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Recording equipment for home?

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First off, sorry if this is in the wrong place, feel free to move it if it is. Anyway, I play in a jazz duo with my brother, and we are about to set up a facebook page for our jazz duo, M.C. Jazz. (early plug:p) We get a good amount of wedding gigs, and playing in pubs, and recently a jazz agent has expressed interest in us.But we want to have some recordings first before we set the page upm, just so people have content to listen to etc. And we dont want to go the route just yet of getting it recorded in studio, so we are going to do it at home. So I was wondering, what would be good stuff for getting high quality recording for alto sax/double bass and soprano sax/double bass. I think when we record as well we'll be going the live studio recording thing, so no dubbing really. We have audacity on our PC, so what else would we need? I have a good sax mic here and my brother has a pick up on his double bass so he can plug in to anything. But what would we need in terms of getting that sound to the computer? I really have no clue. Sorry if this sounds long winded, and confusing, if you need to clear anything up just ask!

Thanks,
Mike
 

kevgermany

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You're in the right place!

Sounds as if you only need a good, but simple audio interface/mixer. Mics/pickups plug into that. Mixer plugs into the pc by USB or firewire. But this is only from what I've read from other posts here.

Something like this maybe: http://www.thomann.de/gb/focusrite_scarlett_2i4.htm

I think it'd help if you say what mic you have, connector type, and whether it needs phantom power. I guess the double bass pick up doesn't need phantom power, but is it XLR or jack plug?
 

thesaxman71

Well-Known Member
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1,687
plus 1 to what Kev said and I use is a "PreSonus audiobox 22" doing the same job and around the same price, maybe even cheaper if you just google for it.
has built in effects and you even get recording software similar to audacity and you can use it in audacity too very easily. It is a very good device and has lots of great features, extra's etc and good reviews but all i know from my use of it is that it is very good.

it is good to shop around as you will find a decent usb soundcard as mentioned above by myself and Kevgermany quite cheap and simply pluging in your 2 mics you will have a nice but simple recording set up.

good luck with the duo, will check out your site when it is up and running!
 
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Messages
88
Hey guys thanks for the prompt replies! In regards to what my mic is it is an AKG 419 clip on with an XLR connector, and yes it needs phantom power. The double bass pickup as you guessed correctly requires no phantom power, and is a jack plug. I like the look of those smaller audio interface/mixer you linked, but that Alesis one is quite tempting indeed, but I suppose with limited space, it might be a better idea to go with the smaller one since we are only a two man group? Also in regards to those speakers, would buying a good quality pair of headphones like some SeinnHeissers (sorry if I spelt that wrong :p) be a viable option instead? Just not sure if we are willing to invest the dosh into a set of those speakers. Cheers guys!
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
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Hey guys thanks for the prompt replies! In regards to what my mic is it is an AKG 419 clip on with an XLR connector, and yes it needs phantom power. The double bass pickup as you guessed correctly requires no phantom power, and is a jack plug. I like the look of those smaller audio interface/mixer you linked, but that Alesis one is quite tempting indeed, but I suppose with limited space, it might be a better idea to go with the smaller one since we are only a two man group? Also in regards to those speakers, would buying a good quality pair of headphones like some SeinnHeissers (sorry if I spelt that wrong :p) be a viable option instead? Just not sure if we are willing to invest the dosh into a set of those speakers. Cheers guys!

The plus with the Alesis which by the way is only about 12 inches by 12 inches approx. is you can use it as a mixer at gigs plus you get 8 channels if you ever need more mics,leads ect and you get the world famous Alesis reverb unit in it and it has a on off phantom power.1 word of warning if your using Audacity is you can only record 1 mic at a time.Also using a clip on mic you will get key noice on the track.As for monitors I love mine and you do need them really but you can get buy on headphones of course.In the end I find the less you spend the less quality you will hear.Theres plenty of canny large condenser mics at about £50,,lots of monitors for less the £100.
 
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88
Yeah thats what I was thinking with the alesis, that it would be good for gigs, so I am kind of leaning towards that one after I thought on it for a while. Excuse the ignorance and everything here, but I am on thomann looking at the KRK RP6 monitors, and am wondering are they priced per monitor or as a pair? http://www.thomann.de/ie/krk_rp6_rokit_g2.htm I am assuming per monitor but just want to double check. Im not sure I could afford those KRK at the moment, so would anyone know anything on these? http://www.thomann.de/ie/maudio_bx5_d2.htm
 

kevgermany

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That's per speaker, guess you'll need two.
 
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but the the M-audio once I linked at the end of my post are priced as a pair, so Id be tempted to get those, but just wondering want they'd be like in comparsion to the KRK ones.
 

kevgermany

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Thomann's budget stuff is usually OK, but I'd try and find some reviews first, or try them (probably close to impossible, I know). These will be your main sound interface, and if they're not what you want, it's dead money.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
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Yeah thats what I was thinking with the alesis, that it would be good for gigs, so I am kind of leaning towards that one after I thought on it for a while. Excuse the ignorance and everything here, but I am on thomann looking at the KRK RP6 monitors, and am wondering are they priced per monitor or as a pair? http://www.thomann.de/ie/krk_rp6_rokit_g2.htm I am assuming per monitor but just want to double check. Im not sure I could afford those KRK at the moment, so would anyone know anything on these? http://www.thomann.de/ie/maudio_bx5_d2.htm

you can get a pair for £200 here on ebay UK.
 

aaronrod

Member
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42
I second what a previous poster said about the clip-on mic - while they are great for live gigs, I'd avoid them for recording. Otherwise, it will sound like you have your own percussion section playing with you (speaking from experience)!

However, if you still want to use the clip on, you can try putting some cotton, a piece of thick cloth, or even and old washcloth where you clip the mic on. You will still get some key noise, but the cloth should help deaden the vibrations that travel through the sax itself, lessening the key click effect.

As far as purchasing monitors, I'd take a step back and look at the bigger picture - where is your recording going to be distributed, and how much do you plan on recording in the future? If you are making this recording solely for web distribution, then I would buy an inexpensive 2-port audio interface, and then just use what you already have to mix and release. When you are releasing as sound file on the web, chances are you are going to use a lossy compression format in order to keep the file size sown. This would mean that you are going to lose a lot of what you would hear when you use nice monitors. Also, your listeners are probably going to hear your music through a set of computer speakers or headphones.

Another thing to consider is that you may be able to get 2 or three tracks professionally recorded, mixed and mastered for the cost of setting up your own home studio, especially if your duo has their act together - that is, you can go to the studio, and lay down your tracks in one or two takes. Again, if you do not plan on doing much home recording, this may be a more cost-effective option. (I'm not 100% sure on cost - I live in Australia, where pricing for any sort of music equipment is VERY high.)

The choice is obviously up to you. I am just suggesting take a step back, and see if this is where you want to spend your resources. Shopping for new gear is a lot of fun, so it is easy to get carried away. :)
 
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88
You do raise a good few points Aaron. I think for now the 2-port audio interface would be a better idea at the moment. I think we would be doing quite a lot of home recording, so it may be more cost effective and better overall to just do it ourselves, especially for experience mixing etc. So i think right now we will go for the 2 port audio interface that was linked by Kev Germany and just work on normal speakers that we have at home. Cheers man, you're right, gear shopping is fun and easy to get carried away, but I'm gonna try my hardest to stay as reasonable and logical about it as possible lol :)

So lets say on the distinct possibility, that we go for the 2 port audio, and normal speakers, is that all we would need, like no extra cables or anything like that? Cheers
 

aaronrod

Member
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42
You can certainly get away with recording with only that equipment - just remember to listen to your finished product on a few different sound systems, so you can get an idea of what your audience can hear. As for specific recommendations, I do very little home recording, so I'm sure there are others who will provide better advice (such as those above).

The nice thing is that while there is a ton of pro audio gear out there, you can build your studio little by little. :)

If you are really interested in home recording, thre is a free course on Coursera that you may be interested in - it starts in a couple of weeks: https://www.coursera.org/course/musicproduction

Godo luck and have fun!
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
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3,303
Why not just buy a Zoom HN2 recorder.Sounds up to now like you don't want to spend much and your very green to all the recording stuff so a zoom would do yous great.Just play and record.Sound is very good on them.
 

aaronrod

Member
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42
Why not just buy a Zoom HN2 recorder.Sounds up to now like you don't want to spend much and your very green to all the recording stuff so a zoom would do yous great.Just play and record.Sound is very good on them.

The Zooms can do a really good job, especially with a little room preparation (things like hanging up some drapes on the walls to keep the echos and reverb down, etc). It could also double as an excellent gig recorder, so you could get a bit more use out of it than just recording at home.
 

Jules

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The Zooms can do a really good job, especially with a little room preparation (things like hanging up some drapes on the walls to keep the echos and reverb down, etc). It could also double as an excellent gig recorder, so you could get a bit more use out of it than just recording at home.
I'd second that, excellent pieces of kit...
 

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