By | January 6, 2007
The next item in the sound chain is actually your mic cable. Here, I won’t take long. Just buy a nice one. Go to a music store either in your neighborhood or online, and buy a mic cable that is good quality. I’m not completely sold on the ‘Monster Cable’ fad and the idea that you have to spend $50 on your mic cable, but you definitely don’t want a cheap one. Do what most people do acheter viagra pas cher. Check the prices and don’t buy the most expensive one or the cheapest, get something in the middle. One thing I am recommending though is XLR. You want an XLR mic, like I already said, and for that you’ll have to have an XLR cable. This brings us to your sound recording device, which, as you might have guessed, also must have an XLR connector on it.
Now I know you’ve probably got a great Sound Blaster card and you want to use that. Well, actually you can, if you want to and I’ll show you how in just a minute. As a matter of fact, at this point I’m gonna have to break away into two different scenarios again. The first one is for the user that doesn’t have audio equipment yet and the second one is for somebody that has a great sound card and they want to use it.
Purchasing a Recording Device
For the user that does not yet have anything but what their computer came with, I’m going to recommend that you purchase either a USB or Firewire external sound capture device. I use an Edirol UA-25. Creative Labs makes a device like this, as well as lots of other manufacturers, but I like the Edirol and I like the Roland preamp that it uses. These devices are not just ‘external sound cards’, they actually sculpt the sound a bit and you’ll get a slightly (and in some cases extreme) variance in sound with different devices.
You want at least two different channels so that you can have a second mic and record an interview. Look for something that has built-in compression and phantom power. Most of these devices today will come with all that, but double check. As far as the actual use of the device, I’ll be telling you what it’s all for and how to use it once we get that far, for now, you know what I use and you know the general specs if you want to purchase something different.
Using an Existing Sound Card
If you’ve already got a good sound card, you can still use it, although I seriously doubt that it is up to par with today’s USB and Firewire devices. Number one, it will have ’self noise’. Since it’s inside the computer, all those electronic components will cause it to have an electronic hum. Once you add other devices, like a mixer and a mic, which will all add their own noise, it might get to the point that it’s too loud to be usable. A real good mixer and a real good mic will be quite, but if you can afford to buy a real good mixer and a real good mic, you can probably afford a USB or Firewire solution.
Now, all that aside, it’s still doable. You’ll need a small mixer which will allow you to hook your mic up. The mixer will have to provide phantom power to the mic, and then the output from the mixer will plug into the line in connector on your sound card. I’ll see if I can get a graphic of that posted. One thing the mixer will let you do is probably tweak the frequency a bit, for example adding a little more bass to the sound. Be careful with this though, you want a pretty flat, dry signal, and again, if you have to alter it a bit to give it some punch, we can do that with software later on.
We’re going kinda fast with the setup here but I’m trying to give you the information you need to know at this point, so that you can get what you need or decide how you’ll use what you have. When we actually start recording though, I’m gonna be very detailed, but at this point, explaining too much would just be more confusing.
The bottom line is that you need a fairly decent recording device. Every link in your audio chain is important. If you start with a nice mic and connect it to a device that isn’t very nice, you’re audio isn’t going to be very nice. One nice thing about the external USB and Firewire devices is that you can plug them into a laptop and do all your production work on the laptop, so your studio is essentially very portable.