so i was planning on getting the MXL990/991 mic pack for $99 to use for vocals and acoustic recording. and then the fast track USB pro for the interface/phantom power. and then obviously the Shure SM57 for micing my cab for recording.

but i was talking to a guy at GC and he obviously was trying to sell me in a different way and was wondering if it would be better. he says to get 1 condenser mic of better quality for the same price as the other 2. sterling audio st51 and then he said i should get a firewire interface. which would be faster and better pretty much. but i think that that would be more expensive and out of my price range. and then stick with the 57 for cab micing.

So i need to know:

1: which one of these options would be better.
2: what is a good budget priced firewire interface.
3: regardless of what i choose, what should i use for monitors? headphones or a budget priced set of regular monitors. and please recommend a set of headphones or monitors.

thanks for all the help in advance. everything is appreciated.
Well, if you are only going to use two microphones at a time (acoustic+singing) then there's no reason to go with Firewire as USB (1.1 or 2.0) will work. If you want Firewire, look into Presonus' Inspire 1394, which comes with some music software (a light version) and is probably the best way to start recording with. In any case, if you want to save $50, try Art USB Dual Pre, which is $100, then get Reaper or try free software to record.

As for your microphones, I'd get an SM57 and a single large-diaphragm condenser...a Samson CL8 can capture room tones with its multiple patterns, which is really nice for an acoustic, and it's $150. If it is too much, that Sterling isn't bad at all...here's a review of it. It'll handle voice and your guitar very well.

As for monitors, go with KRK's offerings. It'll be $200 for two that have a 5 inch woofer, but it's worth it. The next ones you should get are Avantone Mixcube Actives which are terrific at replicating consumer stereo systems and provide an invaluable 2nd opinion. As for headphones, I personally enjoy AKGs as they sound terrific and fit wonderfully...just slide them on and start tracking. The K66 should be in your price range...I personally have K301Xtras.
Quote by keiron_d
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Recording Guitar Amps 101
Last edited by Fast_Fingers at Aug 15, 2008,
The GC guys always try to sell you gear that's not needed...firewire is only useful if you are tracking more than 2 mono inputs at one time since that's the max an USB can hold.

I still think the M-Audio Pro interface and MXL mics are the best way to go for your setup. The mics sound great on guitar and I like the 990 for vocals. The interface is great and works with Vista.

I have miced amps using the MXL 991 and it worked fairly good. The 57 is nice to have if you have the cash but monitors are more important IMO.
I would go with the KRK RP5s which should sell at $100 a piece or a set of M-Audio Studiophile BX5As which also go for $200 but are sold in a pair. Both are fairly similar but the SC boards rave about the KRKs and I would tend to go with them for that reason.

For audio samples of the 990 I did a mic comparison a week ago, you can search the forms for that, I compared a cheap $20 dynamic, a SM57, and MXL 990 side by side. The MXL has a lot of detail but lacks a little warmth but you can EQ that in IMO.
Whenever doing vocals for my songs such as "One More Time" I will use the 990 so thats a song to listen to for a sample on the mic.

You can mix with headphones but I would look for $100 phones such as the Senn HD280 Pros as the cheaper ones cut out some sound...
However the monitors are a nice add on ...once again, if you have the cash aside for them. I mix on some good headphones right now since I dont have money for any monitors and my songs turn out good enough to my ear.
Last edited by moody07747 at Aug 15, 2008,
Monitors are almost always a better bet for mixing than headphones. Even my $250 AKG K240 headphones aren't as reliable as a set of basic monitors.

I have the Yorkville YSM1's. review here: http://mixguides.com/studiomonitors/Reviews/yorkville-studio-monitor-101/

I'll second the opinion of the MXL and 57 over a single mic that might really not be that much better than the MXL. I'm not familiar with the one he suggested, which suggests to me, that there might be a reason for that.

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.
Sure...that's not bad at all. Nice find.
Quote by keiron_d
thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!

True love exists in UG. Can you feel it?

Recording Guitar Amps 101