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buffalo
Jan 11, 2006, 09:16 PM
audio noob here,

i play the cello and would like to play around with garage band. what would i need to get started? i'd like to spend as little cash as possible. this is just something to experiment with so i can get a little more out of iLife



howesey
Jan 12, 2006, 03:16 PM
First off, you'll need a preamp. Some to think about are: Mackie Spike (http://www.mackie.com/products/spike/), Focusrite Sapphire, Presonus Firepod or Digidesign Mbox (older version 1 has a better preamps than version 2). Google them to read up on them. They are all good to get you going.

Next you'll need a mic. I'll go and find you some good mics for a Cello.

buffalo
Jan 12, 2006, 04:43 PM
OK, thanks


I'm totally new to any kind of recording, so any help would is greatly appreciated. :)

howesey
Jan 13, 2006, 09:53 AM
I have asked someone with experience in recording Cellos, their advice...

"The DPA instrument mic is the daddy when it comes to cellos, but it
costs a grand! After that pretty much anything- akg414 all good, small
mics such as Neumann KM184, AKG 451, CK91 also excellent."

beatsme
Jan 13, 2006, 03:50 PM
you might try getting a Shure SM57 mic. They're reasonably inexpensive (around $90 USD) and very well made. To make it work, you'd need a converter with an XLR mic input, which you can find below...

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=home/search/detail/base_pid/240868/

or

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=home/search/detail/base_pid/701364/

personally, I use an SM57 mic through a Mackie DFX6 mixer via the MAudio 2496 soundcard. Works very well for me, though all that is probably more than you'd like to spend.

this might be an option for you, as well...

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=rec/search/detail/base_pid/703609/

hope this helps...

faintember
Jan 14, 2006, 02:46 AM
as beatsme said, an shure57 will be the cheapest way to get a good sound. Make sure to buy a mic stand (duh!) and try to place the mic either near one of the f holes or under the bridge (towards the tailpiece). I have used both of these methods. If you go with the sure, you might want to look at something like the iMic from griffin to get the mic into your computer. (Note, this requires converting xlr to 1/8", as the iMic only accepts 1/8" inputs. This is also the cheapest way in that i can think of that will get at least decent results.)

Shure also makes an USB mic, as well does Blue (called the "snowball"). These would not require the iMic. I think the Snowball is about $140 US.

Other options would be a contact mic (akg makes some nice ones, but i cant remember the model number...). This type of mic makes contact with your cello, and really does get a nice sound, but may be overkill for your needs (although it is a great mic).

Typically, i like using a contact mic and a condenser mic, then mixing the two together (but thats me being an anal musician!).

macbodock
Jan 14, 2006, 09:03 AM
Shure also makes an USB mic, as well does Blue (called the "snowball"). These would not require the iMic. I think the Snowball is about $140 US.faintember,
The USB microphone is a good solution. I dont think that "Shure" makes a USB Microphone, you might have meant "Samson". You can check out the CO1U from Samson (http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=1810&brandID=2) and there is always the SnowBall from B.L.U.E. (http://www.bluemic.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Products&file=index&prod_id=18&POSTNUKESID=b30a4a87cc742338892b255a400ef5ca). Hope that this helps.

Kindest Regards,

faintember
Jan 14, 2006, 01:58 PM
faintember,
I dont think that "Shure" makes a USB Microphone, you might have meant "Samson".Yep you are right. That will teach me to post an message at almost 4am my time! Thanks for the correction macbodock!

macbodock
Jan 14, 2006, 04:25 PM
Yep you are right. That will teach me to post an message at almost 4am my time! Thanks for the correction macbodock!faintember,
NP...We together got it right and that is all that matters!

Kindest Regards,

adk
Jan 14, 2006, 08:38 PM
If you don't want to spend a lot of money starting out and you have an audio in jack, You can buy I karaoke mic. I'm not sure if they have mics with 1/8" prongs, but they for sure have 1/4" ones and you can easily buy an adapter.

faintember
Jan 14, 2006, 08:59 PM
If you don't want to spend a lot of money starting out and you have an audio in jack, You can buy I karaoke mic. I'm not sure if they have mics with 1/8" prongs, but they for sure have 1/4" ones and you can easily buy an adapter.
Except it is an Line in jack, not an Audio in jack. Line in requires Line level signal to yield proper results.

buffalo
Jan 16, 2006, 01:27 PM
Thanks for the replies. I've been out of town the last few days, but I'll do some research on your recommendations.

thanks:D

buffalo
Jan 16, 2006, 03:11 PM
I'm thinking that this Samson (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000AP1RE8/002-8260150-2944832?v=glance) mic is what I want. It's about how much I wanted to spend, since I this is just for fun.


I'm using an iMac G5 (17" 2.0 GHz w/ superdrive). Any other recommendations or suggestions?


Thanks again.

faintember
Jan 16, 2006, 03:25 PM
Sounds good. Here are two reviews from the Amazon site that you might want to check out:

Looking at the other reviews on Amazon, it seems that there are two distinct camps: delighted Windows users, and unhappy Mac users.

Sadly, I'm in the latter group. The Mac driver software (which is not included with the mic, but is a free download at Samson's website) simply won't work on my G4 running OS X 10.2.8. The control slider appears for a second, then vanishes - leaving behind an error message.

The microphone itself seems to be good quality for the money - sensitive, clean, and quiet. However, when using the mic with Garageband, there is an annoying latency problem which Samson says is unavoidable - but seems to be worse than other USB mic combinations I've tried.

If Samson retools their Mac driver to get the bugs out, then this could be a heckuva package. Until then, I can't recommend this mic for Mac users (and am still debating whether I'll keep mine or not).

UPDATED: I updated to OS X 10.3.9 and found that the Samson driver worked much better (though their materials didn't indicate that this version of the OS was needed). As such, I'm adding another star to my review (I'm not sure it'll show up - but I now give it "3 stars" - a satisfactory rating for the price)

and

I use the Samson on a PowerBook running 10.4.4 and on a PowerMac G4 running 10.3.9, both feeding into GarageBand and this mic truly was Plug and Play. It shows up in the Sound section of System Preferences and it shows up in the input section of GB. I didn't need to install ANY drivers, it just worked.

I wasn't expecting it to sound as good as it does either, given the $80 price tag. My only complaint is that there are some latency issues. A relaunch of GarageBand usually fixes them, though.

This is a fine USB microphone that will surely get better once Samson and Apple get on the same page and iron out some USB issues.


So it seems as long as you are running 10.4.4 you should be ok, however latency (the time b/t when you sing and the computer records you singing) is fairly common with USB audio devices, but some treat latency better than others. It should not be that much of a problem if you are just recording your self playing, and not, for example, trying to sync you playing to pre-recorded playing of others. The other option (the Blue "Snowball") is around $140, so the Samson is def. cheaper, but IMHO Blue is a great mic company. So for a budget, Samson, if you budget is flexible, then the Snowball.

Good luck!

buffalo
Jan 16, 2006, 04:21 PM
^

I had read those reviews and I do have 10.4.4, so I should be ok.

Thanks,
I hadn't looked at the snowball, but I'll check it out as well

zimv20
Jan 18, 2006, 03:55 AM
I'm thinking that this Samson (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000AP1RE8/002-8260150-2944832?v=glance) mic is what I want. It's about how much I wanted to spend
for cello, you're right to want to go with a condenser mic. instead of the samson, though, you may want to look at audio-technica. i've used their 4040 mics ($300) with good results; they also make a $100 2020 (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AT2020/) model. i've not used it, but i would grab it before the samson.

i have used the studio projects B1 (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/B1Mic/), which is also $100. like pretty much every other cheap LDC, its high-end is somewhat brittle, but you basically get what you pay for. if i had it and the 2020 at my disposal, i'd reach for the 2020 first, fwiw.

the sm57 is a great all around mic, but for a delicate instrument like the cello, it's not going to do the job.

btw, for mic placement, find a spot in the room where the cello sounds good and put the mic back at least a few feet, if not more. you want the sound of the air around the cello, not the sound of the bow hitting the strings. all imo, of course.

macbodock
Jan 18, 2006, 04:39 AM
I'm thinking that this Samson (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000AP1RE8/002-8260150-2944832?v=glance) mic is what I want. It's about how much I wanted to spend, since I this is just for fun.


I'm using an iMac G5 (17" 2.0 GHz w/ superdrive). Any other recommendations or suggestions?


Thanks again.buffalo,
If this is just for fun then the Samson CO1U will serve you well for the $80 bucks that you put into it. If your like me you dont want to put lots of $$$ into it just to try something. Perhaps if you really get in to it, you can upgrade your "Rig" later.

Kindest Regards,

Soulivar
Jan 18, 2006, 05:41 PM
Go with a condenser mic if you're getting into recording. I suggest something from Apex (www.apexelectronics.com), they have cheap, great sounding mics for the price. personally, I use a Neumann TLM-103 which is model'd after the Neumann U-87, but for the money, go with Apex, they have great sounding mics for the price, you can't beat the value. Worth checking out, they even come with a preamp i think...

faintember
Jan 18, 2006, 05:51 PM
i'd like to spend as little cash as possible. this is just something to experiment with so i can get a little more out of iLife
keep this in mind before we start recommending condenser microphones. Some great mics have been mentioned, but we are starting to move up in price range rather quickly.

buffalo
Jan 18, 2006, 06:09 PM
again, thanks for the replies and advice.

i'm only 15, so i don't have lots of $$ to spend on an experiment. i'm want to do this so i can play around with GB (get a little more out of iLife), and if it worked, maybe send some clips to relatives.

so... please think about that when giving me advice.


looking at Soulivar's suggestion,
Go with a condenser mic if you're getting into recording. I suggest something from Apex (www.apexelectronics.com), they have cheap, great sounding mics for the price. personally, I use a Neumann TLM-103 which is model'd after the Neumann U-87, but for the money, go with Apex, they have great sounding mics for the price, you can't beat the value. Worth checking out, they even come with a preamp i think...


i'm looking at the APEX415 (http://www.apexelectronics.com/index.php?tmp=4&id=80). I've found it for $120 (http://www.musiciansbuy.com/Apex_415_Microphone_w_Free_Mic_Cable_APEX415KIT.html), which is a price i'm willing to pay, but is there anything else i would need to buy?


thanks for the help so far. keep your advice comming!

faintember
Jan 18, 2006, 07:38 PM
i'm looking at the APEX415 (http://www.apexelectronics.com/index.php?tmp=4&id=80). I've found it for $120 (http://www.musiciansbuy.com/Apex_415_Microphone_w_Free_Mic_Cable_APEX415KIT.html), which is a price i'm willing to pay, but is there anything else i would need to buy?


thanks for the help so far. keep your advice comming!The Apex mic that you are looking at is a condenser mic, which means that it needs phantom power to operate, which means, you need a mic preamp for that mic. If you want to spend $120, go ahead and kick in another $20 and get the Blue Snowball (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Snowball/), which is a nice USB mic. The Customer Review (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Snowball/reviews/#anchor) on the site that i linked to may be helpful to you as well.

buffalo
Jan 18, 2006, 08:47 PM
what would a preamp cost? if the apex requires one, i guess i'll pass on it unless it wouldn't be much more.

i do like the idea of the snowball or the samson usb idea since i could just plug it in. quick question though... the mic doesn't need to be hooked into the mac at the time of recording, correct?


keep your help coming,

thanks a bunch



(EDIT: for an accidental button push, which posted before i was finished)

zimv20
Jan 18, 2006, 09:01 PM
what would a preamp cost? if the apex requires one
all mics need a preamp. any mic w/ a USB port has one built-in, along with an analog/digital converter. check the stickied preamp thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=168114) for some good, moderately-priced pre's.

but if you're sweating $20 on a mic, you're going to be hard pressed to find anything in your budget that's above bare bones.

yippy
Jan 18, 2006, 09:03 PM
When I first read the post I was thinking something more like this (http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/US/EN,CRID=103,CONTENTID=6776). If you don't plan on making a cd to give out it should be good enough to mess around on to see what garage band can do. And I got it for $20 on Amazon.

My friend made a recording (https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/chunho2/Kissing%20the%20Lipless.mp3) with it that sounds ok.

I will probably get flamed by the serious recording artists for suggesting it though.

zimv20
Jan 18, 2006, 09:09 PM
My friend made a recording (https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/chunho2/Kissing%20the%20Lipless.mp3) with it that sounds ok.

that mic's noisy as hell.

yippy
Jan 18, 2006, 09:14 PM
yea I guess it is. Although that recording is 5 tracks layered on top of each other which might make it worse. As I said, not good enough to make a real recording, just play around with (or Skype in my case).

zimv20
Jan 18, 2006, 09:22 PM
that recording is 5 tracks layered on top of each other which might make it worse.
that it would. and nothing at all against your friend's musical efforts, it's a nice song.

faintember
Jan 18, 2006, 10:31 PM
alright zimv20, et. all, can we figure out a good mic selection for this poster that is under, say $160? (heck, i am even curious as to the results now..lol)

zimv20
Jan 18, 2006, 10:38 PM
alright zimv20, et. all, can we figure out a good mic selection for this poster that is under, say $160? (heck, i am even curious as to the results now..lol)
there've been several in the $100 range mentioned. i think the trick is to find a useable mic, pre and converter for the stated $120 budget. oh, then there's cabling and monitoring (headphones?).

i fear that anything that cheap for cello will yield worse results than using a cello synthesizer patch.

faintember
Jan 18, 2006, 10:47 PM
So you dont think the Blue Snowball will do the job? I have a buddy that uses it to record himself practicing when he is on the road and he gets pretty decent results, although saxophone is fairly easy to mic with decent results. Either way, acoustic string instruments are some of the hardest to mic IMHO and all of my experience with them has been with feeding audio signal into a computer for manipulation, so a perfect sound source was not as important to me as the end result.

I agree about the cello synth patch probably being better than the sub $120 price range results, but if it really dosent help if you want to record yourself! :p ;)

i did want to say thanks to you though zimv20, as you clearly know mics and the like, and it is an area i could always learn more about.

zimv20
Jan 18, 2006, 10:59 PM
So you dont think the Blue Snowball will do the job?
i've not used it, so i couldn't say. i'll note that it's more than $120, but if the budget were expanded to $140 for a mic, pre and converter, then, you're right, that's where i'd look first.

i've got the blue dragonfly and find it to be, how should i say it, a little temperamental. it'd be interesting to try it on cello, though it's not the first mic in my modest collection that i'd reach for.


i did want to say thanks to you though zimv20, as you clearly know mics and the like, and it is an area i could always learn more about.
nah, i'm just some guy. i've got a ton to learn, too.

faintember
Jan 19, 2006, 01:45 AM
i've not used it, so i couldn't say. i'll note that it's more than $120, but if the budget were expanded to $140 for a mic, pre and converter, then, you're right, that's where i'd look first.Thats the beauty of the Snowball, USB connection, bus powered, no need for the pre and converter. (well no need for those items for it to just function.....lol) Hince, my reasoning for expanding the range to $140.

buffalo
Jan 19, 2006, 03:40 PM
i was looking to spend about $100, but i'd be willing to go to the $140 for the snowball if you all seem to recommend it.



My friend made a recording (https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/chunho2/Kissing%20the%20Lipless.mp3) with it that sounds ok.

i really didn't think that sounded so bad. if you think the snowball will sound better than that, i think i'd be happy

zimv20
Jan 19, 2006, 03:54 PM
i really didn't think that sounded so bad. if you think the snowball will sound better than that, i think i'd be happy
i'd be surprised if the snowball did not sound a good bit better.

buffalo
Jan 19, 2006, 04:23 PM
well I'm thinking I'll probably go ahead and get the snowball, unless you knolegeable folks suggest a different mic for around the same price ~$150. I'll probably make somekind of purchase within a week, and whenever I get something I'll be sure to post a sample of how it turned out.

zimv20
Jan 19, 2006, 04:38 PM
well I'm thinking I'll probably go ahead and get the snowball, unless you knolegeable folks suggest a different mic for around the same price ~$150.
understand that you're not buying just a mic, you're buying a mic w/ a built-in preamp and analog/digital converter. also understand that, though it serves your immediate needs, should you decide to grow your studio by buying a mixing board and external converters, you won't be able to use the snowball with that stuff, as its sole connector is USB.

that doesn't make it a bad purchase, just one that won't grow with you, if that ends up being your path. but for now, you're going to blow your budget if you spend $150 on just a mic.

does that make sense?

buffalo
Jan 19, 2006, 04:48 PM
understand that you're not buying just a mic, you're buying a mic w/ a built-in preamp and analog/digital converter. also understand that, though it serves your immediate needs, should you decide to grow your studio by buying a mixing board and external converters, you won't be able to use the snowball with that stuff, as its sole connector is USB.

that doesn't make it a bad purchase, just one that won't grow with you, if that ends up being your path. but for now, you're going to blow your budget if you spend $150 on just a mic.

does that make sense?

made sense.


i doubt i'll ever need more than this mic. i've never considered making cello or music a career, just something to have fun with. although i'm good for my age (atleast, counting out the child prodigy kids who pratice 3+ hours a day :), i can't see my level of playing get great enough that I would want to blow lots of cash on a recording system


edit: by good, I mean above average... I'm in my 6th year of playing, take private lessons, but should be practicing more than i do.

macbodock
Jan 19, 2006, 06:58 PM
well I'm thinking I'll probably go ahead and get the snowball, unless you knolegeable folks suggest a different mic for around the same price ~$150. I'll probably make somekind of purchase within a week, and whenever I get something I'll be sure to post a sample of how it turned out.buffalo,
I use the SnowBall everyday in my "Home Brew" voiceover studio with great results. I wrote a review of the SnowBall on Studio-Central and you can read it here (http://www.studio-central.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=25661). I think that for $140 you just cant beat it.

Kindest Regards,

buffalo
Jan 19, 2006, 08:08 PM
buffalo,
I use the SnowBall everyday in my "Home Brew" voiceover studio with great results. I wrote a review of the SnowBall on Studio-Central and you can read it here (http://www.studio-central.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=25661). I think that for $140 you just cant beat it.

Kindest Regards,

thanks for the review,

so to confirm (a few dumb questions)...
the snowball doesn't come with a USB cable so would something like this (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004Z5M1/sr=1-1/qid=1137722643/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-0870533-8625463?%5Fencoding=UTF8)work? if not, what will i need?

the recorder does not have to be connected to the mac at the time of recording, correct? i'm thinking i'd probably do any recording in the basement where it's very quiet, and since my imac is in my room, that will not cause any problems...

yippy
Jan 19, 2006, 09:07 PM
I am pretty sure it DOES need to be connected to your Mac to record.

macbodock
Jan 20, 2006, 04:37 AM
thanks for the review,
so to confirm (a few dumb questions)...
the snowball doesn't come with a USB cable so would something like this (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004Z5M1/sr=1-1/qid=1137722643/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-0870533-8625463?%5Fencoding=UTF8)work? if not, what will i need?
the recorder does not have to be connected to the mac at the time of recording, correct? i'm thinking i'd probably do any recording in the basement where it's very quiet, and since my imac is in my room, that will not cause any problems...buffalo,
Glad that you like the review and looks as if it has helped. Not a dumb question at all. What your gonna need is Microphone (SnowBall or CO1U...Get the SnowBall for an extra money it is well worth it.). USB cable (looks like the right one above). A mic stand (SnowBall has a standard tread for mic stands). You may want to invest in a boom for the mic stand as well. Now for the bad news the USB cable has to be plugged into your iMac and into the USB Microphone in order to record into Garage Band. If you choose the SnowBall use it in postion 2 this will engage the -10db pad and you can record right next to your iMAC. If you get to much echo you may have to move it to the basement. Hope this helps!

Kindest Regards,

buffalo
Jan 20, 2006, 09:37 AM
buffalo,
Glad that you like the review and looks as if it has helped. Not a dumb question at all. What your gonna need is Microphone (SnowBall or CO1U...Get the SnowBall for an extra money it is well worth it.). USB cable (looks like the right one above). A mic stand (SnowBall has a standard tread for mic stands). You may want to invest in a boom for the mic stand as well. Now for the bad news the USB cable has to be plugged into your iMac and into the USB Microphone in order to record into Garage Band. If you choose the SnowBall use it in postion 2 this will engage the -10db pad and you can record right next to your iMAC. If you get to much echo you may have to move it to the basement. Hope this helps!

Kindest Regards,


thinking about it, recording in my room would be fine. what is a boom for the stand?



thanks for the help

macbodock
Jan 20, 2006, 04:52 PM
thinking about it, recording in my room would be fine. what is a boom for the stand?
thanks for the helpbuffalo,
Here is a regular microphone stand (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/closeup/MS20--Main). Here is a boom stand (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/closeup/SB11WE--Main). This is used to hold the microphone and still give you room to use your intsrument. Your gonna need some type of a stand. Hope this helps.

Kindest Regards,