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Thread Information for basic Laptop Setup

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sim_en

sim_en

2 posts
New AFfiliate
First post
1 Posted on 07/15/2006 at 14:32:48
Hey guys,

I'm new to the forum and I'm trying to get a basic setup going. I currently have a laptop (Toshiba M40 - 1.6 Ghz Centrino, 1.5 Gigs of Ram, 60 Gigs HD) but the internal sound card isn't very good and I'm using a cheap 10 dollar mic from a computer store. I find that the recording quality is really poor and the recording really misses a lot of the quality of the music I record. I primarily record acoustic guitar and vocals, but the guitar (especially the higher pitch high e string) doesn't come out sounding very good at all. I'm guessing this has to do with the poor sound card and mic.

My goals are the get something setup within a reasonable price (~200 just for the hardware soundcard/mic) which is easy to use and take around with me and will obviously have really good recording quality. I'd obviously prefer something that isn't too high end and obtrusive that requires it's own power source or something. Something that's PCMCIA would be ideal so I can transport it with me when I go around. I am currently thinking about getting the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS 7.1 Ch PCMCIA Notebook Sound Card (Type II CardBus Slot Only). It's about 100 dollars and will be a huge improvement over my default hardware. I know it's probably not the best solution, but is the quality in recording going to be that different between this card and something really high end?

For the mic I'm hearing a lot of people reccomend the Shure SM57 or Shure SM58 and the Studio Project B1 mic. Which is the best for my purposes? I only need one because I'll only be recording one track at a time. The only two things I will be recording are acoustic guitar and vocals. Maybe eventually start doing some piano recording? But primarily it will be acoustic guitar (no direct line, just by the sound hole) and vocals. I have a fairly low voice if that matters. I've heard things about omni directional vs. uni directional or something.. Anyways, which mic would be best suited for me, especially on a budget.

And lastly, will I notice a really big difference from the built in sound card + 10 dollar mic to a nice sound card with a 100 dollar mic?

Thanks a lot! Hopefully you guys can provide some good suggestions!!

a. What kind of music do you want to do?
Acoustic Guitar and Vocals

b. Do you want to record individual tracks at a time or a whole band at once?
Individual Tracks

c. What do you want to do with your recordings? Demos? Fun for friends? Get gigs? Make a million and get a record deal?
Demos/Fun

d. What kind of instruments will you be recording? Live drums? Vocals?
Acoustic Guitar, Vocals

e. What kind of computer do you have (or want)? Desktop? Laptop? Include: Operating System, Processor speed, RAM, Hard Drive Space, Sound Card type. USB? Firewire? CD Burner?
Laptop, Windows XP, 1.6 GHz Centrino, 1.5 Gigs RAM, Built in crappy sound card, USB, FIREWIRE, CD/DVD Burner
Axeman

Axeman

591 posts
AFfectionate Poster
2 Posted on 07/15/2006 at 17:29:36
Welcome Sim!! Man, I appreciate you taking the time to read the stickies!!

I'd go for a USB interface with a built in mc preamp and phantom power, along with the Studio Projects B1. Great reviews on that mic for the kind of work you want to do. You may also need a bigger hard drive eventually. Audio takes up a lot of space. Also, you need to consider a CD burner so you can give copies out to impress your friends.

What software did you have in mind?
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
sim_en

sim_en

2 posts
New AFfiliate
3 Posted on 07/15/2006 at 20:11:15
Thanks Mike.

Can you suggest any specific M-Audio or such device? Please keep in mind my budget. All the devices I've seen that are in my range don't have the Phantom Power source that's required for the studio projects B1.

Any suggestions would be great!

Thanks
HomeRecordingOdyssey

HomeRecordingOdyssey

11 posts
New AFfiliate
4 Posted on 07/17/2006 at 22:31:44
G'Day Sim,

I recently bought a Zoom G2.1u multi effects pedal. It comes with a built in USB recording interface as well as Cubase LE Mixing software.

The version I bought is for Electrics but they make the same thing for acoustics also. It is pretty cheap for what it is, under $200 us street price. the advantage is that yo get a great pedal plus a USB Audio Interface plus the Cubase software. You will have everything you need to start recording at home. yes you can just as easily plugin a Mic, although I do it via a cheap mixer.

I actually record my Podcast via my unit into Cubase, check it out at the link in my signature.

Best Regards

Andrew
_____________________________
www.homestudio.com.au home of
"Home Recording Odyssey" Podcast
A show for Beginners by Beginners!
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