All I want to do is be able to record (and edit and mix) my electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and keyboard on my home computer. I've downloaded Audacity and to keep it simple I think I just want to stick with that for now. I'm completely new to all of this.
I've been doing a lot of research and I'm still not sure what I need except a microphone. Don't I need some kind of cable to plug the mic into my computer? When do sound cards become an issue? etc.
So keeping in mind what I'm trying to do, can someone give me a list of the equipment I need or point me in the direction of a website that's actually helpful?
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Quote by Sol9989
Well all you technically need is a microphone and an adapter that goes from 1/4 to Headphone size. Which looks like this


Plug the mic into that , that into the mic slot on your soundcard and you are set to record.

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Err.. yeah its spose to be that easy, I think it destroys your computer speakers though when you plug yoru guitar in your cvomputer..

its best to get some software like the m-audio interface thingo
audobe audition, very good program, can do alot of stuff with it

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Heres the issue. Most standard sound cards are not good enough for recording multiple layers (such as recording the chords on acoustic, then playing that back to play over to record the lead guitar or bass or whatever else you may want). I dont know much about computers so I dont know if sound cards can be optimized or not or to what extent. So, basicly i would suggest checking it by recording some stuff in layers. If the card is adequate the finished product will be in time and sound good. If things sound out of time it is b/c there is latency. Latency orrours when the signal takes too much time to pass through the computer (card). in this case the signal goes into the computer and gets processed or whatever and recorded a fraction of a second after you actually play it. The problem is when recording over a track you already laid down, there will be a delay, you wont know it at first, but you could play in absolutely perfect time and when you play back both layers at once it will sound as if the parts are not at the same tempo
just get audacity (its free) do the plug into your computer thing and if you wanna hear yourself as you play, use headphones... cheap ones if your scared about blowing them up.
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whats your budget?

you need either
1 = inverter and mic that will take your inputs and put them into the computer
2 - PCI recording card, preamp, mic, and optional mixer which has preamps, EQ, level meters, level controls, and 48v phantom power.

For starting out I suggest an interface as its less to buy and it will get your recording done easily. Look into some usb interfaces like the Toneports. The UX1 is a nice overall unit to get started with.

Also I'm not sure if you plan on using your amp miced or just want to run your guitar into the interface but I suggest a Shure SM57 mic with pop filter. This will allow you to record vocals as well as mic amps such as your guitar amp if you want to. Great mic and worth every $1 put into it.