Home recording kit

April 3, 2018, 2:38 AM · Hi all,

Just wondered if anyone could recommend reasonably good but reasonably priced recording equipment.

Am not looking to start releasing albums, but would like something good enough that I can record myself playing and send it to my friends and family and it sound reasonably faithful!

Replies (9)

April 3, 2018, 4:51 AM · Sounds rather like the discussion we had recently ("Which recording solution is the best?"). I'm an advocate of the low end of the available options - for my purposes (I frequently multi-track myself in the neglected chamber music repertoire) a competent USB microphone like the Blue Yeti works fine with the free Audacity software. Others will disagree!
April 3, 2018, 5:31 AM · Hi,

Are you looking for video or audio? For audio, I would suggest looking at ZOOM devices. There are many levels for different budget and application, but the results are excellent.

Cheers!

April 3, 2018, 8:41 AM · Budget?
April 3, 2018, 9:33 AM · Note that if you intend to share your videos via YouTube or Facebook Videos, the compression they use will degrade the quality of your recording fairly significantly.

I find that my Zoom Q4n (about $250 on Amazon) generates higher-quality audio and video than YouTube-quality, and so it's perfectly fine for casual YouTube sharing purposes.

April 3, 2018, 9:50 AM · This can all get really deep really fast all depending on budget and the degree to which you want to be involved in the recording process.

If you simply want to push a record button and capture yourself with no prior knowledge of recording and no interest, then get a Zoom or similar.

Since you aren't into "releasing albums" I would agree with Lydia.

Audacity is ok for capturing a basic audio track on a laptop. If you ever want to manipulate the audio or add additional tracks or parts, then I would recommend more in depth recording software.

April 3, 2018, 9:57 AM · My process is super simple. I have the Zoom configured for max quality. I put it on a cheap portable tripod (Amazon Basics, $25). The Zoom comes with software (HandyShare), which lets me copy the recorded clips onto my Mac. Long recordings get split up into multiple files, automatically. I load all the clips into QuickTime, trim the beginning and ending of the file, and save it. Then I upload the whole thing to YouTube.

That's worked fine for me for solo stuff, duo with piano, chamber music (quartet etc.), and concerto with orchestra, as well as capturing orchestra performances. I typically put the camera in the second or third row, but at the back of the room can work for some venues too.

April 3, 2018, 10:31 AM · Also best to record initially in high resolution wav files, here's why.

If you record compressed and then upload the web site will also compress it, so you get double degradation. If the website only accepts 128 mp3 and you have a compressed file of say 320 mp3 the track gets double treatment.
Best to upload a high resolution wav file such as 16/44.1, 24/48, 24/96. Some even upload 32 bit wav files dithered. 16/44.1 is a CD quality file. You get a bit more headroom using 24 bit files.

April 4, 2018, 3:42 AM · Thanks for the comments!

So I currently actually have a Yeti. I don't think I've been using it optimally so far, so I'll give it another go. If I'm still not happy I might invest in a Zoom, though I definitely don't want (or need ;) ) to spend any more than that!

April 7, 2018, 11:43 AM · Update: I'm finding Yeti + Audacity is working fine for my purpopses, so long as I keep the gain dial on the microphone fairly low. If the gain is too high then double-stops end up sounding horrendous (I guess there is some kind of clipping going on with them).


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