Recording equipment doesn't matter.

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by DavidSpearritt, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    I have always thought this about acoustic music recording. Ken Rockwell has put it into words re photography.
    But its just as relevant for music recording.

    I buy pro gear because its built well, has great ergonomics and is repairable. It sounds pretty much the same as a lot of mid range stuff. But its design and ease of use allows you to concentrate on getting the mics in the right position, finally, the main factor, in getting a great recording. Ducking for cover ...
  2. uncruss

    uncruss Guest

    Finally ... somebody understands!

    After a few years of intense listening to the same or to analagous performances recorded on a variety of gear, I have concluded that you can do virtually as well with good equipment as with great. Please note I do not suggest poor or mediocre equipment will rival great equipment.

    For example a $270 PZM or a $600 Shure KSM44 can produce a recording as acceptable and saleable as a $3- or $4000 Neumann or Royer. Different. But still quite good.

    A couple of years ago, for example, my good friend, Ben Maas, helped me record an album where I played the lead instrument. We used only my own mics, preamps, and computer. I have four good, reasonably priced mics and we ran them through a very good Grace V3 preamp and a so-so Digi 001. Ben mixed and mastered the recording. The result? Audiophile quality. An audiophile dealer even raved about the album.

    Naturally, Ben would have preferred to use almost anything other than the 001 but, at the time, it was what I owned (and I wanted to use my own stuff). He would have used a Coles or Royer ribbon on my clarinet rather than the KSM44. He would have used a Royer or a tube mic on the acoustic bass instead of the KM184. And he would have preferred more mics on the drum than a single 184. Would different equipment have improved the sound? Probably a little. Would any normal, critical listener notice a difference? Possibly, if he or she listened very closely to a comparison. Has any discriminating, nit-picking, snobbish listener, after hearing the album, suggested we should have used different gear? Nope. Even Ben is happy with it; in fact it rather surprised him.

    Many audio engineers make far too big a deal about gear. It ain't the brush; it's the artist. -- "Uncle Russ" Reinberg
  3. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    That is one FANTASTIC article; thanks for sharing! (i'm going to bookmark it and read it again and again.... :cool: )

    It's interesting about photography; beyond the original concept of "Camera obscura" and the initial development of the lenses themselves, photography has not gotten much better than the original concept of 140 years ago. It doesn't have to; it's essentially the same thing it was then as it is now. (Check out some of the earliest Civil War B&W or sepia prints...they are stunning; simply outstanding.) What's improved is the infrastructure; the user-friendliness of it, film (and now of course, digital chips, massive storage devices, image manipulation, etc.)

    I have bitten my tongue MANY MANY times here and on other forums when some topics have been raised as to "which is better", etc. etc. I firmly believe that at this level of the industry (Classical, jazz, acoustic and other "serious" music), the differences are in the last 2-3% in terms of hearability, etc. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the big boys and the expensive toys, IF you can afford 'em, but there are plenty of great tools out there to get the job done in other ways, of course.)

    I also know that many of us (myself included) can get emotionally attached to what works for us, what was on hand when we did that "magical" recording, or when the sun, moon and stars all aligned to make that near-perfect moment. It's VERY hard to say the mics or the preamps or the cable did NOT have anything to do with the stunning perfection we recorded, and since we're not doing double-blind testing in the process, who's to say that mic or capsule DIDN"T have anything to do with getting the sweet spot, eh?

    I've seen some pretty spirited (and not nec. very well handled) "debates' on the merits of some equipment on the other boards and forums. They usually start with: "what's the best gear to do such and such", then the subjective, emotional baby-fied debates usually start, rarely based on facts or provable evidence either way. I recently read a post from a certain well known member of the professional audio community refer to a piece of gear as "sucks *ss". Again, this was something that probably represented a 3-5% difference in sound, and this person was damming it like it was a total ripoff. I mean REALLY, what's going on here?!?!?

    What I like about this place (The Acoustic Music Forum, specifically) is that there's room for all types, and all techniques. No one's going to get their panties in a bunch if someone can make a good case for their own special techniques, equipment or style. There's always something to learn, to share, etc., and it's often about technique over equipment anyway. Few of us here are independently wealthy enough to buy anything and everything we'd ever need. Many times, the joy and excitement lies in getting the job done with the materials at hand, or yearning for the next level. (Hey, if we live long enough, we MIGHT just end up with enough gear to be happy......nah!!!! ;-)

    It's easy to be a snob about this biz and the gear involved. But it's always a good reality check to remember that it's about the talent in FRONT of the microphones as much as anything else, and as many of us say (in one form or another) here: It's our job NOT to muck it up.

    I think if one reads between the lines in my posts (and the gear I use), you'll figure out where I stand on most issues regarding equipment. The bottom line for me is getting the job DONE correctly; I just don't usually have the luxury of time to muddle over it again and again, agonizing over which brand of mic cable has less oxygen in the copper. Sure, I always learn from mistakes and plan as carefully as time permits, but in the end, it's about rendering a service, for the time/budget alloted. (Anything beyond that simply becomes an expensive "hobby".)

    That is in and of itself makes this a noble profession, no matter what mics and pre's we each use or what they cost. How does it SOUND, and did we capture it all accurately, faithfully, in an artistic manner?
  4. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Word man. Word.

  5. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I argue about 24bit vs 16 etc and mics, because I never really hear any significant differences compared to the improvement I get moving the mics 6 inches and it really annoys me when these debates start about this DAW sounding better than that DAW or that this mic pre or this cable or hi-res etc etc

    None of it is significant if you have the mic in the wrong spot or not enough mics or not enough knowledge or perception of musical style that is being played or not enough real world listening or performing experience to live concerts to know how it all SHOULD sound.

    I enjoy this forum when macro sound effects are discusssed not micro!!
  6. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    It's amazing what can be done with the most basic of tools, and what people USED to use to make music recordings.

    I've got some new speakers that I've been testing out, and the sheer enjoyment of LISTENING to music again is amazing. Since I 'multitask' so often, (doesn't everyone? ;-) ) I'm having some fun listening to CDs again that I THOUGHT I knew, or just re-visiting some old "Friends" on my shelf.

    Tonight while I worked, I listened to the Beatles' "Let It Be, Naked" and the 2003 release of their collection of Singles entitled: "1". (As in all the #1 hits they had.)

    In addition to all the wonderful, warm memories these recordings evoke in me (I grew up with this stuff, and heard it when it was out the FIRST time, which makes me pretty damn old, I realize... ) I am hearing "new" things now, with more mature, experienced ears.

    There are all kinds of things on these recordings that would NEVER pass muster or even see the light of day by modern standards, yet this is the pop music that changed the world. It's amazing. (I could write pages and pages about the mastering job, both good, bad, and puzzling in many places, but another rant, another time...)

    It's really interesting to hear "Let it Be" without all the goop they (Phil Spector) originally added. And, you can hear the artistic AND technical growth on all levels as each track on the "1" album leads into the next. By the middle of the CD, (somewhere around Eleanor Rigby or Lady Madonna, the've obviously hit their stride technologically and musically, the sound is just amazing, and all over the place.)

    The distortion is barely tolerable on the early tracks (I'm surprised they really sound this bad, after all the re-mastering, assuming they really DID use the original master tapes) but you know what? Nobody REALLY cares; it's all about the songs, the vocals, the lyrics, the sheer power of this music when it was out the first time. No one (save the tech-nerds like us in the crowd) is actually noticing it, but it makes a good point: With the right material and talent, even the most rudamentary gear can get the job done.

    I'm not sure how "Love Me Do" would sound recorded new on today's equipment, and it's amazing there's even a glaring piano chord flub in "Let It Be" that they didn't fix, or decided to leave alone. But none of that matters now; it's like looking at an old painting from a long-gone era.

    Makes one realize all over again there's only just so much the gear will do; the rest is up to the talent itself.
  7. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    I don't disagree with a single word - but I still want Great River preamps and a Nikon D2Hs, and new converters, and ... ...

  8. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    True; I admit I'm not going to stop using my B&K's anymore, but I DO think I could make a damn fine recording with just a pair of SP C4's if you forced me to.... :wink:
  9. Sonarerec

    Sonarerec Guest

    I agree that the ears of all involved are the most important "gear." HOWEVER, if Ben did not have excellent EQ available it might have been a different story. Ben, do you agree?

    I also agree that moving a mic a few inches will make more audible different than $500/ch ADC vs $2k/ch ADC, but unless there is good EQ available at some point, bright mics in a bright room will give unsatisfying results. And I have heard my share of $3-5k bright mics, as well as $400 natural mics.

    We must remember that great photographers have a firm grasp on their technique. Only full-boogie auto and disposable cameras allow the artist to completely ignore technical details. Unless the correct amount of light strikes the film or chip, they have little or nothing to work with. They also work with their chosen system (and by that I mean the entire chain from camera to final image medium) in a way that engineers work with particular microphones and micpres to the point where they know their personalities, and how to employ them to best advantage. It isn't as much fun as buying new goodies, but it is the same as practicing a musical instrument. Unfortunately for us, we need musicians to do the critical part just as people photogs need.... people!

    As an aside I cannot help but wonder about the folks who post endless forum questions (not on this forum, thankfully) along the lines of "which mic is best on floor toms"? If they were to get off their metaphorical backside and try several, then they would know. This point is hammered home by Ansel Adams and others who INSISTED that their students do THEIR OWN film exposure and printing exposure tests in order to know how to best get the picture they saw in their head in front of the viewer. We face the same challenge of capturing an event with far more dynamic range than we can use and getting that musical event to "speak" to a listener with a normal CD player.

    One must be able to quickly discern how the sound you hear on the monitors can be improved, but without understanding physics and electricity (at least a little) you are shooting in the dark.

    The "Golden Ears" course by Dave Moulton is a great way to get a grip on the ears part:

  10. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Rich, I wasn't able to get that link to work....FYI...(maybe it's me?)

    I agree with you on the 'getting off their" butts idea and learning what really works- esp for the situation at hand. There is no one way to do anything, and the process is really how the individual perceives the sound they're hearing, and finds ways (with the gear at hand) to make it all translate from the time it's recorded to the end result; often a work of art in the right hands.

    The right EQ (and knowing how to do it) is critical, so is proper mic'ing, monitoring, and knowing what to listen FOR, how and where to edit, etc.

    When he speaks about "getting out of the way" and letting the photogrpahic process happen, it's a bit overly simplified, but I think I get it. I would add that after years of learning, experimenting (and occasionally failing), the good photographers, (or engineers, or painters, or whatever artist you care to plug in here) learn the basics, and find out that they're just the gateway to a higher plane of awareness.

    When one has everything to learn, any one detail is as important as another. These little details don't ALL hold the same weight once they've been absorbed into the whole collective process. Once they're learned and woven into the fabric of our thinking about something, they settle into the proper perspective. They ARE essential items, but not the result themselves. (THAT's where the gear-sluts miss the forest for the trees. IMHO).

    To put it another way: Practice DOES make perfect. It's like learning to speak, or to walk, or even to type. After a while, you don't have to think about the putting all the tiny parts together to make a whole, one just builds on the things learned the day before, and the day before that. Many times, we're just too close to what we're doing (mic selection, preamp choices, EQ tweaks, etc.) to see the big picture.

    After a few years at this business (ok, maybe even a decade or two), it's an amazing thing to just step back once in a while, and say: "Whooooa!!!! Look at this CONCEPT now; it's not really ABOUT the mic stands or the brand of headphone after all! ...those are just tools to get the job done!" The "Real" part (the recording, in this case) will happen however we approach it, good or bad....

    Musicians who work at the nearly "spiritual" or genius level, don't think moment to moment about their fingers, or music theory, or how their muscles are connected to their arms, or even their technical skills when they are "in the zone". They too will admit very often that they are just the conduit through which the music sometimes passes. McCartney claims that he doesn't write songs, but moreover "Allows" them to channel through him... Herbie Hancock was in town two nights ago, and I doubt he's thinking about scales and chromatics when he's improvising to something as familiar to him as "Cameleon". He just let's it go, lets it flow out of him, and he too probably just "gets out of the way" while it happens.

    I think when people get to the level of "Unconscious efficency", they find it's more of an arc of the event, rather than any one point in the process. That holds true for what we do as well. No one thing alone makes or breaks the recording. This is what frustates me when people ask "what's the best mic for..."

    Sure, it's good to use the best, but it's bad to get caught up in the pursuit of something that's not mission-critical to the end results. And only through learning & doing do we internalize the process, which makes it all the easier in the long run, once all the little pieces are in place.

    THAT's when the lightbulb comes on over our heads, and we realize the answer was there the whole time.
  11. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Should be "htm" on the end of that link instead of "ht", ie as in html.
  12. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    I agree it is the person and the ears behind the gear that really matter. We are doing a 5 day remote recording session starting today with a Mackie Onyx and the firewire adapter. I chose the Mackie for its price and for what it can provide me at that price. It is a very good mixer for the price and will do what I need it to do. I could, if needed provide a "better" console but the cost would not be justified since most of my work is doing mastering and not remote recordings.

    I cannot justify tying up big bucks in equipment for something that we do about once a month. I like the Mackie micpreamps and have used Mackies for a long time (since the VLZ PreAmps came out) and find them to be a very good bang for the buck.

    On the other side of the coin I too would like to have a pair of Earthworks microphones going into an Earthworks preamp and be sitting behind the new SSL that Guitar Centers is selling now but I cannot afford them doing what I am doing and charging what I am charging my clients. If I was Dr. Frederick J. Bashour and had access to almost any piece of equipment imaginable then maybe I would do things differently.

    I guess we all want the ultimate the problem is paying for it all and still being able to give our clients what they want at a reasonable price.

  13. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    So Tom, you and I are sub-moderators for the "Mackie" club, eh? :twisted:

    I've had the ONYX 1640 since November, and I love it. It is truly a wonderful bang for the buck, and more. We can wax poetic about it via email, if you like. (Which model did you get?) I'm using Samp/Sequoia with it (natch!) via the firewire card. Also thinking of getting a 1220 for the studio. I don't track much here (rarely more than 1 or 2 mics at a time) and the ins/outs are more than I need. Everything is done in the computer anyway. It's a smaller footprint than the others, as well.

    As for the earthworks, I was tempted to get a pair, but the higher end models are almost the same as the DPA's, and at that point, I figure I might as well stick with what works.

    I've read a few reviews with that Dr. Bashour guy in PAR magazine, too. (What's is his PHD in, anyone know?)
  14. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    I believe it is musicology or something like that... Dr. Fred is a pianist (classical and jazz) and quite a good engineer, although, he definitely has his tastes in gear. Generally goes for the vintage and very "tube" sounding stuff... He's got a heck of a rig, though.

    I've been following this thread with interest, but I've been pretty busy and haven't been able to post until now. However, it has gotten big enough that I'm not sure where to start.

    There are definitely some majorly overlooked truths being said here. I'm not so sure I would go as far as to say that equipment doesn't matter, though. Rather, I would say, a certain amount of equipment is needed to get a good sound, but beyond that it becomes subjective and more often than not what we use is for ourselves rather than for our clients.

    Russ brought up our recording session, but there were a few things that aren't mentioned- first of all, while not the stuff I usually use, his equipment is still better than most. For that session, we had a number of issues at play- first of all, we chose microphones and preamps very carefully and what we did use emphasized the good and minimized the bad on every piece. Yes, we had a Digi001 as 2 of the pres, but I use them on the drums (where the bright nature wouldn't be noticed as much) and on the guitar amp (where there isn't as much detail needed). The clarinet and bass went through the Grace Lunatec which is not as good as their high-end boxes, but still more than acceptable. After tracking, we brought the recording back here and we edited and mixed it in Sequoia with Oxford EQs, Waves linear phase EQs (in mastering), the Sequoia/Samp room simulator for a bit of verb, etc... When we recorded, I was very careful with the microphone positioning- in some cases moving a microphone just a couple of inches to get the sound we were looking for. I would not have been able to get the sound I got if I had microphones like SM58's or a similar quality mic.

    All things being equal, though, I find that gear can make a rather huge difference in the sound. I just finished the 3rd of 5 days of recording on a choral music project- I'll write about it when I find the time- and for this project, I cashed in favors and got a super high-end rig. I'll say that this is also by far the best sounding recording I've ever gotten in that room (which is a very tough room to record in). My session on Monday had a 150 person choir, 12 brass, organ, percussion, etc... I had Vac Rac, Millennia, Boulder preamps (and others of similar quality), Lavry converters, B&K, Royer, vintage Neumann/Geffel, and Sennheiser mics, and I tracked to 24/96 in Sequoia. If I used my normal "documentary/broadcast" rig, I would have had a good sound too, but certainly not as good. Would the client have noticed if I didn't have the super-rig? Perhaps, perhaps not... The fact, though, is being a recording session, this will last for a long time and it is my job to get things as absolutely high-end as possible. That is what I did and the gear was definitely part of what enabled me to get my sound.

  15. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    I was being a bit of a tease posting this thread, but I generally believe its thesis. I think Ken Rockwell is being a generalist too with respect to photography.

    Ben's example is apt, a quality prerequisite is required and then after that its diminishing returns that are almost insignificant if the mics are in the right place and the music is understood, ie the engineer can "hear". Funny how not many of you think ergonomics or ease of use to be as important as I do. I find it the most compelling thing about new equipment these days, almost more important than sonic quality. Things like short battery life or buttons or labels you cannot see without a Hubble are acutely annoying.

    Thanks for all your ideas on this, always interesting. Its hard thinking up new topics for this forum, that aren't which preamp sounds best or which budget mic should I use on my grunge band and where do I put it.

    Back to the drawing board. :( Anyone interested in arguing about self noise?
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    A great thread guys ... and hard to argue with any of the posts. I love to see this kind of stuff added to the RO content ... Thanks.
    audiokid likes this.
  17. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Like Ben, I've been a little busy, but following this thread with interest.

    Dave: I'd just like to comment on a few things - first, ergonomics are a huge component of my purchasing decision now adays. I don't like having to carry more than I have to, so if I can make if fit in my current set-up, I will. Also, I HATE having to turn on the flashlight backstage just so I can read some crap where the manuf. chose to use black lettering on a red case, etc.

    Also, the comparison to photography is quite appropriate. I'm also noticing that there are quite a few of you on the boards here that are budding photographers as well. Let me ask this -- if you went to any serious photographer that knows proper uses of F Stop and Shutter Speed and asked him to choose between the Seagull GC-109 (Manual Medium Format camera - $279) and the Nikon F5 (Multi kilobuck SLR 35mm) to make a landscape of Yosemite, in almost every case, the photo pro would choose the inexpensive Chinese made Medium Format.

    Why, because equipment DOES matter. It's just the price of the equipment that doesn't. A medium format camera is going to produce a far bigger negative and therefore a cleaner image (not to say that the Nikon couldn't make a spectacular picture...). A Schoeps omni is going to give you a significantly better sound than the Behringer measurement omni.

    What I think is interesting is that, all too often, we as engineers get woodies over price tags more than quality itself. Just because something costs an arm and a leg, doesn't mean it's great or even appropriate for the uses that we put it through. That's marketing at it's finest.

    I'll share one of my biggest secrets at saving money in my personal rig -- I use a RAMSA converter. The thing is 5 years old and cost me less than $1k for 8 channels. Why do I use it versus Myteks or Prisms or Genex's? Cuz it sounds good. Not to say it sounds better than any of those boxes, but it does have a distinct sound (as do all converters) and it's one I can work with and get good sounds out of. Sure, I had the money for higher-end boxes - I just didn't find the need to blow $9k more for something with minimal differences.

    Can good recordings be made with decent to mediocre equipment? Heck yeah... One of the best recordings I made 5 years ago was using two AT pencil mics (not their good ones either - the 3528s) going into a Mackie 1202 VLZ and then into a Mini-disc recorder. At that time, compared to some of multi-track higher dollar equipment recordings, it was far better. Why? Cuz I took the time to really figure out the exact right placement and did some hellacious post-processing.

    However, that recording wouldn't stack up to most any of my recent stuff made with Grace pre's and Schoeps, Neumann, or Gefell mics and my Ramsa box.

    True, I buy high-end equipment b/c I like it's reliability and servicabililty, and moreover, I buy it so that I likely won't have to service pieces of gear in the forseeable future. But, the main reason I buy any piece of gear is b/c I like the way it sounds - pure and simple. If it's a $10,000 digital N**mann and I think it sounds like SH*T (which, I think they do BTW), I won't waste my money. But if it's a $49 Oktava that I think I can use on timpani and acoustic guitar, I'll drop the 50 large...

    To me, gear matters, but more importantly, what I do with it. If I take a $2000 Schoeps and mic a violin from the bottom, that mic is no more useful than the Behringer.

    Perhaps it's a combination of gear + ear + know how...

  18. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    or perhaps more like know_how^3+ear^3+gear.
  19. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Quality does MATTER price does NOT!.

    There is a lot of gear that sounds great and is not expensive. There is a lot of gear that is expensive and sounds GREAT. I would not want to get rid of my Weiss EQ1 MKII for any reason. It does what it does and does it well day in and day out. I use Mackie and Fostex gear for remote recordings because it sounds good and works well for my uses. My microphones are from AT, AKG, and Rode. In my professional life I have used Neumann, B&K, Schoeps, and RCA (all belonging to the company I worked for). Why don't I personally own any of these? I can't, in all good conscious, afford them for the kind of work I do and the fees I get for doing it. If I won the lottery would I get some high end mics - you betcha. If I could have a dream system without having to mortgage my house I would go for it but the reality is that I cannot afford the system I dream about and probably never will be able to afford it.

    I have been in situations where I could use any microphone I wanted but I stuck to ones I knew and trusted.

    As to converters and high end microphone preamps - sure I would like to have the best but again it is a financial thing and I can only afford to get the best at the price point I can afford.

    I did a recording session with an engineer from Nevada. He is famous for his train recordings done in stereo. We were doing the recording of a large massed choir and orchestra. He had every microphone one could imagine and then some. He also had the top of the heap high end mic preamps. We both did the recording of the group. He was using a new converter his company had designed and was feeding a digital tape recorder. I was using a reel to reel tape deck (Otari MTR-10) and a Soundcraft board. He did a very nice job recording the group and it got pressed on CD. My tape also came out very well and went into the archives. Did his final product sound better? It was a matter of opinion. The choir director liked my recording better but I knew the hall and had done numerous recordings for this group I also had the home field advantage. His recording sounded good but lacked the feeling of being there and there were a couple of triple "F" passages that were slightly distorted. Did this really prove anything? NO because we both did the best we could using the equipment we had to use. ( by the way the college decided NOT to purchase the new converter for $5,000.00 which is what he was attempting to sell us and the reason for the "shootout")

    I think you have to use the best equipment you can afford and can make money from. If you spend tens of thousands of dollars on equipment and cannot sell the quality difference to clients by charging them more then you have wasted your money (IMHO). Most jobs we do come in around $500.00 a day for on location work. If by purchasing a new microphone preamp or two new microphones I could charge that same client $1,500.00 I would spring for the purchased immediately with no reservations. But the hard light of reality would be that I could not and would have basically "wasted" my investment. So if you want to own the very best and can afford it and can rationalize its purchase then do it. If you are like me and want to get the best bang for the buck then do some very careful shopping.

  20. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Well Tom, I think you've also veered off into another topic: The cost of doing business. Some here are full time, some are weekend warriors, and some are just getting started. Some have families to support, some are lone wolves, and some are even lucky enough to have a spouse with a second income. (yes, I said LUCKY! :twisted: )

    There are some days when I know I'm going to use a specific gig to pay for a certain mic or piece of gear. (Just had to plunk down some $$ for a darn SKB case for that HUGE freakin' ONYX 1640 - which reminds do you lug YOURS around, Tom?)

    Ditto for a mic here, or headphones, etc. Since I have more than one system that can go out, I'm often shopping for some better gear, or things I can add to one rig or the other. It's a slow, never ending process, and as you well know, sometimes the smarter choice is to buy good, solid items that will do the job (AT 4049 omni's instead of DPA 4006 omnis, or SP C4's instead of KM 84s, for example...) and wont break your budget. Tough calls, but sometimes it's what you have to do to stay afloat, and nimble enough to handle all the varieties of projects coming along.

    I do have my wish-list, of course, and every so often I splurge for one or two of them. I'm getting there, not as fast as I'd like, but I'm enjoying the ride along the way, for sure. :cool:

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