#1
i'm looking to buy a shure sm57 mic to plug directly into my laptop and record that way. would there be any problem with this? i'm thinking i'll need to buy two 'converters' to get the right input for my laptop. i've gone to radioshack and gotten help finding these. the guy there was asking if it was ok that they would be mono. is there any reason i'd need it to be in stereo if i'm just recording one track at a time? would this setup in conjunction with the program 'audacity' be a good one for doing decent recordings?
#2
It will not give u good recordings, sending it in straight into the laptop sends it in through the soundcard which gives it crappy quality. U need something inbetween like an audio interface
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#4
audio interfaces are quite small so it wont be a problem, but wat would ur budget be? I suggest the toneport from Line 6, the Ux1. its $130 http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Line-6-TonePort-UX1-USB-RecordingModeling-Interface?sku=249700 U might be able to find it on ebay for less. There is also the M-audio fasttrack for 100$,http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/MAudio-Fast-Track-USB-Computer-Recording-Interface?sku=703606
U can get a refurbished one for $80, there are many more, these are just two popular ones and inexpensive ones that have a mic input
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#5
there are some not so good reviews for those. it seems like those are multifunctional, but i just want my recordings to not have background noise and for someone to be able to listen to them and wonder how i got such a good recording quality. what exactly are these things doing to increase the sound quality? btw, thanks.
#6
^ what they do is bypass the soundcard on your computer and do some of the processing outside of your computer. this allows you to not have to use a soundcard not suited for recording. they also have a good mic pre amp so that you arent using the bad one built into your soundcard, and this gives you better results. i would definatly not want to plug a good mic like the sm57 into a crappy soundcard, that would completly ruin the point of the good mic.
#7
Quote by jof1029
^ what they do is bypass the soundcard on your computer and do some of the processing outside of your computer. this allows you to not have to use a soundcard not suited for recording. they also have a good mic pre amp so that you arent using the bad one built into your soundcard, and this gives you better results. i would definatly not want to plug a good mic like the sm57 into a crappy soundcard, that would completly ruin the point of the good mic.

couldnt have said it any better
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#8
Quote by jof1029
^ what they do is bypass the soundcard on your computer and do some of the processing outside of your computer. this allows you to not have to use a soundcard not suited for recording. they also have a good mic pre amp so that you arent using the bad one built into your soundcard, and this gives you better results. i would definatly not want to plug a good mic like the sm57 into a crappy soundcard, that would completly ruin the point of the good mic.

gotcha. which one(s) would you recommend given a $150-200 price range?
#9
I kno ur asking him but I gotta say it, i have one myself and I love it, Toneport Ux2
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#10
i say it really depends on what exactly you want. if all you plan on doing (or at least for now) is recording one guitar at a time, then you really only need an interface with one input. if you wanna spend the extra money, get an interface with two. this allows for stereo recording, recording vox and guitar at the same time, or even using the inputs to accept stereo output from a mixer. 2 inputs gives you more options, but dont pay for something you wont ever need. personally i have a m-audio fast track, it has one input and works well for me because i only record one guitar at a time. if you are recording a band or multiple things, it wouldnt work for you. um, so my suggestions (obviously there are other options):

one input:
m-audio fast track
line6 toneport Ux1
Lexicon Alpha USB (but has 2 line inputs)
M-Audio FireWire Solo (firewire)

two inputs:
m-audio fast track pro (bit more than $200 if i remember tho)
line6 toneport Ux2
M-Audio MobilePre
TASCAM US-122 USB (also has MIDI)
PreSonus INSPIRE 1394 (FireWire)

yeah, so thats what i got from musicians friend. all are usb unless otherwise noted. i dont know how good most of those are, so you should probably read the reviews. just look around and compare the ones you like to see what fits you best.
#11
yeah, i'm thinking i just need a one input. what is this about recording in mono vs stereo? if i'm recording one track at a time, doesn't it really not matter? can't i just pan each track to make the final product in stereo? the audio interfaces i've checked have some not so good reviews. i'm not really concerned with effects they come with, just the sound quality. i really don't want any background noise or anything. how is yours when it comes to that?
#12
^ well yeah you can just pan things if its one track. but say you want to record drums, then each drum has a certain place (kick is middle, hi-hit to the right of it, etc) that you cant do with just one mic. i mean stereo recording isnt something thats all that important if all you record is one guitar, but gets important for stuff like drums and piano so i figured i would just point it out.

as for sound quality, i would say that mine is pretty good. you can listen to the quality at my d-music site, but only the top 2 songs are recorded with the fast track (rest are pretty old). you have to make sure nothing will cause any hum though, like not using florescent lights and keeping the computer moniter far enough away from everything as you record. stuff like this can cause background noise, and since many people dont realize everything goes into the quality they mark down the interface when something else is the problem.
#13
Quote by jof1029
^ well yeah you can just pan things if its one track. but say you want to record drums, then each drum has a certain place (kick is middle, hi-hit to the right of it, etc) that you cant do with just one mic. i mean stereo recording isnt something thats all that important if all you record is one guitar, but gets important for stuff like drums and piano so i figured i would just point it out.

as for sound quality, i would say that mine is pretty good. you can listen to the quality at my d-music site, but only the top 2 songs are recorded with the fast track (rest are pretty old). you have to make sure nothing will cause any hum though, like not using florescent lights and keeping the computer moniter far enough away from everything as you record. stuff like this can cause background noise, and since many people dont realize everything goes into the quality they mark down the interface when something else is the problem.

i hear that it's really up to the person whether they like mono or stereo piano. i tend to think stereo would sound better, but i haven't heard them side by side. if i got the line 6 one with 2 mic inputs, i could record stereo piano using two mics at the same time right? do you think that shure 57 mic would work as one of the two mics? what would be a good other one?
#15
Quote by jof1029
^ what they do is bypass the soundcard on your computer and do some of the processing outside of your computer. this allows you to not have to use a soundcard not suited for recording. they also have a good mic pre amp so that you arent using the bad one built into your soundcard, and this gives you better results. i would definatly not want to plug a good mic like the sm57 into a crappy soundcard, that would completly ruin the point of the good mic.


I'm in a similar situation to the threadstarter so I'd just like to clarify: is the soundcard left out of the signal chain when using an interface? In other words, the crappy soundcard that comes stock with an Apple iBook won't affect the quality of recordings when using an interface?
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#16
^ yeah, thats basicly the point of the interface. the interface does a lot of the processing on board, then sends the signal to your computer via USB or firewire. the soundcard is still in the loop if you use it for playback, but not in the loop for the recording. its also nice in that most are pretty small and are portable as a result. i can throw it in my laptop case and record jam sessions easily because all i have is one simple thing and a mic. the quality of the computer/laptop still come into play, but not the crappy on board sound card.

hthedinga, ive never recorded piano and i dont play either, so unfortunatly i cant help you with that. but yes, the one with two inputs would work for having two simultanious mics on the piano. the only reason ive heard its better to do stereo is that you can have the left hand stuff left ear, and right hand stuff right ear, but neither panned very hard.