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What speaker is best for Apple music-making?

Posted on 2011-09-22
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I used to do a lot of midi music with the PC about 10 years ago. I remember there was a special kind of speakers professionals use to determine the proper volume level output during the recording of the song so as to be playable on all CDs/DVD/radio, etc. without sounding too loud or too soft. Would I still need that today? Today is 10 years later, and I'd imagine musicians no longer require that special set of speakers? Would Garage Band or Apple Logic now provide software guidance on the proper volume level of recording?

If I sound lacking in specificity as far as terms are concerned, it's because it's been 10 years, and I'm just trying to get back into this hobby.

Also, what brand of speakers would you Apple musicans recommend? Thanks.

Thanks.
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Question by:elepil
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by:activematx
ID: 36589699
When dealing with speakers the first thing I ask clients is what is your budget.

I am going to assume your budget is around ~$100 and with that you can't do any better than M-Audio Reference monitors (great for MIDI as well).  

http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-StudioPro-Desktop-Audio-Monitors/dp/B000BN7CRU

As for hardware devices to monitor proper volume level during output you should get a good Audio Interface.  The rest is done on software to monitor the proper input levels.  Logic and Garageband have the monitor levels built right into the software.  From there you want to make sure your audio interface is digital and quality

See more:  http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=products.article&ID=aa5d9905c3e3edf8d23e505f871e2d3c
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Author Comment

by:elepil
ID: 36591088
Thanks for responding, activematx.

I think you almost answered my question, but allow me to even be more specific with my question. I am strictly an amateur home musician who does NOT play instruments live nor do I sing. In other words, I intend to make instrumental compositions/arrangements *entirely* just with my midi controller and GarageBand/Logic. When I am done with my piece and when it's time to save my music to a digitized file (e.g. MP3), this is the part when volume levels would begin to concern me. When you said:

"Logic and Garageband have the monitor levels built right into the software."

Your response is, to my understanding, tantamount to saying I no longer need monitor speakers, and that the software will automatically take care of the appropriate output levels such that my resultant digital file will playback at appropriate volume levels on other devices. Is it really that simple?
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activematx earned 2000 total points
ID: 36602387
I would suggest monitor speakers so you can hear your music yourself.  Of course, you don't necessarily need them because logic and garageband have a built in sound level monitor.  

 Garage Band
When recording with monitor speakers though you probably want to have them off.  Turning on monitoring can produce feedback (loud, sharp noise) if the audio input picks up the sound being output through your speakers.

Additionally, GarageBand includes an instrument tuner that you can use to check the tuning of any
Real Instrument connected to your computer.  The instrument tuner shows a horizontal scale with zero (0) in the center. The note
name is displayed to the left of the scale. When you play a single note on your Real
Instrument, the pitch is shown in relation to the correct pitch for the note displayed.
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