Best Devices To Aid MAC & Logic

Hello everyone-long time reader, first time poster.


I know a lot of this has been addressed but since recording technology is constantly changing and I’ve grown to respect everyone’s opinions on this forum, I thought it might be worth asking.


I’m getting a new MAC with Logic software and wanted to know what you all thought some of the better interfaces, speakers, and headphones are.


Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 16,262
    edited March 28
    Depends on what you want to spend, but on the high end for two-input AIs), I'd get the Apollo Twin (it's the Cadillac) because it gives you access to all the UA plug ins (which you will drool over later) and even comes with a few, but before it existed, there was the Apogee Duet, which is a very fine, simple AI.  




    Start watching the Recording Revolution religiously


    Here's his guide for gear recommendations at lower price points.
    https://www.myrecordingrevolution.com/p/studiogearguide
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    Life is easier, so much easier, life is easier now.
  • I was all set to start assembling my recording rig when I stumbled on this deal:

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Apple/Complete-Recording-Studio-with-Mac-Mini-v7-MGEM2LL-A-1500000138404.gc?cntry=us&source=4WWMWXGP&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIi8SSv76k2gIVyIizCh0-fw80EAQYASABEgK7jPD_BwE&kwid=productads-adid%5E57619015002-device%5Em-plaid%5E150212591802-sku%5E1500000138404@ADL4GC-adType%5EPLA

    Is this a good deal for everything  or should I stick with my original plan of a laptop with Logic Pro X? Also, are the peripheral devices with this offer any good?

    Thanks in advance for any and all feedback.
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 16,262
    I'd put it together manually. I'm not crazy about that set up.  Get as much CPU and RAM horsepower as you can on the laptop. If you're dedicating a Mac for recording, you may well be better served to get a NON-laptop like a Mac Pro and a inexpensive non-mac monitor or two.
    Life is easier, so much easier, life is easier now.
  • MAdXMAdX Posts: 1,927
    If you get the new UA Arrow, you get a few plugins included, for example the Marshall Plexi Classic. That's the one I got. 
  • German Shepherd German Shepherd Posts: 25
    edited April 12
    I'd put it together manually. I'm not crazy about that set up. 
    I was leaning that way anyway, but which parts of that setup are you not  keen on? 

    The reason I’ve been leaning towards a laptop is portability, but more and more desktops have slimmed down over the years so I suppose that could still be a viable option.

    As far as UA Arrow goes, it looks cool but aren’t a lot of those features already in Logic?


    Post edited by German Shepherd on
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 16,262
    edited April 12
    I'd put it together manually. I'm not crazy about that set up. 
    I was leaning that way anyway, but which parts of that setup are you not  keen on? 
    Pretty much all of it.  PC, mic, headphones.  I'd sooner use the Recording Revolution's recommendations than buy a set up like this. 

     A lot depends on what your recording goals are
    , how much money you have to spend, and how deep into this you are going to go. Perhaps if you can answer that, I could guide you a bit more. 

    I have some core beliefs that apply regardless:
    Buy as much computing power as you possibly can afford. Frankly, the Mac Laptops these days aren't that great for this kind of thing (unless you're doing it at a pretty light processing level). First of all, they've all switched to ONLY Thunderbolt ports so you have to buy dongles for everything. This is not only infuriating, it's not great for recording. My Mac Pro has a LOT of cables going into it, and it has enough ports to accommodate them.  Second, Mac Laptops don't have a ton of disc space anymore, and you can't load them up with a lot of RAM anymore. Put it this way, when we were mixing 25 to 50 tracks of audio using UA plugins, we still had to freeze the tracks we weren't working on to have enough processing power to mix the others.  The computer is the heart of the system. If you have lofty recording ambitions, you'll need enough CPU, RAM and disk space that it won't frustrate the hell out of you.  

    Buy gear you will grow into. Not gear you will outgrow. No one can see into the future, but hopefully you know yourself well enough to make a good guess.  Once you're up and running, will you love recording? Will you be inspired to make music? At what level, and for what purpose? Do you want to make an album of your own music? Will you enjoy learning how to produce and engineer, or will you get bogged down with beginner frustration?  I GET that it's hard to know this stuff now, but if you only want to dip your toe in to see how you like it, most of what you buy you will replace in a year if you DO find you love it.  And if you do, you will be very frustrated by gear limitations. 


    As far as UA Arrow goes, it looks cool but aren’t a lot of those features already in Logic?

    No. Logic certainly contains loads of built in effects, and even an amp farm. They are certainly more than sufficient to work with, but the UA stuff is on another level. It's the difference between generic and authentic. 

    The Arrow is an AI with CPUs in it that lets you run the UA plug-ins. And you cannot run UA stuff without their hardware. This would be a great AI to grow in to, because once you start using the UA stuff, nothing else comes close. You will have access to (purchasing) plug-in versions of all the classic recording hardware they have modeled to perfection -- EQs, channel strips, compressors, amps, effects, even some mic pres.

    You probably don't understand what this means yet, but if you go to the UA site and watch the videos on their plug-ins -- and I suggest you do that, you will begin to understand. Each of these devices has its own signature, sonic character, similar to the way each type of guitar amp has it's own character. Once you understand that concept, it becomes very powerful. Because you start to figure out what sounds best for specific applications. For example, you can use one kind of compressor on bass, another on vocals, another on guitars. Logic gives you one compressor -- albeit with different modes that tries to cover all bases.  But the UA stuff just sounds better, and frankly, seems easier to learn how to use.  

    If I were to use an Amp analogy (and I'm not referring to Logic's built in Amp farm), think of it this way:  You have one song that needs 80s metal guitars. And another song that needs 60s style surf guitars. Using Logic's plug-ins would be analogous to using one digital amp to create both of those very different tones. And that can be done, and plenty of listeners won't really know the difference.  Using UAs plug ins would be like using a JCM800 for the 80s metal, and a tweed Fender with reverb for the surf sound.

    Now apply this principle to studio compressors, EQs and effects.  How much does that flexibility and authenticity matter to what you're doing? For me, once I heard it, I had to have it. Your mileage may vary.  Again, it kind of depends what your goals are. 
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    Life is easier, so much easier, life is easier now.
  • MAdXMAdX Posts: 1,927
    First of all, they've all switched to ONLY Thunderbolt ports so you have to buy dongles for everything. This is not only infuriating, it's not great for recording. My Mac Pro has a LOT of cables going into it, and it has enough ports to accommodate them.  
    Disclaimer, the UA Arrow is a Thunderbolt 3 interface. That means that it's connected and also powered through one Thunderbolt 3 port. It's kind of designed to be used in conjunction with the current generation of MacBook Pros.
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 16,262
    Yeah, UA was smart enough to do that, but the AI isn't the only thing you plug into the computer. 
    Life is easier, so much easier, life is easier now.
  • Ahhh, that makes perfect sense when you bring up the amp analogy. I think UA Arrow May be the way to go, especially since I share your perspective of wanting to start with gear I’ll grow into rather than out of.

    Also, your point regarding Mac laptops is well taken, and considering how desktops have changed over the last few years, it’s probably worth starting there.

    Thanks!

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