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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I'm new to SOTW so I hope I posted this in the correct category.

I play alto and tenor sax and want to get into home recording. I play at an intermediate level and would be recording sax, other wind instruments, and some vocals. I've done a lot of research and from what I think, these mics will do the job:

Shure sm57
Blue Yeti
MXL 550/551r

I'm very new to recording so any suggestions are appreciated. I'd use a XLR-USB converter if I went with a XLR mic, so that I don't need a mixer. Garageband will be my DAW until I gain more experience.

In conclusion: Any suggestions as to the best way to home record sax, any mic suggestions, or info about those three mics and if they are the right choice.

Thank you in advance!

-Brad
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I would just get the Blue Yeti, otherwise you'd wan to also get a decent analogue/digital converter. The Blue Yeti is very versatile and being USB is already digital.

Garage Band is great and will last you quite a while until you want something with a bit more features such as Logic.
 

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Hey Brad, welcome to the forum

there's been a lot of discussion about this in various threads already. try searching.
but because I find searching a pain in the neck too, I'll recommend something as well :)

- for non-studio grade recording to garageband just get a simple USB mic. the yeti should work fine but there are probably cheaper solutions still. it keeps things nice and simple.
- sm57 (or 58) works fine as well, I've made some really nice recordings with those that actually ended up on CD. drawback is that (cheap) XLR to USB converters can cause latency (lag) in recording so that if you're playing over a track, everything comes in a bit late (latency is always there, but you want to try to keep that to a minimum).

- another thing you want to keep in mind is that the room you're recording in can (will) influence your sound. try to avoid small rooms, paralel and blank walls (yes, bedrooms suck as recording rooms). google on 'acoustic treatment home recording' or something similar. but don't be discouraged, usually the biggest gain can be made in knowing what can influence your recording and adjusting what you're doing based on common sense ... it's not as hard to get a decent result as some people make it out to be.

good luck!
 

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Same price as a Yeti, but way more versatile is the Apogee One http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/apogee-one-usb-interface-with-microphone Great built in features to Garage Band. No latency monitoring. And the mic sounds surprisingly good. You can then add traditional mics one day, or plug in a guitar, as it's a full on interface. Also, the Apogee Duets can be had these days for $150. Which is a 2 input interface. Then add a sm57/58 and your under $250.

Just throwing that out there.

Just wanted to add, give yourself a running start. Nothing is worse then recording yourself and it's sounds like crap. It can be discouraging. Playing through nice gear can be quite inspiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow, thanks for the great replies! :) My original thought was to use something like this http://www.guitarcenter.com/Shure-X2u-XLR-to-USB-Microphone-Adapter-105648968-i1435759.gc to convert to usb but it may hurt the sound quality. What other options (besides an expensive mixer) are there to convert to usb and maybe give me a second mic option for the future? Kind of like the Apogee One but for two mics? If that makes any sense :)
Thanks!

Brad
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Microphone input methods

Haha, well when someone mentioned the Apogee One and it got me thinking if there's other ways to convert to USB. The yeti is still a contender in my decision, but I'm doubtful when people talk about it only as a podcasting mic and not meant for instruments. I'll try and find some sax clips using the yeti. Thanks though!
Brad
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the replies, lots of info to consider. It'll probably come down to budget, but all of those seem like good options.

Brad
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Re: Microphone input methods

Haha, well when someone mentioned the Apogee One and it got me thinking if there's other ways to convert to USB. The yeti is still a contender in my decision, but I'm doubtful when people talk about it only as a podcasting mic and not meant for instruments. I'll try and find some sax clips using the yeti. Thanks though!
Brad
There are many many analogue to digital converters, not all USB. There is Firewire, UB and now Thunderbolt.

The Apogee One is very good, but for simplicity I would get the Blue Yeti it is not only for podcasting. I think people who say that are probably thinking of inferior USB mics. There is also the Apogee MiC and Audio Technica 2020.

But if you really want an analogue mic then there are hundreds to choose from, but you will need a converter, as mentioned, to either USB, Firewire or Thunderbolt if it's a more recent mac, though Thunderbolt converters are few and only very high end of the market I believe.
 

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Re: Microphone input methods

The Apogee One is very good, but for simplicity I would get the Blue Yeti
In what way is the Yeti simpler? The Apogee One is plug and play. Apogee and Apple work together and there are Apogee features built into Garage Band. And if the OP wants to experiment with other mics, he just plugs one into the Ap One. With the Yeti, there is no expansion (unless I'm missing something). The OP mentions mixers. You don't need one. The apogee has mixer software. It is also an interface. So, you have room to expand and grow.
 

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Administrator note.

Bradley,

SOTW does not permit cross posting of the same topic in multiple sub forums. Your two threads, and their respective responses, have been merged into one. Additionally, both were posted in the wrong area, and this conversation has been moved to the correct one.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
With the Apogee ONE, would I be able to plug two mics in? I know one port is xlr and the other is meant for a guitar but could you plug in a second mic via a xlr-1/4 inch adapter?
Just throwing some ideas around, if so, then that would probably be the best converter for my needs.

Thanks,
Brad
 

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With the Apogee ONE, would I be able to plug two mics in?
No. You have to choose what your "one" input will be. Thus it's called the "One". It can be the built in mic, the XLR Mic input, or the 1/4" guitar input. If you want 2 inputs, then the Duet is the way to go. But there is no built in mic on that. Like has been said already, there are tons of options for converters out there. I just offered up one that is the same price as the Yeti, but in my opinion, more versatile. If your budget is $250, which I think your saying it is? Then the One is a good option. Or go to ebay and get a used Duet and a SM57. Then you'll have a mic for live gigs too. Just throwin that out.
 

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Or go to ebay and get a used Duet and a SM57. Then you'll have a mic for live gigs too. Just throwin that out.
That is what I would do if I was starting out and wanted something a bit futureproof and intended to branch out a bit. Otherwise I'd get a Apogee MiC or Blue Yeti.

You may find this article useful: Recording Saxophones (Advanced and Beginners)

It is written from the point of view of professional audio production for saxophone, but also has a beginners saxophone recording section which summarises some of the most useful tools for anyone starting out recording saxophone. Currently it is Apple Mac oriented but that is probably of the most use here anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think I'll decide between the Blue Yeti or apogee mic. As mentioned, traditional XLR mics are beyond what I need whereas a usb mic is pretty upfront. Maybe in the future when the time comes I'll look into a Shure sm57... Thank you for all the input! This forum was very helpful. I appreciate all the help.

-Brad
 
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