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"Amateur" (home and mobile) recording setup?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I have two mics from Shure [model numbers will be posted once i've confirmed them]; one for instruments one for vocals. I have this soundcard for recording/processing/whatever.

* Not sure which recording and/or mastering software to use. (EDIT: I found Samplitude in my closet; this came with my DigiPAD 96/8 that I bought in 2003/2004. Will this suffice?)
* What other gear do I need?

--I am going to need to record a range of things:
melodic vocals,
growls / guttural vocals (think death metal),
grand piano, (maybe upright also)
keyboard, (maybe)
acoustic guitar,
hand drums,
unamped electric guitar,
(maybe)
amped electric guitar,
and (later, once i've learned them better lol) set drums.


EDIT: What recording medium should I use? Ideally if someone could rate by Cheapest (cost wise), vs. Best Sound Quality, vs. Ease Of Use, that would be rad. Options on my soundcard seem to be analog 1/8", S/PDIF and some others i'm not clear on.

EDIT2: My mics have XLR cables but not sure how to get those into a soundcard.

EDIT3: Hmmmm, check this out: Distributed by Auzentech. Audio You Can Believe In :: Products from our Partners or this M-Audio FireWire Solo for Windows and Macintosh in Digital Recording Equipment at JR.com
post #2 of 32
I'd simply record directly to your computer. Unless you want a true analog sound, but you wouldn't be using a soundcard, then. That way you can convert it into all kinds of formats and put it on CDs or DVDs or whatever you want.

Use Audacity. Audacity: Free Audio Editor and Recorder
post #3 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sduibek View Post


--I am going to need to record a range of things -- melodic vocals, growls (think death metal), piano, guitar, drums (probably set and hand)


And please post some sample audio!
post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tridacnid View Post
I'd simply record directly to your computer. Unless you want a true analog sound, but you wouldn't be using a soundcard, then. That way you can convert it into all kinds of formats and put it on CDs or DVDs or whatever you want.

Use Audacity. Audacity: Free Audio Editor and Recorder
I will have to check my mics... I think if I do this the chain will be XLR -> 1/4" adapter -> 1/8" adapter. It really pisses me off that this soundcard doesn't have any native 1/4" plugs or ports


Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftyGorilla View Post
And please post some sample audio!
Will do. Not sure if anyone will like it, but I think music is better when done for personal fulfillment instead of external
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sduibek View Post
I will have to check my mics... I think if I do this the chain will be XLR -> 1/4" adapter -> 1/8" adapter. It really pisses me off that this soundcard doesn't have any native 1/4" plugs or ports
You're very likely to have problems doing this. Unless your mics are cheap electret types they're going to need some kind of preamp to go into a line-level device. Get yourself a little outboard mixer. Mackie's 1202 is quiet, cheap, and will preamp your mics very well. It also gives you a lot of other options to get sound into your computer from a wide variety of other sources--either mic- or line-level.. You'll be able to go RCA--->1/8" or 1/4"---->1/8" with an actual line-level output, which will sound a lot better. Here's what a search yields on e-bay:

mackie 1202, Electronics, Cameras Photo items on eBay.com

You don't need the fancier "VLZ" version. The older "standard" model will be plenty for your purposes.
post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sduibek View Post
@Zaubertuba: My mics are Shure, does that change anything?
Well, on my second look at your post, they must be designed for XLR cable, which tells me they're not cheap electrets. Do you have the model numbers?

If they're condenser mics they may also need phantom power or battery power, depending on what model. The mackie I mentioned has phantom power in case you need it.

Yep--that's the one.
post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
I think it's these two, but i'll have to check to be "Shure": (teehee)

Shure - Microphones - SM57 Instrument Microphone
Shure - Microphones - SM58 Vocal Microphone
post #9 of 32
I'm following this thread as I've had the urge to learn recording myself. Plus, I agree that the best music is made for yourself first and foremost. As I cannot play an instrument but love music, I find myself drawn to the recording mixing end.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sduibek View Post
I think it's these two, but i'll have to check to be "Shure": (teehee)

Shure - Microphones - SM57 Instrument Microphone
Shure - Microphones - SM58 Vocal Microphone
Nice. The SM57 and SM58 are accepted as industry-standards for micing instruments and vocals, respectively. We actually have a set of 58 heads we use interchangeably on our wireless mics in our venue. A lot of artists request them specifically.

They're dynamics, so they don't need external power to work.

BTW, I checked out the Amon audio interface you linked to, and that would work great as well. You would need an XLR-->TRS adapter (There should be three conductors on the phone plug, not two). There are actually plenty of other simpler mic-preamp options out there besides the mackie--just depends on what you want to do.
post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 
Wow dude you know your stuff (re: the 1202)! Check it out:

mackie 1202 user reviews and opinions
post #12 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hmm... is 150$ a reasonable price to pay for one of those babies?
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sduibek View Post
--I am going to need to record a range of things -- melodic vocals, growls (think death metal), piano, guitar, drums (probably set and hand)
You're going to need a range of mics if you want to record a drum set. Depending on the size of the drum set you may ideally need 10 or more mics. Minimum is probably about 3 mics, two identical overheads and a kick mic. Piano also requires at least two matched mics.

G
post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post
You're going to need a range of mics if you want to record a drum set. Depending on the size of the drum set you may ideally need 10 or more mics. Minimum is probably about 3 mics, two identical overheads and a kick mic. Piano also requires at least two matched mics.

G
Why does a piano require two?
post #15 of 32
For drums, an SM57 on the snare, a kick mic, and 2 overheads can generally get very good results.

The piano needs to mics because if you just have one in the middle, the keys on each extreme end will be quieter. (I would assume). Also, with 2 piano mics you can keep the true stereo from one end of the keyboard to the other.
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