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Very low budget setup for recording vocals?
Old 12th September 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Very low budget setup for recording vocals?

Hi, I have been recording guitar covers and recording guitar parts for songs I am working on but now I want to record vocals too and start getting my music out there.

I have no idea where to start when it comes to vocal recording, I just thought I could buy a microphone and record into Reaper but I've seen a lot of threads with posts about "interfaces" and all sorts of other stuff needed.

I do love getting amazing quality but my extremely small budget of around $300(which is terrible and may not be enough :(, but I'm only 17 and unemployed).

My question is, where do I start with recording vocals(What do I need?Certain Microphones?Certain Gear?)? I use Guitar Rig Mobile and Guitar Rig 4 to record Guitar into Reaper, but I doubt it will be that simple for vocals. I play alternative, hard rock and punk rock.

All help will be appreciated.
Old 12th September 2012
  #2
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
For 300 bucks, that's going to be tricky.

You could try a Focusrite Saffire 6, or a Focusrite 2i2 as your interface. I have no idea how the microphone pre's are on that thing, but Focusrite usually do a good job at mic pre-amps so that would be my bet if I had only 300 bucks for a mic and interface. I looked them up at Guitar Center for you, the 2i2 is $150,-, the Saffire 6 is €180,-.

So you have around 150 bucks left for a microphone, wich doesn't give you a lot of options. I have just ordered my first vocal microphone myself, wich is the Rode NT1-A. Here in Holland it's around 190 euros, complete with a shockmount, cable and popscreen. It hasn't arrived yet, so I can't give you my own experiences yet, I'll expect to be able to tell you more in a couple of weeks. My friend uses it though, and his recordings sound pretty solid.

Another friend uses a Shure SM58, wich I wouldn't recommend. I've done some vocals through it, and I didn't like it at all as a recording mic. For live performance, it's still the most used microphone in the world, but not for recording.

I chose that Rode, because I didn't have a lot of budget left for a mic (my main concern was good monitors, a decent pc, and a quality audio interface), I know it a little bit from my friends studio, and I like how it sounds. Ideally I'd go for something a lot better, but it's simply not available in your (and my current) price range.
Old 12th September 2012 | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFutureIsSweet ➑️
For 300 bucks, that's going to be tricky.

You could try a Focusrite Saffire 6, or a Focusrite 2i2 as your interface. I have no idea how the microphone pre's are on that thing, but Focusrite usually do a good job at mic pre-amps so that would be my bet if I had only 300 bucks for a mic and interface. I looked them up at Guitar Center for you, the 2i2 is $150,-, the Saffire 6 is €180,-.

So you have around 150 bucks left for a microphone, wich doesn't give you a lot of options. I have just ordered my first vocal microphone myself, wich is the Rode NT1-A. Here in Holland it's around 190 euros, complete with a shockmount, cable and popscreen. It hasn't arrived yet, so I can't give you my own experiences yet, I'll expect to be able to tell you more in a couple of weeks. My friend uses it though, and his recordings sound pretty solid.

Another friend uses a Shure SM58, wich I wouldn't recommend. I've done some vocals through it, and I didn't like it at all as a recording mic. For live performance, it's still the most used microphone in the world, but not for recording.

I chose that Rode, because I didn't have a lot of budget left for a mic (my main concern was good monitors, a decent pc, and a quality audio interface), I know it a little bit from my friends studio, and I like how it sounds. Ideally I'd go for something a lot better, but it's simply not available in your (and my current) price range.
Thank you for your help. I understand my budget is low and probably isn't even possible to get myself started but I'm going to try.

If anyone else has advice, I will be happy to hear it. Trying to get as many opinions as I can.
Old 12th September 2012
  #4
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I'm going to get the Focusrite 2i2 just because of convenience with my budget and your recommendation. Now to choose a microphone, is there any specific type of microphone I'd need(ie; dynamic, condenser, etc?
Old 12th September 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
If the focusrite has Phantom Power (48v) then you can get a condenser. I'm almost certain it does. However, I actually like the SM58, which is a dynamic mic, and I think you can get a decent recording out of it. It'll work on a number of sources, so if you wanted to mic an acoustic guitar, the SM58 would have no problem on that as well as giving you a good vocal recording. There's very little that can rival the SM58 in terms of value for money. I'd at least recommend trying one out to see what you make of it. Bono uses them to record vocals, which tells you they can cut it.

Rode make good mics too. I've used the NT2 on a number of occasions, but never had the chance of recording with the NT1, so I can't speak on the quality of that particular mic. I do think the NT1a bundle with the pop shield and xlr lead is probably a very good choice for somebody in your position though.
Old 12th September 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
16 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
For a good vocal mic in your budget, I would recommend the Oktava MK319 (used $120).
Old 12th September 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
The Rode mics are a good place to start with for mics. I have recorded with an NT2 for years until I just recently upgraded. Are you recording into a PC or a Mac? I've got everything except a mic that I can get rid of for cheap. I have an M-Audio interface that comes complete with the card, and a Focusrite mic pre amp that has EQ as well as compression. I'd be willing to part with these items for $200 and leave you with $100 for a mic. The interface is for PC so if you are running Mac this won't do you any good.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockinrob ➑️
The Rode mics are a good place to start with for mics. I have recorded with an NT2 for years until I just recently upgraded. Are you recording into a PC or a Mac? I've got everything except a mic that I can get rid of for cheap. I have an M-Audio interface that comes complete with the card, and a Focusrite mic pre amp that has EQ as well as compression. I'd be willing to part with these items for $200 and leave you with $100 for a mic. The interface is for PC so if you are running Mac this won't do you any good.
Sorry, I have a PC.

But what should I get for recording? Condenser or dynamic mic? What's the difference.

If it would help, I'm heavily influenced by 30 Seconds To Mars so if you know their sound you would understand what I'm going for as far as vocals.
Old 20th September 2012
  #9
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Zoom H4n. Only $269. Handheld Multitrack Recorder and it can do up to 4 track with 2 additional input. You can record stereo with the built in mics and have a Shure SM58 as vocal on the XLR input.
Old 20th September 2012
  #10
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Zoom H4n also act as an USB interface to a DAW.
Old 20th September 2012
  #11
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Okay, so you want to sound like a boyband pretending to be rockers? Lol. Just listened to 2 minutes (presumably enough time to get to Mars and back twice) to get the picture, and now I need to play hours of gangster rap to regain my street credibility.

Just kidding, whatever floats your boat, right?

The SM58 can't be beaten for its price. I just thoroughly dislike it. But if you don't mind it not recording every nuance of your vocal performance, and it not being very dynamic, I suppose it will be fine.
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