Old 2nd August 2010
  #1
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Ree Fungorio's Avatar
 

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Newbie Imac/Logic

Hi Folks,

I just took possession of a new iMac w/8G RAM and 1 TB HD along with Logic 9.

I have been a strictly analog guy with the exception of an Alesis HD24 which I used like a tape deck, everything else outside the box.

For a home studio I am looking at the Saffire Liquid 56 because it seems like I can get a good deal, the reviews are good, and the room for future expansion is there as I'll never need that many inputs now but may later. Only probably using 1-4 inputs at a time now but drums later (I also dig the 2 liquid channels which are alone at this price point). I also have external pres I'd like to keep using.

Anyway, couple questions: If I buy an interface with two firewire I/O, will the second act as a "thru" if I want, say an external DSP unit or something? I have only one FW port on the iMac and have read that should be dedicated to the interface. Also wondering if I require external hard drive for music files--I have a 500G and 750G but they are both USB--is that OK?

What is the favorite here for drums? I am moving into an apt for a year so have to put the drums away but want to use something like BFD, whatever, for drums, the easier the better. I have a couple machines but would rather try it in the box.

Another question is does anyone from the group here have any advice on tutorial/learning for Logic? I know my way around PT enough to get by, but no experience with Logic.

Thanks a lot,
Ree
Old 3rd August 2010
  #2
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rcb4t2's Avatar
 

re: through ports on FW interfaces - they behave differently depending on the manufacturer. Also depending on what's connected to them. Some devices don't work well on a connection like that, and sometimes the FW interface doesn't react well to being hooked up that way - sometimes it'll work just fine, it kind of depends. I hate that the iMacs are so stingy with their FW connections. Often it is helpful to use external drives, usb should be sufficient, although generally FW is preferred.
Old 3rd August 2010
  #3
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It is not advisable to use a firewire audio interface and a firewire dsp FX unit using the same bus.
RME Fireface has better converters and 2 good mic pres + 2 Hi Z ins.
For drums you also have EZ Drummer. You could also get a triggered drum system and use Logic's EXS24 or Ultrabeat.
Macprovideo has some of the best tutorials on Logic. I'm a Logic certified trainer and find those very good.
Old 3rd August 2010
  #4
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I have an iMac i7 with an Apogee One (usb) and no problems.For more inputs RME babyface or UC looks fine(both usb).From what I've read usb is fine as long as there are not a lot of simul inputs recording.I definitely don't have problems with 1 input on the ONE.

on that note daisy chaining a FW HD with a solid FW interface doesn't a problem either just check that what you are using doesn't have any known problems.

if you want some quick free fix Logic tutorial check out SFLogic Ninja utube channel..

YouTube - SFLogicNinja's Channel

BP
Old 3rd August 2010
  #5
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Newbie Imac/Logic

Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchP
I have an iMac i7 with an Apogee One (usb) and no problems.For more inputs RME babyface or UC looks fine(both usb).From what I've read usb is fine as long as there are not a lot of simul inputs recording.I definitely don't have problems with 1 input on the ONE.

on that note daisy chaining a FW HD with a solid FW interface doesn't a problem either just check that what you are using doesn't have any known problems.

if you want some quick free fix Logic tutorial check out SFLogic Ninja utube channel..

YouTube - SFLogicNinja's Channel

BP
Firewire audio interfaces work best. Worked with several with no issues. Seem to be more efficient with bandwith. About daisychainning devices you need to be carefull. Particulary so if working at 24 bit/96KHz. RME for example lets you limit bandwith by choosing only analog I/O.
SF LogicNinja has some good tutorials. But they are best suited for people who already have some Logic highlights. Macprovideo is structured more as a training course. Covering the basics before moving to more advanced aspects of Logic.
Do watch some tutorials before diving in. It will help your workflow a lot. Alternativly there are certified Logic courses, where you get the benefit of learning from an experienced user and having doubts cleared right away.
Lots of choices, really.
Old 3rd August 2010
  #6
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Here is my .002. Buy an apogee duet or ensemble, depending on your channel count needs.

I have experimented with a lot of recording setups in the past. At one point I ran a toft atb connected to an Alesis 24XR with a lot of high-end outboard. It did sound good but was taking up a lot of space and was tough to be creative with.

Recently my Fireface 800 went down and I picked up an apogee duet for doing mobile recordings. I was pleasantly surprised that I preferred it over the Fireface.

Currently I am running an Imac, Logic 9, and the Duet. I really could not be more pleased. Super easy to use and it sounds great.
Old 3rd August 2010
  #7
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Newbie Imac/Logic

Apogee Duet is really Apogee low budget. Worst converters you can get from Apogee. Also, fireface 400 pres are better than 800s. Been using fireface 400 for a while and also AD16-x and DA16-x. Those are better. Ensemble is slightly better, but more expensive. Go for RME
Old 5th August 2010
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phas3d View Post
Apogee Duet is really Apogee low budget. Worst converters you can get from Apogee. Also, fireface 400 pres are better than 800s. Been using fireface 400 for a while and also AD16-x and DA16-x. Those are better. Ensemble is slightly better, but more expensive. Go for RME
Have you used the apogee duet or are you just speculating based on what you have read?

I own the following:
Apogee Duet
Apogee Rossetta 800
Fireface 800
Alesis HDXR

To my ears, I prefer the Apogee Duet over the fireface 800. The fireface has a strident top end and complete lack of low end. At the price point the Duet can't be beat. The original poster is looking for a two channel interface that works well with Logic. The duet is a breeze to use.
Old 5th August 2010
  #9
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Newbie Imac/Logic

Quote:
Originally Posted by FadersmakmeHappy

Have you used the apogee duet or are you just speculating based on what you have read?

I own the following:
Apogee Duet
Apogee Rossetta 800
Fireface 800
Alesis HDXR

To my ears, I prefer the Apogee Duet over the fireface 800. The fireface has a strident top end and complete lack of low end. At the price point the Duet can't be beat. The original poster is looking for a two channel interface that works well with Logic. The duet is a breeze to use.
Like I wrote I use Symphony card with AD16X and DA16X in a nearly daily basis.
Some time ago I needed to change my audio interface. Compared the Duet, Fireface 400 and Ensemble. Ensemble won the shootout. There was clearly a difference between the 2 Apogee's interfaces. I suspect it might be clock related mostly. But ended up going for Fireface 400. I didn't feel the difference in quality between RME and Apogee justified the price tag. Remember that FF400 is newer than FF800. Also, FF400 stereo image seemed clearer than Duet's.
But again it's a question of taste. I've seen people prefer PT HD rig to Lynx.
Old 5th August 2010
  #10
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Newbie Imac/Logic

The Duet is hardly Apogee low budget. Those converters and pres are the best bargain out there. I nearly tossed my MOTU's in the trash I was so blown away. Like I had ear transplants. I went 100% ITB anyway so only need 2 ins/2 outs. Love my Duet.
Old 5th August 2010
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phas3d View Post
Like I wrote I use Symphony card with AD16X and DA16X in a nearly daily basis.
Some time ago I needed to change my audio interface. Compared the Duet, Fireface 400 and Ensemble. Ensemble won the shootout. There was clearly a difference between the 2 Apogee's interfaces. I suspect it might be clock related mostly. But ended up going for Fireface 400. I didn't feel the difference in quality between RME and Apogee justified the price tag. Remember that FF400 is newer than FF800. Also, FF400 stereo image seemed clearer than Duet's.
But again it's a question of taste. I've seen people prefer PT HD rig to Lynx.
Fair enough and well stated. I have never tried the FF400.

I have an ensemble on loan and I agree that its a better box than the duet. I admit to being an apogee fan boy as I like the coloration of their converters. The big selling point for me is just the simple ease of use they have being integrated with Logic. Tons easier than trying to mess with the RME totalmix.
Old 5th August 2010
  #12
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Newbie Imac/Logic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synæsthesiac
The Duet is hardly Apogee low budget. Those converters and pres are the best bargain out there. I nearly tossed my MOTU's in the trash I was so blown away. Like I had ear transplants. I went 100% ITB anyway so only need 2 ins/2 outs. Love my Duet.
Not that hard to beat Motu converters, really. And you should compare your Duet with Ensemble so you can understand what I mean.
Old 5th August 2010
  #13
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Ree Fungorio's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks everyone especially for the advice on tutorials and learning Logic. It's definitely not going to be a walk in the park to learn but feels worth the effort.

I am going ahead with the Saffire only because of the circumstances--I am buying it basically unused from someone I trust for less than $500. Although I'm sure the liquid channels will pique my interest at first, I doubt that will be more than a fancy; it sounds like the regular preamps are just fine plus I already have a half-dozen channels of decent outbd preamps.

As far as Apogee and all of the emotions they stir up recently, I considered the Ensemble but it's too expensive; the Duet (which I liked a lot) is out only because I immediately need more than 2 channels. If they made a "One" that was PC friendly I would definitely consider it for traveling with my (windows) laptop, the mic on it sounds very good to me. As it is I will probably just use a basic 2 channel USB with headphone outs for hotel use. Anyone try an Onyx Blackjack?

On your tip I bought EZ drummer for $50 (which was nice because the tag said $100) and am dicking around with that and a little 02 kybd. I think I'll probably still be using my Alesis SR-16 in the end until I can record drums again.

Thanks again for the pointers

Ree
Old 5th August 2010
  #14
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by phas3d View Post
Do watch some tutorials before diving in. It will help your workflow a lot. Alternativly there are certified Logic courses, where you get the benefit of learning from an experienced user and having doubts cleared right away.
Lots of choices, really.
And I think this applies to most things in general, but thanks for the reminder to step back and watch and think. This totally applied to how I ultimately learned to record analog audio. The first time I was so eager and expectant that I just started to record without learning what I was doing. I learned a lot of bad habits and missed some crucial basics. Then I stepped back and literally learned the basics and when the two paths converged it was the "aha moment" for me.

Luckily I'm finding that Logic doesn't allow much room for "jumping right in".

Ree
Old 5th August 2010
  #15
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Newbie Imac/Logic

Coming from a different DAW you always need an adjust period. But believe me when I tell you that Logic is a lot simpler than you think.
Old 5th August 2010
  #16
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by phas3d View Post
Coming from a different DAW you always need an adjust period. But believe me when I tell you that Logic is a lot simpler than you think.
I'm sure I'll say that looking back, right now it looks pretty daunting. Thanks though, this will actually be my first DAW experience, I just picked up a little PT watching and helping friends who entered the 20th century before I did (and now they've gone into the 21st dang em!).

On the PC I just use Audacity for ideas. Simple enough for me.
Old 5th August 2010
  #17
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The duet is powered from the FW bus, usually off some macbook... worth considering when trying to make a fair comparison. I agree the Ensemble is more pro, but I think power supply aside they're largely using similar components (from what I can tell, at least).
Old 5th August 2010
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcb4t2 View Post
The duet is powered from the FW bus, usually off some macbook... worth considering when trying to make a fair comparison. I agree the Ensemble is more pro, but I think power supply aside they're largely using similar components (from what I can tell, at least).
From Apogee web page

Ensemble

8 channels of premium 24-bit 192K AD/DA conversion
Advanced, dual-stage “Intelliclock” (this clock is based on the Big Ben's, but I think it's not exactly the same)

Duet

Two channels of professional-quality 24-bit/96kHz audio input and output
(no "Intelliclock")

The RME is world renowned for their clock, its converters are 24 bit/192KHz, bus powered too and has 2 mic pres, 2 hi Z inputs and 4 more balanced inputs.
But like I wrote before audio interfaces are always a mater o taste. Either you like it or you don't.
Old 5th August 2010
  #19
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rcb4t2's Avatar
 

Newbie Imac/Logic

Good info - the pres and conversion always sounded pretty similar to me, but the duet was noisier.
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