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Old 12-11-2012, 03:43 PM   #1
an epic mistake
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Do you NEED an audio interface?

Alright, so I'm looking to get into recording, and I have been looking at different options and I've got a question, With the higher end USB microphones out there, is an audio interface truly necessary in a home studio? I'm trying to decide whether it would be worth it to get something like a Blue Yeti, or should I just look into getting a USB mixer that can utilize any mics I would pick up in the future?



EDIT: hahaha there's a typo in the title and I feel stupid now.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:25 PM   #2
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Get an interface
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:27 PM   #3
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I would say if you want any legitimacy, yes you need an interface (and not a USB mixer, mind you!). USB mics can be great tools on a seriously limited budget and some of them sound alright (better than a $50 codenser) but if you're planning on building up, get a decent interface.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:33 PM   #4
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Interface all the way... maybe Eleven rack or anything like that, because it can be used as an USB interface plus direct recording plus re amping plus...
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:34 PM   #5
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Yes you need an interface.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:47 PM   #6
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I had a feeling that this would be the consensus. I do plan on building up and eventually having a respectable recording rig, so I'l probably invest in one. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:52 PM   #7
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interface. so much more options with it, you'll be happy you bought one.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:09 PM   #8
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You need an interface if you want to go direct in or use XLR mics, but you can use a good USB mic (they even make reasonably priced tube USB tube condensers now) and get excellent results. On this nirvana cover on my profile we recorded every instrument with a single rockband cheap-o logitech USB mic, and this original was recorded on my own acoustically with a single guitar hero USB mic for vocals and guitar at the same time.

As someone said, if you're building up a studio an interface would be best, but IMO for acoustic or solo projects a decent USB would get great results too. If you're planning to do multiple tracks simultaneously an interface would be best, but you can get a better quality USB mic for $100-150 than a $100 interface.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:14 PM   #9
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An interface can do wonders for recording, editing, etc...etc...
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:41 PM   #10
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This is going to sound like a recording (pardon the pun), but if you have the budget and are truly serious about recording, you need an interface. Have a close look at your budget and what you intend to accomplish, then come back and ask us more questions and make an educated decision on which one to buy.

I started off with a USB2 Tascam US-2000 a few years ago and graduated to a Presonus Studio Live 16.4.2 mixing desk about a year ago. The Tascam could no longer meet my needs. I also have a double rack. Pics are in My Gear if you care to check out my small home studio. This is the only way to go.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:02 PM   #11
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So, I guess the question is, could I get a decent mic for recording vocals and guitar (both acoustic and electric) for about 100 bucks? I assume the interface thread is where I'd look at to find out what I would get there.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:35 PM   #12
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If you're on a budget you can do a great job with USB mics, but in all honesty it's just easier in the long run to get an interface.

People give USB condensers a bad rap though - the results can be just as good as any other budget condenser.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:37 PM   #13
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If you're buying an interface, a decent mic for recording vocals and electric guitar is the Shure SM-58 or SM-57. The 57 is generally billed as an instrument mic, while the 58 is marketed as a vocal mic. To be honest, they're actually quite similar and use the same capsule. I have both here. Both of those mics are generally not thought of, when it comes to recording acoustic guitar. Your best bet there is to go direct into your interface, assuming you have a pickup system on your acoustic, or to buy a condenser mic.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KG6_Steven
If you're buying an interface, a decent mic for recording vocals and electric guitar is the Shure SM-58 or SM-57. The 57 is generally billed as an instrument mic, while the 58 is marketed as a vocal mic. To be honest, they're actually quite similar and use the same capsule. I have both here. Both of those mics are generally not thought of, when it comes to recording acoustic guitar. Your best bet there is to go direct into your interface, assuming you have a pickup system on your acoustic, or to buy a condenser mic.

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO


They're only really good for electric guitar - and you can already get great results using VST amp sims. Condenser is the way to go for vocals and acoustic guitar on a budget.


I completely understand what you're saying, but the problem is that people who're new to recording just see posts like this, don't read into it, then go ahead and buy a 57/58 thinking it'll do everything brilliantly. A month later you say threads asking 'why do my vocals sound so dull'.
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Last edited by kyle62 : 12-11-2012 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle62
I completely understand what you're saying, but the problem is that people who're new to recording just see posts like this, don't read into it, then go ahead and buy a 57/58 thinking it'll do everything brilliantly. A month later you say threads asking 'why do my vocals sound so dull'.


This. I've seen newbies just regurgitate that the SM57 can do all the things because they don't really understand it when people say that it CAN record stuff, and assume it means just because it'll pick up sound waves in certain situations that it's the right mic for the job.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:58 PM   #16
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I didn't really think about plugging direct into the interface with either the acoustic or the electric. So really, I'm looking for an okay condenser mic? I assume a decent cardioid would be okay for vocals, but I'd like the option for my acoustic to be recorded through a mic, I'm not sure how great the pre-amp is...
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:50 PM   #17
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Thoughts on using a USB mixer to record rather than an interface? If say for only recording bass or guitar DI. Not a full drum kit or anything
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:33 AM   #18
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For just bass or guitar on their own (or even two together if you pan them hard L/R and split them once recorded) it's probably alright. For the price of a decent USB mixer though you should be able to get a reasonable interface.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:53 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by kyle62
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO


They're only really good for electric guitar - and you can already get great results using VST amp sims. Condenser is the way to go for vocals and acoustic guitar on a budget.


I completely understand what you're saying, but the problem is that people who're new to recording just see posts like this, don't read into it, then go ahead and buy a 57/58 thinking it'll do everything brilliantly. A month later you say threads asking 'why do my vocals sound so dull'.



I'm going to disagree with you. To say that the 57 and 58 are only suited for electric guitar is totally wrong. Both are also good at vocals. The thing to realize is, that while a 58 may work well for my vocals, it may not work well for yours. Each person has to find that mic that works well for them - that's why studio engineers have a variety of mics to choose from - what works well for one artist may not be the best choice for the next. There are plenty of bands who swear by these mics, even some top acts.

Another thing to remember, is that most of those people with recording issues are new to the concept and have no clue how to record. Even putting the best mic in their hands would result in a crappy recording. Someone who knows what they're doing can take a cheap mic and turn out decent results.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by an epic mistake
I didn't really think about plugging direct into the interface with either the acoustic or the electric. So really, I'm looking for an okay condenser mic? I assume a decent cardioid would be okay for vocals, but I'd like the option for my acoustic to be recorded through a mic, I'm not sure how great the pre-amp is...



Keep your options open. Going direct into the console is something I do on a regular basis - in fact, I'm plugged directly into channel 9 of my console right with my Taylor acoustic. I also havethe option of swinging the boom of any of the mics in here and capturing my audio that way. Another thing I like to do, is plug my guitar into the mixer AND use a condenser mic.

For an okay condenser mic, have a look at Behringer and MXL. Neither of them will rival a higher end mic, but for starting out, the price can't be beat. As your budget and ear get better, you'll probably want to replace it with something better.
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