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Buying my recording stuff tomorrow.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by trumpetprod, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. trumpetprod

    trumpetprod Active Member


    I've changed what I'm getting since you guys didn't think I should get an mxl 990, the monitors I chose, and the headphones.
    Buy Shure SM57 Instrument/Vocal Mic | Dynamic Microphones | Musician's Friend - For Instrument micing

    Buy DR Pro Tripod Mic Boom Stand | Microphone Booms | Musician's Friend - For my Shure SM57

    Buy On-Stage Stands KS7190 Single-braced Stand | Keyboard Stands & Racks | Musician's Friend
    - Keyboard stand

    Buy CoreX2 XLR Microphone Cable | Microphone Cables | Musician's Friend
    -Cable for my Shure SM57

    Now after I buy all of this I will have $301.04 left to buy everything else: monitors, a Shure SM58, and maybe a decent pair of headphones. What I'm asking you guys is what I should do with that money.
  2. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    In my experience, having been where you were at and being where I am now...
    I wouldn't necessarily get the 990.
    I paid around $200 for 2 of them two years ago, and am hoping to sell both for $50 today.
    There's a reason they're half-price, NEW, now.
    Better to look at an SM58, or save up for a condenser that's more expensive. Do a search on here, and you'll find enough discussions on budget condensers to make your head spin.

    Also, save your money for the M-Audio Bx-5s or something similar. There's plenty of decent monitor choices for a beginner in the $150-$300 range.
    And avoid anything w/ the label "intense stereo". Those 'phones are gonna hype the sound, so if you're using them to mix or reference, you will NOT get an accurate listening experience. A $30 pair of headphones will produce results that match your investment.

    Bottom line:
    SM57 good, stands good, cables good.
    Condenser mic bad, and can do much better for not a whole lot more on the monitors and headphones.
    Trust me brother, even if you are doing this for yourself, you're gonna want better gear in less than 18 mos.
    I'm not telling you to spend $1000. I can tell by your choices that budget is critical.
    But if you can wait and make it $500-$700, you can improve your situation a lot - and have some things you can use for years if you take care of them.

    Don't waste your money. I did.
  3. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    Ditto to Soap. In fact, if money is the main issue, then I would just make a cheap pop filter for that 57 and use it for vocals and for instruments, take the 50 bucks you save on the cheap condensor and put it in your monitor fund. Plus the 20 for the stand. And 15 for the Nady pop filter you don't need now. You were willing to spend 80 on those monitors, now you have 165 - you're on your way, just a little more and you have something half decent that you won't need to upgrade a year from now. Save your money and get a SM58 or a different condensor for vocals in a couple of months, or 6 months, or however long it takes. If you do this, almost everything you have (except the headphones) will be useful for a long time to come. Heck, ditch the headphones and put another 30 bucks in your monitor fund. For 195$a used set of KRK 5's or 6's are within reach.

    Unless of course you need to record vocals and one instrument at the same time and you need to do that right away and can't wait to save up for the better vocal mic. If that's the case, then I can't suggest anything. What you've chosen will do the job, but it isn't going to do the job for very long -- you'll end up upgrading the monitors, the headphones and the condensor mic soon enough, and you will get almost nothing for the ones you no longer need.
  4. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the echo, ap!
    I get knots in my stomach every time I see someone insistent on getting a bunch of cheap stuff on the quick. I realize I am going to repeat some of your points, but I feel they bear mentioning a 2nd or 3rd time.

    Your plan lets trumpetprod explore using one of the most universally used and acceptable mics on the planet, while investing for the future.
    I can't reiterate enough how important this is.

    I had a job to do. First project.
    They gave me stands/cables (2 of them worked for a distributor), and in return I recorded drums, bass, guitar, sax, keys, and 3 vox.
    Hell, I needed the stands and cables just to do the job. 24 songs, 2 nights.
    I made the most glorious guerrilla isolation contraptions you have ever seen.

    I used the 990s for backup vox, an AT2020 for the sax, MXL603s for OHs, an MXL 3000 for lead vox, 52 on the kick, and pretty much 57s elsewhere. I also had some cheap ribbon mics (Nady).
    Guess what I still use, 21 months later?
    The Shure mics. And the 2020 has made a few appearances. Although the 603s make for a pretty nice inexpensive pencil condenser - I have better now. And the 3000 made for some great vocals in the early days, still some of the best I captured - although I think that was just a lucky pairing with a wise singer.

    Point being I've listed 7 mic models, 5 of which get little to no use. If we're counting individual mics, thats 8 duds versus 3 SM57s, and a 52. And for the sports fans... a .286 and .333 winning percentage, respectively.

    Total cost? Some came as "free w/ purchase" (beware!), but about $400 for the MICS I DONT USE!
    Not to mention others I don't use totalling another $200+. Or other wasteful purchases. Looking back, I probably wasted the money I need to buy the API 3124+ I am desiring (~$2400!!).

    Do I regret it? Mostly. I had to get a job done, and got cheap-to-mid stuff to do it. I did the job. The gear did the job. I had other jobs that forced me to make more impulse buys. Similar story, but fortunately for me I started getting smarter. Still, you gotta get the job done.

    I've since spent my money on gear that I can:
    (a) use indefinitely
    (b) get a good return sale
    (c) usually, both a and b

    The good news for the OP is that there *are* things he can buy on his budget that fit the above.

    To Mr. Trumpet and everyone else out there in a similar position:

    PLEASE, PLEASE, be patient and make smart purchases. It still stings me to think of the $ I've wasted - even if I was just doing my own bedroom setup for myself!!

    Sorry for the rant, but b/c these mistakes are recent enough in my memory, I can't stand to see someone else repeat them. Don't be me.
    Or even better - be me, but make better decisions at the beginning of your recording adventure.
    I promise you won't regret it.
  5. trumpetprod

    trumpetprod Active Member

    Wow, thanks guys. OKAY, no more MXL 990! So let's get it strait here.
    Get rid of the MXL 990 - 50$
    Get rid of the monitors and find better ones - 80$
    Get rid of the headphones - 30$
    Get rid of the stand - 20$
    Okay so let's add all of this up.
    $180 saved.
    I had a budget of $520.
    $301.04 is left after I subtract what I'm already going to buy. So that means I have $301.04 to spend on... monitors?!?! So that takes me to a Shure SM58! And as a bonus, good monitors. I never knew I could make such a big mistake! And maybe if I'm lucky I can fit in some headphones. So I'll hold off on buying all of this until I make a final decision. What do you think I should buy with the $301?
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    What are you recording to? If currently nothing then get a Zoom H4n.
  7. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    So it looks like one microphone is not an option. If it was me, I'd probably skip monitors in the short term, get a quality set of headphones, and the sm58, cable and a stand.

    58, cable and stand package: 109$
    Headphones: I'm not a headphone expert, but there has to be something pretty serviceable for 200$. You can get better headphones for 200$ than you can get monitors for 200$, IMO, and that's why I'd go this route. Shure SRH840 perhaps...199$.

    Then save your pennies for decent monitors later on. It's not ideal, and mixing through headphones alone is not ideal, but a budget of 520$ is not ideal to begin with, and this way everything you've bought will get used for years to come. Instead of upgrading (and losing money), you're just building on what you've already got with additional, good quality components.

    Jackattack's question is also a good one, because if the answer is "straight into my computer through the built in soundcard", then everything that has been said so far is out the window.
  8. trumpetprod

    trumpetprod Active Member

    I have a Lexicon Lambda audio interface with Cubase LE4, so not strait into the computer...
  9. trumpetprod

    trumpetprod Active Member

    Hear, hear!
  10. trumpetprod

    trumpetprod Active Member

    What if I totally hold of on buying the second mic? What monitors are good?
  11. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    So now you have 300$ for monitors. Use the advanced search on the forum and search for "budget monitors" in quotes and you'll get plenty of options. Musicians Freend has the KRK Rokit 5's for 150 each, so that's exactly 300. The Rokit 6's are 175 each, so 350 for a pair. I used to have the 6's and I liked them quite a bit. I eventually upgraded, but it took a couple of years. But there are others. The main thing about cheap monitors is recognizing that all of them will have their own unique sonic personality, and that you have to use them, learn that personality, and adapt to it. But at 300-350$, you can get something very serviceable that will last you quite a while.
  12. trumpetprod

    trumpetprod Active Member

    Okay, I'm good to go. When I found a good pair of monitors I'll tell you.
  13. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    I just noticed that Musician's Fiend has bright red Rokit 6's on for 150$ each. I wouldn't hesitate to get a pair myself if I was just starting out (and who cares what they look like), but still feel free to search around old posts on the subject and see if something else catches your eye, there are other options in that price range. Ideally you'd take a CD with music you know really well into a shop and actually listen to a bunch of 300$ monitors. If you can't do that, I think the Rokit's are a safe choice.
  14. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Here's my vote:
    OK...so you already have a Lexicon Lambda USB...I'll assume you have a decent computer with enough power, memory, HDD space to record with..I don't think you mentioned what you have.
    You have a keyboard apparently hence the keyboard stand. I would put the keyboard on a desk or something and maybe save $20 for a cheap stand like that. Doesn't add much value to your recordings...Did you mention a keyboard or MIDI cables maybe that would be a better $20 value?
    SM57 or SM58 mic and a cable $120, use it for vocals and micing acoustic instruments or guitar cabinet. Not clear what all you are going to record...just vocals and keyboard?....but either of those mics are the best mics for the money! No brainer there.
    Mic stands.....ehhh $60 is kinda high you could probably find something cheaper or used...?
    Headphones instead of speakers...well Sony MDR7506 $85 are pretty nice headphones to start out with but not as good as ATHM50's which are more like $150.
    KRK Rokit5 RPG2 powered monitors can be had for $300 a pair if you want monitors...but I'm sure you have some sort of speakers or sound system around you can get by with for now.....
  15. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Maybe I missed it, what are you recording?
  16. trumpetprod

    trumpetprod Active Member

    I will be primarily recording trumpet, and then some vocals, guitar, drum set (electronic), and yes I already have a keyboard (some old Roland but still pretty good) but I badly need a keyboard stand considering how TINY my room is and so I can't put it on my desk (which is also a bit tiny). And I already have midi cables. I think one mic for now will do it because I will be overdubbing a lot. And yes I have a decent computer. You are right about the stand, but considering how useful it will be in the long run, I still want to get that instead of replacing horrible ones, unless you have a suggestion. And as for the monitors, I have some other uses for them ATM other than recording, so I would like to get a decent pair of those before I move onto headphones, which I will buy in the near future.
  17. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If your room is that tiny then no monitors will sound good.
  18. trumpetprod

    trumpetprod Active Member

    Okay, what does tiny mean to you? And also as I said I have some other uses for monitors, not just recording...
  19. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I would get some monitors then if you need them for other things!
  20. trumpetprod

    trumpetprod Active Member

    Ok so here it all is FINALLY!:
    Mic Stand for Shure SM57 (If you guys have a cheaper suggestion I would be more than willing to take a look) - $60
    Buy DR Pro Tripod Mic Boom Stand | Microphone Booms | Musician's Friend.

    KRK Rokit 6 G2 Limited Edition Studio Monitor (x2) -$300
    Buy KRK Rokit Powered 6 G2 Limited Edition Studio Monitor (Red) | Powered Monitors | Musician's Friend

    XLR Cable for Shure SM57
    Buy CoreX2 XLR Microphone Cable | Microphone Cables | Musician's Friend

    Keyboard stand
    Buy On-Stage Stands KS7190 Single-braced Stand | Keyboard Stands & Racks | Musician's Friend

    The mic itself!
    Buy Shure SM57 Instrument/Vocal Mic | Dynamic Microphones | Musician's Friend

    So that's it! Unless there's another problem?

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