Um..budding guitarist
Join date: Jan 2002
211 IQ
I'm trying to record my song on my PC, and all I keep getting it a horrible cracking noise all over the track.

How do you connect everything? I've got the song on mini-disc and need to hook it up through my PC and i'm not sure what goes where.

Can anybody help?

Edited bit: I've found that I can record my voice through a mic but it still has a crackling over the top of my voice. Why is this?
Last edited by PaulGanja at Jul 30, 2002,
Fluffy Club 7
Join date: Jul 2002
448 IQ
your computer wasn't meant to make high quality recordings. You need a digital 8 track if you want decent quality with any control over your recordings.
You could always start with an analog 4 track. They use cassettes and are relatively cheap. They aren't as versatile and the quality is not as good as digital, but it could be a good start for you.
Fraternal Order of the Warm and Fuzzy
Smooth Blend no. 7

Answers to your questions
UG Senior Member
Join date: Aug 2002
10 IQ
To minimise craxkling experiment with re-postitioning the mic, making sure the connection doesnt get moved (the plug moving in the socket) and look at getting a better mic to start with
UG Addict
Join date: Aug 2002
1,272 IQ
You don't need an actual multi-track recorder to do good recording. There's tons of great software avaible that kicks any physical recorders ass (I like CoolEdit).

What you do need is a sound card (such as the Audiotrack Maya -
and a microphone that is equipped to handle this kind of recording.

Consumer sound cards are meant for games and listening to music. They absolutely suck for recording. As for you PC mic, well it's meant for voice apps. What do expect for a $5-$10 mic?

First thing to do is get yourself a decent mic and some way to hook it up to your PC. Go to Radio Shack for this. Don't necessarily buy the mic there as a music shop would most likely have something better for cheaper. But they would be able to tell you what kind of converter you would need to hook a professional mic up to your sound card.

Then if you're satisfied with that stop. Otherwise if you want to get serious then get yourself a decent sound card for recording.

The other thing that helps a lot for professional digital recording is a lot of RAM and large, fast hard drives. All of your sound data is going to be completely in raw format (uncompressed) and take up a LOT of hard disk space, plus your audio application is going to need to write all of this data to the hard drive while you're recording. So it helps to have a hard drive that is both fast and large.

If you're _REALLY_ serious about setting up a home studio with a computer as your primary recorder then private msg. me as I know alot about computers and recording.
Bubonic Chronic
Your bucket 'o love
Join date: Aug 2002
1,115 IQ
Listen to old jazz. Besides being good advice in general, it's also great advice for those shopping for home studios.

The recordings of many jazz standards originally took place with a single mic or a stereo pair in a room with a live ensemble - and they sound fabulous (except of course for the scratchy record sounds and pops.) In terms of tonality and balance, though, you can hear every instrument clearly and they all sound the way they should.

Mix magazine will tell you you need the new RODE whatever condenser for $600 and blah blah blah, but that's because they're in the business of selling you the new RODE condenser. RODE, by the way, are very much shunned by the professionals that I know (from recording school.) Don't buy them, but DO buy MXL mics - they are from Marshall and cost around $80 to $100. I dare anyone to beat that!! And you won't beat the sound for under $700. Great deal!! Also check out Octava - for $100 you can meet or BEAT the sound of $3000 mics made in USA (the Octava's are Russian.) The problem with those is they aren't consistent, meaning some suck and some don't work at all. If you're lucky, though, you'll find one that will sound like you spent 30 times as much! I'm dead ass serious, and if you don't believe me check it out yourself. Also Radio Shack mics are either Shure or Crown factory rejects, meaning they are the same mics that cost hundreds of dollars, they just don't meet the same spec. I've heard of individual Radio Shack mics outperforming their Shure or Crown counterparts - again, it's just luck (with the Shure and Crown you KNOW what it will sound like, which is why they're so expensive.)

Once you get a mic, get yourself a console (or board) to plug it into. The best option for starters is Mackie - they will cost you about $300 or $400 new for the smallest ones. Also rent to own is common - look for a shop that rents equip. to bands. Expect to pay $30 a month for that.

Then you will need something to record onto. If you like going deaf, you can mix the sounds while the band (or you) are playing and record to your stereo cassette player. This will sound really, amazingly good, if you do it right - but you need good levels (just touching the red, if you can.) The better option is multitrack, but AVOID, I mean AVOID cassette multitracks - they suck! Go for an ADAT if you can, that's your cheapest option for quality. If you know a lot about computers you can build a decent studio computer for less than $1000, but the ADAT should be about $400 or $500 for a single 8-Track unit.

Of course all the equipment in the world won't make YOU record well - another common misconception. As pointed out with the old jazz, they had the crappiest equipment known to man, but they knew what they were doing, which made all the difference.

Basically, you don't want to get TOO close to anything. Allow for wave development (come back at least seven or eight inches.) Not only will you get a more accurate sound, the sound won't be as hard to control in the mix. This is true of acoustic instruments in general - back off seven inches to a foot and a half for the close mic and back it up with another mic (a condeser is best) seven to ten feet away for ambience (that way it will sound like you're playing somewhere, it will bring the recording some life.)

For electric instruments, do whatever the hell you like. Close is good sometimes, other times its bad. It depends on what you're doing. If you're miking a speaker cabinet, try getting the mic a few millimeters from the cone, then try pulling it back three feet. Try the mic in front of the cabinet and in back, then try moving it around the speaker until you find THE SOUND. You'll know it when you hear it, trust me. Also try different mics to see what they do for you here.

That's the most abbreviated version that I could give you - I got a college degree in this.
Last edited by Bubonic Chronic at Aug 29, 2002,
Join date: Dec 2001
315 IQ
Now that's interesting reading on this forum! Thanks Bubonic Chronic!!
Any chance of telling me more about recording thru the computer? Because i don't have all the money to buy ADAT-recorders and digital multitrack consoles,...

I'm an IT-student, so don't worry about difficult terms or anything.
"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid."
Bubonic Chronic
Your bucket 'o love
Join date: Aug 2002
1,115 IQ
The easiest way to get started is with a Radio Shack dynamic mic and a handheld tape recorder - just make sure to get one that's for general recording, the ones for voice suck! The right connectors shouldn't cost you more than $10.

Sill, you don't need fancy digital anything, but a console and multiple microphones does help a lot. Look into Mackie, or see if you can pick up a used board. The best two first mics to get would be the Radio Shack dynamic and I would suggest the MXL 1006 or Octava condeser mic. You'll be able to record a lot of different things that way and it will sound decent.
Join date: Dec 2001
315 IQ
Ok, thanks...
I probably won't buy a handheld recorder, cuz i already have some programs on my pc to record stuff.
It works too for me.
As for mics, i surely need some mics. I don't know the radioshack-shop (?) you're talking about. Probably a shop in america? Or a chain of shops.
I'm from belgium, so i'll have to find my mics elsewhere

I'll also check the mackie-boards, but i really want to keep it as cheap as possible. As i already have a pc, i only need a good program to record stuff.
I use soundforge's sonic foundry now...but that only has 2 channels to record.
"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid."
Bubonic Chronic
Your bucket 'o love
Join date: Aug 2002
1,115 IQ
I'm not sure what's available in Belgium, but the best mics around are German. Neumann and Sennheiser make some of the best in the business. Still, you should be able to find Octava, they are much cheaper than German mics.

Always remember, too, that a room to record in is one of the most important tools as well. If you have access to a fairly large room with little background noise record there - this will go a long way toward that "professional" sound. The pros record in big rooms - so find one if you can. If you can't, make do with what you have and see about some reverb plug-ins. Otherwise, the room is the way!!