Hey people!

Been recording with a cheap line in microphone, but now I'm getting a new computer and are looking to invest in a decent recording setup.

So what do I need in order to have a good foundation for making recordings that sound good.

The budget is 400-500$.

Any tips is recommended!

Quote by Ichikurosaki
sloth is hacking away feebly at the grass because he is a sloth but he was trying so hard ;_; hes all "penguin im HERE i am here to help you penguin"
A few questions, what will you be recording? What spec's will your computer have? And is the software included in the $400, or is the $400 just for hardware?

For starters, you're probably going to need a Firewire interface no matter what you're recording. But if you answer those questions, i can give you a much more detailed setup
I love you long time.
I would strongly suggest Line 6 Tonecore UX2. I'm not sure about the price in America, but here is 200 euros (about 260$), and it's really worth what it does. It allows to record with and amazing quality, simulating many of the most famous amps in the world with a great result; it's not too difficult to use, and you could use the extra money of your budget to download extras for the software (new amps, and so). Also, you can use it to record the bass.
Take a listen at Seeds Of Sorrow, from my band's myspace:


It was entirely recorded (voice, guitars, bass) with this little thing
I will be recording vocals, guitar and keyboard. The computer has a tri-core processor and 4GB ram, unsure of the soundcard.

The budget is for all equipment.
Quote by Ichikurosaki
sloth is hacking away feebly at the grass because he is a sloth but he was trying so hard ;_; hes all "penguin im HERE i am here to help you penguin"
Last edited by Demon Wolf at Dec 5, 2008,
The Toneport UX2 works itself as a soundcard, so that wouldn't be any problem. All you would need is a powerful PC (if it's new, I guess it will be very fast), enough space on your hard disk for as many recordings as you want and a decent pair of speakers.
A Condenser microphone is a must. The more you spend on these, the better. However, you can get great results with cheap(er) microphones. I wouldn't go under $40~ though.

You can get very interesting results with a combination of Dynamic & Condenser microphones when recording guitars. I would get an SM57 (Or equivalent) and use your vocal mic at the same time. You should get a massive sound using the two.

Im guessing your keyboard has a headphone out. In which case, i would just DI it into your interface. Shouldn't be any problems there. If its for midi though, you will want to get a midi to usb converter (or get a firewire interface with midi capabilities)

You're going to be using two mics at the same time, so any firewire interface will do for that. I would look into the Presonus Inspire 1394, as its cheap, and you can hook up another one to get 4 inputs at a later stage. But there are literally hundreds around, so its up to you which one you choose. Just read reviews, and see which suits you best.

I personally like LogicPro. But you have a pc, so i would go for something like Cubase, ProTools etc. Again, you will have to choose the software, as its all down to personal preference. This will help alot though

You could go for a Linux setup. I have this at the moment, and it is absolutely fantastic. If you are able to do this, i would seriously recommend it. Ubuntu Studio is the best option, as it comes with ALL the software you will ever need. And you won't have to set much up either. The best part is that its totally free too, and you can still dual boot it with Windows, if you really want to.

Quite alot of info there. If you have any questions, just ask
I love you long time.
Great suggestions! Spontaneously, I don't know about the Toneport, I'd rather record my guitar and stuff in the analog way with a microphone. (Am at work so can't listen to the recording yet)

And don't I need some sort of extra-thingy for the microphones, or do I plug em in the firewire and use the line-in like a "normal" microphone?

Doesn't the sound get worse if I do it like that? I really have no idea, I'm a total beginner when it comes to this.

Also, I'd rather just get one good microphone than two decent. A versatile one, I've heard good things about the Shure SM58 for guitars and vocals... true or false?

Thanks once again, I will look into all options!
Quote by Ichikurosaki
sloth is hacking away feebly at the grass because he is a sloth but he was trying so hard ;_; hes all "penguin im HERE i am here to help you penguin"
Vocals, guitar, and keyboard...all easy enough to record on a smaller interface which will work with your budget.

NO.WAY - a condenser mic isn't a MUST but it is nice to have in some cases.
The Toneports are not great and with your budget you can do much better.

TS, here's what I suggest you look into:

Interfaces - PreSonus Inspire 1394 - a great firewire interface for the price. If you want to run with MIDI look into the EMU 0404 USB.

Mics - Try the Shure SM57 to start off on. it works great for vocals and is a great general use mic. If you want a little bump in quality the MXL 990/991 set is quite nice as well and is just under $100.

Software - a good sequencer is nice to have but there are lower priced packs that work very well. Reaper, Cubase, Sonar...all great. I personally use and love Sonar and they have some good lower end packs out there.

Add cables and stands and you should be close to your $400 budget.
You dont really have any money for monitors so get yourself some good headphones above $50 to track and mix on. Once you save up more go for the studio monitors. KRK has some nice units out for a budget.
Awesome, I've looked into the Presonus Inspire and it seems great. It also comes with Cubase LE so I'll have a decent software to begin with before moving on to greater things.

I've read conflicting things though, that the Shure SM58 is better for vocals and stuff while the SM57 is better for drums and instruments.

So the question is which one to get... I need a versatile one.

Thanks once more!
Quote by Ichikurosaki
sloth is hacking away feebly at the grass because he is a sloth but he was trying so hard ;_; hes all "penguin im HERE i am here to help you penguin"
the sm58 is basically for vocals but on the sm57 you could do instruments and vocals. I currently have 2 and love them. if you want to be able to use it in multiple places get the 57
ok, so i was in the exact situation as you. i had 400 bucks and wanted recording equipment. this is wat i got: i bought a used yamaha mw12 usb mixer for $100. I bought a pair of e-v cobalt co4's for $50, which are dynamic mics, and very similar to sm57's. Then i bought an akg perception 200 condenser mic for $130. The rest of my budget i used for stands and cables.

Hopes this helps.....
^ I wouldn't bother with this. The USB mixer is not as good a choice as the Presonus that moody recommended. Plus, you don't really need a mixer, the interface will be better for you. A pair of mics for $50 aren't going to vbe as good as an sm57 either.
There is poetry in despair.