I have a budget of around £180 to buy a mic for recording groups of approximately 5-20 singers. I am not sure if I should get a condensor mic and audio interface or can I just get a usb mic (Sansom?)
The guy at the music shop told me that with a usb mic there would be bad latency and I wouldn't be able to have the mic a few feet away as it wouldn't be able to pick up a strong enough signal.
If usb mics are up to the job (he implied that you would use them for close up pod casting stuff) it would be far cheaper for me to get one of these. Not sure if he was trying to sell me an interface and phantom powered mic when a usb would do the job.
A usb mic is going to be bog useless on a choir.
I say that as one who has never used one but I have recorded choirs and it is hard enough with several mics and a mixer (to tape) .
IMHO there is only one way to even attempt the task and that is a stereo pair. I would try the "classic" co-i pair to begin with but the room and space available will modify this choice.
But £180 is really too low a budget. You will need two capacitor mic (why caps'? see later) and I would not suggest anything under £70 each. That should get you two (not a matched pair!) AKG Perception 170s. By the time you have bought a modest stand, stereo bar and cables (two, 5mtrs at least) you have done two ton.
Then you need an audio interface. If you are VERY lucky like me you might find a Tascam 122l for 40quid at Cash Converters. Got any headphones? Other AIs to watch for: M-Audio fast track pro, Emu 0404usb.
Later: None of those AIs have very high gain pre amps (well the 0404 ain't bad but I have never seen one second hand!) so dynamic mics are a non starter for voices since even massed voices are not that loud at a "nice" place in a room.
Lastly, do not worry about any latency bllx. Does not matter when just tracking music . Din't worry about 3rd head delay on Revoxes did we!
I work as a teacher and have previously recorded groups of 20 kids singing Christmas carols for a CD I sold to raise the £180. I brought my own gear in which was 2 x AKG c1000s going into a Tascam 424 AI. I got some ok results after I rolled the bottom end off in Ableton. Got some good feedback about the quality of the recording which was far from decent IMHO!
I'm intersted in doing this again some time but want to purchase some eqpt if possible to save having to bring my own gear to school. I also may want to record solo piano or guitar. Would a usb be ok placed 2 feet away from a classical guitarist or would the signal / noise be dodgy?
I'm wondering maybe if there's anything else for £180 I could spend the money on. wE have at school a PC with ableton and an Oxygen 8 controller. Maybe somekind of Live controller with big square buttons might be good....Novation do one I think. Any other suggestions as to how I could spend the cash? the kids are 5-11 years old.
As I say Bleeps I have never used a usb mic but I HAVE recorded Son on acoustic guitar and I very much doubt such a mic would be quiet enough.
What else to spend the 180 quid on? Phoarr! Dunno, Portasound keyboard? Make sure it has MIDI.
Whatever you do Talk to "Digital Village" they give massive discounts to educational bodies.