Home recording studio setup.

I recently bought a cdr and since my daughter was already using my computer as a karaoke machine I got the bright idea to record her and burn some cds for the family. Thats when I found out that both my SB Live value edition card and maybe her mic just weren't up to speed. I was thinking maybe the Audigy EX and a new mic was the way to go, but then I saw some less than glowing remarks about the Audigy in this forum. Do you have a soundcard and mic setup that you would recommed? I don't really want to invest more in the sound card than an Audigy EX cost. I'm not looking for some $1000 + pro soundcard setup, just the most bang for the buck solution. If you have seen a site discussing this type of thing that would be helpful too.

Thanks in advance!
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  1. your best bet is to rent a recording consoul for a weekend or something. its cheeper than buying a new sound card and mic. rent one (a mixer) with good mic preamps and rent a good vocal mic. shouldn't cost you more than 50 bucks. and go download a program (if you don't already have a multitrack audio suite) called N-Track. its shareware but has very few limitations prior to registration.

    you can dload it at: www.download.com

    good luck let me knwo how it turns out.

  2. I'm going to (like usual), recommend what I have. The Hercules Game Theatre XP. It's the only low-end (read: less thatn $250, common) card on the market with MIDI, which might help you out quite a bit if you happen to be using a keyboard, or something similar.

    <font color=green>I post so you don't have to!
    9/11 - RIP</font color=green>
  3. Thanks for the replys. The Hercules Game Theatre XP looks like just the setup I was looking for and they had it for $129 with a gamepad on their web site. I hadn't even considered renting a mic and mixer thats a good idea too. Do you think I would need a preamp for the mic with the Hercules external box?

  4. nope just get a mixer with a good mic preamp. The hercules game theatre is a good idea as it will sit away from your computer to elimate fan noise while recording. but if you wanna save money you can get away with just a sb Live! card or even an old AWE64 or EVEN a sb 16 just get a converter
    (1\8' to 1\4') and your set to go!
    what software are you using?
  5. Quote:
    Do you think I would need a preamp for the mic with the Hercules external box?

    Most likely, yes. You can also consider multi-track software, so you can permanently do what you want, not just a one-time thing (like renting equipment).

    What kind of mic are you using?

    <font color=green>I post so you don't have to!
    9/11 - RIP</font color=green>
  6. The software I have been using to record with is the Creative Liveware Audio Hq Recorder, Mixer, and Environmental Audio to add in a little reverb. To play the Karaoke we have been using Tyrannosofts WinCDG Pro2. The mic we have been using is a Uni-Directional V-Tech Dynamic Microphone VT-1030 imp600 ohm. As far as multi- track software I have just been recording "what you hear" on the creative recorder. Should I look at Acid Express? To tell you the truth I don't even know what multi track software would do for us since we aren't using any instruments and our songs she sings to are playing through the computer.
  7. you should go check
    http://www.pricewatch.com/ for prices and this is a very good card
  8. Labplant, for the last 8 threads, all you've done is recommend the Santa Cruz and provide a link to the product page. You don't even own the card!
    No card is right for everyone, I wish you would take individual needs into account when recommending products.

    <font color=green>I post so you don't have to!
    9/11 - RIP</font color=green>
  9. Guys,
    Thanks for all the help. I've made considerable headway and upgrades since starting this thread. First of all I would like to thank you for recommending the Hercules Game Theater XP. It has to be the best sound card setup for under $100 there is. While using N-track, which was also good advice, I noticed the background noise on the record vu meter was around -45 on the line in of the SBLive but on the Hercules Game Theater XP it was -75. That was tremendously less background noise. I don't know if the SBlive is that noisey on Intel boards, but since I have an Asus A7v with the via chipset I Figured that Creative's Via bug might be a culprit. We've also added a condenser Mic and a mixer to complete the setup. Now for the real work, getting some music recorded thats worth putting on a cd. Thanks again.

  10. No problem, Grandpa! :)

    And yes, Creative cards being worse is true on ALL motherboards. Well, according to me (and everyone else that doesn't like CL).

    <font color=orange>Quarter <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
  11. Having worked as a sound engineer I highly recommend the Shure SM58 microphone. While the list price is high, you can get them at the big music stores for less than 100 bucks, or even cheaper. I'm not shure (no pun intended) if you want to spend that much money, but it's one of most reliable mics around. www.shure.com also has a good database of tips for recording with your computer, although a lot of it is geared towards shure's products you can get a lot of great advice there.


    Only users loose drugs!
  12. SM58s aren't too bad, but I get sick of the sound. Beta 87s are nice. If you want real quality, you can pick up a DPA 4065 (headset) for $550. But that's going a bit far.
    The Shure Beta 57s are very nice, work great for vocals and instruments. $250 or so, I believe.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
  13. I totally agree, FatBurger, but again the beta series don't come as cheap as a standard SM58, and I would rather have the 58 for vocals than the 57 due to the "warmer" sound an midrange. A 57, IMHO, would be a little to bright for a kids voice. I usually used 57 for guitars or kick drum due to the clearer sound. But for home recording even a SM48 would do a fair job.


    Only users loose drugs!
  14. I was leaning pretty heavily toward the Shure 58, but then I read some things and had different people at differents stores recommend I go with a condenser Mic for recording, so I ended up buying and AudioTechnica P650R. I was told the advantage of the condeser mic was its response time, with no heavy magnet to move around, but the disadvantage was they weren't near as durable as the dynamic mic and therefore weren't suitable to be being banged around on a stage.
  15. AudioTechnica? Sorry, but I trust that brand about as far as I can throw...a really fat guy, I suppose.
    Yes, condenser mics are better for recording, but if you get a crappy one, you'll know it (or maybe you won't, but someone will, at least). Look at Rode, they make some good stuff for cheap. I have no idea how much $ you're looking to spend though, so if I'm throwing out mics that are too expensive, let me know.

    I agree, an SM57 isn't good for vocals. I've done it before, but I hate doing it. Beta 57s, however, are pretty decent for vocals. The Beta 57 is a much more different mic than the Beta 58.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
  16. LOL.

    I might not be able to tell the difference.
    Have you seen a site that rates mics?
  17. Let me guess: You went to Guitar Center? Actually, the 605 is fine for home recording, but if you're doing serious work the cutoffs are in all the wrong places and if it sounds 'muddy' there's a 99% chance that it's your mike. So if the quality is not up to par you can always return it to the store and get a 58 (beta or not) or try the Beta57, which I haven't tried but I trust FatBurger's right.


    Only users loose drugs!
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