speakers. MIDI just refers to the performance information: which notes are played and when, how long they are held, how hard they were hit, etc. You cannot "hear" MIDI. MIDI performance information has to be turned into listenable AUDIO by a MIDI (or virtual) instrument first - to be heard.

For keyboard control of Garageband's instruments, and to record a MIDI performance, you need a MIDI controller device - like the keyboard offered at the applestore (it does not make any sound itself - it just controls the virtual instruments within Garageband and other software sequencers).

To record AUDIO - like the sound from a microphone or analog electrical instrument (guitar, organ, synthesizer, etc) or even a tape deck or other analog audio device - you may require an AUDIO interface of some kind. Most Macs have a built-in audio interface (although it is primarily designed for voice recognition and not really suitable for recording music). This is usually a miniplug connection. To use the miniplug audio input on any Mac - you may require and adapter cable like the Monster Adapter listed above. This just makes it possible to connect a normal guitar-type cable to the miniplug input. There is no amplification or conversion of the signal.

G5 Macs have an upgraded audio card which has optical digital connectors in addition to the normal miniplugs. To use the optical input on a G5 - you need an Analog to Digital to Analog (ADDA) converter (with lightpipe SPDIF connectivity).

For G5s and all other Macs there are a variety of USB, Firewire and PCI options - depending on needs and price point.

[ January 06, 2004, 06:20 PM: Message edited by: vacuvox ]
 

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Vinnie - To run GarageBand it says you need a 600 Mhz G3 or faster. And to use Instruments with the program a G4.

Most likely you can run it without, and if you keep an eye out, someone will say how to get around the limitations. (They have on Soundtrack and several other Apple apps).

The only other requirement is that a DVD drive is needed to get iDVD and/or GarageBand.
 

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I can't find anything on processor compatability. But my guess is it should work on the G3 iBooks that Apple was selling this past summer. If you're running OSX and have USB, then i think you will be in luck. However expect the number of audio tracks, virtual instruments and effects to be somewhat limited compared to a dual G5.
 

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oops - beaten to the punch by Chealion as usual.
 

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anyone know where we can get those products

www.apple.ca is usually a week or so behind the 8-ball.
 

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Yes this is a great reason to get some faster hardware - G5 would be ideal with it's huge BANDwith
sorry could not resist. But it's TRUE :D

Also a good reason to Pantherize.

Garageband tester position filled - popular :eek:

This is a terrific piece by Apple and enhances a strong iLife package :cool:

[ January 07, 2004, 12:06 PM: Message edited by: MacDoc ]
 
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