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Recording vocals on laptop-so much noise coming from within

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by keokeo, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. keokeo

    keokeo Guest

    Hi. So I just bought a new laptop, nothing fancy some simple hp pavilion one. Right now I don't even have a mic plugged in and my empty recordings are choke full of noise. Hell I can even capture my own voice if i talk loud enough to the machine without a mic or any kind of sound input device on. I don't know if that's common but I thought it was very amusing.

    So from what I understand I will need some sort of external device, but I am very illeterate with these. I heard that something called an M-audio preamp will help, is that so?

    If I buy such a 100-150 preamp thing along with a shure sm58 mic, will I be able to make some decent quality vocal recordings that will sound clean enough for a demo of some of my stuff? That's what I'm trying to achieve. I want to try to make it as a pop producer/songwriter in my country. I've been obsessed with the songwriting part, now I need to iron out the production part :roll:
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Onboard soundcards are normally pretty poor quality. Good for gaming maybe. The USB Audiophile is probably good enough for most newbs(we were all newbs once some of us are perpetually :p . like me. )
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Re: Recording vocals on laptop-so much noise coming from wit

    A lot of laptops are fitted with cheap mics positioned just above the top of the screen for web telephone type of usage. They default to using these if nothing is plugged into the mic input socket. You have just found out how bad a mic can be.

    Yeah, it will get you started. An M-Audio Fastrack USB or MobilePre USB along with an SM58, XLR-XLR cable and mic stand will be the minimum you would need, and you could make reasonable recordings with these. You also get an instrument input for a guitar pickup, so you (if you play one) or your mates (if they do) can plug in as well.
  4. keokeo

    keokeo Guest

    Thanks for your replies I really appreciate them!

    Boswell may I ask about M-Audio Fastrack USB(or any similar device), what does it do? Does it sort of work like an external audio card, bypassing the internal one? Also I'm reading it is about 48kHz sound tops. I don't know much about these things but that wouldn't hold me from achieving fairly decent pro sound right? Obviously not timbaland level but ok sounding? Thanks in advance.
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You can think of it as an external sound card. It doesn't by-pass the internal one, rather you select in software which you want to use, and would normally make the external device the default so that it is the one that is used unless you select otherwise.

    Do you call CDs "fairly decent pro sound"? They have a sampling rate of 44.1 KHz. With the budget you have, I would not spend money just to go to 96KHz or above. The majority of live recordings I do at at 44.1KHz because they end up on CD. Don't worry about it, get some experience under your belt, then you will be better placed to decide when and how to upgrade.

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