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Need a new recording set up

Member for

21 years
Hi, I'm new to these forums and this is my first post here. I took a look around at alot of posts and threads which helped me out.

Now I been recording vocals now for 2-3 years or more and still have bad quality. I started out with a computer mic(I brought at Best Buy) and now have a Samson Q1U - Dynamic USB Microphone. I get alot of bad playback after I record so I'm gonna buy new equipment to change all of that.

I'm looking into getting a interface(M-Audio Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI I heard is very good), a new mic(Shure, Audio-Technica, and MXL are some I'm looking at), a pop screen(Don't know any good ones), monitors(Mackie is a good brand name recommended to me), headphones(The ones I got right now are bad so any recommended to me would be appeciated), and a good recording software(I used to have Cakewalk Music Creator LE it stopped working for me so I'm looking to buy SONAR 7 Producer Edition or Logic Pro maybe).

Is there anything else I'm missing and the ones I added are they any good?

Sorry I'm still new to recording even after years of trying to get better. I really have a passion for music and want to move on to better quality. I would be more then grateful for any advice/help on my new set up. My budget is low but I'm trying to spread it out so I can afford to get better equipment.


Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Sun, 10/12/2008 - 19:38
That USB microphone is adequate for making good recordings. If you're getting bad results, you're going to get the same kind of bad results with other equipment blah blah. Understanding how to set your levels will provide you with much better recordings from that same microphone.

Look, all of these companies use the same chips internally. Nothing is proprietary. Everything is made in Taiwan. USB microphones are very handy for bedroom control rooms as one doesn't need to screw around with anything except the computers mixer for proper recording levels to your software. Now if you'd like to ask some other questions on how to properly use your equipment to obtain better results, ask away. Otherwise you will continue to make the same mistakes with different equipment and blame it on the equipment like most beginners do. If you want advice on what equipment to buy, DON'T BUY JUNK! Which means generally, there's a reason why it's such a bargain.

Just remember, it's not what you've got but what you do with it.
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

14 years 2 months

Space Sun, 10/12/2008 - 19:53
"My budget is low but I'm trying to spread it out so I can afford to get better equipment."

There are some free recording softwares available that would be a better place to start. You may even get software with the purchase of an audio interface. There again, why Cakewalk Music Creator LE stopped working is anyones guess, but may be something worth looking back into. I bring this up because a limited budget will have you spending dollars in too many areas. Don't worry about the software, yet.

Better equipment costs money and usually does not have a usb cable attached to it. But, for the setup with one person doing one track at the time it can be a place to start.

There are several qualified persons that, hopefully, will post here with valuable information to help you in this.

But think about the software. Don't go out and purchase something just because it looks sexy. Gotta take sex out of gear acquisition and keep it where it belongs.

On commercials ;)

Didn't see your post Ms. Remy, didn't mean to step on ya.

Member for

13 years 9 months

Codemonkey Sun, 10/12/2008 - 20:21
"Gotta take sex out of gear acquisition and keep it where it belongs.
On commercials"

Don't you mean, in bed?*
*dependant on experimentation level.

For software, Kristal should get the job done, it is far from ideal or fully featured but it'll get you on the right path.
Failing that, Reaper is cheap and has full audio features, not sure on the MIDI front if you want to get into VSTi's or MIDI editing etc.

Member for

21 years

Member Mon, 10/13/2008 - 16:19
Thank you RemyRAD, Space, and Codemonkey for your replies.

I understand I have to know how to mix better to get the quality I want. That's why I want a better recording software to be able to have that ability.

Also I want a condenser mic and put my dynamic one to the side for now. I want to experiment a bit with new mics and see what is better for me. Nothing too expensive for now I need something to suit the level of experience I have.

Here's one question I have, I have this one mic stand and I move it everywhere in my room. To find the best place to record is difficult for me because it's not adustable. I need a better one where it can adust up and down and have a better angle. What would you suggest for that?

Member for

13 years 9 months

Codemonkey Mon, 10/13/2008 - 18:14
Well if you just want to test mixing skills, [[url=http://[/URL]="…"]Kristal[/]="…"]Kristal[/] will do.
It's free unless you use it for commercial purposes.

With some VSTs (I know a few that help) you should be able to do everything except automation and MIDI without buying anything.
But if you get Cubase or something when you buy an audio interface, don't hesitate to use it.

My best advice for software is to record some guitar or whatever, then mess around with settings and listen to what happens.

Member for

14 years 2 months

Space Mon, 10/13/2008 - 18:25
"I understand I have to know how to mix better to get the quality I want. That's why I want a better recording software to be able to have that ability. "

I can only speak for me, so I will ;) I have an external board, Sonar, Tracktion and several other recording software packages AND a Korg 16D. It's like the cockpit of a plane in here, knobs and faders and buttons all over!!! All the tactile and graphic feel you may need.

It hasn't made my mixing any better to have one or the other. Even the combination of all hasn't really helped in improving what I mix. For all I know it could be hurting.

I think time and a grinding wheel are required :)

It is your cash and you can do with as you see fit. I'm just saying that the knob doesn't make the man.

If it did, Ms. Remy would be addressed differently.