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I am going to start recording some stuff on Garage band and I am looking for advice on an interface that i can run a mic and guitar through to record.

 

Any suggestions on good units to use? I know Apogee has a good name with Apple, but Im pretty sure they are in bed with apple?

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Comes down to what your'e wanting to spend.

Apogee has excelent converters and preamp and will give you a

high quality recording, but there are many cheaper alternatives

under $100 that will do fairly well too for solo recording.

 

Just google up mac compatible pro audio interface and see what you find.

Some come with DAW programs that are much better than Garage Band.

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There are four main considerations when it comes to picking an interface.

 

First, it has to be compatible with your computer hardware and OS and software you want to use.

 

Number two is features - especially the number of inputs and mic preamps. This has a direct bearing on what sorts of things / how much you can record simultaneously.

 

Sound quality should also be a consideration. Some would say this should be the first consideration, but IMO, it's always a balancing act - cost vs features, sound quality vs cost, etc. As a minimum, I'd want something with at least 24 bit converters. 44.1kHz - 48kHz is generally fine, although even inexpensive interfaces are offering 96kHz capability these days.

 

Unless you're absolutely certain you won't need more than two, I would recommend getting an interface with at least four mic / line inputs. However, if you're not in a band, don't want to be in a band, don't plan on recording other musicians, and the extent of your self-recording is two mic stereo on an acoustic guitar, or one guitar and one vocal mic, then any decent 2x2 interface should serve your needs just fine.

 

The latest Avid interfaces sound quite good. I have a 3rd Gen Mbox that I use with my MacBook, and I like the sound of it quite a bit. I prefer my HD setup, but the sound of the latest Mboxes is surprisingly good.

 

Jon Chappell just reviewed a couple of the Akai EIE interfaces and seemed to have a favorable opinion of them.

 

The Presonus Firestudio line seems to be popular with a lot of people too. In fact, you might want to have a look at the recent thread here in the Trenches about audio interfaces and get some ideas based on what everyone had to say about what they're running. :)

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Not that many years ago you bought a "beginner" interface knowing you'd have to upgrade later. As you gained more experience you'd start to hear the weaknesses of them. However these days you can get some really great interfaces that you could use for years. And just pick up something new when you outgrew the old one. So I'd seriously look at the apogees mentioned. As well as the new mboxes. Motu and RME also make some great smaller interfaces. So I'd look around and get a quality one. Once you "outgrow" it, it will make a great portable interface.

 

I'll also say I love my metric halo boxes. I would have loved to start with them. They are pricier though.

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A buddy of mine got a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 so I could record him in Logic for EXACTLY the same thing you're doing, and I gotta say I absolutely love it, the preamps sound {censored}ing great and it comes with some great plug-ins, and of all the folks I've seen post that have one they all love it as well...

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I'm not an expert on the subject, but neither are you it seems, so...:)

 

My Apogee Duet has served me well, though I haven't tested a ton of interfaces, and I'm just an amateur home recording hack.

 

But I can tell you it's real easy to use, and in terms of overal sound/recording quality (a/d converters, preamps) I can't think of a thing I don't like about it. Make sure you'll get by with just two channels though, impo you're always better getting a slightly 'bigger' interface than what you think you need when you're starting out. Before you know it you're gonna want to record your band, or your buddy's band, or even just a drum kit...And that's when you'll want to upgrade to something with 8 ,or at least 4, channels.

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I'd highly recommend the Apogee One. I talked with the Apogee guy at last NAMM for some time and I really fell in love with this little guy. You can plug your mike and guitar into it of course but... it has a built-in mike that had me thinking, "yeah right". Then I demoed it and it sounded fantastic. I mean, I would have zero issues recording demos on one of these.

 

Seriously cool little interface with very little quality compromise from the big guns as far as I can see.

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