#1
Hey guys, I'm tired of having really sloppy undefined music. It's been killing me for the longest time now, SO I finally decided to spend some money on a mixer board/Audio Interface/SOMETHING that I can use to get more defined sound quality than I have now.

Now I'm still a beginner at this kind of stuff so my maximum spending money is 70 bucks (It's not about the equipment anyway though). Can anyone suggest to me a good mixer board or whatever else (Mixer is my target.) for around that price?

Thanks in Advance.

Sorry for the bolds and whatnot too. I just figured I would get to the point fast that way lol (I probably sound like an idiot :'()
Fair enough.
#3
you will not get a mixer for 70$...maybe a very cheap soundcard at best.

like league said...Recoding Equipement is quite pricey, so if youre seriosu about this youll need to save up. there nothing realy I can recomand on such a budget.
#5
just so you know if you plan on recording to a computer this isn't going to help you at all if you are going into the line in/mic in or whatever as you will still most likely be clipping that soundcard

so instead of crapping recording straigh to a soundcard....you know have crappy recording going throw a mixer looking professional while not really doing anything at all except EQing

i hate to tell you but if your looking for quality recording in fact it is about the gear
Last edited by FireHawk at Aug 29, 2011,
#6
Alright well if you can do me the honor, explain to me exactly what I'd need for an increase in sound quality.
Fair enough.
#7
Your best bet would be an audio interface. You could also get a multi-track recorded which would be closer to a mixer. An audio interface in the simplest terms is a sound card for your PC/MAC that you plug into and amplifies the signal cleanly to your PC/MAC. The soundcards that ship with computers are not meant to do this which is a reason why instruments are so noisy sounding when plugged straight into a computer.

A multitrack recorder looks like this. Essentially you record your tracks and mix it on the harddrive on the multitrack recorder (or you can transfer it to a computer). This is setup more like a mixboard (well really it is a mixboard).

They both pretty much do the same thing. I find multi-track recorders are unneeded unless your recording on the go all the time.

For more in depth reading and better explanation turn to google. I am sure DisarmGoliath or someone will come in here and tell you more useful explanations.
#8
Alright I need this explained to me in a different way. Let me just re-explain...

I exaggerated when I said it's sloppy and undefined. It's actually pretty good, especially for a lover of lo-fi music such as myself. What I'm looking for is a bit more of a definition to the wet sounds, such as the QTroned bass guitar and phaser. I have a High Definition Sound Card as of now though. I have a line in for it and blah blah blah. Basically when I record acoustic and/or vocals or anything using my microphone, it sounds clear and exactly as I want it to sound.

The problem is with electric guitar chords or for basslines that I want to stand out, when it starts to get fast and blends and whatnot. So my problem isn't exactly in super quality (Again, I'm a lo-fi guy and I believe anyone who can't appreciate fuzziness is a shallow musician) it's in the definition. I can hear the individual notes but I want it to sound even MORE clear. As clear as I can hear it when I record the music with just my microphone.

SO how would you suggest I fix this then? Because when my friend let me borrow his mixer and I plugged things in, I was able to get the sounds I was looking for. So can you tell me what I should do then?

If this sounds in anyway pretentious or annoying or whatever, feel free to insult me, though I didn't mean to
Fair enough.
#9
There are two things that determine recording quality: gear, and process.

Too many people overlook the process. This is where knowing about recording and practicing come in.

Tell us about what gear and what process you are using.

See, the mixer might mean you are using a better preamp, but in the case of a Behringer mixer, I doubt it. I don't dis Behringer, as their stuff is perfectly usable. You have to spend a fair bit more money before you go up in quality, but that said, it is really entry-level gear.

I'm wondering about what mic you are using, what you're plugging the mic into (or are you going direct... and if so, how?).

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.
#10
Alright we'll go at it like this.

Acoustic Guitar = Audiotechniqa(Or whatever) Dynamic Microphone (I know I know but I'm more in it for electric recording) which is hooked up to my bass amp, which has a line out to the HD line in on my computer which I then pick it up with Audacity or Reaper (Depends on how I'm feeling)

Electric Guitar = Basically the same but the dynamic mic is put about 5 inches away from the guitars amp. Single notes come out very defined but once you get to chords or whatever, then you have to equalize to get anything near what you may want (For the thousandth time, I like lo-fi so I prefer no editting)

Bass Guitar = Now instead of having the microphone hooked up to the bass amp which runs through, this one is just completely direct. This one also sounds pretty good but it could use some equalization and whatnot. With the mixer I was happiest with this sound because it would always record exactly as it sounds when it comes out.

Those are the "techniques" and gear I use for it. I know I seem very noobish but I'm not THAT much of an idiot. I'm not into the whole "There is one way to do it" kind of shit, I just need information and advice. Sorry now I seem even more like an idiot lol

*additional info*
Now what I'm thinking I'll do if I get this mixer board is to plug the line out into the mixer and then with a new stereo 1/8th thingy I plug it into the HD port.
Fair enough.
Last edited by AfroRockerMike at Aug 30, 2011,
#11
Quote by AfroRockerMike
Alright we'll go at it like this.

Acoustic Guitar = Audiotechniqa(Or whatever) Dynamic Microphone ... hooked up to my bass amp, which has a line out to the HD line in on my computer


Hmmm..... okay. Obvious problems here. A less than ideal mic going into an instrument level line-in on an entirely inappropriate amp. Wowza.

Quote by AfroRockerMike

Electric Guitar = Basically the same ...


with, I assume, basically the same results.

Quote by AfroRockerMike

Bass Guitar = Now instead of having the microphone hooked up to the bass amp which runs through, this one is just completely direct. This one also sounds pretty good but it could use some equalization and whatnot. With the mixer I was happiest with this sound because it would always record exactly as it sounds when it comes out.


Bass is typically recorded direct as you have described. I'm a bit confused, though. Are you saying that going from the amp to the mixer to the computer sounds better than just going from the amp to the computer?

It's not impossible, but extraordinarily unlikely to achieve that result with entry-level gear.

Now, a mixer will improve your situation for the following reason:

You will be using a microphone preamp built into the mixer, which is both more appropriate for the mic and uses a more appropriate preamp.

But!

A mixer is not your ideal solution.

For not a lot of money, you can get an inexpensive interface that will have these preamps built in, and will actually represent a better input into the computer than your current sound card. Most "sound card"s are built for sending out great audio, but not for capturing it. It's like the display on the last generation iphones looks great, but the camera for capturing images sucked hard.

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.
#12
Aha I see, so if I get that audio interface, I can get the defined sound that I'm looking for? Even the way that I'm recording now? The way you made it seem was that since I'm using the bass amp that it will always sound bad...

Can you suggest to me a good one Audio Interface (Or at least tell me some things to be aware of if there are different kinds)? I know I'm sounding real dog to master here but I'm more of an experimenter than an experienced recorder and this is something I'd rather just get done on the first try!
Fair enough.
#13
How's about a combination of...

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UCA202-Audio-Interface/dp/B000KW2YEI/ref=sr_1_1?m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1314681963&sr=1-1

and...

http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-CPR201-Dual-Cable-3-25/dp/B000068O16/ref=pd_bxgy_MI_img_b

Would those do the job? I'd assume I plug the line in and then I plug it into the audio interface and then I plug it into the USB? Would that work? What does the line out do?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000J5UEGQ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER

I may also just drop an extra thirty and buy this mother ****er too... Let me know what you think!
Fair enough.
Last edited by AfroRockerMike at Aug 30, 2011,
#14
Quote by AfroRockerMike
How's about a combination of...

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UCA202-Audio-Interface/dp/B000KW2YEI/ref=sr_1_1?m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1314681963&sr=1-1

and...

http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-CPR201-Dual-Cable-3-25/dp/B000068O16/ref=pd_bxgy_MI_img_b

Would those do the job? I'd assume I plug the line in and then I plug it into the audio interface and then I plug it into the USB? Would that work? What does the line out do?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000J5UEGQ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER

I may also just drop an extra thirty and buy this mother ****er too... Let me know what you think!


Those first two won't help you much since you're still missing a proper preamp. The mixer would only be good if it was paired with the interface.

You'd be MUCH better off with a single unit that does all of that. Even for lo-fi stuff, you'll need to put some money into to get an improvement. There's very very few cheap fixes in the recording world.

Try something like this instead
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/alesis-io2-express-audio-interface

Or within your budget (cant speak for quality, just found this today)
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/tascam-us-100-usb-audio-interface

Better yet, find a used FastTrack or other better interface.

The reason these are better choices are they have mic preamps, converters, and interface all in one unit.
Last edited by sandyman323 at Aug 30, 2011,
#17
Quote by sandyman323
If you can get the same thing in good condition for cheaper then why not?

I agree you 100%
Last edited by megaduu at Aug 30, 2011,
#18
Okay Now I'm assuming with this I just plug in a cable from my line out into the guitar in or whatever they'll have. Then I just plug that into my computer and everything will come out clearly for my Electric Guitar/Bass Guitar/Microphone (Though that was already clear) and whatever? Right?

I guess I shall go for that. Thanks for all the help you guys... Well thanks to the people who didn't just tell me that it's expensive to buy equipment lol
Fair enough.
Last edited by AfroRockerMike at Aug 31, 2011,
#19
Well, you'll have a couple of options:
-direct in as you said - use VST amp simulators or whatever to get your "sound."
-direct in from the headphone out or whatever from the amp - usually sounds like @ss
-drop a mic in front of your amp; plug the mic into the XLR input of your interface

In any case, you will surely see a significant improvement over what you're doing now.

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.
#20
It will sound like ass? That's the main way that I wanted to record! I have a whole bunch of effect pedals, If it's not going to sound clearer than it sounds now then I can't bother to do it. Ugh this topic has been dragging on...

One Last Time

Guitar/Bass goes to the Effect Pedals which Goes to the Amp which would plug into the audio interface and give me a clean sound for the most part?

All the guides I've seen for this product has people asking this question and it seems that nobody wants to answer it for whatever reason. Is this okay or not? (I'm really dying here now, just like many of you are from seeing this all the time)
Fair enough.
Last edited by AfroRockerMike at Sep 1, 2011,
#21
Yes that will work. That will work as well as anything if you insist on using the line out/headphone out.

It will, however, sound better if you put a mic in front of the amp. Here's why: when an amp is made to sound "good" they take into consideration what the power amp and speaker(s) will do to the tone. If you use the line out, you're skipping both steps and so you'll be missing something of the tone from the amp. Also, if you mic it you give it space. Whether that be only an inch or many feet, you're allowing the waves to interact with the air and room and give it a more natural feel.

You already have a mic an that interface has mic inputs, so why not give it a shot? If you don't like it, use the line out all you want. Yet another advantage of getting a proper interface is it opens up more options for you to experiment and find what you like best.
#22
Well I really meant that more for the bass guitar, sorry in my haste I was asking for the electric guitar (Which I foolishly stated as recording the same direct way). I'll just get it anyway, I assume that even when I record the bass guitar that way it'll sound better. Thanks again for the help!
Fair enough.
#23
Recording bass that way will be just fine.

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.