I'm looking to start recording some songs on to my computer and I'd like to know if anyone had any suggestions as to which software to use and if I should look into buying a better microphone.
I've never tried it myself, but I've heard that Audacity should be a really good starting program!

And for the mic question, what mic do you use now?
Kristal is a good recorder to start off with. Easy learning curve and best of all, its free!

I use a cheap microphone to record dieas, and when recording for real, go round a friends who has a proper condensor microphone for vocals and Cubase for the guitar...

But for starting off, deffo Kristal and cheapo microphone are good enough!!

Have fun kidda!

Wrong forum mate

Try these.

(Riffs and Recording forum)

(Recording Software List)

(Recording FAQ)

(Gear and accessories list)

Quoting Bill43 out of the Gear list.

Quote by Bill43
After reading so much about these mic's and the low price for them, I decided to give them a test run.

The 990 is smooth and sultry, rather well balanced, good for vocals and mic'ing amps. Its range doesn't seem as broad and is easier to take on the heavy end recording jobs... IOW deeper low end.

The 991 is more suited for recording acoustics and is also well suited for vocals, but is a bit on the squealy feedback side if you don't watch the levels closely.

The price is easy on the wallet, but don't expect to get the sounds of a $500.00 mic out of them. This is a situation where you get what you pay for... but in a price/performace setting... they're hard to beat.

I decided to try using both the mic's at the same time for recording an acoustic set... and you would not believe the sound I got when I recorded the two channels. The 991 picked out nice clean highs, while the 990 grabbed almost every nuance of the bass end of my guitar. This is where the 2 mics shine. Put them together and you will get that "so close to real" sound that you will shake your head trying to figure out how you can get this from something so cheap.

The cost was $99.00 USD plus tax.

Keep in mind that these mics need 48v phantom power, so if you don't have a pre... or a mixer with phantom power.... these mics will not work for you.

Another thing is that the cardoid patterns these mics employ is pretty wide, so if you're not in a very quiet place, they'll pick up every little noise around. You also have to watch the levels as they will squeal (feedback) really quick... so much so that I swear it sounded like the mics were farting at one point.

Here's the specs:

The MXL 990 has changed the way project studio recordings are being created. Until now, condenser microphone prices have been out of the reach of most working musicians. Production breakthroughs have brought the MXL 990 into the price range of the home recording enthusiast. The 990 is a true, phantom powered, condenser microphone with a 6 micron, 20mm gold-sputtered diaphragm. The MXL 990 has a high quality FET preamp and its output is balanced.

Type: Condenser pressure gradient mic with large 20mm gold diaphragm capsule
Frequency Range: 30Hz ? 20kHz
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Sensitivity: 15mV/Pa
Impedance: 200W
S/N Ratio: 80dB (Ref. 1Pa A-weighted)
Equivalent Noise Level: 20dB(A weighted IEC 268-4)
Max SPL for 0.5% THD: 130dB
Max SPL with -10dB cut: 130dB
Power Requirements: 48V Phantom Power (+- 4V)
Current Consumption: <3.0mA
Size: 60mm x 130mm
Weight: 1.2 lbs
Metal Finish: Champagne

The MXL 991 is a small profile instrument microphone designed for close guitar miking. It has a 6-micron, 20mm Gold-sputtered diaphragm delivering a wide cardiod pattern. It It exhibits a silky top end sound perfect for capturing the subtle nuances of acoustic guitar without the harshness associated with many widely utilized dynamic microphones. The 990 works equally well for overhead drum miking and for stereo recording when used in pairs.

Type: Condenser pressure gradient mic with 20mm diaphragm
Frequency Range: 30Hz ? 18kHz
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Sensitivity: 15mV/Pa
Impedance: 110W
S/N Ratio: 78dB (Ref. 1Pa A-weighted)
Equivalent Noise Level: 20dB (A weighted IEC 268-4)
Max SPL for 0.5% THD: 137dB
Power Requirements: Phantom Power 48V ±4V
Current Consumption: <3.0mA
Size: 22mm x 134mm
Weight: 0.35 lbs
Metal Finish: Champagne

That is the microphone that I have. The Marshall MXL 990 Condenser microphone (I have the 990 only not the 991) It is nice and I think I got it for about 150$ I got the one with the Shock Mount and the Condenser mic though, not the stick mic. But it is very, VERY nice for just a small home recording project.

Good luck with your decision

EDIT: You will need a mixer to plug the microphone into as well, which may run you 200$ or more, and it needs a phantom power option. (as the mic runs on phantom power.)
Last edited by AthenasGhost at Jul 4, 2007,