View Full Version : Mics, recording, etc!

06-11-2008, 07:19 PM
I posted this here because its a beginner question, and I, myself, still have much to learn. I don't know too much about recording, using mics, plugs, etc. But I'd definitely love to get into the recording sessions and maybe make some good quality .mp3's/audios.

I have an amp that I haven't used. Only because I haven't gotten the time to buy an external transducer pickup. But would it be a good idea to buy a mic and input it into the amp? I know you can buy a mic w/ its cords, and 'transfer' it to an "XLR to 1/4". What items would I need to buy? Also, I'd like to know if they had cables that 'flip' the XLR mic cable to a USB?

Basically, what I want to know if its possible to use a Mic w/ an amp and would it be a good idea. I want to use my amp for just practice in the backyard or in the house, and plug a Mic into my computer. All without buying too many things. That's why I turn to you guys, since I'm no good at this.

What I'm looking for:

A good practice mic (good price range)
XLR to 1/4" connector
XLR to Computer (if possible :confused: ) or a Connector I can use for my computer

Any help is needed and appreciated. Thanks.

06-11-2008, 07:45 PM
i just posted something similar to it here: how many mics does it take to record a uke? (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3385)

there's some good info here. and try this one too: where do you guys record? (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2953&highlight=record)

Howlin Hobbit
06-11-2008, 07:48 PM
Buy a nice little mixer. I have both the Behringer 1202 (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Behringer-Xenyx-1202?sku=631265&src=3WWRWXGB&ZYXSEM=0) and a larger brother of it (who's model number I can't remember... 150something). I use the 1202 for live gigs because it's so small, but it'll do just fine for recording.

And it will supply phantom power for any condensor mikes you might have. Plus, of course, it'll handle dynamic mikes with no prob.

Now, you buy a "Y" cord with the double end (two mono plugs) going into the output (either main or monitor) of the mixer and the single, stereo end going into the 1/8" "Line In" plug on your computer's sound card.

Buy another "Y" chord that goes from the headphones out plug on your sound card to the left and right channels of an auxillary input on the mixer.

Run the other output to a input on a stereo amp (regular old stereo gear) and plug some speakers into that.

Now you have speakers for mixing and you can turn that part off and plug phones into the mixer for overdubbing.

You'll have to dink around with the knobs and buttons and do a few test recordings to make sure you're getting everything right (I always forget to push the button that keeps the already recorded stuff from being added to the track you're currently recording... but I'm learning). The stereo amp I have has an mute button for the speakers when you want to go to the phones when overdubbing.

The mixer has both XLR and 1/4" inputs (four each) plus a couple aux channels. So you don't have to worry about changing a 1/4" (unbalanced) cord into an XLR (balanced) input or vice versa.

You can get a bit better idea of how I use the thing in my live setup by reading this blog post (http://howlinhobbit.com/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=290).

Check out HomeRecording.com (http://www.homerecording.com/) and the HomeTracked blog (http://www.hometracked.com/) for lots more good info on general home recording tricks, tips and techniques.

Hope this helps a bit. If you have any questions just ask. I'll even get off my lazy butt and go check out what I have going now so I can tell you the specific inputs and outputs I use (I typed most of the above from memory... go easy, I'm a tired old man).

06-11-2008, 08:09 PM
Howlin, thanks I appreciate your help, but as for now I don't want to get into 'going big'. I just want to test out little by little (baby steps, lol) and I'll definitely look into the mixer. Since for now, I'm very low cut on the budget, consider I'm a student without a job (still seeking). I'm just interested into just a simple plug-in mic. Which one to buy, etc. But I will definitely save your references and look into that in the future, thanks Howlin :D.

Howlin Hobbit
06-11-2008, 09:16 PM
The problem with plugging an inexpensive mike directly into your sound card is the "noise floor." In fact, even with something like a Shure 58 or thereabouts you can run into this problem.

Basically, if you're not punching a hot enough signal to the sound card you won't get "above the noise floor" and all sorts of fan hum and such will be on your recording.

The mixer has mike pre-amps in it so that it sends a hot enough signal to the sound card.

Good luck in your quest! Prove me wrong. (I love to learn, and I'm not being snarky there!)

06-12-2008, 12:23 AM
This should work on a skinny budget, Degracia. The prices are the same, at Musicians Friend. Ric


The best of the cheap. I have a couple of these (my main microphones are Shure SM57's and SM58's). They are the best of the budget mikes I've tried. You get the boom stand, Microphone and XLR cable for one low price. These microphones are super cardiod (very directional) and resist feedback well:




Impedence Matcher that takes an XLR to a 1/4" male:








06-13-2008, 07:42 AM
Alright so I was gonna go with the Nady SP-1 stand package (since that's the only one that comes with a cable that's in my prices range)

This is the same one given above.


Then, instead, I might've gone with this as well.


Those 2 might be a definite buy. For $25, that is great. As for the USB connector, would this be good?


I need to get some reviews on that if I do a later purchase.

Howlin Hobbit
06-13-2008, 05:21 PM
Then, instead, I might've gone with this as well.


If you're planning on putting your mike straight into the jack on your sound card you need a 1/8" plug, not 1/4".

Further, your mike input is mono, not stereo. You don't want to run your mike straight into your line in plug as you'll get impedance matching problems.