Recording on the super cheap

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by nhexima, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. nhexima macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2007
    I realize there are many threads out there asking for recommendations on that kind of thing, but I haven't seen any in my price range.. precisely, $100 or less.

    My and my friend are total amateurs looking to record stuff in Garageband (maybe Logic at some far-off later date) and I'm looking for decent recommendations for an audio interface and midi controller keyboard. I probably don't need more than 1 or 2 mic inputs/midi inputs, and I'd prefer a 49-key controller over those little 25-key ones.

    It looks like M-Audio's the only company in the game at this level, but even then I'm not really sure what to get. Anyone with personal experience? I guess I"m willing to go up to $150 for each component for something decent - I just want to avoid getting a total dog, and get stuff that will get the basic job done.
  2. wowser macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2004
    Inglaterra, Europa
    Maybe everyone hates them here, but even cheaper than M-Audio are Behringer - for the next-to-free prices you pay, you, in my opinion, get superb value for money equipment. I use their condenser mics and pre-amps and, while some may scoff, I am extremely pleased with their stuff.
  3. Gallick macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2007
    Recording for under $100 is possible, but you better not have any expectation of quality.

    You can get an M-Audio Fast Track unit for around $100 and the cheapest MIDI controller you'll be able to find will probably run you about $50. If you just want to do guitar, bass and keyboards/synthesized instruments, that should do you as fine as you're going to get for under a few hundred dollars.

    As for things that need to be miked, like acoustic guitars and drums, for your budget, forget it.
  4. nhexima thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2007
    Hey, any recommendations are greatly appreciated. I'm not gonna get signed to a label anytime soon, just want equipment that won't break, sounds clear "enough" and is somewhat worth the smallish amount of money I can (justifying to myself) spend on it. I'm a total noob at recording with a **** budget.

    From what I gather, most of these cheapie interfaces (like the Fast Track) that have 2 inputs or more will automatically mix them down into one line, right? Though it'd be nice to have them be able to record discrete channels simultaneously, I'm guessing that's out of this range.
  5. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    At this budget you shouldn't worry about an audio interface, just use the mac's built in mic input jack and headphone output jack. They really are quite reasonable.
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    can it throw phantom power?
  7. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    No it can't, and it has suspect impedance....

    The noisefloor is high and it clips easily.

    You'd be better off grabbing a Behringer USB......!!
  8. nhexima thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2007
    The funny thing is I actually have a low-budget XLR mic/stand I can use, which is why I want to get the audio interface (along with my friend's electric guitar). Right now I'm using the built-in iSight mic, which actually is better than I expected - if I can stand close enough and play at the right angle, lower the recording volume, etc.
  9. JeanE macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2006
    For nothing you get nothing
    from nothing comes nothing


    at Behringer you can stay near your budget target, when hum and noise is not your theme.

    but do not forget: you need plugs and cables after all.

    CAMP (..) is not so bad, but it remains CAMP.

    Good luck

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