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Recording with Macbook Pro, AKG C2000B, & MicPort Pro

Discussion in 'Recording' started by FourthQuarter, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. First of all, will I be okay with this setup as far as the soundcard goes? The Centrance Micport Pro will be my USB interface, but I'm assuming the soundcard that comes standard on the 15" Macbook Pro is pretty decent?

    Second, software. I obviously have GarageBand on my Mac. How does this perform for strictly vocal recordings (I do hip-hop) compared to decent low-mid range recording software? With that question asked, I am a college student, and get REALLY good discounts on software at my school. If it gives you any idea, Logic Studio is $150, whereas it is normally $500. So, I would be willing to spend around $100 of my money or so on some recording software IF it will give me significantly better results than GarageBand. But, if for my purposes of recording personal hip-hop projects, I would really be practically just as well off with GarageBand, then I will just keep that. Understand my question?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    For 150 I would pick up logic, you won't regret it. However a skilled engineer can do a decent job with either. But for $150 I think its worth the investment.
     
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    How much did you pay for that micport? If it was over $30 it's way too much. Can you return it? In regards to the Macbook mic input, I doubt that the micport is much better.

    I'm sorry but for the price that you paid for that Micport, you could have bought yourself one of many usb interfaces that include recording software. Usually Cubase LE which is plenty good enough for most people.

    As far as Garageband goes, I think it's an awesome bit of software. Great for closet rock stars. It is not nearly as limited as it's simplicity might lead you to believe. I honestly think a person at home could thoroughly impress their friends with a recording in Garageband.
     
  4. ^ I was informed that since I'm only needing 1 channel, the MicPort Pro is built out of quality components that will give me the sound quality for my purposes of a much more expensive interface. It just doesn't cost in that upper-range because it doesn't do all of that extra stuff that I don't need.
     
  5. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Well, I suppose that you're set on it then. You have to remember that the salesman is going to get you to buy what HE wants you to buy and not what you need. I can't help but think they have an overstock of these.
     
  6. ^ I'm not trying to argue with you or be difficult, lol but I'm actually talking about a strong recommendation from somebody on another forum, not a salesperson. And, once again, not to sound like a jerk, but they are actually back-ordered at almost every single retailer and I had to search high and low to find a store that had ONE. =P

    That being said, I'm not "set" on it in a way that I would not like to hear any advice you may have as to why that person might have been right/wrong about its great use for my purposes.
     
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Well...Hueseph is being kind.

    The MicPort is a piece of crap as is the soundcard in your Mac.

    Sorry - the truth only hurts when it's supposed to.

    That being said, he's right again that you can take it back (hopefully) and get a decent/inexpensive interface from E-mu, M-Audio or other similar, low-priced manufacturers and get a much better product that will have a FAR greater impact on the quality of recordings than ANY PIECE OF SOFTWARE ever. (Sorry for the "LOUD" - just emphasis, not yelling.)

    So...my advice -
    Take the MicPort back, spend that $150 on a better interface, enjoy Garage Band and record some music.

    Another thought, the AKG C2000 is not a vocal mic and does not sound good as one. It is an instrument mic. The big difference?? The C2000 is a Small Diaphragm Condenser (SDC) which are generally reserved for such duties as acoustic guitar mic'ing, ensemble mic'ing, etc. While I tend to think that the C2000 is the ONLY mic in the AKG Cx000 line (C1000, 2000, 3000, 4000) that's worth more than a steaming pile of iguana crap, it's not designed as a vocal mic.

    If you haven't already purchased it - don't. If you have...well, can you return it? If so, do. Try an AT 4040, SP C1, or any of numerous inexpensive mics from GT, M-Audio, AT, MXL and others. Just be sure to look for a Large Diaphragm Condenser (LDC).

    If your salesperson indicates to you that the C2000 is a LDC, please at the very least walk away without a word and go to the next, more knowledgable sales guy. If none of those exist in that location, slap the salesperson (backhand pimp style) and run out of the store screaming as loud as you can that the sales guy touched you inappropriately. (Or do this anyway and video tape it...)

    Cheers-
    J.
     
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Please tell me who this is so I may kindly go and kick them in the nuts.


    This doesn't mean ANYTHING in regards to the quality. It just demonstrates a point which many of us already know - there are a lot of stupid people on the planet. (That's why Wal-Mart is still in business...)

    Look - I'm not trying to be a jerk - even though I do a good job of it - but ignore anyone that tells you that the MicPort is worth anything and listen to Hueseph - the cat knows what he's talking about.

    You've come to the right place and you're obviously interested in learning or you wouldn't be asking questions. Just make sure you're ready to hear the right answers and don't hesitate to check peoples' credentials! The dude who's telling you that the MicPort is useful is likely a 17 year old pimple popper hiding behind the anonimity of the Internet and claiming he/she knows what the hell they're talking about.

    The MicPort isn't entirely useless. If you need to do something like some VERY basic recording for say an on-line seminar or on-line class or a pod cast that isn't of great monetary value, it serves its purpose. If your intent is to do a *quality* recording (which is what I understand you to suggest that you want), there are better tools for the job.

    Soundcards or interfaces which provide inputs and outputs will provide greater sound quality and greater flexibility and will allow you to grow and, again, will have an impact on the sound of your product where software will not. (At least not at this level.)

    J.
     
  9. Thanks for the response. Once again, I was given advice, not by a salesman, that since I will be recording in an apartment bedroom that is not acoustically treated, and since I will be using it for hip-hop vocals only, the C2000B will actually work to my advantage, as although it may not give highs that a female r&b singer is looking for, the bad acoustics of my room won't effect my recordings as much (even though this is normally seen as a bad aspect of a microphone) and it actually gives the sound that alot of hip-hop artists are looking for.

    Basically, I've consistently heard that the C2000B is an extremely underrated hip-hop vocals mic that has pleased many artists.
     
  10. And once again, sorry if I sound like I'm defending myself. I am actually very interested in what I'm being informed of, and I'm just trying to provoke more discussion in the direction that I'm interested in hearing answers.
     
  11. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    SERIOUSLY!

    Who the hell is giving you this advice? They're a f*cking moron!

    The C2000 is not an extremely underrated hip-hop vocal mic and it has not pleased many artists. It is an OVERRATED instrument mic that has disappointed most anyone who has ever touched it!

    The acoustics in this case have NO IMPACT whatsoever on your choice of mic. Anyone who gives you this advice is once again a MORON.

    Also, the C2000 has a rather bright top end which don't suit vocals (male or female) well at all.

    Look - if you want to take this other guy's advice- do. You'll enjoy your MicPort and your C2000 and you'll never be able to figure out why your recordings sound like crap. You'll blame it on poor software, lack of acoustic treatment or whatever, but it's the same old rule - Crap in - Crap out.

    Bad equipment (and again, the C2000 isn't that bad, it's just the WRONG tool for the job) will make your recordings bad.
     
  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    No need to apologize.

    I'm getting the impression though that you're looking to get the answer you want to hear (which is "Go for it dude, that stuff is great and is made out of Pro-quality stuff".)

    You're not going to get that answer here. You're going to get the cold hard truth.

    We're not against inexpensive gear here. Seriously, we're not. But when you're barking up the wrong tree and keep doing it, we'll either rip into you or just stop talking.
     
  13. ^ I understand that. So, after getting my money back for the MicPort Pro, what would be your recommendation in that same price range for the most quality for my money as far as an interface goes? Keep in mind, once again, I have no reason to pay for something for its multiple channels etc... what I want out of my interface is superb sound quality, period.
     
  14. that price range is $100-200 by the way.
     
  15. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Superb sound quality comes at a premium. There are other costs associated with superb sound beyond just the interface. The most important of which would be acoustics and monitoring capabilities.

    The acoustics can be EASILY rectified since there are several off-the-shelf products currently which address the needs of a solo vocalist. I would advise you to look into those as this will have a greater impact than anything we've talked about so far.

    If you don't want to pay excess money for the prefabricated stuff, you can do the same thing with some moving blankets from http://www.markertek.com or a couple pieces of scrap Auralex foam (don't use couch foam, egg crate, or anything else - it won't work and will only make matters worse and unsafe...)

    So, down to the interface -

    Here are a few that could be strongly recommended -

    Basic and cheap with very little frills. The quality is acceptable but not phenomenal. It's still better than the MicPort:

    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Inspire1394/

    Also decent. I know you don't need additional channels, but you get them - think of it as a bonus. Such will be the case with much of what's listed here:

    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Firewire410/

    I can attest to this unit's quality as I have its big brother, the Konnect 24. It's nice. It's very nice.
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Konnekt8/

    This one might be your knight in shining armor. 2 channels in and out - nothing more, nothing less. Excellent quality and it's designed to integrate perfectly into Logic, Garage Band, etc.:

    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Duet/

    This one's usable and still quite decent for solo voice:

    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/UA25/

    Also, consider interfaces from:
    http://
    They're great in quality, driver, support, and all else. I still use an Echo Mia that I purchased almost 10 years ago in one of my machines. They provided support for me no more than 2 months ago on a product they made 10 years ago- this means something to me.

    Oh..and again- please consider a different mic.

    A VERY affordable and wonderful mic for hip-hop vocals is the Blueberry. It's a tad pricier than the AKG C2000, but the sound is friggin amazing.

    If you're close to the DC area, I'll let you give it a try and see what you think.

    Cheers-
    J.
     
  16. I was really trying to keep it around or under $200.

    So something in the FastTrack line wouldn't be recommended?
     
  17. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Sure - the Fast Track stuff is great, inexpensive gear that should get you fantastic results.
     
  18. ^ no sarcasm?

    Because its cheaper than most of the recommendations you gave me.
     
  19. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Nope...no sarcasm. It's a simple elegant solution which is lightyears ahead of your previous notions.

    I only use sarcasm as a means to cover up my own inability to communicate as a learned individual.
     
  20. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    The FastTrack should do fine. It's far from pro but then again, it doesn't claim to be pro either.

    Think about the fact that they had to cram all of the electronics into that 3" long, 1" wide Micport. How good could it possibly be? I couldn't help myself. I had to go to the site. I love this quote: " want another input? Plug in another MicPort!". 4 inputs later, you will have paid for a much nicer interface.

    On a side note: There are lot of engineers on this forum that actually do this for a living. I try not to say anything unless I know for sure what I'm saying. Otherwise, someone will surely let me know. For the most part I just like to read. There is a lot to be learned here.
     

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