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carol m

A Christmas Present 'Emergency'

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This is a bit of an 'emergency' - I've just been asked what I want for Christmas, and obviously I want a microphone. I've been meaning to research it but haven't yet so......can anyone help quickly? I have a computer, a guitar and a power supply. I want a general, easy to use, not too expensive mike and I'll work out the 'set-up' later. If I get a mike, do I need anything else to start - I've heard people talk here about sound cards - do I need one, and is it different to the sound card that is part of the computer? Any ideas, anyone? What do I need to tell them to look for - they have less of a clue than I do!

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If you can hear sound or record sounds on your computer, then you have a sound card. I have a cheap $10.00 mic from radio shack so i can't help you much there...too many choices! C'mon guys...we know you know your stuff! (bet you get a lot of answers Carol :) )

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I bought a 3 pack of SP5's because they were only $20, plus the cost of cables. But the SP4 includes the cable and looks like a deal for $10. You may want to consider a mic stand as well. MF has some good deals. I checked out the Shure SM58 and it didn't sound any better than the mic that came with my Karaoke player so I took it back and got 3 SP5s, cables and a mic stand about $60.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Nady-SP4C-Dynamic-Microphone?sku=277516

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I just checked that out, Mac - looks a little too 'professional' for me at the moment. I reckon if you're likely to record crap, then you're going to need to be able to blame some crap equipment (or anything, really) otherwise you might have to face reality :eek:

I've just realised that there is a different argument........if you have really good equipment, it's going to make anything sound better...but I'm not convinced by that one really.

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I use the mic thats in my webcam... some logitech cammy. It's not bad, but if your looking for something that is going to sound beautiful, then you want a decent mic. If not, then a little mic thats used for just talking online, etc. would be the way to go.

Adrian

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Hi Fly, that looks really good. Don't know if I can get them here in Aussie, but I'll check it out. I see it's a dynamic which means (I think) that it doesn't need a separate power supply, but how does that work - where does it get it's power from - the computer? And can you just plug it in to the back of the computer? Does it need an adapter? I have my sound system plugged in at the back of the computer, but haven't explored back there for years! (I know there's a mic-in there somewhere).

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I use the mic thats in my webcam... some logitech cammy. It's not bad, but if your looking for something that is going to sound beautiful, then you want a decent mic. If not, then a little mic thats used for just talking online, etc. would be the way to go.

Adrian

Hi Adrian, I actually have a logitech webcam up in the attic somewhere! I don't think it has a mic in it though, but I'll check it out. Thanks for the info.

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No need for power on a dynamic mic. I'd recommend that you use the money saved buying a cheaper mic like the Nady on a mixer (Behringer UB802) of some sort. I don't know what kind of deals you get down there but on MF you could get the mic, mixer, and stand for about $70. The mixer gives you more control over the tone and it boosts the mic level to line in. Some people say the mic in on a computer is noisy. So a mixer lets you use the line input. Plus you can mix in more than one mic, plus cd, etc..

I took my Ovation and strummed a little Horse with No Name in front of the Nady SP5. I think it sounds fine considering it cost $7 (plus $7 for the cable). It's going into a Behringer UB1002FX mixer into the line in of my computer.

horse_strum.mp3

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Ask for this one:

AKG 414

I have a pair of the original C414 ULS mics and they are great for everything. Hey! You can always ask!

Wow, very nice but $1000 each! I've heard you sing and play so I know that for you they would be worth it....but me? I don't think so - not just yet - maybe when I become a star (probably take a couple of weeks) maybe then I could dig deep and stun the world with my efforts. ;)

Thanks for the suggestion though - when you need to know something guitar-related, there's only one place to go, no question - right here at GFB&B. Thanks everyone :yes:

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Hi fly, I posted a reply to you about an hour ago but it seems to have got lost in cyberspace, so if you get this message twice, that's why:

The cheap mic plus a mixer sounds like a good way to go for a start. Your demo sounds really clear and good tone too + nice sound from your Ovation and smooth playing as well. Thanks everyone for all the effort you've put in, it's much appreciated.

When you say you can mix in a cd, do you mean add something to a commercial CD or just a home-made mp3 saved on a CD or something else entirely?

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Adrian, that was great - did you work out that arrangement yourself? Harmonics even - I'm impressed! However, as far as the recording goes, it's OK, but I think if I can organise it I'll try for the cheap mic + mixer as Fly said. But it's nice to know that if all else fails (on the Christmas present side of things) I can just buy a cheap mic and just plug it in. Thanks for your help, it's greatly appreciated :yes:

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I know the tune but I didn't think Metallica played in that style - there you go, you learn something everyday...I'm going to try and track down the Metallica version and listen to them properly (never really have before).

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I've just done a quick sampling of Metallica tracks and as far as I can find 'Nothing Else Matters' is the only song I found in that style (the rest were kind of what I expected and not the sort of music I generally listen to much). You seem to know their music well, Adrian, so do they have any tracks in a similar (less heavy metal) style that you know of?

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Hmmmm well... Fade to Black jumps to mind, although it does have a bit of metal to it, it is a ballad. Call of Ktulu is a good one, all instrumental but kind of gets a bit boring after a bit. Mama Said is definatly acoustic, and Hero of the Day is a bit of both. Theres not much more of thier music that is acoustic and as nice to play as such as Nothing Else Matters tho. Although one of my favorites is To Live is To Die... it's heavy, but then right in the middle is this cool figerpicking kind of riff it fits it so well. Fade to black is fairly easy to learn as well just a few chords, and is best played finger style. Good luck with it, and let me know if you like these songs.

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Hi Adrian, I just realised that you are a very new member here, so welcome.

I went to the attic in search of the webcam and found....a headset/mic set that was used by family members for gaming ! - naturally, I pinched it, and have succeeded in actually recording voice and guitar onto my computer. Unfortunately it sounds like there's a gale force wind happening as well, but tomorrow I'll explore the Help section and fiddle with it. I'm still going to go for a proper mic for Christmas though. Thanks for all your help.

I'll check out those Metallica tracks as well. How's the weather in New Foundland? We're having 28C and sunny! :)

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Thanks for the welcome :) At least now you can say you've tried the computer mic, and it's just not good enough, so you need new gear for christmas ;). As for the weather here, it was raining all night, but on the plus side it cut through the snow we had. Its sunny here now, and I'd guess around the 1 to 3 degree mark, which is nice for 9:01 Saturday morning, after cramming for exams all night. I do say that I would like some of that 28 degrees lol.

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Mangatude, that was some nice playing. Good job.

Carol, I mentioned mixing CD, etc... because you may want to play along with backing tracks or even the actual song. So you might put backing tracks on a CD or play them from the computer. You might have a Casio keyboard for example that plays rhythm, that you could plug into the mixer. I have a little Yamaha electronic drum that I bought off eBay for $20. It has pads you hit with sticks and about 80 built in rhythms. I can plug it into my mixer. And if you want to sing with your playing or have a friend sing along you can get another mic.

The UB802 I mentioned has two low level inputs. When you get a mixer it's important to anticipate the number of low level inputs you need. Both guitars and mics need low level. Other inputs like CD will use the high level (also called Line level or Line-In). If you run your guitar through an FX box (especially multi-fx) then you could free up a low level and use line. Most of the Behringers have more line than low level. Especially if you count stereo as two inputs.

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Hi Adrian, is that 1-3 degrees Fahrenheit or Centigrade? Also, I was wondering why you were up all night.....exams, eh...yes, that can do it. Nothing like the need to study to drive you to the chat room!

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do they have any tracks in a similar (less heavy metal) style that you know of?

Carol,

Check out Tuesday's Gone for a real campfire jam feel - I believe it's their version of a Lynard Skynard tune, mighty good... :yes:

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Hi fly, that all sounds a bit confusing, but when I research the mixers available I'll bear it in mind, and then it'll make sense. Funny you mention a Yamaha, on my trip to the attic to look for the webcam, I came across a Yamaha PSR - 225 GM in perfect working order (looks like) and probably just needs some plugs and leads. No instructions though and lots of buttons! I'm going to be so busy I may need to cancel Christmas this year.

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