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How to save money when making audio purchases?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Kurt Foster, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    It's plain to see that not too many of us have all the money we need. We all face constraints when it comes to funding our passion, recording.

    How do all of you deal with this? Where do you cut corners with your investment in audio? By now, I am pretty sure you all know my preferences but I am really interested in learning what yours are. ??? I hope this topic can shed some light on the advantages and pitfalls of equipment purchasing for everyone ... Please discuss ...
  2. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    Superb topic!

    One thing right out of the chute: buy used from reputable dealers...the same ones that offer demo time, service, etc...

    Another tip is to find multiple applications for purchases - example: don't buy just a vocal mic...buy a mic that works equally well on vocals, kick drums, guitar amps, whatever...

    One thing I learned the hard way: don't buy the initial offering of a product...let other people buy full retail price and make their judgements, then you kinda have a baseline from which to work.

    Last but certainly NOT least: don't feel the need to 'keep up with the Joneses.' A quick survey shows 96K still hasn't become the established rate in most shops...and 192K is really practically beyond the reach or need of 99.5% of us in the trenches...So what if you don't have a Liquid yet...stay out of debt by using what you have well, instead of trying to buy your way out of the audio doldrums.

    My opinion only...
  3. golli

    golli Active Member

    Apr 17, 2003
    Exelent posts. I'm with you on not being the first to jump on a platform.
    Having few, but "multipurpose" gadgets seems to be the most sensible solution for me. Since I'm digitally based, I would see this rule implemented by buying better converters and a good word clock.
  4. Ben Godin

    Ben Godin Active Member

    Jun 5, 2004
    Charlotte, NC, USA
    Home Page:
    go to ebay?
  5. BladeSG

    BladeSG Guest

    If you wait for a product to be discontinued or superseded it's a sure fire way to save big $. The thing is it still works and should do the job you want it to do, it don't stop working because it's been superseded. Good example is the Digidesign Digi001, it has been discontinued and replaced by the 002 and 002R and PT LE 6.4 is the last software update that supports this hardware, BUT it still works and if you find one you'll get it for a song.

    I think we're extremely lucky at the moment to have so many manufacturers making similar products or similar use devices at least. The more competition there is out there the lower the prices go as the makers compete with each other. This was not the case even only 3-4 years ago. :D
  6. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Jan 11, 2003
    Woodbridge, Va
    Home Page:
    Yes, I'm one who waits for something to be discontinued. But to add to that, I also look for factory reconditions or refurbs w/ a warr. And then there's times I can't wait and I'll need to go and purchase that something... ASAP.
  7. NolanVenhola

    NolanVenhola Guest

    Studio closings are great places to get everything. Seems to be happening a lot lately in this difficult industry.

    Second gear is usually good as new and half the price. ebay, close outs, RO sell/buy. I've had luck with it all.
  8. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    It gets a lot easier on the pocketbook when you realize that most of the problems with your recordings usually aren't going to be solved by throwing money at them. Most newbies are told time and time again by advertisements, recording magazines, online web forums, salesmen, manufacturers and each other that all they have to do is spend more money to solve their problems. Eventually, they come to believe it. In actual fact, a little extra time spent on mic placement will make a hell of a lot more difference than spending another couple of grand on new mic pre's. Make a rule for yourself - you can only upgrade once you honestly feel that you've reached the limits of gear you already own. That's an excellent way to save money.
  9. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Not bad Nikko, Not sure I could have said it much better. I plain don't even try to think of saving money as much as I do in investing in great sounding professional tools one at a time that will serve me for many years and that can be used on many different sources or applications.
  10. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    Good topic,,,

    other then being in a position of sales, where by, you approach manufacturers and distributors to get dealer pricing... to ofcourse get the units you like then try to sell.. like I'm in,,

    my 1st mic pre would have cost me 3500 US. based on I knew I wanted it,,

    but my point here is , I openened myself to looking at NEW makers of gear , ie : Sebatron, I saw the reviews, and decided, if i buy now, and this gear is what it is, i will have bought at an introductory price,,,

    and based on fact that pricing has jumped roughly 30% , I'd say I made a good buy,,,

    ofcourse this may not be the case with all products out there, but if one reserches enuff, and doesn't " impulse " buy , then you should be happy enuff with the purchase..

    hope my 2 cents makes cents lol

    Sanity Inn
  11. maintiger

    maintiger Distinguished Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Home Page:
    Hey, there are some great values out there in mics for not too much money that will stand up to anything. like the sm57 and sm 58. (under $100 new) D122 for kick (under $200) rode nt1 and Sp c1 LDC for vocals (about $200), Rode K2 tube mic (under $600), AKG C414's for anything else (under $800 or so, street price) This is gear that you will use and use forever, regardless of your budget. I would start there.

    In preamps and signal processors there are similar items, you just have to find out for yourself. Case in point, the sytek preamp at about $800 for 4 channels will still get used even as you buy more expensive preamps. It just sounds good and clean and it works great in a lotta situations. The RNC can't be beat for just $175 and you will still have it around and use it even when you get those big bucks compressors.

    I would stay away from things like behringer mics, art lilttle tube preamps and the like. Those will never pass the test of time. read up about gear in this forum, its a good place to start. most of all, use your ears.
  12. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    Dec 12, 2003

    example, i've been wanting to get a 2 x12 guitar enclosure for my project studio for a while and i was gonna go out and buy one.
    Lucky i didnt! I recently pulled apart a boogie and marshall cab and saw how damn easy they are to make, actualy they were kinda ordinary ( the boogie was better out of the two). So, i have a mate who is a cabinet maker and has agreed to build the box at a great price, I sourced the speakers i wanted ( celestians for this application) from a mate who works in wholesale.....in music industry of course. All up, its gonna be a cheaper, great quality box.
    And in the colour i want!! :D

    my point? well we sometimes fail to stop and really think about alternative ways of getting the stuff we want. You'd be suprised if you wrote down names of friends that can help you out in one way or another!

  13. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Distinguished Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    Make purchases that are investments!!! Don't buy twice!!!
  14. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Distinguished Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    SammyG has got the idea -

    I've always wanted an Argosy desk in my mastering room. However, $1500 is a bit to ask for a desk that's not even the height I would really want.

    So, for the last several years, I've been using a standard corner-facing desk that's NOT aimed at the corner. $100 from Office Depot or whatever.

    A few weeks ago, I finally grew a pair enough to slice up some gear - I took a 6-space rack, drew some 30/60/90's on it with a grease pencil, and used a buddy's table say to create:

    (Dead Link Removed)

    Total cost, under $200. The gear is closer than it woud've been with the Argosy unit, and (very important in my case) has NO resonant cavities.

    I only WISH I had wood working skills... This was the first time I ever cut anything on a table saw that wasn't a simple straight-cut.[/url]
  15. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Guest

    Hi John,

    That's very impressive!! John Wood Worker!! :lol:

    I cut expences on units that need modification.
    I do all the electronic and mounting work myself. This also saves me from electronic engineers that has to work several weeks just to get on track with what i want with the units.

    Best Regards,
  16. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Guest

    Wow John... you have a Cable Modem!! is it a Motorola?
    I once supported those kind of connections... long time ago though...
  17. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    Dec 12, 2003

    buy good, cry once! Buy bad, cry twice!

  18. dustbro

    dustbro Guest

    That's the best advice anyone could give! you'll be much happier with a pair of 1073 then you would be if you had 10 Aphex mic pres...
  19. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    Have Friends in the business

    Work for discounted rates in exchange for studio time from great musicians.
    Share equipment, time, talent, expertise, ears.

    Work together to make 2 great projects rather than individually to make 2 mediocre ones cheaply.

    Be willing to "lower your standards" and do work strictly for $ to help pay for the new stuff.

  20. idiophone

    idiophone Guest

    I've found that making my own cable saves tons of money - even if I use the good stuff.

    Buying prepackaged cables at GC is a big rip. You have to get good at soldering, but that's a great skill to have anyway.

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