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So, most audio forums of some sort have one of these but I feel NG could do with its own. You take a cheap peice of gear you own, you list it, rate it and talk about it as best you can. It's essentialy a review and, of course, if you have clear sonic examples you can provide - great.
Obviously with pre-amps, mixers and audio reproduction gear this gets a little tenous, so don't feel obliged. But any A/B gear shootouts would be appreciated.
So, let's get started!
Millenium DI: A 12 Euro passive DI with a high and low Z output. Can't really be critical of these as DI'ing bass is something I've gone off to an extent. Very useful, cheap and reliable and have lots of uses such as Re-Amping previously DI's signals (Just use the in as the out and the out as the in - I've an A/B of such a process Vs. just recording here). I use them for live sound fearlessly, they're just such ridiculously good value!
Xenyx Behringer 2442 - 16 track mixer with 4 channels, 4 subgroups and lotsnlotsa outputs! They're about 500 euro and sonicly they're perfectly respectable - low noise, the sound is reasonable and the EQ is standard (though I only ever use it for live sound). I can find that the input channels feel a little low on headroom but as I said the system is so quiet it's a non issue.
Oh it has DSP and stuff too. You know, in case you want autopanned-pitch-shifting-reverbs on your tambourines. I've never used it, though it has a tap tempo.
Korg Monotron - 50 Euro. Ridiculously fun synth which famously uses the MS20 filter. Ultra raspy distorted madness and the oscilator goes up to audio frequences for those kinda FM/PM sounds. Sadly the oscilator only does ramp, there's no tap tempo and the keyboards tracking is a little shitty. But it does have an external input, meaning you can route other audio through it - like guitars (All the tracks except the drums on this are Guitar + Monotron).
Slightly saddening that there's no 9V jack input but its good with battery leave and it gets kinda funny when it starts to suffer from voltage sagging! Definitely a good buy.
T. Bone EM700 stereo SDC microphone set. 2 small diaphragm condensors, stereo bar, 50 quid. They're a little noisey and a abit midrangey but they're great value. Good directionality. Not my fav cab mic, but good for janglier acoustic guitar sounds, hats, OH's and generaly "pointier" sounds. I've no example where they're not just in the context of a mix, so I'll have to leave it to my word. The stereo bar is a treat to get free in general, and it gives you the freedom to try out ORTF, X/Y and a few other stereo mic techniques!
I've got a pair of Thomann Ribbon mics on the way so stay tuned! Might even do some Blumlein Pair recordings and some M/S with the EM700.
Ur turn, gaiz.
Studio Projects VTB1
- I got this little preamp six years ago as an inexpensive, temporary solution until I could buy something nicer. I'll probably never replace it now. It sounds great clean, but it also has a "Tube Drive" circuit (based on a 12AX7) so you can blend in some color or crank up for some nice distortion.
It works well for vocals or guitar.
At 10/23/11 06:03 PM, midimachine wrote: Whaddaya think of the monotribe Chris? I kinda want one but I'd have to get one with the MIDI mod or I'd probably never find a use for it. Looks and sounds really cute though haha.
I'd go for one of SBB's capo things instead.
In all honestly I was extremely tempted by the Monotribe, but for 200 euro I couldn't justify the cost. I'm fairly sure you could get a MIDI controller with a built in sequencer that would let you do alot more - the routing within the Monotribe is very limited unless you go modding it. Actually after watching that vid I'd wonder if the Monotribe is a worthwhile entry level Midi Controller...Play with the online version and see if it's for you!
Shure C 607, a dynamic microphone "ideal for karaoke". Was 30$.
When I bought it (back in 2002? 2003?) was my only tool for recording. Did a great job for the price. I kept recording with it until 2008 when I got my Oktava MK 219 (also a good deal, 145 Eur).
Great thread, but I'm wondering at what price point are pieces of gear no longer considered cheap for the purpose of this topic?
At 10/24/11 02:03 AM, midimachine wrote: "Cheap" is relative to what sort of gear it is, really.
Exactly. The 500 Euro for my 16 channel mixer? That's cheap for what it is. 500 euro for a dynamic? That's expensive, and probably an RE-20. 500 for a synth...ngghhhhhuhuhuh depends!
This goes both ways, obviously. I'm also interested in what gear you bought thinking it'd be a bargain and turned out to be poor quality.
A pair of these bad boys arrived today. 86 euro for a ribbon mic with a wooden case, shock mount and a flight case. I don't really understand how they even made a profit on that, but I'm going to do some demo recordings of acoustic guitar/classical (Did I remember to buy those strings), electric guitar and maybe some percussion. The plan thus far is
Single Mic close and distant
A B pair
For those who don't know about these I suggest reading up, I'm very excited by the idea of Blumleins and M/S and since Ribbons are figure-of-8 that gives me the ideal mics to use. My M mic will be the EM700. I wont have access to a drummer for another 2 weeks as I'm off to Prauge this Monday, but I'll try and get some samples of these as OH's when I get back!
At 10/27/11 07:29 PM, Chris-V2 wrote: I don't really understand how they even made a profit on that
they wouldn't have made much of a profit, but this is offset by reduced R&D costs (it's a Nady RSM-4 clone), and economies of scale (they make a lot of them).
Well, for cheap stuff I have (but no longer use) a Behringer MIC200 preamp. I think it was under $50, but is very usable. I've upgraded a few times since then, but I still keep it around for a backup.
I also have a Samson Q7 dynamic mic (SM58 clone) which was $70 and sounds pretty good for the price.
Most of my gear is the kind of stuff you'd find in a bargain bin, but here goes nothing:
M-audio Keystation 47: 124$ works fine, but i had to hold it together with ducktape due to some unfortunate events involving a screwdriver and a handfull of those small liquor bottels you get in giftbags.
Louder Bass (Bass guitar): 177$ works fine, it has some minor problems with the electronics.
M-Audio Guitar interface: I use this one as a sound-card, im not sure ho much it costs since i got it for free.
I've got some decent stuff...nothing spectacular though, and I buy it all new...unless it's not electric. Acoustic instruments almost seem to sound better to me after they've been broken in with a previous owner :D. For new stuff, i get it at Musician's Friend; usually they have the best prices out of everywhere I look, and the used stuff i get at my local Music-Go-Round; again, best prices of any of the vendors in town. Guitar Center just gouges the hell out of you...on everything. Two locally founded companies (Doo-Wop and Willis) are somewhere in between. Nothing beats the prices on used gear at Music-Go-Round though :D
PreSonus AudioBox USB: Affordable, easy to setup, sounds great! I use it as a soundcard. It allows for two inputs (0.25 inch/XLR for both of them :))), one MIDI in/out, and stereo RCA output for monitors. Only bad thing about it is the way the knobs are designed, it's hard to tell what they're set to. A little black magic marker fixes them right up though. $150 at Musicians Friend.
Sony MHC-EC991: This is my cheap alternative to studio monitors. I actually read in a lot of reviews on monitors that shelf monitors are designed to emulate popular cheap shelf systems, with low bass output, as to provide a mastering environment that's somewhere close to what your average listener will be hearing. This got me to thinking; why pay the extra money to a music company for a pair of speakers that are supposed to sound like a shelf system? I could pay 200 bucks a piece for two shelf monitors, or pay 200 bucks total for a 2.1 shelf system at wal-mart. So that's what I did. This guy has a switch to turn off the subwoofer as necessary, and it even provides a dock for my iPod/iPhone; what novelty! Sony discontinued the model that I have, but you can find similar variants at Wal-Mart, Amazon and the Sony Store for around $180.
E-MU X-Board 61: The most useful of all my cheapo gear. I shopped for a long time looking for a good controller at a reasonable price. After having a bad experience with an M-Audio USB-MIDI interface, I absolutely refuse to buy any of their products. So it boiled down to what the controllers from other popular manufacturers could offer me; the E-MU Xboards come with a software synth called Proteus X, which years ago used to be a rack-mount studio synth that was quite popular. It comes packaged with the highest quality collection of massive sound libraries I've ever heard, to this day (thousands of instruments and sounds, literally, thousands!). I actually purchased the XBoard 49, and musicians friend sent me the 61 by mistake (But i sure as hell didn't complain). Creative (E-MU's parent company) has discontinued the XBoard series, but you can still find them in used gear shops around the web and your town to be sure. I find that Proteus X doesn't exactly get along with FL Studio, at least when I have multiple instances of it running in one project. Not to worry, it's quite easy to sample Proteus X and just use the samples in the final rendering. The 61's are going for about $150; which, ironically enough, is about what I paid for a 49 at the time of my purchase.
Adams Bongos: Not much to say here, good cheapo bongos with 4 tuning screws on each of its goat-skin heads. I paid about $50 bucks for it used; chances are you can find a decent set of bongos with rubber-plastic composite heads for about that price new today.
Yamaha P-25D Melodica: Again, not much to say. It's a great melodica! I might've over paid for it ($50), but you'll be hard pressed to find this model from Yamaha today for less than $90 (I saw it for 79 euro somewhere...). Horhner makes one that you can get new for about $60 today.
That about does it for my cheap gear. I've got a DM-10 Studio kit that I bought new, but that wasn't cheap ($999.00). It's great though, awesome sounds, uses real mylar drum heads for a real drum feel, rather than that rubber mat stuff. I dig on the mesh heads, but Roland seems to think their shit doesnt stink ($1400 for the cheapo V-Drum set, more than $2k for the comparable Roland to my Alesis).
EDIT: Regarding the bongos; goatskin, lolz, thats for Afghan drums if I'm not mistaken. They're rawhide heads, and I have the two-tone model, this one exactly: http://www.instrumentalsavings.com/Produ ctDetails.asp?ProductCode=MC-B2&gdftrk=g dfV21897_a_7c264_a_7c645_a_7cMC_d_B2
Alesis Q25: Really good MIDI piano for beginners, or just people who want something simple. It's got MIDI and USB out, pitch/mod adjustment wheels, and MIDI/select options. It's small, but it still allows the user to access some of the basic chords and notes of each different piano octave. My only complaint with it is that obviously, as the description implies, it doesn't have a lot of other options then modulation and pitch adjustment. I picked mine up for about $85 American.
Here be dragons... No... Just kidding. That's a wall, I do believe.