PDA

View Full Version : How to digitally record to Mac from a PA system?



fionaw
26th September 2007, 03:44 PM
Hi all,

I'm in the process of putting together the AV requirements for a conference I am organising. The conference organisers want to explore the possibility of recording the conference audio digitally from the PA system. We generally hire Mac's for the conference.

I'm sure it would be a reasonably simple thing to run a cord from the sound desk to an iMac and record through a program there, but I have no idea how to approach it.

If anyone could point me in the right direction that would be appreciated.

Cheers,
Fiona

decryption
26th September 2007, 03:52 PM
You need a few things.

1. Some sort of output from the AV system's mixer. WIll probably be either a 3.5mm or a 6.5mm jack. The cable you need depends on what the output from the mixer is to what the input on the computer will be (see step 2). Either way, they're only a couple of bucks.

2. An adapter to enable the Mac to have audio input. The Behringer U-CONTROL UCA202 (http://www.behringer.com/UCA202/index.cfm?lang=eng) is good for the price ($60-80).

3. An application on the Mac to record audio. Garageband works fine, but Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) is good too.

That should be it. Once you've got it recorded, you can then edit it, make it into an MP3/AAC and distribute it however you wish :)

melted.marsbar
26th September 2007, 03:55 PM
Perhaps you could also use Quicktime Pro to record it? (If you already use it)

Also, if the conference is very important, would it be worth recording on two computers, just incase something unexpected happens? I know we should never doubt the Mac... but you know, these things happen :p

coljac
26th September 2007, 04:01 PM
You need a few things.
2. An adapter to enable the Mac to have audio input. The Behringer U-CONTROL UCA202 (http://www.behringer.com/UCA202/index.cfm?lang=eng) is good for the price ($60-80).


What sort of Macs do you hire? Some of them - Pros at least - already have a 3.5 mm line in, do they not?

fionaw
26th September 2007, 04:06 PM
We will generally hire whatever suits our needs, either iMacs or Mac Pros.

Minutes of the conference are kept. This is more if there is a need for referencing back to ensure accuracy.

coljac - So if I get a Mac with a line in, I don't need an external adaptor?

decryption
26th September 2007, 04:10 PM
What sort of Macs do you hire? Some of them - Pros at least - already have a 3.5 mm line in, do they not?

They have a line-in, but depending on what sort of feed you're getting from the mixer, you may or may not need them.

Come to think of it, if all the Mac is going to do is record audio, you may want something that's perhaps a bit more reliable and a bit more portable.

Check out some devices like this M-Audio MicroTrack: http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/MicroTrack2496-focus.html

You can plug a 1/4" TRS balanced input directly into it and it will record at 24-bit, 96kHz, uncompressed (but all you need is 16-bit, 44.1kHz, roughly 600mb/1hr), onto a memory card (8GB cards are only $100).

The audio is simply recorded onto the compact flash card, then you use a card reader to copy the audio file off, just like what you'd do with digital photos. You can then place the audio into something like Garageband for editing.

Goes for about $400. If you're doing this sort of thing often, it might end up being cheaper than hiring Macs all the time. I'd be inclined to use it simply because there's less things to fuck up on a small device like this as opposed to a computer.

That's enough thinking out loud from this AV gadget nerd :p

fionaw
26th September 2007, 04:32 PM
Thanks for all this help. Much appreciative of the AV gadget nerds.

We have to hire the computers anyway, so it's not an extra cost.

Excuse my ignorance, but how many GB would 1 hour of audio be? I know it depends on the format etc but just to give me an idea.

decryption
26th September 2007, 04:34 PM
Thanks for all this help. Much appreciative of the AV gadget nerds.

We have to hire the computers anyway, so it's not an extra cost.

Excuse my ignorance, but how many GB would 1 hour of audio be? I know it depends on the format etc but just to give me an idea.

1 hour is roughly 600mb at 44.1kHz, 16-bit (CD quality).