Help with recording to computer

Help with recording to computer

Postby hotasaPistol » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:54 am

Hey Now,
I just got a computer for my music room and was hoping for some advice on a good way to record our band practices.

I guess I need help from the very beginning....the computer is a PC... I would like to do it as economically as possible

What kind of program or software should I use

Kind of microphone

I am very illiterate in this stuff so all help and advice is very much appreciated

I was using a Zoom H2 but was going blind trying to read the tiny screen so I gave it to my drummers daughter for a graduation present. She is really good and writes her own stuff


thanks all

Pistol :smile:
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Re: Help with recording to computer

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:00 pm

Some people use Garage Band to record onto computer ....
good luck
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Re: Help with recording to computer

Postby amyjared » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:45 pm

Not sure what others use, but I like M-Audio's fast track. It's fairly inexpensive and simple to use. Here's a link:
http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/FastTrackUSB.html

It's for recording guitar into the computer. I use Garageband to mix in other instruments. I don't do vocals, but I have imic for the Mac, not sure what to suggest for the PC.
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Re: Help with recording to computer

Postby FretfulDave » Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:05 pm

Pistol -

You could get Audacity. It is a very popular, free GNU-licensed recording and editing program. It has a lot of functions available but does lack some sophisticated ones.

Your PC, just by itself, likely has a stereo mini-plug for a stereo mic. Or you can purchase a stereo to two mono adapter cable. You will be best off with two microphones. I used two Radio Shack (shure rebranded) omni-directional mics for years with my DAT deck with good results. For your practice sessions, you could do with regular mics but will need adapters to 1/8" mini plugs and that is where things can get sticky. XLR adapters to 1/4" or 1/8" usually cut the dB output of the mic and can mess with recording levels. You can purchase lo-Z mics cables with 1/4" phone jacks and do a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter on each, that should work fine. More expensive options include buying cards with microphone XLR connectors, etc. and assigning inputs to the recording programs such as Audacity.

But, with a setup of two mics into the mic jack, you would create two tracks in Audacity, assign one to the left channel and one to the right channel and hit the record button. Since you are recording band practices, you probably don't need to do much else except for adjust the mic volume. N.B. your laptop likely will NOT support the new powered stereo mics from Sony (unless you have a Sony Viao laptop and then I would check the PC manual). Depending on what you want, you could stop and save each song after you have finished and start a fresh recording or (what I do) is record the entire session and edit the songs later with the editing function and save out the individual tracks.

Sorry to hear about your H2 troubles. I have one and I love it. I just set it up in the middle of the jams that I participate in, hit record and let it go. Then I copy to my computer and edit the songs out there. I usually do a save at set breaks. I also use the normalize function on the H2 to bring volumes up, but I know what you mean about the small screen, etc. That is why I don't try to edit or do much else on the H2 itself.

Hope this helps some... good luck! :smile:

Dave
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Re: Help with recording to computer

Postby RiverRat » Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:20 pm

I've been using 2 Audio-Technica 831 Mini Mics and Sound Professionals "Battery Box" direct into the Line-In for about 8 years now and have gotten fairly decent results.

Do not use Mic In to record on a laptop or PC via the Integrated sound card... Mic In is typically mono, NOT stereo and has it's own preamp. You will end up with horrible recordings 99.99% of the time if you use the microphone input of the typical consumer grade audio card.

Audacity is pretty good software for recording a simple stereo recording.

I'll add a +1 for the M-Audio gear, I use a MobilePRE USB for guitar stuff and occasionally for mobile recording.
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Re: Help with recording to computer

Postby FretfulDave » Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:34 pm

RiverRat wrote:I've been using 2 Audio-Technica 831 Mini Mics and Sound Professionals "Battery Box" direct into the Line-In for about 8 years now and have gotten fairly decent results.

Do not use Mic In to record on a laptop or PC via the Integrated sound card... Mic In is typically mono, NOT stereo and has it's own preamp. You will end up with horrible recordings 99.99% of the time if you use the microphone input of the typical consumer grade audio card.

Audacity is pretty good software for recording a simple stereo recording.

I'll add a +1 for the M-Audio gear, I use a MobilePRE USB for guitar stuff and occasionally for mobile recording.


Well, new laptops generally have stereo mic/line in jack. I have purchased and/or received 4 new laptops in the last year and that is in fact the case. May not be so for audio on desktops. However, I do agree with RiverRat that using the built ins for recording are generally not going to produce great results, especially depending on how isolated the fan is, the preamp as mentioned and numerous other gremlins. Purchasing any of the stuff recommended will get you better quality sound recording. I tried to use a Sony stereo mic into a slightly older laptop and even though I got stereo via the microphone input, the amount of ambient noise that was induced by the laptop fans and chips made the results unuseable.

Audacity also supports numerous channels, so you can actually record a left and right, create another channel, assign a mic to it, play back the other two while recording on the new track, but it will be limited to assigning the number of inputs that you have at one time, i.e. two mics, one for each channel so one can add tracks, etc. though I am not sure how mix down is done.

I have used M-audio gear, older stuff in the past, and agree that it is good. Depends on how far you want to go and how much you want to spend for the type of recording quality you are looking for.

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Re: Help with recording to computer

Postby RiverRat » Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:58 pm

Old faithful is in need of a tune-up...

Image

I removed all the "extra" stuff.
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Re: Help with recording to computer

Postby FretfulDave » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:01 pm

RiverRat wrote:Old faithful is in need of a tune-up...

Image

I removed all the "extra" stuff.



Sweet! :lol:
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Re: Help with recording to computer

Postby hotasaPistol » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:57 am

Hey Now

thanks guys for all your input

I am going to downloand Audacity on to my old desktop

I also found a usb microphone called "Blue Snowball" that had good reviews that I bought at Guitar Center yesterday so have 30 days to return it if it doesn't work.

Then I will try the M-Audio route with 2 mikes.

Hopefully this will all work out and then I can post some stuff and get your feedback

take care and much obliged

Pistol :cool:
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Re: Help with recording to computer

Postby hotasaPistol » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:57 am

Hey Now

thanks guys for all your input

I am going to downloand Audacity on to my old desktop

I also found a usb microphone called "Blue Snowball" that had good reviews that I bought at Guitar Center yesterday so have 30 days to return it if it doesn't work.

Then I will try the M-Audio route with 2 mikes.

Hopefully this will all work out and then I can post some stuff and get your feedback

take care and much obliged

Pistol :cool:
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