#1
yes, another one of these...

i just wanna record my guitar and vocals onto my 2k7 HP laptop. i was thinking of getting a solid interface for $300 or less, along with 1 versatile mic which i could use for vocals and guitar (i'll probably grab another mic later, but i'm poor now). does this sound like a good plan?


i think i've narrowed my interface choices to these two, but i'd like to hear better suggestions from you if you have some:

Focusrite Saffire 6
PreSonus Firestudio Mobile


also, as for a microphone: this is hard because there's so many out there, and i've encountered conflicting info regarding them.
i wanna record my Vox AC15 both clean and dirty (no pedals, maybe a fuzz in the future) and my clean vocals. so do i go dynamic or condenser? should i go for an SM57/58 or would something cheaper like this do the job well enough? if i went the cheaper route, i could go ahead get 2 mics right away... quality still takes first priority but i'm willing to compromise.

i'm pretty sure i'm leaving something out... let me know if you need any more info out of me to help me out. i really appreciate any help/advice at all. thanks.
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Last edited by work sucks at Sep 27, 2010,
#2
The firestudio is a really great interface but you need firewire to use it....so do you have a mac of some sort? Firewire is able to handle more tracks more efficiently than USB, at least USB one. I'm not entirely caught up but apparently the gap is closing. Someone else can answer which is better more effectively. Generally people go for firewire if at all possible though. And almost all high end interfaces are firewire.

For you mic, if you're doing acoustic and vocals I would go for a condenser mic. The 57 is great all around but especially for electric guitars. You couldn't go wrong with a 57, I even use them for vocals now and then. I personally would get a condenser, specifically a Golden Age FC1 mk. ii because I use it for everything.
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#3
One thing to remember with gear is most of the time, you get what you pay for. If you bought a $20 guitar, it will sound like it. The same thing applies with microphones, they don't start sounding "good" until about the $100 range. As far as USB vs. Firewire, it depends on what your computer supports. If you have an open firewire port I would go for it, it has better bandwidth which means higher track counts and less latency.
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#4
M-audio fast track usb v2 £100 (comes with pro tools)
Shure Sm-57 (£100 w/stand and xlr cable)

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#5
id probably go with the saffire. most laptops dont have firewire, so that typically cuts that out of the running. if you do have firewire on your laptop, well, i still might go for the saffire. other option in that range is the m-audio fast track pro.

firewire is better for more tracks, but it doesnt really matter much for 2 tracks (like those interfaces).

for a first mic, the sm57 is what i usually recomend (unless you are doing acoustic guitars). doesnt do great clean vocals, but its ok. they will typically sound a little more bland than if you had a condensor. the other mic options for around $100 that i often recomend are the at2020 and the mxl900/991 combo pack. i havent tried the at2020, but it gets enough love from guys who know thier stuff that i can feel confident recomending it. the 990/991 pack is good for acoustic guitars. the two mics on an acoustic can sound suprisingly good. ive used them on cabs and the 990 on vocals to decent result as well.

id still probably recomend the sm57 and then say get a decent vocal condensor when you can.
#6
Quote by jof1029
id probably go with the saffire. most laptops dont have firewire, so that typically cuts that out of the running. if you do have firewire on your laptop, well, i still might go for the saffire. other option in that range is the m-audio fast track pro.

for a first mic, the sm57 is what i usually recomend (unless you are doing acoustic guitars). doesnt do great clean vocals, but its ok. they will typically sound a little more bland than if you had a condensor. the other mic options for around $100 that i often recomend are the at2020 and the mxl900/991 combo pack. i havent tried the at2020, but it gets enough love from guys who know thier stuff that i can feel confident recomending it. the 990/991 pack is good for acoustic guitars. the two mics on an acoustic can sound suprisingly good. ive used them on cabs and the 990 on vocals to decent result as well.

id still probably recomend the sm57 and then say get a decent vocal condensor when you can.

i do have a firewire port, i think. it looks like this:



can you tell me why you'd go with the saffire anyway? what gives it the edge?

i won't be doing acoustic guitars (mayyybe just rarely) but the 990/991 combo seems like a really sweet deal... using both mics at once (one for voice, one for amp) would be ideal for the same price as one SM57...

how does the SM57 compare with the AT2020? (anybody can answer these questions, by the way, not just jof1029) what difference does the "large diaphragm" make?
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#7
The AT2020 will blow the SM57 away. The MXL V67G is supposed to be very nice as well.
If your running Windows, Firewire interfaces can be tricky depending on your chipset. Do your research.
#8
i'm doing research on interfaces and the M-Audio Fast Track Pro gets recommended often, yet it keeps getting such mediocre reviews... i don't get it. can anybody explain why this is?
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#9
Quote by maggotspawn
The AT2020 will blow the SM57 away. The MXL V67G is supposed to be very nice as well.
If your running Windows, Firewire interfaces can be tricky depending on your chipset. Do your research.



For what....? Not electric guitars. Vocals yes, but not electric guitars.
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Focusrite ISA828 pres
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#10
Quote by Artemis Entreri
For what....? Not electric guitars. Vocals yes, but not electric guitars.

so are you saying the AT2020 would not really be suitable for recording electric guitars? would you say the sm57 is a better overall mic?
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#11
It would be okay for recording electric guitars, condensers are really versitile. But the 57 on electrics would win hands down. I'd give the AT2020 the more useful in the sense that it sounds great on acoustic, vocals, drums, etc where as the 57 sounds GREAT on amps.
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
PRS CE 22
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
#12
The AT 2020 can record high sound pressure levels apparently, so theoretically you could record electric guitars with it. I haven't with mine though, a SM57 is usually a go to mic for recording electric guitars.
#13
i've recorded electric with a 57 and an AT2020. the 57 blows the AT2020 out of the water for amps...

the 2020 works better for acoustics and non screaming vocals.

if you had to pick only one mic, i would say go for a 57. you'll get a better sound with your amp, and it will do for vocals until you can afford another mic (Bluebird if you can save up enough... or just an AT2020)
#14
^oops... i just just ordered an AT2020... lol. i just couldn't wait any longer. i guess it's a pretty close call, but honestly i care a little bit more about vocals than guitar tone for now. it also seems to be more versatile. but you know, i'll probably just end up also getting an SM57 in a month or two anyway.

also decided to go with the Saffire 6. just seemed like less could go wrong with that one, and it seems solid and hassle-free. for now, it's all i need for what i want to do.


thanks for the help guys.
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