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BrotherUke
07-21-2009, 02:13 AM
I've done a search but no luck on this. I'd like to get a mic to record my uke on Garage Band. I currently plug my electric guitar directly to my Mac with great results. I've been debating getting a Fluke with a pickup but the consensus here is that a mic would be best. I also like the versatility of recording multiple instruments as well.

Can anyone recommend a good mic to use with a Mac? Also I need to know if your recommendation requires a pre-amp and if there is any advantage to a USB connection. Thanks in advance for your help.

dominicfoundthemooon
07-21-2009, 02:14 AM
can someone talk about the snowball usb mic here.. wold that be a good choice.. i am looking into getting one..

d

micromue
07-21-2009, 02:28 AM
The Zoom H2 works very well with garageband. Just plug´n play. Plus it is portable, so you can change your recording environment easily.

seeso
07-21-2009, 03:31 AM
I use a Shure SM58 plugged into an M-Audio MobilePre USB pre-amp. Not sure if it's the cheapest solution, but it's not expensive either. I've been really pleased with the results.

The MobilePre has two inputs, so you can record two tracks at a time.

Skottoman
07-21-2009, 04:13 AM
As an audio engineer for the past 20 years, here's what I use.

If you want to go stereo, which gives a nicer sound, Audio Technica makes some nice (affordable) stereo mics. I use one with a digidesign M-box and ProTools.

The M-box is the USB/Firewire plug in, and the mic is standard XLR connector.

Stereo is always better. Plus you can angle the mic to pick up voice and uke separately then pan the tracks together a bit. You can also use just one track if you insist on mono. Lots of options... :D
Cheers,
Skottoman

RevWill
07-21-2009, 04:58 AM
The Shure SM58 is kind of the standard dynamic vocal mic
The Shure SM57 is the standard all-purpose dynamic mic. Great for vocals, acoustic instruments, amplifiers, you name it.

Condenser mics can pick up lots of background noise, so be prepared for recordings with great clarity and nuance but you may also hear the AC kicking on or a car driving past your house in the recording.

Dynamic mics will pick up your instrument, but the recorded sound will change if you shift positions during the recording. But a properly miked instrument will sound excellent with little to no background noise.

Both types have advantages and disadvantages.

Ukulele JJ
07-21-2009, 05:05 AM
can someone talk about the snowball usb mic here.. wold that be a good choice.. i am looking into getting one..


I'll talk about it! :D

It's a great choice, especially for the money. Plugs right in. Works great. Sounds fine. Portable. Looks cool.

$87 on Amazon right now. Get one. :cool:

JJ

BrotherUke
07-21-2009, 05:10 AM
The Shure SM58 is kind of the standard dynamic vocal mic
The Shure SM57 is the standard all-purpose dynamic mic. Great for vocals, acoustic instruments, amplifiers, you name it.



Rev,
Seeso runs his 58 through a pre-amp. Does the 57 need one as well?

haole
07-21-2009, 05:15 AM
I use a Shure SM58 plugged into an M-Audio MobilePre USB pre-amp. Not sure if it's the cheapest solution, but it's not expensive either. I've been really pleased with the results.

The MobilePre has two inputs, so you can record two tracks at a time.

Do you use two mics at once? I have a similar setup (SM58 and a cheaper M-Audio FastTrack with one input), but when I use it, the sound isn't any better than using the built-in mic so that's usually what I end up using. :( Trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong, since your sound is a lot better. Although, it could just be my playing and singing that are inferior too!

BrotherUke
07-21-2009, 05:31 AM
I'll talk about it! :D

It's a great choice, especially for the money. Plugs right in. Works great. Sounds fine. Portable. Looks cool.

$87 on Amazon right now. Get one. :cool:

JJ

This mic is getting my attention. It had some issues when it first came out but since the firmware update it's gets great reviews.

Skottoman
07-21-2009, 05:31 AM
Do you use two mics at once? I have a similar setup (SM58 and a cheaper M-Audio FastTrack with one input), but when I use it, the sound isn't any better than using the built-in mic so that's usually what I end up using. :( Trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong, since your sound is a lot better. Although, it could just be my playing and singing that are inferior too!

Are you absolutely positive your computer is reading the M-Audio mic input, and not still using the computer built in mic?

I've seen people do this, plug in all the good stuff, and then not switch the computer to "see" the good stuff. So they get a recording using the built in, that they think was from the USB mic/preamp.

Just something to check...
Cheers,
Skottoman

RevWill
07-21-2009, 05:36 AM
Rev,
Seeso runs his 58 through a pre-amp. Does the 57 need one as well?

It would sound best that way.

AnnaUK
07-21-2009, 06:25 AM
I'm not a Mac user, so I can't comment on GarageBand, but I've got a Snowball, which I use with Audacity, and it's brilliant. I'd recommend it to anyone. So easy to use. I've used it to record ukes, acoustic guitars, vocals and a mandolin and it all sounds great (the mic, not my playing LOL).

A great piece of kit :)

PoisonDart
07-21-2009, 06:51 AM
I'm not a Mac user, so I can't comment on GarageBand, but I've got a Snowball, which I use with Audacity, and it's brilliant. I'd recommend it to anyone. So easy to use. I've used it to record ukes, acoustic guitars, vocals and a mandolin and it all sounds great (the mic, not my playing LOL).

A great piece of kit :)

This is my exact experience.

Ukulele JJ
07-21-2009, 07:17 AM
Rev,
Seeso runs his 58 through a pre-amp. Does the 57 need one as well?

I believe they're essentially the exact same microphone, electronically. The windscreen is the main difference.

JJ

seeso
07-21-2009, 07:26 AM
Rev,
Seeso runs his 58 through a pre-amp. Does the 57 need one as well?

Yeah, the 57 needs a pre-amp.


Do you use two mics at once? I have a similar setup (SM58 and a cheaper M-Audio FastTrack with one input), but when I use it, the sound isn't any better than using the built-in mic so that's usually what I end up using. :( Trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong, since your sound is a lot better. Although, it could just be my playing and singing that are inferior too!

I do use two mics at once, sometimes. I don't know what could be wrong with your set-up, I'm sorry.

Craig
07-21-2009, 07:45 AM
Hi Seeso,

I use a MobilePre USB preamp with a Rode NT3 and an MXL 991. Both are condenser mics.

NukeDOC
07-21-2009, 08:17 AM
using one of the m-audio interfaces with a macbook and a sm57 or 58, you can basically turn up the gain on the interface and the mics will pick up everything just like with a condenser mic. ive recorded in my closet (no jokes) with the mic basically hanging over me and playing acoustic. actually sounded better that way with the 58 than using it with my MXL condenser mic. and a lot easier to set up too.

franulele
07-21-2009, 04:16 PM
I just took a week long workshop on basic digital recording for teachers through Vermont MIDI Project. http://www.vtmidi.org/ We used the Zoom H2 with Audacity & Garage Band and got wonderful results.

jkevinwolfe
07-21-2009, 04:39 PM
Haole,

I'm with Skottoman on this. It sounds like your mic hasn't been changed over to the external setup. Garage Band Menu>Preferences>Audio/Midi>Audio Input. If this is still on Built In Microphone, that's your problem.

BrotherUke
07-22-2009, 02:40 AM
Thanks everyone for the input. I decided to give the snowball a try. I liked the idea of no pre-processing equipment necessary. It looks really cool too.

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m115/BrotherHonda/DSC01184.jpg

So far I'm impressed. It's a huge improvement over the built-in mic and to my ear, it's almost as clear as the direct input from my electric guitar. The ability to select between omni and uni-directional pick-up patterns is a real plus for keeping some of the ambient noise in check. I'll have to see what some others who are more experienced with recording think.

Skottoman
07-22-2009, 04:16 AM
Very nice mic. Nice computer too. :D

I wonder though, how many people record their playing in MONO?
Listen back to your recording through headphones... mono... yay.

Sure you can add a stereo reverb effect which widens the sound field, but just curious.... How many record in Stereo? Listen to a stereo recording on headphones and it just blows mono away. *Assuming you have a decent quiet area to record in*

Most camcorders record in stereo, although their mics and sound leave something to be desired.

There are many good quality stereo mics out there to try. You usually need a preamp or some sort of box to get it into your computer as the good ones are typically XLR connectors.

Mono or Stereo, do you have a preference?

Cheers,
Skottoman

BrotherUke
07-22-2009, 04:38 AM
Skottoman,
I'm really new to this. I bought this mic because someone here suggested that one of the best ways to improve was to record yourself. Man... was that right. I couldn't believe how many attempts it took to lay a mistake free track down. Mistakes that I would have unconsciously passed over if I wasn't recording.

Garage Band has a fantastic choice of effects that you can add to expand the presence of the recording. I've been experimenting with some of the voice effects on the uke. It's really great fun but I'm sure it will not approach the quality of a stereo recording using the equipment that you suggested.

If I get into this I'll upgrade. For the moment, I'm actually happy to hear my mistakes in only one channel rather than two. ;)

Skottoman
07-22-2009, 05:31 AM
No doubt recording yourself helps tremendously with your playing.

You do have a very good setup, it's very nice indeed. Keep playing around with the effects and your playing styles.

One thing that is fun to do is to record yourself twice doing exactly the same thing. Start with an audible count off so you know when to start the second time through.

Then take those 2 tracks (recorded as close to the same as you can), and pan them hard left and right. Maybe not all the way left and right, but pretty close to max.

Then take a listen in some headphones or good speakers placed apart. Makes for a very neat stereo effect. You can also get a similar (Faux) stereo effect by copying one track into the next, and then "slipping" that track forward or backwards anywhere from 10ms to 50ms.... Try that too. Makes for "fake" stereo. :D

Best of luck!
Cheers,
Skottoman

PoisonDart
07-22-2009, 06:09 AM
stereo is nice and or separate uke/vocal channels, which i don't get out of my single snowball....

but I'm not really trying to be that much of a perfectionist when I'm making one take youtube videos. the jump from a nice microphone to a mixing board and multiple mics is just more than I want to deal with right now. :cheers:

Ukeattitude
11-19-2009, 10:07 PM
I use a micro Schaller (ref: 723) and a USB Presonus AudioBox; a solution is not very expensive. The micro Schaller is temporarily stuck in ukulele with a paste adhesive.
The quality is there, at least for a beginner like me ;-)
Have a good day.
Pierre.

iDavid
11-19-2009, 11:22 PM
This is it!

Apogee One, seriously... If you have a mac

http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/one.php

Check out the video :cool:

http://video.apogeedigital.com/2009/06/ozomatli-records-with-one/

I just got one, wish I had more tim to use it...

rogue_wave
11-20-2009, 06:49 AM
I see you have pulled the trigger on the SnowBall. We have that is in heavy use here in my Film/Tv editing facility. I can vouch for the sound quality and ease of use, but would also say that this microphone has taken a beating in a hard driving environment.

For the money, it is the best USB checking out we've had. For myself, I was thinking about an H2, especially for the unplugged factor. I have only recently started to record my practices and have found it to be way more of a help than I thought it would.

Enjoy.

iDavid
11-20-2009, 12:33 PM
I see you have pulled the trigger on the SnowBall. We have that is in heavy use here in my Film/Tv editing facility. I can vouch for the sound quality and ease of use, but would also say that this microphone has taken a beating in a hard driving environment.

For the money, it is the best USB checking out we've had. For myself, I was thinking about an H2, especially for the unplugged factor. I have only recently started to record my practices and have found it to be way more of a help than I thought it would.

Enjoy.

how does it compare to the ONE?