Back in the day, I had a number of recording tools at my disposal. I used a Korg 01/W FD (which stood for floppy drive, back when those, you know, existed) and a Tascam cassette 4-track. When I recorded guitars, I used my rig, which to this day consists of an ADA MP-2 (which I would be willing sell to fund my future Line 6 POD HD purchase – hit me up if interested), an ADA MicroTube 100 power amp, and an Alesis MidiVerb. Of course, using my rig like that meant that once guitars were recorded, the effects and amp settings couldn’t change. Once I fumbled a recording together, I’d master that down to a Sony MiniDisc.
Tuesday night, I put together a backing track for church with my Yamaha digital piano, a guitar, and my laptop in about 90 minutes. Sounds 10 times better and took a tenth of the time.
I have found GarageBand ’11 on my Macbook Air a joy to use. For software instruments, I plug my Yamaha P-80 in via MIDI through a iRig Pro interface. I record guitars through the on-board amp models. GarageBand’s Drummer feature has literally opened up new realms for me creatively – I’ve always hated drum programming, but saw it as a necessary chore. Now, I just have to make sure my song’s arrangement is mapped out correctly, make some drumming style choices, and my Mac does the rest. And the drums don’t sound artificial either.