Author Topic: USB or mic with cheaper interface?  (Read 51440 times)

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Offline mike42

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #75 on: December 13, 2014, 02:49:58 am »
I think I said it earlier, but I'll say it again: I use the Scarlett 2i2, and I would recommend it. I believe I paid around $120 new on Amazon. It's normally $150 but it seems they have price drops to the $120 range every so often. It's a good interface, and it should last you a while.

Online Drubbing

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #76 on: December 13, 2014, 02:50:54 am »
Agree, damn we are trying to cover every possible aspect from cash outlay, to future proof, to audio quality, to stage vs home, AND let her make the decision from a rather complicated but narrow list that works as well as it can under all those criteria.

That's not exactly an easy task.


Well you lost her, she said that. You can't expect to teach everything you've learn in one hit. As for future proofing, that's really down to how someone finds the stuff they have. I dowlonaded a number of recommended DAWs a while back and most were too complicated to do even the simplest things. Probably because I wanted simple, and everyone recommended what they liked best….

Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #77 on: December 13, 2014, 02:53:30 am »
http://www.ebay.com/itm/STEINBERG-UR-22-Compact-USB-2x2-Computer-Recording-Interface-UR22-Retail-Box-/131368669180?pt=US_Computer_Recording_Interfaces&hash=item1e962ecffc

That's the cheapest I see with free shipping. from a high volume seller that is a music shop.

Whatever you do with it, that and SM58 is a decent setup. There is no reason you can't make a good recording with that. Those mic pres -should- help that mic out too.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #78 on: December 13, 2014, 02:56:07 am »
Well you lost her, she said that. You can't expect to teach everything you've learn in one hit. As for future proofing, that's really down to how someone finds the stuff they have. I dowlonaded a number of recommended DAWs a while back and most were too complicated to do even the simplest things. Probably because I wanted simple, and everyone recommended what they liked best….

No we did not lose her. She simply didn't understand one post, which makes no difference.
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #79 on: December 13, 2014, 02:59:41 am »
Oh, one more question:  The stuff I'm looking at right now would be a mic, stand, mic cable, and an interface.  Is there anything else I will need?  Any other cables or anything?  I want to make sure I'm not missing anything when I'm ready to order.
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #80 on: December 13, 2014, 03:01:27 am »
Oh, one more question:  The stuff I'm looking at right now would be a mic, stand, mic cable, and an interface.  Is there anything else I will need?  Any other cables or anything?  I want to make sure I'm not missing anything when I'm ready to order.

You will need a way to monitor your recordings. A good set of headphones will work until you can save up for some studio monitors. And then you will continue to use the headphones for tracking. Used might be your best option for decent affordable headphones.
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Offline mike42

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #81 on: December 13, 2014, 03:03:42 am »
Pop filter. There are a bunch of DIY options available, but you should be able to get a pretty decent one for $20 or so.

Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #82 on: December 13, 2014, 03:05:33 am »
Pop filter. There are a bunch of DIY options available, but you should be able to get a pretty decent one for $20 or so.

FWIW, if you've decided to go with an SM58, a pop filter screen might not be necessary as there's a pop filter built in.
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Offline mike42

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #83 on: December 13, 2014, 03:07:32 am »
Good point, Scooter. I didn't think of that. With the SM58 a pop filter shouldn't be needed, but if she decides on a condenser mic then it'll be important.

Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #84 on: December 13, 2014, 03:11:35 am »
Oh, one more question:  The stuff I'm looking at right now would be a mic, stand, mic cable, and an interface.  Is there anything else I will need?  Any other cables or anything?  I want to make sure I'm not missing anything when I'm ready to order.

I think you have pretty much run your budget out. Probably won't need a pop filter with that mic, it's built in.

IF you do, save yourself some money and just get a wire coat hanger. Shape it to a loop, and stretch a pair of panty hose over it. then just cut them and tie them off. Same thing and a whole lot cheaper.

Or..  a crochet loop instead of wire.

Directions on Youtube.

that might come in handy if you do the unscrew the head trick like scooter mentioned back a ways.


Oh.... btw... remember the girl doing the mic test.... take a look at her background... see how it hangs a little cleaner and is not over lit? Actually she over exposes it a bit up top... but it's still a pretty even mass altogether.

When you start looking for headphones this is a good set.
AT-M50 - they are somewhere around $100. They are very popular for recording.

IF you intend to listen to what you play through those earbuds you were using... you will need a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter or adapter cable.

The front of that interface uses a 1/4" Stereo jack and you have a 1/8" stereo plug on the end of the cable.

Another thing you can do is run the outputs on back which are also 1/4" to your Stereo if you have one. Then you need 1/4" to RCA plug... via cable or adapter. Some of that stuff can add up $5 here, $10 there.... if you buy this stuff and have a stereo or boombox or whatever, I might have some old cables and adapters around here I could send you. I got rid of a lot of that stuff but probably have enough left over for what you might need.... again thrift shops are good for that stuff too. You get a cable for $1 or go to radio shack and pay $7.50 for it. Don't be fooled by the fancy plugs and names. Unless the dog chewed it up it's probably fine.

« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 03:33:01 am by TB-AV »
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #85 on: December 13, 2014, 03:21:02 am »
I have seen some videos on YouTube on making your own pop filter, as well as making a diy vocal booth and such.  I'll go back and watch some of those and see what I can come up with. 
Frontwoman of alt-rock band Lighting Matches - debut album "Against The Flame"
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Offline mike42

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #86 on: December 13, 2014, 03:28:38 am »
If you choose to remove the SM58 pop filter and make your own DIY version, just make sure it looks professional. The reason I suggested buying one is that there's been a lot of talk about recording professional looking videos and it seems like a coat hanger with pantyhose wrapped around it might take away from the professionalism of the final product.

But since you are going with the SM58 I wouldn't worry about the pop filter at the moment. I posted my comment before I realized that was the mic you were going to buy.

Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #87 on: December 13, 2014, 03:37:04 am »
The reason I suggested buying one is that there's been a lot of talk about recording professional looking videos and it seems like a coat hanger with pantyhose wrapped around it might take away from the professionalism of the final product.


Oh yeah! .. .don't put the panty hose deal in the video.. it's kind of a shame the mic and stand have to be in the video... but no easy way around that.

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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #88 on: December 13, 2014, 03:42:20 am »
By the way... what exactly are your plans for actually listening to what comes out of the interface?
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #89 on: December 13, 2014, 03:51:17 am »
Well... right now I have pretty nice headphones.  Better than earbuds but certainly not the $100 noise-cancelling style.  Music sounds pretty good through them (a heck of a lot nicer than through my earbuds) so I would imagine they'll work fine for now.  Are there special headphones for this stuff or is it just nicer ones?
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #90 on: December 13, 2014, 04:10:23 am »
Are there special headphones for this stuff or is it just nicer ones?

Both. When you mix, ideally you want to monitor on something that has good sensitivity and flat frequency response. Lots of consumer headphones hyped bass.

Unless you're in a noisy environment I'd recommend staying away from noise canceling headphones for tracking and mixing.

A good pair of closed back headphones should work fine. If you're already used to the way your headphones sound with other music, and the music sounds good on them, there's no reason you can't use them for tracking. And even though they might not be ideal for mixing, they can certainly be used until you get monitors.

You might want to find out what the impedance of your headphones is, and make sure they're compatible with the interface headphone output - but most interfaces will work with a variety of common headphone impedances.
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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #91 on: December 13, 2014, 03:04:05 pm »
Word of warning, the Scarlett appears to suffer from hot inputs. I'm not sure if all of the units suffer from it, but a friend recently acquired an 18i20 and it makes the instrument inputs useless. Also, the drivers for Mac are reported to be buggy. These are not my words, I'm just playing reporter here.

I'm sure somebody can shed some light on this (excuse the pun).
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Offline Majik

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #92 on: December 13, 2014, 03:17:45 pm »
You have a couple options there. You could mic the amp with a 57, or you could record the guitar direct using the instrument input on your interface. The two will have very different sounds.

On that amp, perhaps not.

Bear in mind the actual amplifier and speakers/cabinet on the Line 6 amps are designed to be neutral, unlike a traditional guitar amp. All the tone is done using amp and cabinet modelling, so the output from the  recording output should be very similar to the output from the amp's own speaker.

Obviously, micing up the amp will introduce new colouration (due to the characteristics of the mic and the room itself, not to mention the positioning of the mic, etc.), but for this application such colouration is more likely to be detrimental than beneficial: if he likes a particular tone that the amp produces (to his ears) and wants to reproduce that in a recording as much as possible, that will be far easier with the record out into an interface on this type of amp.

IMO, amps like the Line 6 range are (in part) there to allow easy recording with good results without the hassle and expense of micing up.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Majik

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #93 on: December 13, 2014, 03:42:39 pm »
Not really - because a mic that would be ideal for recording would not be as ideal for live sound because of feedback issues. You could make the compromise on your recordings and select a 58 or Beta 58 for both. (the 58 would be good for live, but not ideal for recording.)

THIS!

You may want to consider getting a cheap stage mic and a portable field recorder, like one of the Zooms or the Boss BR-80, for general recording. Some of these (BR-80, Zoom H4N) even support an external mic and can be used as a USB recording interface. So you could plug something like the SM58 and record from this into a H4N or BR-80 either directly to the device's SD card or, plugged in via USB, into a computer.

Bear in mind these devices are relatively low resolution (typically 16-bit, 44.1kHz), but the quality from them is very good, and is totally adequate for Youtube use, and even for home recording.

(Google for reviews and even audio samples for these devices).

The BR-80 is, IMO the better of these two devices as it's a full standalone, portable multi-track recording system (including drum tracks and editing, onboard guitar and vocal fx and amp simulation) so you could record, mix, and edit without being near a PC, but it would break your budget to get this with the SM58 (total price around $350) although you could get the BR-80 first and add the external mic later when you can afford it, or get a cheaper mic.

The Zoom H4N plus mic would come in at around $250, although I don't think Guitar Center sells either this or the BR-80.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #94 on: December 13, 2014, 04:20:29 pm »
Word of warning, the Scarlett appears to suffer from hot inputs. I'm not sure if all of the units suffer from it, but a friend recently acquired an 18i20 and it makes the instrument inputs useless. Also, the drivers for Mac are reported to be buggy. These are not my words, I'm just playing reporter here.

I'm sure somebody can shed some light on this (excuse the pun).


Good to know.... I actually like that UR22 that Scooter mentioned. If I had to blindly choose one or the other I think now I would pick the Steinberg/Yamaha deal. I had never seen it before.

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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #95 on: December 13, 2014, 04:21:17 pm »
Thanks, Majik, I'll check it out!

I was searching GC and Amazon this morning and I came across this.  THe price is pretty good, I think, considering you get a lot more stuff with it.  But it's a condenser mic.  I think it comes with everything you need except for headphones, so I do wonder whether or not this would be good.  But I'm probably better off with a dynamic mic right now.

http://www.amazon.com/Focusrite-Scarlett-2i2-Interface-Recording/dp/B009DQF14C/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt

Otherwise, I also saw these interfaces.  Are any of these good?

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Tascam-US-1200-USB-Audio-Interface-110007473-i3593053.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Presonus-AudioBox-iTwo-2x2-USB-iPad-Recording-System-110316445-i3746431.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6-Pod-Studio-UX1-with-Pod-Farm-108419649-i1427097.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Presonus-AudioBox-USB-Limited-Edition-109564633-i3307494.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/TSoundPro-duet-BREAKOUT-Interface-485418-i1516020.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Roland-TRI-CAPTURE--USB-Audio-Interface-107763641-i1835617.gc

The Line 6 has the most good reviews.  I also saw a Yamaha with good reviews but I'm not sure if it works with my computer.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #96 on: December 13, 2014, 04:35:18 pm »
Taht Breakout Box is not what you want at all.

The rest - would work -
The Line6 has a lot of Amp and FX modeling... mainly for electric guitar players. If you want that sort of thing there are free amp models that will work with any DAW software.

The others are just variations on a theme.

So far the best quality that gets you a stage mic, gets you recording, stays on low budget, has good industry rep is the UR22 + SM58

Some of that other stuff you are looking at is out of your budget... or the gold one more $ because they painted it gold. Roland stuff is good but it's not mainstream with drivers and all that for your computer. I've had Roland, it's fine... All of this stuff is fine....

The mics in the first one... Not for stage. Plus nobody knows just what the mics are. You would have to look for reviews and hopefully from someone that didn't just buy one because they will tell you it's good after having spent the money.

I gave you link to that UR22 for $117 .. that's not a bad price at all.... but in reality ANY interface will work provided they make Mac drivers for it. It's just that some names and some products stand out and may have an edge.

Your dilemma is not what will work. It's what will work for recording and stage and be inexpensive and high quality..... that's a tall order.

It's old story of you can have it "fast, good , cheap". Pick 2.  Studio and Stage use different things... it's easier as Scooter pointed out to adapt Stage to Studio... the reverse is not true.
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #97 on: December 13, 2014, 05:04:55 pm »
I need to find out what kind of USB plugs I have - apparently that interface doesn't work on 3.0s.

If it doesn't work for my computer, what would be your second and third choices?



By the way - GC has a $20 off promo right now, which helps a little.
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Debut solo EP "Destination Sunday" (Rachel White)

Offline TB-AV

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #98 on: December 13, 2014, 05:19:04 pm »
What is a 3.0s

Aren't the USB ports on a Mac the same as PC?

Don't you a flat rectangle usb port about a 1/2" wide?
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: USB or mic with cheaper interface?
« Reply #99 on: December 13, 2014, 05:23:39 pm »
I have no idea what the difference is.  But apparently that one doesn't work on 3.0 USB ports, whatever that means. 
Frontwoman of alt-rock band Lighting Matches - debut album "Against The Flame"
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