Hey guys,

I've been looking into a cheap home recording set up for my friend, and am trying to figure some stuff out. He'd be recording vocals, acoustic guitar and piano. Wish list is a Shure SM57, mic stand/clip and a Tascam US-122L or 144 if it's significantly better for his application. He just bought a new laptop as well.

So, if he's recording each part individually, will all of the above be all he needs? Yes, he already has an acoustic, a piano and a voice.... How does the Tascam interface work?? Does he need a good sound card with it, or does he just plug it into his computer via a Firewire cable/USB 2.0, install the software and start recording? I'm new to home recording, so if any of the assumptions I've made above are wrong, let me know.

a 57 wont be a good mic if that's all you have. get a condenser first. that'll work better for vocals and acoustic. 57's are really only good for recording drums and amp cabs. the piano might be kind of tough to pick up well with just one mic.

the interface looks decent. cant say for sure, i've never really heard much about those. all you need to is install the software and plug it in and go. the 122 should be just fine to get started.
hmmm, thanks for the input. any recommendation on a good condenser mic to get started?
eeeer, not good, but cheap and good. I don't want to spend $600 on a good condenser mic just yet.
i've got the AT2020 that's worked wonderfully for me. granted, it's a low end mic, but it's definitely one of the better $100ish mics out there. very versatile.

i've heard good things about this one too

look around at others. you'll want a large diaphragm condenser for sure.
there's a little switch on that interface that says "phantom". AFTER you plug the mic in, turn it on and it will work. a condenser needs power to work. if the phantom power is not turned on, you wont get any signal from you mic. it's important though to plug in the mic with phantom off and THEN turn it on. you dont want to damage your mic.
sounds good, I'll keep that advice in mind. Off to research cheap condenser mics! Thanks for the help.
I am the king researcher. I take days to decide, and then I research more and again before I buy! haha. It's the only way I feel safe buying without actually trying.