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Old 02-09-2019, 08:48 PM
LikeASir_ LikeASir_ is offline
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Default Know nothing about recording. How can I get started

Hey guys, I'm planning on recording some of my songs to listen to them and improve on my playing. Most of it is finger style.

I already have a MacBook with Garageband. Don't want to spend a lot of money as I'll only be using it sparingly and not to create Youtube videos or whatever.

What's the simplest/cost-effective method?
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:01 PM
rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Originally Posted by LikeASir_ View Post
Hey guys, I'm planning on recording some of my songs to listen to them and improve on my playing. Most of it is finger style.

I already have a MacBook with Garageband. Don't want to spend a lot of money as I'll only be using it sparingly and not to create Youtube videos or whatever.

What's the simplest/cost-effective method?
Same question has been asked many, many, times. I suggest you read the many prior threads on this part of the forum where info and advise has been laid out.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:10 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Originally Posted by LikeASir_ View Post
Hey guys, I'm planning on recording some of my songs to listen to them and improve on my playing. Most of it is finger style.

I already have a MacBook with Garageband. Don't want to spend a lot of money as I'll only be using it sparingly and not to create Youtube videos or whatever.

What's the simplest/cost-effective method?
I won't be the only one to suggest this but the easiest way to get a darned good recording is to buy a Zoom H4 (or better). You can then import the recordings into your computer (Garageband, Audacity (free), Reaper ($60))for editing if you want. Once you have a recorder, you'll need to read up on mic placement and room acoustics.

If you go down the separate mic/mic preamp/interface/converters road, it'll cost you a lot more money and you'll be needing to spend a lot of time learning how it all works.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:36 PM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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I agree with Rick that just spending some time reading posts here would provide a lot of info, although maybe not as structured as you'd hope for - but there's a lot here.

I'd hope that the article I wrote for this month's Acoustic Guitar might also help you get started and point you in some reasonable directions at least. Available free online, tho the print version's a lot prettier :-)

home-recording-for-acoustic-guitar/

This is one of those topics you could write a whole book about, and still not cover it all, so read a few things and just dive in! You won't get it right the first time, but you'll learn by doing. Post your results here and people may be able to give you feedback and make suggestions, too.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by LikeASir_ View Post
Hey guys, I'm planning on recording some of my songs to listen to them and improve on my playing. Most of it is finger style.

I already have a MacBook with Garageband. Don't want to spend a lot of money as I'll only be using it sparingly and not to create Youtube videos or whatever.

What's the simplest/cost-effective method?
If it is just "to listen to and improve playing " and you have a smart phone just use it's recording feature . To start with
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:29 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LikeASir_ View Post
Hey guys, I'm planning on recording some of my songs to listen to them and improve on my playing. Most of it is finger style.

I already have a MacBook with Garageband. Don't want to spend a lot of money as I'll only be using it sparingly and not to create Youtube videos or whatever.

What's the simplest/cost-effective method?
Even though you have a Macbook and Garageband, if you're looking for the simplest and easiest way to record yourself then I'd suggest you get a small handheld recorder.

I have a bunch of recording gear and a small fortune in microphones but I often use a Tascam DR-05. If you have good headphones then that's all you need and it will set you back less than $100.

If you have a camera tri-pod then you have an easy way to position the recorder in front of you. If you don't have a camera tri-pod then pick up a short boom stand and use an adapter to hold your new recorder in a microphone clip.

That's quick n' easy, you can go onward and upward from there if you chose to do so. The great thing about a stand-mounted handheld and headphones is you can pick it up and record anywhere you want to; back porch, bathroom, livingroom or kitchen, it's all fun!
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:19 AM
Irish Pennant Irish Pennant is offline
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I'm an absolute novice when it comes to recording. For me the simplest and most utilitarian tool I've used for recording ideas, for improving my playing and for creating new pieces has been a looper pedal that can save and recall loops. I play plugged in most of the time, even when practicing and so a looper is always at hand.

I recently bought a pair of condenser mics (MXL993 and 990) and set them up for recording unplugged. For now, because of logistics I'm using my Zed 10fx mixer as an interface and Garageband as a DAW. I also had to buy a couple more mic stands, cables and an extension chord. The first few attempts at recoding was an exorcise in frustration, it's slowly getting less frustrating.

In my practice room where I play plugged in I have a PC with Mixcraft 8 on it. I've tried a few recordings with it, I still have a lot to learn about it.

Of the three recording methods I use, the looper is by far the simplest, most intuitive and most useful for "I'm planning on recording some of my songs to listen to them and improve on my playing. Most of it is finger style."
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:40 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
Even though you have a Macbook and Garageband, if you're looking for the simplest and easiest way to record yourself then I'd suggest you get a small handheld recorder.
Even simpler and easier is using the built-in mic in your MacBook. If it's just to critique and improve your playing, that'll work okay. If you have an acoustically-dead room to do it in, it'll work better than okay.

The Nashville session guitarist/fiddlist/banjoist Tom Rutledge has some MacBook recordings on his site (which may be down - I can't find it) that are fairly astonishing, but that's due to the room.

This stuff is like electric trains, though. A plain circle of track under the Christmas tree will do at first, but that won't last long.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:48 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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I am no pro at recording, even though I have been playing for over 5 decades. I started making some recordings because my wife wanted to have them on her phone. I started by recording directly into the mic on my iPad... it didn't sound great, but it was there. I spent $0 doing that.

She said, "It doesn't sound like the way I hear you," and encouraged me to get a recorder. I bought a Zoom H4n Pro - the sound was remarkably better, but that handheld was a lot of "fussy work" with the small buttons and scroll wheel.

She saw an ad for a Spire Studio and thought that would be easier to use. I wound up buying one (had a good discount from Musicians' Friend) and found the sound was better and it is simple to use. I now make her recordings any time she wants, and add bass, drums, harmony vocals, etc. up to 8 tracks with that. There is a thread on this Recording sub-forum about using the Spire.

It has an onboard condenser mic and two additional inputs. The best feature about it is the ease of use with the wireless connection to your phone or iPad. I don't fuss with controlling the recording space (my guitar room is small with a lot of solid surfaces), but enjoy having a record of the music I'm making. The Spire is usable on its own, but you get the ease of mixing and can graphically see what you are doing, make cuts, record with effects, etc by using it with your device.

The Spire retails for $350, but you can get it for less with the regular 15% (or more) off offerings from MF or GC.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:03 AM
Hurricane Ramon Hurricane Ramon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LikeASir_ View Post
Hey guys, I'm planning on recording some of my songs to listen to them and improve on my playing. Most of it is finger style.

I already have a MacBook with Garageband. Don't want to spend a lot of money as I'll only be using it sparingly and not to create Youtube videos or whatever.

What's the simplest/cost-effective method?

Use an Iphone 5 or newer and go into your Mac with the video's audio , that is as
simple as it gets .

Other wise get an interface - some are quite cheap ( under $100.00 ) to very expensive .

EZ :

HR

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Old 02-10-2019, 11:03 AM
LikeASir_ LikeASir_ is offline
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Thank you so much guys! I have already been recording with my iPhone 7 but the sound just doesn't fit my expectations. I'll take a look at the Zoom recorders.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:40 AM
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DCCougar DCCougar is offline
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Originally Posted by LikeASir_ View Post
....I'll take a look at the Zoom recorders.
....or a Tascam DR05.

So you have no plans of multitracking? I always wanted to play two or more parts. With garageband you can do this (actually I use Cubase Elements - < $100), but you'll just need to get a USB audio interface, like a Focusrite Scarlett, to deal with the latency.

Whatever you choose, happy recording!
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:51 AM
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I have a Zoom H5 and I'm pretty happy with it. I use external mics, but this isn't necessary. I've used the Zoom just on its own, just resting on the sofa cushion next to me and recorded good stuff for reviewing. The built in mics of the zoom seem to sound best to me when I place it on a sofa cushion, not mounted on a stand on a desk. Maybe this has something to do with the reflections from underneath.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:24 PM
JakeStone JakeStone is offline
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Originally Posted by LikeASir_ View Post
Thank you so much guys! I have already been recording with my iPhone 7 but the sound just doesn't fit my expectations. I'll take a look at the Zoom recorders.
Zoom recorders are excellent. I have owned a few in the past.

But if you can find a used Apogee Mic ... You'd be amazed at the quality. But not sure of your budget.

The thing I like about the Apogee mic.. Ease of use. Depending on the model, they connect to iPhones or USB to Macbook. Using Garageband.

Of course the Zoom Recorder is pretty dang easy too.. But the sound of the Apogee Mic (in my opinion) is better.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:32 PM
LikeASir_ LikeASir_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeStone View Post
Zoom recorders are excellent. I have owned a few in the past.

But if you can find a used Apogee Mic ... You'd be amazed at the quality. But not sure of your budget.

The thing I like about the Apogee mic.. Ease of use. Depending on the model, they connect to iPhones or USB to Macbook. Using Garageband.

Of course the Zoom Recorder is pretty dang easy too.. But the sound of the Apogee Mic (in my opinion) is better.
Thanks, I'll check them out. I'll probably end up getting a Zoom though. Shoreline carries the H2n and H4n and I've got a $50 coupon reward.

You can add mics to a Zoom right? So they record together? Is there a benefit to this?
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Last edited by LikeASir_; 02-10-2019 at 08:41 PM.
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