#1
I've been recording for a few years with the same setup : mic in behringer xenyx mixer - to the m-audio fast-track line in - to computer. I have mics for electric guitar and vocals. M-audio fast-track was perfect when I started, but now I just feel like there might be new audio interfaces out there with better quality/preamps to use with my condenser mic. I wanna keep recording one track at a time. Do you have any suggestions (price range between 200-400$)?
#4
My dynamic mic is a shure sm57 and my condenser mic is a behringer T1 (christmas gift). I don't have studio monitors and I use average headphones (both part of my short-term plans to buy new, but aren't studio purpose monitors kind of exepensive genrally?). I heard the condenser mic was really good for the price (and I'm satisfied with it anyway), but I don't know what potential it really has since it is used with low budget gears.
#5
your fast track has phantom power right? (48V) if so, try plugging straight into the fast track without the mixer in between. that should help a bit. besides that, with the fast tracks preamps, the biggest difference you could make would be the room you're recording in. a good sounding room will change more than upgrading a preamp for a behringer mic... and until you have a decent room, you won't notice your mic or preamps full potential, not matter how amazing they may be.

basically, without upgrading the mic, upgrading the preamp won't do a whole lot of good. and for any haters out there, that is not a blanket statement, that is just for TS's own situation.
#6
So basically, if my room is not optimal for acoustic (like a vocal/acoustic booth), I'd better not get my expectations too high about sound quality, whatever the equipment . Kind of a bubble burst for low budget home-recordist. I have an entire room only for music, but no sound isolation whatsoever. Anyways...thx for the info, any other tips would be welcome.

Also, when you say : "basically, without upgrading the mic, upgrading the preamp won't do a whole lot of good", you mean upgrading to what mic? Would the rode Nt1 been a better choice? (cause I was thinking about buying it before buying the T1).
#7
it is a bit of a bubble burst, but it's really not THAT big of a problem. you can still get some pretty stinkin good recordings if you're ok with a bit of that room feel. there are plenty of places online that will give you some good ideas of acoustical treatments you can do to help. if you have a dedicated music room, it might be a good idea to invest a little in that anyway. it's not isolation you're looking for (unless you have a loud family/pets/friends) it's controlling all the reflections of different frequencies and avoiding standing waves.

i have no personal experience with your mic, so i cant say for sure, but you should be able to get it to sound quite good with just that and your interface. try bypassing the mixer and see if it helps.

i personally think with condenser microphones, you really have to break the $300 mark to start hitting good quality stuff. i've also heard (no personal experience here) that preamps under 3-400 aren't worth getting as they're not a big enough improvement over most interface or mixer pres.

I started out with a AT2020 and an Mbox mini, and i was able to get vocals and acoustics to sound quite smashing for the amount of money that was put into it.

what about your recordings are you not satisfied with? that might give us a better idea of what to help you with. maybe even some clips so we can hear?
#8
The problem there is that if you lose the mixer, you lose the phantom power (I'm assuming you have the old version of the fast track, which has no in built phantom power) - rendering your condenser mic useless. I think that the NT1A would be a slight improvement over the T1 - but in the past few days I've heard some really good quality recordings made with golden age microphones (specifically the FC1 mk2) - they are designed in sweden & built in china, but they sound pretty damn amazing from what I've heard (http://www.myspace.com/kriscambria), so that might be worth thinking about if you're in the USA.

As far as interface goes - I highly recommend the focusrite saffire series, they have really nice preamps & are phantom powered, so you could lose the mixer (which is probably detracting from your tone)
Quote by griffRG7321
become a circumsizer, you get like £60,000 a year + tips.

Quote by Flying Couch
Because I'm not aerodynamic. All the other airborne furniture laugh at me.

LIKE PORTISHEAD?
#9
^ Hey, I made those! haha thanks for sharing my stuff! I also have another demo of the mic up on my profile, A lot of me talking and making various noises around it to give you a good idea of how it sounds.

You should really look at getting some monitors, though. I'm using m-audio studiophile AV40s and they're made a HUGE difference in my sound quality overall. They're only $150 (after tax!) so check those out!
Telecaster - SG - Jaguar
Princeton Reverb, Extra Reverb
P-Bass - Mustang Bass
Apogee Duet 2 - Ableton Suite
#10
Haha, I just haven't got over the shock of hearing recordings that good from a $100 mic yet!
Quote by griffRG7321
become a circumsizer, you get like £60,000 a year + tips.

Quote by Flying Couch
Because I'm not aerodynamic. All the other airborne furniture laugh at me.

LIKE PORTISHEAD?
#11
The T1 mic comes whith a phantom power supply, so I'll take out the mixer and see if there's a difference. I'll try to post files of what kind of sound I want and what kind of sound I get.

Sid Mccall, I'll do some internet research about monitors. I guess one has to be quite familiar with frequencies and other sound technicalities to get the best out of their monitors.

Generally, When I record with a condenser mic, do I have to raise the mic input so that I can hear some(or all ) of the ambient sounds in the room or I put just enough input to hear only myself (and get closer to the mic)?

I'll give you an update soon! Thx.
#12
Set the level so that it's peaking at around 0db in your DAW (during the loudest parts of your song) - if you're recording vocals you should be about 6 inches away from the front of the microphone, with a pop shield between you & the mic.
Quote by griffRG7321
become a circumsizer, you get like £60,000 a year + tips.

Quote by Flying Couch
Because I'm not aerodynamic. All the other airborne furniture laugh at me.

LIKE PORTISHEAD?
Last edited by Sonny_sam at Jan 2, 2010,
#13
Nah, you really don't need to know a whole lot about frequencies because a good set of monitors have a flat response. Look for monitors that advertise a flat response and that have reviews confirming a flat response. That's really all you need to know at this level of recording.
Telecaster - SG - Jaguar
Princeton Reverb, Extra Reverb
P-Bass - Mustang Bass
Apogee Duet 2 - Ableton Suite