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Discussion Starter #1
I have asked this before but I never did get around to getting recording gear. Now I've got a couple of friends that are sending me some tracks to add guitar to. As far as home recording that is probably about all I will do. Likely just for recording my electric and acoustic but never recording anything at the same time.
So for the following list what would be the best and economical to get. I wan to get these items this or next week.

1. Recording interface
2. Mic
3. Software to use. (Needs to be easy to use)
 

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1. The Focusrite Scarlett that best matches your budget
2. For acoustic, I love the Audio Technica 4021, but the budget 2021, works well. You'll quickly get the itch to put a second mic on acoustic guitar for full capture. An AT2020 room mic on a shockmount is low-budget and gets a lot of the ambience. In front of the guitar amp, an SM57 or an SM58 with the ball end unscrewed.
3. Reaper for software. Very "instrument-oriented" as opposed to creating beats/mixes/ dance tracks like some of the others. If you buy a Focusrite, it'll come bundled with Ableton light and Avid Protools light. I hated them, at least the restricted versions in the bundle.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1. The Focusrite Scarlett that best matches your budget
2. For acoustic, I love the Audio Technica 4021, but the budget 2021, works well. You'll quickly get the itch to put a second mic on acoustic guitar for full capture. An AT2020 room mic on a shockmount is low-budget and gets a lot of the ambience. In front of the guitar amp, an SM57 or an SM58 with the ball end unscrewed.
3. Reaper for software. Very "instrument-oriented" as opposed to creating beats/mixes/ dance tracks like some of the others. If you buy a Focusrite, it'll come bundled with Ableton light and Avid Protools light. I hated them, at least the restricted versions in the bundle.

What do you think of the Rode NT1A package from long and mcquade for vocal and acoustic?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Forgot, I'll need a recommendation for a pair of headphones as well. Something not more than $100
 

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Discussion Starter #7

Grab, that a Shure 57, two mic stands, another mic cable, buy Reaper for $60 and you are off to the races.
Since the SM57 and 58 are essentially the same price ($139 at L&M) should I just buy the SM58 and screw the ball off? Or is the SM57 better for recording an amp\Cab?
With the SM58 I could use it for live vocals if needed, which would be better than using the SM57, giving the 58 a bit more versatility in uses.
 

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What do you think of the Rode NT1A package from long and mcquade for vocal and acoustic?
The Rode NT1A is a nice package, but unless you are recording vocals, you won't need the pop filter. A shockmount is definitely a nice addition.

Personally, I would shy away from the SM57/58 and look towards a large diaphragm condenser like the AT2020 and add the AT2021 as a second mic, but everyone has different preferences. If you have friends that you can borrow from, that would be a good way to try some different mics and see what you like.

Another vote for the FocusRite Scarlett and Reaper combo.
 

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The Rode NT1A is a nice package, but unless you are recording vocals, you won't need the pop filter. A shockmount is definitely a nice addition.

Personally, I would shy away from the SM57/58 and look towards a large diaphragm condenser like the AT2020 and add the AT2021 as a second mic, but everyone has different preferences. If you have friends that you can borrow from, that would be a good way to try some different mics and see what you like.

Another vote for the FocusRite Scarlett and Reaper combo.

Just so I understand. For a second mic and a mic to record my amp the AT 2020 would be a better option than a 57\58?
And for vocals and acoustic guitar would an AT 4040 out perform the Rode NT1A package? If so I can always pickup a pop filter for the AT4040
 

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Just so I understand. For a second mic and a mic to record my amp the AT 2020 would be a better option than a 57\58?
And for vocals and acoustic guitar would an AT 4040 out perform the Rode NT1A package? If so I can always pickup a pop filter for the AT4040
Just my opinion, but yes an AT2020 is better suited to recording than an SM57. The 4040 is a really nice mic - if you have the budget, that would be a great choice. And yes, a pop filter is easily acquired and starts at around $20.
 

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Since the SM57 and 58 are essentially the same price ($139 at L&M) should I just buy the SM58 and screw the ball off? Or is the SM57 better for recording an amp\Cab?
With the SM58 I could use it for live vocals if needed, which would be better than using the SM57, giving the 58 a bit more versatility in uses.
I own both.
 

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What do you think of the Rode NT1A package from long and mcquade for vocal and acoustic?
I was trying some mics recently and I liked the NT1 the most for recording vocals.

However, I recorded vocal and acoustic guitar together with just the NT1 and while the vocal was very good I was getting too much booming and general noise from the guitar - so much so that I had to really lay back on guitar and leave out some riffs which needed to be in the song. I wanted to be close to the mic so the room coloration wouldn't get into it but then, as I said, the guitar got difficult to control.

The problem is that I don't know much about recording so maybe there's an easy solution to the NT1 problem as described but right now it looks like I'm going back to an SM86 (SDC) for vocal and another mic pointed at the guitar.

The NT1 is really nice but it seems tricky to use and it will pick up all kinds of room noise. So maybe room treatment becomes the next rabbit hole .. lol
 

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-Focus-rite preamp / input
-SM57
-senheiser studio monitor headphones

if you have a MacBook or iMac, spend the $299 and get pro logic x. Probably the best program on earth for that amount of money.

If not, my first priority would be finding an old iMac for $300-500 so that you can do that.
Even without pro logic x, any Mac (even ipad) will come with garage band which is a great place to start.

even if it means selling some gear, why not?
What good is a collection that will never be recorded?

The rode NT1A is a great package, it was my first mic. As for vocals.. it’s a great mic to practice on. It’s very bassy. Which is referred to as “coloured” in the product reviews, but when you get down to it, it’s pretty tricky to get a very neutral or good set of vocal recordings until you get into a set up with some serious software capabilities (EQ and Reverb and compressors).

I would have preferred to have started with an SM57. Not that it’s great for vocals. But that it’s industry standard for learning how to mic cabs.

If someone were to ask me why a Mac is so important. It’s just that the sound card is going to save you years of trying to make a PC quiet and upgrade to get the ram and gigs needed.

Garage band comes with SO MANY very useful plug ins and recording basics that it’s a no brainer as far as learning. And there are countless videos on YouTube which can help explain how to get started with everything.

The AT20 is a very good second mic to start on. The Rode package will work on vocals and instruments very well. But in the end, the most economic set up and easiest resale (should you decide to sell) will come from the Shure route.
 

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.... but when you get down to it, it’s pretty tricky to get a very neutral or good set of vocal recordings until you get into a set up with some serious software capabilities (EQ and Reverb and compressors).
I think an NT1 might have been my first mic as well. Got it about five years ago but wasn't using it because it was too difficult and I ended up getting a 58 for live vocal. Bought a mixer last weekend and finally got the NT1 working for vocal.
 

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I have the focusrite 2i2...my 2c...at least get 4i4...i didnt think about midi possibilites when i got mine, and shouldve
The only downside too of the 2i2 is that, the 'gain' isnt quite there to work an sm57 or 58 on quieter things...like voices...you may need an external preamp,but works fine with my at2020

FWIW....i do all my recordings with a 2i2, a 57 or the AT2020, and reaper...
 

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great thread, lots of good info.

..a 2i2, a 57 or the AT2020, and reaper...
I would second this for a good basic start, would also suggest a 4i4 upgrade but that is up to you. if you are Mac based then Garageband would be a great option.

the very first sound engineer I worked with suggested a 57 and a 2020 when I asked him I should start with for home recording
 

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I’d like to reiterate that the NT1A package is a great deal and a great way to start. If I wasn’t so hand to mouth in terms of gear I would have kept it on as a nice warm acoustic guitar and room mic.

Vocally it’s going to get the job done as well.

the AT20 is an upgrade from the NT1A and the 57 is really just a no brainer in terms of cost but the NT1A will offer a bit of both and it does technically have more potential in the right hands than a Chinese made 57. The 58 is better for vocals and will also work very well on cabs or instruments.

If there is one thing that I did right, right off the bat it was starting on a Mac. I got a second hand IMac and took garage band to the limit. I used an apogee duet with that for a long time and it was a remarkable preamp, I’d suggest it over the Focusrite if you happen to go the Mac route. Not that the focus rite isn’t amazing. Because it is.

I’d go so far as to say that finding some kind of Mac even an older one is going to be the biggest factor in how quickly you are able to develop.

Once you get the basics, the very next step is treating the room. Meaning, everything that you own and every noise you make will become more useful and higher fidelity the second that you can bring down reflections and bass frequencies. This might mean setting up in a much smaller space or a corner or constructing a booth in order to cut down on costs. But it will be worth it.

I am always reluctant to offer advice because I’m abnormally particular and detail oriented so I am down to ruin my life financially once I get focussed on a task. But mainly I don’t like to go on about what I use if it ever sounds as if I’m putting down something that is less expensive. Because I’m not. I’m snooty about pickups and amps. But when it comes to the pursuit of recording, I belief that it is a fundamental duty for us to record some aspect of our lives. It is the same thing as photography and videography. It is the only tangible part of ourselves that we leave behind. So I am really offering suggestions and opinions on this topic from a place of genuine interest.

Start with whatever you can afford! But don’t be stingy if you have a wall of Gibsons and boutique amps lol.. if you have the equity already invested in gear, start off with basics and then start selling guitars and amps and invest in high quality equipment so that you can actually record your ideas and document the sounds of all of the things that you buy. It will change the way you look at “gear”. And it will fill the void where impulse buying once was. It has definitely forced me to be more patient and disciplined in terms of what I spend my money on.
 
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