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Microphone for home recording

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Panya37

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I have an offer of a late Xmas present of a microphone for me to record my accordion playing (only for personal learning, or to upload occasionally to soundcloud etc). The buyer is reasonably knowledgeable and has suggested this model: http://www.amazon.co.uk/RODE-NT-USB-Rode-Microphone/dp/B00KQPGRRE

to be used in conjunction with the free audio suite Audacity.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Is this overkill? Is this type of mic. right for recording an accordion? Would a more omnidirectional one be better? Can a half-decent recording be made with only one mic.?

I definitely dont need the best of the best but would like something better than the tinny sound I get using a cheap mic. at the moment. I want to keep it as simple as possible hence my request for a USB connection.
 

debra

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Considering the recording will obviously be monophonic with a single microphone this one should certainly be good, perhaps even overkill.
I have done a fair bit of home recording and even recorded a whole CD with accordion quintet ARTE (http://www.arte-ensemble.nl ) using a Zoom H2. Although this is an inexpensive recording device with (4) built-in microphones it works really well. It wont be as low noise as the Rode microphone but in home recording you produce enough volume for this to not be an issue at all.
Im not saying you should get this particular one but an inexpensive stereo recording device gives you a lot of flexibility (not being connected to a computer which has typically not so good audio input anyway) and you can later plug in the sd-card and process the recording on the computer in any way you want. And you will end up with a stereo recording which always sounds better than mono.
 

Glenn

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I can vouch for the zoom he. It is a very handy and portable device. You do not need to connect it to a computer for recording and is autonomous with batteries. Of course it is more expensive than the rode microphone but you get a lot more. I can't however say anything about recording quality as I have no experience of the rode. If you really want low noise, crystal clear recordings then probably neither are suitable and you will have to borrow money from the bank to achieve your goal :)
 
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Panya37

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Thanks so much Debra and Glenn, the Zoom H2 (or similar) looks like a far more versatile solution than a mono microphone. I do love this forum - I just knew someone here would have the answer. The person who wants to give the gift has a lot of experience of voice recording but I had a doubt because accordion is quite a different beast. And yes, a recorder is far more flexible than a straight mic. Glenn, the Zoom actually seems slightly cheaper than the Rode mic. - or about the same if you get all the 'extras'. Much gratitude for your advice.
 

debra

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I recorded this at home (solo) with the H2: with several more examples on my YouTube channel.
 

TomBR

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Id agree with the recommendations for getting stereo if possible. Youll know in your own circumstances whether portability would be useful.
As an alternative to the Zoom H2, Ive been very happy with my Tascam DR-05.

Recording using a computer could be rather annoying if the fan cuts in half way through your best rendition ever!
A stereo mic might be an inexpensive alternative. Ive got a nice Sony which cost about £100, but I dont think they make them any more. A bit like this
http://www.thomann.de/gb/superlux_e531.htm#bewertung


Audacity is great, I use it a lot. I use the Tascam for recording the whole of a two hour band practice, transfer the sound file to Audacity, you can easily see where the music is as opposed to the chat and the false starts and tryouts etc, then listen and save the good bits.
Set a recording going while you play, then you can forget about it and listen later.
Good luck!
Tom
 
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Panya37

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What a lot of options there are... the more I look into it, the more I realise sound-recording is a vast subject. But my needs for the moment are pretty modest. Paul, I would be more than happy with the sound quality you have got on those recordings. Tom, yes I agree that a stereo mic. is another possibility but having looked into it, I have realised the potential of going the way of a recording device rather than a microphone. I guess you would get a superior recording with a dedicated microphone set-up, but the flexibility of the recorder has won the day. I can see e.g. taking it to sessions and recording the repertoire to learn the tunes etc. It will be very useful. I am going to ask for a stereo recorder along the lines of the Zoom H2, 4 or 5. I will leave it to my gift-giver to make the final decision about how much to spend.
 

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