minstrel: Home recording

sca_bard at yahoo.com sca_bard at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 31 08:33:16 PDT 2009


I have been trying, with mixed successes, to record myself using my laptop computer.  My gear includes:

Aforesaid laptop (low-end model)
Audacity free recording/editing software
A small, cheap webcam with omni mic
A small, cheap directional mic-on-a-stick
A bedroom with a vaulted ceiling and not much on the walls

I'm pretty sure moving to the basement, with the low acoustic-paneled ceiling and wall-to-wall books, will be a better recording environment.

The omnidirectional mic gives a clear recording, but a lot of static or white noise.  I can remove some of this with Audacity, but it starts to cut off the vocals and instrument as well.

The directional mic has little static, but the quality seems lower; sort of an underwatery quality to it.  I may be holding the mic too close; I'm not entirely sure.

My real question is: how important is the mic quality?  Can I get a decent quality (defined as: not embarassed to send to family and friends, use as instructional material; not pro quality buy-my-CD level stuff) recording with these low-end mics if I tweak the right parameters?  Or will I be wasting my time, and I should just start saving for a higher-end item?

How likely is it that the computer could be a problem?  Recording doesn't seem to be overly taxing its processor, but I'm not 100% sure how to tell.

Any advice or hints appreciated.

 - Teleri the Well-Prepared


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