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  #1  
Old 04-20-2014, 06:45 PM
fredberry fredberry is offline
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Default Need Input on Best Value Audio Interface & Mic

Hi,

I will be buying a USB audio interface and mic for my grandson so he can record acoustic guitar (steel string and classical) w/Audacity on his Windows PC. My budget is $100-150 as determined by Amazon.

The USB audio interfaces I am looking at are M-Audio, Behringer, Focusrite (a little more expensive @ $119). Prices start around $50 for Behringer w/M-Audio at $90 followed by the 2i2. He only needs 2 inputs. What's the difference and why such a significant price disparity?

As for the mic, I am looking at the AT2020 around $50. Any others to consider?

Thanks in advance for the response.

Fred Berry
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:18 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredberry View Post
Hi,

I will be buying a USB audio interface and mic for my grandson so he can record acoustic guitar (steel string and classical) w/Audacity on his Windows PC. My budget is $100-150 as determined by Amazon.

The USB audio interfaces I am looking at are M-Audio, Behringer, Focusrite (a little more expensive @ $119). Prices start around $50 for Behringer w/M-Audio at $90 followed by the 2i2. He only needs 2 inputs. What's the difference and why such a significant price disparity?

As for the mic, I am looking at the AT2020 around $50. Any others to consider?

Thanks in advance for the response.

Fred Berry
Consider getting two mics to allow your grandson to record in stereo. Besides the mic(s) and interface, he will need mic stands and mic cables, as well as headphones, monitor speakers and a table.
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:21 PM
fredberry fredberry is offline
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We already have the cables, stands, etc. We just don't have the mic's and audio interface.
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:32 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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My suggestion is the Focusrite and the AT2020. Get 2 mics if you possibly can.
Solo acoustic guitar really needs to be recorded in stereo.

Jim McCarthy
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:01 PM
Luke_ Luke_ is offline
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Stupid question but why two mics? I understand the difference between steroid and mono. But I don't know why there would be an advantage to two mics and how to utilize them... I'm interested in recording procedure and benefits to doing it correctly
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:20 PM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Originally Posted by Luke_ View Post
Stupid question but why two mics? I understand the difference between steroid and mono. But I don't know why there would be an advantage to two mics and how to utilize them... I'm interested in recording procedure and benefits to doing it correctly
The advantage of 2 mics is that you can produce stereo - instead of mono, which you'd get with one mic. There are tons of articles on the web about setting up mics for acoustic guitar in stereo. The main patterns are X/Y, ORTF, spaced pairs.

Here's just a few places to get you started:

http://www.uaudio.com/blog/stereo-mi...oustic-guitar/
http://www.homestudiocorner.com/stereo-mic-techniques/

And one I wrote (with some video demo) for Acoustic Guitar a while back:

https://www.acousticguitar.com/How-T...Home-Recording
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:04 PM
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For that budget would you not be better off getting one decent large diaphragm mic? Just saying...
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:15 AM
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I use an m-audio m-track 2 in w/phantom and an mxl 990 condenser with the ableton lite that came with the m-track. VERY basic, options for stereo, slightly over $100 for both, bought strategically M.F. deals of the day.

Last edited by dkwvt; 04-21-2014 at 06:17 AM. Reason: Left out sentence
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:02 AM
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Thanks Doug I'll check it out. I've got a akg condenser mic that I use. Usually via iRig HD (phantom) into mixcraft 6. And it comes out stereo when it's mixed down. Not the most advanced setup but us there anything really wrong with it as a start?
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:46 AM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke_ View Post
Thanks Doug I'll check it out. I've got a akg condenser mic that I use. Usually via iRig HD (phantom) into mixcraft 6. And it comes out stereo when it's mixed down. Not the most advanced setup but us there anything really wrong with it as a start?
Sound coming out of left and right speakers or headphones doesn't mean it's stereo. Recording in stereo requires at least 2 mics recording in different positions relative to the sound source.

Jim McCarthy
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:38 AM
whitecloud whitecloud is offline
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look at the Steinberg UR22 @ $150.00 I know that shoots the wad. Has nice preamps(Yamaha's D-pres), great bang for buck converters. Drivers are solid which is VERY important. Comes with OEM version of Cubase. Heads and shoulders above the others you have mentioned. As for mics that can be discussed to death. Perhaps a used shure SM57 to start with. If you are locked into condensers the MXL 67G can be had for 84 bucks. The 2020 is still not bad at 50 though. Good luck
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:13 PM
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Does anyone have experience with the focusrite saffire pro 24? Also looking for suggestions on a mics. (Matched pair at different locations)(large diaphram) Could I do the condenser and use the aura built in for "stereo". I figured that with the FireWire and multi input recording thru mixcraft I could make a decent little home recording. Thoughts?
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:37 PM
whitecloud whitecloud is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke_ View Post
Does anyone have experience with the focusrite saffire pro 24? Also looking for suggestions on a mics. (Matched pair at different locations)(large diaphram) Could I do the condenser and use the aura built in for "stereo". I figured that with the FireWire and multi input recording thru mixcraft I could make a decent little home recording. Thoughts?
Well looks like you up'd your budget quite a bit. Can't tell you much about the saffire pro, think it has decent mic pre's(2) and haven't hear too many complaints. The UR44 is what I am going to upgrade from my UR22(more I/O 2 headphone jacks, DSP software. I do know the Yamaha/Steinberg D-Pres are really nice. Firewire is pretty much on the way out though and finicky about firewire chip sets on the PC's.
As for mics another tricky question as there are many choices. I just ordered a CAD e70 Stereo bundle. Two SDC's each with cardoid and omni capsules, a stereo bar and 2 mic cables all for 200 bucks delivered. I'll report my impressions as I will try X/Y, ORTF, a single mic, perhaps one e70 and one LDC. All these options are mainly for tracking acoustic gtrs. Again carefully research firewire compatibility as only certain chipsets on your machine will work properly with firewire. You just can't assume it would.
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:44 AM
Luke_ Luke_ is offline
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Your kinda loosing me with the chipset and non compatibility with FireWire? If FireWire isn't the answer what is? How do I check for compatibility? I looked as a couple of stereo paired mics in that $200 range. I don't mind spending a few hundred but I want something that's guna sound professional. Lots of the interfaces come with software.. But I'm kinda fond and also familiar with mixcraft 6 is there any reason that that software will be a problem to use? Thanks for all the help
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  #15  
Old 05-05-2014, 08:38 AM
whitecloud whitecloud is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke_ View Post
Your kinda loosing me with the chipset and non compatibility with FireWire? If FireWire isn't the answer what is? How do I check for compatibility? I looked as a couple of stereo paired mics in that $200 range. I don't mind spending a few hundred but I want something that's guna sound professional. Lots of the interfaces come with software.. But I'm kinda fond and also familiar with mixcraft 6 is there any reason that that software will be a problem to use? Thanks for all the help
First off Texas Instrument (TI) FW chips are recommenced.
From the horses mouth(Focusrite)
http://us.focusrite.com/answerbase/s...n-difficulties
amd a simple google
https://www.google.com/search?q=saff...ewire+problems
The above to validate my claim.
As far as mics go the deal I got was this
http://www.zenproaudio.com/cad-e70-s...ir-bundle.aspx
Granted recording acoustic guitar is the main source however there are so many ways to do so. I could of just bought one, but like the fact I get a stereo bar and two mic cables pretty much free when I went with the bundle.
The ADK A6 (LDC) has come down in price by 50 bucks. It is a workhorse and marvelous on Acoustic guitar and vocals. The only Cheaper Chinese LDC condenser I am aware of that doesn't have that shrill brittle high end. More neutral but one does have to consider how proximity factors in when comparing graphs. Nonetheless I am picking up one soon. Used to be $250.00 and I know places I can get one just under 2 bills with shock mount and mic cable. I believe this mic would cover vocals and guitar with great results. Best bang for buck if you can only buy one mic for both duties. One step removed to make it easy
https://www.google.com/search?q=ADK+...m=122&ie=UTF-8
notice FrontEnd audio for $191.20 and check out the vid. These guys sells mics 3-4 times more expensive than the A6. I am going to purchase one soon
http://www.frontendaudio.com/ADK-A6-...one-p/9874.htm
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