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Thread: basic recording setup

  1. #1

    Default basic recording setup

    I need advice for a real basic setup to record myself playing music. My needs are simple. I want to be able to record myself playing 2 or 3 different instruments or parts. Not interested in complicated equipment or software. Just something simple to fool around with at home.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: basic recording setup

    Get something like a Blue Yeti and then use Audacity. Audacity is free, just make sure the Yeti is selected as the microphone you want to use in Audacity after you plug the Yeti in by USB.

    After you record one track, you can record over it to get a full multitrack recording by plugging headphones into the Yeti. That will let you hear yourself as you play back, and also the original tracks you have previously recorded. For $120ish, it's probably the easiest one-plug solution. It's about equal in quality to a microphone you could separately get for $30 or so, but then you need another $100 for the box to plug the microphone into, etc. The Yeti is just the Yeti, does everything you need.

    This is an even cheaper option, but like a lot of the other $30-50 USB condenser mics, you can't multitrack with it as easily as just plugging in to the Yeti.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076ZSR6BB...pd_rd_wg=dWqnE

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    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: basic recording setup

    Quote Originally Posted by ltlpicker View Post
    I need advice for a real basic setup to record myself playing music. My needs are simple. I want to be able to record myself playing 2 or 3 different instruments or parts. Not interested in complicated equipment or software. Just something simple to fool around with at home.
    This largely depends on the quality you want.

    You can record on your phone, and depending on the quality of the phone and the recording software on it, it can do a pretty good job. You'll probably want a visual click track, some phone recording software provides this (I use Audio Evolution Mobile Studio under Android).

    Then as mentioned, Audacity is a pretty well equipped piece of software for putting the pieces together.

    Both of these may be more complicated than you want though, especially Audacity.

    Short answer, recording may be easy, but there is no real simple way of putting multiple recordings together and getting them synchronized.

    I understand that if you're an Apple user, Garage Band is pretty well liked for casual recording.
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    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: basic recording setup

    Tascam DR-40X is a 4 channel recorder. The Sweetwater price is $199.99

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    Registered User Joey Anchors's Avatar
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    Default Re: basic recording setup

    This may not be for everyone, but it works for me as I’m horrible with multitrack digital recording.

    I record all my tracks on a Tascam Porta 2 (four track cassette deck machine), do the mix and then upload that ad one track into GarageBand.
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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: basic recording setup

    iZotope Spire Studio - super easy to use, has a built in mic and also phantom power for outboard mics, not complicated to use.
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  10. #7

    Default Re: basic recording setup

    It starts with you thinking, all I want to do is a simple two or three track recording. Cheap and simple. Kind of like, I'm going to get this cheap mandolin to fool around on. You are happy. Then somewhere sometime you record with a friend's modest Rode NT 1. Ohh, nice. Then that vocal seems kind of uneven and you think you'll need a bit of compression. Years of upgrades later you have a computer dedicated to recording, a stand alone interface, a thousand dollar mic, and another three or four for variety. By then you've bought a Collings or two. You are still recording three or four tracks.

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  12. #8

    Default Re: basic recording setup

    Thanks to all for the advice. Brick makes a very point as that is the natural trajectory for these kind of things. Just as a perfectly nice Km150 morphed into an mt2v and a Kimble mandola this too will probably spiral out of control.

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    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: basic recording setup

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  15. #10

    Default Re: basic recording setup

    Quote Originally Posted by ltlpicker View Post
    Thanks to all for the advice. Brick makes a very point as that is the natural trajectory for these kind of things. Just as a perfectly nice Km150 morphed into an mt2v and a Kimble mandola this too will probably spiral out of control.
    I don't know, I started with a USB mic and Audacity, and ended up with an AudioBox USB interface, Reaper, and some basic condenser mics. It's good enough that I've never felt the need to upgrade. My recordings are mostly received on non-audio equipment (computers, smartphones, tablets) so there's definitely a point of diminishing returns.
    Hopefully you will find your functional sweet spot with minimal frustration and cost as well.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: basic recording setup

    Marty: how did you deal with latency using Audacity?
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  18. #12

    Default Re: basic recording setup

    I use an iPhone. Smartphones probably do the same, The quality is great for the amount of work involved.
    I haven’t tried multiple tracks but it seems easy enough with garageband, it strips the vid off the audio for additional tracks.
    You make a film with melody on it using a hidden metronome as the click track. Then play harmonic instruments and add them.

    Tip: get a magnifying glass and look at the microphone hole on your phone, it’s probably full of muck. A needle gently scraped along the grill will remove a lot.
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  20. #13

    Default Re: basic recording setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Marty: how did you deal with latency using Audacity?
    After getting everything set up, I record a metronome for a few bars. Then in another track, I clap in time to the metronome. Then I zoom in and figure out how many ms the latency offset is. Then I can plug that value into Audacity's latency compensation and every track in the future with that setup will be spot on.

  21. #14

    Default Re: basic recording setup

    I find you will be happy with the equivalent recording gear quality of the instrument quality you have. The lucky among us like their Eastman 315 just fine, others thing of Ellis being their base level for happiness.

    Boats, motorcycles, fly fishing rods, golf clubs, it's the same concept. Just don't play that Ellis, and don't sing into a Neumann mic and a Manley mic pre and you'll be fine. Alas, I've done both.
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    Registered User stevo58's Avatar
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    Default Re: basic recording setup

    An alternative would be:
    1) Buy a Zoom H2N. This can be used as a recording interface, and does 44k/24bit (I think ... but pretty sure). You can also use this like a cassette recorder as a portable 1-button recorder.
    2) Spend sixty bucks on Reaper and learn how to use it.

    This isn't how I did it. My experience is very much like Br1cks - started with an Emu0404 in the family PC, with an Perception 120 mic.
    That became a Firepod, and an NT1
    That became a dedicated, low-noise PC, RME 802, a pair of C414s, an MC930, a pair of Haun MBC660, a cheap ribbon, and a DPA4099, and a boatload of plugins.
    That was over a period of about 15 years. I seem to be happy now. And a lot of books.

    But then, there's these new Austrian Audio mics, and a couple of external pres might be nice, and then an Octamic, just in case I ever want to track more than 4 mics at a time ...

    good luck. I hope you aren't the compulsive type; it gets expensive.

    I will say RME gear is expensive and worth every penny. It's miles beyond the other consumer-grade stuff.

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    Registered User bradlaird's Avatar
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    Default Re: basic recording setup

    I recently recorded two grasstalkradio.com podcasts on this very subject. You might enjoy them. They are #129 and #130.

    http://www.bradleylaird.com/podcast/...how-notes.html

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  25. #17

    Default Re: basic recording setup

    You need:
    - A USB audio interface with at least 2 XLR inputs (or 4)
    - 2 condenser mics (one large-diaphragm, one small/medium)
    - mic stands and XLR cables
    - CLOSED EAR headphones
    - A decent digital audio application

    Focusrite makes a decent interface:
    https://www.amazon.com/Focusrite-Sca...702002698&th=1

    My recommendation would be this one by Steinberg:
    https://www.steinberg.net/en/product...ding_pack.html

    amazon link:
    https://www.amazon.com/UR22-MKII-RP-.../dp/B01MSN3RUP

    The reason I recommend the Steinberg is that it's an integrated package -- the hardware and Cubase software make setting up and learning easier.

  26. #18
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: basic recording setup

    Quote Originally Posted by ltlpicker View Post
    I need advice for a real basic setup to record myself playing music. My needs are simple. I want to be able to record myself playing 2 or 3 different instruments or parts. Not interested in complicated equipment or software. Just something simple to fool around with at home.
    I first started with a Blue Snowball which worked amazingly well with Garage Band. My level of playing needs no more but as Bricks said you suddenly start finding more gear laying around and you look back and wonder, WTH, how did this happen!
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