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Help with upgrades please!!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Insight, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. Insight

    Insight Guest

    I am using a 2.6 ghz p4 800mhz fsb 1gb ddram computer with a rode nt-1 mic, SB Audigy 2 ZS sound card, AKG K141 Monitor Headphones (no speakers), and Adobe Audition for multitracking currently for recording and mastering hiphop vocals.

    I have about $800 to work with ($300 in gift cards from sam ash, so if you can please suggest gear that is available there Very Happy)

    I am just looking to better my setup in any way that I can with the funds I currently have available to me. What would you suggest be my next upgrade to get the most sound improvement for my money? I know that my mic is of low-end quality for condensors (although I find it the BEST sounding of the low end mics =P), and I am aware that my sound card is terrible, lol. I was thinking of maybe going for a delta 44 to replace my audigy, since I could pick that up for $149, only need a few inputs, and I have heard that it is decent for the money (I have been seeing people mentioning that it is actually better to have an external interface to avoid the electrical noise from the inside of the computer, and I am wondering if this might be a problem if I do get the 44?). I also have no mic preamp at all, except for the pre's that are built in to my audigy. One piece of gear that I noticed that would cost almost exactly my budget and may considerably improve my quality is a Rode K2. It seems to be pretty cheap for the amount of praise it gets, though I am unsure it would even be worth buying without a mic pre to go with it. Also, even though I am not really mixing too much besides vocals (though I do have ambitions to get into producing hiphop beats, which does play a factor in my decision) I think I am going to need some decent monitors as well if I am wanting my mixes to sound anywhere near a professional level.

    The more that I think about it though, I am wondering if it is even worth it to go for upgrades with only $800 available to me... Should I put away a few more paychecks and spring for one higher end piece of gear at a time?? Or is there anything that I would be able to add to my setup with my current funds that would considerably improve my quality without me having to upgrade that piece of equipment again any time soon?

    I actually attended The Recording Workshop (a school for audio production) about a year ago when I was 17, and I do really wish that I paid more attention to the different brands of equipment and their subtle differences while I was there.

    I figured I would ask you folks here on this board about this as opposed to some of the other forums I've been seeing, as from what my little engineering experience has taught me, you all seem to have a better idea of what actually sounds good. I like how it seems like everyone here is always suggesting something different to people, instead of seeing a million people all over-hyping the same overused sub-par piece of gear.
  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Distinguished Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    Monitors and room treatments. Get the best you can. Everything else is secondary.
  3. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    Yep get a good pair of monitors.
    Take your time listening and bring some Cd's that you are familiar with.

    Find a monitor that is not fatiguing to your ears and doesn't seem hyped.

    Monitors are like shoes- you'll know when you hear the right ones.

    Hope this helps,

  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I agree ... some things have to be in place first, you cannot make good calls on audio without being able to hear ... Headphones present a skewed version of the audio ... from the sides with whacked out bass treble response ..

    With hip hop and rap you want a speaker that is going to go deep ... and that makes treatmets for the acoustics in your room even more important.

    Spend the dough you have now on some corner traps for all 4 corners of your room and wall treatments. Auralex makes the best "ready to go" stuff that is very easy to apply ... then save up for the other gear.

    Mics and speakers are the most important part of the recording chain. There is no one who is into audio that will argue with that. After that I say mic pres (good ones can really make a difference) and then converters. All in that order.
  5. Insight

    Insight Guest

    thanks for the input guys..

    I did head over to sam ash and take a listen to the monitors they had available.

    I ended up with the Event TR8's. They seemed to sound the best to me, out of their selection.

    I also got a Tascam US-122 usb external audio interface... which I am kind of starting to regret now, since it seems to be causing all kinds of errors in programs that I try to run, and the audio occasionaly skips a bit on playback. I also have not been able to figure out how to record on my computer with it at all. Visited their forums and it seems like everyone there is having the exact same issues. I will probably call their tech support some time this week, and if I cant get it working like it should be working, Im taking it back.

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