Suitable Mic for Garageband use

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Dirtyharry50, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    It's a long story but about six years ago I developed nerve damage (ulnar nerve) in both arms, particularly the left arm which required a surgery to relocate the nerve. This ended decades of acoustic guitar playing. If you are reading this, I am sure you can appreciate the pain there and I don't mean the arms, hands and fingers involved in this.

    I bring that up because after all this time I am now attempting a little comeback of sorts. This is purely for my own enjoyment and I'd like to have some fun creating recordings with Garageband. I am doing pretty good by the way, making progress slowly but surely. I wasn't sure I would be able to but it seems that maybe I can with persistence.

    So this is not a professional level application we are talking about here by any means nor do I have a budget being retired for that anyway. I'd like to get the best mic for the purpose of recording acoustic guitar and vocals primarily along with harmonica and possibly some percussion at times. That's a tall order for one mic for recording I know but again, this is for fun for me and I'll be happy if the results sound just reasonably decent all things considered.

    I'd prefer to pick up something from which shouldn't be too hard I'd think given how much stuff they carry from various sources. I'd like to keep the cost to around $100. if possible and if things go well I can consider an upgrade/replacement at a future time.

    From what I understand, a condenser mic is key for recording purposes. Would any of you guys (gals) have any suggestions for me to have some fun in recovery here?

    I should have mentioned that I have a late-2013 27 iMac which I note only has an output plug now. I have a pair of Bose desktop speakers using this which have this hockey puck volume control which features sound in and sound out mini-jacks. Am I correct in assuming I need a USB mic for this setup?

    Thanks a lot.

    Oh, one more thing. Would this be the appropriate place for questions about Garageband once I start fooling with it or is there another forum where such questions would belong?
  2. djippy macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2015
    Montreal, Ca.

    A usb mic would be a good setup to do what you want to do.

    I have no experience using that for recording since I have external audio interface, but from what you can read on the net, the Blue Microphones Yeti seems to come back often on the good value usb microphones.

    It is not much more than 100$, and I think it would be all right to do decent demos.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'd recommend a USB audio interface along with the condenser mic of your choice.

    You don't have to spend a bundle to get decent results.

    I sense that you'll find using a "USB mic" limiting once you get into it...
  4. inscrewtable macrumors 68000


    Oct 9, 2010
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I was going to answer then found my exact advice was already there. Read the above.

    A USB mic. is just a normal mic with a built-in audio interface. The problem is the quality of that USB interface. You REALLY want 24-bits and some knobs that allows you to adjust the ANALOG gain of the preamplifier. Next you want decently low self-noise in the preamp. USB miss don't have this.

    Look for a good USED confessor mic. The Chinese ones are not bad and sell for not much. A decent USB audio interface starts at over your $100 price point and then you need a microphone stand and a good XLR audio cable.

    Yu can use an old camera tripod as a mic stand and buy used gear and get buy for just over your budget. Then upgrade up part at a time. Perhaps you add a second mic later?

    The cost of used gear is low because you sell it later and get back 60%. So start buying when you see good deals and selling what you don't like or use

    The AT2020 was a good option but there are others as good at lower price. For interfaces look at Focusrite or Presonus and you might have to pay over $100 but these come up used too.

    It's just like buying a guitar. Are you going to buy just one and keep it for life? Same with recording gear.
  6. Dirtyharry50 thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    Thank you and everyone else who replied too.

    It does sound to me now that I'll want to wait a little bit and up the budget some to include a decent interface and mic not to mention stand/cable. I'd rather begin at a starting point I can be happy with than get something insufficient which would ultimately just be money down the toilet basically.

    The only 6-string acoustic guitar I will ever need for the rest of my life is a Martin D-28. :)

    If things go well though, I'd like to pick up a Martin 12-string as well although I can live with a less expensive model for that.

    I'll look into interfaces and mics both new and used and see what I come up with. I appreciate you guys cluing me in here to the importance of having an interface for the setup I want.

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