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Archive for the ‘recording’ Category

For quite some time now I’ve been looking to buy gear for recording.  Since I just got a brand new MacBook, I felt now was the right time.  I’ve heard nothing but good things about MacBooks, and nothing but good things about Mac’s general performance for music applications.  In fact, many professional recording engineers use Mac Pro with Logic Studio software for recording, editing and mixing music.  When buying my MacBook I had them preinstall Logic Express which is basically a trimmed down version of Logic Studio.  Its a step up from the GarageBand software Mac is now including with their machines.  I also bought the MacBook with 2GB RAM, 2.4Ghz, and 160GB hard drive in order to have enough power and speed to do what I need to do.  I made sure to ask my more computer savy friends if it was worth going to the machine with more memory, and they basically screamed yes at me!  so I did.

The next step to building my home studio was doing some research.  One week ago I didn’t know much about home recording.  I have done recording at a friends home studio (check out Tim McGivern on MySpace), and I have played live music, but someone else is always running all the equipment.  I knew that there were different types of mics, and that mics are very important.  If you have a crap mic, then all the best software in the world isn’t going to make you sound nice.  I knew that I needed some sort of panel to plug into prior to the computer, and I knew I needed a good set of headphones in order to mix and master the recorded product.  To get me further along in knowledge, I visited the Pro Audio section of Guitar Center.  Some musicians out there don’t really like Guitar Center, and I can understand why.  I see it as a place to go try out instruments and talk to people who know way more about stuff than I do.  They also have excellent sales every now and then.

I learned all about preamps, interface’s, phantom power, condensor microphones, instrument microphones, microphone combos.  I learned about monitor headphones, monitor speakers, firewire vs USB, latency and on and on.  I hit the internet that night to find out more.  After a few hours researching I bought the following gear for $367 at Musicians Friend:

MXL 992 LARGE DIAPHRAGM CONDENSER MICROPHONE

MXL 992 Large Diaphragm Condensor Microphone

MXL 992 Large Diaphragm Condensor Microphone

I also got a mic stand for this.  Its a boom stand, so the placement should be very easy.  This mic has had fantastic reviews.  5 stars in a lot of cases.  Everyone from home studio recorders to professionals like this baby.  I know that microphones are the single most important thing when it comes to having a recording you can be proud of, so I spent some time looking into them and reading review after review.  The negative thing people said about this mic is that the shell is a little flimsy, so you have to handle it with care.  I’m going to treat it like my baby.

PRESONUS AUDIOBOX

PreSonus Audiobox

PreSonus Audiobox

So it seems that the preamps is another important piece.  This little guy is going to take the signal I give it from the microphone and turn it into something that the computer software can use.  This is what delivers the signal to the computer.  The higher quality the signal, the better your recording is going to sound.  This little puppy plugs into the USB port (which has more latency than Firewire) and again, has rave reviews among home recording artists out there.  PreSonus is widely known for the quality of their preamps.  The preamp is what creates the signal delivered to the computer.  Of course, I’m not being too technical here because I don’t really know much more than this.  I’m sure there are better explanations out there.

AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-M40FS PRECISION STUDIOPHONES

Audio Technica ATH-M40fs Precision Studiophones

Audio Technica ATH-M40fs Precision Studiophones

These headphones, again, good reviews for mixing recordings.  The only negative is that after a few years the padding starts to chip away.  Oh well.  The price was great.

I’d love it if anyone reading has an suggestions on how to make the set up better.  I’m planning on setting the mic up for mono recording to get a live feel.  This will mean placement of the mic halfway up, and a bit above the fret board of the guitar.  I’ll experiment with distance from the mic.  I’m pumped!!!

Enjoy the Sounds,

Tim


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