Author Topic: Confused how to set up my Mac for normal use and basic home-recording  (Read 629 times)

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Offline john256

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I've got an Mac Mini I use for work and also for recording guitar/vocals. I'm getting confused all the various in/out combinations and what to plug where, so any help would be appreciated.

Let me list the kit I've got:

PreSonus AudioBox USB 96
As I understand it this is a classic 2x2 USB interface.

Sony HiFi amp and speakers
What I use for day-to-day computer use, listening to music and as my computer speakers

An old Alesis MultiMix 4
What I had before the PreSonus. It was meant as a USB recording interface but I'm led to believe it's more intended as a mini-mixer (though the difference isn't clear)

My Mac Mini
Main computer I use

Windows desktop
Used for some specific things, should also be plugged into the audio-out system

What I used to do was plug my Mac into the Alesis by USB, the Windows PC into the Alesis as channels 3/4, and guitar+mic into Alesis 1/2 channels. Then the Alesis audio-out into the HiFi amp. It let me record the stereo output of Alesis but I couldn't hear the output from Garageband only the raw input while recording... and I'd get Skype notifications recorded and so on ;)

The PreSonus as I've said is supposed to replace the Alesis for recording as it has an input/playback mixer knob so I can hear the return from GarageBand without the raw input mixed in if I want. My thinking is that this connects to the Mac by USB but then I'm lost beyond that. Does the PreSonus become my primary sound device so I feed its master out into my HiFi amp? Or should the HiFi get plugged in to the Mac's line-out so it's separate and all my background noises are kept away from the music side of things?
If my USB interface is my main sound interface then it would cause my speakers/HiFi to act as foldback when recording which may be undesirable.

The more I think the more confused I get. I guess I don't fundamentally know what a USB interface is supposed to do exactly and how its in/out works at the same time.

It must be a fairly common setup - use your PC for Netflix and work but also as a home recording station. What can I do and what should I avoid?!


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