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Himeaimichu

Recording on a budget.

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So since I'm planning to start my music project later this year, I want to make a thread for us broke musicians to discuss recording on a budget, and how we go about it, or plan to go about it. I'm pretty new to recording, so these at the moments are my plans. If anyone has tips, I'll gladly take them. Anything that sounds good, and saves money. 
Basically, if you need advice, like I do, or you just want to share how you do everything, this is the place.

 

I've seen around really good mics for recording, and my current plan is to get the Pyle PDMIC 78, which is essentially a cheap Chinese clone of an SM57. Good sound quality, from all the reviews I've seen, but apparently, the build quality isn't the best (but, they're cheap to replace, unlike a real SM57). 

 

As for studio, I'm probably going to have to record in my college dorm, but I'm currently researching ways to make a room sound better for recording on a budget. I hear that putting those memory foam pads people put on mattresses on the wall is a good way, but then again, I haven't tried it. It's something I need to put deeper research into. 

 

For mixing, I'm probably going to pirate some kind of software. Someone recommended to me FL, so I may use that. I've used FL studio in the past for playing around with Midis, so if I feel my shit sounds good enough for Japanese instruments, I could implement those

 

I may also need guitar mixing software, in case I end up with a guitarist that decides to scoop all his mids. Something I can put a non-distorted guitar track into, and put on the distortion and effects myself. Though, should I really even trust a guitarist who scoops mids? Though this is just theoretical worst-case scenario, as I have pretty high standards.

 

Anyway, those are my plans. If anyone has anything to add, or sees that I'm planning a big mistake and need to change everything, then please do share. 

Edited by AimiGen7

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I'd recommend saving up for a brand new SM57 because of the better build quality. The Pyle PDMIC 78 really seems like a good alternative but one big problem is that this mic is "unbalanced", meaning it's extremely prone to electrical interference. At best you'd get a small hum noise, at worst the sound you get might be unusable.

 

And also you can mix your guitars in FL Studio, no problems there.

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If you can, get a Condenser mic. They're better for vocals than a dynamic. Although some dynamic mics like the SM7 work great on vocals too. But that's a $300 mic. A dynamic mic like SM7b could work great too. 

 

Either way you will need an audio interface though. You can get a cheap one to record vocals and guitars for around $100. Check out the scarlet series. If that's not in the budget, you can buy a USB mic, however there are downsides to those. Like you can't really control volume, and the quality is not the same as a non USB mic via an interface. I would recommend something like the At2020 Condenser USB mic. It's probably the best usb mic around and goes for around $100. The quality is also miles ahead of other usb mics you might encounter.

 

Another option is to buy a mixer. Like the behringer one. It goes around for $50 and you can connect a mic/guitar to it and connect the mixer to your computer's 1/8 audio input jack. The quality won't be the best but.It should still be usable though. Just be aware you might get some noise/hum because of the way you'll be connecting to the computer. 

 

I should also mention balanced and unbalanced have more to do with the cables and methods of connections you use. There is gear that delivers unbalanced/balance signals, but what's usually more important is how you handle the connection.  Some cables by default are unbalanced by nature, like a 1/4, a cable you would use for guitars. When you make a connection like this, you would say it's an unbalanced connection. Something like a an XLR mic cable from a mic to an audio interference is a balanced, and thus the connection would be a balanced connection. All balanced and unbalanced really means is certain cables/connections are vulnerable to picking up interference from outside sources, while the other is not. Balanced is protected, unbalanced is not.

 

For a recording space, if you have access to a closet, use it. Pad the walls, stick a microphone in, and you'll be able to get good takes. Otherwise try to make a space with little to no reverb. 

 

For a Digital Audio Workstation, use REAPER. No need to pirate stuff. You can use it for unlimited amount of time and it's superior to FL studios, IMO. It's just as good as DAWs like pro tools or cubase. Although if you do stick to using it, I would highly recommend buying it. The dev's are amazing and it only cost $60. It's amazing for editing and mixing and comes with everything you need to do so. I would also recommend looking up tutorials for it on youtube.
 

Spoiler

 

Stuff like Reaper Mania will get you up and running fast and show you the steps on how to record with it. Here's an example.

 

 

 

Edited by Panda_bear

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