#1
Ok, let me start off by saying sorry, I'm sure what I'm about to ask has been asked many times before, I just feel so overwhelmed it's unreal. I decided early this evening that I wanted to start recording (right now just vocals and acoustic). I googled up the subject and began reading the numerous articles that I had found. From there, I came here, which seemed to make matters worse lol.

My computer is more than powerful enough to handle the processing, and I feel as though I have a pretty good understanding of how to setup the room in which I will be recording, however I'm really confused when it comes to the hardware that I need.

Do I just need a Microphone and an interface? Do I need a mic, an interface, and a soundcard? etc... If someone could quickly explain what I need and maybe even throw in a few good suggestions of what to get I'd really really appreciate it. I'm not trying to go crazy with the cash.

Thank you to everyone in advance.
#2
Recording all depends on how much you want to put in in terms of cash and learning. In the simplest form you could just get a Blue Microphones Snowball microphone which runs about 60 bucks and connects through a usb port, and (depending on whether you have mac or windows) use a free software such as Garageband (for mac) or Audacity (windows). You will probably never be entirely happy with the results, but it will record.

On the more expensive side, voice and instruments work better with different mics, and even variate largely from voice to voice and instrument to instrument. Top that off with something like an M-box (which allows you to connect with 1/4 in. cables, like what goes into your guitar amp) and you're talking hundreds+

Protools is the most common software for recording (not necessarily the best, but its often referred to as the industry standard) which comes with an M-box, and many other audio interfaces.

For a starter, I'd suggest the usb mic plus a free software, so you can at very least see exactly how serious you are about recording. It can get quite frustrating and may make you decide on doing some studio time instead.

Good luck either way =)


edit: Not sure if I was clear, but you get Protools when you buy an M-box. Not the other way around. Its not the full Protools either, I think it limits the number of instruments you can add to a track, like 30 or something.
Last edited by whisperffs at Jun 14, 2011,
#3
I actually have software... I have the latest version of reaper (came with my amp that I purchased a little while back) I would like to go deeper than just the mic (like maybe the next step after just a usb mic). Does that make sense?

I like to keep it under $400

Thankyou for the quick reply.
#4
Quote by thfc1799
I actually have software... I have the latest version of reaper (came with my amp that I purchased a little while back) I would like to go deeper than just the mic (like maybe the next step after just a usb mic). Does that make sense?

I like to keep it under $400

Thankyou for the quick reply.


All you need for what you're doing is a mic and an interface. I don't do much acoustic stuff, so I'll let other people recommend a mic to you (it will be a condenser mic), but just so you're clear, you DON'T need a soundcard if you have an interface. That acts as a pre-amp/soundcard all-in-one.
#5
Cool man... Thank you. Now if someone could recommend me a good mic/interface for under $400, I'd appreciate it.
#6
For the mic I suggest a Rhode NT1A or better yet, if you can find them used get either a Bluebird or AT4040

For the interface you can go with a Focusrite Saffire, M Audio Fast Track Pro, or one by Presonus (Presonus tends to have noisier pre's than the other two, but I dont think they're really all that bad). There's a few other decent ones out there too. I would look for a decent interface with 2 mic/line inputs (for future expansion and more options when recording your guitar) and make sure it has phantom power (48v) I would also try to get the nicest one you can for your money so that a little ways down the road you wont want to upgrade for the sake of quality.
#10
I agree with lockwolf. Purchase the gear separately, and you'll get exactly what you want. If you purchase a package and something goes wrong with it, you'll spend a lot of time figuring out what the problem is, and then you'll be stuck replacing it. Just buy the right thing in the first place, and you won't be disappointed.

If you don't want to shell out for an M-box, buy a cheap mixer and run line-out to your computer's microphone input. Even though the computer calls it a "microphone" input, the signal needs to be pre-amped between the mic and the computer. Your M-box or a mixer, or in fact any pre-amp you care to use, will do the trick.

I use a Kustom 4-channel mixer and an AT 2020, which probably comes to about $350. I run it into Audacity on a PC.

peace