Element Quickstart Setup for GarageBand
In this video, we’ll show you how to set up your Element, and start recording.
1. Download and install the Element Control software.
2. After your mac restarts, connect the Elements power supply. Connect your Element to your mac using a Thunderbolt cable.
3. Update the firmware if prompted.
4. Click Yes to use the Element as your mac’s I/O.
5. If this dialog does not appear, confirm the settings in system preferences/sound
6. If the Element Control App doesn’t launch automatically, launch it from your applications folder.
7. Close any open windows.
8. Go to the window menu and select Essentials.
9. Turn the monitors all the way down.
10. Turn the Main output level in Essentials all the way up.
11. Play back a song from iTunes, and slowly raise the monitor level until the music coming out of your monitors is at the maximum volume you would ever listen to.
12. Back off the main output level in the essentials window until your at a comfortable listening level.
13. If the audio sounds distorted, open the Primary window and select -10dBV in the Main Output Level menu.
14. Close the Primary window and set the Main output level to a comfortable listening level.
15. Stop playback of audio and close any apps you have open beside Element Control.
16. Before setting up your input, turn down the Main Output all the way. This will prevent feedback when using microphones.
17. Connect your input source to your Element. The 1/4 inch jack can only accept input from instruments. So if you’re using a mic, make sure to use an XLR cable.
18. Select the input type-Mic, Instrument, or a line level setting +4dBu or -10dBV. These are used for sending a signal from another audio device. If your mic needs phantom power, engage the 48V button on the input you’re using. For basic recording, you will not need any the other buttons in the Essentials window, but if you’re curious, select Hover Help from the window menu and read about each button as you hover your pointer over them. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be hearing your input yet. We’re going to set proper input levels first.
19. Perform on your instrument or mic as you normally would, and raise the input gain until the signal in the meter is about 3/4 of the way up. If you see the orange over light, lower the gain.
20. Launch GarageBand.
21. To create a new project, select Empty Project and click the Choose button.
22. Since we are going to record with a mic, make sure the microphone is selected.
23. Click the little arrow at the bottom left and then choose Element as your output and input device.
24. Close the Preferences window and check the box beside I want to hear my instrument as I play and record.
25. Make sure input 1 is selected in the input menu.
26. Click Create.
27. Put your headphones on. You can start with the headphone level at -40dB. Speak into your mic or play your instrument. You should hear yourself in the headphones. If the volume is too low, turn the headphone level up. We’ve already set up the input gain to a good level so it won’t clip or distort. So from this point on we should only adjust output levels when things are too quiet or too loud.
28. Now you are ready to record. Click the Record button, wait for the four beat count in, and begin recording.