#1
Ok, I got a Shure Sm 57 microphone and I know i need a sound-card which has Xlr inputs. So, what else do I need? I will be recording an electric guitar with a fender amp, I hear some people talk about pre-amps, do I need a pre amp? What is a pre amp?
Thanks in advance and I apologize for the extreme level of noobiness.
#2
If you have an SM57 and a USB interface (external sound card) you'll be set. All you need then is a DAW (digital audio workstation). You do need a preamp, it takes the quiet signal of the microphone and boosts it to a usable volume. Your sound card will have preamps on the XLR inputs however.
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

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#3
Thanks for the information!! So, do you guys have any opinions on the m-audio fast track pro? Or are there other (cheap) external sound cards which is better?
#4
What budget do you have?

'Cheap' could mean anything.

If you have enough budget, you should also consider the option of getting a multitracker as your DAW instead of using an interface and software, it can be a more appropriate solution for a home recording hobbyist as there is less of a learning curve, but it does cost more to get started as you're buying an all-in-one package rather than just getting an interface and using free software etc. However, once you've got one, as it's an all-in-one package, you know you've got everything you need to create good quality recordings without needing to download all sorts of plugins etc.
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#5
Understanding software is really no problem for me, and I take the learning curve as a challenge. For recording so far I have used ableton which have been great, however I would admit that adding a microphone into the picture might be slightly more challenging.
The recording I did in the past was with a mustang III amp which was hooked directly into the computer, which produced a sound which wasn't the best, especially when it came to distorted tones.
When it comes to budget I would say about 200 dollars, keep in mind that I live in Norway and prices here I quite a bit higher than in the US
#6
Do Thomann deliver to Norway? They're pretty good for most of Europe, not sure about specifics though.

With that sort of budget, you could dive straight in and get one of Focusrite's interfaces - a lot of people claim they make the best interfaces on the market. Obviously everyone's opinion is different, so check they cover what you're after, but they'd be worth looking at.

Reaper is usually regarded the best software option and it can be used for free.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
EVH 5150 III LBXII
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#7
Thanks again! Yeah, I checked out the focusrite scarlett 2i2 and it looked awesome and the reviews were great!
In Norway the price is about 250 dollars, but everything here is quite expensive and from what I have heard, its totally worth it!
What do you guys think, should I go for the 2i2?
#8
If you can afford it, there's no reason not to

If it's slightly above your budget, try searching your local eBay site, as well as the site from other European countries - you may find a cheaper one if you're patient enough.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
EVH 5150 III LBXII
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#9
Well, consider the budget expanded! I would hate regretting the purchase at a later day if I went with something cheaper, and I have to say, that box is damn right sexy!
Thanks for all the replies, you have all been extremely helpful!
#10
I use the 2i2 and I love it! Definitely a solid purchase.

Edit: +1 on using Reaper aswell.
Last edited by Daragon91 at Mar 21, 2012,
#11
Sweet! Can't wait to test it out, will buy it tomorrow and see for myself how it keeps up!
Last edited by thekillerlama at Mar 22, 2012,
#12
I have the Focusrite SAPPHIRE and absolutely LOVE IT! Quality stuff!
Now running an Eleven Rack with Pro Tools 10.3.3 - it's amazing and I'm having ball with it - worth every penny. PT 10 is tops IMO and the Eleven Rack is a work of art!
#13
Thats awesome! Can't wait to test it out, will buy it tomorrow and test it out! ;D