Adequate recording equipment for the business

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I had my eye on Steinberg's recording pack for a while now, as I am very interested in the prospects of contributing clips of my violin playing to compositions (my own or others') in the business. I contributed to a fan album called "Spectrum of Mana" years back, which they liked a lot, and amazingly I'd done it with a USB mic (MXL .007).

But, I'm aware that a USB mic doesn't cut it and you need some kind of condenser to an external audio interface. I was looking at Steinberg's recording pack:

https://www.amazon.com/Steinberg-UR22-MKII-RP-Headphones/dp/B01MSN3RUP/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507487287&sr=8-1&keywords=steinberg+recording+pack

I was recently playing the recent re-skin of "Wonder Boy: the Dragon's Trap" which has a lot of that in it: various professional instrumentalists individually contributing recordings to its soundtrack.

Of course Steinberg's recording pack is something of a budget item and so if necessary (though of course I like to save money however possible), I might be able to look into something better a little bit down the road.

What's the general price range of something that can truly cut it if a paying game designer is looking for some recording clips? I recently used a friends (inexpensive) setup to contribute recordings to one of my own compositions and it sounds good, but I think there may be a bit of room for improvement in it (posting the track sometime might help for getting feedback on the issue sometime) as far as recording quality.

Thanks!

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I can't really speak about the microphone, since I haven't used it, but the Steinberg UR22mkII is a good piece of hardware for its price. Although I am really quite the beginner when it comes to most hardware related things, from personal experience I'd say there is no real price range for anything that can 'definitely cut it'. It really depends on how much you're willing to pay. I found a lot of equipment I use secondhand if you want to save some money. Those are my two cents.

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On 10/8/2017 at 2:47 PM, JoshCzoski said:

What's the general price range of something that can truly cut it if a paying game designer is looking for some recording clips? I recently used a friends (inexpensive) setup to contribute recordings to one of my own compositions and it sounds good, but I think there may be a bit of room for improvement in it (posting the track sometime might help for getting feedback on the issue sometime) as far as recording quality.

Given the technology that's available today, for a single instrument, most indie game devs will hardly be able to tell the difference between a competent $1000 setup vs a $10K setup. That's not intended to be a slap in the face to game devs, and sure they take a lot pride i their work. But the bottom line is they don't care nearly as much about your gear as someone who knows their way around the freelance recording business. So if you took a Rode NT1, or a AKG C414, or an SM81 (all $400-$800 mics) and pointed it at a violin, the difference in sound quality between one of them things and a Brauner VM1, Blue Bottle, or C800 (all $6000+ mics) is going to be evident to a highly discerning sound engineer but more than enough for a game audio project. I use $40K in mics with a 700 channel quarter million dollar console. Believe me...No one cares.

I would go ahead and try that Steinberg package. Buy it from somewhere you can return it, and if you don't like it, send it back lol.

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Thanks a lot for your input.

I kind of suspected the thought that sound equipment has come a long way and the cheaper equipment can get impressive results. I recently used a friend's condenser mic to make a recording that I stuck into a composition. I didn't think to include this in my original post (silly oversight), but basically this is a setup that's from (I want to say) PreSonus Studio 1, i.e. more or less the same price range as that recording pack.

It's not bad, but I feel like it leaves a little something to be desired, possibly (speaking as someone who is not any kind of expert in recording). It sounds a little shrill and tinny, like it could feel more full. It's not horrible, but has room for improvement.

Do you think I could trouble y'all for input on this upload to that end? 

JoshRecordingHigherBest.mp3

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Where exactly are you positioning that mic in relation to the violin? You also have a lot of reflections coming off your walls. Is this setup in your house? Try moving your instrument into a the largest room available. You don't have to move your entire computer rig and monitor, just run an extension cable to your mic and headphones. putting the mic as close to the sound hole (if not directly above the instrument) as possible. Don't shoot it in from the side. Place it maybe a foot above where the bow meets the strings. The idea is to capture as much of the body as possible, and the mic like doesn't pick up equally well at distances. 

Also, that last recording is only coming out the left side of the speaker. If you are only recording one mic, you want to capture the track in mono. Not stereo. 

Which DAW are you using?

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1 hour ago, jkuehlin said:

Where exactly are you positioning that mic in relation to the violin? You also have a lot of reflections coming off your walls. Is this setup in your house? Try moving your instrument into a the largest room available. You don't have to move your entire computer rig and monitor, just run an extension cable to your mic and headphones. putting the mic as close to the sound hole (if not directly above the instrument) as possible. Don't shoot it in from the side. Place it maybe a foot above where the bow meets the strings. The idea is to capture as much of the body as possible, and the mic like doesn't pick up equally well at distances. 

Also, that last recording is only coming out the left side of the speaker. If you are only recording one mic, you want to capture the track in mono. Not stereo. 

Which DAW are you using?

Thanks a lot, again.

I was in a small-ish, office kind of room (at a friend's house, as I only had a USB mic). I thought I was rather close to the mic as I certainly understand that the sound comes out of the f-holes. Thankfully in my new apartment, my "office" area is actually on one side of a living room, so in any case I have a bigger available area when I get a new mic.

I was using Audacity to record that. I'm not sure how you understood the sound coming from the left speaker, as you're right of course that it's just one mic and the recording was originally mono, but then just duplicated so it comes out of both channels (I'm a n00b here, so that's all I can think of saying).

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You don't want to duplicate the channel so it comes out of both speakers. You want the single channel to come out of both speakers :D

Do a quick google or youtube search on 'panning' in audacity...that'll help.

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On 10/16/2017 at 12:26 AM, jkuehlin said:

You don't want to duplicate the channel so it comes out of both speakers. You want the single channel to come out of both speakers

Do a quick google or youtube search on 'panning' in audacity...that'll help.

I went ahead and got the recording pack :D I got it in the mail today and was just starting to play around with the thing.

More stuff to learn. :P Thanks for the tips!

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