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How to build a budget mic cabinet

Alright, for those of you who may already know me I kind of got off to a bad start on here, but uh, I need some don't know, don't like me then don't post.

Now that I've actually used and heard some of the mics I've been looking at, well, I'm open to more suggestions. Alot more.

Bottom line, I want to be able to record a five-man-band by summer, and I need a mic cabinet. I have about $200 now, plus whatever I can make at a job, when I get one. What do I need, what do I start with, etc. I have a general idea, but professional advice is greatly appreciated.


bent Tue, 01/01/2008 - 21:03
Hey, man. There's no like or dislike here. Just agitation.
Unless you're going to reply again with such statements as "There is no chance of me getting that mic." and "Read my post before you respond" then there isn't a problem.

Now, that being said, get yourself some 57's and a 58, a decent 8 channel ADC (Firestudio...) to hook up to your Phonic board, some small KRK's or similar monitors, and if you have any money left over I suggest an ATM4033 for an LDC and 2 or 3 SM81's for OH / Hi-hat.

There you have it.
A budget mic locker, some monitors, and an ADC.

rockstardave Tue, 01/01/2008 - 21:05
thats a really tight budget to work with. you could easily spend $200 on a decent kick drum, not to mention all the other mics a drumkit needs, amp mics, vocals, DI boxes, cables, etc.

what kind of music will you do?

i could suggest one of the cheaper CAD drum mic kits and a pair of cheap vocal mics. maybe use the vocal mics or a tom mic on a guitar cab if you need to?

oh, you'll also need something to record this into... if it's a computer then you'll need an interface and probably a mixer.

AaronP Tue, 01/01/2008 - 21:21
Well, I'm not worried about a kick mic, I can probably get the drummer to buy his own. What I do need is, right away, a mic for acoustic and electric guitar, and it'd be nice if that mic would also work for vocals. I've heard alot of good about the blue bluebird, though I have yet to try it out. I guess I will, also, eventually, I guess, get a sm 57 off of ebay for as cheap as I can find.

For completing my signal chain, I'll get an interface probably off of ebay whenever the opportunity presents itself. I'm looking at, well, basically everything, presonus, echo, m-audio, etc. I have the phonic mixer, and getting a decent pre is so far in the distance that I think it's better to just not think about.

Davedog Tue, 01/01/2008 - 21:30
Heres the thing about a doesnt matter what it is....if it passes signal and you can hear it and understand whats being recorded then it works.....some more than others for sure..........

If you attempt to get the mixer to do more than its design will allow for you're gonna get crappy recordings. If you dont attempt to overdrive its gain stages, it will work. If you dont ask it to perform EQ tasks that its simply unable to do, it will work.

So really, at this time, you should get the 57, a set of phones(good ones preferably)and learn to use what you have. You've got the time,use it wisely.

AaronP Tue, 01/01/2008 - 21:37
My frustration is that I need an interface of some sort before I can even record reasonably good tracks, and a decent mic so that I can hear the difference between positioning it in front of the dustcap or throwing it into the the airduct and hitting the wall with a bat. How can I go any further without making a shot-in-the-dark purchase?

rockstardave Wed, 01/02/2008 - 06:28
theres been a lot of talk lately about the Audio Technica 3035 or the 4000 series. i hear they are pretty good at lots of things ... acoustic instruments, drum overheads, vocals, etc.

look into some of those i guess. i've never used them but i'm curious now.

whats that website where you can hear samples of different mics?


Cucco Wed, 01/02/2008 - 07:56
AaronP wrote: My frustration is that I need an interface of some sort before I can even record reasonably good tracks, and a decent mic so that I can hear the difference between positioning it in front of the dustcap or throwing it into the the airduct and hitting the wall with a bat. How can I go any further without making a shot-in-the-dark purchase?

First off - no one here is so petty to not post because they dislike you. Hell, if that were the case, no one would reply to my posts as I'm sure I've pissed every single person off here at least twice.

Second - the recommendation that's been thrown out here a million times and I'll add it once more is the SM57. It works on acoustic, electric and bass and does great on voice too. (Get a pop screen too.)

Don't trouble yourself with cheap condensers - not even the AT 3035 or AT2020.

The Shure wasn't built with cost in mind. It was built with a goal - a good sounding dynamic mic that could take a 40 foot drop or hammer a nail into a 2x4, that's it.

It's a shame for Shure that they didn't release it in today's market place - they could easily have charged $500 for it! (But that doesn't seem to be their bag - hell, some of the best mics on the planet are the KSM series and they're 1/10th the cost of some of the mics that they're in direct competition with.)

Anyway - get yourself a Shure SM57 or ten, rock the mixer you already have and get a good/cheap interface off of Ebay. I personally dig anything on the market right now from Echo, Mackie, PreSonus, MOTU or M-Audio. That gives you tons of options - all of which could be used to make a hit record.


AaronP Wed, 01/02/2008 - 10:04
First off, thanks for the front end audio link, very useful.

Next, I'm sure that if i wait long enough I can get a lightly used sm57 off of ebay for under $50.

I'm also keeping my eye out for an interface, maybe a firebox, a firewire 410, echo audiofire (or layla if I can find one cheap enough), etc. Whatever presents itself.

If I can get the interface for about $100 (eliminates the layla and probably the 410) and the mic for fifty, that means I'll have $40 plus a $50 card to guitar center. I will need a mic stand, some cans, and a few cables. I figure I can get about 50 or 60 more by selling some crap I have, and I can find a generic stand at a local used store for next to nothing, so let's figure $140 for headphones and cables.

Start with headphones. Sennheiser? Audio Technica? AKG? I don't really have much of an idea about what's good and what isn't, so, what's good and what isn't?

anonymous Wed, 01/02/2008 - 11:04
Hi, i'd just like to add that you should be careful when purchasing a SM57 from ebay. I've heard that there are alot of fake replicas being sold as actual shure mics.

Whilst on the mic subject, has anyone used a Rode M3 condensor mic and does it give the SM57/58 dynamic mics a run for their money?

I've noticed it in a few magazines and it boasts to be a great multi purpose mic.

AaronP Wed, 01/02/2008 - 13:52
Hey, I just stumbled on the Beyerdynamic MCE 530, and it says that it's for miking choirs, but I love the way it sounds. I a/b-ed the front end audio acoustiic, electric, and overhead clips with the sm57, about 5 other beyers, ADK hamburg and vienna, bluebird, at 4033, ADK TC, and just for kicks, a Gefell M300, and I like what I hear. I mean, really REALLY like. I want to go down the the guitar center and try one out. Now.

AaronP Wed, 01/02/2008 - 15:00
Greensboro, NC. We have one big music store, which is guitar center, and it's actually about half the size of most of their stores. we have bunches of little stores, but they don't carry much pro audio stuff. There's also a music go round that will ship in anything on their online catalog, but that's about the best we got.

There was, several months ago, a studio that went out of business or something and was selling some equipment but that was before I had the money or really the idea to build a home studio.

anonymous Sat, 01/05/2008 - 13:52
does guitar center carry sm57s?? You can buy two SM57s for the cost of 1 Beyerdynamic MCE 530! Can you drive a nail with a Beyerdynamic MCE 530? Hell no!

N O T H I N G touches an SM57 at twice or three times it's price point e s p e c i a l l y for a novice that needs a forgiving mic. You can never have too many of 'em, I would never mic toms or guitar cabs without 'em or be ashamed to use them on vocals when need be.

That's my opinion anyway. :-)


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