Newbie Questions


Well, I’ve been messing around with N-track demo for a few months now, and my friend and I have decided to purchase it. I do have a few questions on equipment though. I’ve been using a logitech usb headset for recording with my onboard soundcard and I must say that the quality of sound isn’t all that great. So, I’m thinking about buying a good mic and soundcard. Right now, I’m looking at the Audio Technica MB4000C Condenser Microphone and a Soundblaster Live 24bit soundcard. I can get both for around $100 total which is in my price range. But I must admit that I really have no idea what the #### I’m doing. Will this mic connect to this soundcard with provided “lo z” cables? Do I need any other equipment to go with this? Or perhaps someone could suggest some other equipment within the pricerange of <$150… Thanks in advance.

hey dogg,most of the guys in here use a mic/preamp/mixer to run thier mic’s an guits an keyboards into thier puters,i have that sb live card an it gets good reviews by the guy who makes n track,so yer ok there,as far as the mic you said ya was lookin at goes,i would prolly look into a sm57 first,this is an all around good mic for just bout anything ,so ive heard them say,i have one too and i use it for all my stuff i record,if ya got an ol mixer around with a line out stick that into yer l;ine in on yer sound card,not mic,cause that mic thing is way noisey,an then plug in yer instruments into mixer,that way too if ya wanna record with a friend ya can both plug yer instruments in the mixer an set up levels for a even sound and record one or two instruments in a stereo track ,hope ive helped man…

A small mixer would very helpful, Behringer makes some very in-expensive mixers starting at $49 US, you can find them at A mixer would let you also run any outboard effects and pre EQing if needed for less expensive mics n such.


SB Live is a great way to get started, and a little mixer like the UB802 is very handy, having two mike preamps and other features. I recommend avoiding the UB502 because it doesn’t have phantom power, which you’ll need if you ever get a large-diaphram condenser microphone (the kind favored for many recording purposes).

You might give a look at midiman sound cards at they are more pointed to music than the SB that tend to be more generic…however their high end stuff looks pretty good.

I would second most of the stuff said above.

1. Mixer mentioned by learjeff-$49
2. Mic-have seen the one you mentioned on the Internet for as low as $39 (look for reviews)


I think the $39 price may have been a trick. They were actually selling a mic cable for that price, making it look like you were buying the mic.


3. SBLive-$15

You are still in your budget more or less.

I’ll add my 2 cents, if i might…

That MB4000c mic is a winner. I’d highly recommend it for the price. It’s one of the few low-end, small condensor mics that work well for vocals. This is the mic used on the Sometimes n-Track demo.

The Live is a great way to get started. You can always move up later.

As for mixers, you’re getting good advise here. Pick up something cheap… used perhaps… to get you started. If you decide to stick with this recording thing, you’ll want to upgrade at some point. But no sense spending mega-bucks until you’re sure you wanna continue recording. Behringer makes some good, low-cost mixers.

Hope this helps.