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Cheap set-up help

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Moneylessrecording, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. First, I am a complete newbie as far as recording. I just want something extremly cheap to play around with. I am a hobbiest musician, and just want something to make a record to hand out to friends. I don't need anything incredible, just a mixer and a mic or two, and the some kind of recording software. I'll probably use some cheap/free software, so that isn't really an issue, as I can find that on my own. I'm already looking at a Behringer Xenyx 802, and the older Eurorack 802. That's right at what I'm wanting to spend for the mixer. I still have an open mind, so suggestions would be appreciated. I'm looking to get out cheap on the mic dept. too. I'm hoping my vocal mic could be something like the Behringer XM8500, or something around that price range. What do you guys think? Or, should I just forget about recording myself, and just work on getting small gigs? Thanks in advance! :cool:
  2. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    The answers sort of depend on what you intend to acomplish. Saying

    is going to last about 2 months, and then you'll realize that you NEED better recording gear. Recording sort of turns into an obsession... You're entering the rabbit hole when you decide to dabble with recording. "My recordings just stink. It'll ONLY cost $150 more to get them to where they're listenable. No biggie." After that happens about 100 times and you've spent thousands of dollars, you'll wonder why you ever wanted to record in the first place. Haha, just kidding. I enjoy recording. At least that's what I keep telling myself. :lol:

    What you'll need (assuming you have a good guitar, amp, and speaker(s)), is: a mic. like a Shure sm58 and an interface. That's really the bare minimum. Most cheap interfaces come bundled with software that is really quite nice for being free. I got a Tascam US-122L, and it was cheap and still works just fine.
  3. Well, I have a friend that is supposed to give me his old PCI interface, which I could run a mixer through. It only has 1/4 inch in/outs. The Shure SM58s are out of my price range. I was hoping to keep the first mic (which will be dedicated to vocals) under $50. Later, I will buy another mic for my acoustic guitar. I believe/hope that's all I'll need. I still want input for cheap mics and mixers. Is the Behringer stuff I mentioned worth the money, or should I buy something else? I really don't need that great of a setup. I doubt I'll ever actually use any of this for live shows, so that isn't a big thing either. Thanks for your input, and keep it coming!
  4. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    Just mentioning the name Behringer should be cause for banning someone from this forum. :lol: But seriously, brands like Behringer are just not worth the money. Buying bargain bin never pays off in the long run. There are good products out there that are RELATIVELY cheap. Carvin is a prime example, but you're still gonna be paying more than you want. Misers always end up miserable and alone. So stop pinching pennies, Scrooge. :wink: Sure, a $50 mic will work, but when it falls apart 3 seconds after the warranty expires, you'll wish you had spent the extra dough on a sm58.
  5. I can't really afford that kind of stuff. I'm not pinching pennies, it's just that I don't have too many pennies to pinch. I have other things I probably need first. So, I thank you graciously for your help. I'll have to either go ahead and buy what I may regret later, or wait until I can actually afford a decent setup. Once again, thank you. You have been most helpful.
  6. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    An SM58 will last you a lifetime. Odds are your PC will be upgraded twice before your SM58 even shows signs of slowing down.

    BTW - all you need is a preamp with suitable inputs/outputs, not a full mixer.
  7. Thanks for your input guys. I know you're gonna kill me for saying this, but does anyone have an opinion of a Line 6 Toneport USB device? I've found one at Musician's Friend on sale, and it looks like very close to what I'm looking for.
  8. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    Actually, Line 6 is really the next best thing to actually micing an amp, believe it or not. It's incredibly versatile and can sound downright decent if used properly. I say go ahead and get it. You just need a decent vocal mic now. When you consider the fact that your sm58 will probably last a lifetime, it isn't so expensive.
  9. OK, that was too easy. Are you sure we are talking about the same thing? I'm talking about the $70 Toneport. It has one XLR in, one 1/4" in, and several different outs. If that's what you're talking about, it sounds like what I'm looking for. Maybe that and a Tube MP or something, and a condenser. I'm not really liking the looks of the SM58 for my uses. Durability isn't an issue, because I never will take it out of my "studio" and I take care of my stuff. Again, thanks for the input!
  10. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    That'll work just fine. Sure, there's better out there, but you should be able to get semi-pro results with that (assuming you're using good software).

    Cheap and tubes do not go together. If you wanna drop about $500 you can get a decent condenser, but quite frankly, if you can't sound good with a dynamic mic, you won't sound good with a condenser mic.

    There isn't anything to not like about the sm58. The sm58 is the most used mic in history. From country to death metal, the sm58 is used with great results. It's cheap, it's durable, and it sounds good on anything. All you need to do is learn how to use it. Sure, there are other, more expensive dynamic mics, but there's just something magical about the sm58. It just works good for anything. The sm58 is the Les Paul of the mic world: if you can't make good sounds with it, you just don't know what you're doing. :lol:
  11. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    "I'm not really liking the looks of the SM58 for my uses. Durability isn't an issue"

    :) Priceless!
  12. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    I think that you guys are underestimating how much a "sexy" looking mike can increase vocal recordings especially in a studio setting. It will definitely be apparent in MP3 recordings where the look of the mic will just drip out of earbuds.

    I guess NCdan has become a SM58 convert because it seems like just a few months ago he was complaining that his vocal recordings were dull and flat using this mike. I happen to really like the sound of this mic on vocals.

    So far my experiments with cheap condenser mics is that they work well as door stops and paperweights but maybe the results thru a Toneport will be different.
  13. OK, I'm still confused on the mics. I did find a battery powered condenser mic made by Nady from Musicians Friend. It's very cheap, and looks as though it's pretty nice.
  14. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    For the price of that, and the hundreds of dollars over its lifetime of replacing batteries. (however long that may be)...you could get a much better mic, or a Shure SM58 and other stuff that actually sounds OK.

  15. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Line 6 TonePort UX1 USB Computer Recording Interface $69.95 new
    Nady SPC-25 Condenser Microphone $34.95 new

    If you want someone to tell you this is what you should buy, buy it!

    Why ask? You are investing less than $120.00. Use it three times a week for a year $1.00 a day. If you expected someone to tell you this is AWESOME gear forget it!

    If you were asking for advice about how to get in to home recording you got it but can't spend what around here might be considered the most minimal of investments. Good luck have fun.
  16. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Look into the APEX line of mics, they are dirt cheap and 'ok'
  17. I was actually asking for advice on "inexpensive" gear. Shure mics aren't an option for me, because they are so expensive. They may be the best, but if you can't afford them, why does it matter? If this isn't what I should buy, tell me, and I'll keep looking. I'm sorry if I sound ungrateful for the advice. That isn't the case. I'm very grateful for your advice. I read each post, think it over carefully, and reply. Thank you, and keep it coming!

    Who has APEX mics? I notice Musician's Friend doesn't have them.
  18. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Long and Mcquade in Canada, where are you?
    you can go to http://www.apexelectronics.com/
  19. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    I did not think you were ungrateful. I was not being condescending in telling you to buy that equipment. There is nothing WRONG with those manufacturers products, they are both reputable companies.

    In that price point you will find only the smallest negligible differences in product performance, most will be the comments "that I prefer red over blue" type statements.

    Just to let you know, the Shure SM57 at $89.00 is a VERY inexpensive mic esp. considering its tremendous sonic quality and EXTREME durability.
    I have two that are over ten years old and have seen every kind of abuse that a gigging rock band could dish out, falls, spills, spit and on and on. I can not tell them apart in recordings from the two I bought new last year that have never left my home studio.

    There are a good number of regular posters on this site that have spent over five thousand on a single mic so inexpensive is relative, but trying to find any gear under $100.00 that is a major part of a recording chain is going to be difficult. I just spent as much as you are proposing on a microphone on a microphone cable (because even a bargain XLR cable is likely to cost a third of your Nady.)

    Would you purchase a new guitar that cost three times what you paid for your last guitar cable? And if you did what results might you expect from it?

    Edit: The least expensive Apex I could find was $69.99
  20. Thanks. I'll probably take a chance on the Nady, and upgrade it when I can. I'm not disregarding your info, I just can't afford a SM57 or 58 right now. And, as is the old cliche, I don't want a hammer, I want a mic. No offense, but this mic won't be traveling. It's basically gonna sit in a case in my closet until I record myself. As I've already mentioned, durability isn't the issue. I just want clear sound, and from the physics of mics, it looks as though a condenser is going to be the clearest. I want my connections to be what hurts my sound instead of the mic.

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