Starting Recording - Microphone Help

Hi

I was wondering if any of you guys can help me Im trying to record some stuff for our uni band on my PC. Im using a Sony Vaio which has an N-Force sound card? Is this any good…

Guitar wise Im using a Epiphone Les Paul Standard going through a Zoom GFX-5 Multi FX and using a Hitachi HP606? Cost about £20 microphone from Dixons (Im from UK).

Just some questions…

First of all what do you think of N-Power sound cards - I think its an NVidia Sound Card…

Secondly what do you think of the Zoom GFX-5 for guitar fx recording? To me this is the best thing - it sounds quite good when it records…

Problem and last question is vocals - is the mic I have capable of doing job? The vocals dont sound very good going straight into the mic jac on the PC and Im wondering wha tis the best way of improving vocal sound ( what sort of mic is ok but not too expensive)…

Thanks for help…

Rick

Using Shareware version of N Track (new to this!)

hi rick… welcome to multitracking!..

since you’re using the shareware version of n-track, i don’t think you can save projects… you may want to look into audacity so that you can save a few bucks until you’re ready to move up… http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

when recording vocals, are you recording them over other parts?.. or are you recording live/while you play?.. i would suggest that you avoid using the mic input on your soundcard… the best would be to get your mic signal up to line level and use the line-level input instead… in fact, if the zoom processor has a “clean” channel, or some other setting that will just up the signal and pass it through… if it does have such a setting, then you may be able to use the zoom pedal as a pre-amp, although it probably won’t be the best sounding pre you’ll come across…

disclaimer: i have none of the equipment you’ve mentioned, and i only suggested to help you avoid spending money… :D

keep on rockin’
isaac

Hey!

I can save projects - our band recorded two songs and the guitar and drum parts and everything sounds cool - the Zoom is quite cool - it weighed in at about just under £200 but its got good sounds effects - good reviews in Guitar mags and yeah been able to make good sound from it…

Just wondering when you mention the term “pre-amp” what is a pre-amp… you know the Zoom does have clean - you can just run the microphone through the FX box without any effects and then direct into the PC… but I found you do have things such as reverb / echo effects you can add to the vocals - playing with it got some strange effects… but the clean thing worrks…

What is a pre-amp and why do you need it…

Rick ?

hi rick… here’s a google search result to get you started with preamps:

http://tinyurl.com/covtc

arguably, the preamp is just as important as the microphone… as for the reverb/delay effects on the zoom box, i would encourage you to remove them when recording… it’s far easier, and in my experience, you’ll attain better results by applying effects “in the box”, meaning using the multitracking application you have (n-track in this case)… otherwise, you could end up with an electric guitar that sounds like it’s being played in a cathedral, and your vocals in a closet… then when you try to apply reverberation in n-track, you’ll have conflicting sounds… that said, things like chorus and flange are fine to use in the zoom box - they do not attempt to replicate any space/room…

there are sure to be plenty of others here that’ll correct/append/fill-in my thoughts here…

best of luck,
isaac

Dont worry I just checking manual I can raise the gain of the Microphone easily with the zoom box… its cool

Do u play guitar? what sort of fx stuff do you guys use… I hav a Korg as well but the Zoom is cool as it had a drum machine which sounds ok so I can just do the drums and guitar at once…

Another question do you know of any drum machines you can use (software) for N Track which come or function like drum machines you buy… e.g. they have loops already in them like preset ones which you can combine loops to make the drums for the song?

Thanks for the advice BTW on the reverb things… when I recoreded one song yeah it sounded like I was playing in a Metal Tank - the box has got a lot of reverb effects but I guess your right maybe Im better trying to add that stuff afterwards - just experiment and see whats best.

Thganks for all the help Issaac

Dont worry I just checking manual I can raise the gain of the Microphone easily with the zoom box… its cool

Do u play guitar? what sort of fx stuff do you guys use… I hav a Korg as well but the Zoom is cool as it had a drum machine which sounds ok so I can just do the drums and guitar at once…

Another question do you know of any drum machines you can use (software) for N Track which come or function like drum machines you buy… e.g. they have loops already in them like preset ones which you can combine loops to make the drums for the song?

Thanks for the advice BTW on the reverb things… when I recoreded one song yeah it sounded like I was playing in a Metal Tank - the box has got a lot of reverb effects but I guess your right maybe Im better trying to add that stuff afterwards - just experiment and see whats best.

Thganks for all the help Issaac

i play far more acoustic than electric… and recording acoustic guitar is a science and art at the same time… best left to another thread… as for electric, i have a vox amp and i usually just go direct from the amp into a mixer… for me, that sound works fine… but many others prefer to mic the cabinet or mic and go direct…

for drum machines/loops, i use fruity loops (fruityloops.com)… some others here prefer sony’s acid pro… i have a friend who likes the new “kinetic” tool from cakewalk… there’s an application that’s inexpensive called “leaf drums” that you may want to consider… these don’t work exactly like the incredibly popular alesis sr-16, but you should be able to figure them out after some time… personally, i grew rather tired of loops and, being a drummer also, i decided to just get an electronic set which allows for far, far more expressive performance… i’m still learning all this MIDI stuff, though…

the cheapest option is to look for free midi drum loops and import them into n-track… you may have to copy/paste the loops a bit, though…

as experimentation… yes yes yes!.. not only is it fun, but a great way to learn as well… a site that will help a lot is audiominds.com

isaac

Have you ever tried the acoustic simulator on some of these fx pdeals theyre pretty cool…

Kind of sound our band trying to get is I guess 90’s British Rock - bands like Oasis / Ash / Stereophonics but its working and it sounds cool - not sure if you know Ash

www.ash-official.com

They have a good female gutiarist and shes pretty hot too - good live I think theyre in USA right now - they opened for U2 over on the EU Vertigo tour saw U2 in Cardiff and were awesome with 70,000 other people. Killers were good too but Star Sailor not my thing.

Thanks for help.

Rick