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Old 21st January 2011, 04:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Basic recording equipment?

I'm looking to set up some recording equipment at home, something simple, not too expensive but able to provide me with a better sound than a $15 mic. I work with vocals and a classical nylon guitar, with a budget of about $100 - $150. Any recommendations?

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Old 21st January 2011, 05:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Basic recording equipment?

Buy an unidirectional mic, sound quality will be better since it will only records sound from one direction(less ambient sound). But since you will probably be playing your guitar while singing... you will need 2 of them to get the best results.

Decent ones probably cost about 60-100 bucks... + you will need the mic stands which is probably about 10-15 bucks... It's abit out of your budget but it will be pretty worth the investment ;D I personally recommend Samson mics... Oh you might want to buy the mic pop screen as well... but its around 20-30 bucks... and i think your budget not enough =/

Oh btw you can find unidirectional mics in music shops like swee lee etc ;D

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Old 21st January 2011, 05:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Basic recording equipment?

Originally Posted by xXHolyknightXx View Post
Buy an unidirectional mic, sound quality will be better since it will only records sound from one direction(less ambient sound). But since you will probably be playing your guitar while singing... you will need 2 of them to get the best results.

Decent ones probably cost about 70-100 bucks... + you will need the mic stands which is probably about 10-15 bucks... It's abit out of your budget but it will be pretty worth the investment ;D I personally recommend Samson mics...

Oh btw you can find unidirectional mics in music shops like swee lee etc ;D
What he said, except for going to Swee Lee. Not many visit this company due to the insane prices over the last few years as compared to others down at Peninsula Plaza.

If you want the best budgets and quality goods, try ProGuitarShop.com Hung Brothers Electrical Trading, facing the escalators, 3rd floor of Sim Lim. I bought almost all my studio equipments from that one place, reliable warranty.

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Old 22nd January 2011, 09:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Basic recording equipment?

I went down to the place at sim lim today, they're selling a CAD U37 USB mic for $120. I'm unwilling to get an audio interface thus far, since the interface alone would be way out of my budget.

When it comes to USB mics, is the cad u37 the way to go? I've heard it isn't too bad for vocal recording, but I haven't found anything on how it handles instruments.

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Old 22nd January 2011, 09:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Basic recording equipment?

Originally Posted by xXHolyknightXx View Post
Buy an unidirectional mic, sound quality will be better since it will only records sound from one direction(less ambient sound).
Disagreed. I've worked with many mics before, but I find that condenser microphones give you a better sound quality. True - it may pick up the ambient sound if you're not careful. However, the quality is far superior than dynamic microphones.

I'm currently using a Audio Technica AT2020 in my studio at the moment. Excellent microphone, bang-for-the-buck. If you're serious about recording good vocals, the AT2020 is well worth the money. It comes in both an XLR version and a USB version as well.

Both should cost about the same, but I personally recommend heading to Woodworkz or City Music to purchase the microphone. The prices are cheaper there, and when I got mine from Woodworkz, it costs about $160

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Old 22nd January 2011, 09:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Basic recording equipment?

That and a pop filter for vocal recordings, to prevent any clicks and pops from speech. You seemed to pick up a good brand but, it's very expensive unless you use it very often enough.

You can however, consider getting a clip-on omni-directional condenser microphone for guitars. It's about 1/4 your budget and does the job right for a period of time.

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Old 22nd January 2011, 10:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Basic recording equipment?

Originally Posted by mr_lite View Post
That and a pop filter for vocal recordings, to prevent any clicks and pops from speech. You seemed to pick up a good brand but, it's very expensive unless you use it very often enough.
Not really... You can actually build your own!

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Old 22nd January 2011, 10:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Basic recording equipment?

Originally Posted by theliverevoluti View Post
Not really... You can actually build your own!
Eeiyeh, I remembered a dude trying this trick out, the problem was, he was labeled a pervert for buying pantyhose.

But anyway the filter really worked out good for this, now the only problem is to solve TS' microphone.

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Old 22nd January 2011, 11:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Basic recording equipment?

The guitar mic sounds like a fantastic idea, but I plan to also do vocals at the same time. Would a condenser mic serve that purpose well enough?

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Old 22nd January 2011, 11:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Basic recording equipment?

A condenser mic wouldn't be the problem, the only issue you have to think about is the ideal position you'd wanna sit in facing the microphone.

Personally, I'd use separate microphones and recording channels to ensure that I can monitor for any errors made during the record session, otherwise, erasing one part that had good music flow but ruined by the vocalist can be very, very frustrating at times.

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Old 22nd January 2011, 11:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Basic recording equipment?

Originally Posted by imeddyeddy View Post
The guitar mic sounds like a fantastic idea, but I plan to also do vocals at the same time. Would a condenser mic serve that purpose well enough?
A good condenser microphone would be good enough to record both instruments and vocals. I use the AT2020 to record acoustic guitars and it comes out quite fine, just that ever since my friend installed a pickup into his acoustic, we've been plugging it into the pre-amp instead

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Old 8th February 2011, 10:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Basic recording equipment?

Old method is to record using a recorder like Olympus (clear) which can save the file as mp3 then transfer to the PC and use audacity (freeware) to edit. Should be within ur budget.

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Old 26th February 2011, 02:38 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Basic recording equipment?

I used Audio Technica AT2020 and mbox Fast Track Pro for my recordings..I shipped them from Amazon.com to a friend in USA and got another friend to bring back. Recording stuff are so much cheaper there..

Cables, my friend helped me make using Canare cables (made in japan) bought at Sim Lim area. cheap cheap...

Oh, and i just use garageband for sound recording... Mac is AWESOME!)

All in all, it's a decent setup. I guess you could get the much-raved budget condenser mic, Samson if budget is really tight...

It is much better to record using the condenser mic than the line-in cable by the way!

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Old 4th March 2011, 09:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Basic recording equipment?

Was gonna suggest ZoomH4n for you but it's out of your budget. It's a good piece of equipment though, especially for people like me who are always on the go.

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Old 22nd March 2011, 11:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Basic recording equipment?

The last post was listed quite sometime back, but if anyone is still looking here, here's my take on the matter.

1) If you are going to spend 100-150 on a multipurpose condenser, most likely you are going to find yourself wanting something way better, in the 250-300 range. Granted, that's like double your initial budget, but it's definitely more value for money, performance to price wise.

Some mics to consider:
AT2020 USB.- This version cost almost twice the regular XLR model, but if the XLR version is anything to go by, it's gonna give you a good run for your money. Great on guitars

Any of the Blue USB mics. The Blue Microphone: Snowball/Yeti for example. BLUE makes some really sick sounding condensers, so I expect the USB ones to hold their own as well.

Alternatively, you could get a USB mic preamp, such as the Blue Microphone: Icicle and pair with up with any dynamic/condenser mic of your choice.

Personally, if I really had to, I'd go for the last option, as it will leave you with the option to upgrade to an audio interface, since the mic is not a usb one per-say, but a usb-adapted analog mic.

Last, and the most costly method (which is not what you want) is to go with an audio interface straight up. Some audio interfaces are not as expensive as you think they are, and given their small build, they are really portable. With just a couple of bucks more than what you are willing to spend, you could get a two channel interface, with phantom power!
(Check out the likes of Luthermusic.com or head down to sim lim. Though, make sure you know your stuff before you head to sim lim, or they will look to squeeze the most out of you without you knowing it. There are nice people there as well though )

The only thing is, that would leave you with nothing left for a mic. However, with the bundled software most interfaces comes with nowadays, it's still worth the money. So S$300 bucks, give or take, you could get a decent way in to recording if you know where to get you gear!

Once again, IMHO, usb mics are terrible because they offer almost no way up the recording ladder, and are the lowest (and not nessasry most value for money) in the recording gear hierarchy after stock soundcards and Radio-Shack grade mics.

All these chunk of text is all in my own humble opinion, and if anyone else has different view, let me/everyone else know! After all, that's how we improve right?

Cheers!!

P.S I've some audio gear I'm looking to let go of. Pm me if your interested.

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