#1
So I'm new to recording. Just bought a cheap recording package off Musician's Friend. Came with a digital recorder, a condenser mic with stand, and two small monitors that look like computer speakers. Here are my questions:

1. When I'm layering tracks I can't hear myself on these crappy monitors and turning down is not an option because the level is so low. I'm gonna have to buy new monitors. If I upgrade to some "real" monitors am I going to have to buy a power amp or something along those lines? Or are they self powered much like the ones I have now going directly to an outlet?

2. It seems like my volume is ridiculously low on my recorder (Tascam DP-008). Even with my amp cranked up and the mic right next to it when I play it back it sounds quiet and muffled. Is it always gonna be like this due to my cheap recorder or is it just subjective to what I'm playing it back through? As in if I upgrade my monitors will the volume be improved?

3. I've read up on condenser vs. dynamic mics. Is there any problem recording distorted electric guitar with a condenser mic (which is all I have)?

Thanks!
#2
1. Most monitoring speakers will be self powered.

2. Have you turned the gain up on the tascam. The gain is the amount of signal coming through the mic, the higher the gain the more signal you'll get. Just be weary that if you turn it up too much you'll get audio clipping, where the file is distorting - for a good clean recording you wanna find the sweet spot where you have an excellent amount of signal and no clipping (Most recording software will have some form of indication as to whether it has clipped or not)

3. As as music tech student, I've had it drummed into me to never use a condenser for electric guitars: but that's just while I'm still learning.
The beauty of recording is that if it sounds good, it is good. If you use the condenser and get a good result, then fantastic, it's not unheard of.
However it is a popular opinion to generally go with a shure SM57 dynamic mic 1/2 inches from the grill of a guitar amp - as a basic starting position for guitar recording. (That or D.I'ing straight into the mixer)

I can recommend Sound on Sound magazine for any aspiring recording techie, I've read many a copy myself and it's vividly interesting once you get your head around the terminology and occasional physics discussion.

And I can also recommend Line6 TonePorts. I picked up a Line6 GX1 toneport for £80, and it's great for basic, standard quality guitar recordings - flawless for recording ideas and I've even had some alright results when trying to record properly with it. (The main errors being my lousy guitar playing)


hope this helps.
Blackstar HT-5 mini-stack
Ibanez Tubescream TS9
Ibanez RG3EXFM1

Quote by lucky1978
If you're just playing at home or with friends, do it dude. Chicks dig stacks! Crank out some Metallica and do a couple of single moms!

I ask many questions.
Last edited by Into Exile at Apr 10, 2012,
#3
1. Thanks!

2. There is an input level with an OL (overload?) indicator light switch which must be what you're talking about. I will mess with that. But still, if I upgrade my monitors it will be later, no?

3. I may invest in a dynamic mic then.

Thanks again.
#4
This may help you a little. Unless I actually saw the interface + your software + how its set up I can't really offer you much more help.

Blackstar HT-5 mini-stack
Ibanez Tubescream TS9
Ibanez RG3EXFM1

Quote by lucky1978
If you're just playing at home or with friends, do it dude. Chicks dig stacks! Crank out some Metallica and do a couple of single moms!

I ask many questions.
#6
Haha, well that depends on the size + quality of the speaker.

I'm sure the bigger the speaker, the louder it is. So probably, yes.

Are you sure the speakers don't have a volume control on them, which is turned down.. or your computer turned down.

Even with low quality speakers, they're usually loud enough.

Regardless, a good pair of monitoring speakers is always a good thing. The quality will be much better.
Blackstar HT-5 mini-stack
Ibanez Tubescream TS9
Ibanez RG3EXFM1

Quote by lucky1978
If you're just playing at home or with friends, do it dude. Chicks dig stacks! Crank out some Metallica and do a couple of single moms!

I ask many questions.