So I really want to start recording stuff a bit. I want to be able to record voice, as well as acoustic and probably electric guitars, so I assume I want a microphone to do this, yeah? I guess what I'm asking here is what I'm really looking for in a microphone. Any ideas? I read the FAQ and all I really got out of it was that I probably want a condenser microphone, but that's about all I can tell.

I don't quite understand the next step either; getting that sound onto my computer into a format I can edit. I figure I'd cross that bridge when I get there, though, right now I think I need a microphone first.

So any advice?
Shure sm57 is supposed to be the best for the money, you can get them on eBay, but make sure it's genuine. Although, If I recall, you will need some way of getting the mike into the computer, because i think it might have an XLR(?) connector. (DI box, mixer)

Also, the whole "analog sound to digital sound" and whatnot debacle is a little overcomplicated. Really, this would be the simplest set up I can think of:

Microphone -> Mixer(?) -> Computer.

That should take care of "analog to digital etc" Then all you need is a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) which is really just the thing on the screen that shows what you've recorded and what effects you have on it. (I suggest reaper, google it)
first things first, DONT listen to all the idiots telling you to get a sm57. it is not at all the best choice for your situation.

a condenser is the way to go. for $100 and under mics, look at some Audio Technicas, specifically the AT2020. i've heard around here that Golden Age makes good mics so that would probably be worth looking into. if you can help it, i wouldn't go any cheaper than that. you start getting real crap under that.

you'll need an interface to get it into your computer. make sure to get one that has phantom power. you have to have phantom power to get condenser microphones to work. if you're at all serious about getting into recording, it would probably be worth getting one that has at least 2 mic inputs, as acoustic guitars sound more killer if you use 2 mics on them (but they still sound great with just 1). i'd stay away from behringer, but look at some fast tracks and line 6's UX2. presonus makes good ones and i think tascam might have some cheaper ones (you get what you pay for though, so be careful)
Cheap is fine. I'm not expecting much quality, I really just want to be able to record some stuff and put it together. I'm trying to spend as little as possible but obviously I don't want to get something that's complete shit quality.

I'm not trying to get very serious about it, I basically just want to be able to try it out and record some of the ditties I think of. So I'm okay with getting something pretty cheap.

And I don't even entirely understand what an audio interface is.
basically, an interface gets the signal into your computer as clean as possible either by USB or firewire. beats the pants off of trying to plug something into your comp's mic jack.

the AT or Golden age would be your best bet. about as cheap as you can go without getting crap. being condensers, they'll get you much more clarity in your recordings than the same priced 57 (or any dynamic for that matter). when recording acoustics and non screaming vocals, it's the way to go.

EDIT: take a look at some of these



Last edited by sandyman323 at Jan 10, 2010,
Let me start you out right.

You're going to need an interface. I'm going to suggest the Line 6 UX2 so that you can start recording guitar or, if you get a mic, vocals. The UX2 comes with POD Farm which is a solid program for amp modeling either bass or guitar. Also, it still has 2 mic inputs so you can record an amp if you would like.

As for mics, I suggest getting both a Condenser mic for vocals and acoustics and a Dynamic mic if you plan on recording an amp. Condensers typically record vocals and acoustics way better than dynamic mics and dynamic typically way better for micing a cab than condensers (though when used together can provide a pretty good sound). Condenser wise, I suggest either the Golden Age Project FC1 MKII or the Audio Technica AT2020. For a dynamic meant for micing a guitar cab, I suggest the Sennheiser e609 or the Shure SM57.

Sure, it may seem a little expensive to get the full setup ($400 for all of that, about $450 with some good cables) but if you got your hands on the UX2 and the Golden Age ($300), you've got a solid setup for recording anything.
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