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Can anyone recommend the best way/software to record guitar?

i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User regular
I just ordered a Macbook and one of the things I want to do is record guitar and vocals. What is everything I need to accomplish this? I realize the built in mic would kinda work but I may need something a lil better. Also I'm not looking to spend an arm and a leg. Thanks in advance!

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    Pastoriusk2Pastoriusk2 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    If you're looking for top notch quality, look in to getting an Apogee Duet and a couple of microphones. For the price you will get some seriously awesome quality. Logic would be my DAW of choice with it, but you may also use garage band probably. On a budget tho, this might be better: http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/FireWireSolo-main.html
    You can use Pro-Tools M-Powered which IMO is a pretty powerful DAW and can do many things. With that interface you can plug in a mic for vocals and plug your guitar directly in and record both at the same time, or if you don't like the direct sound of whatever you use for your guitar rig you can mic your guitar (amp if electric, the guitar if acoustic) then lay your vocals over that since the interface only has one mic input. The cheapest way to go I would personally recommend would be to get the m-audio interface and a good dynamic mic like a shure sm-57 or sm-58 (58 has a built in pop filter, otherwise they are the same). You'll get very nice quality recordings.

    Pastoriusk2 on
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    MblackwellMblackwell Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Garage Band should work for what you want to accomplish on the actual tracking part of the recording. Otherwise on Linux I use Ardour as a DAW. It's completely free, has a Mac version, and is comparable to Pro Tools and Cubase (and perhaps better in some regards).

    As for microphones, you can probably pick up something decent used. I got mine on the cheap used and it hasn't done me wrong so far. Ask to try it out before you buy to make sure it has the tone you want.

    Also yes you can get a mixer and record everything simultaneously (or just have some kind of excellent mic positioning, though that only works with acoustic guitars), but remember that you're always going to have sound bleed-through on the tracks, making it more difficult to mix the recording.

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    Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    For recording guitar or even just playing guitar on your computer, I can't recommend the Line6 TonePort GearBox Bundle enough.

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    PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    What's your actual budget in $ and what are your purposes for the recording?

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    KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Best way that is almost economically viable?

    Pro tools.

    Perception-200.

    If electric: Good amp, don't do guitar to input device, it will sound awful. Trust me I've tried so many ways to fix this.

    If you have the budget for this, go crazy. If not... well we need to know your budget.

    Khavall on
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    ChasproChaspro Registered User new member
    edited August 2008
    I'll assume since you ordered a MacBook and not a MacBook Pro that you're concerned more about budget than some of the people here realize. You can get a 1/4" to 1/8" cable adapter and plug your guitar directly into the line-in of a macbook and record with Garageband and it would only cost you the cost of the adapter on top of what you already have. As for mics for vocals? Any old mic will do, but the built in one sucks for recording so don't even waste your time or you'll just cringe out of disgust. That mic really is only meant for audio conferencing and isn't a whole lot better than a higher frequency range phone. Other mics may need an adapter but, surprise, it's the same as the one for the guitar so one there you go!

    Chaspro on
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    Rigor MortisRigor Mortis Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    There are audio devices specifically made for recording guitar. Make sure they come with some sort of amp simulation, because without that, straight recording is useless (like Khavall said).

    Here is an economical option, for example
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Behringer-Guitar-Link-UCG102?sku=241228


    Do not plug a guitar straight into a sound card. BAD karma there.

    Rigor Mortis on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Chaspro wrote: »
    I'll assume since you ordered a MacBook and not a MacBook Pro that you're concerned more about budget than some of the people here realize. You can get a 1/4" to 1/8" cable adapter and plug your guitar directly into the line-in of a macbook and record with Garageband and it would only cost you the cost of the adapter on top of what you already have. As for mics for vocals? Any old mic will do, but the built in one sucks for recording so don't even waste your time or you'll just cringe out of disgust. That mic really is only meant for audio conferencing and isn't a whole lot better than a higher frequency range phone. Other mics may need an adapter but, surprise, it's the same as the one for the guitar so one there you go!

    Yeah, that? That's going to sound horrible. I don't recommend it (I tried it for a short while).

    There are several models of guitar interfaces available for like $50-$100 that will actually have the proper impedance and a lot less noise added. I picked up one of these used for like $40, and while it's not exactly the best it works pretty well.

    Works fine with GarageBand as well, and if you combine it with some of the amp/effect modeling built in to GarageBand you can get some decent sound from it. I mean, it isn't exactly pro-grade or anything but it sounds like it would meet your needs.

    Also note that the linked item also has an input for an XLR microphone, as well as a built-in pre-amp (which I've not used, but from what I've read is also functional, if not amazing).

    EDIT: I'd recommend the item I linked for you over the more basic one RM linked, mainly because it's not significantly more expensive if you shop around and it handles both a microphone and guitar for you...it also conveniently provides stereo RCA outputs on the back to hook up to a stereo.

    mcdermott on
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    PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    If your amplifier doesn't suck, you're better off getting a cheap USB sound module and a decent microphone and micing your amp.

    Pheezer on
    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
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