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  1. #1
    Recording acoustic guitar and vocals
    Hi,

    I would like some advice on a setup to record myself using my macbook pro 2011 and garage band, since it came with my laptop.
    This is simply for fun but I still want a good setup
    I will play an acoustic guitar (non electric) + vocals.
    I was wondering what kind of setup I need and some suggestions,

    I was looking at M-audio (there is a couple model, I have no idea which one)
    I suppose I need 2 mics, 1 for the guitar and 1 for the vocals so they can be recorded at the same time. Plus I heard that I need some studio headphones so I don't get feedback from the speakers while using the mics.

    Hope someone can help!

    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Recording acoustic guitar and vocals
    robduckyworth's Avatar
    Member Since
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    Reading, UK
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    You'll want a good audio interface (such as an MBOX2/3) and a couple of nice capacitor mic's. Take a look at the Rhode NT1-A - thats a great vocal mic, and sounds pretty nice on acoustic guitars too.
    If you find a post helpful, don't forget to use the reputation system (top right of post.)
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  3. #3
    Thank you for your reply, I will definitely have a look.

    I was suggested these by a store. M-Audio Mobilepre, ATH-M40FS (headphones), AT2041SP (Set of 2 mics, large for voice and a small for guitar, + 2 cables for mics and 2 mics stand.

    What do you think?

    Thanks again!!!

  4. #4
    For headphone monitors, also check out the Sony MDR-7506. They are great for many different steps through the recording process. They are a little more pricey than the M40FS but are killer for mixing (especially on the low end), monitoring and all around listening. Also, check out these GarageBand Tutorials for recording tips!
    Hope that helps.

  5. #5
    They look good, what do you mean by low end? I have look the Sony's online and they are comparing them with the M50 from audio-technica.
    Is my setup too good for amateur recording?

    I was still wondering, do people use 1 mic to record voice and acoustic guitar at the same time? Do they record guitar first and then the voice? or they have 1 mic on the guitar and 1 mic for the voice?

    I called a company and they said that the mic for the guitar will still record(hear) my voice and vice-versa.

    Your help is very much appreciated! I do not know much about recording.

    Thanks!!!

  6. #6
    Recording acoustic guitar and vocals
    Adric's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 28, 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    263
    Your Mac's Specs
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    Of course the guitar mic will also hear your voice. You're in the same room as the guitar after all! The guitar will be much much louder though and vice versa for the vocal mic.

    People still record tracks one at a time (especially on lower budget setups) but its more cumbersome and time consuming that way.

    You'll want to have the two mics going into your audio interface then in guarage band you'll have two audio tracks armed to record channel 1 and channel 2 respectively (assuming your interface has more than one input). Place the mics about a foot away from your mouth and the guitar, adjust the levels so its loud and clear but doesnt clip (go above 0dB), and have at it!

    I should note that I don't use guarageband so I'm not 100% sure it can do multitrack recording. I know some people who get around this problem by having the interface record channel one in the left speaker and channel two in the right, then they duplicate the track in their software and and make each track mono by using only one side (I hope that makes sense, it's late here and I'm sleepy lol).

  7. #7
    Great info, thanks again.
    The mics that were suggested is a kit of 2 mics, 1 small and 1 large.

    Could anyone help me in choose between M-Audio MobilePre or PreSonus AudioBox USB?
    They also make a firewire version. For the M-Audio usb, they don't specify if it's usb 1 or 2.0... Does it makes a difference?

    Please let me know with what should I go for and why.

    Thank you guys, much appreciated.

  8. #8
    Recording acoustic guitar and vocals
    Adric's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 28, 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    263
    Your Mac's Specs
    27" iMac (Mid 2011), 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 2GB Video Card, 2TB HDD
    Rep Power
    8
    The PreSonus looks like it has better build quality but I've always had good experiences with M-Audio. Their features are on par with one another but the M-Audio comes with Pro Tools SE which I would imagine would be leagues better than Guarageband. Pro Tools and Logic Pro are pretty much the two industry standard applications for recording and mixing (with Pro Tools SE being the most basic version of Pro Tools).

    It's a tough choice. If you're confident that Guarageband will satisfy you recording needs, then I would probably go with the PreSonus.

    Oh and USB vs Firewire really has no benefit or detriment to the audio quality when talking about audio interfaces. Usually when you get into interfaces with more inputs and outputs (i.e. A 6 channel interface), they will make it firewire due to having to stream more channels of audio.

  9. #9
    Thanks again Adric!

    I will have to make a choice!
    Thanks for all the help

  10. #10
    Recording acoustic guitar and vocals
    Adric's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 28, 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    263
    Your Mac's Specs
    27" iMac (Mid 2011), 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 2GB Video Card, 2TB HDD
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    Well guess what...

    After quite a number of years, my USB audio interface finally bit the dust tonight during a session so it looks like I'm in the market for an interface now too lol!

    It gets better. One of the band members just so happened to have a spare interface and guess which model it is. It's the PreSonus Audiobox USB!

    Been using it for a while tonight and it's working great! Sounds great and my favorite part is that it's made out of metal (rare nowadays for interfaces) so I was correct on the build quality.

  11. #11
    Wow that's sad and funny at the same time.

    I will have to make my choice if I use protools or garage band.

  12. #12
    If you're looking at doing something on a budget, I might have a solution.

    For when I do soloists (vocals, acoustic guitar mostly) I have a pretty simple setup that isn't very expensive.

    Interface:
    Steinberg CL1

    Microphones:
    Audio Technica AT2020 studio pack (The AT4040 and AT4041 are just the models up, but I don't see hear much difference between them, besides noise)

    Headphones:
    I actually found a pair of iHome headphones at Wal-Mart that are surprisingly amazing for when you want to mix anything! The frequency response on them are flat enough that what you hear through them will be true to what it should be! I have mixed a few house beats on them and it sounds great!

    Hope this helps!

  13. #13
    And don't forget that you will need a audio interface with +48v Phantom Power if you wish to use any sort of condenser microphone (ex. AT4040, AT4041

  14. #14
    Recording acoustic guitar and vocals
    bluecheer's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location
    adelaide, south australia
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    85
    Your Mac's Specs
    MacBookPro(2011)iphone4S,ipad1
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    hello i was in that position then my son got me a alesis i0/14 firewire interface,still playing with it but i think it has heaps of potential,check this out also.

  15. #15
    Recording acoustic guitar and vocals

    Member Since
    Mar 14, 2007
    Location
    brooklyn
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    54
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    I would not use m audio. presonus firebox or the new one from focusrite- and only use firewire. I just bought a mxl v67 for 93 bucks and it sound great.

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