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Confused & Really Need Help w/ Hardware Needed To Give My Vocals More Of A Pro-Sound?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Huntress, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. Huntress

    Huntress Active Member

    I am new here so please be gentle as my question(s)/explanations may seem silly ;o)

    I've only been singing a little over 2 years (not bad-not great), but it's become a passion & relieves stress. So far, I strictly sing online to Karaoke Tracks from a laptop... using Audacity w/select VST plugins to add Vocal Effects. And on the advice of a friend I rigged up a system using a fairly hgh-end Karaoke Machine w/some basic effects; i'm using 2 mics...a Samson USB CO1U Condenser to pick up sound off the Youtube Music Tracks thru my Speakers & an Audio-Technica ATR30 mic which gets plugged in the Karaoke Machine (the Mic i sing into).....all of this combined does add more body to my voice but I'm looking for more.....a more professional sound overall.

    My budget is small.... stretching it alot I could maybe spend $100. But I don't know if I need a Small Mixer Board, i.e., Behringers priced from 40.on up (one is their new 302usb model. Or a USB Audio Interface. I've even looked at a Zoom H1 Digital Recorder. I have NO CLUE what it is I need! I DO KNOW I want/need to get rid of this Monster-Sized Karaoke Machine & buy something I actually need to add levels of "Quality Sound" to my singing ---as it is now (lacking the proper set-up) its becoming a chore vs a joy :( but singing is my only 'meaningful' enjoyment as i'm disabled.

    So Please please will someone guide me to what I need? Thanks so much & sorry for getting long-winded :eek:)

    Light & Peace ~KeKe
  2. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure exactly what your goal is, but using a mic to pick up the sound of laptop speakers can't possibly be a good part of the solution.

    It sounds like you just want to sing with backing tracks by yourself for fun rather than record anything. I think a small mixer and some hardware processing like compression and reverb would do it, along with connecting the laptop with a cable instead of using the microphone. Then you could listen on headphones or get yourself a powered stage monitor. Probably a better mic would go a long way toward improving your sound. If you do want to try a compressor you'll need a mixer with channel inserts. Many small mixers have built in reverb and other effects that are probably adequate for what you're doing.
  3. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Read this to get an idea about the preocess, and the equipment required.
    Tweak's Guide to the Home and Project Studio
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    You will have to learn to use patch cords. You don't put microphones on speakers unless it's a guitar amplifier. When using patch cords, you will also generally at some point needs some kind of an impedance matching transformer adapter. This allows low impedance signals to be converted to high impedance and high impedance signals to be converted to low impedance. It converts some unbalanced signals to balanced and other balanced signals to unbalanced. This is not a one stop pushbutton process we have been working at this for our entire lives. It's not easy. If it was easy, people like you could do it.??? You know what I mean? Your stuff doesn't sound pro-because you ain't. I don't sound like a brain surgeon so I don't. Though I can scramble eggs. That doesn't make me a brain surgeon. It makes me a recording engineer. That's because I have no brain or least not all of it. Brain surgery 6.5 years ago can prove it! So all I need is some new batteries to stick in my cranium I think? Because I want my brain to sound pro. No?

    Brainless and proud of it
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. Huntress

    Huntress Active Member

    Thank You So Very Much!! You took time out of your day to guide me to a site where there appears to be some great learning curves & they seem friendly as well (from just the small amt I've read so far). And I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your kindness & helpfulness (((smiles)))

  6. Huntress

    Huntress Active Member

    Hi bouldersound, Thanks so much for your reply. I guess I didn't make my goals very clear?! Yes, for now I'm having fun singing with backing tracks and it also serves to continually improve my vocal skills. Although I do have an interest in learning as much as poss about mixing/recording... down the road (when my spine is better recovered from a botched surgery) a friend who is a seasoned drummer of 44 yrs would like to collaborate with me on some originals I've written. At that time, I'll have a need for all the hi-tech gear. But for now I'm just trying to find out if I need a small mixing board, an audio interface (powered by usb to keep it simple), or perhaps a 'desktop recording unit'.....to be used in conjunction w/ Audacity or Reaper....altho I am at a loss for which type of interface would be best suited?? Am only trying to find an easier, affordable solution to improve sound quality. Again Thanx for your reply to assist me.

  7. LittleJohn

    LittleJohn Active Member

    to the original poster, I think the Zoom H1 sounded like the best plan. In my opinion, that is a fine option. I can easily imagine you could do fine on the Zoom for quite a while before needing a mixer and all that.
    thats my $0.02 --

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