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Old 09-22-2023, 09:00 AM
Merlemantel Merlemantel is offline
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Default Couple of beginner questions

Thanks in Advance, btw. I want to build a very basic setup, one that will allow me to record voice and acoustic guitar. I might record two vocal tracks sometimes, always one guitar. More likely just one voice, one guitar. For now, my budget will allow me to buy one good mic - which would you recommend? (I use a Mac) Also, which DAW would you recommend I use? I have free GarageBand of course, but it seems loaded up with pre-fabricated sound samples, not built for the person recording their own stuff. Maybe I'm wrong. Again, thank you. - Leesa
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Old 09-22-2023, 10:47 AM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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You can certainly record real audio in garage band. Just choose the microphone icon when you create a new track. Its a very reasonable DAW, and if ever need more that it can do, you can open GarageBand projects in Logic, for all the power you could want.

On mics, there are so many, at all price points. Id start by checking the sticky at the top of this forum, where you can see lists of what gear various members here use.
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Old 09-22-2023, 10:58 AM
Merlemantel Merlemantel is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
You can certainly record real audio in garage band. Just choose the microphone icon when you create a new track. Its a very reasonable DAW, and if ever need more that it can do, you can open GarageBand projects in Logic, for all the power you could want.

On mics, there are so many, at all price points. Id start by checking the sticky at the top of this forum, where you can see lists of what gear various members here use.
Thanks Doug. I have read the stickys, and other stuff online. From what I can tell, dynamic mics are better for voice - is that accurate? And more to the point, if I can only afford one mic at this stage, should it be dynamic or condenser? TIA
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Old 09-22-2023, 11:06 AM
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Most people use condenser mics for recording voice or acoustic guitar
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Old 09-22-2023, 11:12 AM
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If youre on a tight budget, I wouldnt spend one penny upgrading from GarageBand, for what you describe. Yes, all the window dressings can be misleading, but GB is a very capable DAW for the home studio. Not only that, but it is a very user-friendly learning platform for beginner DAW users, and as Doug mentioned, integrates easily with its big brother in case you ever do outgrow its abilities.
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Old 09-22-2023, 11:19 AM
DCCougar DCCougar is offline
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....GB is a very capable DAW for the home studio.
Won't she still need a USB audio interface? I've got a Scarlett 2i2 but really only use one of the inputs for multitracking, so maybe a Scarlett Solo would suffice?
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Old 09-22-2023, 11:26 AM
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Won't she still need a USB audio interface? I've got a Scarlett 2i2 but really only use one of the inputs for multitracking, so maybe a Scarlett Solo would suffice?
Yes, of course. Basic requirements are:

1) mic or mics
2) an audio interface that supports however many mics you want to use at once.
3) computer
4) DAW (garageband, etc)
5) monitors or headphones

There are ways to reduce this list - for example, you could get a USB mic, which is basically a mic with the interface built in. You could also get an all-in-one recorder, like a Zoom or Tascam, which is mic+interface+recording software all in a single box.

There's a pretty good "Absolute Beginners Guide" here: https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...=594800&page=7
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Old 09-22-2023, 11:34 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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As with a lot of "I'm a beginner, how do I..." questions the answers are hard to form because the questioner doesn't supply enough detail -- and significantly this is because few know as a beginner what details are important to their recording journey which has only begun. So, this isn't the questioner's fault. It's just where they're asking from.

Simplest answer first: Garageband in current versions is fully capable of recording acoustic instruments and voice. It's now evolved to be sort of Logic Pro Lite, and yes, it, like Logic, has lots of other stuff it can do. Th0se extra things may or may not become important to you later. There are many programs that record and let you edit and mix audio. Lots of ways to debate which is best, but one can do good work in Garageband as long as you don't need to do really high track counts (unlikely for most acoustic guitarist singers)

OP doesn't mention budget except to say they can afford only one good mic. To some folks "one good mic" is a four-figure price tag thing. To others, with tighter budgets and/or lower commitment it might be $200. You can record guitar and voice with one mic, even more than one musician. You balance your playing volumes by touch or distance from the mic and picking the best place for the one good mic.

There are so many ways to go forward from what small parts we know, I have a hard time giving the OP what would likely be a best answer, other than generally saying that getting something and starting recording will instruct you at what's important to you more than my rough guess. But here's my rough guess anyway.

Assuming you can afford it, I'd get an interface with 4 mic inputs. The typical one or two input entry level boxes might limit you too soon if you're thinking about two instruments or singers, even if you start out with one mic. Startup mic? One of the inexpensive sub $200 "Large Diaphragm Condenser" mics might start you off well as you can use it for 1 mic recordings at a distance well enough to get your feet wet. I won't say which one, because I haven't been all that satisfied with any I've used, but they work, you get your feet wet figuring out some other things about recording while using one. I'm sure there will be favorites suggested. Start saving up for mics as you learn more.

If you want to "cheat" your one mic rule, I make use of one of these for practical reasons sometimes with acoustic guitar:

Irig Acoustic Stage

It is a mic, and sounds decent, but it's inexpensive and you can call it "a pickup." It gives some separation between vocals and acoustic guitar and it is largely immune from most bad recording space issues. By not counting it as a mic you could record your voice with your other "one microphone" and by placing that vocal mic closer you could also minimize bad room sound as you start up.

As I said, that's just a guess, a shot in the dark. And this sort of thing is endlessly discussable. There are so many routes to start.
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Old 09-22-2023, 01:00 PM
Merlemantel Merlemantel is offline
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Quote:
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Most people use condenser mics for recording voice or acoustic guitar
Thanks again Doug
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Old 09-22-2023, 01:01 PM
Merlemantel Merlemantel is offline
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Originally Posted by DCCougar View Post
Won't she still need a USB audio interface? I've got a Scarlett 2i2 but really only use one of the inputs for multitracking, so maybe a Scarlett Solo would suffice?
I have a Scarlet 2i2 in my cart at Sweetwater. Also headphones.
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Old 09-22-2023, 01:03 PM
Merlemantel Merlemantel is offline
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I have a Scarlet 2i2 in my cart at Sweetwater. Also headphones.
Thanks, BTW, I will also look at the Scarlet solo
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Old 09-22-2023, 05:09 PM
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Will need interface to get guitars and mics into the DAW. Lots of basic interfaces out there at low prices, so would get at least a two channel so you can capture guitar and vocals together.
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Old 09-22-2023, 07:31 PM
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Posting the actual amount you have budged for a mic will help us narrow down choices.
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Old 09-22-2023, 08:42 PM
Merlemantel Merlemantel is offline
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Posting the actual amount you have budged for a mic will help us narrow down choices.
somewhere around 250, thanks!
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Old 09-22-2023, 09:02 PM
DupleMeter DupleMeter is offline
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In the audio world there are few places where the adage "you get what you pay for" are as true as with microphones.

If it were me & I was going to buy 1 mic for basic home recording, I'd go with a Roswell mini K67x:
https://roswellproaudio.com/products/mini-k67x

If that's more than you wanted to spend, you could try one of the new Rode NT-1s:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...-filter-silver

I wouldn't go cheaper than that. You'll just be fighting the "cheap mic" sound & end up realizing you need a better mic.
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