Recording music has always been a bit of a mystery to me—like many musicians, I have some experience with TASCAM
four-tracks, but I never warmed to the process of bouncing tracks and such. Eventually my four-track found its way into the bottom of my hall closet, a move that had unfortunate results. Not having even the simplest means of recording guitar riffs and snippets of vocal melodies meant that ideas that sounded great on a Saturday afternoon were usually forgotten by Thursday. That led me to a very simple microphone that worked with my Apple iPod—the XtremeMac IPV-MIC-00 MicroMemo
, which recorded WAV files. Although it was easy to use, its limited functionality soon had me looking for something with more flexibility (but that also wouldn’t break the bank).
After a fairly exhaustive search, I discovered M-Audio’s MobilePre
preamp and audio interface. Priced at an affordable $160, the interface comes with two mic inputs and two high-impedance instrument inputs and a copy of Ableton Live Lite recording software. Although this unit is not meant for complex home recording, it’s perfect for songwriters looking to record demos directly into their computer. Setup out of the box took a mere five minutes, and I was soon laying tracks down using my iMac’s Garageband software. Perfect!
Got a home recording setup of your own? I’d like to hear about it. Happy recording!