Recording Singing? *New to audio*

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by kildraik, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. kildraik macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2006
    Colorado Rockies
    I am in the market for an affordable (Possibly around $300?), but great sounding mic setup to record singing.

    My questions are;

    -What is a good setup, and what are the components involved?

    -My brother gifted me a copy of Logic Pro that Apple gave to him, and I plan on using it, but it's alien to me. When recording myself performing, how can I listen to the track by headphone feedback so I'm on cue? Are there tutorials/special forums for this kind of stuff?

    -What other programs are great for recording and editing? Heard of Protools?

    Thanks in advance. Open to any/all suggestions.
  2. cdmcmahon macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    Couple of Options

    You have multiple options depending upon how much of that 300 dollars you want to spend. Recording into your computer can be done in multiple ways. One of the simplest, if you're looking for that, would be to use a USB mic. I've used the Blue Snowball and it's worked great for recording my voice, although I haven't been singing, only talking. That'll run you about $100 and unless you want to sit at a desk whenever you sing, you'd need a stand and probably a USB extension (which is WAY cheaper online than at your local computer store). You'd really only want this if you can control your environment while singing, as the mic is a condenser mic and will pick up extraneous noise.

    Another option, although more complex offers you more freedom and would be best later if you decide to upgrade your set up later. This would be using a mic with an XLR cable through a USB audio interface into your computer. The most popular vocal mic ever, the Shure SM58 is about $100 and would work very, very nicely. This would have to plug into an audio interface, which if you're recording your voice alone, could be basic, like the M-Audio Fast Track - USB Audio Recording Interface (found here: The interface would then plug into your computer via USB. That'll cost you another hundred and twenty before you get any stand or other equipment you may need to improve room acoustics.

    Hope this helps.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Logic is geat but has a very steep learning curve. It s not something you can pick up on a few hours. Garage Band is a bit simpler and later Logic will open GB projects so you don't loose much.

    The best way to learn is to watch the training videos. This site has many, start with the intro and go from there. You can by a subscription, all tou can watch for $25 per month or buy each video. Start with the $1 trial subscription.

    But really, GB will work for you.

    How to monitor in headphones. Many audio interfaces have a headphone jack just for this purpose

    You are going to need a good Firewire or USB audio interface and a Mic. The SM58 is the "standard" stage vocal mic and sells for $100 but studio condensor mics may be what you want. In your price range you might want this one:
    or the AT2020 which is $50 less.

    Then get an audio interface like this one:

    Also you will need a good space to make the recording. and you will want to make, buy or improvise a "pop filter" to place in front of the mic.

    A book on home recording would also be good. Check your local public library.

    I'd start with garage band and use t for a while until to have good reason to upgrade but only upgrade after you've watched those videas a few times and done some hands on practice.
  4. DylanLikesPorn macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2010
    $300 will not get you a "great sounding mic setup". You need to multiply your budget by about 10. $300 may buy you a used pre-amp, like a Sound Devices mixpre, but that's only the beginning of your quest.

    Have you thought of renting?

    For budget, you can buy something like a Zoom H4n, which has built in stereo mics (you can plug your own mic, both 1/8" mini-jack and XLR, and 1/4" plug for instruments like guitars). The H4n has tools such as metronomes and multi-track recording so you can record a 4-track session right on the device. It also acts as a USB device so you can use it as a USB audio interface with your computer. This portable recorder is used a lot on the field to record bands, musicians and singers. It is doable in a studio environment until you can afford more serious (expensive) gear.
  5. RHELF macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2010
    Those are all great ideas. I think if you have $300 to spend on a microphone only, check out the Blue Bluebird. It is a great sounding entry level condenser mic made by a high end company. Great for male/female vocals and acoustic guitars. Here is a link to the mic You can run that into an M-Audio Fast Track, or the Presonus audiobox just like the other guys said. Essentially as long as you have the interface, you can choose just about any microphone under the sun.

    As previously mentioned, the AT 2020 is a great choice. Check out also the AKG Perception 220.

    It is tough to get a really nice condenser for under $3-400 but you can always beef up the sound with a preamp. Again, gonna be tough with a $300 budget, but you can always ad one in the future. The Presonus Blue Tube is a good start for around $200 or the Presonus Studio Channel for around $300 which is actually a preamp/compressor/EQ.
  6. tranzmute macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2010
    Check out MXL condensor mics.

    We sell them in store and, the price / performance ratio is amazing.

    If your recording vocals avoid dynamic mics and spend the money on a condenser.

    Grab yourself a simple usb powered audio interface (Highly recommend the focusrite saffire 6 usb) which has great mic pre's and phantom power to power your condenser mic and in regards software, try what comes with the box, or audacity or any free demos, until you find a comfortable peice of software.

    Alternatively, grab a blue microphones Yeti... great USB Mic, a serious step up on the snowball.



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