Help A recording noob record some simple acoustic tracks

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Fender709, Sep 21, 2007.

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  1. Fender709

    Fender709 Guest

    hey guys, i know almost nothing about recording. All I need at the moment is a cheap (around $100) way to record voice, an acoustic guitar (with pickup), and maybe bongo drums onto my macintosh. I'm not looking for professional quality, just so that i can actually hear the music instead of buzz. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I already have a shure mic.
  2. duckshepherd

    duckshepherd Guest

    Hey dude, I was in your shoes a couple years ago. I knew nothing about recording, save for the goofy recordings I'd make on my computer using my computer mic. You say you've got a Shure mic, but I'm guessing it's a dynamic mic. What you need is a condenser mic, perfect for vocals and acoustic guitar.
    You have a mac? Samson makes a USB condenser microphone for $70. It's compatible with Macs, and it's USB, so it's all plug and record! No mixers, no pre-amps, all you need is the mic. Oh, and for recording software, I guess for mac they have something called garage band. I'm not familiar with that program since I use a PC, so I use a program called Audacity which is compatible with Mac as well. Audacity is an incredible recording program, and best of all, it's absolutely free! You can download it here:

    For the mic, is the place to go for Samson gear, they sell the CO1U mic, which is the USB mic I bought. It's a cardioid pattern condenser mic, which is what you want for recording vocals and acoustic guitar. Here's a link to it: I guess sweetwater is selling this mic in a package with cakewalk recording software now, so the price has jumped from $70 to $90.

    For some samples of what this mic is capable of, one of my acoustic demos was recorded using the CO1U in Audacity. Check out the song "All These Memories" on my page on Vox:

    Oh, and for that condenser mic, for vocals you'll need a pop filter to keep you're "P" sounds from hitting the mic. It's just a round screen thing you place in front of the mic.

    Hope that helps man!
  3. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Don't get a USB mic. Get a better interface with better preamps that don't "choke" the life out of the Shure you already have.

    Dynamic is fine. Condenser is fine. Kumba ya.
  4. hummel

    hummel Guest

    Dynamic mics need higher gain to record vocals and soft sounds than do condensers. The pres on lower end audio interfaces (in the under $400 range) often don't have the gain and quality to record softer sounds from dynamic mics.

    $100 is a very low budget. If that is your limit, and if quality isn't a big issue, then the suggested USB route would get you started. Once you get hooked, you'll end up replacing this with better equipment :).
  5. VonRocK

    VonRocK Active Member

    Sep 3, 2006
    Calgary, Alberta Canada
    I would highly recommend using Garageband, as it is an excellent program to that you already have. You will be up and running in no time. Go here and take the tutorial.


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