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Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:45 PM   #1
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Inexpensive VO recording setup

I have this question posted in the Mac forum but this may be a more appropriate place.

I need to devise a way to effectively, inexpensively, and easily record VO's to my mac. I have a project where I will need to do numerous and quick VO updates. I have been going into the camera then capturing but that is a PITA.

At one of my jobs I use an PL20 to Mackie 1402 to AJA firewired to Mac and it sounds great! Unfortunately I can't really afford the AJA but I do have a PL20 :) I am thinking that I could purchase this mixer:


http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...A_COMPACT.html

run it through a Griffin iMic

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Interface.html

Or something similar, then into my Mac.

Does anyone have any opinions on this? Is there a better solution that would cost about the same or less? If I can set something up where I would spend less than $300 then I might not need a PO from my CFO (wife). I know to do this right I need to spend a considerable amount more but my wife claims that our kids need to eat so I just need an economical solution for now until they turn 5 and I can send them off to work for Wal-Mart.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 01:04 PM   #2
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Have you considered any of the USB mics?

They seem very popular for doing VO in a home studio.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 01:11 PM   #3
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I have considered a USB mic and I am thinking that may be the least expensive way to go. However, I really like my PL20 and have been trying to find a way to incorporate it rather than going out an buying yet another mic. Using this USB interface was recommended in the Mac forum:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Mic_Mate_.html
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 01:17 PM   #4
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using Usb is a good cheap solution
I use Samson C01U and record with garageband, or Audacity, or wiretap
And when your kids will work at Wal Mart, they will have a employees discount so it gonna be even cheaper.

http://www.samsontech.com/products/p...1904&brandID=2
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 01:39 PM   #5
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In the past, I've used a small Behringer mixer (MX602a) into an iMic with good results. I did find the sound a bit brighter than directly into the onboard sound card. but if you already have the PL20, you can get into the computer for under $100 with the mixer and iMic. Plus it gives you options to input other sound sources, something a USB mic would not.

just my buck 3-80.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 01:40 PM   #6
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This E-MU looks almost perfect for what I am trying to accomplish:

http://www.emu.com/products/product.asp?product=15185

Does anyone have any experience with the E-MU 0404?
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Old June 4th, 2008, 10:22 AM   #7
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After a fair amount of research for a relatively small purchase I decided to go with the Presonus Firebox. Since I do a lot of my VOs latency could be an issue so I wanted to go FW rather than USB. I also liked the size/portability. I have found that when I do a lot of research before a purchase, then go to B&H's site to check costs, more often than not the product that I decide on is a "Top Seller". This time I narrowed the choices and just went to see what the Top Sellers were. Two of my choices were "Top Sellers", the M-Audio 410 and the Presonus Firebox. The M-Audio was poorly rated so Firebox it is. B&H was out of stock so I did a little looking around and ended up finding one for $230. $70 less, sold. I will report back on its performance.
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Old June 4th, 2008, 05:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Pecunies View Post
I have considered a USB mic and I am thinking that may be the least expensive way to go. However, I really like my PL20 and have been trying to find a way to incorporate it rather than going out an buying yet another mic. Using this USB interface was recommended in the Mac forum:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Mic_Mate_.html
You can use your PL20 with the CEntrance MicroPort Pro.
http://centrance.com/products/mp/

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old June 4th, 2008, 09:53 PM   #9
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Ty,

I second the motion.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 09:58 AM   #10
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I recently purchased the MXL USB Mic Mate when it was on sale at some online vendors and the price difference with the CEntrance MicroPort Pro was even larger than it had been previously. I got it to have an "emergency" USB audio interface with phantom power that could always be in my computer case.
While the Mic Mate certainly works just fine as an input, the difficulties of live input monitoring through your computer can make it less desirable for extensive use.
The CEntrance MicroPort Pro with it's internal headphone amp, or a small mixer that you may already have combined with an inexpensive and simple interface, or a more advanced interface like the unit the OP purchased would be a better solution for any amount of extensive recording.
I will keep the Mic Mate as it fits the need I bought it for, but it won't be getting a lot of use when better alternatives are handy.
Others may have found greater success with latency issues while input monitoring than I could achieve with my laptop, Vegas and the Mic Mate.
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Old June 6th, 2008, 08:39 AM   #11
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If you want to really save money just use your camera as an interface with the laptop. If your camera has a firewire connection and XLR inputs you don't need to spend a dime.
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Old June 6th, 2008, 09:50 AM   #12
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Well, there is that. I shot this from my XL2 right into iMovie. Afterwards I did some post work on the audio.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RZJ9MptZmU

Video fills up your drive pretty fast. I don't know if FCP or Soundtrack Pro will record just the audio from a firewire link from the camera, but then there's the question of how good the camera preamps are.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old June 6th, 2008, 01:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
W
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RZJ9MptZmU

I don't know if FCP or Soundtrack Pro will record just the audio from a firewire link from the camera, but then there's the question of how good the camera preamps are.

Regards,

Ty Ford
It does. In FCP just use tools>voiceover.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 08:29 AM   #14
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While I was waiting for the Presonus Firebox I did use my Canon A1 as a preamp. I ran the mic into the camera then ran the headphone jack from the camera to the line input on my MacPro and recorded into Soundtrack Pro. Worked well and sounded fine. The Firebox definitely sounds better. I am very happy with the sound and it is almost totally idiot proof. Plug it in and it works.
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Old June 21st, 2008, 08:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Pecunies View Post
While I was waiting for the Presonus Firebox I did use my Canon A1 as a preamp. I ran the mic into the camera then ran the headphone jack from the camera to the line input on my MacPro and recorded into Soundtrack Pro. Worked well and sounded fine. The Firebox definitely sounds better. I am very happy with the sound and it is almost totally idiot proof. Plug it in and it works.
Try it using a firewire connection to the camera. It should sound much better than using the headphone jack.
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