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  #1  
Old 01-09-2017, 07:42 AM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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Default Novice needs advice

I know absolutely nothing about recording and all the technical talk makes my head spin.

I currently record myself (acoustic guitar, no pickup, and vocals) into an iPhone 4 and use some free software (can't remember the name, something like pro audio) to upload it to my desktop computer via wifi. Then I put it on Soundcloud. One track only.

The sound quality from the iphone is not great, and it is very difficult to position the mike to get a good balance between guitar and vocal. And if it can be edited after recording I haven't figured out how.

At some point I might want to do some overdubbing for harmonies and guitar fills, or use it to record a small jam session with a friend or 2. I suppose I might install a pickup in one of my guitars some day, too.

Budget? Cheap! A couple of hundred or less.

Thanks

Bob
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:18 AM
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ChuckS ChuckS is offline
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There's a Zoom H4 portable recorder in the AGF classifieds for $85 (from forum sponsor Tim McKnight). The H4 is an older Zoom device (the current model is the H4n and there are also 'better' audio recorders such as the H5 and H6). I've had a H4 for many years.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:20 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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That question is asked here often. For people with little or no recording/technical experience, starting with a small digital recorder with built-in mics is a good start. Look at the Zoom H4n - for $200 it'll take you up a few steps from the iPhone method.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:33 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is online now
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It's difficult to give a simple answer to the question, but based on your post I'd recommend something like a Zoom R8 and a set of good headphones. This gets you EASY overdub capabilities (it has the feel and look of a simple cassette recorder) and the ability to export to your computer via USB for actual wav file editing if you want.

Why something like the R8?

1. It sounds GOOD. The built in mics are OK to start with and you can always add a nice condenser or two later.

2. It's EASY. No computer required, it's totally silent, it's almost as easy to use as an old school cassette recorder and there's little need to fuss with the menu structure if you don't want the advance features. It can be used with battery power; go record in that old stone wine cellar if you like the acoustics!

3. It's CHEAP. On sale occasionally, it's even cheaper. An R8 and a good set of headphones are litterally all you need to start your recording adventure. After that, season to taste.

Free or low cost programs are available for whatever type of computer you use that will allow you to easily do simple editing of your tracks into a finished mix. These can then be uploaded to Soundcloud, etc. or converted to MP3 if that's desirable.

Obviously there are many directions you can take to start recording or to advance your basic needs, but I like to recommend the route that gets someone's foot in the door without computer "issues" adding any complexity to the process. Anything that frees up the process so the player can concentrate on performance and not technical details is good IMHO.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:35 PM
amyFB amyFB is offline
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I think there might be two parts to the answer:

1. education to fill in the gaps of knowledge - for complex topics like this, (or statistics, or accounting, etc) I'm a big fan of the "Info for Dummies" series and also the "Idiot's guide to.....". Spend some time on YouTube - search a lot of videos and you're sure to find one that effectively communicates some of the things you need to know. Sometimes just hearing the unfamiliar words a few times takes the shine off the scare factor of the unknown.

^ ^ ^ this step 1 will almost surely make the next step a little easier.

2. equipment that is user friendly- there will be plenty of that advice from the recording gurus here.

--- now when you read the user manual, some of those new terms might make more sense.

good luck!
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:31 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I appreciate the help and will update this when I come to a decision. At this point I need to spend some time investigating my options.

Bob
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