You are here

Garage Band Recording Setup? $500 budget

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Garage Band Recording Setup? $500 budget

Postby lepardman » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:26 pm

I just want to thank everyone for the help in my last thread, I love recording music and you guys have helped me tremendously.

--

I want to start recording some music with my friends. I'm very new at this, keep in mind.

We have a guitar, piano, and vocals. So potentially 3 mics needed? Idk
1 for acoustic guitar
1 for piano (not electric)
1 for vocals?

I have a windows 10 laptop to use to record with Reaper/Other audio programs.

We are just wanting to recording music at a semi decent level, we dont need amps or anything.

Thanks!
lepardman
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:00 am

Re: Garage Band Recording Setup? $500 budget

Postby blinddrew » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:00 pm

Ok, assuming we're starting from scratch, and you want to record everything at the same time.
Firstly you're going to need an interface with at least 3 mic pres (assuming you're miking the guitar not DIing it).
Options there are things like the Steinberg UR44 at around £220 (which comes with a basic version of Cubase bundled in) or things like the Tascam US16x08 at about £200 (which doesn't come with the software but gives you the scope to record more channels in the future).
Microphone wise, you can pick up a cheap pair of small diaphragm condensers for as little as £50 but stretching to £100 wouldn't do you any harm. £50 for stands and cables is probably doable if you hunt around, leaving you about £150 for a large diaphragm capacitor for vocals.

All of that is going to be bargain basement stuff but it'll be enough to be starting with, and if you're anything like me, it'll be a while before your kit is the weakest link in your recording and producing chain. :)
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4496
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:00 pm
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Garage Band Recording Setup? $500 budget

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:52 pm

Drew has most of it covered but a few extra points.....

Reaper is great, and cheap enough that there is no temptation to try to find a dodgy copy. (Garage Band is pretty good too but has only 5% of the features of Reaper). :) .

If the guitar is an electro acoustic you might, with some compromise to quality, plug it straight into the interface reducing you mic/mic pre count to two. It is also possible to record an acoustic group, playing together with two (or even one) mic and get excellent results in a nice sounding space.

Depending on how much you would like to be able to mix and process the recordings after the fact and that depends on a number of things, your ability to understand and use the software, how good your ears are at identifying problems and solving them, how much patience you have and how good your mixing room and speakers are (headphones are an option that can work to eliminate the room form the process).

If, like my mate John, you are a computer illiterate with great ears for a performance and you play in a live acoustic band a simple SD card recorder or a stereo USB mic might be the best way to capture performances as they happen. just a bit of editing and normalisation and you're good to go. If you love the tech side (like my other mate Tony) then a full on multi miked setup into Reaper will let you tweak to your hearts content. Which will deliver the best results will depend on how good your playing skills are relative to your tweaking ability........

Either way, I'd suggest, after considering which approach you feel most appropriate, buying the best mics you can :)
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6508
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Garage Band Recording Setup? $500 budget

Postby blinddrew » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:01 pm

Sam makes a very good point about recording together as a group, if that's your preferred way of playing then that opens some alternative options, for example you could then come down to a 2-input interface (like this: https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-an ... rface/1WMX) and a pair of multi-pattern microphones (like this*: https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-an ... phone/154R)
You're going to be a little tight to get two mic stands and XLR cables for £30 but you won't need much more than that.
By going for multi-pattern mics you open up different microphone pattern recording options (Blumlein and M/S for example) and having two mics of the same type means you won't have wildly different tonality when it comes to mixing.

* Token bit of full disclosure, I have one of these microphones, and I'm very happy with it.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4496
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:00 pm
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Garage Band Recording Setup? $500 budget

Postby garrettendi » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:25 pm

I hate to sound like a stuck record (and I'm not being paid by Behringer!) but if you're on a really tight budget, then the Behringer UMC404HD has 4 XLR/TRS combo jacks and the preamps are pretty good. Then you are flexible in whether you plug the guitar straight in or mic it, and you have more money for better quality microphones.

I have the UMC204HD and couldn't be happier, price considered. Sure if you spend more you can get better, but you're on a budget.

EDIT: +1 for Reaper as well. Mixbus 4 is also good and cheap and is what I personally use.
User avatar
garrettendi
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1278
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:00 am
"The blues isn't about feeling better. It's about making other people feel WORSE, and making a few bucks while you're at it." - Bleeding Gums Murphy

Re: Garage Band Recording Setup? $500 budget

Postby ef37a » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:31 pm

garrettendi wrote:I hate to sound like a stuck record (and I'm not being paid by Behringer!) but if you're on a really tight budget, then the Behringer UMC404HD has 4 XLR/TRS combo jacks and the preamps are pretty good. Then you are flexible in whether you plug the guitar straight in or mic it, and you have more money for better quality microphones.

I have the UMC204HD and couldn't be happier, price considered. Sure if you spend more you can get better, but you're on a budget.

EDIT: +1 for Reaper as well. Mixbus 4 is also good and cheap and is what I personally use.

AhA! You could be the man to tell me? What is the 204 like for latency please? Does it have decent ASIO drivers?

The OP is a visitor (hi BTW!) and I know he has expressed an interest in building tracks and this would require low latency performance.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9192
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk

Re: Garage Band Recording Setup? $500 budget

Postby garrettendi » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:34 am

ef37a wrote:AhA! You could be the man to tell me? What is the 204 like for latency please? Does it have decent ASIO drivers?

The OP is a visitor (hi BTW!) and I know he has expressed an interest in building tracks and this would require low latency performance.

Dave.

If you use the official UMC drivers from Behringer then latency is good. You can select different settings for the latency which also affect the quality of the sound. I originally set it to "Relaxed" which had a fantastic sound but the latency was very noticeable. I could have worked with it, but it was jarring. I then tried the "Minimum latency" setting (or whatever the most extreme is called). There was no latency but it kept on missing notes as I played my guitar and there was a fair bit of unpleasant distortion.

I know this sounds bad, but bear with me...

I then tried the "Standard" latency setting. This time there was no latency that I could tell (I haven't got a precise measurement but I literally could not notice anything at all) and the sound quality was perfect, In a demo recording I made there was one moment where it popped and crackled on a single note, but I think that may be something I did wrong. You can find the demo here if you want to listen to that "pop": https://soundcloud.com/robinofloxley/bl ... e-a-scotch

Yes this pop isn't good, but I think I was just unlucky at that particular moment in time, and everything else is perfect for me. The OP can get a better interface, but for a budget, I can safely recommend the Behringer.

NOTE: I am a total newbie to recording. The problems in the track could be entirely down to me.

EDIT: The UMC drivers do use ASIO by the way.

EDIT 2: The sound samples and videos I've listened to from other people have had no pops etc at all... Which heavily implies the problem is with me!

EDIT 3: Yes, my playing and singing in that demo is awful! Please go easy on me!!! :beamup:

EDIT 4 (shut up!): I think that pop might actually have been my striking a muted string. I was really trying to get some phrasing in and I often do hit the wrong string.
User avatar
garrettendi
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1278
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:00 am
"The blues isn't about feeling better. It's about making other people feel WORSE, and making a few bucks while you're at it." - Bleeding Gums Murphy


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users