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#1 2014-05-10 20:17:28

Bzean123
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2014-05-09
Posts: 110
Reputation :   

USB Mics

I currently do not have any equipment and want to get back to recording. For now, just vocals and acoustic guitar. What do you pros think (in general) of a USB mic vs regular mic into an interface - as regards sound quality?

I imagine one of the issues would be the fact that you are dependent on the laptop sound card for the USB mic. I am travelling around right now and would really would like to avoid buying an interface at this point in time, if possible. Do any of you guys have good results with a mic straight into a laptop?

Thanks for your input!

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2014-05-10 20:17:28

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#2 2014-05-10 23:34:47

ronws
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
Reputation :   139 

Re: USB Mics

Truly, if you really want manageable budget for just guitar and vocals and if you are recording both at the same time, get the Zoom H1 portable digital recorder (average $100 USD at Best Buy, though might find it a smidge cheaper on ebay.) It has 2 mics built in for stereo effect. And it will save to either wav files (for uncompressed files, if you prefer) and in mp3 for smaller file size.

Then go to Audacity's website for a free download of Audacity. And don't forget to download their free LAME mp3 encoder plug-in so that you can export finished files to mp3 for use in file sharing sites or loading into your phone or ipod. Audacity and the LAME plug-in are free. Audacity comes packed with Nyquist plug-ins for effects, like delay, reverb, pretty much everything you need to edit a recording.

But if you really want mic and interface, then get no less than the m-audio, about $100. And a decent condenser mic, which can average $50 for decent mic.

You can also record guitar on the Zoom. The Zoom saves on a micro-sd that you can plug in to your computer. So, record the guitar part separate. Import that. Then record the vocals on the Zoom while listening to playback from the guitar part on the computer. You may have to use tempo shift and time shift to line that up. I have not done it that way.

Not looking for applause or anything, just want to let you know what you can do with a zoom and audacity for editing.

These are songs where I play guitar and sing at the same time into the Zoom. My mixing skills are not the best but improve a little bit.

"Against the Wind" by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

https://app.box.com/s/vp7zk77fn9y01ufwuct3


"Everybody Talks" by the Neon Trees

https://www.box.com/s/nfc624fughif6csfd6dg

"Hey Hey My My" by Neil Young


https://app.box.com/s/2j5qjmyusya14xicm7mm

"Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks

https://app.box.com/s/0bgcg0ji3xev0fabymy4

"Leader of the Band" by Dan Fogelberg

https://app.box.com/s/4nj5ojgcewmht290ximx

"Sunday Morning" inspired by Willie Nelson

https://app.box.com/s/nxweyxkiicfa0f2m0crw

“I’ve Just Seen a Face” by the Beatles

https://app.box.com/s/jr8xkxtk5sg6555bq2r7


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#3 2014-05-11 01:34:49

Bzean123
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2014-05-09
Posts: 110
Reputation :   

Re: USB Mics

Thanks for the response Ron! I appreciate it.

I have recorded with a Zoom H4N previously. Actually the Neil Young cover I posted was recorded with a Zoom. They are pretty nifty little devices and I don't have anything against them, but I would like to see what kind of sound I can get out of a dedicated mic this time around.

So if you or anyone else has experience on the pros and cons of USB mics, I'd appreciate any input I can get on that. Thanks!

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