Piecing together a home recording setup

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After a lot of prevarication, I'm trying to pull the things that I already own into a basic home recording set up, but I'm not sure what I need to add to have an effective, minimal, low cost set up for (mainly) acoustic guitar and vocals.

What I have, so far:

Nice guitars and amps. (J45, ES-125, Gretsch Country Club and a Larrivee parlour for some tonal variety)
Good Macbook and a legit copy of Logic X that I have still only scratched the surface with.
Decent monitors
Apogee One for Mac
SM58
Mic stand
A little Zoom H2n recorder
Quiet recording spaces.

Can this stuff be cobbled together into a half decent set up to record guitar and vocals? I'm only hoping to spend a few hundred pounds more (less if I can) but I'm not sure what's best.

I like the SM58 for vocals and I think it might be as much as I need. The built in condenser mic on the Apogee has given me ok-ish results recording the guitar and vocals together but that seems good enough for a guide track, but recording both through the same mic has obvious limitations. I guess I need a dual input audio interface and another mic for the guitar as a minimum... and, I guess, another mic stand. 

I know it's a form of insanity, believing that you can do good work on truly limited tools, but I keep coming back to Justin Vernon recording 'For Emma...' and Bruce Springsteen recording 'Nebraska' on not much more that I currently have. I guess you could take that as my inspiration. 

So... how mad am I?
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  • camfcamf Frets: 740
    And most importantly... I have friends to help. Really good friends. That's got to be a big plus. :) 
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3313

    Do you record the singing and acoustic at the same time? I'm probably not the best person to help as I'm not very good at acoustic guitar, singing, or recording (especially not any of these simultaneously) but I'd have thought a two input usb interface would do the trick. You could then use either one input for vocals and one for guitar (either mic-ed or pickup into jack) if doing both simultaneously, or if you record guitar separately you could use one input for a microphone and one for a pickup and blend the two together then. That's what I did recently for an "acoustic demo version", though my pickup is single coil so had some high pitched humming which meant I effectively put an eq block on the higher frequencies and the two tracks then blended rather nicely as it was lacking bass through the mic anyway.

    So for that I guess you'd need to buy a 2 input interface (or another single input one to go alongside your existing one) and a microphone for the guitar - I assume people who like acoustic music are more fussy than I was for a microphone (I used a vocal mic...) so a nice condenser might set up you back a bit I guess.

    Ah thinking about it - the mic stand! If you do record both at the same time through mics, you may need an attachment for the stand to put the acoustic mic on at the required height. Or if you do them separately, you'll  need the stand to be a boom mic stand to tilt it to the right height (or again, get the attachment for it so as not to need to move it all the time)

    Water, come drown me, I'm done

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  • camfcamf Frets: 740
    I think I'd at least want that option, even if I was replacing different tracks at a later stage. I guess a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is what I need. I'm assuming the much more expensive thunderbolt version is overkill for vox/guitar. 
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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 959
    Dude...Im assuming you can use the Apogee just to track the guitar in Logic, then do the vocal track separately , unless you def want to record both at the same time?

    Looks like the zoom is a handy tool...its has 2 inputs yes?....so you can do vocal mic  and DI accoustic guitar ?




    Mac Mini i7, 2.3Ghz.
    Presonus Studio One Pro.
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  • camfcamf Frets: 740
    Yeah, the Zoom is handy and I use it for recording band rehearsals and as a notebook, but I'm not sure I can use it with Logic, other than importing audio files later and I guess that would involve sync issues. Not sure if I can just use it as a USB mic. I'll check that out. I think it just has one mini-jack input.
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 3015
    edited July 6
    Violet design have a sale on ATM, the Amythetyst Vintage is a bargain. Otherwise buy an Aston. Recording tracks separately will make for cleaner end result recordings (esp if you need to edit & overdub) and you can keep using your other existing gear. 
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  • sweepysweepy Frets: 1891
    I’d seriously look at a stereo matched pair of Rode M5’s and a bracket to mount them on a mic stand, 

    https://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/product/13111115170232--rode-m5-microphone-matched-pair?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIy7nc34OL3AIVRrDtCh1vCwT8EAQYBCABEgKr1PD_BwE
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 997
    sweepy said:
    I’d seriously look at a stereo matched pair of Rode M5’s and a bracket to mount them on a mic stand, 

    https://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/product/13111115170232--rode-m5-microphone-matched-pair?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIy7nc34OL3AIVRrDtCh1vCwT8EAQYBCABEgKr1PD_BwE
    Fine budget small condenser cardioid mics. I used mine last Friday to record a double-sized string quartet plus double bass & harpsichord combo in a church. Came out pretty good, apart from the double bass. Audio interface was a PreSonus AudioBox iTwo into Logic. Should have put a reflection filter behind them, as I picked up more audience noise than I wanted from behind. 

    I think being able to record in stereo is worth going for. It opens up your options without overfacing you with choices. 

    Taking the Zoom tracks and importing them into your DAW is fine if they're the starting point for your project and if the performance is either in time or you don't care and are happy to follow the timing you recorded at/to. 
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  • mistercharliemistercharlie Frets: 330
    The Apogee On should work with Logic. It has two inputs, right? Does your guitar have a pickup? If so then you’re ready to go!

    You definitely don’t need a Thunderbolt interface. USB is more than enough. 
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  • camfcamf Frets: 740
    The Amythetyst Vintage may be a bargain, but it's still way too much for me. The M5s seem worth considering, and the Presonus iTwo Bundle seems pretty good value at £150, even if the included M7 mic seems poorly regarded. But this is all great input - thanks everyone! :)
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  • camfcamf Frets: 740
    With the Apogee One for Mac, you can only use one input at a time. I think you're right re Thunderbolt - overkill for what I need. 
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  • sweepysweepy Frets: 1891
    You can pick up a Digidesign 003r for £150 s/h 8 inputs and works a treat on a Mac
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  • camfcamf Frets: 740
    The Digidesign 003r looks like a neat solution but I think I'd be better with something simpler and more contemporary. But interesting. 
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3408
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 429
    I don't record acoustic guitars so can't help there but I do currently use an SM58 at home for vocals. What can I say...  It works. No worries about bleed or background noise/natural reverb being picked up. 
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  • Some room treatment will go a long long way to helping you get the results you want - even just a few bass traps and wall panels will clean up the sound and make it all sound more pro. There are no end of companies and price points for this stuff but I really like blue frog audio (or you can do it all yourself if you’re DIY inept like me!). As for mics AKG C1000 can give good results on acoustic 
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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 959
    sweepy said:
    I’d seriously look at a stereo matched pair of Rode M5’s and a bracket to mount them on a mic stand, 

    https://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/product/13111115170232--rode-m5-microphone-matched-pair?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIy7nc34OL3AIVRrDtCh1vCwT8EAQYBCABEgKr1PD_BwE
    I got the NT5 matched pair, but...dont find Im using them much, I tend to DI my Taylor and stick an SE condensor in front. seems fine


    Mac Mini i7, 2.3Ghz.
    Presonus Studio One Pro.
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 3015
    don't buy m5s or similar SDCs, they are not as utilitarian as a decent LDC. 
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  • sweepysweepy Frets: 1891
    I use stereo M5’s with a Valve LDC plus DI, works a treat and if you are feeling experimental a room mic is handy to blend in too
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  • camfcamf Frets: 740
    All great info that’s definitely helping me work out what I need to do next. Thanks everyone. It seems a decent LDC is recommended too, yes?
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1650
    I like the m5 as a cheap sdc - regularly use them as drum overheads and they are silly cheap for the sound quality imo.  so a pair is worth considering.   

    For acoustic guitar recording one sdc reasonably close aimed near the high end of the neck combined with a LDC a little further back will get good results with minimal effort - almost any of the cheap Chinese mic - rode nt1 is a safe choice will do a decent job  plus it’ll be fine on vocals.  
    I can’t see any need to spend more than that until you have great preamps and room treatment.  
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  • camfcamf Frets: 740
    Actually... I think, so far, the room sounds really good. One whole side of the wall is covered in books, lots of them in random sizes and random piles, and some stacked two deep. It seems to do an excellent job of warming up the room and deadening any reflected sounds. If I face away from the books, I can get a brighter more lively sound if I need it. 
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  • camfcamf Frets: 740
    @John_P ; Rode NT1 or NT1A? 
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1650
    camf said:
    @John_P ; Rode NT1 or NT1A? 
    I’ve only used the nt1,  apparently the nt1a has more top end and the graphs support that.     
    To be honest though almost any of lowish priced LDC mics available are going to sound ok - ADK. Studio projects, Audio technica, CAD, Joe Meek etc etc will be fairly similar and give a clear and bright recording - especially if you’re used to using a 58.         
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  • camfcamf Frets: 740
    OK, things are coming along but I've still to make my mind up regarding an LDC mic. An sE 2200a ii seems like one option or the Rode NT-1 seems to have it's supporters. It's exclusively for recording and hopefully bringing out warmth in a softer male vocal and for recording acoustic guitar, so something quite specialised or otherwise limited would still be fine. Any thouts for something around the £200 mark? (Or even lower! :) )
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  • camfcamf Frets: 740
    Doh! I’d forgotten about this thread - http://thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/133598/mic-for-studio-singing-and-acoustic-playing

    Any other thoughts? 


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  • camfcamf Frets: 740
    Looking like an Electro Voice RE20 might make sense. 
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 3015
    camf said:
    Looking like an Electro Voice RE20 might make sense. 
    No, bland and need a fair bit of gain. 
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  • camfcamf Frets: 740
    Ah... okay. NT1?
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  • BazzBassBazzBass Frets: 1
    I suggest a  Condenser mic, an SE X1 is cheap and good value. Great for vox and acoustic guitars. Can also capture both at the same time if required to
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