Recording Trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Dragon98987, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Dragon98987

    Dragon98987 Pianissimo User

    Apr 20, 2010
    Hi I'm interested in recording trumpet and was wondering how I should go about it. I have garage band, but when I try record using my computer's built in mic it sounds pretty bad. Should I buy a recording mic and if so what kind and how do I connect it to my computer?
  2. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    You can get some decent recordings using garage band - you can use the computer's mic, but really have to lower the levels a lot for it not to distort. I use an apogee one interface with a built - in mic. It's really easy to use and not terribly expensive for the sound quality you get. My next purchase will be a good set of monitors, because the challenge then becomes hearing yourself if you're recording with a rhythm track.
  3. SteveRADavey

    SteveRADavey Pianissimo User

    May 25, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I'm also looking into this, and I've come to discover that there are plenty of USB mics out there that appear to be both affordable, and possibly of good quality (I haven't tried any of them yet - I'm just doing the preliminary research). Assuming that at least some of these will let you achieve adequate sound quality, they have the benefit of easy connectivity to your computer.

    MXL USB Microphones
    Blue Microphones | USB Microphones
    Samson Audio - C01U
    Shure Americas | SM57+X2u USBDigital Bundle | Industry-standard, Touring, Vocal, Instrument
    Audio-Technica - Microphones, headphones, wireless microphone systems, noise-cancelling headphones & more : AT2020 USB USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone

    And there are others. The difficult thing for me to figure out is this: some of these mics are not specifically designed for recording brass, but you can still find good reviews of them for this application. It's difficult to tell what to trust.

    - Steve-O
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  4. govtmodel

    govtmodel Pianissimo User

    Dec 26, 2004
    Rhode Island
    I had a Samson USB mic and it was fine. Then I got a Zoom H4n and it's a lot finer:D
  5. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    Even with a USB mic I think you'll find that the quality of the recordings will still be low.

    I'd recommend something like the Zoom H2 recorder. Lots of recording options and quality settings and it's reasonably priced:
    Zoom - H2

    The Zoom H4 is even better, but more expensive.
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Question - which Mac do you have and does it have a firewire port?

    My suggestion to you if you have a firewire port would be to get a firewire preamp interface such as a Presonus Firebox, and a Shure SM57.

    Ok - here are two options you could look at - one is more expensive than the other. The one that will cost you a bit more:

    Presonus Firestudio Mobile - $299 (Firebox seems to have been discontinued)
    Buy PreSonus FireStudio Mobile 10x6 FireWire Recording System | Audio Interfaces | Musician's Friend

    Shure SM57 - $100
    Buy Shure SM57 Instrument/Vocal Mic | Dynamic Microphones | Musician's Friend

    Slightly less expensive but USB rather than Firewire:
    Presonus Audiobox USB interface - $149
    Buy PreSonus AudioBox USB 2X2 USB Recording System | Audio Interfaces | Musician's Friend

    Shure SM57

    Even less expensive:
    Blue XLR to USB converter Preamp - $59
    Buy Blue Icicle XLR to USB Mic Converter/Mic Preamp | Audio Interfaces | Musician's Friend
    Shure X2u - $99
    Buy Shure X2u XLR-to-USB Microphone Adapter | Audio Interfaces | Musician's Friend

    Behringer XM8500 Microphone - $22 - this mic is supposedly a great bang for the buck and some say it's even better than the Shure SM58. Others say it's almost indistinguishable from an SM58. For $22 it's worth trying IMO - I plan on getting the 3 pack pretty soon to mic the toms on my drum kit.
    Buy Behringer XM8500 Microphone | Dynamic Microphones | Musician's Friend

    I recorded this little two part flugelhorn Christmas thing with a Blue Icicle, an SM57 and Garage Band against a backing track that was put together by a friend of mine.
    YouTube - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Patrick Gleason

    My biggest issue with the Blue Icicle is that it's isn't truly a preamp, even though it says it is - it's basically just a signal converter, and it has it's own analog gain knob, but it's very hard to duplicate your results because nothing on the knob is marked. Finding a good gain setting with it was at times difficult - even if it wasn't clipping on the clip meter in GB, it might still be distorting because there wasn't a lot of headroom where gain was concerned. I now have a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 Firewire interface ($500) and I don't have that issue, but at the time the Icicle got me started and got me where I needed to go.
  7. Dragon98987

    Dragon98987 Pianissimo User

    Apr 20, 2010
    Thanks for all the feedback. I have a macbook pro and it does seem to have a firewire port. Is it pretty easy to use the preamp-mic system? And with the zoom H4n, can I transfer what I record into garageband? Sorry for all the questions, but I really don't have a clue about these things.
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
  9. Mamba21500

    Mamba21500 Piano User

    Feb 26, 2009
    what i do when i record, because I have some decent head phones but no mic, is just plug them into the the mic jack, you get much better audio quality then you would with a cheap mic, and you don't need to spend money
  10. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    One of the benefits of the Zoom products is the ability to save your files in different formats.

    My H2 saves in WAV or MP3 formats to an SD card, so you can either connect directly to your computer, or use a card reader to transfer the captured files.

    Assuming garageband accepts WAV and/or MP3 files it's as easy as transferring them from your Zoom to the computer.

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