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Blackdog131
06-29-2016, 05:09 PM
Hello all,

I need advice on a mic to allow me to record music onto my lap. Preferably USB port, and something up to, an under the $200 mark.

Any advice and personal expirence with recording without pick up would help me out a bunch.

Also any software etc!

Thanks people.

Ken Middleton
06-29-2016, 07:28 PM
Hello all,

I need advice on a mic to allow me to record music onto my lap. Preferably USB port, and something up to, an under the $200 mark.

Any advice and personal expirence with recording without pick up would help me out a bunch.

Also any software etc!

Thanks people.

I used to do this. I rarely do it now, but I use several of the Zoom sound recorders. They work with USB as well as stand alone units.

UkingViking
06-29-2016, 07:57 PM
You forgot to write what operating system your lab top has.

There are lots of threads about this subject.
For Mac the Apogee mic is always recommended, doesn't work with Windows though.
If you want stereo the Blue Yeti is often recommended. Beware that it is the size of a fore arm!

I have a Shure MV5 USB mic, that works with Mac, Windows, IOS (comes with a cable for this) and Android (you need to buy an "on the go" adapter-cable for this and use it with the included USB cable).
The sound quality is OK for my needs, but I understand that it is not quite professional quality, and I think you can get higher quality USB microphones.

If you google "best USB microphones", a few others will also come up. Audio Technica has a nice one, I think it is near the top of your budget in price.

I think all the ones I suggested are within your price limit or close.

It is common knowledge that you can get better quality if you buy a USB interface that can power a normal microphone. These are not very expensive, and you can probably do it within your budget. It probably depends how big a setup you want lying around.

For software I use Audacity with Windows, which is free and easy. A lot of Mac users use GarageBand.
You can also buy some software with more functions, but you don't need them to get started.
For android Audio Evolution is pretty nifty, and not too expensive. Be aware that they charge extra not to disable the external mic, so you will need to pay twice what it says in Google play.

kohanmike
06-29-2016, 08:36 PM
Audacity is also available for Macintosh, and if I'm not mistaken, you can record audio with QuickTime Player that comes with Mac OS.

Mivo
06-29-2016, 09:04 PM
Using a laptop means that you may also sometimes record the hum of the fans. A dedicated field recorder, like the Zoom (especially H5) or the Sony PCM-M10, or an iPhone/iPad (with external microphone) may get you cleaner recordings (as well as more flexibility as to the recording location).

Inksplosive AL
06-29-2016, 09:11 PM
Search iRig acoustic on these forums. You will find an inexpensive solution for USB recording. I used my Android tablet with a free sound recorder and iRig with great results.

UkingViking
06-29-2016, 09:32 PM
I don't know how the Shure Motiv mics are rated compared to the iRig solutions, but I like the fact that they can be used with BOTH laptops/ desktops AND phones/tablets.

In my experience it is hard to get enough gain on my iPhone, as though it doesn't have enough power.
But with a tablet I have it works just fine.

Croaky Keith
06-29-2016, 10:02 PM
As far as I know all mics benefit from a pre amp, so a USB mic will use a software pre amp like that built into Audacity.

I am using a Samson mic, about 40, recording with my built in webcam, using Linux & Guvcview, but the sound level is quite low.

I'm thinking of just recording sound only via Audacity, which has a pre amp, & mixing it in a video editor, but it will be a bit of a hassle - so haven't got around to trying it yet.

Some people use a clip on mic.
Some have tried clip on pick ups, (but they tend to amplify your hand movements as well).

Tootler
06-29-2016, 10:02 PM
I use a Tascam DP006. It's a four track recorder and very easy to use. It has pretty good built in mics and I mostly use them but there are also two 6mm jack external inputs

You can convert the files to WAV for processing in a PC regardless of which operating system you use. I use Audacity in Linux for further processing on my PC.

The advantage of any stand alone recorder is you can switch off your PC while recording and eliminate fan noise and also they are not dependant on a specific operating system.

Booli
06-30-2016, 12:54 AM
Hello all,

I need advice on a mic to allow me to record music onto my lap. Preferably USB port, and something up to, an under the $200 mark.

Any advice and personal expirence with recording without pick up would help me out a bunch.

Also any software etc!

Thanks people.

We just hashed this out in painstaking detail, across 93 posts of discussion, over the past month or so, right here:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?120478-I-d-like-to-buy-a-mic/

photoshooter
06-30-2016, 01:06 AM
Focusrite Scarlett Solo - usb audio interface/preamp under $100
Behringer XM8500 microphone - $20
XLR microphone cable - under $10

-or-

Blue Yeti USB Microphone - about $130

-or-

Zoom H2N Handy Recorder - about $160

I recently started a thread here (referenced by Booli in the previous post) and got a lot of feedback which included these suggestions among others. I researched all of the suggestions and these are some viable options in your price range. It's hard to make direct comparisons because each of these solutions will satisfy your needs differently.

I'm currently using a Scarlett unit (2i2) with the Behringer mic and it's far more than sufficient for my purposes. I went with the 2i2 unit because it has 2 inputs. This allows me to plug in a uke and a mic and record both simultaneously. The 2i2 unit is still in your price range at about $150 or less.

The Blue Yeti always gets rave reviews. It's a simple solution and well within your price range. The Apogee usb mic also gets rave reviews but is slightly out of your price range at $230.

The Zoom can be used as a standalone mic or plugged into usb. I'm still researching the Zoom. Although I already purchased a mic I still see the Zoom as a very useful tool (translation: I'm looking for a reason to buy one).

Ultimately it depends on your specific needs and intentions. I went with an audio interface because I intend to expand my recording tools later. If all I wanted was a simple solution and had no intention of assembling a "home studio toolbox" then the Yeti and Zoom would have been more appealing. If there's room in your budget you may also want to pick up some headphones.

Griffis
06-30-2016, 04:25 AM
I used to do this. I rarely do it now, but I use several of the Zoom sound recorders. They work with USB as well as stand alone units.

I have used various Zoom and Tascam digital recorders, and the ones I have had have had wonderful built-in mics that do pretty stellar open-air recordings. In my experience with these, the recordings tend to sound higher quality to my ears than when I try to use a mic.

I know this doesn't help much if you are trying to go direct into your computer's soundboard via USB-equipped mic.

I have tried that method but abandoned it because I ran into lagging problems.

To tell the truth, I have a collection of old Walkman-style hand-held tape recorders as well as the larger desk-type tape recorders and I will frequently do quick scratch tracks just recorded to cassette through open air and I then transform those into mp3s with very minimal editing through a very basic program I have.

I get a little more room noise and hiss this way, but I've actually wound up with a few recordings that sound pretty darned good.

cml
06-30-2016, 04:37 AM
We have a pretty long thread going on this subject here:
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?120478-I-d-like-to-buy-a-mic

cml
06-30-2016, 04:41 AM
Focusrite Scarlett Solo - usb audio interface/preamp under $100
Behringer XM8500 microphone - $20
XLR microphone cable - under $10


Quite similar to my setup which is:
A Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, just as you because I wanted the two inputs (but the 2i1 has two inputs as well, just one mic/generic and one instrument whereas the 2i2 has two generic). Also because I got it at 90$.
A BM-800 mic, fantastic value for money. It was 12, and you'll find plenty of links regarding it in the thread I linked in my last post.
XLR cable, mic stand and headphones.

All in all about 150$ for a kick ass setup :)!

Mivo
06-30-2016, 05:24 AM
I'm currently using a Scarlett unit (2i2) with the Behringer mic ...

Which OS are you using? My 2i2 used to work flawlessly in Windows 8, but ever since I switched to Windows 10, its driver will randomly die and I have to disconnect/reconnect the device. Sometimes it works fine for days, other times the sound will stop three times in a season. On audio forums, other people reported the same issue. I'm hoping for a better Windows 10 driver, but at the current rate I'll soon buy a new audio interface.

photoshooter
06-30-2016, 05:43 AM
Quite similar to my setup which is:
A Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, just as you because I wanted the two inputs (but the 2i1 has two inputs as well, just one mic/generic and one instrument whereas the 2i2 has two generic). Also because I got it at 90$.
A BM-800 mic, fantastic value for money. It was 12, and you'll find plenty of links regarding it in the thread I linked in my last post.
XLR cable, mic stand and headphones.

All in all about 150$ for a kick ass setup :)!


Great minds think alike :cool:
I agree, for the modest cash outlay it's a substantial system that allows some expansion if needed. For my purposes it seemed like the perfect place to start.





Which OS are you using? My 2i2 used to work flawlessly in Windows 8, but ever since I switched to Windows 10, its driver will randomly die and I have to disconnect/reconnect the device. Sometimes it works fine for days, other times the sound will stop three times in a season. On audio forums, other people reported the same issue. I'm hoping for a better Windows 10 driver, but at the current rate I'll soon buy a new audio interface.

I'm on a Mac system which requires no drivers and I've had the same happen to me. Every once in a while I need to unplug the usb and then plug it in again and all is fine. I've never had the sound stop during a session. It seems like it happens sometimes when I switch a port from Instrument to Line.

cml
06-30-2016, 06:08 AM
Which OS are you using? My 2i2 used to work flawlessly in Windows 8, but ever since I switched to Windows 10, its driver will randomly die and I have to disconnect/reconnect the device. Sometimes it works fine for days, other times the sound will stop three times in a season. On audio forums, other people reported the same issue. I'm hoping for a better Windows 10 driver, but at the current rate I'll soon buy a new audio interface.
Mivo, there is a fix for this bug!

Here's how to do it:
1. Go into the control panel
2. Locate power options
3. Choose the option "what happens when you push the power button"
4. Click change settings currently unavailable
5. Untick "Turn on fast start-up (recommended)
6. Reboot

No more issues ;)!

Mivo
06-30-2016, 06:48 AM
Mivo, there is a fix for this bug!

Oh! Thank you. I made that change, so now I just have to wait and see. :) It'd be fantastic if that fixed the problem. Just read up on what that option does, and I'm surprised it was automatically enabled on my desktop (my laptop stays on Windows 8). Really appreciate the pointer!

cml
06-30-2016, 06:53 AM
Oh! Thank you. I made that change, so now I just have to wait and see. :) It'd be fantastic if that fixed the problem. Just read up on what that option does, and I'm surprised it was automatically enabled on my desktop (my laptop stays on Windows 8). Really appreciate the pointer!
It works, I had the same issues as you - sound going totally bonkers and this fixes it. It has something to do with the way windows start up drivers etc. This means a clean boot everytime = better but possibly a few seconds slower to start up. Fair trade off if you ask me :).

Since applying this fix a couple of weeks ago, I've had zero issues.

Mivo
06-30-2016, 07:32 AM
I rarely reboot my desktop anyway, so a few seconds longer for start-up doesn't matter at all. :) Not having sound die on me when I play a game or listen to audio book, or noodle around in Renoise (tracker), will be lovely!

cml
06-30-2016, 07:39 AM
Just to make sure, did you shut down and then power on, or just reboot? I'd suggest the first to make sure it works.

Sorry for the OT, but the fix is necessary for the otherwise great 2i2.

Mivo
06-30-2016, 08:01 AM
I completely powered off the machine before turning it back on.

Yes, I liked the 2i2 since I had gotten it about three years ago, and it was trouble free until I bought a new machine that came with Windows 10. I'm definitely happy that I won't need to replace it, because other than this issue it's working just fine (it powers my studio monitors/speakers, a mic, and I plug my pickup-enhanced kalimba into it -- and that is all I need an audio interface for).

Snargle
06-30-2016, 08:17 AM
I'm a big fan of the Zoom H2N Digital Recorder. Extremely versatile, excellent sound quality, portable, easy to use. Perfect for casual use. I use mine mostly for recording classes with my African drum teachers (where it easily handles volume extremes), but it's also great for closeup, single instrument (ukulele) recording.

http://www.geekalerts.com/u/Zoom-H2n-Audio-Recorder.jpg

photoshooter
07-01-2016, 03:13 AM
Posted in another thread and of definite interest to the OP of this thread:



Apogee is running their summer refurb specials again. If you have been thinking about an Apogee MiC 96k you can pick one up for 139+ shipping.

http://www.apogeedigital.com/4th-of-july

Just adding a small detail; the refurb mics are the 48k model not the 96k.

Booli
07-01-2016, 03:36 AM
Posted in another thread and of definite interest to the OP of this thread:

Just adding a small detail; the refurb mics are the 48k model not the 96k.

For music that is going to end up on Soundcloud, YouTube or as an MP3 file the difference with the 96k version would be minimal. You'd need a very hi-fi playback system, like studio reference monitor speakers or some Grado, AKG, Sennheiser, or Beyerdynamic headphones (which all start in the $400 range) in order to even hear a difference between 48k and 96k sample rates.

I have the Apogee MiC 48k which I purchased in Nov 2014 when they had a similar sale, and even for a refurb it works great still after all this time.

I've been doing recording for nearly 25 yrs and it does not SOUND better, nor get SIMPLER than this folks.

Apogee MiC, USB/iOS cable and into your device. Yes it WORKS with iPad/iPhone/Mac/Windows ---AND--- OMG Linux, *ALL* WITHOUT ANY STINKIN DRIVER SOFTWARE, because it is USB CLASS COMPLIANT.

unless you enjoy dealing with wads of cables and a complex mess, just do yourself a FAVOR and get an Apogee MiC.

Every single device in your audio path causes insertion loss and audio noise. With the Apogee MiC, there is NOTHING in between the mic and your computer/tablet/phone to inject noise.

Apogee ONLY makes PRO-LEVEL gear for over 20 yrs now.

No, DESPITE a few past accusations, I am NOT a shill. I do NOT work for them, nor am I compensated in ANY way. I am simply a very HAPPY customer who has lots of experience doing recording in both professional and in home setups.

I have no complaints at all with my Apogee MiC, unlike almost EVERY OTHER piece of audio gear that I've owned since 1985.

Just get one. :)

Blackdog131
07-03-2016, 12:47 AM
Thanks guys. This information will keep me busy for a while!

photoshooter
07-03-2016, 03:04 AM
For music that is going to end up on Soundcloud, YouTube or as an MP3 file the difference with the 96k version would be minimal. You'd need a very hi-fi playback system, like studio reference monitor speakers or some Grado, AKG, Sennheiser, or Beyerdynamic headphones (which all start in the $400 range) in order to even hear a difference between 48k and 96k sample rates.

>>snip<<

I've been doing recording for nearly 25 yrs and it does not SOUND better, nor get SIMPLER than this folks.

>>snip<<

Just get one. :)


Yup. I remembered all of this from the last discussion we had. That's why mine is on the way ;)

Booli
01-18-2017, 04:23 PM
Anyone still on this thread might be interested in the just-released and newest model iRig, which I posted about with photos and links over here:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?125196-NEW-iRig-Acoustic-Stage-99

plastuku
01-18-2017, 05:27 PM
I've gotten good results from a Blue Snowball. It's versatile in that it gives you switchable cardioid or omni pickup patterns, and a pad (which you won't need for uke).

Eynowd
01-18-2017, 05:41 PM
We have a pretty long thread going on this subject here:
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?120478-I-d-like-to-buy-a-mic

I should say thank you to CML for his experiments in that thread. Because of his recommendation and sound tests, I got a BM800 mic for Christmas, and : used it to record this* (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDFq1leAAQk).


* Full disclosure: not a uke vid :)