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new equipment need advice

alright peeps

I'm new to the game and i want to make a home studio.
well more like a barrack studio since i'm in the army.

i always wondered how you could hook a mic up to a laptop and get good quality sound.

i knew in desktops you had the pci slots but since laptop dont have that i didnt know if it was possible.

i came up on this pcmcia for a lap top.
i just wanted to talk to someone that used one or knows how to work it.

can i just hook a mic right into and its ready to go?
one review on there says you can hook multi mics. but i yet only see two inputs.

and other question anyone know of some good qulity mics around this price range i have this one in mind but i want some owners feedback.


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RemyRAD Mon, 07/31/2006 - 17:11
First let me thank you for serving our country.

I'm going to assume that you have a fairly modern laptop? I would imagine you have at least a USB 2.0 port, maybe even a FireWire port? The PCMCIA cards are generally not even necessary anymore since so many wonderful products now offered USB 2.0 and FireWire connectivity. So if you're interested in using multiple microphones, directly into your computer, without the need for a mixer, then you'll probably want one of the FireWire devices since they all seem to offer more microphone input capabilities than I've seen in the USB 2.0 interfaces.

If you merely want to use only 2 microphones, companies like Samson, Blue, along with numerous others are now offering "USB 2.0 microphones". If you have more than a single USB connector on your laptop, you would then only need just a couple of microphones with USB connectivity built in for simple stereo recording directly into your laptop. No other external interface device needed. So in many ways that is much more portable and " Swiss Army knife like" than having to schlep around an additional interface and/or mixer.

The USB 2.0 microphones are quite inexpensive whereas your external interfaces that offer 8 balanced phantom power microphone inputs, generally start in the $600 range and then you have to buy the microphones and everything else.

For the lightest load and least equipment necessary, I would definitely recommend the USB microphones albeit they are not esoteric studio equipment, they are still much better than purchasing a crappy Radio Shaft condenser microphone and attempting to plug it into your computer's microphone inputs since those inputs really are rarely good enough for a multimedia headset. Than you already knew that.

Now all you have to do is modify your helmet so as to have a good pair of headphones built-in! Keep your head down and watch those IED's, if you're in the thick of it. I work for Voice Of America television and am quite honored to be serving my country anyway I can.
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member Mon, 07/31/2006 - 17:30
well thank you for your kindness

i do have a new laptop with usb 2.0 and firewire.
i seen those mics online but i didnt know how good they were.

do you know how good of a quality they provide.
i want something that i can record like a studio.

quality is very important to me. since we are trying to make a mix tape.

and yes ill be watching for those ied's there is no way i am going down like that.


RemyRAD Mon, 07/31/2006 - 21:40
The microphones are of an adequate quality for many general-purpose musical recordings. Of course we're not talking about a $1500 esoteric studio microphones but a lower end studio microphone. For the highest quality USB microphone, I would select the Blue " Snowball" over the Samson. But then it is about twice the price. The Samson's capsules and parts are made in China, by highly skilled and qualified slave children. The Blue's are made in Latvia and are of a higher caliber, plus the beer is much better there. I have found both microphones available through Musicians Friend for $159 and $79 respectively. They are of course both condenser microphones and as such, probably wouldn't be practical for you if your application is to record Rap, since they are difficult to hold onto when not on a stand.

If you want a handheld microphone, then I would recommend a Shure SM58 and one of the outboard USB interfaces that feature 2 microphone inputs and a couple of line inputs. At least with that system, you can use the microphone with other mixers and devices and service as a higher-quality audio interface than built into your laptop. It's a little more money since you'll find the microphone at about $100 and the USB interface around $200. With that outboard interface, you can certainly use different kinds of microphones and have the option of having quality instrument and line level inputs. That would be my personal choice.

Again it really comes down to what your application will be? Operatic, orchestral, gospel, Urban contemporary, evangelist? The outboard USB interface will offer the greatest versatility.

Thinking outside of that little box
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member Tue, 08/01/2006 - 06:03
well for my case right now i'm recording alot of my friends rap vocals.

and the mic we are using right now is nothing worth a damn.
it has alot of distortion and pop into. pretty much

i'm looking for something that will be high enough quality to make a good mix tape. and i have soldiers here that are willing to pay me if i help them record and edit.

soo i want something a little higher end. something that they can get their money worth and can notice the different between a worthless recording.
and something that can have potential.

the mic has to be a stationary mic since i feel they can recored better that way and not worry about if the mic is close enough or to far away with a handheld.

its not like they are just picking up the mic and freestyling into the recording. its actual songs.

RemyRAD Tue, 08/01/2006 - 07:30
So I have surmised correctly. And although you think you may need a fine studio condenser microphone, I still recommend for your application a handheld microphone that will allow your clients to be more animated and move easier for their self-expression. In which case, again, the Shure SM58dynamic/Beta 87condenser, with an additional foam pop filter will provide you with your best recording options and sound. Don't think for a moment that the microphones I have mentioned are not adequate to make quality, hit making recordings. They are absolutely wonderful recording microphones and are still some of my favorites for recording vocals. If they're good enough for Michael Jackson, Bono, Steven Tyler, we should be more than adequate for your purposes. With the outboard FireWire/USB audio interface, the M- Audio, Presonus offers several USB/FireWire connectivity with multiple microphone inputs and line inputs and outputs. That stuff coupled with the bundled software you may find included with the outboard audio adapters will give you the capability of recording first rate sounding recordings!

Just remember to keep everything locked up in your foot locker when you're not using it, otherwise it will disappear quickly.
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member Tue, 08/01/2006 - 10:04
well it sounds like that mic can do great thing then.
i personally havent had to many work with all this recording thing
soo i'm going to take your word for it.

all my friend do use shure mics i know that.

soo what call do i need to make this mic work.

maybe you can lead me to a package or something
sorry for all the questions.