Im thinking of buying this laptop for around $500 and I am wanting to do my music on it and I need to know whats the cheapest equipment I need?
This is what i want to do on it. Is acoustic guitar tracks and my voice. What programs will i need that are easy and cheap? and also what equipment will i need
Thank u so much for any help
you'll get the best results with a USB or Firewire recording interface, and most of them come with basic recording software.
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It comes with recording software for music? Can I edit it real easy?
Plus wont I need a mic for it?
How to I hook up effects to it?
I was hoping to pick everything up at my local best buy.
They have a compaq laptop for 499.99 and it has Fire wire and a USB 2.0

I am just looking for something pretty simple to start because I know nothing when it comes to music programs.

I just wanna be able to play several acoustic tracks and sing. Whats the most simple way to do this on a laptop because I am limited with room?

Also I want something good but the cheapest I can get.

I need someone to tell me basically you need this, this and this and I can just go out buy it and come home play and record.
I do most of my acoustic stuff with an old version of Sonar and a Samson C01U USB mic.

Monitors are pretty essential for serious studios but I get reasonable mixes out of my PC speakers - especially as I've learned which frequencies they're biased towards and can compensate for it. You absolutely can't pull it off using built-in laptop speakers though, so get a decent pair of headphones and check everything through a pair of hifi or PC speakers.

That's literally all you'll need to get going with acoustic/vocal performances, there's tons of great free plugins available so you'll never be short of effects either.

If you ain't feel free to check out the stuff on my personal demo dumping ground, all of which were done with the C01U and Sonar, mixed on cheapo Diamond PC speakers. Nothing special but it works for my purposes.
Get the laptop and a fast track pro at best buy...ask people at store if the fast track has phantom power...need phantom power to run condesor mics.

then you should download mixcraft 4 free trial or download reaper for recording software...they are next to nothing to buy...mixcraft 4 is like $65 and reaper is only $50 and you can try both without paying anything...Some people will recomend audacity which is free however I say go for the good stuff and check out mixcraft and reaper...mixcraft is beginner friendly.


Mixcraft 4

Also mixcraft comes with drum loops...great for starting out...just click on loop in library and drag into track and change tempo speed.

Ive recorded these tunes on mixcraft using an m audio interface.

As for mics I wouldnt recommend anything from best buy however if you have to buy something this might work...actually you could probably record vocals and mic with this and not even need an interface...not sure though...ask the people at the store...it says in description that an m audio keyboard is needed but not included)...not sure what that means exactly...ask them what else you may need with it.

that mic looks interesting though.

Some of the best mics for vocals and recording acoustic are Rode mics and AKG mics...Rode NT1 has won awards and can be bought on ebay for less than $200

Rode mics

Rode NT1 A...excellent mic

The RØDE NT1-A. Winner of the Electronic Musician 2004 Editor's Choice Award and the world's quietest studio condenser microphone

Rode NT1 A on ebay

Even starting out your better off not getting a really cheap mic...they hiss and pretty much sound like crap.

If you want to get a good dynamic mic that doesnt need phantom power you could get a shure sm57 or 58.

Condensor mics are better though and if the fast track pro interface doesnt have pahntom power you will need to get a preamp with phantom power...a good preamp is the m audio DMP3.


Not saying you have to buy all this stuff however Ive been recording for about 10 months and Im getting to know whats good and whats not...even I cant afford everything I listed all at once...I need to get the m audio DMP3 and I need a Rode mic however i know that they are excellent products for the price so dont waste your money and buy it right the first time...saves you money in the long run really because you dont have to buy it twice.
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Last edited by D_Vincent at Mar 13, 2008,
For bare bones you could get by with a cheap interface, firewire or usb. And a decent dynamic mic.

I like the M-Audio interfaces, and Shure mics. You could be going with those two for less than $200 USD. THere's lots of options out there though.

Whats your budget for the extra sound gear?

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Im looking at spending probaly $700 total at the most. Thats for everything. I wanna get the laptop and what ever else I need for it to make the music. I need a program I assume and a mic and of course the laptop to run it all. I just know absolutely nothing when it comes to laptop and music software and all that good stuff. So any help is appreciated.

Wow I must say though I really appreciate all the help. Everyone here is very kind. Thanks
You'll be hard pressed to get everything for $700 after spending $500 of that on the laptop, by the time you onclude tax and shipping etc.

For optimum results you'd need an interface with 2 analog inputs and a condenser and dynamic mic, plus cables and stands. That would Probably put you over your budget.

Take a look at the ART USB Dual Pre ($99)

MXL V63M Studio Condenser Microphone ($79.99)


Shure SM58 Vocal Mic/SM57 Instrument Mic ($99)

The Shure mics are excellent as well as the MXL. I either own or have used all 3 of those mics.

I can't comment on ART Dual Pre, but it is the cheapest dual analog input interface I could find.

For best results use both the condenser and dynamic mics to record the acoustic guitar. Then record the vocals later using the condenser. I'm also assuming your acoustic is not acoustic/electric.
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