Newbie basic setup

Please advise

Hi all,

I’m interested in buying some hardware & software to start recording at home. Just as a hobby, nothing serious. My goal is to record acoustic guitar & voice while I’m playing with songwriting.

I have a good computer (quad core, 4gb) and I’m planning to buy n-track studio.

My sound card is this one:

Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro 7.1 Soundcard - PCI-Express

Is this sound card okay?

Also I don’t have any Mic yet. So what kind of Mic should I get to use with that sound card? Besides the Mic, do I need anything else?

Sorry if these are lame questions (I’m not familiar with the recording world). Bottom line is that I’m looking for a basic, not expensive setup. So trying to confirm if my sound card is fine and also looking for a good “bang for the buck” entry level microphone.


Shop for an interface. I recommend Tascam
Others use others.–USB_Audio_Interfaces

Tascam has an entry level mic package I see on one interface for sale.

Gulluck! and welcome to the farm er… forum.

If you plan on using your sound card, the x-fi use Win 7 beta build 7100 and go with default win 7 audio drivers. Do not install any Creative software whatsoever. In doing it this way you won’t have any track bleeding. Creative drivers suck big time.


I see you say “not expensive setup”…entry level…

Those tascams combos (mic and interface) are great but they are not cheap.

It would be helpful to know what you already have, the guitar you are planning on using, for instance does it have a output or are you micing an acoustic?
Also do you own any mics or mixers? most people use condenser mics for vocals.

If you are looking to save money the best way to do that is use what you do have and build from there, which is why I ask.
You’re only doing to instruments (guitar and vocal) at once, so you should be able to get by with a normal SB card to start out, if you have mixer and pan the guitar to the left and vocal to the right.
Then once you have the stereo track into Ntrack you split it into two mono tracks and you can add FX to the guitar and vocal separately (like compression, echo etc etc)
If you have a mixer and mics you will need a chord they sell them at radio shack it has an RCA (like a stereo chord) on one side and a small headphone looking plug on the other (stereo plug with the two lines on it)
You plug the small end into the line input on the soundcard and the RCA into the line out on the mixer.(and do the panning if you are going to play and sing at the same time.
If the guitar has a line out, to go to the mixer you are in good shape, and the only thing you may have to redo is the vocal (since the guitar will come up on that track)

keep shinin


97 pounds approx $160 doesn’t seem that cheap. The specs are impressive, but a lot of that is devoted to gaming and surround sound capability. I agree with PW that you could do a lot better with that kind of money and get something that was geared more to audio recording. Plus the driver issue is in question.

My suggestion - Tascam 122 USB and a Shure 57 microphone. I have more expensive equipment, but recordings I made 40 years ago with the 57 and 58 mics still sound good and the misc still work as well as they ever did for recording or stage. The USB interface is more versatile and can be moved to a different computer later if you decide to go for fancier equipment.

Hi all,

Thanks for your replies, I really appreciate it.

I’ve decided to buy an audio interface (USB). By searching on the web I saw people complaining about the Tascam 122 in Vista - it seems that it’s not compatible or the drivers are bad. Are you aware of Vista problems on Tascam 122?

If there are indeed problems with Tascam & Vista, what other entry level audio interface would you recommend?

jeremy, I have an acoustic & eletric guitar, so I have the option to use a microphone or use its output.

I’m thinking on buying that Shure 57 or 58 that was recommended here.
More worried about which interface to buy now…


That is the old US-122 - the old workhorse of home recording - I’ve owned 2 and went with line6’s KB37 after my last crash and new Vista computer. The new one is solid US122L is it’s model name and #. I would still recommend the old ‘blue one’ even today with new users and Vista - they finally got the drivers worked out.

I started pretty simple.

Behringer small eurorack ub80 or something like that…it has phantom power. $50

MXL2006 Condenser mike w/shockmount $50.

Plug mic and guitar into little mixer. Plug little mixer into the line-in on the soundcard. Should be good to go…start recording

I have since added on a ton of stuff - you will too eventually…can never have enough stuff…


I just won an auction for Tascam US-122L, bought it for
£92. Hope it behaves well in Vista.

Now I’m looking for an SM57 :)

Thanks for the info!