What is the best way to begin recording music on Mac OSX?
If you have little to no experience with music recording software you may find Apple’s GarageBand the easiest interlude to a full blown DAW like Logic Studio, Pro Tools, or Digital Performer. While some find the mixing environment of Garage Band a little lacking, its a major step above using a direct audio recording program like Audacity. GarageBand permits multitrack recording, has various plugin/production effects, and is compatible with a decent amount of recording gear for Mac.
A major advantage to GarageBand is the initial cost (either free of $79 with iLife). For what you get, it’s an incredible deal. Not only can Garage Band function as a recording and sequencing tool, it features its own production suite and great quality sound for any music or podcast. You may not want to record a symphony, or your 10th studio album with the program, but it will certainly handle podcasts, demos, and early music recording projects.
There are a cacophony of audio interfaces, microphones, and other recording equipment for Apple Mac. Many of these will function with OSX and GarageBand to record high quality audio. Usually if you are looking to start your own Mac recording studio, you require more than one microphone preamp or instrument input. Generally this means obtaining an audio interface or digital mixing console. Since there are so many available interfaces with differing inputs and bit-rates (generally related to price) it is difficult to determine the best interface for starting a Mac music studio. Entry level recording gear from M-Audio, MOTU, and PreSonus (among others) can deliver stellar results without breaking the bank. However, a device from DigiDesign or Apogee certainly will deliver better audio, you will just be nearly doubling the price for that quality.