So me and my two friends are starting to get serious about recording some of our songs. I've been looking into simple ways in which to record the vocals, plus two amps. I need an opinion on a few products, as I'm blind when it comes to recording (Just got a Home Recording for Dummies book though). I've looked into simple USB interfaces (my laptop doesn't have firewire, and can't support pci being a laptop). Basically what I'm hoping to accomplish is use our vocalist's mic, which uses a 1/4 inch jack much like a guitar, plus two other mics (condensor or dynamic) to mic up my and my other friends amp. We don't necessarily have a budget but I'd like to keep it under or around $250 for one mic and the interface, my other friend will buy his mic.

Here are some products I've looked at:
USB Interface 1
USB Interface 2

And for mics (these will be used to mic up our two amps)
Shure SM57
Seinnheiser e609
I'm leaning towards the e609

Any other suggestions as far as mics and interfaces go? Or opinions on the products I've looked at? For software I'm just using Audacity and the free demo of Reaper, so if you have any software suggestions I'm all ears. I hear Pro-Tools is pretty good. Running a PC by the way. Sorry if it wasn't clear enough, I've been up for quite some time cramming for finals.
hmmm.... just so you know the interfaces will mix anything that you record down to one (maybe two? not entirely sure with usb 2.o) tracks.

This means your going to be recording all takes sepperatly if you want any mix controll post recording.

Other than that you look to be on the right track.

the 57 is the industry standard btw. however the other mic will do just fine for amp micing im sure.
Thanks, what are some good firewire interfaces then? Worse come to worse we can use my friends PC to record on. I hate asking for suggestions because it makes me look lazy to an extent, but I really am new to recording so I'm not up to snuff on brand names in the recording industry. I tend to hang around the Instrument forums. I've heard the SM57 is the industry standard, but looking at the reviews for the e609 I notice that a lot of people said they owned the SM57 but switched over after they tried the e609.
First off, don't feel bad about asking for help, that is the point of a forum, to ask questions and discuss things, just dont forget to do your own research. lol which you seem to be doing so don't worry about it.

Next, there isn't anything wrong with the usb 2.0 interface. For the money you have you arn't going to be able to get an interface with enough inputs for it to really matter.

recording one instrument at a time isn't a big deal, and I find its alot easier. Spend the money on a few good mics for specific purpose than spreading the money out over more mics that arnt as specialized so you can do everyone at once. You then have to deal with crossover and all that jazz. What this all equals out to meaning is that its alot more money to do everyone at once and a bigger pain in the but, however, you can sometimes get bands to have a more enorgetic preformance this way.... its simply a choice. either way will work.

mic wise either is going to be a fine choice. Ive used the 57 and was quite happy with it, while i have also read about the e609 and heard great things about it as well.

if you do decide to go with firewire and have xp on your comp then the onyx satalite would be a good choice.

hopefully moody gets in on this thread, he knows alot more about this kind of stuff than I do.

Glad to help in any way I can so keep asking,
I guess I just need to get better at sychronizing tracks and what not. The problem we've had with recording one instrument at a time is that someone gets off rhythm or something and no matter what the track won't synch with the rest of the music. This is the main reason behind me wanting to do live recordings with a 3 mic setup. Maybe it's just the fact that I'm using free software, so maybe not as many options of sychronizing and what have you. I'll have to read up on the tips the book I got gives about editing tracks.
The 57 is a jack-of-all-trades workhorse mic that excels specifically on snare drums and guitar cabs.

The e609 is made specifically with guitar cabs in mind.

I have two 57's, but if I had an opportunity to trade one for a 609, I think I'd be all over it.

The 609s are also industry standard mics for guitar cabs, along with the MD421, also from Sennheiser.

I have two Senns right now - an e835 and an e602, and they are really great mics.

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Awesome, thanks for the info. Looks like I'll be going with the Seinnheiser's then. Just need suggestions on interfaces. I just picked two random ones that I found on musiciansfriend because they had 2 mic inputs and at least one 1/4 input, but if USB 2.0 reduces down to one or two tracks then that really does me no good. I supposed I could mic the two amps and record the vocals over the two guitar tracks afterwards? Thoughts?
tip for the getting off rhythm, record your drum track first. give the drummer a metronome through some headphones (digital ones have headphone jacks, or you could just use metronome software on a computer, you can download it everywhere). Then just have your drummer drum the song, assuming he/she can hear the song in their head to know where they are, most drummers have no problem. Then record separate tracks for your other instruments over that, this way, it is as if you are playing live. Your other musicians have the drum track, which should be in time thanks to the metronome, to play along with and assuming you have the technical ability, you should be able to be in rhythm. If you can play in rhythm, you can record in rhythm.

What you may have been trying to do is track shifting, and THAT is very difficult to get it juuuust right
We don't have a drummer. We're in college so having a drum set might annoy the neighbors. I think a metronome could still benefit us though. Also you're right about the track shifting, which is what I've been trying to do, and it is very difficult to line things up just right. Kinda the reason behind wanting to do it live, especially with no drummer to keep rhythm.
You could always use a click track to keep rhythm. You may want to include in your budget a headphone amp so all your friends can hear both the stereo output and a metronome. And also to have separate levels so one person doesn't go deaf.

Firewire's certainly possible with a laptop. Just get a card like these.
Quote by keiron_d
thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!

True love exists in UG. Can you feel it?

Recording Guitar Amps 101
oh crap didnt know you were trying to do this without a met.

generally speaking, thats a bad call.

use a met to lay a click track with everyone playing (doesn't have to sound great, your going to delete it) or just use a recorded track of the met to play final takes with then delete the met.

keeps everyone in time and playing great.

Thanks guys. I've actually been looking at the PCMCIA cards, since I've got nothing in mine right now on the laptop. Would it be worth going the extra mile and getting Firewire. I mean from what I understand USB is basically the bottom of the barrel when it comes to recording quality and convenience, compared to Firewire and PCI of course.