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Will a microphone work with non-electrical instruments?


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Yeah, will I'm thinking recording my Saxophone into a few of my songs and I'm wondering, will microphones work with non-electrical instruments?

8O indeed.

Is the human voice an electric or non-electric instrument? Can you then answer the question for yourself?

See, that's why we're puzzled ;).

Also, say it can, what's a good way to get an accurate sound with this method? Thanks.

"Accurate" in recording terms means:

- no or as little as possible unwanted background noise (no passing cars, barking dogs, shouting parents or siblings)

- no or as little as possible unwanted reverb (reverb is an effect you should add later - much easier to add than to remove)

- a faithful representation of the original (no or as little as possible changes - dips and peaks - in frequency).

If you want to record a saxophone - which is a fairly loud instrument with quite some upper harmonics - you'll need to have a suitable space to record it. A closet with soundproofing on the walls is an option. Blankets may do the job for a while, too. A bathroom is the least ideal choice (the tiles reflect the sound). Recording stuff in a closet is not uncommon - it all depends on what you have available for room.

You'll have to experiment a bit with the most ideal position for the microphone. It depends on what you think sounds best.

The microphone is another issue; you have to pick one with the best quality your budget can give you. What your budget is depends. Do you want to record the sax only or more than that - drums, acoustic guitars, vocals, etc.? (all of 'm non-electric by the way).

You'll need a pre-amplifier, too. An audio interface wouldn't be excess luxury either; no matter how much you prepare for quality, a noisy on-board soundcard is going to ruin it anyway.

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I have a $40 mic and I record vocals with it, but it's much harder to record louder stuff like my trumpet. Even with the compressor all the way up, it cracks and distorts quite a bit. It's just a regular cardiod dynamic microphone, but it's enough for me. I also use an iMic external sound card as an amplifier for it. That was like $50. And I use Garage Band to record stuff because it came with my computer. Nothing beats Apple in-the-box software. Total cost $110.

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iMic's are horrible. So much noise.

Whoever sends me vocals recorded with iMic or a built in mic from a Macintosh or an other Laptop again, will die a painful death (and you can mix your stuff for yourself!).

*cough* er... just had to express how much I like "built in" microphones and 10$ mics from Radioshack or something like that.

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iMic's are horrible. So much noise.

Whoever sends me vocals recorded with iMic or a built in mic from a Macintosh or an other Laptop again, will die a painful death (and you can mix your stuff for yourself!).

*cough* er... just had to express how much I like "built in" microphones and 10$ mics from Radioshack or something like that.

You know, I'm kinda getting sick of everyone on this site bashing me for the equipment I use. I'm on a budget. A very, very tight budget, and iMic may not be AWESOME OMFG FTW microphone pre-amp, but its enough for the amount I paid for it. If you're trying to give me advice on what equipment to use, there are much more civil ways of doing it. I'm not proclaiming that my equipment is the best and I'm such an awesome remixer because I'm not. But for the people who visit here and wonder "How the hell am I going to start remixing with only $200?", I'm an example of remixing on low cash. Would you like to challenge the quality of my work? Would you like a fellow Audio Engineer to come into your studio, take a look around and say, "Pfft. I wouldn't be caught dead using that piece of crap!"

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Aurora and I were looking for a way to record her vocals that was better than her laptop's built in mic. She was paying for it, and didn't want to go over like $80, so she got a $40 mic, and the iMic to plug it in to. There was so much noise the recordings were unuseable. It wasn't the mic either, there was the same noise if you recorded from the imic without anything plugged into it. I'm no audiophile and I'm not picky about the sound so much, but the noise in the recording just was horrible. We then looked online and seems like everyone else was saying what a piece of crap that iMic was. Maybe you got the only good one in existance?

I'm just venting about my/our bad experience.

Anyways, she returned the imic and the mic, and now she uses a simple $30 usb headset/mic combo which I don't love the sound of but it sounds about 800X better than the imic.

Why don't macs have line in or mic in anyways? Irritating.

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iMic's are horrible. So much noise.

Whoever sends me vocals recorded with iMic or a built in mic from a Macintosh or an other Laptop again, will die a painful death (and you can mix your stuff for yourself!).

*cough* er... just had to express how much I like "built in" microphones and 10$ mics from Radioshack or something like that.

You know, I'm kinda getting sick of everyone on this site bashing me for the equipment I use. I'm on a budget. A very, very tight budget, and iMic may not be AWESOME OMFG FTW microphone pre-amp, but its enough for the amount I paid for it. If you're trying to give me advice on what equipment to use, there are much more civil ways of doing it. I'm not proclaiming that my equipment is the best and I'm such an awesome remixer because I'm not. But for the people who visit here and wonder "How the hell am I going to start remixing with only $200?", I'm an example of remixing on low cash. Would you like to challenge the quality of my work? Would you like a fellow Audio Engineer to come into your studio, take a look around and say, "Pfft. I wouldn't be caught dead using that piece of crap!"

No one is bashing YOU personally. They're expressing their opinions about your GEAR. There's a huge difference. Just because someone says "Logic rules, FLStudio sucks", I'm not going to be offended. I'm not even going to care. It's an opinion. Now, if they said "FLStudio sucks and everyone who uses it is terrible and should quit music" that would be a different story. But no one is saying that here, so please, be a little less sensitive.

On a related note, I'm working on a guide to ReMixing on a budget. Sort of a basics to home recording/computer music, tailored to this community. I'd be happy to take suggestions.

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You know, I'm kinda getting sick of everyone on this site bashing me for the equipment I use. I'm on a budget.

[/snip]

Aight look. I don't need this and I won't go into this. I speak from experience. The last half year I worked with vocals I heard the cream of the crap. And if I say "iMic or Laptop mic" I know what I'm talking about. You can't simply use them for recording not only because the membran is way too small to catch all frequencies, but also because of the noise they catch. Especially laptop mics.

I can filter out a lot with specific tools, but also for the sake of the sound. And if there's no "specific frequency section" (for example bass, or airy treble), then I can't do magic to get them back again. I can "brush" it up a bit, but it will never sound as good as if you spend some money on a decent microphone.

The excuse "I'm ona budget" doesn't count!

Behringer, AKG, Samson, Marshall, T-Bone... 5 brands who offer awesome microphones for (hold yer horses) 50-99bucks. Better than your 3USD Radioshack microphone. And you have to admit... the better the mic, the better the recording, the more fun you have with your captured sound, the less you have to afteredit. This was no stab at YOU, it's a fact. Live with it or leave it be. If you go off on that, music is definitly no hobby for you (there - now I said it). I started with Low Budget stuff too, I'm always on a budget and still I have a homestudio setup worth a couple of thousand bucks.

SGX:

Looks like the laptop HDD and/or the PSU caused a lot of noise that the internal audio device/recording card captured. My laptop does the same as long as it's hardwired to a PSU, but on battery the noise is nearly gone.

And yeah, you're right. Macintosh iBooks are a joke for not having proper inputs.

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Compy, i'm getting the feeling we are mixed up on what the iMic is. I'm talking about http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/602-5254781-8132648?asin=B00006BALQ&AFID=Froogle&LNM=B00006BALQ|Griffin_iMic_USB_External_Sound_Card_-_T3041LL/A&ref=tgt_adv_XSC10001 that. It's pretty much a cheap as hell usb audio interface. It just has one line in jack and one mic in jack. It isn't actually a microphone.

And yeah, you're right. Macintosh iBooks are a joke for not having proper inputs.
It's the towers too. About 4 years ago my digital media professor was pissed because the at the time bitchin' G4's they got for the lab didn't have line in and mic ports. He had to go out and get several iMic's for his audio art course. I don't know if the newer models have regained these ports or not, but I'm guessing no.
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THen why didn't you get the Behringer B1 USB thing (or was it Samson?). Small Membran mic, USB device, all below 80 bucks or so.

Good sound for small price? I even recommended that one to Aurora for VGDJ (which she doesn't do anymore).

Its not me, it was for Aurora. She didn't want to spend that much.

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Well I've never had any noise problems with my iMic. Are we even talking about the same thing? You're talking about the membrane and iMic isn't a microphone, at least not the one I'm using. Its just a little external port for a microphone. I bought a decent vocal microphone for $40, and with the iMic, I get same kind of sound as mics at my school.

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Well I've never had any noise problems with my iMic. Are we even talking about the same thing? You're talking about the membrane and iMic isn't a microphone, at least not the one I'm using. Its just a little external port for a microphone. I bought a decent vocal microphone for $40, and with the iMic, I get same kind of sound as mics at my school.

You and I were, but I don't think compy was. I cleared that up in my last post on page 1.

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