Skip to main content

Did I make a mistake?

Hello All,

I'm kind of new to the whole home-recording thing. Here's the story.

I recorded one of my tunes and, as expected for a newbie, it didn't sound like what you hear on the radio. I met with someone who owns a studio and tutors people like me about recording. I told hI'm about my set-up and when I reached the mixer (Behringer UB1002-FX) he nearly blew a gasket. He told me that it will be nearly impossible to get decent results with that mixer (He had no problems with the rest of my gear).

Needless to say I plan on checking this out. I plan on recording direct and comparing it (with my own ears) to a signal recorded through the mixer to see if there is anything to what he says.

Regardless, does anyone have any comments?


(8{)} (: .)


Pro Audio Guest Sat, 04/29/2006 - 18:45
So what suggestions did this 'pro' make as to an alternative?

He does realize that you are on a budget and can't afford to spend several grand on an Allen & Heath etc. right?? He will pretty much diss out everything in the price range you can afford.

People mostly don't like Behringer because they make their stuff on the cheap in foreign countries and sell low - their products are OK for what they do and cost, there are other mixers you could consider in this price range for a tad more which some might feel can do a better job, such as a Mackie VLZ 1202 or Yamaha mg12/4. The mackie dfx12 is also available but like the behringer includes onboard fx and mostly the low cost mixers with onboard fx have a trade off both in the mixer quality and fx quality. YOu'd be better off getting the non-fx version and getting a couple of low cost or used fx units for chaining, most of the onboard fx are dire anyway.

Of course, there are also Mackie and Yam haters out there but it's easy to be a hater of this stuff if you've got pockets as deep as the ocean floor and can afford those soundcrafts or top range allen and heaths etc, etc...

If you're recording into a DAW such as Logic, Sonar, Cubase etc. the onboard plug-ins and mixers in those applications can correct a lot of flaws anyway.

Pro sound / what you hear on the radio is 99% recorded in a studio that has tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment with top notch sound engineers/mixers/mastering engineers, engineered in a mastering room filled with megabuck converters/compressors/saturators/other stuff that should always beat a home recording with cubase, a small mixer and soundforge/wavelab etc. That's not to say that you cannot achieve fantastic efforts using this stuff and you might be able to fool a certain ratio of people into thinking it was a pro recording if you learn how to use this equipment to it's maximum.

Mixer snobbery is one of the major discriminations made against an artists material and the people who put down a Behringer are usually the kind who have never used one or never likely to have ever NEEDED to use one and have to scrape the bottom ot the budget barrel. Or the anti-outsourcing/boycott walmart etc types.

Pro Audio Guest Sat, 04/29/2006 - 20:50
IME, good recordings are made from (in order of importance):

1 - Good songwriting
2 - Good musicians
3 - Good instruments (ie: source sounds!)
4 - Good Engineer
5 - Good Producer
6 - Good Studio Gear

I've made recordings that have recieved commercial airplay using an old Behringer MX2004 board and a pair of Behringer "Truth" monitors. Great gear helps put the final shine & polish on an already great session. It's not going to make up for any deficiencies in #s 1-5 on the list.

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 05/01/2006 - 08:44
So what suggestions did this 'pro' make as to an alternative?

Since I only need to record one track at a time he recommended getting a high quality pre-amp and ditch the mixer.

I really need the mixer mostly as a mic pre-amp anyway.

* The guitar goes through a pedal so the signal is big enough.
* The keyboards do MIDI
* Ditto for drums.

I'm not blaming the equipment. I plan on checking this guys suggestion out by listening. I think that that's the best test by far. If I find that the mixer degrades the sound then I'll probably ditch it.

Thanks for all of the help.

(8{)} (: .)

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 05/01/2006 - 15:43
Well yes, a high quality pre-amp would have been a good idea too, but that limits you a lot too - if you want to do live work with a band for example, the mixer can do double duty.

I personally don't think there's a lot wrong with your mixer but try using it and doing a comparison if possible to check this.

Plug-ins in your software daw can do noise reduction/gating or some other anomalies from input quite well if the mixer is a little bit noisy. For demo work, it should be fine, it's not like you're planning on having a major label release the work you made, you're getting into home demo recordings.

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 05/21/2006 - 18:54
You said something very profound and didn't even realize it. ( I'll use my own ears.) I know, you're a noob.... but something you'll realize as time goes by is: " Music is a highly subjective business". All ears are NOT created equal. Why? Well, we all hear things differently. ( this is NOT a bad thing.)

" One man's Sgt Peppers just might be another man's steamin' pile of ****." You will also find that this even trickles down to what brands of gear we use. Oh boy..... It's like trying to talk politics or religion. worse yet, your posting your self doubt on a forum... yikes. So before you work yourself into a lather, consider that there's no hard rules on techniques or what gear to use in making & recording music.

Yes, there's certain guidelines you should know about recording, but once you learn some of them, you can " break them".

Do you know how far the Beatles, Led Zep or Jimi Hendrix would have gotten if they took what most of these "pros" had to say at face vaule. The truth is, If it sounds good to you, then it's good.

Realize right now that you're not going to please everyone.(regardless even if you had 10 million dollars worth the best gear money could buy!) Also realize that most of these " studio pros" (including some of the ones giving advice on this forum) are usually narcissistic know it all snobs and equate "sound quality" with their eyes & wallets. Worst yet, they don't have a life outside music or the computer and they think eveyone but them are a bunch of " tin ears." In most cases, it's usually a front for their low-self esteem. there's more important things in life then catching flak from the "pro" for using the berhringer. ( uh like... family, friends, etc...) so don't let em' give you any $***. do what feels and sounds good to you. Your music will thank you for it!

In truth, a great mix is not about a room full of "audiophile gear,golden ears and worldly knowledge on what EQ bands to cut or boost"....

A great mix is moving people with your art. (regardless what it was recorded on or with.)