#1
I'm a starter on recording. I'm using Audacity to mix tracks, Hydrogen for drums and Guitar Pro for bass. I plan on buying a Shure SM58 for recording vocals and a Shure SM57 for recording the guitar/amp (maybe using both mics to mic the speaker, is this a good idea?)

What I need basically is a USB Audio Interface to where I can connect the two microphones and record in 2 separated tracks (one for each mic) so I can maybe add some delay to one mic.

So I was searching and found out this from M-Audio:
http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/MobilePreUSB.html

It says it's a preamp plus audio interface and I'm not sure what it means. Also, when you see it from behind:
http://www.m-audio.com/images/global/media_hqpics/MobilePre_back.jpg

It has input and output. I was expecting input, but what can you use output for?

Finally, last question, is this interface what I really need? Or should I buy Fast Track Pro instead? If you have any other suggestions, I'll consider it. Thanks!.
#2
Using both mics is a good idea. Maybe putting one in the back would help more than putting them in a diamond or anything.

I think that what'd work well for you is the same thing that works well for me. A mixing board (Behringer makes Eurorack and Xenyx, both great models, and affordable!). One with two mic inputs, which shouldn't be hard. You can record both at the same time, but it'll end up as one track--I don't see a way to record one microphone on a different track. I suggest just recording two tracks or cloning the first one and adding that delay effect to the duplicate. And for the USB end, you can get a Behringer UCA202--not sure I got those numbers right, but a search should reveal. You connect it to the board with RCA cables--if you have some with your DVD player or something like that, you can just use those. They work fine. Then you plug the interface into the computer, plug your mics into the board, and mic whatever you like. Make sure you're using XLR cables with the mics and not 1/4. The idea is to connect them to the mic inputs to take advantage of the preamp.

A preamp, by the way, is something that processes and amplifies the signal. Pretty essential for good mic sound, though I use a 1/4 to mic my acoustic guitar with an effects loop in the mixer and an out to the amp so I can get more volume, and it sounds all right. Still, use the preamp on the mixing board

I'm not sure about the interface you put up there, but it looks like it could work. It'll probably provide you with less control, but maybe easier operation than a mixing board. Also, my solution is cheaper than that doohickey If you buy that thing, though, my guess is that it'll work for what you need it. I'd still recommend the mixer, though, because there's a lot more you can potentially do with it.
#3
I believe you were talking about this mixer :
http://www.dv247.com/assets/products/31556_l.jpg

and the FCA-202 is this:
http://www.guitarampkeyboard.com/rs/tn1/tn1_2569049.jpg

I was blown away how cheap they are! Thank you for the answer

About the mixer, how exactly does it work? It records the mics sound, then I mix instantaneously, then send to the FCA and from there to computer? Also, this may sound a little stupid, but why is there like 10 inputs on the mix? Is it for guitars only?

Thanks!
#4
Quote by symba05
I believe you were talking about this mixer :
http://www.dv247.com/assets/products/31556_l.jpg

and the FCA-202 is this:
http://www.guitarampkeyboard.com/rs/tn1/tn1_2569049.jpg

I was blown away how cheap they are! Thank you for the answer

About the mixer, how exactly does it work? It records the mics sound, then I mix instantaneously, then send to the FCA and from there to computer? Also, this may sound a little stupid, but why is there like 10 inputs on the mix? Is it for guitars only?

The mixer doesn't record, it just mixes (=adds together) whatever's plugged into it and gives you a stereo out to plug into your interface (so for example on a large mixeryou could have 8 mic channels, 4 keyboard channels and a cd player going into your lowly 2-in stereo interface). So lots of audio into the mixer, one stream of audio into the interface and audacity recording it.

Also DO NOT plug a guitar into recording equipment of any kind (unless it actually says guitar), those jacks are for keyboards, samplers, CD players etc.. They use a different signal. If you want to record guitars mic your amp.

If you ever want to mix your tracks look at Reaper, very cheap for essentially a full-featured production environment.
#5
Actually, I was talking about this interface.

I'm not sure about the other one--if I could get a link to some specs on it I could tell better.

Also, if you want to record guitars, you can plug them into the 1/4 line in on the mixer, right below the mic input. It doesn't give as good sound as micing the amp, but it works.

Good explanation from Union of V. It's basically a sound processor. The signal goes in, flows through all that circuitry, gets turned into sound and twisted about so that it sounds all right, then goes into the USB interface and is converted into a stream that the computer can read and process without putting a lot of strain on its own sound card, which causes mega-awfulness.

So plug the mic or instrument into the board, plug the USB interface into the board with the RCA cables, then run the USB into your computer. You can do a lot more complicated things like effect loops, etc cetera, but basically, that'll get you recording with good sound. Mic positioning is crucial--look up some advice on that--but you can just twist the EQs to however you like it. High end, low end, mid--all there. Generally, you only want to use the two inputs all the way over to the left. You can plug a microphone or a 1/4 instrument cable into both of them simultaneously. The other inputs and outputs are for the aforementioned complicated things, and you really don't need them for basic computer recording.
#6
The FCA uses Firewire (tiny square-shaped thing, you probably haven't noticed it even if your pc has it) and the UCA uses USB. Some prefer Firewire for some reason, but most people use USB and it works fine for me (I have the UCA, absolute bargain).

I remind you you don't need a mixer, if you get an interface that has enough ins (in your case at least 2 XLR mic ins) then you'll be fine. I'll need a mixer as soon I'll have 7 ins and 6 outs :p and I'm too cheap to buy an interface that will take that amount! But you decide. Just remember if you're thinking of getting more mics after the next mixer up has 4 mic ins.