#1
I was at Guitar Center, and as anyone who has been there knows, most employees are pushy and pretty unreliable. I've never recorded before so I'm not sure what I'll need, but the guy there recommended me some stuff.

This is a list of the instruments I have:
Ibanez JS1000 electric guitar
Peavey JSX 212 combo
Boss ME-50 multi-effects board
Yamaha Keyboard

I play in my room and want good recording gear (as you can see above, I'm not cheap). I'm going to submit a recorded song for a scholarship. My budget is around $400. I'm not sure if that's sufficient as I've never recorded before.

I was recommended:
AKG Perception 220
Lexicon Lambda I/F
A microphone stand w/ a boom
A mic cable
A pop filter

I've only heard acoustic and vocals done with this mic and they sounded good. Will this work with my electric guitar aswell?What would you guys recommend?
#3
what software do you plan on using?

I dont think you need a $200 mic to record something nice. Either of these will TOTALLY get the job done, assuming you're only recording guitar with it.
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Sennheiser-E609-Silver-Dynamic-Guitar-Microphone?sku=276668
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Shure-SM57-InstrumentVocal-Mic?sku=270102

Other than that, looks like a good setup. Wait, Guitar Center was helpful for once...?
Quote by lespaul#1
Indie stands for Industrial I think, like Marilyn Manson.

Ibanez RG2EX2 (Dimarzio Breed in bridge)
Epiphone Les Paul 100
Laney LV300T
Line 6 Toneport GX

The Falling Object Model
#4
I'm using a M-Audio Pre-usb with a Electro voice Co4 (sm57 clone, prefered it over the sm57) and Modded Oktava m319 into my laptop and its been pretty nice for what im using it for. Im sure it can been taken alot futher then what im capable of though. I have yet to harness its power lol

Heres what mine runs, minus the Oktava and slap something in its place and your in your price range...

M-audio $150
Co4 mic $60
Oktava m319 $325+$120(mod)
$60 bucks for cables and such

Total $715

Also most people just need one sm57 and there set.... I just went a bit overboard like always lol
Last edited by IbanezPsycho at Jul 23, 2008,
#5
Well, I'll be recording vocals and maybe other random crap too. I guess I'll go with what I said.

I won't buy from the guy though, he wasn't very nice, therefore won't be getting by buisness. That'll teach him!

I have Cool Edit Pro 2.0, but the Lexicon comes with software too. Then I'll be using Pinnacle Studios v.10 to sync video with what I recorded.

Edit: What's an Oktava m319
Last edited by SNAbadboy at Jul 23, 2008,
#6
Quote by SNAbadboy
Edit: What's an Oktava m319

Sounds like a condenser mic, similar to the AKG you picked out. I dont think either would do very well for guitar, since amps are so loud. Dynamic microphones (the two I suggested, the other one IbanezPsycho suggested) are usually better for this application. Vocals and acoustic guitar, not so much.

Good luck, recording is scary when you dont know what you're doing.
Quote by lespaul#1
Indie stands for Industrial I think, like Marilyn Manson.

Ibanez RG2EX2 (Dimarzio Breed in bridge)
Epiphone Les Paul 100
Laney LV300T
Line 6 Toneport GX

The Falling Object Model
#7
Quote by FLNagle
Sounds like a condenser mic, similar to the AKG you picked out. I dont think either would do very well for guitar, since amps are so loud. Dynamic microphones (the two I suggested, the other one IbanezPsycho suggested) are usually better for this application. Vocals and acoustic guitar, not so much.

Good luck, recording is scary when you dont know what you're doing.


Yup its a condenser Mic, theres actually alot of people that run them for guitar as a stand alone only. But usually you always see them paired with a dynamic mic. There actually quite amble to hold up to the loundness of a guitar amp without any issues.
#8
Okay, so a condenser mic is good for acoustic/vocals and a dynamic is good for amps? Which one does better all around. I do play mainly electric, but I'll be recording equally with all instruments.

ARGH!! lol

What does condenser and dynamic really mean? Also I keep hearing the word preamp in relation to mics. What are they and what do they do?
Last edited by SNAbadboy at Jul 23, 2008,
#9
*Reported to have this moved to R&R*

Read "Tweak's Guide" linked in my sig, thats well more than enough to get you started.

I suggest the following for general recording:
PreSonus Inspire 1394 firewire
MXL 990/991
Shure SM57 mic
Mic stands, cables...good headphones

If your desktop doesnt have a firewire port go to newegg.com and get a firewire card.
Last edited by moody07747 at Jul 23, 2008,
#10
Does the Shure SM57 or the MXL 990/991 really sound better than the microphone I posted?
I want to get something that'll last. I don't want to get the Shure than in a few months be like " I wanna upgrade". I want something with some quality. Everyone talks about them. Are they really that great, or just good for the price?
#11
It's a fair mic (the AKG) however the Rode NT1A is a lot better IMO.

For general use you should get a Large Diaphram and Small Diaphram condenser as you can use both for an acoustic as well as the Small Diaphram for amps. The Large Diaphram condensers work well for vocals.

http://studio-central.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=8&sid=e17958d3578116d41a03e8d8b8397110

The more you spend, the better quality you generally get however you need to know the mics well as some are duds.

The SM57 is a very common mic in studios, it works for drums and is very common for amps.
The MXL set is what I use in my studio and I am happy with them. I use them for vocals and acoustic guitar mostly.
The Rode NT1A sounds better than the MXL however you have to keep your budget in mind. the MXL is good enough for a home studio IMO.
Last edited by moody07747 at Jul 23, 2008,
#12
Thanks moody, I have a better understanding now.

So the AKG is good for acoustic/vocals then.

Will it be good for my amp? As long as it sounds as good or better than the SM57 on my amp, and very good for acoustic, I think I'll get it.
#13
The SM57 is a mic you will always use. Not for everything, but it will always have a place. They are good mics and pretty much bullet proof. Are they awesome? Erm.... on some things. Pro studios will use them on snare drums, guitar cabs, etc. Not always, but often enough that it makes them a studio staple. I wouldn't record lead vocals with one, usually. Nor would I use an SM58 to record a lead vocal usually.

As a very general rule, you want a condensor for sounds with a lot of dynamic range, and for sources that have a lot of detail in the sound - think human voices, violins, acoustic guitar, etc. Dynamic mics for loud sources, or sources that are more 'uniform' within themselves, or for sounds that are already compressed. Think kick and snare drums, guitar cabs, etc.

What, exactly, are you recording for your audition/scholarship? (immediate needs) Is it electric or acoustic? Solo or with vocals? (long term needs) What would you ultimately like to be able to record?

If you are planning on using a condensor for electric guitar, check the manual or whatever and find out the SPL limit it has. (SPL is essentially the volume, or sound pressure level that the mic will stand up to without cacking out). You CAN irreparably damage a condensor with very loud sounds - snare drums, guitar cabs, etc. It also matters, of course, how loud you play.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#14
Thanks axemanchris!

The video will be acoustic/vocal, so I guess I will go with the AKG Perception 220. I have a Peavey JSX 212 combo and don't go above 5 on both vol. and master vol.

Will the condenser mic be okay for that?
#15
Seeing as that is your immediate goal, you don't want to muck with something that won't quite pull it off. In any case, I'd go condensors all the way with that.

Recording acoustic guitar and vocal can be a bit of a trick. Two approaches:
1. Record the acoustic part first and then lay the vocal on top. Does it have to be live? I'm guessing it does. If that's the case, forget laying the two down separately. haha

2. Playing live. Again, two approaches:
a) One mic on the guitar and another mic on the vocal. You would think this would be the best option. The trick with this is to fiddle around a LOT with mic placement to avoid, or at least minimize the amount of phase cancellations between the two mics. That is when you play each mic back just fine on its own, but as soon as you add the second mic, it doesn't sound better.... it just sounds.... funny. Maybe boxy, maybe nasal, and generally just kinda weird. The advantage is that you have one track that is mostly vocal and another that is mostly guitar, so you have better control over EQ, balance, etc. between each of the tracks. Getting that placement down can get frustrating.

If you're going to go that route, the ideal is two figure-8 mics, but they're expensive. Next best bet is two condensors that are about as cardiod (uni-directional) as you can find. Hypercardiod. Worst case, maybe even get a hypercariod dynamic like the Sennheiser e935 for the vocal. Clocks in around $100-ish if you buy used, and beats the pants off any Sure SM57/58. I have an e835 which is essentially the same mic only a little less direction-specific.

b) 2 mics in the room. You'll need to play with placement again, but not as much. For room mics, a pair of large-diaphragm condensors will work just fine (I have the Rode NT1, as was recommended above...) You might achieve better results ( a little less boomy sometimes, depending on a lot of factors ) with a pair of small or medium diaphragm condensors, but they won't be as readily useful for you in the future as 'workhorse' mics. Avoid omni-directional mics, ideally, as you will get better stereo imaging with a pair of mics that are a little more focused.

I'd probably set them up in an XY pattern, which essentially means out in front of you, maybe roughly at chest level, so that the capsules of the mic meet at a little more than 90-degree angle - almost like a widened 'V.'



There are other miking techniques for stereo, but this one is a good place to start. When mixing, pan each of the two tracks to opposite sides, and the result should be quite nice.

Make sure that your interface supports inputs for at least two mics (more, depending on your future goals), and don't forget that you'll need preamps for each mic you are using. They may be built into your interface, or if not, you'll need to buy something with preamps. Also make sure, because you're using condensors, that the preamps are able to supply phantom power.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#16
Actually, I have to make a video and submit it to Youtube. So I have as many chances as time gives me. That's good because that mic placement stuff seems a bit confusing.

So, I'll record the acoustic and vocals separately. I need to know if I can use this AKG with my electric guitar (Might have a solo in the song). My volume is NEVER above halfway. Will I still be able to get a decent sound using this condenser mic?

This AKG fits right in my price range. Is it a good value for the price?
#17
So are you going to make a video of yourself while you record the guitar, record the vocal, or just stand there faking it and lip-synching? That's what I meant by 'live.'

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#18
Oh, no, I'll be recording myself making the music. I'm going to record it all separately though. There are like two guitar part and vocals. I'm going to record each instrument and get video of me recording each one. Then mix the song down and sync the video going from me singing to playing guitar etc. If that makes sense.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=I8K54UYjIR4

Kind of like that, but more serious. Am I making sense? Its going to have a slide show going for part of the video too.

Still, I need to know if I can use this AKG with my electric guitar (Might have a solo in the song). My volume is NEVER above halfway. Will I still be able to get a decent sound using this condenser mic?

This AKG fits right in my price range. Is it a good value for the price?
#19
So this video is like an audition for a scholarship? I strongly suggest that you make sure what the criteria is for the audio/video. I know if you are auditioning for entrance to a music program, they will often accept a video, but the video has to be you playing live. Edits of any sort are not permissible, (one camera.... one continuous take) and the focus of the camera must be on your hands and include your face throughout, etc.

The intention of this is to (at least as reasonably as possible) ensure that the content they are viewing is unedited and reflects the *actual* abilities of the performer. If this is for a scholarship, I would be surprised if they would accept anything multi-tracked, edited, etc.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#20
No, it's for $5000, and you make a song about 13 character traits to bring a positive change in the world. Some people make nothing but a whole slide show with them playing in the background. It's not an audition of any kind.

You've been a huge help man. I really need the other questions answered. ( The ones at the end of my last 2 posts lol).

Thanks!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ucUz21gq9XY
This previous winner got $5000! I think I can do better!
Last edited by SNAbadboy at Jul 24, 2008,
#22
Okay... I get it.

I'm not familiar with that specific mic, but I don't think AKG makes a bad product. That mic looks totally fine, I would say. If you're not really givin' 'er on the amp, you *should* be okay, but check the SPL on it and see. If it is less than about 120db, I would do it. Or would at least back it off a ways. You'll get a 'roomier' sound, which may or may not be what you want.

Just did some research.... says it is good for SPL to about 135 or so. Should be fine so long as you aren't cranking it.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#23
Okay, so how do I know how many decibels my amp is putting out? Is there like a general rule of thumb for 212 combos.

I'll probably get this mic then. Thanks again dude, you don't know how much this has really helped me out!
#24
Here is one source I found that gives a good general guideline. I'm sure there are others.

http://home.new.rr.com/trumpetb/audio/dBexamp.html

By the looks of this chart, 135db is probably sufficiently enough above what a 2x12 cab at half volume or so would put out.

Also, keep in mind that decibels are kind of tricky. You might think that 10 db isn't much, but 10 db actually represents a doubling of volume. So, 120 db is twice as loud as 110 db.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.