View Full Version : microphones etc

08-06-2009, 02:58 PM
ok so basically i wanna start recording my voice, ukulele, guitar etc what are the absolute basic things i need, i mean it baffles me technology isn't my friend.

08-06-2009, 11:06 PM
There are so many ways to do it...

You seem to have a computer (as you post here), so at the basic level all you'd need is a microphone that plugs straight into the mic-in 3.5mm jack socket on most PCs.

The alternatives depend upon your requirements and budget.

A decent stage or recording mic need not cost the earth. Something like the Shure PG58 (http://www.shure.com/ProAudio/Products/WiredMicrophones/us_pro_PG58-XLR_content) is a great start. Alternatively, a condenser such as the Shure PG81 (http://www.shure.com/ProAudio/Products/WiredMicrophones/us_pro_PG81-XLR_content) works well for me. The problem is that you need a way to connect these mics to your PC.

You also need some kind of software for recording and editing. Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) is free and not hard to learn to use.

If your PC has a line level input ("line-in") then your options expand greatly. A couple of the configurations I have used:

1) Using an amplifier as the interface to produce line-level signal

Uke with pickup into channel one of Marshall acoustic combo (http://www.marshallamps.com/product.asp?productCode=AS50D).
Vocal mic into channel two
Adjust relative levels, effects etc on the amp's front panel, then take line-out from amp into line-in on PC.
Record into Audacity

2) Using a small mixer

Condenser mic for uke into a mic socket on Alesis Multimix 8 mixer (http://www.alesis.com/multimix8usb)
Vocal mic into another mic socket on the mixer
Adjust levels and FX on mixer
output from mixer to line-in of PC
Record into Audacity

There are many simpler and more complicated methods, but both of those configurations have worked fine for me.

It really does depend on what you have, what you can spend and the quality of the results you need to achieve.

Ukulele JJ
08-07-2009, 02:11 AM
Good overview, BuddhUU. I'll add two of the "simpler methods" to consider:

1) If your computer already has a built-in mic (many laptops do, f'rinstance) then all you need is some software to do the recording (such as the aforementioned Audacity, or Garageband if you're using a Mac). Just press the record button and go. It won't be the best sound quality in the world, but it'll be a start.

2) If you need or want an external microphone, then another option would be the kind of mics that connect to your computer via the USB port. I like the Blue Snowball, which runs about $85, but there are cheaper alternatives too.



08-07-2009, 03:39 AM
Looking back, I kind of missed the "absolute basic" part of the OP, didn't I. :o

Good catch on the USB mics, JJ.

I have terrible luck with built-in mics on my laptops. They have all been really poor. The mic in my current machine doesn't even come offline when you plug in an external mic jack.

08-07-2009, 08:17 AM
so is a usb mic a good option then just how good is the sound quality?

08-07-2009, 09:34 AM
In my very humble opinion, I think USB mics are great. I've got a Snowball, and it's really good. I get really clear sound. I use Audacity, and the two work fine together.

I'm glad I got this one now :)

08-07-2009, 10:03 AM
i will have to look into getting a snowball then ty for your answers guys/girls :D

08-07-2009, 02:52 PM
hi i use my web cam it has a built in mic but most of the mics are rubsih if u havnt spent a bit ive got a logitech shear cam mp i think and it cost about 80-90 pounds but it is very gd and the mic is also very gd:music:

08-08-2009, 06:34 AM
USB condenser microphones are great as a one-stop solution to do a bit of casual home recording!

I use a Samson C01U, which does the job well.
And there are other great ones out there too (like the Snowball that's been mentioned already) :D

08-20-2009, 12:22 PM
gah snowball mic was 45 pound in a sale last week now when i have money its gone up to 85 :(.

08-29-2009, 08:21 PM
if you have money.

check this out.


08-30-2009, 04:54 AM
the tascam us 122L is also very nice, same audio quality as the 144 but a bit less features therefore much cheaper :cool:
you could also get one on ebay.

08-30-2009, 06:02 AM
i use the line6 ux2 which has amp modeling software and effects combined with an audio technica at2020 microphone. it hooks up through your usb port. the bonus is that if you get into electric guitar or other instruments you can just plug and play while adding some cool effects. it also has 48v phantom power for the mic and pre-amps. now if i could just become a better musician i'd sound great!