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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

What kind of mic do you use for recording audio?


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helpmei'mdumb
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Hi,

I am a new Mac user and I am trying to get into recording audio on garageband. I am curious as to how people have organized/created their personal recording studios. I plan on buying an iMic until I can afford something better for recording vocals and guitars. But I guess my question right now is what kind of mic do you use for recording? what works for you? what would you recommend? how are shure's?
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2tone_punk
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To record guitar i just plug the guitar through the sound input port at the back and i use the built in mike on the computer for vocals and for the drums i use a pocket recording studio form tascam.
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helpmei'mdumb
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Thanks for the reply. I have tried recording vocals with the built-in mic on my powerbook, but it sounds pretty awful. It picks up a lot of ambience from the room and extra unneeded noise. In fact, I also here this weird ringing, bell-like sound as well. Does anyone know how to remedy this problem? Do I just need to buy a better quality microphone? Someone please reply!!
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steveedge
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There is an old audio production saying "Garbage In Garbage out". Meaning, you want to get the best audio signal possible from the vocal or instrument and you want to record that signal into your audio app.
You want the best mic you can afford. Good studio condensor mics range from $100 to thousands of $$. I use a Marshall MXL2001
Condensor mics and instruments like electric guitars have a low (line level) signal, therefore you need a pre-amp to boost the signal so you can get a good recording.
Lastly, you need a way to get that boosted signal into your computer. Recording straight into the sound-in on your mac will not give you pro results. You need a professional audio interface. Just like mics they range in price from around $100 to thousands of $$.

M-Audio makes fine audio interfaces, but there are many other brands as well. I use an M-Audio Firewire 2496
Blue, and Sennheiser make fine mics but you can get cheaper quality mics.
Pre-Amps can be purchased by their selves or they can be built into audio interfaces. I use a Studio Projects preamp.

Whatever you decide on read lot's of reviews before buying and check E-Bay for deals. I bought my interface from a E Bay music store for about half price of other online music stores.
good luck,
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caribiner23

 
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For my podcast I use an M-Audio MobilePre with two Digital Reference DR-LVX2 mics. They work and sound great.

Some people have reported good results with the Samson C01U USB mic. It doesn't require a preamp and it sounds really nice. I had all sorts of problems with it because I wanted to use two of them at the same time, and the Mac can't handle it, nor can Samson's driver software.

Hope this helps!
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static0verdrive

 
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The truth is for just about any use, the shure SM-57 can't be beat. You'll see pros using them to mic drums, guitar amps, and just about anything else. I've seen footage of countless live performances from big name bands using them for everything. We use them for lots of stuff and they are sturdy, inexpensive, and best of all, they sound awesome.

Note $120 is inexpensive for a kick-@$$ mic... Anything cheaper will sound cheaper and probably not last as long. Shure's are darn-near indestructible.
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suchachill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by static0verdrive
The truth is for just about any use, the shure SM-57 can't be beat. You'll see pros using them to mic drums, guitar amps, and just about anything else. I've seen footage of countless live performances from big name bands using them for everything. We use them for lots of stuff and they are sturdy, inexpensive, and best of all, they sound awesome.

Note $120 is inexpensive for a kick-@$$ mic... Anything cheaper will sound cheaper and probably not last as long. Shure's are darn-near indestructible.
I've used an SM-58 for some recording in garageband, and it worked fine.

Since then, however, I've upgraded to 2 Apex 430 condenser microphones, a Behringer 2-channel tube preamp, a Tascam US-122, Cubase, BBE Sonic Maximizer, and 2 KRK rp-6's.

It works suuuuuper fine!!

There's no way you can run a guitar straight in to the input on your computer. You will need some sort of preamp, but they don't cost too much nowadays. If you're serious about it, though, it's worth the money. Your productivity will hugely increase.
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static0verdrive

 
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An sm-58 will work fine, but it is meant to be more of a vocal mic...
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suchachill
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An sm-58 will work fine, but it is meant to be more of a vocal mic...
yes, i was using it on vocals. i should have mentioned that. it worked as long as i didn't sing any 'p's or 's's... which prompted me to buy a pop-filter and a condenser mic. i was recording my guitar, bass and the vocals through an ART Tube MP preamp... which has since been retired.
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jonutarr

 
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i use the inbuilt mic on the ibook for recording vox and acoustic guitar
its better than most people think, u just need to be in a room with good acoustics
remember if your going to use a condenser mic you'll need a pre-amp or ur better off getting a crappy $10 mic
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caribiner23

 
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...although the Samson mic I mentioned above is a condenser mic and doesn't require a preamp. Not too shabby for under $100.
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