$800 to buy gear to record... what to get.

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by rubber314chicken, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. My friend wants to setup a "studio" and has about $800 to buy an interface, monitors, and mics.

    I think the interface is gonna be the presonus FP10, hands down. What would you get as far as a monitor(s) (can you get by with just one), and mics to record guitars, bass, drums, vocals, possible acoustic guitar, and some percussion instruments? Stands and cables are outside this $800, and he currently has only a SM58.

    He is looking at these mics: http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-SAM-8KIT-LIST but what do you think of them? What would be the best way to spend the remaining $400?

    P.S. there are rebates: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/tier?CJAID=10570247&CJPID=2170928
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    So, is it $8000, $800 or $750? I would focus on quality over quantity. The FP10 is a decent entry level choice.

    I would look for two mics to pair with that 58. A couple of Condensors would be nice. Something you could use for overheads. Since you're on a limited budget, look into some SE Electronics 1000A or a pair of Studio Projects B1's. These aren't great sounding mics but they are built fairly well and shouldn't crap out on you in the first year like many of the cheap condensers out there.

    As far as monitors are concerned, if you're ok mixing what could potentially be a stereo track on a single speaker that's up to you but you'll be mixing blind if you're trying to create any sort of stero image. On the other hand this would be a great way to force yourself to do a real good job with the micing and mixing, there is no room for phase issues when you mix in mono. I use KRKs they sound alright. I like them. Better than "Realistic" or "Creative".
  3. its $800. I have a lack of typing skills.
  4. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2003
    Very difficult to focus on quality vs quantity when your budget is $800 and half of that is eaten by the Firepod.

    Here is my suggestion. Its backwards to what most people will suggest.

    Traditional wisdom is that you should only buy good pieces that will last, so that your signal chain slowly builds in quality. But you can't afford one good piece for the $400. Hence, I'm going to suggest skipping monitors now.

    You must have a set of computer speakers lying around, if not, get a set of harmon/kardons or something like that which are 2.1 - 2 tweeters and a subwoofer. Just use those for monitoring. Pay $10. Go to ebay. Borrow some. As long as they are a cut above the throwaway cheap plastic ones, they will do for now.

    This gives you $390 so spend.

    Buy: Shure Drum Mic package from musician's friend for $399.

    This gives you a Beta 52, 3 x 57s, and tom mounts.

    Now you can record:

    Vocals with your 58
    Drums with your drum set (you will have to use 57s as overheads)
    Electric guitars with your 57s. You can even use the 52 as a reinforcement mic
    Bass with your Beta 52 micing the cab
    Acoustic & percussions with the 57s

    The downside to this:

    You don't have any condensor mics, and your monitoring is dicey. Nonetheless you have a signal chain.

    The upside to this:

    You have 5 really good mid-level dynamic mics, and all the equipment you need (if you provide stands & cables) to get your band recorded, into your sequencer, and start learning how to sequence and arrange and multitrack and mix.

    What you need to do ASAP:

    Is buy a good stereo pair of condensor mics, and a good pair of monitors.

    You will need to save extra for this. It depends how good the current set of speakers you can beg or borrow are, in which order you do this.

    The Yamaha MSP5s were good cheap monitors, I used to use them, and the Studio projects would certainly be a good set of pencil condensors, I have the C1s which just broke after 5 years of service.

    Of course, you really want to save more and get KRKs or Dynaudios or something nicer for monitors, and Josephsons or SM84s or something nicer for your stereo condensors.

    I'd lean towards monitoring next, then stereo condensors last.

    The monitoring will allow you to start hearing what you couldn't before, and the condensors should put the icing on the cake in terms of the results you are getting a few months down the line. They will be a fast and kinda immediate 'hard' upgrade which will improve everything you do by an immediate factor, whereas the monitors will let you make better decisions and improve your skills.

    A similar hard upgrade will be preamps, and you can buy a single-unit Great River further down the line, say, to track your kick, or snare, or vocals, or DI your bass through.

    Each one of these upgrades should be $500 minimum. The rest you can make up with practice & application.
  5. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Nine bucks over...
  6. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    If he was serious enough about audio, he could skip one night of socialising and stay home reading manuals/experimenting.

    Boom, $15 saved.
  7. 1) I don't party
    2) I honestly am not as serious about this as my friend, but I've got a little more experience in this than him. The problem is my experience is with top of the line equipment that we don't change EVER.
  8. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2003
    So monsieur le chickene, what is this top of the line gear you have but don't mention? Shurely worth considering if you're about to shell out $800 and asking for advice.....?
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    That's Monsieur Le Poulet to you. :shock:
  10. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    "The problem is my experience is with top of the line equipment"

    That's what she said.
  11. lest see... we have two 60 channel boards, umm... a lot of amps, I know we have the gear to record each track onto hard drive, don't know what that is, compressors, gates, eq's, ect, I know thats all really nice stuff, don't know exact models, but what I do know we have is an audio technica dual element kick mic (we only went through like 5 to find one our sound man liked) e604's on the toms, about a dozen audio technica pro 37's for overheads, and aux percussion micing, and a few sm-57's for snare and guitar cabs.

    I haven't used much of the gear the runs the house (I used to run the board for monitors before I started playing drums with the group) but I've seen all the gear, and I like how it sounds. The drums do have the "modern" sound, they all sound huge, in fact yesterday we played, the drums were in the pit in front of the stacks, and when I hit the kick you felt it come from the stacks instead of the drum its self, and it sounded like a HUGE drum, where it was fat, but it didn't ring for hours.

    Thats the sound I'm going after.
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Ask the soundman how much of "That Sound" you can get for $800............

    When he stops laughing, then you'll know what folks here are referring to.

    It also sounds like this "experience with top-of-the-line equipment" is all about a live venue.

    Big difference.
  13. Yea, its used live, but it has also been used to record... but the recording is done in that live venue, so I suppose it'd be similar.

    And yes, I really don't know much about this, which is why I'm asking you guys for advise.
  14. Greener

    Greener Guest

    I'll offer some advice.
    Learn the names of things. Get some idea of the terms used to describe the functions. Then ask questions which can be answered.
    Are you reading up about things?

    Next time you're in front of this excellent gear, take a pad a pen, write down make and model then abuse Google.
  15. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    "Yea, its used live, but it has also been used to record... but the recording is done in that live venue, so I suppose it'd be similar."

    Not really. There are differences.

    The gear is mostly the same, only live sound is typically more about durability than sound quality.
    Recording doesn't involve amps, or speakers (in general, studios dont have a 1200W PA rig in the control room).
    Recording does involve, however, a lot of separation and post editing. That doesn't happen live.

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