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thanks for the info gents, oldhat, i looked at audacity, it seems a bit "involved" i just don't understand the jargon! so, do you think that buying one of the suggested mics and downloading an online audio recorder, would allow me to sit in front of my laptop with the the mic and record myself (vocals and guitar) playing and singing on one "track" and then play it back and play banjo back up to the recordings?
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Yep one of those USB mics will do the trick. However, you may not be happy with recording two instruments or say vocals and an instrument together as most of us that play around think it's like" Real Estate"...location, location, location. I know my guitar sounds best with the mic at a certain location, and that same location does not give me the best vocals. But I'd go with the BLue Yeti Pro because it has abotu 5 or 6 different settings you can select for what you are going to use it for...it can be things for like "solo voice", multiple voices, musical instrument, etc...and the AT 2020 just has 1 setting..."ON".
Audacity is pretty simple, hook up your mic to your pc, open audacity, click "record", and you are off to the races.
Once you get you something worked out then you'll have to join us at the bottom of the forums in the "netgrass" section and throw up some parts. We are always looking for new folks to toss in stuff! It's typically Myself, Mike, Larry, and Ozi so we need some new blood!
If you are interested in how recording all comes together, then you should venture over to Kompoz and see how tracks work.
A lot of it is "jargon", it's really not that bad and I can offer up advise on recording, but I think Mike and Larry possess a lot more knowledge and are pretty much smarter than I am!