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Noodler

What do I need?

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Sorry if this has been asked before. If it has, please post a link.

I'm just wondering what gear I need to start recording my own music.

It seems I need a mic. The Shure SM 57 seems to be highly recommended. But I see Shure SM58's everywhere. Are they different? Do I need one that good? It is for guitar, vocals, pasta, etc.

Also something to go from Mic to PC. M Audio seem to have a device that does that.

I also want to be able to have drums. If I can play the drum tracks on pads and get one measure and copy that measure that would be perfect. Otherwise, can you get good samples and put in fills yourself?

So my goal is to be able to write a piece of music from the ground up including drums, guitar with an octave-down pedal for bass, guitar, and vocals.

Also, what do you need to submit tracks, like when members submit takes over a chord progression? How do you import and play over the track?

If it helps, here's the shop I'm likely to buy from:

https://www.billyhydemusic.com.au/shop/browse/46/recording/audio-interfaces/

Many, many thanks in advance.

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Hi Dave, don't know if you've seen this but this answers quite a few of the mic questions.

http://www.guitarforbeginners.com/forum/tekkers-lessons/6037-microphones/

You'll need a good recording program, Reaper and Audacity are the free ones really depends if you want to spend money on them, I'll leave the drum tracks to members that use them more but you can use your own, make you're own loops or get samples can turn them into loops or move the tracks around for the best fit.

If you're doing a collaboration you can either send MP3s or preferably work with WAV files as the sound quality's better, depends how good your computer is at downloading as WAV files take a bit longer as they're bigger than MP3s, I used Sendmyfile last time I worked with WAV files but it depends on the way the other musician wants to do things too.

Takes a bit of time to get the hang of mixing but if you have trouble mixing there's always members here to help out if you get stuck.

Hope I haven't been too vague, way past my bedtime so I've got to hit the sack.

Cheers

Chris

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You've got the basics down, as far as differences in mic's...couldn't tell ya, but any decent mic will get you started,

you can always upgrade down the road. M-Audio has some great interfaces, again top of the line is not required, you

want to be sure to get enough input jacks{can never have too many..lol}. The interface will send your tracks to whatever

digital audio workstation you choose. As Chris mentioned, Audacity is a good simple to use editor and some folks do

just fine with it. Reaper has more bells and whistles. They all require some trial and error in the learning curve, which

can be fun in itself, as you'll likely find one or more to your liking than others. There are plenty of freeware drum app's and

if your pads have an audio out you can record straight from them into your interface > etc. The editing app's use tracks,

and you really want to learn how to multitrack..ie: have every instrument/mic on it's own track when you record. This will

make mixing, adding fx etc much easier and also allows certain tracks to be re-done without having to start from scratch.

When collabing or using a backing track, you import the pre-recorded track onto it's own track then you would record your

addition{s} on another track{s}, then when satisfied you 'mix down' all of the tracks to one and save as a mp3 file for uploading

here or elsewhere, and you may wish to save all tracks as wav files for future endeavors{remix/redo etc}. There's a ton of usefull

info here and lot's of willing folks to help you with any walls you come across. Hope this helps a little!

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Hi Noodler,

I'm pretty new at recording, so I have the basics. The most important thing for recording is to get an audio sound card/interface. I think this is what you may have been referring to for the M-Audio device. The onboard sound card is "okay" for playback, but they can't handle the recording very well. That was the best investment I have made. I bought the Presonus Firebox, because it has firewire, but USB is okay too. Firewire seems to be a bit quicker. Also, I get to this in the microphone recommendations, but if you get a condenser mic, you will need phamtom power. Something you have to consider when you buy a sound card. Here is a good site that provides recommendations on audio sound cards. There are also recording tips, microphone tips, etc. Beagle Sound Productions - Home Studio

For microphones, I had a pretty good microphone from Audio Techniques. Then someone suggested these: Buy MXL 990/MXL 991 Recording Microphone Package | Recording Microphone Packages | Musician's Friend What a HUGE difference these made. The larger mic is excellent for vocals and the smaller mic is for instruments. When I record my acoustic guitar, I record using both as you get a bit of a different sound from both of them. You will need phantom power on your audio interface for these mics. I have also heard great things about the Shure 57 (for instruments) and Shure 58 (vocals); however, I've been told that these MXL mics are better if not equally as good. I've been very happy with them. And the price is right for starting out.

Next would be the software. I use Sonar 8 right now, but started out with Cakewalks entry level program. They just came out with a new version Music Creator 5. Cakewalk Music Creator 5 - Easy Music Recording Software There is a bit of a learning curve, but it is well worth it. It does both midi and audio recording. I recommend you get the boxed version if interested, because there is a lot of stuff (extra's) missing in the download version because of the size of the extra programs. Well worth the extra $5. There is an excellent support forum as well. Oh and you can do your drum tracks no problem. You can create your own drum patterns or you can download and import midi drums/grooves.

Reaper and Audacity are free, which are good to start out with. Reaper definitely offers more in functionality than Audacity, but the learning curve is steeper. I've tried Reaper a couple of times, but couldn't get my head around it. I found cakewalk much easier, plus there were a few people on the forum that "held me by the hand" until I got a grasp on things.

Have on gone on too long??? Sorry. I'm really enjoying what I've learned and thought I would share what I have learned so far. I'm no expert, but with what I have, this will keep me going for quite a while.

Hope this helps.

Annette

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... M-Audio has some great interfaces, again top of the line is not required, you

want to be sure to get enough input jacks{can never have too many..lol}...

Forgot to mention. My Firebox only has two inputs that I use with pre-amps (it has SPDIF and 2 other inputs I think). However, if you consider Music Creator, it only allows 2 simultaneous inputs (2 mono or 1 stero). This is fine for me as I only record mono instruments and never use more than 2 inputs at a time (two mics for acoustic instruments). I plug my electric right into the jack and use amp simulators, or you can mic your amp(s) as well. I find where you would need more inputs is if you want to record your own drums. No worry there for me LOL. So, 2 is fine. The next level(s) of Cakewalk products all support multiple inputs. But for $40, you can't knock this program. They also have great upgrade sales should you consider that at a later date.

Okay, I've really gone on too long now. I don't usually get involved in the "technical" conversations. Again, hope this helps Noodler.

Annette

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I don't know how to multiquote, so I'm cut and pasting.

Have Audacity and Krystal (free), just have never used them.

Thanks Chris for the mic's link.

X4,

Good to know you can never have enough inputs. More input=good.

There are plenty of freeware drum app's and

if your pads have an audio out you can record straight from them into your interface > etc.

Please tell me more. Links for drum apps? I've spent hours looking for loops and it took me forever to find a simple country drum pattern. I want something realistic-sounding that I can tweak and create with and have that as a track.

Can Audacity and or Krystal multi-track?

Nutty, yes the sound card is what I meant by M-Audio device. The thing that takes mic and guitar in and sends it to USB. I don't have Firewire on my PC I don't think. Will read that link. Thanks for recommending that cheaper mic. Will check availability in Australia. Good to know the diff bewteen SM57 and SM58.

So Cakewalk allows you to create your own realistic drums? Can it multi-track? I'm not a fan of MIDI sounds...except it would be cool to get a keyboard and put sounds on via a MIDI keyboard eg different instruments.

Cakewalk comes free with some interfaces/ sound cards.

On a slight possible tangent, what do you think of things like the Boss Recorders and the Zoom field recorders (H2 and H4). Seem less tied to your computer. What do you think?

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I want Cakewalk, but I want all the add-ons too, like the "Studio Instruments" pack. It's all extra right? Music Creator 5 is the software. Then there's the USB interface, then those instruments, so it adds up a bit. Is that right?

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G'day Dave,

There are a thousand different ways to record your sound, and every user has to find the setup that suits him or her best. Mine is a bit different to general recording stuff. I bought a Zoom H4, shopped around a while, got it for $411 a few months ago.

I record with the Zoom freestanding, make as many takes as I think I need, then dump the lot into the PC via a USB cable.

This suits my style. Using mics into Audacity or Cubase always seemed to get me tangled up somehow, and I always doubted the quality of each link in the chain. Still don't trust the mics!

I don't record much because I don't have a lot worth recording, but I'm happy with this process so far.

Good luck with your recording.

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I'm not sure about the Zoom's Karcey. I've only seen one in real life and it was a recording of a gig. It picked up a lot of ambient noise...which may have been honest. I don't know, they just seem to lack clarity or something. What would you rate yours out of 10?

I do like the idea of not being tied to a computer to record.

I called a local music store to ask about Cakewalk that Nutty recommended. Coincidentally, the Boss/ Roland rep was in the store so I got to ask the expert! (what are the odds?). I told him what I wanted, and he said to go for a BR 900CD which can do everything I want. The 600 is cheaper ($900) and seems to do it all too.

The Boss ones untie me from the computer, and also have drums built in, you can do mic in, have your guitar sound like a bass, you can play your own drum beats. All the stuff I wanted. I want to be able to record when something cool comes to mind and this does that. Much like the Zoom.

Karcey, have you listened to the Cool Guitar podcast? Might help get the creative juices flowing. If not, it sounds great and it's free.

Nutty, that mic set looks fantastic. Unfortunately, can't find it here. Local cheap but good brand is JTS.

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It picked up a lot of ambient noise...which may have been honest.

Yes, You're dead right about that. I took mine to a friend's house recently to record his grand piano. Unfortunately it picked up the voices from the next room and the clock ticking. Really need a studio with something that sensitive. I suppose I'm lucky because we have a quiet house.

Keep looking.

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Many mics, as I'm sure you know are uni-directional and cut out most off-axis noise.

I wondered if the H2 or H4 can do that as an option?

I'm liking the Boss BR 600 at the moment, but I'll have to wait for Santa or Mr Rudd.

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...I called a local music store to ask about Cakewalk that Nutty recommended. Coincidentally, the Boss/ Roland rep was in the store so I got to ask the expert! (what are the odds?). I told him what I wanted, and he said to go for a BR 900CD which can do everything I want. The 600 is cheaper ($900) and seems to do it all too...

Nutty, that mic set looks fantastic. Unfortunately, can't find it here. Local cheap but good brand is JTS.

I'm not sure Noodler, but do you still need a DAW, like Cakewalk, to finalize the product? Is it much more than a recorder? I mean for mixing and mastering purposes. For example after all the tracks are done, generally effects such as EQ, reverb, compression, etc are added to finalize the mix. Again, it could be my ignorance to the product. It is quite a hefty price, but a dream to have I'm sure. You could probably get a cheaper model that will allow you to record away from the computer and then do the mixing later on the computer. Just a thought as it's many sleeps to Santa. ;)

Who is Mr. Rudd? (more ignorance)

Too bad about the mics. I couldn't find them where I am in Canada, so I ordered them from the States.

Good luck Noodler. You will have fun once you are able to get your equipment.

Annette

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We're all waiting for Mr Rudd! :yes:

If you know what you want and do the research you will get something to suit.

In general, it's not a bad idea to start off with a cheap starter recording set up - mine is MAudio USB Mobile Pre - about $180 this replaces the PC soundcard - 2 line ins for guitar or keyboard etc and 2 mic ins plus some audio out options(which I don't use because I use the headphones out option) and I have a cheap $50 Dynamic mic.

With this setup and the free Audacity or Reaper DAW (or other free apps) for the recording and mixing and computer sourced Effects, you can start to record and work out what you need for what you want before spending up big on some system that might turn out to be not exactly what you want/need.

If you ever want to buy a Condenser mic as opposed to a Dynamic mic you will need a soundcard option that has Phantom Power for the Condenser mic to work. The Mobile Pre has it even though I don't need it yet.

The Mobile Pre is just one of many perfectly good but simple (basic) units that will get you started and give a perfectly good result for a small outlay while you plan your next move. It's a good idea to work out how many line in and line out options you are likely to need in the future and if you want Phantom Power or not, and after that you can choose your sound interface starter unit (also known as a PCI Audio Interface and can be USB or something you physically add to your PC cabinet - doing something clever down the back of your PC :isaynothing: which I didn't want to be bothered with) and then research where to go next - if you want to buy a separate DAW or not, and which one will suit you. My Mobile Pre came with a 'Lite' version of a DAW included in the price which I haven't used yet because I'm used to Audacity and Reaper and don't want to have to get up to speed with a new recording software system).

Tekker has some good lessons on Recording in the Member's Lessons section. Also the What is Your Setup Forum has some examples of what some of our members are using to record their music and you can see what others can do with what they have.

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Mr Rudd is our Prime Minister. He's giving families some extra money to keep the economy turning over. They are telling us to actually spend the money, not put it on the mortgage, to keep the wheels of the economy spinning.

IF I go for a Boss recorder, nothing extra is required, except for a better mic, although one or two are built in. You can record, mix, master, and export as ready to go mp3 or wav files. I like the idea of not being tied to a computer. $$$, yes, but seems all-inclusive.

Only thing is, you record with effects on, not add later, I think, so if you don't like the effect, you're stuck. However it has all the Boss COSM effects, 300 drum patterns (includes intros and fills), you can make your own too. The idea is you could record in a motel room if you wanted, or anywhere you want. Their motto is "I remain a musician, not a technician."

That's what I want. You know, something that can record ideas like a notepad too, as well as make a whole track. The Zoom would be good, where you can record ideas when inspiration strikes, but they sound muffled to me.

Carol, Will look into the mobile pre. If mobile mean mobile, it could be what I am after.

Edit:

Looks perfect, except it doesn't seem to store on board. It says field recorder, but it soulds like you need to have a laptop computer with you to do that. Pity. Great price, great features. Want something like that that has storage.

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Wow...I like the sounds of Mr. Judd. Any chance of sending him over to Canada? They certainly aren't giving out any money here.

The Boss sounds really good Noodler. I hope you are able to "swing it". I'm, for the most part, confined to the house, so I often spend my whole days at the computer. So, every one has different needs. At first recording with the effects may be problematic. However, I find that although I have access to tons of effects, I usually end up using the same ones. So, once you know which ones you like, it shouldn't be that much of an issue. I don't think there would be anything stopping you from putting it into a free "DAW" like Reaper and add more effects, for example if you need to EQ or compression to all the tracks, or apply a limiter, etc. Again, I could be wrong.

Annette

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Sure does get confusing does it not. For a starter, maybe a USB condenser mic, here are some choices USB Microphones including Blue, CAD, and LightSnake

PC or Mac, some free software and your ready to go. You will be making more choices later after the bug gets you.

eddie

I started out with this one and Audacity, then Reaper.

MXL MXL 990 USB Powered Condenser Microphone and more Condenser Microphones at GuitarCenter.com.

No crazy light snakes etc. Just the system shown. I displayed the entire page of UBS mics available.

Today,

A Mac and more stuff than I want to think about.

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I caution everyone about the USB mics, like the Lightsnake. They seem really handy, but they have a type of sound card in them. If you have an audio sound card/interface, they will conflict with each other. I know every person who tried them with Cakewalk have had this problem. I suspect this to be the case with all or most DAW's.

Condenser mics are great, if you have phantom power on your interface. :winkthumb:

Annette

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Thats of course if you have an interface.

I have never experienced a conflict with my MXL 006 USB Condenser Mic. But with Vista, hard to say what works. Not aware of any sound card in the mic.

One other thing you will need if you play to do more than one track. A pair of head phones. That is so that you can hear or monitor what is going on in the first track while your recording the new track with the mic.

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It's true that the Mobile Pre requires a computer - it's basically only an upgraded soundcard alternative with headphone/volume in/out's and phantom power for condenser mics, but it is 'mobile' because it's USB and you just plug it into any computer you want. You still need to use a computer running something like Audacity or Reaper so it's maybe not what you are looking for - a stand alone unit which will cost you a lot more.

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I've got good headphones, so no problem there, unless you need a special type.

My computer is loud. As in the cooling fans would ruin any recording I tried to do in the same room with my PC with a mic. I didn't even think of that until I read it here.

Nutty, the Boss units are all inclusive from effects, tracks, compression, mastering, the whole lot is done inside the unit. The good part of that is that it isn't like you have to buy the most expensive one to get the best. They can all produce a properly mixed result, but the more expensive ones have CD burners built in, more tracks, etc. and may be easier to use.

I think what I might try is just using a dynamic mic into the soundcard of my computer first, even with the poor quality and noise, and just try the DAW's and see if I like that way of doing things. The expense is an issue. I've recorded just guitar before and that was OK (into the blue input).

BTW, MR Judd (sic Rudd), that's funny. Our politician is a labor man, but/and he speaks fluent mandarin. Hmm left wing, speaks Chinese.;) .. Mr Judd sounds like a service station attendant from America! A good trick question for lots of folks is "what's the capitol of Canada?" But then again, I guess a lot of folks would think our capital is Sydney.

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A good trick question for lots of folks is "what's the capitol of Canada?" But then again, I guess a lot of folks would think our capital is Sydney.

Sydney is the capitol of Australia and anyone who tells you different is sadly misguided :laughingg:

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Or "What's the capitol of Guatemala?"

btw Sydney is the capitol of Australia and anyone who tells you different is sadly misguided :laughingg:

You colonials what are you like everyone knows the capital of Australia is London:devil2:

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You colonials what are you like everyone knows the capital of Australia is London:devil2:

This isn't your thread so I'm ignoring you. :P

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I thought I'd just post a few of my own questions here instead of making an entirely new thread.

I've been wanting to record for a while now, but I've never had quite enough money for anything. Now that I've figured I can spend a few bucks here and there, I wanted to get some crappy quality recording gizmos and see if it will actually work. Probably just wasting money here... anywho, here's my questions, or question as it may be;

I've got a mic, used for vocals (I don't know the brand... I bought it at a Wal-Mart though! :D). Plugged it into an amp and all and it works alright. It's got an XLR connector so I was thinking of buying this preampBuy ART Tube MP Studio Mic Preamp | Microphone Preamps | Musician's Friend

Thoughts on that?

Now, what would I need to hook the preamp into the computer soundcard? A simple adapter to go into the preamp and into the computer? I'd say that they offered a cable like that with it, but it doesn't say for sure, so I'm wondering. Getting that and hooking it in, downloading the software (considering Reaper for now), anything else I should know that might affect whether recording works or not?

I'm trying to record acoustic guitar, but I have got access to an electric, eventually. If I can get an adapter for the guitar cable and hook it directly into my computer's soundcard, is there anything special I should know to get it working, or is it pretty straight forward?

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