PDA

View Full Version : How can I easily record myself playing the ukulele?



anbnyc
04-04-2014, 11:41 AM
Hey all,

So I bought an acoustic-electric concert Luna ukulele a little over a month ago and I've been having a blast learning to play. I've gotten to a point where I'd like to record myself playing some songs (both to show off to my friends and to help me improve) but I know next to nothing about recording equipment and I'm generally not as tech-savvy as I'd like to be. I live in an apartment building so I don't want to necessarily make my ukulele any louder; just find a way to make high-quality recordings that I can easily listen to and share with people while playing it at a normal volume. Is there some way to do this directly by plugging something into my ukes electric port that's built into it? I have a macbook and pc computer and this ukulele http://www.lunaguitars.com/acousticproduct/solidorchid.php

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Doug W
04-04-2014, 11:55 AM
I assume that on your Macbook, Garage Band is already installed. Buy a 1/4" mono instrument cable and a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter to get into your Mac. There are probably a lot of sites where you can get help on setting up Garage Band. I have no Mac experience.

For your PC, you can search for and download Audacity (it is free do a Google search). Same cord and adapter as above.

Recording using either one will take some reading of the manuals and forum help but both programs will do what you want.

Doug

ukemunga
04-04-2014, 12:15 PM
Quick, down and dirty but not bad... PhotoBooth will shoot / record videos.

xommen
04-04-2014, 12:34 PM
Quick, down and dirty but not bad... PhotoBooth will shoot / record videos.

Actually if you want to record video the quality is much better if you use the Quicktime Player option New Movie Recording (Under the File Menu.
The video quality is so much better then when using Photo Booth, plus the image is non mirrored by default.

ukemunga
04-04-2014, 01:14 PM
Thanks! Good to know. And I've been using Macs forever!


Actually if you want to record video the quality is much better if you use the Quicktime Player option New Movie Recording (Under the File Menu.
The video quality is so much better then when using Photo Booth, plus the image is non mirrored by default.

xommen
04-04-2014, 10:26 PM
Thanks! Good to know. And I've been using Macs forever!
I maybe should add that this was probably introduced in 10.7 and at least works in 10.9. I only found out after some googling, because I wondered why the built in camera did not do 720p in photobooth.

For just recording audio I would use GarageBand (preferably the old one).

Booli
04-04-2014, 10:58 PM
For your PC, you can search for and download Audacity (it is free do a Google search). Same cord and adapter as above.

There are also precompiled binary versions (ready to run executables) of Audacity that work on Mac and Linux. ALL of which are free. You can get Audacity here (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/).

However, if you are on a Mac or can use a Mac, you will have a lot fewer issues with audio drivers and audio latency, regardless if you use the build-in audio jack, or if you get any kind of audio interface (that plugs in to USB or Firewire).

Using an external interface will give better quality recording of your audio because the audio circuits, i.e., the 'sound card' chips that are INSIDE your computer are NOT shielded from all the other electronics, and as such will have some interference from the other circuits inside your computer.

Also, Luna announced at Winter NAMM 2014, a preamp upgrade that is a drop-in replacement for the preamp on many of their guitars and ukes, with only 4 screws and 1 cable to play with for the installation. The item is $49 direct from Luna here (http://shop.lunaguitars.com/p/luna-usb-upgrade?pp=12). You might have to call them to verify that your uke is compatible, since I am not sure that ALL of them are.

By installing this USB preamp upgrade, it puts a USB port directly in your instrument, and because it is a driver-less and class-compliant hardware device it will work on Mac/Windows/Linux and iPad (with the USB part of the iPad camera connection kit (http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC531ZM/A/apple-ipad-camera-connection-kit)($29)).

The first 3 videos linked here (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=luna%20usb%20preamp), will show you how to install the USB preamp upgrade, as well as how it works with the iPad.

If you are using Windows for audio recording, the common wisdom is to install the ASIO4ALL drivers, which will not only fix lots of latency issues, but also prevent lots of system lockups and blue-screen errors. The web site for ASIO4ALL is here (http://asio4all.com/). You should learn about it any way if you are going to get serious about recording any audio on Windows.

If you want to use an external hardware interface, that would be an easier question to answer once you have decided upon which hardware platform and operating system that you intend to use.

The closest thing to the Apple/Mac/Garageband experience but on Windows, is a program by Steinberg (yes the makers of Cubase/Cubasis) that is called Sequel. You can find out about Sequel here (http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/sequel.html).

chuck35550
04-10-2014, 07:54 AM
I bought the Apogee Jam (used floor model) for about $35.00 and it worked with my Mac and Garageband without a problem. I use it to record my ukes, Shure vocal mic and Korg synth with great ease and the sound is great. The output is usb and the input is a regular stereo quarter inch plug and Mac recognized it immediately.

Steve

Mivo
05-05-2014, 10:14 PM
If you want to record the ukulele directly (without a microphone), plugging it directly into the computer is usually not a good idea. You'll almost certainly want a pre-amplifier. My suggestion would be to get a USB audio interface (basically an external sound card, often with a built-in preamp) and a piece of recording software. I'd recommend a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (http://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-2i2) (great quality for relatively little money) and Reaper (http://www.reaper.fm/) (the evaluation version is uncrippled and unlimited, and the license is super cheap for a full-featured program of its type). Oh, and you want an instrument cable (http://media.cabletrain.com/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/t/s/ts_male_to_male_instrument_cable_1_1_1_1_1_1_5.jpg ), but those cost little.

Lumpy Wafflesquirt
05-06-2014, 02:34 AM
Do you have a camera that does video or a phone that does videos?
All you need to do is prop the camera/phone so it is pointing in the right direction and press the record button.
Then download the video to the computer as you would for any other video/photo and email/upload to the web.
If you 'know next to nothing about recording equipment and I'm generally not as tech-savvy as I'd like to be' you'll waste a lot less time doing it this way than trying to do all the complicated stuff other people are recommending with downloading programmes and buying interfaces etc. that stuff is all well and good if you are into that sort of stuff, but if you just want to play uke....... play uke. :^)

Kyle95
05-13-2014, 09:47 AM
I usually record my uke and guitars with recording apps on my tablet or iphone. But I have been thinking about buying some kind of mic to record with for a long time.