Budget home recording...

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by smwatson, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. smwatson macrumors 6502a

    smwatson

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #1
    I've got a MacBook (aluminium) with Ableton and Garageband, and that's about it...

    I'm hoping to record acoustic guitar and vocals.

    A few questions:
    - Is it best to record acoustic guitar with line-in or with a mic? or both? From experience I prefer the sound from a mic but I don't have a recording location with decent sound reduction possibilities...
    - What's the best mic + interface combo that balances quality with price? I'm not fussed about getting amazing quality particularly...

    I don't have a budget, but I don't want to spend too much.

    Thanks alot for any hints. :)
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    toronto
  3. smwatson thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smwatson

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    #3
    Thanks, looks great.

    What's the best interface to go with that?
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #4
    all the budget interfaces are about the same quality as one another. pick the one with the features you want that works with your software.

    just make sure it has mic pre's with phantom power, if you're getting a condenser mic like the 2020.
     
  5. smwatson thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smwatson

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    #5
    How much would I be losing in sound quality by usingthis rather than a separate interface?
     
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #6
    i've never tried the USB version, so i don't know. USB mics are kind of a dead end path, though, if you ever want to record more than one thing at once, like mic'ing acoustic guitar and vox separately.
     
  7. smwatson thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smwatson

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    Location:
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    #7
    Hmm. Well I only have enough money for one mic if its £100 anyway...

    I'm only poor me. Maybe I'd be better looking at something second hand?
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #8
    like an sm57 and a used cassette 4-track? don't knock it, i've done a lot of recordings like that. great for learning the basics and how to work with limited resources.
     
  9. smwatson thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smwatson

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    #9

    Yeah, ideally though I want to be recording digitally.. for easier distribution and whatnot to share recordings..

    Is the Shure any good for vox & acoustic guitar? I may have to consider increasing the budget...
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #10
    the 57 is a great mic, actually, but i've found it does better with good preamps. for acoustic guitar and vox, it's not the first thing i reach for, though.
     
  11. smwatson thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smwatson

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    #11
    Ok.. Hmm.

    If I gave you £150, and asked you to buy me something to record vox & acoustic guitar, is the AT2020 what you would go for?
     
  12. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #12
    if that's the mic budget, then yes an AT2020. if that's the entire budget, i'd buy a used sm57, a used cassette 4-track, a cheap mic stand, a 20' XLR cable, a couple 2x4' sheets of OC 703 rockwool and fabric to cover them, new strings and a box of cassettes.

    that's assuming i already had headphones.
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    The trouble is that you will need two of them. One for guitar and one for vocals. It would be more expensive then simply buying two mics and one interface.

    Also where is the grain adjustment and the LEDs used to set the level? on each mic? If even there? And what about monitoring? No way to do zero latency monitoriing (but you did not say you needed that.)

    I think you gain a lont more flexibilty with a low cost interface and a couple mics
     
  14. smwatson thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smwatson

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    Location:
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    #14
    I meant the mic budget yeah, sorry.

    AT2020 and a cheap interface?
    Is there a best cheap interface, or are they all roughly the same?

    Also, I think £150 might have been unrealistic... the AT2020 is £85..
     
  15. mikeinternet macrumors 6502a

    mikeinternet

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    Location:
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    #15
    I can appreciate analog. I've had a cassette 4-track, and a 16 track 1/2 inch machine. That being said how could you guys recommend a 4-track to anyone? who already owns a good computer?

    The pros to non-linear recording are too much to go back to cheap analog.

    To answer the original post. Get some cheap USB interface anything with a built in mic pre. As far as a mic I think you'll find nearly anything workable. sm57's are solid mics and hold value if you ever need to sell it for something fancier.
     
  16. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Location:
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    #16
    the cons include:

    1. nearly limitless resources
    2. the ability to edit endlessly
    3. no loss of quality with repeated playings

    and all that can lead to never committing to anything. the beauty of a 4-track to a beginner is that it not only teaches basics, but it teaches resource allocation and committing to a track/sound (e.g. when bouncing down to free up tracks).

    and in the OP's case, he doesn't have much of a budget.
     

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