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Upgrading my set up

Hi, ive heard about this forum all good by the way :P

I'm new to recording, i have had my Red Audio 5 (RV 6) and i have a usb mixer (behringer 1204).
I have recorded a few times around maybe half a dozen. And am starting to record abit more and am looking to record more and in the future look to geting some hardware such as keyboards that i will conect via the mixer (at the moment i have a usb keyboard and usb drummachine).

i was just wondering what would you suggest for me to upgrade if i need to?
i was thinking of upgrading my mic to either AKG Perception 100 or Audio-Technica AT2020. As i dont have a big budget and these seem to be rated good for the type of recoridng i do (Hip Hop and RnB)

Anything else you would recommend including the mic or mixer or anything please say.

Thank you in advance


Pro Audio Guest Thu, 06/26/2008 - 09:17
Having never used either your mixer or your microphone and going purely by the quality of the websites for each I will take a stab that your mixer is choking that mic to death.
Also having only had any real experience recording with an Edirol UA-25 and a Behringer mic worth about 20 quid, I couldn't really suggest which way to jump for you. A reasonably clean soundcard is essential. _NOT_ anything soundblaster or designed for multimedia.

If you're going to produce hip-hop though, I can highly recommend getting a very decent pair of active monitors.
Something that will show up any harshness in any samples you may be using.
I know a few loop jockeys and only those with accurate listening gear produce slick beats.

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 06/26/2008 - 09:20
yeah i have behringer MS20 motnitors and i need to upgrade my sound card was looking at one of the m-audio ones and as i have pro tools not that i use it but it was a gift so i was thinking if i get an m-audio sound card thats the hardware bit out the way.

i was thinking ok upgrading my mic for now, as i can stick with my usb/midi keyboard and korg padkontrol and keep using that in reason.

would that sound a good idea?

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 06/26/2008 - 09:38
yeah true lol
the mic i got came in a bundle including the shock mount, pop stopper, cables and all the jazz for £99.
i have some of the studio foam around the stand and mic to help the sound, but sound does sound off sometimes, as if there is an airy sound around the recording.
the two mics im looking at have be recomended by people who do the same recroding as me. so im just looking at what one is best both bout £60-£80 which is good for me.
I dont use the mixer or a mixer enough to go out and buy a £300 mixer just yet...unless the mixer is the problem.. lol
if that makes sense :D

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 06/26/2008 - 10:25
It does make sense.

That "airy sound" is your mixer + mic + soundcard. I don't know though, only testing with another known mic will prove this.

Before you buy a mic, go listen to it. With your mixer.
Try it with a quality preamp as well.

Just out of curiosity, how are you recording exactly? Like; mic - cable - mixer - cable - soundcard?

You need a good mic, a good preamp, a good AD and a good storage solution to get good sound.

And talent.

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 06/26/2008 - 10:29
I have my mic via xlr cable into my mixer which has a preamp in it (so it says lol) then the mixer is conected via usb to the pc.

the people that i work with, have been recording for a while and have a good technique so that helps with what i currently have, but having something better will just give me a bit more peice of mind and a better sound.

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 06/26/2008 - 10:49
I'm going to go out on a limb and just say it.
Sell the mixer, monitors and maybe the mic.
Did I mention sell the monitors?

By something like an AudioBox or a FireBox or an [is it "an F" or "a f" because it's "a fly" and an effort... I digress] FP10 (it gets good reviews here but this is the internet so listen to it before paying for it) or an Edirol - UA25 (not great but ten bucks says it beats your Behringer) and a vocal mic you have faith in after hearing it.

Actually, don't sell your monitors, that's cruel. Burn them.

Does anyone else have any ideas? I'm tired.

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 06/26/2008 - 11:12
I'm not sure what passes for a decent PA in an underground hip-hop club in the Welsh hot spot that is Swansea, or what experience you have with speakers.

I'm guessing little.

Take a cd you know well (something thats made by professionals) and go find the Bang & Olufsen store in Cardiff and if you dress well enough and smile at the store person they'll let you demo there home cinema room. Get them to play your cd, then go home and play it.
BTW, I only suggest B&O because they have the only decent acoustically treated room with some decent speakers in it that's a retail shop in my city in Australia... Don't buy there stuff because they are wankers selling overpriced shiny things.
Have I gone too far?

Codemonkey Thu, 06/26/2008 - 16:49
No. I know a few places like that...PC World sell largely overpriced junk. Also half the staff don't know VGA from RCA. Maplin electronics too, if it costs more than a tenner in there, you can get it cheaper somewhere else.

Monitors are meant to be acoustically void. The idea is not to crank out more low mids to make it sound better, and the quality of behringer components is ultra low.

Basically, if you compare a decent Hifi system (with the EQ set to flat and DSP off if it has one) to your monitors, you will likely notice a difference.

PS: for hiphop, you should really look into getting either big (8") monitors or a subwoofer, maybe both if budget allows. Search for "budget hip hop monitors" or something to that end.