#1
I read it and just didn't get it. Sorry. I know NOTHING about recording at all.
All I want is to be able to record some of my own acoustic covers, and then maybe record stuff with me and my friends, but I just don't know how begin and the faq confused the hell out of me because I know very little about guitar equipment/computers/everything to do with recording.

I have my guitar and amp, and a laptop that has audacity if that makes any difference. How do I begin?
Last edited by GoldfishMoon at Jan 18, 2012,
#2
you can use a microphone from RockBand to record your playing into audacity. That is a really cheap easy way to do it. Just plug the mic into the usb port on your laptop. Or you could get a usb interface to use, like a mixer or line 6 pod.
#3
That's a big question.


Alright, first you need a mixer. The mixer will plug into your laptop's microphone input (if it has a line-in input, do that.)

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringer-VMX100-Scratch-Mixer-with-BPM-Counter-802020-i1155724.gc


I'm not sure if Guitar Center spreads to New Zealand (i'm one of those sheltered types), and Behringer isn't the greatest out there, but this is what you need for a cheap budget.

From there, you need a microphone.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Shure-SM57-Instrument-Vocal-Mic-100038239-i1126420.gc

This is an old stand by. It sounds great, and it's cheap. Of course, if you are on a tight budget any vocal mic will do for now.


So...

1.) Plug the microphone into the mixer with an XLR cable (3 pin microphone cable).

2.) Plug the mixer into either the line-in or microphone jack on your laptop (whichever you have).

3.) In Audacity, look for the drop down menu where you can select your input. It should default to the Microphone Input. Just make sure you select the appropriate one that corresponds with the jack you plugged in.

4.) Set the microphone up about a foot away from your amp.

5.) Press record and adjust the levels on the mixer so that it's not too loud, but not too quiet either.

6.) Once you have your level, you're good to go! Play away, and enjoy. You can also plug your guitar directly into the mixer for a 'direct sound'.

7.) When you're ready to do vocals, simply record another take in addition to your guitar tracks.


This was sort of fun to try and break down. Do you have any other questions? Is there something I can elaborate on? Let me know.


EDIT: If you can find a cheap USB mixer, that's a great alternative to the microphone/line input. You'll get less 'noise' (although there will still be some) and it will ultimately be a little more reliable. Credit to the guy above me.
Yeah, uh-huh...that's what they all say.
Last edited by BassFishin at Jan 18, 2012,
#4
You need an audio interface. I would NOT suggest you get any kind of mixer. They might look cool and the hands on approach may appeal to you, but you're paying a premium for built in features you'll most likely never use once you start getting more into recording. Unless you have a very large budget, you can do everything a mixer can, inside your computer, better.

You can try plugging your guitar straight into your laptop's mic input with a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter on the end that would normally plug into your guitar, and use some amp sim software, but results are more than likely going to sound pretty unsatisfying, to say the least.

What is your budget (in NZD/AUD/Where ever you're ordering from)?

Once we know a budget, we can suggest some interfaces to take a look at (if you could provide a link to the online stores you'd usually shop at, so we can check prices, that'd be great, as prices in your part of the world seem to be highly skewed from those of us in the US and Europe).

Aside from that - I'd suggest you delete Audacity now. It is not a proper recording software and learning how to use it now will only give you problems trying to learn a real software suite in the future. Install Reaper. It has a trial period of 30 days, and when it's up, it allows you to continue to use the software as long as you want. Should you decide you like the software and want to keep using it, I'd suggest you buy it, but that's up to you. The license is only $60, which in comparison to all the other full-featured DAWs out there, is next to nothing. You will never have to upgrade from Reaper, unless you decide to based on your workflow; Reaper can do just as much as the $500 softwares out there, and many find it easier to use.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





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#5
Quote by MatrixClaw
You need an audio interface. I would NOT suggest you get any kind of mixer. They might look cool and the hands on approach may appeal to you, but you're paying a premium for built in features you'll most likely never use once you start getting more into recording. Unless you have a very large budget, you can do everything a mixer can, inside your computer, better.



He said he has audacity. A mixer is the best option.

edit: I'm not suggesting a mixer because it 'looks cool'. That's ridiculous. The whole point of the mixer is so that you can control your levels and use a real microphone.

Even if you have an amp simulator, you should still run through either a mixer or a guitar line interface. If you directly plug your guitar into your microphone input, you're most likely just going to clip the entire time, depending on how loud your pickups are.
Yeah, uh-huh...that's what they all say.
Last edited by BassFishin at Jan 18, 2012,
#6
Quote by GoldfishMoon
I'm not sure of my budget right now, I have $600, but most of that is saving up for a new guitar. I might be able to spare one or two hundred dollars at this time, but nothing huge. This is why it taken me 3 years to even worry about recording, and had $0 before, so I just didn't think about it.
I have a friend with a guitar hero microphone that he uses sometimes for recording, could that work?

The guitar hero mic will get the job done, but don't expect it to sound that great.

I'm not sure what the big online retailers are over there, and the prices I'm seeing on the sites I can find seem to be a bit all over the place on some things, but what I've found in your budget that's decent are the Lexicon Alpha and Steinberg CI1. I'm not sure how much shipping would be if you bought from somewhere in Australia, but that might be an option too, something might be a bit cheaper over there. The M-Audio Fast Track is about the same price as the Steinberg is in the US, so if you can find that, it might be within your price range as well.

I haven't personally tried either of the two interfaces I found, but the CI1 has been intriguing me a bit. If the bigger interfaces are any indication of how good this one will be, the mic preamps in it should completely destroy anything in its price range. The range of gain on it is much higher than the Fast Tracks, and the signal to noise ratio is lower. I'd probably go with this one, unless you can somehow find a used Focusrite Saffire 6 at a good price.

Quote by BassFishin
He said he has audacity. A mixer is the best option.

edit: I'm not suggesting a mixer because it 'looks cool'. That's ridiculous. The whole point of the mixer is so that you can control your levels and use a real microphone.

Even if you have an amp simulator, you should still run through either a mixer or a guitar line interface. If you directly plug your guitar into your microphone input, you're most likely just going to clip the entire time, depending on how loud your pickups are.

Audacity has nothing to do with what interface he needs. I'm sorry, but unless he can only afford a cheap mixer on his budget, or needs it for live use with a PA as well, a mixer is never the best option. You can get some great mixers that incorporate analogue circuitry, with Firewire connectivity, but they are very expensive, and are really the only ones I'd ever suggest someone buys.

Mixers only have one purpose in the sub-$1000 (new) budget range, and that's to use live. The mixers that incorporate USB connections with them, you're sacrificing the quality of mic preamps, and the features of a full fledged USB/Firewire interface, for sub-par EQs, faders and routing. Many of them can't even send individual tracks for each mic/instrument input as well, and can only send Left and Right tracks. If you're plugging a mixer directly into the mic input on your computer, without any interface in between, you're basically doing the same thing as you would on your computer, by turning down the input sensitivity. You're not really gaining any extra control over the volume of your instrument by adding a fader to physically move. I guess you gain XLR inputs, but the quality of the sound is still going to be determined by the cheap sound card in your computer.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#7
Quote by MatrixClaw
The guitar hero mic will get the job done, but don't expect it to sound that great.

I'm not sure what the big online retailers are over there, and the prices I'm seeing on the sites I can find seem to be a bit all over the place on some things, but what I've found in your budget that's decent are the Lexicon Alpha and Steinberg CI1. I'm not sure how much shipping would be if you bought from somewhere in Australia, but that might be an option too, something might be a bit cheaper over there. The M-Audio Fast Track is about the same price as the Steinberg is in the US, so if you can find that, it might be within your price range as well.

I haven't personally tried either of the two interfaces I found, but the CI1 has been intriguing me a bit. If the bigger interfaces are any indication of how good this one will be, the mic preamps in it should completely destroy anything in its price range. The range of gain on it is much higher than the Fast Tracks, and the signal to noise ratio is lower. I'd probably go with this one, unless you can somehow find a used Focusrite Saffire 6 at a good price.


Audacity has nothing to do with what interface he needs. I'm sorry, but unless he can only afford a cheap mixer on his budget, or needs it for live use with a PA as well, a mixer is never the best option. You can get some great mixers that incorporate analogue circuitry, with Firewire connectivity, but they are very expensive, and are really the only ones I'd ever suggest someone buys.

Mixers only have one purpose in the sub-$1000 (new) budget range, and that's to use live. The mixers that incorporate USB connections with them, you're sacrificing the quality of mic preamps, and the features of a full fledged USB/Firewire interface, for sub-par EQs, faders and routing. Many of them can't even send individual tracks for each mic/instrument input as well, and can only send Left and Right tracks. If you're plugging a mixer directly into the mic input on your computer, without any interface in between, you're basically doing the same thing as you would on your computer, by turning down the input sensitivity. You're not really gaining any extra control over the volume of your instrument by adding a fader to physically move. I guess you gain XLR inputs, but the quality of the sound is still going to be determined by the cheap sound card in your computer.



I'm simply suggesting a mixer to have better control over the level of the input. I'm aware that all channels ultimately get bounced down to a stereo track, which is fine seeing as how it doesn't sound like he is going to be using more than one track at a time. Yea, the quality will be weak in comparison to some amazing firewire interface, but for his purposes this seems fine.

A 75 dollar mixer so that you can control recording one track at a time with a mediocre (or rock band) microphone seems fair. It's at least an option, if nothing else.
Yeah, uh-huh...that's what they all say.
#8
Quote by BassFishin
I'm simply suggesting a mixer to have better control over the level of the input. I'm aware that all channels ultimately get bounced down to a stereo track, which is fine seeing as how it doesn't sound like he is going to be using more than one track at a time. Yea, the quality will be weak in comparison to some amazing firewire interface, but for his purposes this seems fine.

A 75 dollar mixer so that you can control recording one track at a time with a mediocre (or rock band) microphone seems fair. It's at least an option, if nothing else.

There are plenty of good USB interfaces for only a bit more that are a much better option than an analogue mixer, is my point, though.

Considering he's in New Zealand as well, the Behringer you linked is probably going to be hard to find, and 2-3 times the amount it is in the US.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#9
well sir, knowing you don't know a lot about this, i would say to take your time to look into it, and wait with computer-recording until you have the knowledge how to do it properly. since your goal is to do simple acoustic recording i would say to use a simple, old-school tape recorder until then.

unless you really want to mix it into a song with other instruments off course
Quote by psyks
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#10
Quote by GoldfishMoon
I'm not sure of my budget right now, I have $600, but most of that is saving up for a new guitar. I might be able to spare one or two hundred dollars at this time, but nothing huge. This is why it taken me 3 years to even worry about recording, and had $0 before, so I just didn't think about it.
I have a friend with a guitar hero microphone that he uses sometimes for recording, could that work?

EDIT: Downloading reaper now

I think your best bet is to get a 2-4 mics. (don't worry about them being fancy, I'm using a Konami Microphone and it gets the job done) and something to hold your mics. Surround yourself with the mics but have them pointing in a different direction. You will get a more richer sound when recording your guitar that way.
That's the route I would take for doing acoustic guitar since you want to be able to capture all the sound you can and blend it in nicely.
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