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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to start recording myself on my computer, but I don't know what I need to do this. I have no experience in this area. If you could advise me on what I need, that would be great. I don't need something great, just functional. I don't want to spend alot.

BTW, I play a YAS-82ZB.
 

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What is your budget?

My suggestion would be the M-Audio Fast Track Pro if you do not have a firewire connection on your computer. This is basically an external sound card meant for recording which connects to your computer via USB. It has two XLR type mic preamps with phantom power, so you can use more expensive condenser mics later, as well as MIDI inputs and outputs so you can connect a keyboard if you wish.

Or, if you have firewire, then I would suggest the M-Audio Firewire 410 since it has more inputs and outputs, phantom power as well, and connects via firewire, which is a better device to PC connection when recording audio.

Both come with a basic computer recording software, but you will get better results by using the freely available Audacity

Of course, you will need a microphone. Start out with a Shure SM57. It's a standard dynamic mic meant for instruments. When you get more money, and more experience recording, and want more options for different sounds, get Audio-Technica AT3035. It's a large diaphragm condenser mic, and will give you a slightly fuller, richer sound and can be used for decent vocals and other instruments.

And, you'll need a microphone stand, a 25' microphone cable, and either some headphones, or a pair of speakers (and a pair of 10' 1/4" TRS cables ).

Total cost I figure to be about $405, before shipping, with the Fast Track Pro, the SM57, and the headphones, cables and stand.
 

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How much less?

If you don't have any gear already, you are going to need some. A mic is required, and the SM57 is about the cheapest mic you are going to want to use. It's also industry standard. You are going to need an audio interface of some kind. I assume that you have a sound card already in your computer, but consumer level sound cards are notorious for sounding like crap when you want to record something. You will also need cables and a mic stand, and something to listen to your recording on (headphones or speakers).

All of the gear that I suggested is bargain basement, bottom of the barrel gear. It's going to be hard to get anything much cheaper than that.
 

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My obligatory standard reply that I keep in Wordpad:

First off, immediately get a good beginner recording book (spend $20 before spending hundred$/thousand$) that shows you what you need to get started and how to hook everything up in your studio:
Home Recording for Musicians by Jeff Strong - $15
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/07...ce&n=283155&n=507846&s=books&v=glance
(Wish I'd had that when I started; would have saved me lots of money and time and grief)

Good Newbie guides that also explains all the basics:
http://www.tweakheadz.com/guide.htm
http://www.computermusic.co.uk/page/computermusic?entry=free_beginner_pdfs

21 Ways To Assemble a Recording Rig:
http://www.tweakheadz.com/rigs.htm

Also Good Info:
http://www.theprojectstudiohandbook.com/directory.htm

Other recording books:
http://musicbooksplus.com/home-recording-c-31.html


Plenty of software around to record for free to start out on:

Audacity: http://audacity.sourceforge.net

Kristal: http://www.kreatives.org/kristal/

Other freebies and shareware: www.hitsquad.com

Another great option is REAPER at http://www.cockos.com/reaper/
(It's $40 but runs for free until you get guilty enough to pay for it...)

Music Notation and MIDI recording: Melody Assistant ($20) and Harmony Assistant ($80) have the power of $600 notation packages - http://myriad-online.com
Demo you can try on the website.

And you can go out to any Barnes&Noble or Borders and pick up "Computer Music" magazine - they have a full studio suite in every issue's DVD, including sequencers, plugins and tons of audio samples. (Last November, they gave away a full copy of SamplitudeV8SE worth $150 - pays to watch 'em for giveaways...)
 

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M-Audio PreUSB interface $65 ebay,
Shure sm57 mic.cable and stand $25 garage sale,
Audacity free (I personally don't like it and use Amedeus $30-maybe because I use Mac).
Garageband music software, bundled with my computer.
Headphones from ipod.
Monitors from quality home stereo and my car stereo.
Any of the guides listed above by timobrien should get you well on your way.
I am making what I think are very good quality cd's with little cost.
PM me and I'll see if I can send a sample.
Good luck
I checked Craigslist after I posted and found most of what I have listed or similar equpiment for under $175
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I got a Shure beta 58A for $75, now I need to look into a preusb mixer...

Any low price suggestions?
 

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That's a midi interface. Midi (musical instrument digital interface) doesn't record 'sound', it records 'how should I play this synthesizer'.

You need something like this:

http://www.fullcompass.com/product/239579.html

around $90
 

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Discussion Starter #12
What's the difference between a Fast Track Pro and a Fast Track. I see the $100 difference, but why would I want the pro instead of the normal version?
 

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Well, the pro has two more inputs, is a bit more flexible, and has phantom power, so that you can use condenser mic with it.
 

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I hope you got the email I sent, same item as hakukani linked, but only $60.
One added thing about the m-audio is that they are bus powered and all you need to do is hook them up to your computer usb port, no adapter needed.
 

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As a reader lurking silently, who has no home recording equipment, thanks to all of you for your clear, concise suggestions. I'm saving this thread. Thanks again.
 

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gary said:
As a reader lurking silently, who has no home recording equipment, thanks to all of you for your clear, concise suggestions. I'm saving this thread. Thanks again.
Me. too.
 

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Ultra-Cheap

Okay, if you want to go extremely cheap, you may have all the hardware you need.

Before I say anything more, please note that the sound-quality you get out of this setup will be FAR from ideal and likely very poor.

1. Download Audacity for free.
2. Set it to pick-up from your computer's mic. input
3. Play through the cheesy microphone that came with your computer.

This emphasizes the "cheap" and does nothing for sound quality. I am almost ashamed to post this but didn't know what your budget is. You are MUCH better-off taking the other suggestions in this thread. They are inexpensive and should give you 100 - times the sound quality.
 

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Alesis USB Mixer-comes with Cubase LE

I bought the USB mixer so I could use a USB device for output rather than a soundcard on my laptop. I was trying out the mixer and experimented with the Cubase LE program included. Not bad results at all. For $149 plus tax, there are enough features to get you started. Suggestion; Use the mixer as the input, and use the soundcard as the output monitor to avoid a low level hum during recording.
 
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