Best products from r/recording

We found 29 comments on r/recording discussing the most recommended products. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 58 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top comments mentioning products on r/recording:

u/ChelatedMonoxide · 2 pointsr/recording

Yes, there are recorders that can record multiple tracks. Like the Tascam DR-40 has XLR inputs. I'm not necessarily endorsing the Tascam. I have the DR-05 and find it acceptable quality. Something like the Zoom H4N has XLR connectors built in, so you could record a mic into those and use the built in condenser mics to record your guitar.

You left out some relevant information: Budget, can your guitar be plugged in or will you mic it? Do you have a pretty sound free workspace?

I think budget is the most important part here. I interpret 'nothing flashy' as being a cheap as it can get without being poor quality.

I'm gonna link to listings on Amazon because it's easiest, but B&H or if you live near a Guitar Center might be a better place to buy.

A possible setup:

  • ART Dual USB Preamp - $80 - This will allow you to plug in one mic and your guitar and output the track to your computer via USB. Depending on the software, I believe you can have the tracks separate for editing, but they would separate into left and right channels that you'd then combine into a stereo track after editing.

  • Shure SM58 - $100 - A dynamic vocal mic that will play well in a not so perfect recording space. Check out Regina Spektor using one during a concert. This mic is so popular I would make sure to only get it from a reputable dealer i.e. not used on ebay, because there are fakes floating around.

    If you need/want to mic your guitar then consider the SM-57. It is nearly identical to the SM58. Here is a guy demonstrating using one to record his guitar.

  • If $100 is insanely out of your budget, then consider the Behringer XM8500 - $20 - Not as high quality as the SM58, but still a decent sound. Here is a guy comparing the SM57 to the XM8500 and is using just one mic for voice and guitar, without using a preamp, so keep that in mind when comparing the audio (I hear some noise in the audio, probably noise from the line to the camera, which I presume has some sort of automatic gain happening).

    This guy's video makes me wonder if just an SM57 with a decent preamp (i.e. one with clean gain) might be all you'd need... but that isn't ideal. You could go with two XM8500s, one for guitar and one for vocals ($40). Or one SM58 for vocals and one XM8500 for guitar($120). That all comes down to budget and preferences.

  • You'll need a mic stand, or two. The On-Stage MS7701B is a best seller on Amazon. I own one of these and it isn't going to impress anyone. I've never had it tip over or seem unsteady. If you extend the boom arm too far it can sometimes slowly droop over time (I may be guilty of not tightening it enough due to not wanting to strip the threads) It does the job of holding a mic in place. If you go with two mics, you could get two of them. You could also get a desk stand for the mic that is recording your guitar and find a suitable place to set it, but I think the boom arm of the MS7701B will be useful for keeping the stand out of your way.

  • And you will need cables. I recommend the cables from Monoprice, their Pro Audio series. It is not as user friendly to find the exact cables you'll need as a site like B&H, but I have had several of their cables and only had one die on me. All their cables have a lifetime warranty and the prices are shockingly low.

  • And a windscreen or pop filter for the mics is nice. There is a decent windscreen on Amazon for 3 bucks, sometimes 2 bucks.

    Potential Changes & other thoughts -

    A more expensive preamp - ART Tube Dual Mic Preamp With USB - $190- this has some compression and a limiter. It's debatable whether in this range it would be better to get a decent mixer, a preamp for your vocals, and let the preamp on the mixer handle the guitar, or if something like this would be better. Like a Behringer mixer - Q802USB ($80) + ART single channel Preamp for vocals ($40/$50) would be less money than the Dual USB preamp.

    Or maybe just the Q802USB would suffice for your needs. It has preamps already built in. They are not the best preamps in the world. I mean... after all I wrote above, the more I think about it the more I think you should try a Q802USB and see if the sound is what you're wanting.

    Headphones - Add in some headphones to monitor your audio. ATH-M40x ($100) would be my recommendation, but this is where a lot of personal preference comes into the mix, no pun intended.

    Different mics - Rode has some mics that compare the the Shure SM57/58 that might be better. And the options for mic are virtually limitless, when you consider not just the mics can vary, but the audio interfaces and processing options. I really think a dynamic mic will be most user friendly for a one off home recording.

    I hope I haven't confused more than I helped. I think the essentials are this: good mics, clean gain, easy to use. Whether you get the dual channel ART preamp or the Q802USB, either will be easy to use. I would bet the gain on the ART preamp is cleaner, meaning less background hiss at higher levels, than the Q802USB, but perhaps that is just an unreasonable bias. In either case, the mic is going to be important and where your budget plays a big role. The SM58 and SM57 are superb for vocals and recording guitar. A condenser might be better if the acoustics of your recording space allow for it, but I hope you saw from the video I linked of the guy recording his guitar with the SM57 that a great sound can be achieved with a $100 mic. If that is out of your budget, keep in mind the XM8500, but the sound is not as clear as the Shure mics it tries to emulate.
u/therewillbeniccage · 2 pointsr/recording

Looks good
Ok, this is what I would do in your situation. This doesn't mean it is the right thing to do but I can recommend a few options that are regarded (generally) by the audio community as decent starting points.
First off Id suggest you do get two mics. It will also enable you to record both vocals and guitar at the same time if you wanted to do youtube covers or anything like that.

For vocals. Id get an AT2020. For the money, you won't really do better. I've used them myself and really have no complaints about there. sure, they aren't the best top level, high-end studio mics. But for someone starting out with Audio, the quality is amazing. If you want some examples before you buy one check out some youtube videos. Id also suggest getting a pop filter. There one here for 9bucks. If you dont want to buy one you can just try this. But personally i value not having to hold i, esp when playing guitar.
For guitar, Id get a Shure SM57. Even some of the best studios in the world still use these for guitar. A guitar recorded with a 57 is the coffee and nicotine combination equivalent of the audio world.


Also, as a side note, id recommend finding an XLR cable with decent connectors. Neutrik is a trusted and reliable brand. Im not sure which ones amazonbasics uses. For the most part cables can be much of a muchness but the connector is important, its worth splashing out a little bit on this. On second thoughts, these amazonbasics ones have pretty decent reviews so might be good.


Also maybe boom mic stand will help if you dont have one already.


Hope this helps!


u/YourDrunkle · 1 pointr/recording

What you really need is an interface. And interface takes the analog signal of your microphone and digitizes it for the computer to use. This is essentially the same as what your onboard sound card does but for audio is better in basically every way. Quality, flexibility, whatever...

This is the cheapest interface I could even sort of recommend. If you have more to spend, I would recommend doing so, but this should sound ok. You are limited to 1 mic which may or may not become a problem eventually. The 2 mic version is a little more expensive but worth it imo. I recently upgraded to a 4 input interface with the ability to expand.

If you can return that mic, do. It will work, but there are better mica for your use for less money. From my limited knowledge, dynamic mice are better for spoken word. They are marginally less crisp but also pick up WAY less background noise. Most broadcasters use nice dynamics like and RE20 or and SM7B. I would buy this instead of your current mic. I have the 57 (instrument version) and it's a solid mic for the money. It's not the end all be all, but it get useable sounds out of anything I point it at.
GLS Audio Vocal Microphone ES-58 & Mic Clip - Professional Series ES58 Dynamic Cardioid Mike Unidirectional (No On/Off Switch)

u/hairsketchcompany · 1 pointr/recording

I couldn't agree more with /u/SativaGanesh 's comment below. I'll add that when you start learning to record, your focus should be on signal flow, gain staging, microphone technique, and learning how to edit and mix audio. Until you have a handle on the basics, a tape machine won't be beneficial to you. And when you DO have a handle on the basics, consider getting an internship at an analogue studio. If you're sharp and likeable, you'll probably have an opportunity to learn how to use a tape machine and console.

Here's what I suggest for your home setup. You can get a perfectly usable interface for around $150. That apparently comes with Pro Tools, but Reaper is a full-featured DAW that sounds great and supports most plugin formats out there. It's $60 for a full license. Here is a perfectly adequate microphone made by Rode. (Or if you can spend $600 go for the K2, it's awesome.) These speakers are halfway decent and will get you started on the right foot.

u/Tantric989 · 1 pointr/recording

I'm using a 2i2 and not having any issues like this. I just tested it, and even with using a Shure SM58 (very different mic, SM58 is a vocal mic) and plugging in my acoustic electric the first few seconds of the track are completely silent on both channels.

I'm not much of an expert here but you may have either electronic or literal background noise. I used to run a Dean Markley Soundhole pickup to amp my acoustic guitar and it would have interference, and I just picked up a couple of ferrite cores from RadioShack for like $5. They seem like some kind of magic, but the magnetic ferrite core just snapped onto the line cord fixed my problem. You can find them on Amazon for like $4.

The second thing may just be the fans on the laptop or anything else in the room. I'd try changing the power settings on the laptop to low power, that uses less energy and will spin the fans at lower rpm making them quieter.

Finally, I'd try the Line and INST selector switches as I think that might be part of your problem. I'm not much of an expert, but here's the manual page on the two options.

> The front panel input sockets are Neutrik Combo®, which accept either an XLR male connector (you
will probably have one on the end of your microphone cable) or a ¼” (6.35 mm) jack plug. Note the
Scarlett 2i2 has no “Mic/line” switch – the Focusrite preamplifier stage is automatically configured
for a microphone when you plug an XLR into the input, and for a line or instrument when you connect
a jack plug. Set the LINE/INST switch next to the socket to INST if you are connecting a musical
instrument (a guitar in the example) via an ordinary 2-pole (TS) guitar jack, or to LINE if you are
connecting a line level source such as the balanced output of a stage piano via a 3-pole (TRS) jack.
Note the Combo connector accepts both TRS and TS types of jack plug.

I'm fairly sure if you're using the SM57 mic it's using an XLR connector, what you definitely don't want is some kind of adapter that changes it from XLR (the three prong cord) to a 2-prong TS or TRS jack. XLR is a balanced cable and shouldn't have as many problems with interference. It seems like with XLR it doesn't matter what the selector switch is set at.

Hope this helps, good luck.

u/timebomb13 · 1 pointr/recording

I've been using these for a while. Get two quality mics for the price of one. 550 is great for vocal stuff. Not sure what your channel is, but if it isnt music-based, the 551 will be sort of useless... As others have said, the MXL V67 is very good. Good luck!

u/Imperceptions · 1 pointr/recording

Don't laugh, I've been using the logitech guitar hero mic because I can't get the condenser to have sound, but I'll list what I have for the ACTUAL set up.

Videos, mostly youtube/advocacy content, in the future there may be podcasts. Mostly spoken content, which is why I went condenser, all the research I did suggested this for talking. I also have a pop screen (not sure if you consider that relevant, but being thorough).

This phantom

This mic (or very similar):

Line-in from the phantom thinger to my iMac (late 2011)

Garageband to record.

By the way, thanks so much. This is by far the most supportive, helpful, and kind r/ I've ever been to!

u/UprightJoe · 0 pointsr/recording

I've never used Audacity but I doubt it's causing any problems with your sound. DAW's generally don't directly impart anything to the sound of the audio. I think it's more likely to be your mic, recording technique or mixing.

It sounds like your vocals are clipping. I've never used a USB mic. Does it have an input gain? How do you control the strength of the signal that it sends to the computer? Are you running any plugins on what we hear in this recording?

I would focus on getting a cleaner recording prior to mixing. That being said, if I had to work with this vocal recording as-is, one of the first things I would address is the sibilance. It's pretty brutal. I would definitely put a de-esser on these vocals. If Audacity doesn't come with one, you can probably find a freeware plugin or you can shell out $30 for one from Waves:

The vocals also are a bit loud which is making the rest of the instruments sound small. You might get a mixing book and practice some mixing. I recommend this one:

u/blakedance · 1 pointr/recording

Let me start by saying I highly recommend going the route the other commenter said and buying the audio interface - it will save you a lot of headache and is the proper solution for this. However if you still really want to use that sound adapter with that mic you will need this to be able to get a signal: Plug the XLR to 1/8” that came with your microphone on the output and plug the other end into the sound adapter. Then plug the included XLR from the input of the power supply to the microphone. Disclaimer: You may have hums and hisses doing this and that is why it is better to go the interface route. Plus your trusting cheap electronics to not send 48v directly to your computer and fry the whole damn thing just to save about $80.

u/Balki-Bartokomous · 5 pointsr/recording

I have 2 audio-technica at2020s that I love for everything. They cost about $100 (on sale, and canadian. Probably cheaper everywhere else in the world).

I don't think you have to worry about AMAZING recording quality right now, you're just trying to start out, right?

I just picked up a Scarlett 2i2 second hand for around $100 too. This is what I'll plug my mics into, and what I would plug my bass into if I was going DI.

As for SM57 vs SM58, a couple of people I know swear by SM57s

u/ramblin-bob · 1 pointr/recording

You can get a 2-pack of MXL for $76 (You still need an external audio interface to connect these to.)

For playing live or live streaming, you will sound better with separate guitar and vocals mics.

For recording things you'll later mix and edit, it's usually better to record vocals and guitar separately, so you can get away with just one mic.

u/PigLib · 1 pointr/recording

Not sure your budget but i just picked up a Tascam US-16x08 to finally mic my kit right.

I've had it about a month and it works great so far.

u/LeftyWillie · 1 pointr/recording

Any name brand, modern smart phone will do better than anything that costs $20. Yes, you might find an old MiniDV camcorder at a second hand store, but it won't be HD, it won't have HDMI out, and the battery will likely be dead.

I cannot recommended it, as I have never tried it, but the cheapest 1080p camcorder with HDMI output that I found on Amazon is twice your budget, here:

Drawbacks based on what I saw on Amazon include:
Digital Zoom. This sacrifices resolution when you zoom in to things. It's best to keep the camera zoomed out all the way, and use positioning to frame the shot.
Sound Quality. The reviews on the internal mic are bad, and I did not see an option for an external microphone input. You would end up having to record your audio elsewhere and sync it up.
Frame Rate? Sometimes these cheapie camcorders have low frame rates at their top resolution. I couldn't find details on the frame rate at 1080p, but it certainly won't be 60fps like you would find on a Panasonic HC series camcorder or similar.