NOOBS!!!BEFORE POSTING!!~READ THIS!! The Ultimate Newbie FAQ thread

Asking specific questions rather than generalized ones help.

For example, instead of asking:
I have $150 to spend on a microphone and an interface and want to record my songs (I play guitar and sing).

Say and ask:
I've been playing guitar for 10 years, and want to record my songs. I have a Fender CD140SCE, a Mexican Fender Strat and a Champ amp. My songs are mostly just me playing guitar and singing, but in the future I might want to add drums and bass.
I have only used garageband and a USB mic up to this point. I could record both guitar and singing at same time or at different times, I don't know what is best.
If I get a used Shure SM57, is there any cheap interface that would keep me under $150 total? I've got some cheap headphones and not much else for gear.

Get it? The more detailed you are, the easier we can respond. Home recording is a learning process and we all started from nothing, too.

By the way, when buying used Shure SM57's, beware of counterfeits. I should have read here first when I got mine - luckily I only lost about $30 on the deal because the capsule wires got ripped out at a gig one night and I put it up on ebay "as is" with cautions about it probably being a counterfeit!
Really good post on compressors.

We should also add that compressors are regularly used to ..

1. Colour the sound with harmonic distortion
2. Shape the transient profile and envelop of individual sounds (such as a snare drum)
3. Increase dynamic range (when they act as expanders)
4. Limiting and clipping, sometimes in order to destroy dynamic range!
Thanks keithersgsx2003...Its a very useful site.Ive been reading these articles id say.Im learning something.Thumbs Up :)
That compression FAQ was just perfect to get started.

Anybody interested in doing something similar for Noise Reduction? The good, the bad, the ugly?
Dunno, maybe because google sucks?

Some good info here and thanks to all who contribute. I respectfully disagree that reading about compression is the way to start out though; that's like being new to car repair and the first thing someone shows you is how to recharge the A/C. Good info in itself, but you should IMO learn the basics of the car overall first vs honing in on one narrow, specific thing.

Follow this link. Its going to take a little time to read everything.....BUT I PROMISE YOU WONT BE SORRY!!!!

Tweakheadz · Guide To Home And Project Music Studios
eh. There remains a lot of good info here for sure, but much of it (esp about equipment) is woefully out of date.
I agree with much of what you said about learning,
however its important to realize that the tools we have for learning are artificial, created by us in order to
learn, get information, share ideas, communicate etc.,
and must be LEARNED either from another person(s) or from some tool e.g., writing that someone has prepared to instruct us,
either with a guide or self learning,
many people who do not utilize the major tools of books, writing, text were not given a solid foundation when young and stumble with tools like books,
while others have genuine learning disabilities making the process of learning difficult or impossible,
however its extremely important to set the foundation for yourself and your progeny of mastering these tools
as it provides the basis for an ultimately successful existence and prosperous future, self-development, etc.,
the most successful ethnic groups have known this for millinia