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DonalN

Some startup questions on mics.

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DonalN    0

Hi All!

So, I've decided to start recording a few tunes at home. I'm looking or some advice on which mic to get. From what I've been reading, I need a large-diaphragm condenser mic for vocals.

I'm thinking of getting one of the usb condenser mics as I can use my Zoom G.2.1 as an audio interface for the guitar. Will the recording software (Audacity, Kristal) have any problems seeing the two usb inputs?

The usb mics I'm looking at so far are the Behringer C1 or the T-Bone SC440 or the Samson C01U.

If I go down the mixer route, I'm looking at something like the Alesis Multimix 4, 6,or 8 (future proofing for more instruments later on) and maybe the TBone SC450 xlr condensor.

Appreciate any inputs!!

Thanks,

Donal

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scotty_b    16

The mic is only part of the signal chain -if those mics are all around the same price the quality should be about the same.

The quality of the converters in the Zoom will make a difference, as will the environment you record in , setting the levels right, use of EQ and compression etc

So in just starting out, any of those mics should be fine.

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DonalN    0

thanks for the replies folks..

I've another question - can I use a USB mic and a usb audio interface at the same time? will the recording software (kristal) recognise the two usb inputs.

thanks,

Donal

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carol m    64

I was going to ask the same thing - the usb connection might be a limitation maybe? It depends on the connections available on the recorder/soundcard doesn't it? I don't know, anyone else know?

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scotty_b    16

I don't know with that software, but normally one must select the interface they will use in the preferences, and running both is not an option.

However, I have never used a USB mic, or the software you use, so there may be an option to select the USB mic for one channel.

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DonalN    0

Sorry, I meant inputs.

So, when I plug my Zoom G2.1 into the computer, I select 'USB Audio codec' as one of the inputs in the recording software. And I think (still researching!) that this ASIO4ALL driver will also allow the usb mic to be connected. Not sure yet if the software will also use 'USB Audio Codec' as the mic input source or if it will call it something else.

Now, I'm also wondering about the phantom power that might be required for the mic. Does this come from the pc/software, or does it have to go through a mixer anyways?

So many questions!!...still - it's fun to research this stuff!!

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Doug    12

Hi,

I'd be very surprised if you could select two usb audio devices at the same time. Generally you can only select one. Could be wrong tho'. Probably something to ask the people at the music store.

To start out with, just the single USB mic should be good enough. If you feel you are serious and would like to record from two mics at once (or more) then invest in an audio interface with two or more inputs with preamps. make sure it as phantom power for condenser mics. You may want to check out your local online used equipment website (craigslist or kijiji or whatever) - you may be able to find some pretty good deals.

I bought most of my stuff used.

-Doug

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DonalN    0

Thanks for the replies folks.

After a bit more research, I've decided to get an M-Audio FastTrack Audio interface that will take the guitar and mic inputs.

For the mic, I'm going to go with the Shure SM57 - I've read quite a few good reviews on this. There seems to be many good budget mics out there, and the sm57 is one of them. I hope to be posting some tunes up here shortly....if I find the courage!!!

Thanks again,

Donal

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Tekker    1

After a bit more research, I've decided to get an M-Audio FastTrack Audio interface that will take the guitar and mic inputs.

For the mic, I'm going to go with the Shure SM57 - I've read quite a few good reviews on this. There seems to be many good budget mics out there, and the sm57 is one of them. I hope to be posting some tunes up here shortly....if I find the courage!!!

M-Audio is a great choice, hard to go wrong with them.

Is the SM57 going to be for vocals? If so, the SM58 would probably be a better option. It is the exact same mic as the SM57, but it has the round ball on the top with a pop screen inside specifically for working with vocals. The SM57 is more commonly used as an instrument mic (guitar cabs, close mics on drums, etc) I've also heard that you can take the ball part off the the SM58 and get the same sound as an SM57. So you get both mics in one with the SM58. :)

-tkr

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carol m    64

Hi Donal, I went to buy an SM58 but the guy at the store said, the Sennheiser e185 is a much better mic. We did a vocal test through an amp with the same settings for each, and to my ears the Sennheiser e185 blew the other one away. To my ears it was obvious which I preferred immediately - no question. Then he said that I could get that mic in a starter pack for the same money but with a mic stand and a good quality cable included. So that saved about $70 on those things that you will need - I already had a stand and cable, but it was a good deal, and the Sennheiser stand and cable were better than mine anyway.

I'm not sure if you know this already but mics come in two basic types Dynamic like the SM57/8's and Sennheiser e185, and Condenser mics needing Phantom Power ( like my MXL (large diaphragm 1") and small diameter condensers which I think are more suited to amps/drums/room, but I'm not certain about that.

So try to get to listen to the SM57, and SM58 and a couple of others and do your own head to head comparison. Also see if the people at the store have any suggestions. The SM mics are certainly very good, and many people just buy them because of that, but try out a couple and see if another mic sounds better to you.

Another point is that the Fastrack has Phantom power so you could get a large diameter condenser mic as well, or as an alternative. Condenser mics are generally more sensitive and catch more of the audio details, but are more expensive. A few months after I bought the e185, I bought a MXL 2006 condenser mic and since then, that's the only mic I use for everything - although I don't use an amp at all which might suit a dynamic mic better if you intend to get an amp as part of your set up.

Also large diaphragm condenser mics are really studio/at home mics. If you are planning to perform in public they would be too fragile to cart around town, probably.

If you are buying audio stuff, ask the store for a discount, especially if you buy more than one thing - a 10% discount is almost routine for anyone who asks, mostly. If they refuse, refer them to me. :D

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Doug    12

I believe the SM57 and 58 are the go to mics for professional musicians. And the major reason is that they are very reliable. The last thing you need as a musician setting up is that your mic is not working. That's not to take away from their quality - I have heard professional studio engineers say that a sm57 is not bad at anything.

Almost always not their first choice though. (For studio work).

The quality of inexpensive condenser mics is exceptional especially when you see how inexpensive they are. Take a look at pkg deals for AT2020 and 2021. For home recording I think a audio device with phantom power is a very good idea.

Edited by Doug

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scotty_b    16

I use an sm58 for my vocals, and a 57 for the guitar cabinet live.

The great thing about Shure is that they are almost indestructible. I even had a car run over a 58 one night when my bag broke open in the car park of a club.

I used that mic for about another 8-9 years before replacing it!

Small diaphragm condensers are great for acoustic guitar, drum overheads, with choirs. I have used one with a vocalist as well at one stage.

Large diaphragm mics can also be used with guitars, drums, amps, etc as well.

It is worth noting that mics are also only one part of the signal chain, and a cheaper mic can sound great through a good or great desk or audio interface; and a great mic could well out-perform a cheap desk or interface!

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DonalN    0

Thanks for all the replies folks - very helpful in deciding what to get.

So, I'm going with the M-Audio fast track pro and the SM58. I'm thinking/hoping to get into some pub gigs later on, and the SM58 appears to be good for home recording and gigging. I might look at a condenser mic at a later stage.

Hopefully, I'll be posting up a tune or two in the next while.

Thanks again,

Donal

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