Old 4th April 2006, 07:44   #1
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Question Home Recording

I'm sure this has been asked and answered before, but I can't seem to find anything specific in my searches.

A few local hip hop artists I work with (and don't turn away at the mention of rap - I know how some of you are :P) are trying to find a decent setup we can all use at our houses to record vocals for tracks.

We do work in the studio sometimes, but that costs enough, and for the most part alot of mixtapes or just singles are done at home studios around the city. Thing is, even home studios cost a little bit to use, or are just inconvienent as some of the people that let us record for free aren't always available to help out.

Anyway, that brings me to my question, which i'm sure you've predicted by now... What's the exact setup I need to get to record decent sounding vocals to a PC?

I'm not even close to educated when it comes to the science of recording. What I do know is your average computer with a mic and a soundcard creates way too much interference to get a good sound with.

Now i've been told there's three things I need (the people who told me this haven't mentioned any specific models though);

A good microphone (eg. not a shitty desktop mic)
A better soundcard (something to do with 1/8 input was also mentioned)
A some kind of mixer or something that the mic goes through before reaching the PC.

Now even knowing this, I don't know what specific mic would be best for us (it is just vocals too, remember that), and whether or not we can make use of mic's we already have (that have the larger jacks that don't fit a PC - though i'm assuming the mixer would solve this problem.). I've also heard stuff about condenser mic's and directional mic's etc. I have no clue what that means other than the way they take in the sound.

My soundcard right now is onboard (so there really isn't one), so I know I need one. But others have good soundcards they paid for, so I don't know if they're good enough to keep, so knowing what I would need out of a soundcard would help as well.

Finally, what I know least about seeing as i'm not even sure what it is, is the pass through thing i'm told is a mixer. I'm guessing these keep out interference better, and help to improve quality by equalizing real-time as opposed to doing it with software. Who knows, but i'm told it's very necessary. This is one of the things where getting a specific model would help ALOT.

Anyway, now that you get what i'm going for - please educate me. Lol.. because i'm lost. Every home studio has more of a studio like setup that has expensive equipment before it reaches the PC. I'm not looking for exact studio quality, just something that people will know isn't some crappy computer recording.

Also, seeing as how we're doing this with about five or six people, keep cost in mind. Some can afford more than others so maybe explaining differences in equipment that costs a little more or a little less would be GREAT!

Software ideas will also help.

Anyway, any and all help will be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance and I hope the audio savvy people here at Winamp will be able to help.
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Old 4th April 2006, 08:55   #2
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The microphone and a half-decent quality input card are the most important things. You might want to put it through a small mixing desk (one of those mixer things for decks would probably do) to sort out the levels too, but that's less necessary.

For audio recording mics, generally speaking, the more money you're willing to pay the better they get. If you have a music shop nearby, they might be able to offer you advice, including what the best you can get for your available funds is. I'm afraid I don't know a lot about specific brands (not really relevant to me!).

The soundcard thing, in general a semi high-level SoundBlaster one (one of the ones with the seperate input box, or even one for which that's available, I'd think) should do you — you don't need one of those specific music ones unless you're doing real mixing and stuff on the system, which I doubt you are.

On the other hand of course, it might be worth just buying an old analogue four-track and not going down the computer route at all — you can get a lot out of those things.

But, for rap, I'd think the microphone and what it feeds into should be your first place of concern. Hopefully some people on here know more specifics, this is just what I've gathered from being in various bands over the last 10 years or so!

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Old 4th April 2006, 18:23   #3
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my friend does exactly what you're trying to do(he does christian rap).


that's his myspace. you can ask him about the equipment he uses. i don't know how fast a response would be but checks his myspace every day.

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Old 4th April 2006, 18:28   #4
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