what mic to record practice (using macbook/garageband)- sounds fuzzy!

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by maeglutz, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. maeglutz macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2009
    i've been recording my band's practice through the built in mic, but i think we're too loud because it sounds real fuzzy/static-y and not in a good way.

    will an external mic help this? can you recommend an inexpensive mic that will do the job and any other tips you may have?
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    You might consider a USB-based mic. Good ones can be found at reasonable prices (less than $100).

    Folks speak highly of the USB version of the Audio Technica AT2020. I've never tried the USB version, but I did have a "regular" AT2020 (with XLR connections), and it was a very nice mic.

    Another alternative for recording practice might be a standalone flash-based recorder such as the ZOOM H2 (or H4n). The H2 in particular is affordable and easy to use. The H4n can double as a USB-based audio interface, as well.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The built-in mic is of the same type used in cell phones. So guess what? Sound quality is cellphone-like. But it seem that you know that now.

    The question you have to ask is how much work and money are you willing to expend on recording. At the high end you could build a recording studio and get a mic for every instrument and vocalist and a few for the "room". then later you mix this doown to a stereo recording. This is likey why to much for you to do but is the only way you will get a profesional sounding reording or the quality you hear on the radio or commercial CDs.

    But there are steps between. The first step would be to buy a hand held recorder like the "zoom H2" and set it up on a tripod so distance awayfrom the band. You will need a good room for this thiis is not to refective. Cost is under $200 and they work without need of a computer. It record to an SD card and later you transfer data like with a digital camera. A cheap ($100 to $150) USB mic is about the same quality but is not stereo and required a computer.

    The next step up is to buy a USB or Firewire audio interface, one with multiple inputs. then you connect multiple mics and record multi-track and then go back and mix. Use Garage band to do the recording and mixing. You mmay not need mics if some instruments are elctronic and I bet you already have the vocals mic'd. but the details depend on wht you have. I likethis system (with the USB or FW interface box) best because it is modular and there is an upgrade path all the way up to a full recording studio.

    It would be worth your time to read a book like "home recording for dummies" THere are a few intro books. The"dummies" book on this topic is not bad and written at a very bsic level.
  4. maeglutz thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2009
    thanks guys... might try the zoom h2!
    i'm just recording practice... just so we remember what we play and any cool riffs that might arise. not trying to make a nice recording.

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