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Thread: Starting Gear

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    I've been playing guitar and piano for years, and have just recently started to want to record some of my work, but have no idea where to start. I want something that would allow my to record my baby grand piano, my acoustic-electric, as well as my electric guitar with good sound quality, for as little money as possible. Just real casual recording...

    But, since I've never at all dabbled in this before, I'm not entirely sure what type of gear I need, as well as what specifically I should use...to give you an idea of what I know, I'm dimly aware a microphone is involved, so by all means, treat me like an idiot.

    Anyway, an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar, and a piano to be recorded, on minimum budget for decent sound...and a suggestion for a free recording program for a PC, if at all possible.

    Thanks in advance.

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    for quality recording (for cheap of course!) i would check out the E-MU 0404 audio interface. this audio interface has two inputs (left and right) so if i were you i would look into to buying a small mixer incase you plan on recording more than one instrument at once... but keep in mind that going with the mixer will only 'mix' all of its inputs into two stereo channels (left and right). another great thing about mixers is that they come with built in pre-amps which means they can apply enough gain to a microphone to make it use-able.

    as for microphones i dont have any suggestions.... the only microphones i have are really crappy so i couldnt really recommend any quality mics to you.

    free recording programs:
    audacity: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/
    reaper (30 day trial, 60$ to buy): http://www.reaper.fm/download.php

    and something i personally recommend and love is mixcraft: http://www.acoustica.com/mixcraft/download.htm

    mixcraft is just about as much as reaper but i prefer it over any other software because its very friendly user interface and ease of use.

    i hope ive been at least the slightest amount of help

    - nic
    Agnostic for the greater good when the good things seem to be few and far between

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merman_of_83 View Post
    with good sound quality, for as little money as possible.
    .
    I wish I had a dollar for evertime i heard that line.

    not to say you cant get good results without getting a loan.

    In your case I would definately look at some good mics first since you have mostly acoustic instruments. Next would be mic pre and converter. For mic'ing you piano you may want at least 2 or more channels. I have zero experience recording piano. I do have experience with acoustic guitar. I have an L.R. Baggs transducer installed on my martin. I like blending it with a Large Diaphram Condenser (or you will see it LDC around here).

    Since you really will not need really more than a two channels I wouldn't skimp on the mic pre or conversion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merman_of_83 View Post
    I've been playing guitar and piano for years, and have just recently started to want to record some of my work, but have no idea where to start. I want something that would allow my to record my baby grand piano, my acoustic-electric, as well as my electric guitar with good sound quality, for as little money as possible. Just real casual recording...

    But, since I've never at all dabbled in this before, I'm not entirely sure what type of gear I need, as well as what specifically I should use...to give you an idea of what I know, I'm dimly aware a microphone is involved, so by all means, treat me like an idiot.

    Anyway, an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar, and a piano to be recorded, on minimum budget for decent sound...and a suggestion for a free recording program for a PC, if at all possible.

    Thanks in advance.

    My advice to you is before you spend any money; invest as much time as you can reading/learning as much as you can about recording. I'd also recommend looking to gain your basic knowledge from as many different sources about recording (i.e., this form, other forums, books, etc) as you can. Most forums have a search feature - use it.

    As you begin to get a better understanding about what is evolved and, more importantly, what will meet YOUR needs/expectations, you can begin to assemble a gear list. Since you will be recording acoustic instruments, you will obviously need mics and pre-amp(s) and some type of I/O for your computer. What type of mics (& how many), pres and I/O depends on your expectations and what budget you will need to realistically meet your expectations.

    For example, IMO, the 2 most important pieces of equipment you should look at first are room treatment(s) and monitors. If you have a poorly treated room (from an acoustic standpoint) you will never get things to sound really good (especially a piano) and with out good monitors (and placement), you'll never get mixes that translate well.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Simman; 09-28-2009 at 07:27.

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