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Old 11-13-2012, 03:51 PM   #1
AshersUK
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Options for recording acoustic\classical guitar?

Hi all

Once a week, me and my pal get together to play acoustic\classical guitar. We're relative novices, but have realised that it's extremely informative to hear our own playing played back.

So far I've recorded our playing using a smartphone balanced on the music stand. sounds ropey as you'd expect!

with xmas around the corner, I can put in a request to Santa for a microphone, so I wondered if anyone could suggest anything?

Budget - up to 100 max, less is fine
style - classic\acoustic
Location - UK
Connected to - laptop or PC

alternative usage - recording electric (classic rock)

TIA

Ash
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:53 PM   #2
GaryBillington
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Go read the Interfaces sticky in the Recordings forum.

As well as either an Interface (to connect to your PC) and software or a multitracker, you'll need monitors/headphones and mics.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:55 PM   #3
AshersUK
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okey dokey, I'll do that. (tis an area I have never strayed into, it seems.... intimidating!)

cheers
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:01 PM   #4
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Quick reply! Hope you caught my edit

Don't be scared - there's the same mix of experts and idiots in all the forums here, the recordings forum is no different.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:43 PM   #5
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The Zoom stuff gets good reviews. The H1 would be within your budget.

http://www.zoom.co.jp/products/h1

The additional accessories APH-1 (stand, wind shield, USB cable) might just burst over the budget (Amazon UK are selling the H1 @ 80, and the accessory package @ 30).

Last edited by another_dave : 11-13-2012 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:21 PM   #6
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^ They're OK for just recording a practice session so you can get an immediate playback, but if you want to be able to record something & mix it so it can be played through a regular stereo and sound good either a proper multitrack recorder or interface/software setup is required.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryBillington
^ They're OK for just recording a practice session so you can get an immediate playback, but if you want to be able to record something & mix it so it can be played through a regular stereo and sound good either a proper multitrack recorder or interface/software setup is required.



Nah, the zoom is going to be way better than an interface at this price point. The caputures sound great and you can import them into a DAW later. For a beginner looking to capture some stuff with a guitar or two and some vocals for 100, the zooms are hard to beat. An interface and mics to come close to that sound quality would be 350+

Not to mention, the zoom captures with an XY pattern is VERY mono compatible. It sounds great when played back through speakers, no matter how they're spaced since it's so close to mono. You should also be able to flip them to more of an ORTF if you want a wider image.

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Last edited by Artemis Entreri : 11-13-2012 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:29 AM   #8
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^ But you're still getting everything recorded onto a single track. To make a purchase like that worthwhile for anything other than immediate playback & note-taking, you need the H4n as that has 4 tracks. As that one costs over 250 new, you might as well get the proper equipment.

I'm not saying those handheld recorders aren't a useful tool, but they aren't a good investment for someone wanting to set themselves up with a recording system.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:20 AM   #9
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i fall into the "idiot" category so all i'm gonna say is " yesterday was a good day, i made it through without stuffing cheese down my pants".
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:31 PM   #10
Artemis Entreri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryBillington
^ But you're still getting everything recorded onto a single track. To make a purchase like that worthwhile for anything other than immediate playback & note-taking, you need the H4n as that has 4 tracks. As that one costs over 250 new, you might as well get the proper equipment.

I'm not saying those handheld recorders aren't a useful tool, but they aren't a good investment for someone wanting to set themselves up with a recording system.



To be honest, it sounds like he's just looking for some playback. I have a full recording studio, not only interfaces but standalone pres and converters, etc but I've found the zoom to be wonderful for quick, accurate recordings. It sounds GREAT and a single, stereo track is much easier to work with than having to record tracks into a DAW and edit them.

Even if he wanted to get set up with a recording system, a 100 pound interface would NOT be the way to go. Hell, your 250 wouldn't even get your "proper" equipment. It would either get you a pair of cheap mics or a cheap interface, neither of which would compare to the zoom.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:31 PM   #11
GaryBillington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis Entreri
To be honest, it sounds like he's just looking for some playback. I have a full recording studio, not only interfaces but standalone pres and converters, etc but I've found the zoom to be wonderful for quick, accurate recordings. It sounds GREAT and a single, stereo track is much easier to work with than having to record tracks into a DAW and edit them.

Not disagreeing with any of this, if a quick recording is all he wants then its a decent choice.

However, the fact he's also considering doing some recording of classic rock as well as his acoustic sessions tells me he's looking for more than just the quick recording & playback option - if I'm wrong with that assumption, the Zoom is a good suggestion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis Entreri
Even if he wanted to get set up with a recording system, a 100 pound interface would NOT be the way to go. Hell, your 250 wouldn't even get your "proper" equipment. It would either get you a pair of cheap mics or a cheap interface, neither of which would compare to the zoom.

As he's getting the mic for xmas (or hoping to at least), 100 would get an interface or a used multitracker that would be plenty good enough for some quality home recording. The more he can stretch his budget, the better the kit he can consider will be.

It's not going to be comparable to your full recording studio, but then neither is his recording talent. You wouldn't buy a Gibson Les Paul & a Vox AC30 as your first guitar setup, so why would you expect someone to dive straight in & buy pro-level gear for their first recording setup?
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:55 AM   #12
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I recommend an electret condenser type mic, for best quality... one that plugs into a USB port to keep things simple (unless of course you want to have multiple mikes and/or other inputs... then you'll need to go through a mixer before going to the computer's USB port).

You can use some free software like Audacity for doing the actual recording... it also has editing functions, and creates MP3 files that you can transfer to a CD if you wish. If you want to make an audio format CD that's a bit more complex... it usually requires an additional process, and not every CD burner can do it.

As to the mic, you might take a look at the MXL 990... it's about 100 GBP.

Cheers,

Jean

Last edited by Prescott_Player : 11-16-2012 at 07:56 AM.
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