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Digitally Recording Mic & Keyboard On The Cheap - What's Needed?

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kidrow

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Hi all,

Complete noob here!

I'd like to know what's the cheapest way to digtally record the mic output along with the keyboard or Karaoke output.

My dad pursues singing as a hobby. So he'd like to be able to sing along with the keyboard or karaoke track & have it recorded.

Until my Sony & Philips compact hi-fi systems conked (the cassette playback mechanism no longer works), the recording was done on tape. We simply plugged in the mic & keyboard into the system & recorded on tape. But now that tape recorders are not available, we have to go digital. Hence this thread.

From my understanding, I will essentially need a basic audio mixer. Something like this? - Behringer: XENYX 502.

& for the actual recording, a digital voice recorder like this? - ICD-UX533F : UX Series : Digital Voice Recorders : Sony India

My understanding of the way it will work is - I plug in the mic & keyboard (or mp3 player for karaoke) to mixer inputs, the mixer output to mic-in on the digi recorder, use headphones to hear what is being recorded, & it's all good.

So my questions are -
1. Am I correct in understanding what is needed?

2. The particular mixer & recorder mentioned will set me back by Rs. 5k & 3k roughly. Are there any cheaper alternatives? Even local brands that can get the job done will do.
PS: A friend is visiting the UK & so it might be possible to get components from there.
PS#2: I'm also open to buying used goods.

3. On the recorder, will using the mic-in be the same as using the line-in on the PC soundcard? Or are there any cons to this?

4. Is there any alternative configuration that'll help save money? Or any component that can be skipped altogether?

5. Will it be possible to hear what is being recorded while singing through the speakers on my tape deck, & thus be able to skip earphones? (The tape deck works except for the cassette playback/recording mechanism.)

6. Are there any other issues that need to be anticipated & factored for, such as latency or some similar occurrence?

Many thanks for your time & patience. Much obliged.
 
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kidrow

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buy a usb mic.... tons of options out there.....
Not sure I understand completely.

From what I understand, a usb mic will enable me to plug it in directly to a pc & record the vocals. But I don't get how I'll be able to listen & record the backing track supplied by the keyboard or mp3 player simultaneously with the vocals.

Would appreciate if you could elaborate.
 

cyber_cat

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Not sure I understand completely.

From what I understand, a usb mic will enable me to plug it in directly to a pc & record the vocals. But I don't get how I'll be able to listen & record the backing track supplied by the keyboard or mp3 player simultaneously with the vocals.

Would appreciate if you could elaborate.
Use an USB audio interface for recording.

Depending upon your budget, you will get number of inputs.

Cheers.
 

kidrow

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Use an USB audio interface for recording.

Depending upon your budget, you will get number of inputs.

Cheers.
Isn't that essentially the same as the audio mixer I've linked to? If I understand correctly, the only difference would be the usb out that can plug in directly to the pc instead of through the sound card. Or am I mistaken?
 

cyber_cat

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Isn't that essentially the same as the audio mixer I've linked to? If I understand correctly, the only difference would be the usb out that can plug in directly to the pc instead of through the sound card. Or am I mistaken?
You get lot of flexibility if you use UAI for recording.

No, they are totally different.

Don't connect a mixer to pc mic until you know what you are doing, it will blow the mic input.
 

kidrow

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You get lot of flexibility if you use UAI for recording.

No, they are totally different.

Don't connect a mixer to pc mic until you know what you are doing, it will blow the mic input.
Hi, could you please point me in the right direction then by suggesting a couple of budget UAIs? I'm clueless about these.

Also, I read up a bit about connecting mixers to pc inputs & came across the point about how the db levels need to be matched. (i.e. about the difference between "mic-in" vs "line-in" & how the mixer output levels should be accordingly matched). Is that what you were getting at when you spoke about blowing out the mic input?

Thanks for your time.
 

cyber_cat

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Hi, could you please point me in the right direction then by suggesting a couple of budget UAIs? I'm clueless about these.

Also, I read up a bit about connecting mixers to pc inputs & came across the point about how the db levels need to be matched. (i.e. about the difference between "mic-in" vs "line-in" & how the mixer output levels should be accordingly matched). Is that what you were getting at when you spoke about blowing out the mic input?

Thanks for your time.
Yes, I was talking about that only.

What is your budget for the interface ?

What PC system have you got ?

Cheers.
 

kidrow

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Yes, I was talking about that only.

What is your budget for the interface ?

What PC system have you got ?

Cheers.
Budget-wise, I was hoping to keep it to about Rs. 5k or so. Having said that, I could bump it up if it doesn't meet the bare minimum requirements. I'm just looking for the cheapest solution that will get the job done.

I googled for UAIs, & it seems something like the M-Audio M_Track (http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-M-Track-Two-Channel-Portable-Interface/dp/B00BQ6KSN6/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1432530434&sr=1-1&keywords=m-audio+interface) or Focusrite Scarlett Solo (http://www.amazon.com/Focusrite-Scarlett-Solo-Compact-Interface/dp/B00MTXU2DG/ref=sr_1_2?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1432530657&sr=1-2&keywords=scarlett+2i2) is what would fit the bill.

These are costlier than the budget mixers like the Behringer Xenyx in India though. Which is why I'm a bit confused about why a UAI would be preferable.

On the PC side, all I have is the on-board audio, not a dedicated soundcard. It does have a separate mic-in & line-in though.

I'd just like to say that the primary reason for trying to move to digital is because of the fact that cassette decks are extinct, & not for the better quality or editability, per se. So any solution at a level of quality close to tape recording is fine, so long as there are no obvious artifacts (such as noise, hum etc.). So I'd also be open to a audio cd recorder, if such a beast is available & reasonably priced.

Thanks for your time.
 

saheb11123

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The simplest solution is to a audio interface, something with a 2 in 1 out will also do. Then you plug this in your pc and plug mic in the interface, open a daw, something like cubase or even audacity, you import the audio track like the keyboard or so and start recording. If you want to simultaneously record other instruments you will more than one input. At 5k which is tough google for 4in interface you can choose from the cheap options
 
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kidrow

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The simplest solution is to a audio interface, something with a 2 in 1 out will also do. Then you plug this in your pc and plug mic in the interface, open a daw, something like cubase or even audacity, you import the audio track like the keyboard or so and start recording. If you want to simultaneously record other instruments you will more than one input. At 5k which is tough google for 4in interface you can choose from the cheap options
Hi, so would this do? - Behringer UM2 Audio Interface: Amazon.in: Musical Instruments

I still don't get why a mixer would not be preferred over this, especially given the fact that the prices are similar.
 
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