#1
hi guys,I have just started trying to record on the pc.my first attempts have been with y guitar>pedalboard>mic input on pc using crappy realtek ac97.I have recently downloaded Audacity which I have'nt tried yet and reaper for multi tracking.I don't have any mic's and was gonna try a different approach with the v-amp2 into the pc.If i used 2 1/4 cables for l/r into a twin 1/4 to 1/8 jack into the line in rather than the mic would the recording quality be any good?(my friends got my vamp at the mo)I also thought what about buying a mic and just using a standard amp what kind of quality would i get there?also can i use reaper to record on a track by track basis(playback 2 tracks while recording into a 3rd?)should i upgrade my computers audio card?if so can you recommend a good cheap soundcard?Any help appreciated
#2
Right I only read the first 2 lines, and got you the answer right here.
realtek ac97 - burn it
Get a USB / Firewire interface, this is your answer. If you want a cheap one, try the M-Audio Jamlab, goes for around 25$.
#3
thanks darkshade,someone earlier said realtek was maybe my prob(i thought so to). i'll have a look for jamlab thanks for recommending it!!
#4
if you want the most professional sound, a time tested (some call old school) but still about 80-90 percent of producers religiously use this method here it is. First all get a better media input device like mentioned above usb or firewire OR if your using a PC there are many relatively cheap integrated pci card options for around 100 to 300 dollars that offer 24 bit which is great quality for home recording buts till professional sound all the way up to 48 bit practically top quality professional recording.

What most producers use to record in studio is the time tested industry standard sm57 dynamic microphone only 100 dollars in most places and can withstand high spl's and is durable like nothing else. You mic your amp (preferably a low wattage amp so you hit the sweet spot at relatively low volumes) and place the microphone facing straight into the cone for more trebly sound or closer to the outter for more bass (this is a matter of tone preference)
Generally guitars sound most full with two tracks stereo panned a little bit each direction and recorded with two slightly different tones a little more treble on one and a little more bass on another

so that might be a little more than you asked for but hope it helps you out a little bit and of course production is still an art so these are general guidelines, but the possibilities and variety is endless


#5
thanks very much for all that great info,totally new to recording so it's much appreciated,would i be able to use this mic with the jamlab as mentioned above or should i go for a different input device or soundcard if so,could you recommend a reasonably priced interface which would be good for the microphone you mentioned,once again thanks,it's well appreciated!!
#6
get a better mic and a nice interface, for recording more than one input at a time you will want a firewire interface, the Mackie Onyx Satellite is a great unit for around $200.

the Shure SM57 mic is great for just about any setting unless you need some quite vocals or acoustic guitar, that would need any type of condenser mic, the MXL 990/991 is a nice set.

Your PC can only take one mic at a time so you cant multi track (record two tracks at one time...) until you get an interface.
#7
thanks very much for all that great info,totally new to recording so it's much appreciated,would i be able to use this mic with the jamlab as mentioned above or should i go for a different input device or soundcard if so,could you recommend a reasonably priced interface which would be good for the microphone you mentioned,once again thanks,it's well appreciated!!


well you can get a 24 bit 96 khz integrated card like an m audio audiophile for about 100 bucks however the connection on something like that are RCA jacks SO, you would need a mixer (at least that would make the most sense to use) to plug in an XLR cable the that most microphones require (without buying an xlr to 1/4 male cable)

Now another option is something like this

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/MAudio-Fast-Track-USB-Computer-Recording-Interface?sku=703606

This has a guitar and microphone input and connects via usb, this isnt a bad option if your just trying to get some tracks up at a decent quality without all the bells and whistles. I think this would serve just fine for recording guitar tracks, and you can always eq and process guitar tracks on recording programs after the recording too so thats probably the cheapest option because you wouldnt have to get a mixer or anything, and also a not a bad option at all


the Shure SM57 mic is great for just about any setting unless you need some quite vocals or acoustic guitar, that would need any type of condenser mic, the MXL 990/991 is a nice set.



this is true i was assuming he was recording electric guitar because of the mention of an amp but the sm57 is a relatively versitle mic and still should be one of the first 2 or 3 mics you buy.

Condenser mics are awesome (i have 3) and have great frequency ranges, but in you your case i dont think thats what you're looking for, for a few reasons

1) they usually can't handle as high of spl's
2) They are not as durable
3) Decent ones are more expensive
4) You need phantom power for condensers (which means you would need a mic preamp or a mixer with phantom power = more money)

i will say though that they are coming out with relatively new technology which is USB condenser mics but i dont know how good they are and for the price you still cant beat the quality of an sm57 up to an amp

that should give ya something to think about ha
Last edited by Scott3229 at Feb 15, 2008,
#8
the M-audio 2496 is a fairly good card, it lacks a lot of outputs though which I prefer and it doesnt have any on board preamps. Still, I own and currently use it and like it a lot.

the way to go with fixing these problems is to get a mixer with at least 4 bus outs.
this will allow you to send out to one bus and that will feed the recording, another bus can be used for monitoring...a third for a return into the mixer.
#9
Quote by moody07747
the M-audio 2496 is a fairly good card, it lacks a lot of outputs though which I prefer and it doesnt have any on board preamps. Still, I own and currently use it and like it a lot.

the way to go with fixing these problems is to get a mixer with at least 4 bus outs.
this will allow you to send out to one bus and that will feed the recording, another bus can be used for monitoring...a third for a return into the mixer.



yea in fact if im right, correct me if im wrong, it only has a midi output/input and l/r rca output/input and then a sony pdif connection... like we said.. you'd need a mixer
#10
yep

Unbalanced RCA L input
Unbalanced RCA R input

Unbalanced RCA L output
Unbalanced RCA R output

RCA SPDIF input
RCA SPDIF output

MIDI input
MIDI output

Feeding the outputs into a multi bus mixer gives you a lot more outputs but mixers with this type of feature run over $200
#12
Quote by Scott3229

Generally guitars sound most full with two tracks stereo panned a little bit each direction and recorded with two slightly different tones a little more treble on one and a little more bass on another




Could you elaborate on this a little more?
#13
sure, what i mean to get the fullest sound on a guitar, OVER laying track over track over track with the same tones will actually start canceling frequencies "shrinking" the sound. So a common method is too record two separate guitar tracks playing either exactly the same thing or something very close (there maybe a few changed notes in the riff or something here and there maybe) But what you do is record one track playing the riff or chords with a little more on the treble side of the tone (not ridiculous but noticeable) then you play that exact same thing and record it on a separate track and record it either on a different amp giving it a different tone or just change the eq up a little bit maybe make it slightly more bassy sounding

then you throw each of the tracks to a separate stereo field. For example you might throw the first recording to the left at 25 percent and the second to the right at like 25 percent (these aren't exact numbers because again production is an art you can mess with it all you want) but this gives a full stereo sound without getting crowded.

Remember you can process effects after recording too but you want to try to get as close as possible to the tone you want before you record because processing like anything else is another step and can cut some quality making the track not sound as full as it could


i hope that helps you out a little bit
Last edited by Scott3229 at Feb 16, 2008,