12 Replies Latest reply: Jan 2, 2013 3:36 PM by CCTM
mauve_vert Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

A friend and I are looking to transfer our live music set up to the world of Apple and would be grateful for advice as to which Mac, software and hardware interfaces would achieve this.  The current set up is that we both sing and play either 2 acoustic guitars, one electric and one acoustic or two electric guitars. While playing acoustics there is no need to change the sound of the guitar but when playing electric we would change between clean, chorus, distorted and lead sounds.  We also play along to a backing track for a number of the songs.  How can we use Apple products to get rid of our amplifiers and mixing desk etc. It would be great to get some advice.  Thanks!


Logic Pro
  • 1. Re: Transferring from traditional guitar set up to Apple Logic/Mainstage?
    Pancenter Level 5 Level 5 (7,640 points)

    Have you used a program like Logic or Mainstage before, if not are prepared to spend quite a bit of time learning the programs and setting things up... while not overly difficult if you understand audio software it could be somewhat of a daunting task for someone with no experience. Also you may be able to ditch the guitar amps you will of course need your P.A. and monitors. (but you new that) Also, if the program or computer crashes your show stops. You know most of the plus side, just be aware of the work involved. I'll let others who've done this kind of thing fill you in on any difficulties, equipment...etc.

     

    You will need a professional multi-input audio interface.

     

    btw, not trying to discourage, it can be made to work, call up a song and the programmed effects,volumes, panning, vocal balance all in place.

  • 2. Re: Transferring from traditional guitar set up to Apple Logic/Mainstage?
    chorleyman Level 4 Level 4 (1,415 points)

    You need to get into Logic a bit so that you can get the sounds that you want in any particular song saved as channel strip settings - you can organise them in Mainstage and bring up everything song by song that way.

  • 3. Re: Transferring from traditional guitar set up to Apple Logic/Mainstage?
    mauve_vert Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the replies so far.  I'm pretty comfortable with getting up to speed with the Logic/Mainstage software from previous experience of digital audio workstations, mastering software and using a sequencer with my other band (well our bass player programs that ). Yes we will keep our MAUIs as the PA/monitor set up, it's really just a neat way of replacing our amps, effects and mixing desk we are looking for.  If we were to go down this route then my friend would have a backup laptop (we are not playing too seriously at the moment but hope to do more in future).  The key question for me is to do with the set up of the electric guitar inputs...how can the two of us be playing electric guitars connected to the same Apple Mac and change our sounds during a song (i.e. what hardware and wiring do we need)?  The acoustic guitars and vocals I can see working ok just by using the multi I/O interface.  Any additional help welcome!?

  • 4. Re: Transferring from traditional guitar set up to Apple Logic/Mainstage?
    CCTM Level 6 Level 6 (9,015 points)

    Hi

    mauve_vert wrote:

     

    The key question for me is to do with the set up of the electric guitar inputs...how can the two of us be playing electric guitars connected to the same Apple Mac and change our sounds during a song (i.e. what hardware and wiring do we need)?

    This would need some careful planning.

     

    Basically, have a multi-input interface with all the instruments/mics connected to different inputs to save 'hotswapping' during the gig.

     

    Setup Patches with audio channel strips for each instrument with all the required FX etc. Vocals could be organised at Patch or Set level (or possibly Concert Level if you don't need to change their basic setup for different songs.

     

    The main issue would be one of changing sounds per instrument. You could do this with simple Patch Changes, or using MIDI controllers to switch individual FX etc. It all depends on whether each of you need individual 'random' control, or it is all pre-programmed.

     

     

    CCT

  • 5. Re: Transferring from traditional guitar set up to Apple Logic/Mainstage?
    mauve_vert Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks again, this is getting a bit clearer...the patch changes on the electric guitars would be done manually as we are playing as not all our songs are with backing tracks.  Any specific recommendations of an input/output interface and MIDI controllers for the electric guitars?  I've been looking at the Apogee Quartet (for the 2 mics and 2 acoustic guitars?) and possibly an Apogee Gio for each of the electric guitars but have no idea if/how these three devices can be connected to a Mac?

  • 6. Re: Transferring from traditional guitar set up to Apple Logic/Mainstage?
    chorleyman Level 4 Level 4 (1,415 points)

    Your whole question has a pretty big answer, you know- if you're really ditching your amplifiers - I dunno, do you usually mike up the amps and feed that into a PA system along with the microphones via a mixer of some kind ?

     

    You can do that better, using stuff like Mainstage - it gives you some kind of control over what exactly you want to happen and when, but you have to get used to that kind of way of working, I think you need to try something and see what happens. The Gio would probably be a nice toy for a while - I tend to find a nice guitar sound that I can play, record it and then think about whether I can make it different sometime, so it amounts to the same thing, really. The Quartet makes more sense - I would consider whether you might need more inputs in the future, it could happen.

  • 7. Re: Transferring from traditional guitar set up to Apple Logic/Mainstage?
    gen_ Level 2 Level 2 (335 points)

    You could use a set of USB pedals to form a set of patch controls.

     

    Some thing like this:

    http://compare.ebay.co.uk/like/390437094670?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&v ar=sbar&adtype=pla&crdt=0

     

    You would then use Apple-K to assign them to change patch (one up and one down), then save a selection of patches in order of usage.

     

    The main issue is that it will only allow you to change one track at a time, and until you get dual input Macs (designed to be used by two people at once) you will have to take turns controlling it.

     

    I can tell you how I would try though. I would assign the third pedal to switch selected track, then create a two track project and set up in that. If you have a backing track you can do this by creating a folder then inserting your tracks into that. Your 3rd pedal should switch between the two on press, and it will increase the time taken to switch patches but it should be effective.

     

    You probably want to use mainstage though, Logic takes a moment to load patches whereas I assume mainstage is designed to get around that problem. I will assume that for simplicity the concepts above would work on that too.

     

    If you don't mind doing so, use a seperate Mac each it will make things much easier. Otherwise, buy a control serface and push buttons, that will be easier too.

  • 8. Re: Transferring from traditional guitar set up to Apple Logic/Mainstage?
    mauve_vert Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks again for the latest replies!

     

    Our acoustic guitars usually go, via TC Helicon vocal harmonisers, straight into a small mixer along with the microphones...this then feeds the PA (a pair of MAUIs).  The electric guitars are just played through amplifiers and are not miked up or sent to the PA. 

     

    I'm now wondering whether we can use an interface with at least 6 inputs (for the vocals, acoustic guitars and electric guitars), use say MainStage to put effects on everything, and use some kind of foot controllers for real time changes of electric guitar sounds?

  • 9. Re: Transferring from traditional guitar set up to Apple Logic/Mainstage?
    CCTM Level 6 Level 6 (9,015 points)

    Hi

    mauve_vert wrote:

     

    I'm now wondering whether we can use an interface with at least 6 inputs (for the vocals, acoustic guitars and electric guitars), use say MainStage to put effects on everything, and use some kind of foot controllers for real time changes of electric guitar sounds?

    Exactly:

     

    Vocals in via Mic Pre on interface

    Acc Gtrs via TC into line Ins

    E Gtrs in via Instrument level ins on interface.

     

    The crucial bit would be the routing for the harmonisers on the Mics! You may do better to run this the 'old way'.

     

     

    You then need to work out how much "foot control' you need for patch changing etc.

     

    CCT

  • 10. Re: Transferring from traditional guitar set up to Apple Logic/Mainstage?
    chorleyman Level 4 Level 4 (1,415 points)

    Yeah, as CCT says, if you want to use the harmonisers as an 'insert', you'll need extra outs and ins - I think you should think about getting something with more than 6 - you could have the harmonisers in between your intstruments or mics and your interface, presumably what CCT means as the 'old way' - its good to have some kind of central control over everything though.

  • 11. Re: Transferring from traditional guitar set up to Apple Logic/Mainstage?
    mauve_vert Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, I think we will continue to use the harmonisers in between the mics/guitars and the interface.

     

    I picked up from another discussion the NI Rig Kontrol foot controller could be good, is this over the top, any others recommeded?

  • 12. Re: Transferring from traditional guitar set up to Apple Logic/Mainstage?
    CCTM Level 6 Level 6 (9,015 points)

    Hi

     

    The Rig Kontrol is a sturdy piece of kit though the switches might be a bit close together. The main advantage over a conventional a MIDI footcontroller is that it supports bi-directional communication (ie: the switch lights match what is on MS, so you can see what is on or off when you change patches)

     

     

    CCT