#1
Hey guys, i got a nice mic alrdy but..

if i bought a cheap USB audio interface (howmuch does this usually cost?) and i'd download or buy a cheap recording program for mixing and editing tracks (which good programs are there?), would i be able to record stuff with decent sound quality?

I want to record my band live, record different tracks and put together, acoustic, voice and amplifiers :p

What would be the advantage of a more expensive USB audio interface and/or recording program? Is it worth doing so?

Thanks!
#2
More info required....

1. What do you mean by "a nice mic?" This is the most important piece of the "getting good sound" equation.

2. If you're looking for software, what is your budget? It's pointless to recommend a bunch of software packages now, only to find out that your price range is, say, $200.

3. What do you mean by "decent sound quality?" You want to record your band live. Great. But do you plan on selling the recordings? Giving them to promoters for helping you get shows? Listening back to your rehearsals to figure out what you need to work on? The purpose of your recording will determine to what level "decent sound quality" would be.

A more expensive interface will have better converters and better preamps, which will give you better sound quality. (often with more inputs/outputs... which is necessary if you want to record drums, for instance....) However, this is all dependent upon what else you are doing. If you're using a Samson and Nady mic... you really won't appreciate the difference between a $50 interface and a $500 interface.

Given your budget, you also need to consider what speakers you're going to use to mix on. Stereo speakers are not adequate.

CT
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.
#3
1) Not sure, our singer bought the mic for like 200 (euro) a while ago, sounds great
2) Well, im hoping not too spend that much! xp I was actually hoping on downloading one? Let's say up to 100 euro (if i convince bandmates maybe up to 150)
3) Listening to our rehearsals to figure out what needs working on, how we sound etc
+I would also want to record some of my acoustic songs/voice for myself
4) Speakers...I was actually thinkin of doing this on my laptop (it's a nice one) I do got PA speakers in my garage though
#4
1) If you could give us the name/brand of the mic, that would be infinitely more helpful.
2) With recording programs, you're going to get what you pay for. Things like Audacity (free download) are nice, but they can only do so much. Higher-end programs like Logic, Pro Tools, Ableton, etc. will give you a lot more bang for your buck. Multi-tracking, more mix/plug-in options...etc. You'll just have to demo some and see what you like best, and what will suit your needs.
3) Any mic/interface combo will work for this, but like everything else in audio engineering, you get what you pay for. Better mic + better interface + better program = better sound.
4) Trying to mix on laptop speakers is...um...well...do you know anyone that will lend you a pair of speakers/monitors? The flater the response, the better for mixing. Laptop speakers and other commercial speakers are usually made with you typical listening consumer in mind, so they are made to sound better. Thusly, if you mix through them, you may end up overcompensating in your mix.

Hope this helps.
"Music Can Change The World Because It Can Change People..." - Bono

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WARNING! SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION AHEAD!


#5
you get what you pay for in this department. do not expect to sound as polished as your favorite artists, far from it.
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#6
As for the mic, you may want to give us some details, because certain mics are better suited to certain sounds. Vocals, drums, etc.... But in case you don't want to buy more mics, I'll try and suggest a cheap route.

Interface:
I'm a big fan of the Yamaha Audiogram for something in a very low price range.
Features: It has 2 XLR microphone inputs, that also double as unbalanced intrument inputs. Plus another 4 instrument inputs (2 stereo channels).

Pros: Very easy to set up. Small and needs no additional power source aside from your computer's USB jack. Has a compressor built into the pre-amp.

Cons: Only the first input has Phantom Power (it's what is needed on an input to run certain microphones, mostly Condenser Mics), and there is no MIDI input. It can also glitch if left alone or during playback. Playback will start to stutter and sound "farty" just unplug it (turn off any phantom power mics first) and plug it back in to reset the driver, easy as that. (Uncommon, but it happens and now you know how to fix it).

Alternative: The TASCAM US144
Pros: It looks like both mic inputs have phantom power. Also has a MIDI input/output. If you use Keyboards, this would be the way to go.

I haven't personally used this model, so I can't tell you much more.

DAW: (Digital Audio Workstation, your recording software)
Both of those suggested interfaces come with Cubase LE. Ditch it, IMO. I hate that version of Cubase (but to each his own, it's not too bad). Reaper is a much better, cheap recording program. It's US$60 for a license. Try it out, download the trial, it has 100% of the features, just with a 5 second nag-screen at startup. It says it lasts 30 days, but if you continue using it past 30, nothing happens so you can continue testing it. Technically, if you're really short on a budget, you could just use the trial for everything. But Cockos is a great company, and $60 is nothing for a program of that caliber (there's better, but not for under a few thousand).

Recording
Now here's where the flavor comes in. It's all based on your mics and inputs. If I'm right, the microphone your singer bought is probably also a vocal mic; it will be perfect for plugging in and recording his vocals, but not too much else.

For guitars, you'll want a dynamic mic (sm57 is standard, that's about $100) placed directly against the cab into the speaker. If you don't think you can afford this, there are some great free amp simulators lying around. Go to the thread on VST amp simulation, download Voxengo Boogex, Nick Crowe's 8505, and the .zip of "impulses." Read the thread, and learn. If you're good enough, you can make the amp simulation sound almost real (though mic'ing a cab is usually the best option).

For drums... Well either you have "meh" quality 2 channel recordings of your drums, you digitally sample them, or go to another studio with more mics to record drums. Proper drum mic'ing can take anywhere from 4-10 mics depending on your method.


Live Recording:
Well here's where things get a little difficult. This is very unlikely on a small budget. Think about it, you'll need to mic each guitar amp, the bass amp, each drum, and the singer. Holding 1 or 2 microphones in the center of a room while you play won't sound too great either. I'd say save live recording for later.
#7
MIC = Just asked singer, she has 2 Senheiser evolution 600/800 mics, about 100euro each around here.(dunno who 2 )
Interface = I guess 2 inputs will be enough, as we'll probably record each instruments at a time then. Also, well be using keyboard, so the TASCAM seems nice yeh
Program = Reaper seems nice.
We're not planning on recording drums ourself, we will probably "digitally sample" them but i might need to buy that sm57 if you dont think the mic will do
LIVE = Putting about 3 mics in the room, might get a bit of a sound?:p
Boxes = My dad used to have 2 speakers, he might still have them, can i use them on my laptop? Also, isn't it OK to start out on the speakers of my laptop?
#8
For a simple answer on the live recording, it'll be expensive.

A free program is Reaper 7. It's got VST Plug-ins to allow you to record multi-track at the same time, which will be needed for live-action recording.

The money comes into the amount of mikes you'll need and the amount of busses you'll need to push them through.

Also, if you're looking at doing more than 4 tracks at a time you're going to need some serious processing power.

All in all, there is no cheap way to record live.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#9
Quote by PinkTree
MIC = Just asked singer, she has 2 Senheiser evolution 600/800 mics, about 100euro each around here.(dunno who 2 )

Boxes = My dad used to have 2 speakers, he might still have them, can i use them on my laptop? Also, isn't it OK to start out on the speakers of my laptop?


I can't really find much info about the mics, it looks like the 600/800 are actually just a series, so a specific mic would be something like the 603, 608, etc... I could be wrong, just I can't find much on it. Is it a condenser mic or a dynamic mic? If it's dynamic, you could probably use it instead of an sm57 on an amp. An sm57 is standard and the easiest to recommend, but by no means the only method, I don't even use sm57's actually.

I'd recommend going out and buying a decent pair of headphones for mixing with. You can spend about $80, a little more, a little less, is fine, it will really seem worth it, the quality of your mixes are dependent on the quality of your monitors. Don't plug straight into the laptop, for a few reasons: The interface has higher quality audio outputs, a 1/4" output made for more professional sound gear. If you plug into the laptop port, the line out jack usually has low quality, as well as it can pick up some of the internal noises of the computer operating; it may be hard to hear at first, but you'll notice it eventually. And most importantly, your drivers will be set up while mixing to output through the interface and not your laptop. Getting around this can cause latency issues, among other things.

tl;dr: I still don't know too much about the mics, I suggest learning about them, find their uses. And plug speakers into the interface.

Quote by rooster456
A free program is Reaper 7.

People need to stop spreading this rumor around. Reaper is not free, but they are nice enough to allow you to use it unlicensed legally for non-commercial use. And I don't think they mind too much if you use it commercially without a license, but people shouldn't say it's free. It's like how going 5 miles over the speed limit is pretty standard, so you can say a 35 mph zone has a 40mph speed limit.
#10
Ah, btw i just want to record 1 track at a time :p
Also, i got a nice headphone already

I guess i'm ready to go then?

Just buy that interface + program + get those speakers and I got what I need i guess

Thanks guys!