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Another budget thread, but not sure where to start

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by friedlbug, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. friedlbug


    May 15, 2009
    I have $400-$500. Lets assume I'm buying new, only because speculative Craigslist used market conversations rarely go anywhere useful. My main goal is that I want to record bass and guitar tracks for online collaboration. I've done that with a cheap single interface box before and even a Rocksmith cable plugged into my computer before that.
    I like Reaper and have purchased Addictive Drums 1 and 2, so I don't really plan to pick an interface based on included software. I have a decent desktop PC running Windows 10. I also have a Blue Snowball USB mic that I've never managed to do anything useful with - it might have been a mistake purchase.

    Other than the drums, I don't love buying both effects pedals and plugins for the computer, and this leads me to think I want to mic my amp and focus on real effects, mainly because the reverse leaves me practicing wearing headphones plugged into a computer and just isn't inspiring. Also latency - I tend to play based on the dry signal and listen back to hear effects because the latency bothers me otherwise. Again, this is uninspiring. Lastly, I occasionally play with a guitarist at home, just for fun, and would like to be able to record both of us, but this isn't the main goal. I definitely don't see that as something where we'd both sit down and play into my computer wearing headphones, though. Also, I'd like to record solo vocals tracks. My voice isn't good or anything, but I'd still like to.

    So I think I need:
    A USB interface with 2 (3?) mic inputs.
    2 mics suitable for mic'ing a cab/combo amp. It would be nice if they also mic acoustic instruments passably.
    1 mic that handles vocals. It would be great if that could be one of the mics above, but I understand those might be two different kinds of mics.

    What I don't think I need:
    Expensive included software
    A computer
    Guitars, basses, amps

    I freely admit that I don't know what I'm doing, just what I'd like to be able to do. Thanks for indulging a long-winded post.
  2. friedlbug


    May 15, 2009
    I ended up at the local used music store and picked up a new Shure SM57 mic, Behringer 2 channel interface, a used mic stand, and a new MXR bass distortion pedal. My existing headphones and speakers will work for now, though I'll need headphones soon. I recorded my practice session today for the first time in a while, and I'm very happy with the results.
    JamesNC likes this.
  3. JamesNC


    Dec 10, 2016
    Yep you don’t have to start with high dollar gear to get positive and inspiring results. I’ve put my setup together on a shoestring budget, buying mostly used, one piece at a time. eBay, CL, Reverb, OfferUp, etc.
    friedlbug likes this.
  4. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    I totally get what you're saying about using effects live so there's no latency (and you don't have to buy plugins). But you don't need an amp, you can just plug your pedals direct into the instrument input of the behringer.

    The SM57 is a versatile mic that will do an okay job on lots of things and a great job on a few things. The things you listed above (bass cab, acoustic instruments, and vocals) are where it's just okay... but it definitely gets you rolling! Good luck and enjoy.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
    friedlbug likes this.

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