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Old 01-24-2020, 03:32 PM
ScottSD ScottSD is offline
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Default Recording/Microphone Question

Hey All,

I've been playing for about a year and plan on making periodic recordings to check my technique, document progress and share with family. In addition to being new to guitar, I'm a neophyte to all the tech stuff.

I've been running the signal from the (Taylor) ES2 through my amp (Roland Blues Cube) into Garage Band on my Mac. Not enamored with that channel's sound and was wanting to record/mix a second channel. I've also figured out how to shoot the video on my Canon 6D and sync it in Garage Band which is pretty cool.

I've done some research on the available microphones but there's a dizzying array and with all the hype it's hard to judge what's what. Anyhow, I'm looking for recommendations for a USB mic what won't break the bank. I'm never going to be the next Youtube sensation so I'd like to keep it on the down-side of $100 unless there's a compelling reason not to.

Thanks for your suggestions!

Scott
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:39 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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USB mics are limiting in that you can't use a second mic, nor or the monitoring options usually very good, but if you are merely doing 1-track recordings they can work fine - they are really targeted to the podcast-type person. And the A-D converters in them are typically limited to 16 bit.
The Audio Technical 2020-USB is $149.
I'm not familiar with it, but this Mictek can be used with a XLR cable for future use, a nice feature: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...usb-microphone and its $99, too.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:18 AM
keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottSD View Post
Hey All,

I've been playing for about a year and plan on making periodic recordings to check my technique, document progress and share with family. In addition to being new to guitar, I'm a neophyte to all the tech stuff.

I've been running the signal from the (Taylor) ES2 through my amp (Roland Blues Cube) into Garage Band on my Mac. Not enamored with that channel's sound and was wanting to record/mix a second channel. I've also figured out how to shoot the video on my Canon 6D and sync it in Garage Band which is pretty cool.

I've done some research on the available microphones but there's a dizzying array and with all the hype it's hard to judge what's what. Anyhow, I'm looking for recommendations for a USB mic what won't break the bank. I'm never going to be the next Youtube sensation so I'd like to keep it on the down-side of $100 unless there's a compelling reason not to.

Thanks for your suggestions!

Scott
Not sure how you are connecting the Blues Cube out to the Mac, but unless you want to mess with setting up an aggregate device, a USB mic is not going to give you a second channel in GB, i.e., you'll have to choose the input device for the project, and the USB mic is one channel.

USB mics also often have limited ability to adjust placement for recording acoustic, and you'll get best results if you can use a boom mic stand and be able to experiment with mic angle and distance, as well as make sure it's away from noise sources like computer fans. (I admit I've not used a USB mic, so maybe some come with a nice shock mount and long, 10-15' USB cable. Most seem to have a little desk stand.)

Really, the way most seem to do this is to have an audio interface with 2 (or more) input channels, and plug a mic for the guitar into one, and then if you want to record the direct out, plug that into the 2nd channel that has an "instrument" level switch option. Hard to get a 2 channel interface and mic for your budget, but you might find something on the used market.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:23 AM
ScottSD ScottSD is offline
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MikeB and Keith,

Thanks for your advice. I was thinking I could lay down two tracks (simultaneously) on garage band at because I have two USB inputs on my Mac but apparently it doesn't work that way. I did say I was a neophyte!

Now I've got another rabbit hole to go down. My lovely Bride has authorized further expenditures on this endeavor so I'll be researching a decent audio interfaces and serviceable XLR Microphones. I'm guessing I'd want a three channel, L, R and instrument.

I'm sure this question has been asked and answered a million times but if you've got recommendations along those lines I'd be thrilled to hear them.

Sigh,

Scott
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:08 PM
slide496 slide496 is offline
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If you have 2 inputs you can create an aggregate device in audio midi settings and run them as 2 separate tracks garageband, place the mics where you want, adjust each track separately. It's a little fiddly to find the settings and I think you may have to get the mac sound settings correct, as well. There's probably also youtube tutorials. I use a Shure MV51 and an apogee iMIC

https://support.native-instruments.c...e-Device-OS-X-
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:07 PM
ScottSD ScottSD is offline
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Originally Posted by slide496 View Post
If you have 2 inputs you can create an aggregate device in audio midi settings and run them as 2 separate tracks garageband, place the mics where you want, adjust each track separately. It's a little fiddly to find the settings and I think you may have to get the mac sound settings correct, as well. There's probably also youtube tutorials. I use a Shure MV51 and an apogee iMIC

https://support.native-instruments.c...e-Device-OS-X-
Thanks,

That gives me another option. I've clearly got some research to do and decisions to make.

I appreciate that link!

Scott
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:02 PM
paulp1960 paulp1960 is offline
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If you are using an Apple computer and want a cheap but good quality USB audio interface I would recommend a Behringer UMC202HD.

I've been running one of these and it's bigger brother UMC404HD for a long time and they work flawlessly with an Apple machine and require no drivers. You just plug them in and they work.

Sound quality is good, headphone amp is quite powerful and mic pre-amps are pretty good. Here in the UK it's only 50. I checked Sweetwater for a US price and they seem to be around $118 which is quite a lot more than 50.

The Focusrite Scarlet 2in 2 out is a bit more expensive at around $160 and is probably better than the Behringer.

You would have 2 decent mic pre-amps, headphone and line outputs.
That way you don't need USB microphones and that gives you loads more choice.
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:26 PM
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DCCougar DCCougar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottSD View Post
...I'll be researching a decent audio interfaces and serviceable XLR Microphones....
An audio interface is a good idea. I use a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. For a entry/mid-level mic, I've heard several guys recommend the Shure SM57.

But then you'd be ready for some serious multitracking!
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:42 PM
ScottSD ScottSD is offline
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Update:

OK, so I was torn between staying on the cheap (think USB mic) and actually getting the right stuff for recording. My Darling Bride said not to half step so I ended up ordering a Scarlett 8i6 and a couple of Audio-Technica AT2020 mics. That should allow me to make my recording and give me some room to grow.

Now I just have to figure out how to play the guitar...

I would like to thank everybody for their responses, they're greatly appreciated.

Scott
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Old 01-27-2020, 06:07 PM
slide496 slide496 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottSD View Post
Thanks,

That gives me another option. I've clearly got some research to do and decisions to make.

I appreciate that link!

Scott
You're welcome! Good luck with research on either option
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:08 PM
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TBman TBman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottSD View Post
Update:

OK, so I was torn between staying on the cheap (think USB mic) and actually getting the right stuff for recording. My Darling Bride said not to half step so I ended up ordering a Scarlett 8i6 and a couple of Audio-Technica AT2020 mics. That should allow me to make my recording and give me some room to grow.

Now I just have to figure out how to play the guitar...

I would like to thank everybody for their responses, they're greatly appreciated.

Scott
Send the 2020s back and get the 2035s. The cost is minor and the self noise of the 2035 is almost half of the 2020. You might think I'm nuts, but wait to you hear "loud silence" and wonder how to get rid of it.
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:30 PM
ScottSD ScottSD is offline
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Originally Posted by TBman View Post
Send the 2020s back and get the 2035s. The cost is minor and the self noise of the 2035 is almost half of the 2020.
I got a really good deal on the 2020's, two for less than the cost of one of the 2035's. I'll stick with them for now. If/when my playing gets to where I'd benefit from better microphones I'll upgrade. (Edit: If they're louder than I find I can live with I'll most assuredly exchange them for the 2035's though).

I do appreciate the heads up though.

Scott

Last edited by ScottSD; 01-27-2020 at 08:46 PM. Reason: Add a sentence
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:14 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottSD View Post
Update:

OK, so I was torn between staying on the cheap (think USB mic) and actually getting the right stuff for recording. My Darling Bride said not to half step so I ended up ordering a Scarlett 8i6 and a couple of Audio-Technica AT2020 mics. That should allow me to make my recording and give me some room to grow.

Now I just have to figure out how to play the guitar...

I would like to thank everybody for their responses, they're greatly appreciated.

Scott
I've got an 8i6 on its way, too.
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My music: https://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

2017 Taylor 114ce-N
2012 Taylor 310ce
2011 Fender CD140SCE
Ibanez 12 string a/e
73 Epiphone 6830E 6 string (made in 71?)

72 Fender Telecaster
Epiphone Dot Studio
Epiphone LP Jr
Chinese Strat clone ($25!)

Kala baritone ukulele
Seagull 'Merlin'
Washburn Mandolin
Luna 'tatoo' a/e ukulele
antique banjolin
Squire J bass
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