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Recording Home Recording...

Marcello

Senior Member
Messages
228
Hi Guys,

I would like to have some suggestions/recommendations for Microphones and Audio interfaces to record myself with the play alongs....

Now, I am using the free Audacity software and recording either with the computers built-in mic or with the mic on the headset....
I found some (apparently) good options using the USB port of the laptop but also read some reviews concerning with latency... does anyone use these mics? The main advantage I found is related to the low cost setup by eliminating the audio interface... :D
I would appreciate if you guys could suggest setups and brands for it...
Please keep in mind that I am not a professional, so I don't intend to expend too much money on this. All I want is a basic setup...

Cheers,
Marcello
 

flukeyluke

Member
Messages
175
hi there :) you could try the samson c01u usb condensor mic,i have one and have used it to great effect for rapping,i havnt used it to record any saxophone yet as im still rubbish lol but it is pritty cheep for a condensor.

i also have an akg condensor mic which is better than the samson but it cost a bit more.

Luke
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
I (along with several other people here) use a Zoom H2, which I'm happy with. It can be used either as a stand-alone recoder or as a combined microphone and audio interface.

I'm not sure what you mean by latency problems but you can adjust the latency correction in audacity to match your set up. There are YouTube videos of how to do this.
 
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daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
I'm using a SE 2200A mic,Alesis multitrack 8 2.0,mixer/audio interface.Some soundproofing.Good cables.Happy with these.I my get a Scarlett interface also,small and portable.Remember good monitors also.LOADS of time also_Oh the dreaded latency,enjoy.
 

Di in France

Senior Member
Messages
619
I've just got the Zoom H2n, not done a lot with it yet, but it does a good job! It's sasy to use and transfer files to the computer. I'm using audacity too, also the wavelab software that comes with it.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
I have a zoom h2n but have found way nicer results on my conventional combo i use now.The zoom is great for rehearsals,gigs,practise etc.
 

Marcello

Senior Member
Messages
228
hi there :) you could try the samson c01u usb condensor mic,i have one and have used it to great effect for rapping,i havnt used it to record any saxophone yet as im still rubbish lol but it is pritty cheep for a condensor.

i also have an akg condensor mic which is better than the samson but it cost a bit more.

Luke
Hi Luke,
I really liked the price..... :w00t:
It seems to be from the same manufacturer as the Zoom H2 reported below.... which is more expensive...
Do you happen to know the difference between them?
 

Marcello

Senior Member
Messages
228
Hi Dave,
I understand your point and since all I want is record my practice time and some songs, the USB options may work fine...

BTW, any of you can tell, in terms of recording, whats the big difference to worthy the money if I compare the Zoom H2 and the C01U...?
 
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Marcello

Senior Member
Messages
228
I (along with several other people here) use a Zoom H2, which I'm happy with. It can be used either as a stand-alone recoder or as a combined microphone and audio interface.

I'm not sure what you mean by latency problems but you can adjust the latency correction in audacity to match your set up. There are YouTube videos of how to do this.
Hi Martin,
Do you have any youtube video where I can listen a record done with this mic?

UPDATE: just found your post with the link to the sound cloud...;} thanks..!
 
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daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
Hi Dave,
I understand your point and since all I want is record my practice time and some songs, the USB options may work fine...

BTW, any of you can tell, in terms of recording, whats the big difference to worthy the money if I compare the Zoom H2 and the C01U...?
I have a normal samson CO1 mic,not the usb version.Very cheap and works nice on soprano.(my back up condenser mic) The zoom is alot more expensive but you get alot more options with it and its more sensitive i find.I also have a Samson wireless mic system which i love and i prefer my samson CS dynamic mic for rehearsals,solo gigs compared to my shure sm57.The CS has 2 different heads you can change,i love my samson mics.I think the Samson G=Track is for you.Its usb and latancey is zero they say and it has a built in audio interface.
 

muzza

Member
Messages
109
Great timing with this topic, since I have just recorded myself today via laptop mic and audacity and wondering how it can be improved.

Will just adding a better mic, for example the Sanson C01, make a big difference. Or is there more to it than just the mic to make your recordings sound better?

Any tips to improve home recording, other than just better equipment.
 
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BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
Hi Martin,
Do you have any youtube video where I can listen a record done with this mic?

UPDATE: just found your post with the link to the sound cloud...;} thanks..!
Be aware that the live recordings on my soundcoud page were done with a digital camera so they don't show the H2's capabilities.
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,355
I've done a bit of reading on the subject of USB mics and can offer a little advice..
First, it all depends on what you want to do. If you only want to record your playing, then any of the cheaper USB mics will do (eg Samson Meteor, CO1U).
If you want to overdub yourself over a pre-recorded backing track, then things get a little more tricky due to the issue of latency, which as far as I can figure out, is the time it takes for the computer to convert the sound picked up by the mic into a digital form and record it onto your hard drive. This means that your recording will be slightly out of sync with the backing track, so your playing will sound slightly behind the beat.
The solution to this problem is 'zero latency monitoring' - somehow the electronics in the audio interface can be made to correct for these differences. Some mic manufacturers have cleverly incorporated zero latency monitoring into their USB mics and provided a headphone socket built into the mic so you can listen and record in sync.
USB mics that have this system start at around £90 and include the Samson G Track, ART M One USB, Rode Podcaster and BLUE Yeti.
As far as I know, the Zoom H2 recorder doesn't feature zero latency monitoring, although it can be used as a USB mic.

Whether it's really necessary to go to the extra expense of buying a USB mic with this added feature is debateable - the latency may not be very noticeable, a delay of less than a tenth of a second may not matter as much with a saxophone as it would with a rhythm instrument and if you're really clever you could move the track forward in your recording software by a tiny amount to compensate for the delay, although doing this accurately would be very fiddly.

One of the main criticisms of USB mics is the low level digital noise that almost all of them have, it's something to do with picking up interference from the USB interface. While the sound from the sax is probably loud enough to drown out this noise, it may become more noticeable if you use compression or limiting to even out the levels of your recording.

For those people who don't have the money to buy mics and are stuck with using the built in mic on your laptop, the only option to improve your recordings is to use the EQ in Audacity (or whatever software you're using) - go to the effects tab and select 'Equalisation' from the drop down menu and you should find a graphic equaliser - turn things down a bit in the 1khz to 4 khz range and turn things up a bit in the 125 hz to 500 hz region and you should get something a little less tinny. Clicking the preview button will give you a 2 second sample of what it'll sound like. If you click 'ok' and end up with something you don't like, there's always the 'undo' function.
Although a lot of people on here like Audacity and it's ok for it's simplicity and lack of cost, it's difficult to use effects and processing easily due to not being able to listen to the results properly before you process the whole track. The stripped down version of Cubase (Cubase LE) that comes free with various recording interfaces allows a lot more control over your sound, although it's also more complicated to use.
I've not tried any of the freeware multitrack recording software that's out there like Studio One Free - http://studioone.presonus.com/free/
or the ones listed here Multitrack recording software Audacity free download - Page 1 , so can't say if they're any good.

Hope this sheds a little light on the matter and I've not made any glaring errors whilst typing after midnight
 
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muzza

Member
Messages
109
Thanks Altissimo. I played with the equalisation feature and it did helped a little.

Recording from built in mic, I pick up some saxophone key noise and some intakes of breaths. I don't hear these in other recordings I listen to by members here. I guess being further from mic may help. Does anyone know how to overcome this.


Thanks
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
I love the sound of my spit on the reed and the odd breathing sounds.Adds a more natural sound.Mic placement is a big factor also.Its a case of keep trying lots of little things untill your happy.I've only learned a tiny fraction in the few weeks i been doing it but for a couple of months i looked alot on youtube etc picking my gear,getting tips.
 

Marcello

Senior Member
Messages
228
Hi Guys...
An update... hehehe
I continue to read reviews and watching videos about this matter...
Davey, the Samson G=Track you suggested is said to have an annoying noise during the recording... do you have one yourself?
I was also considering buy a small audio interface and a condenser mic...
not sure yet,... maybe the Zoom 2 would be ok...
And Altissimo, thanks for the education on the Audacity... I tried a few things on that but the result was a disaster.,.. now i have the information to try again!
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
Hi Guys...
An update... hehehe
I continue to read reviews and watching videos about this matter...
Davey, the Samson G=Track you suggested is said to have an annoying noise during the recording... do you have one yourself?
I was also considering buy a small audio interface and a condenser mic...
not sure yet,... maybe the Zoom 2 would be ok...
And Altissimo, thanks for the education on the Audacity... I tried a few things on that but the result was a disaster.,.. now i have the information to try again!
No i just seen the G Track about.I have other samson mics which i love.My main choice is my SE 2200A large condenser mic,very nice indeed.So sensitive.I have a mixing desk with a built in audio interface.I get nice results on this.I just use my Zoom H2N for quick practice,jam gig recording.I also just use audacity.I have a few other software DAWS but the audacity is doing enough for me at the mo.
ps, i've heard good things about the Gtrack ? but then again if your just wanting a USB mic the Zoom has more use as its portable.But for me i like having my zoom for portable and my standard,mic,audio interface studio combo for home stuff.More choice all round.
 
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Gallen

Senior Member
Messages
397
My setup's a Heil PR31BW for the mic, and mackie blackjack for the interface. Not exactly inexpensive, however I do enjoy how it records my alto. I record it as dry as I can, and dunk it into vsl's hybrid reverb for space.
 
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