hey guys, so.. i've been saving up from the last few months, and have come up with a good 1150$(CAN) + about another hundred or maybe 2.. so, what i want to know is, how should i distribute this money. i'm aware mics are very expensive, i'd only be getting one right now. but it would have to be a good vocal/acoustic mic. so how much should i spend on interface, mic, mixer.. what type of quality will it get me? should i save up a little more? i've never really done much recording so i'm not too sure. thanks a lot guys!
Peavey 5150
Fender Showmaster QBT
Digitech Digidelay
Well, I'm not too sure on the value of Canadian dollars, but I'm pretty confident you'll be able to afford a nice quality setup with that money. A couple of questions before I recommend specifics.

What kind of music and what instruments will you be wanting to record~? Drums or not?

How serious are you about recording and mixing? Do you want a hobby setup or is this going to be something you do for a long time ?
There is poetry in despair.
i think it's going to be something pretty serious.. and right now it's just going to be acoustic/vocal.
Peavey 5150
Fender Showmaster QBT
Digitech Digidelay
Well, if it's just acoustic and vocal, and you don't intend to record drums or live bands in the future, you might be best off with a two input firewire interface, such as Mackie Onyx Satellite. Bear in mind that this unit is not supported by Vista.

You won't need a mixer with your setup, just the interface will suffice, you won't really gain anything by using a mixer.

As for microphones, I use a Studio Projects B1, which is great for the price. That's on the cheaper end of the spectrum. If you want to spend more for better quality, you could go with the Rode NT2, or even the Audio Technica 4033, which is a nice microphone. That one is a fair bit more expensive though.

I'd recommend you get some studio monitors for your setup as well, as normal speakers colour the sound and make it harder for you to mix and edit your tracks. If you're serious about recording, they're pretty much essential. The KRK RP series are good monitors for a very reasonable price. I use Wharfedale DP8 monitors, which are a budget set, but work well for the price.

Don't forget other essentials, such as XLR lead for the mic, mic stand, etc. A pop shield is a good idea, to avoid any nasty plosives (p or b sounds which make an unpleasant sound on your recording) and you'll need to get some headphones for tracking (listening to your tracks while recording overdubs). A closed back design is best, to avoid spill into your microphone when recording.
There is poetry in despair.
Other recording interfaces you could look at are the Presonus Firebox, maybe the M-audio Firewire 410 if you want the choice of being able to use Protools among other software (though you can easily do without protools). To save up on having to get good software you may want to get interfaces that come with good software.

Some mics that are good for the buck include the M-audio Nova condenser mic, maybe the SM58 which can double up as a vocal mic, or an instrument mic (when you take off the head). Imo i'd try to get maybe two different condenser mics, so I have more flexibility in getting the sound I want.

The KRK RP 5 is fantastic sound for the price, though a teeny bit lacking in the lows - but will not drastically affect your mixing.
It's around $900 US using an online converter.

Fridge had solid advice. How are you going to record the acoustic? Are you planning to sing at the same time, and do you have plans on using two microphones (one on the soundhole, one at the fretboard)? After I know this, I'll recommend something specific.
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thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!

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Last edited by Fast_Fingers at Oct 25, 2008,
I like the idea of getting two mics^. I know you said you only wanted one, but two gives you more options for micing and different sounds, etc.
There is poetry in despair.
deff. go for the two mics.
This will get you a much better quality recording. There is so much more depth this way.

Is there any chance you will ever record anything other than acoustic and vocals? If so, then a bigger interface would be a wise investment. (more than 2 inputs)