Jump to content
Nutty

How to set up?

Recommended Posts

Nutty    1

Okay, I am brand new at this (home recording). Every site I go to says "plug your guitar into the computer (sound card?)". Well, I don't have an electric guitar. I do have a pick-up that I can put on my guitar...would that work if I have the right adapter. Or, I also have a small acoustic amp (SGH amp 120v/60Hz 17W). It has an "input" and "phones" jack. And I have my new microphone I got for christmas. I have the adptor for that so it fits in the amp. My guitar teacher mentioned there was a way this could be set up, but I can't remember what he said or what he had in mind.

Can someone get me started? In the meantime, I'm still reading up on audicity to get that set up right. Also, I'll start reading many of the great posts on this forum.

Thanks.

Nutty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tekker    1
Every site I go to says "plug your guitar into the computer (sound card?)".

Yep, that's right, the sound card is what you'll plug your guitar into.

Well, I don't have an electric guitar. I do have a pick-up that I can put on my guitar...would that work if I have the right adapter.

Yes, this would probably be the best route to go. You don't have to mess with mic placement and all of that. Also, I don't know what kind of mic you have, but chances are it's a dynamic mic which is not a great mic for acoustics. Condenser mics are the ones you'd want to mic an acoustic with good results. So the pickup would probably sound much better than the mic also.

You won't need the amp, you can just plug your guitar straight into the line input on your computer. If this doesn't give enough volume you can try the mic input. Try the line input first though as it'll sound better than the mic input.

To make that work you'd need a 1/4" (guitar) to 1/8" (sound card) adapter to plug your guitar into your computer. Should only be a couple bucks at a music store or basically any store that sells electronic devices (Radio Shack, Circuit City, etc).

That's really all you'll need and you'll be good to go. :winkthumb:

-tkr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nutty    1

Thanks Tekker:

This is the microphone I have Audio-Technica ATM-610 (GAK) I wanted an equipment mic, but the store owner convinced my husband to get this one. So, that's what I have to deal with. It was an expensive mic, so I won't be getting another one for a while.

It appears that we lost the chord to my pick-up :reallymad: . So, is there another way to set up until I can find it?

Thanks so much for your help.

Nutty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
allthumbs    8

Go from your guitar to the amp, then from the earphone out to your sound card. You will need an adapter for the sound card input. Use the line-in port instead of the mic in-port.

Oops! I see Tekker answered you while I was typing this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tekker    1
This is the microphone I have Audio-Technica ATM-610 (GAK) I wanted an equipment mic, but the store owner convinced my husband to get this one. So, that's what I have to deal with. It was an expensive mic, so I won't be getting another one for a while.

I'm not sure what you mean by "equipment mic".

I haven't heard much on that particular model, but I've heard very good things about Audio Technica mics.

It appears that we lost the chord to my pick-up :reallymad: . So, is there another way to set up until I can find it?

Could you pick up another cable? It's always nice to have spares around (for just such an occasion). :)

Also, allthumbs' suggestion for going into the amp may work better than going straight into the sound card. I generally try to have as little "stuff" between my guitar (or whatever I'm recording) and the computer as possible, but when using the standard PC sound card, the amp will probably help give it a better sound (standard PC soundcards are not meant for audio recording).

-tkr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
canuck    0

Nutty,

As Tekker mentioned, you should be able to get a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter for your mike cord.. you can then run the mike directly into your PC's soundcard input jack, and place the mike within 12" to 18" of the 12th fret on your acoustic (or towards the soundwhole, or bridge, depending upon your monitoring preference).

Not familiar with Audacity, but should be similar to Cubase, or Cool Edit which I use- you can set the program to monitor your recording levels ie..remaining below 0 on the monitor scale- in Hz I beleive. Then simply press the record button after selecting a track and start playing. You should see a wave file representation begin to appear.

Then tinker for effect, or leave clean..and lo and behold, your a recording artist !!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tekker    1
As Tekker mentioned, you should be able to get a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter for your mike cord.

His mic is XLR, not 1/4". There are adapters for this, but his mic is a dynamic mic, so it'd be much better to use the pickup --> amp --> sound card option instead. Not to mention the amp would go into the line input in the soundcard so the sound card's mic preamp (used only on the mic input and sounds really bad and noisy) wouldn't have to be used.

you can set the program to monitor your recording levels ie..remaining below 0 on the monitor scale- in Hz I beleive.

The recording level is in decibels (dB) and frequency is in hertz (Hz). And yes, you definitely want to stay below 0dB. :yes:

-tkr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nutty    1

Well, I really messed up. I mentioned in another thread that my new microphone wasn't working. I took it back to the store today and it turned out that it was the transformer that was "gone". I think I blew it. I didn't have the pick-up hooked up to my guitar yet, so I was going to record with the microphone and amp only. I put it in the "phones" jack instead of the "input". They replaced it for me anyway. So, if I am recording with the mic only and the amplifier, I will be sure to use the "input" jack. But how do I set it up when I have the pick-up on my guitar? I thought the pick-up would go in the "input" and the mic to the "phones". Is it the other way around? I don't want to blow another transformer. Is there a dummies book for this :confused:

Thanks.

Nutty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fly135    5

The "Phones" jack is an output to headphones. It generates voltage and I guess that could blow the xformer in the mic cord. Regardless you don't want to plug a mic into an output.

You can plug the pickup into the amp input. Place the mic in front of the amp and then plug the mic into the mic port of your sound card. Sound card mic ports are not highly regarded in terms of quality. The best way to input from a guitar or mic to a computer is to use a preamp or mixer between the guitar/mic and the computer's sound card. I prefer a mixer because of the added versatility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nutty    1

Thanks Fly,

I think that's what I'll do. I don't know a lot about them. Can you recommend a mixer for me?

Thanks again.

Nutty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fly135    5

Depends on your budget. The cheapest being....

Buy Behringer EURORACK UB802 Mixer online at Musician's Friend

You can mix both a mic and guitar at the same time. In addition you could mix a backing track from the computer or a track from a CD. The two black round connectors are XLR. When you look at a mixer you can normally tell right away how many "low level" inputs it has from the XLR connectors. Low level is good for mics and guitar pickups. The other connections are stereo "line level". These are higher voltage inputs normally associated with stereo equipment, cd players, line/speaker put on the computer.

With this mixer you could have a mic, guitar, computer line out, and a cd player all plugged in at the same time. The mixer allows you to keep all your cord swapping on the table top. It also provides some EQ for each channel independently (3 band on the 802). Lastly it provides the "preamp" needed for mics and guitars via the "low level" input.

The Behringer is a low cost line. While they aren't considered professional, I've had a good experience with mine and it works great.

I have a UB1002FX. It has additional line level inputs/outputs and a FX section that allows you to add reverb in adjustable amounts to each channel. It has other time/modulation based FX but reverb mainly what I've found to be useful.

Buy Behringer Xenyx 1002FX online at Musician's Friend

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fly135    5

I should add that the mixer goes into the line in on your computer. You will need some cables and adapters to accomplish this. I put 1/4" to RCA adapter plugs into the 1/4 jacks and then use a stereo RCA to 1/8" cable to run from the mixer to the computer line in.

The advantage of running stereo is that you can pan the mono inputs (guitar and mic) to the left and right and when you record in stereo you have your guitar and mic tracks separate. Then in audacity you can split the stereo record into two mono tracks. This gives you effectively a two track recorder. Your editing, volume adjustments, or post FX on the mic and guitar can be handled as if they were recorded separately.

Lastly I should also mention that there are other brands of mixers that can be connected to the computer via USB. The allow recording over the USB connection. I don't have any experience with USB recording so if there is any advantage someone else will have to comment on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nutty    1

Thanks Fly,

Good "need to know" stuff, especially with my nil background. I wouldn't think of those things, so if they don't mention it...I don't get it!

I have discovered another benefit to the mixer now that I have my new microphone working...the mic doesn't have an off/on switch, so I have to crawl down unde rthe computer table to unplug the mic every time I use it. Needless to say, I'll be looking for a mixer real quick.

Thanks again.

Nutty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stratrat    0

I agree with what Fly135 said about using a mixer - it gives you a lot more options as far as inputs, mixing, effects, etc.

I use the Alesis MultiMix 8 USB mixer. It plugs in via USB, so you bypass your soundcard entirely - the mixer basically becomes its' own soundcard. It also accepts both 1/4" and XLR inputs, so you don't have to fiddle with adapters for guitars and mics. As Fly said, it's not "professional quality" - but neither is my playing, so the results are more than good enough for me. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tekker    1
I agree with what Fly135 said about using a mixer - it gives you a lot more options as far as inputs, mixing, effects, etc.

I wouldn't use the effects off of a cheap mixer as there are many free VST plugins that are far superior in quality. Plus plugins offer much more flexibility as you can change them after you record, so you're not stuck with what you record with if you don't like the effects later (such as adding to much reverb). This saves you from having to re-record your stuff to fix the effect. The mixing will typically be done in software. A mixer will give more inputs if it's USB/Firewire like the Alesis USB mixer. If all you need it for is recording, then IMO money is wasted getting a mixer. If it'll serve multiple purposes (like using for gigs or jam sessions), then a mixer may be worth it. But if you only need it for recording, a recording interface will be much better for recording than a mixer.

If it will only be used for recording, I recommend getting a used Aardvark audio interface on ebay. Aardvark is no longer in business so their interfaces can be found dirt cheap now. I currently have the Aardvark Direct Pro Q10, but prior to this I owned the Direct Pro 24/96 (the 4 channel version of the Q10).

I don't think you'll find a better deal on audio interfaces. The Q10 used to sell for over $800 (I got mine for $600 USED!) and the 24/96 was $500 (I got mine for $400 used). They are now going extremely cheap on ebay (I've seen the Q10 go for just over $200), so if you keep an eye out you can get killer deals on these.

There's a 24/96 on ebay right now.

Aardvark Direct Pro 24/96 Recording Interface Card - eBay (item 260203452044 end time Jan-22-08 18:00:00 PST)

-tkr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nutty    1

I talked to my guitar teacher and he said what I really need is an audio input device that supports MIDI. He has an M-Audio one. Since I have to get a new sound card, I was thinking about getting this one:

M-AUDIO - Delta 1010LT - 10-In/10-Out PCI Virtual Studio

What do you think?

Thanks.

Nutty

P.S. I am starting a "techie" course next week with my guitar teacher. He also has his own recording business. I can't wait!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fly135    5

That's looks like a very nice high quality card and will most certainly provide higher quality recordings than your average PC card. IMO it might be overkill for where you are at right now, unless money is no object. Plus it looks like you will still be juggling around with cables behind your PC as it doesn't appear to provide a break-out box. Most sound cards do a reasonable job of recording and include MIDI through the gameport connector (which requires the purchase of an adapter cable).

Another good way to get MIDI is with a USB MIDI adapter. My question is what does MIDI have to do with your needs? MIDI has nothing to do with recording or mixing audio from your mic and guitar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fly135    5

Also, it will require a adapter cable for your guitar that I've never seen used that way. 1/4" on the guitar end and male XLR on the sound card side. You would eliminate buying a sound card and a mixer. But you sacrifice the hardware feel of twiddling mixer knobs, portability to another computer, and you still don't have your cabling on the desktop (which I find useful). The USB preamp you listed wouldn't thrill me because of the lack of mixing additional inputs. I'd be inclined to go with Stratrat's USB mixer and a separate USB MIDI cable like the E-MU (I have one).

Buy E-Mu Xmidi 1X1 USB MIDI interface online at Musician's Friend

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tekker    1

Before committing to anything, I'd still keep an eye on that Aardvark 24/96 card on ebay (it also has MIDI I/O).

It has no bids so far at $75 and if it doesn't sell, you may be able to haggle with him though email. ;)

-tkr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fly135    5
Tekker...Shhhh :whistling
That does look like a cool card. It may (read probably) doesn't support Vista and from what I can tell the company is out of business. Plus it's "as is" and the text doesn't claim it's functional. In my search for info I did find one on Craigslist for $100.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tekker    1
Tekker...Shhhh :whistling:winkthumb:

Oooops. Sorry. :isaynothing:

That does look like a cool card. It may (read probably) doesn't support Vista and from what I can tell the company is out of business. Plus it's "as is" and the text doesn't claim it's functional. In my search for info I did find one on Craigslist for $100.

Yeah, the company is out of business and it probably doesn't support Vista.... But from what I've heard about Vista, the sound card will be the least of the problems. ;)

I'm pretty sure they'd be required to say that it doesn't work if that was the case. The user does have a lot of feedback, all positive. So I'd image it's a safe buy.

-tkr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×