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How would I be able to connect a mic to computer?

Discussion in 'Computing' started by varsin, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. varsin

    varsin Active Member

    Hi guys, as you can tell by the title, I'm a complete beginner at recording.

    I was wondering how I could take this mic and record with it on my computer

    MXL V63M Studio Condenser Microphone with Shockmount and more Condenser Microphones at GuitarCenter.com.

    Is there some sort of adapter I could buy?
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Hi Varsin, and welcome to the forums!

    It's a little more than an "adaptor" you need. What you have to use is a device that does at least four things: supply the necessary 48V power to the microphone to make it work, amplify the very small audio signal from the mic, convert that signal to a digital form and interface it to the computer.

    You can get single-channel devices that will do all that for less than $50, but they are not really worth having. You have bought a respectable microphone, but you may want to plug in a guitar or keyboard and record both at the same time. I would look for at least a dual-channel interface unit that has at the minimum a microphone input and an "instrument" input (or another microphone input) on a separate channel.

    I'm not very well up on this end of the market, but a first hit brings up the $79 ART USB Dual Pre. Others here may well have different suggestions for units to consider, but the principles still stand.
  3. TimOBrien

    TimOBrien Active Member

    My obligatory standard reply-for-newbies that I keep in Wordpad so this is just a paste (I don't want to re-type this all the time):

    First off, immediately get a good beginner recording book (spend $20 before spending hundred$/thousand$) that shows you what you need to get started and how to hook everything up in your studio:
    Home Recording for Musicians by Jeff Strong - $15
    Amazon.com: Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies (9780470385425): Jeff Strong: Books
    (Wish I'd had that when I started; would have saved me lots of money and time and grief)
    You can also pick up this book in most any Borders or Barnes&Noble in the Music Books section!

    Another good one is: Recording Guitar and Bass by Huw Price
    Amazon.com: Recording Guitar and Bass: Getting a Great Sound Every Time You Record (Book) (9780879307301): Huw Price: Books
    (I got my copy at a place called Half-Price Books for $6!!)

    And you can get a FREE subscription to TapeOp magazine at Tape Op Magazine

    Barnes&Noble or Borders are great places to start --- they have recording books and you can go get a snack or coffee and read them for FREE! Don't pass by a good recording book --- this is a VERY technical hobby and you REALLY want to start a reference library!!!

    Good Newbie guides that also explains all the basics and have good tips:
    Tweak's Guide to the Home and Project Studio
    Free beginner PDFs | Computer Music Magazine | MusicRadar.com
    The #1 online community for musicians | Harmony Central

    21 Ways To Assemble a Recording Rig: How to Configure a Recording Studio Rig

    Also Good Info: Directory - The Project Studio Handbook - Digital Audio, Compression, Mixing, Monitoring, Microphones

    Other recording books: Music Books Plus - Home Recording

    Still using a built-in soundcard?? Unfortunately, those are made with less than $1 worth of chips for beeps, boops and light gaming (not to mention cheapness for the manufacturer) and NOT quality music production. Even the cheapest $50 usb asio card will be a huge improvement.
    #1 Rule of Recording: You MUST replace the built-in soundcard.
    Here's a good guide and user-tested suggestions that work: The Best Audio Interfaces for your Home Studio by TweakHeadz Lab
    (you'll want to bookmark and read through all of Tweak's Guide while you're there...)
    Another good article: Choosing an audio interface - Choosing An Audio Interface

    Plenty of software around to record for FREE to start out on:

    Sony ACID Express (free 10-track sequencer): ACIDplanet.com: Free Downloads: ACID Xpress
    Audacity: Audacity: Free Audio Editor and Recorder (multi-track with VST support)
    Wavosaur: Wavosaur free audio editor with VST and ASIO support (a stereo audio file editor with VST support)\
    Kristal: KRISTAL Audio Engine
    Other freebies and shareware: Music Software - Computer Music Resources - Shareware Music Machine

    Another great option is REAPER at REAPER | Audio Production Without Limits (It's $50 but runs for free until you get guilty enough to pay for it...)
    I use Reaper and highly reccomend it...

    Music Notation and MIDI recording: Melody Assistant ($25) and Harmony Assistant ($80) have the power of $600 notation packages - Myriad: Music Notation Software and much more... / Myriad : logiciels de musique, et bien plus...
    Demo you can try on the website.

    And you can go out to any Barnes&Noble or Borders and pick up "Computer Music" magazine - they have a full FREE studio suite in every issue's DVD, including sequencers, plugins and tons of audio samples. (November 2006 they gave away a full copy of SamplitudeV8SE worth $150, November 2007-on the racks Dec in the US- they gave away SamplitudeV9SE and July 2009 issue they put out Samplitude10SE, November 2010 SamplitudeSilver. FREE. It pays to watch 'em for giveaways...)

    'Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll eat forever...'

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