Where to start

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by laragail, Jul 6, 2007.

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  1. laragail

    laragail Guest

    Hi -
    I'd like to start recording some guitar, drum and vocals for myself at home, for fun.

    The problem is I just don't really know where to start. I'd like to just use my computer. I have a sound blaster audiology sound card that is a couple years old. I'm thinking that I would probably have to get a new sound card, I just don't know what to look for. As far as software goes, price is not really a consideration, I'm just looking for a good program for a beginner to learn on.

    I want to be able to plug a mic and and guitar straight into my computer, and as far as drums go -- I really have no idea how to record those.

    Sorry the vague questions--- really any input, advice, or links anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated.

  2. casper

    casper Guest

    You are right you need a different interface. The audigy is really not for pro audio. I would look towards an all in one audio interface such as a Presonus Firebox. The Firebox is cool because you get two mic pre chanels, two instrument inputs, MIDI I/O to connect a keyboard/contoller, and Cubase LE recording software. This package gives you all that you need to start basic recording you. All you need is a firewire interface (IEEE 1394). If you don't have it you can add a PCi firewire adapter. Other audio interfaces can be found from Maudio, EmU, Focusrite... Also, look at this guide:


    It is packed with information on the whole digital recording subject.

    To do drums and keyboards Maudio Axiom is a good keyboard controller. It has touch senitive finger pads for the drums and the keyboard to trigger "soft synths". You can plug it in though USB or a MIDI port. Essentially you use this device to trigger Synthisizers, drums from the PC. I believe Korg has somthing similar. If you don't need the keyboard they have drum controllers with either finger pads or large pads you trigger with drum sticks. If you always just trigger drums from a MIDI keyboard. You just sacrafice some of the control. I f you don't need custom beats you can always use the pre-programed drum loops and patterns.

    If you have a mic then you can start recording. If not, a Shure SM57 is a good first mic. You can mic a guitar amp with it or use it for vocals. A step up is a condensor mic which requires 48V phantom power. The Phantom power is supplied from the audio interface. Thats something you want to make sure that the interface has.

    For the guitar you have a choice to mic the amp or plug the guitar straight into the high impedence input of the audio interface. You can use software Amp simulators such as Amplitude to simulate various guitar amps and cabinets. You can also add effects (VST).

    To hear what you are recording pickup a set of headphones. Sennheiser HD-280 are reliable phones. To make mixing final mixes easier you can pickup some near field monitors but not necessary right of the bat. You can still mix by auditioning your mixes on different audio systems to make sure it sounds good.

    To recap the essentials:

    1. Audio Interface with preamp, midi I/O,and software
    2. Mic
    3. Headphones
    4. Keyboard/conroller (optional)

    Make sure to get any cables you need (Inst, XLR, Firewire, Midi...)

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