New to Microphones

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Quacktoon, May 24, 2010.

  1. Quacktoon

    Quacktoon Guest

    Hello. I've been using Audacity for about two years but I only have a cheap microphone. I've been looking to upgrade to a decent microphone (but not professional) so that I can record more instruments. I've been looking at the Samson C03U, so would that be a decent microphone to record a variety of instruments or is it only for podcasts? I'm running Windows Vista if that helps. Thank you very much!
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Audacity is a good all-around freebie program. But here's the deal. Built-in computer sound interfaces are good enough for your personal enjoyment. Microphone inputs good enough to chat with your friends. Audio outputs on par with portable CD players, MP3 players, i-Pods. But if you want to do some better personal recording you should invest in a few items. An inexpensive computer USB audio interface is your first stop. In the low-cost versions, and design and performance are about equal. Your audio interface must have at least one if not 2 XLR microphone input connectors along with 1/4 inch unbalanced equipment and musical instrument inputs. The beautiful part about purchasing one of these inexpensive units is that they frequently come with some kind of " limited edition" software package such as Cuebase, which is a heck of a MIDI & multi-track recording software.

    Depending upon what kind of stuff you want to record, cheap microphones are still important essentials. Such as the Shure SM57/58, never be without at least one. $100 US each. Sure, you can also find some funky cool looking Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone from China or Russia for half of that. And you should probably have at least one of those. Personally, I try to purchase all of my microphones in pairs. If you are going to do any kind of stereo recording, it's always nice to have a matching pair. Not necessarily a matched pair. Purchase any modern, mass-produced microphone today and you basically get a matched pair. It was different 30 years ago. Tubes don't make anything sound better. They just impart a mushier musically oriented distortion. Cheap tube circuits that don't utilize high voltage plates are not worth wasting your money on. I prefer good old-fashioned transistor circuits as opposed to integrated circuit circuits. But I use both. Frequently one does not get a choice today with inexpensive affordable equipment. Thankfully, specifications even on the least expensive equipment far outperforms anything we used to use just a few years ago. This is all thanks to better IC chip technologies.

    I tell everybody they can make beautiful recordings with cheap equipment if you learn your equipment well to begin with. Equipment doesn't make bad recordings, you do. So don't.

    Isn't that simple?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. mrmelody

    mrmelody Active Member

    Sep 16, 2009
    SE Ohio
    Ditto what Remy said.
    Once you get a USB audio interface, you will have a lot of flexibility with your choices of mics.

    Well put Remy!
  4. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    The more I do this, the more I realize I belong to the school of Mx. Remy.
    As someone who's run the gamut of modern recording gear, I must say she's spot on, as usual.

    The only other thing to consider is if you might want to record 3-8 channels in the future.
    In that case, a quality firewire interface is in order. Its preamps and ADC will be on par or better than a USB interface, typically.

    But if two channels is your MO, then follow her advice to the letter!
  5. Quacktoon

    Quacktoon Guest

    Thank you very much for all of your input. I will look into what you said.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Basic reminders are USB 1.1 is adequate for up to 4 simultaneous record channels. Direct pass-through monitoring of input source eliminates input latency. FireWire devices can accommodate 16 to 24 simultaneous record channels. Buffers should be low while recording and high while mixing.

    Why couldn't they make these blasted connectors like XLR's??!!
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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