An old friend of mine wrote me this week, and asked me to help get a young musician started with the perfect recording/live rig for Logic Pro (He also suggested that my recommendations might make for a great blog post).
My suggestions are heavily geared toward a young musician that plays guitar as a main instrument, sings, and plays a little piano, so naturally if you're more keyboard-centric, you'll want to make some upgrades in that department.
So without further delay, here are some of my thoughts:
Estimated cost: around $600
Why should I get this package? This is the perfect starter package for a young musician- you get high-quality focusrite preamps, a great sounding mic that can go both onstage and in the studio, and an awesome set of headphones that will give you an accurate picture of exactly what you're recording. Also, piano can easily be recorded in Logic Pro with the M-Audio 88 key keyboard. While lacking the ability to hear anything outside of a pair of headphones, this covers all the bases on the recording side of things.
Estimated cost: around $700
Why should I get this package? This is definitely a step up from the last package, allowing a musician to record in stereo with two matching microphones. While it doesn't give him/her the flexibility to perform his music in front of an audience (you'd have to get the Behringer keyboard amp for that), it would give him/her a great recording package that would work well with Logic Pro and Mainstage.
Estimated cost: around $950
Why should I get this package? While this group is the most expensive, all of the components are the highest quality of any of the systems, and include some great features that others don't. For instance . . .
By having two matching microphones, guitars will sound even bigger and richer when recorded, and would allow for more options to make recordings down the road with other musicians without having to buy more equipment.
The MOTU audio interface has rock-solid construction and sounds amazing, and can double as a standalone mixer, which would allow a musician to use it in a live situation without having to haul a computer.
The Behringer amp is big enough and loud enough for a young musician to play coffeehouses and small events with, has space to plug in up to 4 other instruments, and even has a microphone line in with effects like reverb. This is easily the best bang for your buck you'll find in amplification.