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Dirt Cheap Mixer/Mics!

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by GregVater, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. GregVater

    GregVater Guest

    I'm in a band (surprise!) and we're looking to record our first demos. No awards for guessing, we need the mixer and mics dirt cheap!

    I am the drummer, and I'm completely new to recording above what we've been doing so far, a guitar hero mic which just goes to USB. It's not great.

    I'm looking for a 4-8 mic set up for my drums, definitely a kick, snare and 2 overhead mics, but any mics extra from there are an added bonus that would be welcome.

    I've seen the XENYX 1202 from Behringer, but I understand that there is alot of Behringer hate going around - I have no experience of mixers so I wouldn't know.

    I'm in the UK by the way, if that makes a difference for available brands/prices.

    Thanks for any help in advance!

  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    "I'm in the UK by the way, if that makes a difference for available brands/prices."
    Oh, it does. VAT makes anything "nearly expensive" into "expensive".

    Buying Behringer is like rolling a dice - the number the dice lands on is the number of months the equipment works for. The build quality resembles the first time I played with Lego.
    You might look into Tapco mixers, or something like the Alesis Multimix, or I dunno. I can't say I know what small size mixers are available in the UK.

    Really we need to know how many inputs you want. You say 4 for drum mics, and what about amps, bass, djembes, whatever else is in this band?

    As for mics, you will be recommended the Shure SM58. Rice and Chinamen go together like these and soundmen. But at 70 quid a pop, they'll be way out of whatever budget you have. I have a pair of 20 quid mics and well, they sound it.

    Question: do you want to spend a bit now; a bit more after a few months when you want to get "a better but still cheap" mic set; then a bit more again cause you want something better - or do you want to spend enough to get half a system just now and expand after the next payday knowing that you'll have something that you won't want to throw out in 3 months.
  3. GregVater

    GregVater Guest

    Well, I have seen a set of Red5 Audio Mics that are £149.99 Red5 Audio Ltd Drum Microphones

    The price of the mics aren't the problem, it's that there are 7 mics so I need a larger mixer than if I got 4 more expensive mics that came to around £150.

    I'll avoid Behringer in that case, after all of the reasons I've seen on here.

    My question is, should I get 7 cheap mics (Red5 Audio - I have heard great reviews)

    Or 4 better but more expensive ones. (Not Ridiculously expensive)
  4. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    This. Audix D6 on kick, SM57 on snare, two matched condensers for overheads. For the overhead condensers, SM81's are a popular choice. Without any experience with placing mics or recording you are shooting in the dark as it is, anything more than this will just ruin the sound of your set if you don't know what you are doing IMO.
  5. GregVater

    GregVater Guest

    That's way out of my price range, Guitarfreak, but thanks for the suggestion. Need something more in the range of £150 for mics, because then I need cables, a mixer and stands.

    Are the Red5 Audio mics (link above) a good idea to buy?
  6. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    I'd say that they are an option, but just know what you are getting yourself into, the set is likely on par with Behringer products. I would buy that mic pack if I was just looking to hear my set on tape, if you are looking for results then that's not the door you should be knocking on. On the contrary, you could always buy the set to have all of the necessary pieces and then just replace them piece by piece somewhere down the road. Also realize that by doing this you lose your 150 investment. Meaning that the set is not a good investment in the long run, but it will do in a pinch if you need it to. Also realize that you need to factor in the price of an 8 input firewire interface as well, and your computer better be up to par or else it won't be able to handle that many simultaneous tracks. Don't think I am trying to talk you out of this either, that's not my goal here, I am just being realistic and showing you the road. Best of luck bro, let me know what you end up doing.
  7. GregVater

    GregVater Guest

    Thanks very much man, I really appreciate the time you took to write your messages.

    I think you might be right about investing in better equipment.. It's just hard getting that 8-year-old mentality out of my head of "I want it now!" :p

    I'll save up for a a couple of good overheads and a decent snare and kick so as to save on a mixer as well.
  8. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    On another note, get the idea of buying a "mixer" out of your head. You need a multi-channel interface or stand alone recorder. You're looking at $500-1000 us for that. I don't know how that translates to the UK pound.
  9. ocdstudios

    ocdstudios Active Member

    Nov 3, 2009
    you can get a whole set of CAD's for $199 at Guitar center. You can get good sound out of them but it will take a good bit of EQ'ing and studio time to get a live/real quality sound from them.

    Cheap mics are always bad in the beginning. I have learned alot about sound and mixing by have no other choice but to make inferior gear sound as good as it possibly can.

    There is a lot more to recording/mixing than gear. If you are not thinking that you are going to get pro-level sound out of a home studio and budget gear then get the best stuff you can on your budget, learn as much as you can about sound and have fun.
  10. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Well, no one has offered this advice. But you should at least think about it.

    Stop! Don't record yourself. Spend the time and money practicing and buying better guitars, amps, etc. Work up an hour and a half of songs that you can play dead on with killer performances. Go to a studio and check out the rates to get a block of time and record your band. You can book an excellent studio for less than the cost of really crappy equipment. If you can really play, you can put out a good CD in a weekend.

    The only reason to buy recording equipment is that you are interested in recording (as opposed to playing) music. Yes, it's possible to be interested in both. But if recording is a distant second, you should not spend a lot of money on it. Buy a flash recorder and record your practices and gigs. Use that to evaluate your songs and give a copy to your mom. You can do quite respectable recordings this way for very little money and keep your focus on playing music.
  11. ocdstudios

    ocdstudios Active Member

    Nov 3, 2009
    BobRogers - Very good point. I Didn't really think about it that way and am glad that you did. You are absolutely correct. That would definately be the fastest and cheapest route to a quality product. That is probably the best advice given!! AMEN!

    Matt in GA
  12. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    I was just about to give GF kudos for his wisdom (he and I both learned quickly here and on the job, I made many of the above-mentioned mistakes)... Until I read Bob's post.

    If it's playing music and building your band that's important, scrap your plan.
    Get something like a Zoom to record your practices and sets, and spend the $ on someone w/ real stuff that has an idea what they're doing.

    Wait, I got into this whole mess recording my band's practices and sets.... :tongue:

    But I did come to the realization that I would rather record bands than play in one as my passion/career BEFORE I stepped in the bucket.

    Just make sure that if you really want to get into this, Greg, you know what you're getting into. There aren't many more "hobbies" more expensive and treacherous than recording/mixing.
    Maybe rocket science.
  13. jg49

    jg49 Distinguished Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    "The cost of the entire Apollo program: USD $25.4 billion -1969 Dollars ($135-billion in 2005 Dollars)."

    It seems like rocket science might be cheaper, I think I have spent nearly that much and may be no closer to my first "pro" quality recording than I am to the moon.

    I just wish congress would appropriate me another $200 million, then I could stay in this business, till the money ran out anyway.
  14. Why do you need 7 mics to record drums?

    A good overhead pair and a kick drum is all you need to start out, seriously.

    That should solve your budgetary issues enough. Get a stereo pair - Oktava pencils would be a good place to start - and a Beta 58 for the kick, and boom, you're on your way.

    Most folks starting out think they need to mic every drum - it's just not true. A well positioned OH pair and a good stout kick mic will capture a well-played, well-tuned kit perfectly.
  15. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2003
    Red5 are trying hard, but I don't know anybody raving about them, and they've been at it for years now, so yeah, no....

    ++1 on just getting your drums done with 4 mics, 4 or even 3 good mics will utterly outparse 8 terrible ones.

    And as regards Tapco, I read some great reviews and invested in quite a lot of their gear and its hurting me badly. 'monkey, PM me if you get a chance.
  16. Tapco's amps are just as rugged (in my experience) as the old Mackie i series amps.

    Anything else they make, I view as a step down from an already "meh" line of electronics. It's them trying to compete with B***er on price point, rather than step up their quality.
  17. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2003
    Man, I've bought 8 of the 1400 amps, and had 6/8 fail (albeit replaced under warranty and working at present). Number 7 just had a fan that broke. I read great reviews, and maybe a bad batch got shipped to the UK just as I bought, but I am pretty down on them at the moment.

    TLDR I'm back to Crown as my goto cheapy rehearsal room amps.
  18. Heh. Around these parts, Crowns are far from cheap. Good amps, but definitely not inexpensive.

    I'm currently using a bunch of beat up old Crest FA800's in my rehearsal room. Just can't kill those damned things! :D

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