Recording Uber Noooooob

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by fenderbender4, Jul 19, 2006.


  1. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

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    I really want to be able to record stuff from my guitar and vocals (nothing else really) in order to better understand how to layer parts and harmonize guitars. I don't know anything about everything when it comes to recording. I know I need a mic and mic cable (shure SM57 from what I gather). I have a MAC G4 powerbook which I'll probably use (maybe add a hard drive). What do I need exactly? And what equipment do you recommend (nothing too expensive, but I also want good sound quality). The only other thing I know is Mackie Mixers are nice. That's it. Please help if you can.



    PS What is Phantom Power? (Very layman's terms please).

    Thanks.
     
  2. VSpaceBoy

    VSpaceBoy Member

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  3. gassyndrome

    gassyndrome Member

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    Something like an MBox or Mackie's little setup will be sweet for what you want to do, and also be of use if you decide to go further with recording - they have couple of switchable inputs (mic/line/instrument), a software package, etc. You can get a DVD sent to you for free from www.digidesign.com about pro tools le setups - at least you could when I bought mine. :)

    Phantom power supplies power to your mics, if they need it. The MBox will do that. :AOK
     
  4. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks, that studio handbook is awesome. :AOK
     
  5. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    Are you going to be using GarageBand on your Mac? If so, stop in at the Apple Discussions GarageBand forum (the one for the version of GB you have, 1, 2 or 3). A lot of good GB specific info there. And one of the guys there has a good FAQ page http://www.thehangtime.com/gb/gbfaq2.html

    If you get an SM57 mic, it does not use Phantom Power. Phantom power is for use with condenser mics, which require it. If you are looking at maybe getting more serious about the quality of your vocal recordings down the road, you might want to look for an interface that does have phantom power, even if you won't be using it at first. Then adding a condenser mic will not find you having to also get a new interface.

    The Presonus brand has been widely recommended in that forum. I am using a Tascam US-122, and I find it to be completely satisfactory, but I wish I had gone with a firewire instead.

    You may also find the hard drive on your powerbook is not fast enough for recording, especially if you get beyond a few tracks. A 7200 RPM drive is best for recording, and most PBs ship with a 5400 RPM drive. An external firewfire drive for putting your songs on will help a lot if you start getting disk too slow error messages.

    If you are NOT going to use GarageBand, the FAQ will still have a lot of useful info.
     
  6. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

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    I have read a little of the stuiodproject handbook, but I have one question. If I get an Mbox with protools LE, should I still get a Mixer? Can I even use one? What type should I look for if I can? Also, is the Mbox too limited?
     
  7. melondaoust

    melondaoust Member

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    I use an MBox without a mixer. Works fine for me.

    Though, there may some advantages, such as riding the gain while recording (rather than fidling with the MBox's knobs while recording), monitering and sound (especially in the mixer has really good pre's in it.)
     
  8. clayville

    clayville Member

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    I use an external firewire drive on a PowerBook G4. And I also use a mixer with my mBox and PT LE... mainly like a sort of switching box to keep my levels consistant from various devices and from session to session. The biggest benefit though is to tame the spaghetti of wires that I'd otherwise have to mess with all the time, rather than to enhance the overall sound.

    I just have one of these $40 things:
    http://www.behringer.com/UB802/index.cfm?lang=ENG

    Right now it has two mics, the audio outs of a PodXT, a CD player, my monitors, a Womanizer direct recording pedal and an old drum machine plugged into it. A simple twist of the knobs and I'm good to go with any of that. It also has phantom power built in. Pretty decent solution for a home/desktop setup.
     
  9. retro

    retro Member

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    The Mbox still uses USB and still version USB 1, I believe.

    For much less these days you can find a Firewire interface that is also not limited to using proprietary software. If you need to have Pro-Tools and are on a budget you might be better served if on a budget by looking at M-Audio M Powered interfaces.

    In simple terms, Capacitor or Condenser mic's need an external power source to operate. Generally 48V, DC for SS mic's. This remote external power source has come to be commonly known as Phantom Power.


    If you are really an uber noooob...doing what you are doing, asking questions and researching online is really the best first step. So you will have an idea of what to get for your needs and why.

    You didn't mention mixing so if you don't have a decent way of monitoring that may be something to consider and while there is nothing wrong with the venerable SM57 you may also be better served with a condenser mic instead. So another thing to consider perhaps.

    It depends on what your needs are I think if you really need a mixer. Generally if you are using a computer for recording and are just recording your vocals and guitar a two channel interface and software DAW is all you may want or need.
     
  10. Den

    Den Member

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    Here's a site I found very helpful when I was sorting through this stuff a few years back: http://www.tweakheadz.com/

    The good news is that there are more great options today ... but the bad news is it can be difficult to sort through them. You can find some relatively inexpensive recording interfaces with several mic pre's to record your guitar & vocals. These are often packaged with some lite version recording software that would work well to get you started. I've had good succes with the M-Audio stuff.
     
  11. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    Yes, Tweakheadz is cool.

    Hey Retro!
     
  12. retro

    retro Member

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    Hey Scott


    :JAM
     

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