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Home recording on a budgetfrom external USB to my computer.


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#1 harrumphicus

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 04:31 AM

I've been writing music for almost 7 years now(just guitar and voice), and I think the most I've spent on recording gear is 15 dollars for a computer microphone. I definitely need to change that. So I've been looking at some different solutions, and have my eye on some new equipment. First thing that caught my eye was this: http://pro-audio.mus...ndle?sku=H14472

It's got (almost) everything I need to get going with some better quality recording, but I'm not sure about the microphone. It'll definitely be a step up, but if it's still not that great I don't want to have bought it just to give it away.

My second choice was the MXL 990/991 mic set with the Alesis iO2. I'm lead to believe that the latter includes a copy of Cubase, so I'll be set there - I don't need any fancy software, I usually keep my sound pretty raw anyway.

My third option, would be to just go for a USB version of the MXL 990 and spend the rest on recording software, but I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make since I plan on recording acoustic guitar and voice.

Just typing this up has pushed me toward the MXL/Alesis choice, but PLEASE let me know your opinion. If I don't hear anything over the next couple days (and I might not, this looks like a pretty slow forum), I'll probably just eeny-meeny it.

An asshole and a scholar, from my gentleman to my collar.


#2 harrumphicus

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 10:41 PM

Another quick question - If I get the Alesis or the Presonus, will I be able to run the channels through my mixer before sending it to the computer?

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#3 w00dy

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 05:28 AM

irrespective of whatever sound card you buy, different mics suit different timbres (so that would scare me away from a mic audio input combination usb device) - maybe you'd want two mics even, to record you singing and playing at the same time. i only have two; a large diaphragm condenser and a small diaphragm condenser and together this limited setup suits my needs quite well (ive started recording other peoples vox over b-tracks for them, and i am happier with the results i get from the densers than a sm58 i recently borrowed). the mxl mic looks a good choice but i'd stay away from the alesis hardware, a guy i know has an alesis multimix 4 audio capture device and its utter crap, he gets never ending problems from it, maybe hes just not set it up propper but on-line reviews of their computer peripheral stuff are bad too

yes you can run a mic->mixer->usb.audio.capture.card chain, its common, but if you buy one with plenty of ins and outs you can forgo the mixer altogether (flog it on ebay and put the difference to to a better card)

Edited by w00dy, 18 February 2011 - 05:36 AM.

   ------->Numbers<-------

        ^^latest musics^^

go on give it a listen, it's good.

 


#4 luckystrike

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:59 AM

Gear depends largely on what your actual budget is. Recording gear gets pretty damn pricey the higher you go. As has already been mentioned the MIC is perhaps the most important in the chain. You will find it really hard to correct a sound in the mixing if the input sucked.

I actually use a sm58 and sm57 combo running into a preamp out into the audio interface. For sum reason this really suits me. But in general a decent condensor is probably far more versatile. No matter how expensive a audio interface you buy the preamps are just not going to compare to an external one. To me the 3 most important things are.

MIC
Preamp
Audio Interface

As far as not wanting fancy software. Well the more involved you become in recording the greater that will change :) Some audio interfaces come loaded with free software. However i found these lite versions to be OK but sometimes too restrictive. Like cubase LE5 only 2 track input effects. Fine if you just want to lay down a guitar but zapps your creativity a lot. After all you are recording on a computer to extend the creative possibilities. That said for $100 you can pick up Sonar x1. TBH im serious about recording and have no need for any of the other versions. best $100 i ever spent on software.

#5 harrumphicus

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 06:47 PM

I decided to get the Alesis iO2 and the MXL set. I haven't gotten a chance to really try it out as my ship is still deployed in the middle of nowhere, but the few attempts I've made haven't yielded any good results. I used the stock driver for my first tests and, though I had audio input on the Alesis monitor, no sound made it into Cubase. The second time I downloaded a new driver that I read about (supposed to work better: lower latency, less hassle etc.) and still got no audio input. Not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I'll experiment with it more once I can get my computer back online, make sure I have all the correct drivers and talk to Alesis or Cubase about what might be wrong.

The mics seem nice, though, on first impression. Nice case, too. The Alesis is kinda scrawny for my taste, but I knew it was going to be in a plastic case before I bought it - can't really be upset there.

How does it work if I were to get new preamps? The Alesis has onboard pre's, so the way I see it, those would still be a bottleneck in the sound even with better external pre's. But I don't know a hell of a lot about recording hardware, so I'm probably wrong.

An asshole and a scholar, from my gentleman to my collar.


#6 w00dy

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 02:23 AM

im not 100% sure but in theory i think your right about bottlenecking - in practice however i dont know, i suppose it depends on your audio card and if it treats the pre amp as not active (and bypasses it) or if it still colours the signal with its own musical idiosyncratices when its set on 0. tbh though m8 if i were you i would put pre amps on the backburner till you are ready to upgrade. coz im sure the alesis preamps are more than good enough for the home studio/demo arena, when you've got the card up and running that is

edit: i think you could route a different preamp through the spdif connection thingy rather tanhaving to buy a new sound card (im gonna try this myself when get some cash - im glad you asked this question m8)

Edited by w00dy, 04 April 2011 - 05:27 AM.

   ------->Numbers<-------

        ^^latest musics^^

go on give it a listen, it's good.

 




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