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Starting home recording need help with gear !

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Mohamed Abbas, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Mohamed Abbas

    Mohamed Abbas Active Member

    Hello everyone !
    My Wife birthday is at the end of November And I decided to buy some recording hardware And microphone For her !.
    She is an opera singer "lyrical soprano" , am quite new to this recording world ,she have stage experience for past 15 years And never used microphones before So this is a new world to me And her .
    I need some microphone And audio interface to record at home " I have a 5x5 meter room for that reason I will cover the walls later " .
    So after searching for quite sometime I found out that I need audio interface , software , And large condenser microphone .
    And after reading here a lot I found out this would be a good things to buy .. Which not super expensive gear "aside that right now I am working as choir master of library of Alexandria So buying things online will cost double due transportation to here at Alexandria Egypt "

    For software I brought studio one with Melodyne built , sound like fair price compared to avid pro tools mad price .

    Audio interface "focusrite scarlett 6i6" very nice with 2 headphones ports sound great to me .... And around 200 USD$ ..
    Here is the problem WHAT MICROPHONE ...
    I managed to make a list of microphone might be good for recording my self as "female opera singer"

    MXL V67G .... Super cheap ! And many good ratings , not sure if it true ..

    Blue Microphones Spark Condenser Microphone, Cardioid .. Looks not that fancy but have a really good votes ..
    MXL 2003A .... ? Any clue ?
    Feel free to add any other microphone you recommend but keep in mind it should not go crazy in price I need overall price for interface + microphone around 400-450 USD MAX ... , So that keep microphone around 150-250 usd at MAX ... And that microphone also will need a pop filter And mount any recommendation on that too ? ... That more money , but feel free to point out any microphone you think its really worth every buck you pay for it "from opera singer Point of view please " 16x16_smiley-happy.png .

    Attached Files:

  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i wouldn't drop another dime on this industry if i were you. no future in it. sell what you have on CraigsList and forget it. go find a 10 dollar an hour scab to record your wife and be happy with that. otherwise you are just throwing your money out the window.

    my 2 cents.

  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    "Super cheap" microphones will produce super bad results, especially with a female soprano voice. In addition, if you do not put acoustic treatment in the recording room, almost any condenser microphone will give a poor recording.

    You won't get the Scarlett interface and a good quality microphone for $450. However, if you can afford to risk $270, you could get a Zoom H4N and a camera tripod to mount it on and see you how you get on with that. You record on the device and then plug it into your computer to transfer the recording and process it with your Studio One software. This will teach you a lot about recording and audio processing without a huge outlay, and you can then decide whether to take things to the next stage in quality and expenditure.
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    picking a large diaphram condenser blindly (or deafly) is like closing your eyes at the shoe store, and buying a pair. i'm gonna beat a dead horse here, but if you want a "super cheap" "good" mic, get a sure sm 58 to start. then if your wife actually likes recording her voice, demo every mic you can and pick your favs after a year or two.

    cheap LDC's sound cheap. condesner isn't a sign of "status" like a BMW, or Lotus, it's simply a type of mic. that's it, it's a mic that transfers sound into electricity in a certain way. that's it. maybe a tin can and a string gets you the sound you want. forget the 'ideal' that a Large Diaphram Condenser is best right off the bat. I'm sure you could find one that sounds great after you try 20 or 30, but there is know guarentee of what price range/availablilty that would be.

    if you insist on an interface you might wanna downsize to a 2x2 interface which could be had for around 100 bucks.

    the big question mark for me is what computer your using. does it have the right ports. does it meet the min requirements of the software?
  5. Mohamed Abbas

    Mohamed Abbas Active Member

    Regarding the interface , i choose that 6i6 due the 2 headphones port , my wife own small vocal studio of her "she's a vocal coach" and having 2 headphones will help her recording her students while having a headphone for her own too .
    my concern here at buying these gear is not earning money back out of it , its mainly for my wife experimenting recorded with her students "its so cool to have record of you after 6 months course " and here in egypt recording studio almost not exist except in cairo , i am at alexandria ...
    all i need right now is a good microphone that wont get higher than 250 usd .... as i have to bring it here with DHL , and pay 25% of total price + 7$ per Lbs for customs and taxes "law here ".
    my wife students are both classical and pop/rock singers thats why i choose large condenser microphone , for the room problem i will fix it in few weeks , aside its right now fully covered with wooden floor and a lot of sofas and carpets ..
    i own 3 computers and a laptop "i am 3d generalist / architecture visualisation specialized" all of them are i7 with at less 16 gb ram each , and a rendering server . so yes i have dozen of USB 2 ports every where and laptop have 8 gb rams and i7 cpu i brought it 3 months ago :D .
    so basicly i need a good studio starting microphone .
    and it should be around $250 max for the microphone ..
    my options which is NOT limited to this :
    MXL V67G
    MXL 2003A
    Blue Microphones Spark
    Name your microphone here !..........>>>>>
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    First off, you have been given a lot of good advice from people who know a LOT more than you do about this kind of thing...
    You do NOT have a professionally-treated room, and it doesn't sound to me like the students do, either. Stay away from LDC mics!!!!!!!!
    You can do better with a quality-built LIVE vocal mic...the Shure SM58 is one such example. Want fancier? A Sennheiser 935 or a Shure Beta 87C. Mics like those are designed to minimize the room sounds, they will tolerate the large dynamic ranges that opera singers can generate, and they tend to hold up longer than the cheap, "throw-away" mics you listed. I have recorded a number of jury exams for the local music college, the Beta87C works very well on female singers especially. Learn to deal with that plugged into the Zoom H4 and you'll be golden.
    Another bonus of the Z4 is that you will be able to mix in the built-in mics for an accompanyist.
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    well ya gota plenty of cpu power :) i've never used the 935, or the 87c, but none of the mods here are slouches. the most condenser-ish sound dynamic i ever used was the sennheisser 441, but it's super expensive. you can get a tool, or you can get a toy. if you look at the majority of rock/pop singers they have sung, and do sing thru some sort of shure incarnation. are there better on a per person basis, sure, would any engineer/performer cringe at one. nope.

    just don't forget the learning curve of a piece of software. it's one thing when your just recording yourself and something weird happens, but it's a whole other thing when your the 'pro' in front of a client and the ship springs a leak. it's embarrassing when you know the answer, nevermind when your figuring it out in front of them. i've had a battery backup start smoking in front of a first time client. I subscribe to the KISS theory, Keep It Simple Sir (or Stupid in my case).
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    $250 is not enough to buy any mic that will shine above a sm57.

    if you want to spend 4 to 500 i also vote for a sennheiser 441 or a 421 ... also recommend a shure sm 7 a or sm7 b . the 7 a is better.

    if you can't spring for more that, stay with the sm 58 ... best bang for the buck mics ever.
  9. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    The Focusrite i-series stuff is pretty cool. I've been using a 2i2 for several months as a laptop interface and am getting great tracks from it.

    The sm58 is a standard choice for sure. Another quality mic that I like even better is the ElectroVoice N/D 767. For the money, even the EV 267 has a nice sound.

    A very popular low $$ condenser is the CAD M179, and for good reasons. It's a multi-pattern mic that sounds like it costs a lot more than what you paid.

    At the top of your range you might consider the ADK A6. It's a little less than $250 USD and is high quality - low noise. I love it for vocals, acoustic guitars and wood flutes. No sibilance issues to my ears.
  10. lbeasley

    lbeasley Active Member

    Please do not go cheap on the mic. Buying something of decent quality now will go a long way. I've actually been putting together an audio video serious that will help newbies like yourself understand the basics of microphones and recording as well as what to look for. If you do not understand the GREAT answers already given here, feel free to check out a couple of my videos. I think they will be of some help to you.

  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    That is perhaps the last function I would consider when choosing a pre amp. I'm not saying the pre you bought is bad, I'm saying that your logic in choosing one throws up a huge red flag that you really don't know what you are doing.

    Your choice of pre amp should be determined by the overall sound, first and foremost. This is determined by the quality of the build, the amount of gain available, the quality of the converters... other things to consider would be the number of inputs (which determine how many sources you can record individually at once) and expand-ability - the ability to chain the pre with another to give you more ins...

    Your choosing a pre amp with the deciding factor being how many headphones it can support is ridiculous, when you can always pick up cheap headphone amps with multiple headphone jacks for not much money at all.

    As far as microphones go, cheap condensers sound cheap. They are harsh and brittle, and even if you did get a nice condenser, in a poor sounding room, you'll get poor results. You'd be better off to use a Shure SM58 at this point...

    Some of these replies may sound harsh to you, but this advice is coming from guys who do this for a living and in most cases, have spent fortunes on obtaining great sound, along with years studying and honing their craft to be the best they can be at it. Your post was just another one in a long line of posts that come in here that makes many of these people roll their eyes, because they know that

    1. you get what you pay for, and
    2. without the knowledge, the gear you have, be it cheap or quality, won't help you a bit.

    If this is simply a hobby for you, then that's fine, spend a couple hundred and have some fun. But if you are looking for professional results, you'll get what you pay for, and you have a long way to go in knowledge along with gear.

    If you want pro results and you want them now, then save your money, seek out a professional studio, and pay them to do it for you.
  12. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    OK, a 200$ audio interface and a 450$ mic... There's no way we are talking to a guy that wants to record a grammy award record tomorrow. It'll be a home studio with average quality recordings but maybe it's the intended goal of the OP...

    Accepting that this is the budget and nothing else, I'd say try to go with a used mic. A AKG KSM44 (or 32) or if you are lucky to find one at that price a AKG 414.
    If you go new, go in a store and try some.. buy the one that sound right for you.. after all you will record for you and not millions of people.. ;)

    EDIT: sorry I misread, 450 for a mic and an interface... man, why don't you go with a usb mic.. no interface.. and maybe a bit better mic instead.. Ah of course.. the 2 headphone output!! so my post still apply .. .go in a store and buy the best sounding gear for YOU !

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