#1
I've recently gotten into playing acoustic guitar and written a few songs. Me and a friend are starting an acoustic instrumental band just for, you know, fun? We're going to possibly play a few shows in November at an acoustic coffeehouse but I wanted to record our music and be able to put it up. I've got two options that I've come up with.

First option: So I've been reading through the Riffs and Recordings stickies and previous threads and I've come up with a list of things I think I'll like to get, or have heard good things about. So what I've come up with so far is:
1) MXL 990/MXL 991 Recording Mic Package:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/MXL-MXL-990MXL-991-Recording-Microphone-Package?sku=273166

2) M-Audio Audio Buddy:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/MAudio-Audio-Buddy?sku=701104

3) Boom Mic Stand

4) XLR Cable

Is there anything else I need? Is this all pretty good stuff for amateur/beginner recording? I have recording software such as Reason and Cubase and I have access to a pretty decent laptop, my sister's. But I'm not sure why I need the XLR cable, is that how I plug the microphone into the preamp? And if that's how I plug it into the preamp, how would I plug the preamp into a computer?

Second Option: Or my brother just told me that he has a USB Condenser mic at the store he works at that is $100. He said it was a Samson, but I'm sure what model it is.

Which would you recommend, my first option or my second option?

My budget is around $300. If that's too cheap I can probably just wait and save a bit more money/find a job.
#2
The mic and preamp isnt enough to record...You still need an audio interface.

Get yourself the MXL mic pack, stands and cables however you will want an audio interface with preamps and phantom power on board.

PreSonus makes the Inspire 1394 which would work great for your needs....it's also firewire which is nice.

MXL 990/991 - $100
Inspire 1394 - $150

With $50 left for cables and stands you should be set.

Condenser USB mics are not all that great, I would stay away from them.
Last edited by moody07747 at Aug 25, 2008,
#3
Quote by moody07747
The mic and preamp isnt enough to record...You still need an audio interface.

Get yourself the MXL mic pack, stands and cables however you will want an audio interface with preamps and phantom power on board.

PreSonus makes the Inspire 1394 which would work great for your needs....it's also firewire which is nice.


OHH.. I thought the Audio Buddy was the audio interface.

I can stretch my budget to $400, will that cover most of the costs?
#5
Quote by moody07747
yea you're not the first to think the AB is an interface haha


Well that's reassuring.

So what would the AB do? Make the quality better? Because it isn't necessary, is it? But if I'll make a world of difference in quality I'll probably want to get it as well.

And about the firewire, do most laptops come with firewire outlets?
Last edited by Kurt-Corgan at Aug 25, 2008,
#6
The audio buddy is simply a preamp with phantom power...and its not a great preamp at that. It isn't an interface and will not improve your sound quality.

All mics, (dynamics and condensers) need a preamp to boost their low output signal to a usable level however only condensers need phantom power to work.

Most interfaces come with on board preamps these days but only a few have on board phantom power. Products like the PreSonus Inspire 1394, EMU 0202/0404 have both. These are the units you should be looking into IMO. Paired with a condenser mic or two they will work great to record what you need.


If a laptop has a firewire port, most of the time its the smaller 4 pin type however I've seen the 6 pin firewire ports, (mostly on Mac laptops). If your laptop doesn't have any firewire port you could either go with a USB 2.0 interface such as the EMU 0202 of 0404 or you can get an expansion card to add firewire ports.

4 and 6 pin offer same sound quality and speed. The 6 pin simply sends power to the cable with the two extra contact points.

If you only need to run two mics, go with an EMU USB interface.
If you want to record more than two mics, run the PreSonus 1394 or any other firewire interface.
#7
I second everything that Moody has said.

I'd personally go for the Inspire, since it's very easy for both you and your friend to have one each, then combine them for jam sessions. Also, it comes with Cubase LE...which is very good to start out with. I would go for nicer large-diaphragm condensers as they complement acoustics very well...very good ones start at $70-99...try MXL V63s, anything from this article, Samson CL7/8s, and anything you can try out.
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#8
I second the MXL V63, it's an excellent condenser for the money.
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