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yo mates :)

I gonna have some money soon and i want to buy a new soundcard and condenser... so:

Soundcard - top price is 500$, it has to have an external IO (like the firewire cards...) if it's a pci... firewire will be good as well, and i think usb will not...
it has to have an internal mixer! my options(add some if you want):
MOTU Ultralite
M Audio Firewire 18/14
Echo Layla3G
Focusrite Saffire
PreSonus Firebox
Edirol FA101

I have a PC, not a mac. so i need something that fits.
an it's strong enaugh...

Condenser Mic - my budjet is 200$, and my best options are probably (add some if you like...):
Studio Projects C1
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AKG C2000B
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Audio-Technica AT3035
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it has to be versatile, for all kind of singing, clean and metal- growls and screams. if it will be good for acoustic guitar too it will be great... but vocals are the first thing on the kist ofcours...

please help me choose the best, or'and tell me what to stay away from...


anonymous Tue, 06/06/2006 - 22:21

for the sound-card... consider older-generation NOS or used gear. Buying the "latest and greatest" in this category will REALLY cost you and the difference will be minimal to most home-studio users.

Echo Layla G3 --> ~$500 new.
Echo Layla 20-bit -->

Unless you're running a pro-studio and "have-to" worry about getting the highest bit-depth/sampling-rate, older-technology will get the job done well and will allow you to spend the $$$ you saved on a MUCH better microphone and/or preamp.

Think about it...

TeddyG Thu, 06/08/2006 - 06:54

The best sound card is:

A. The one that runs "best" with the software you plan to use.

B. Has the type and amount of inputs/outputs you need(Connectors).

Just knowing which software and what type of connectors you'll need will narrow things down considerably. Alot of thought and planning may leave you with just "one" to consider(Or NONE of those mentioned?)... For one thing, if you have $500, your only choice, not knowing a thing about what you want to do, is the LynxOne - or Lynx L22? But, that's "me". All I care about is how it works, I have no care about how it hooks-up to my machine -- long as it DOES hook up to my machine, work with my software, etc.


Which $200 mic? At $200, buy the mic with the best name, the fewest features, the best reviews and the least money spent on the mic's appearence(At this level, ALL condensers spend about 190 of the 200 on "cool" appearence.). I would try NOT to buy a $200 condenser, but spend all $200 on the best dynamic I could get. For $200, it still won't be the "best" dynamic - for that you'd have to spend $3, 4, 500(Same as your SC budget?) - but, at least you'd have a "higher overall quality" mic, than ANY $200 condenser...... Look over the EV, RE 20 - Senn 421 - Shure SM7B, Beyer M99......

Problem here, Eut, is that no one reading your post has(Or has ever had) ALL of the things you mention to give you any sort of comparison, and none of us knows(Do you?) exactly what you'll be doing with the stuff, so none of us can tell you which is "best". Again, at your mic price-range, ALL of the condenser selections are pretty "blah". At least go ahead and spend the 500 on a good sound card(Lynx/RME?), so you'll be ready to upgrade your mic to something better.......

Some of these things we just have to figure out on our own. Takes time and study - you can do it. When you find the "right" combination, you'll know - because you'll know everything there is to know about it!


anonymous Sat, 06/10/2006 - 08:23

first thing - thanks for the attention (:

about the soundcard, i think i will stand for a condenser cause i heard some great things on some condenser mics at this budjet...

about the souncard, i want an outer a/d/a an i/o half-rack (or rack...), it's better and much more comfertable to me.
and it means i have a built in mixer, so i dont need to have another one, so it's great and this is what i want...

the perfect i/o to me will be 2 mic pre's + 6 line in's. i dont think i need more than that cause i won't record some drums or something like that but i sure wanna record some jams i will play with my friends...
if i can make the preamps act like a regular inputs, so i can connect some guitar with a guitar pre (pod or some...) so it will be great! and 4 line in's ecept for the 2 mic pre's will be good...

another issue for picking the soundcard is that i need the best preamps i can get with it...

and i use cubase sx 3.

what will be the best for me?

hueseph Sat, 06/10/2006 - 09:58

There aren't too many boxes with only two pre's and 4 line ins. I would look at a Firepod. It's more than $500 though. I doubt you'll be able to find something with that exact configuration. Regarding reviews, don't believe everything you read. However, I have had a Studio Projects B1 and it sounded good. Yes there is a pronounced high end boost to simulate "airiness" but nothing that some subtractive eq won't fix. It can sound a bit honky on the wrong voice too. Regarding there being no good mics for $200, well that's a load too. What about the Shure SM57? Less than $100 and a standard in the majority of studios.

hueseph Sat, 06/10/2006 - 15:41

Well, if you already have an idea of what you're going for why even ask?

I simply used the 57 as an example that there are indeed mics for under $100 that are useful.

The bottom line is go to the store. Find something that has the features that you want at a price that you like and buy it. If you're going to pin yourself in at a price point, chances are most of the products in that price range will have similar specs or will have strengths in areas and weaknesses in others. Find something that is strong where you need it and buy it. It seems you've already gotten some good advice but all you've done is disregard it. So, why bother asking? Just buy whatever suits your fancy and I'm sure it will be good for you.

hueseph Sat, 06/10/2006 - 15:57

The best for you will be what ever you choose that fits into your budget. If you can't base your ideas on what you've already gone through the effort to research, chances are, you won't notice the difference anyway. Why not just go, make the purchase, learn the gear and the software, (oh yeah, BUY the software), and once you've got all that down you will know without a doubt what is best for you and will likely be able to decide when and to what if at all you will need to upgrade?

Gear isn't going to make you an engineer. No software, hardware or advice will ever help you to produce professional quality recording.

Limitations are good. They help you to develop skills and troubleshoot around problems. "The Best" gear will not enhance your skills or make up for your lack of them.

Rule of thumb: G.I.G.O.

The finest quality equipment can not make garbage sound good. Only it will be the finest quality garbage around.

AudioGaff Tue, 07/04/2006 - 10:37

While the E-MU 1820M is great product, I find the newer E-MU 1616/1616M to be even better. The 2 new mic preamps are way better than the Joe Meek ones of the 1820M, and you still have four more line inputs. It even comes with a real decent software package (Cubase LE, Sonar LE, Wavelab Lite) that are all very useable and with more features than you would expect for free software. There is only the laptop PCMCIA version out now, but E-MU is supposed to be shipping a PCI card for the 1616/1616M sometime this summer so that you can use the external MicroDock in either a laptop or a desktop. A great value for under $500. I sold my 1820M and got the 1616M as a portable recording tool and am glad that I did.