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Not sure if this post belongs here...but which purchase suits my needs best?

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  • Not sure if this post belongs here...but which purchase suits my needs best?

    Hey all, I'm trying to figure out what purchase would best fulfill my needs.

    I am planning on doing recordings with vocals (male) and acoustic guitar. My current setup is a MacBook Pro w/OS X 10.10.5, running GarageBand with a Steinberg CI1 interface and a Shure SM58. One thing I really do not like about my current recordings is that I find they sound quite thin with little bass coming into the audio, and as well there is sometimes a weird 'hissing' noise associated with the audio recorded - faint, but annoying.

    I don't know much about recording gear, but I'd like to find a piece of gear that would work towards helping me capture a more balanced (i.e. one with more bass response) sound as well as a cleaner one without that aforementioned 'hiss'. I've found two pieces of gear I'd be interested in purchasing, the Focusrite Scarlett Solo as an upgrade to my current Audio Interface, or instead a new microphone, an Audio-Technica AT2020 microphone (NOT the USB version as I've heard it's better to use a microphone with a USB or FireWire interface instead USB microphone direct to computer).

    Which purchase would suit my needs better? Should I look into purchasing any other interface or microphone instead? My budget is $150-200 CDN. Thanks for any help!

  • #2
    Part of the bass issue could be the room you're in and the part of the room you're recording in. Each room has a unique acoustic environment that features peaks and nulls in various frequencies. That could be a part of the issue, but usually too much bass is the problem in a small room.

    The SM58 is capable of recording bass. People use it on bass amps and kick drums even. It's an industry workhorse mic. But like any mic, it's ability to sound good only gets better when paired with better preamplifiers.

    I'm not sure what's causing your bass issue, but I know a solution could be to reduce the gain on the mic lines on the interface you have and to move the mics closer. This can increase the bass response due to what's know as the proximity effect.
    "While it varies from microphone to microphone, the low-end boost can be as as much as 15 db and more in amplitude and as high as 100 Hz in the frequency spectrum. Many of the best dynamic microphones will even design their frequency response around this effect."
    From: The Microphone Proximity Effect
    So you can test a distance of 6 inches to 12 inches between the mic and the sound source, where the shorter distance increases the bass response. This will also help you reduce some ambient noises by increasing the signal to noise ratio through close miking.