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Help me Find a cheap set up

Basically I want a mic and preamp that will go into my computer at thats it. I dont know a lot about this so basically what i need to know is the raw basics i need to record with half decent sound. I dont want it to sound like a cassette player but it doesnt have to be professional sounding either, I'm not worried about too much mixing. This is mostly for recording parts so i can write songs and hear them as i write without my band. I have an sm-57 Shure mic i plan on using and ill be using my HP PC, eventually i want a mac but not any time soon. What else do I need? Any help is appreciated, thanks.


RemyRAD Wed, 04/05/2006 - 17:43
Well my guitarhero, if you're just using your computers blaster style card, I might recommend one of those lovely little tube type microphone preamplifier's from companies like ART and others. That patched into your computer's line input should yield reasonable sounding results.

You may also want to consider a foam pop filter for your SM57 while doing vocals. I also believe that some type of compressor/limiter is also not a bad idea as many are available for under $200.

Everybody has their own favorites regarding software but out of all that is available 2 of my favorites are Adobe Audition and Sony Vegas. They are, however, not very MIDI practical. For MIDI based music I might recommend Cakewalk or Cuebase products since they integrate well with MIDI and multi-track recording?

Sounds like you're there, man?
Ms. Remy Ann David

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 04/05/2006 - 18:03
I wont be doing vocals, i dont sing. Also as of now i dont have a midi keyboard so that wont be a problem either. Ill just be micing my piano. Eventually i want a keyboard, but money is always an issue when i want a bass, recording setup, and a keyboard. Plus that new mac :)
would something like that work? How would I plug it into my computer though? It has a 1/4th output...

RemyRAD Wed, 04/05/2006 - 18:40
If you were to purchase that particular microphone preamplifier, all you would need is a Radio Shaft 1/4" to 1/8" adapter cord. Now that would be fine for mono but if you wanted to do stereo you would need 2 of those microphone preamplifier's or a dedicated stereo microphone preamplifier. A reasonable hardware compressor/limiter like a DBX or Alesis, Beringer style unit is also a wise investment. Again you would simply need a Radio Shaft adapter cord but in this instance you would want the 1/8" mini stereo to dual RCA and then the associated RCA to 1/4" plug adapters from the output of your microphone preamplifier's or compressor/limiters to the line input of your computers soundcard. To catch the output of your microphone preamplifier to your compressor/limiter would simply require a guitar like cable which is 1/4" to 1/4".

Let me know how things go?
Ms. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Wed, 04/05/2006 - 19:29
Only a microphone input? Are you talking about a laptop? It sounds like you are? If you are using a laptop might I suggest you invest in a low-cost stereo USB interface? That will have line inputs most likely on RCA jacks and give you a much, much better sound! It's a worthy investment that won't set you back much. And yes, if you feed a line input into a microphone input it will sound like dog doodoo and I don't recommend it.

Doglike broad
Ms. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Wed, 04/05/2006 - 21:07
I'm not sure if Radio Shaft has those USB audio interfaces but I have seen those at Circuit City and Best Buy but you would do better by going to your local Guitar Center or other music store.

A stereo microphone preamplifier and possibly a compressor/limiter is all you need to get started with a quality sound.

Quality is my first name