help with buying my first home recording gear

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by lildevil5387, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. lildevil5387

    lildevil5387 Guest

    Hi, i have been looking into buying some small recording equipment to just record a few songs that come to my mind or record my band a little, but still sound pretty good. By the standards i give below can u please recommend me a good setup, but please give any suggestions u have.

    What I'm looking for in recording equipment:
    - needs to be able to record at least 5 tracks (digital recorder)
    - need a microphone (vocal)
    - possibly a power amp or mixer for mic if condenser (if recommended)
    - possibly could have monitors (but i have some good headphones)
    - would like to have a drum machine (but if needed i could use my friends drum mics to record with)

    Im looking to spend no more than 500
    Ive been looking at the Boss BR-600 and also buying a condenser mic and a power amp (or is the mic that is on it good enough for ok quality vocals?)

    Please give any suggestions that u have whether it fits my criteria or not

  2. It's going to be hard for that budget. I'm thinking you should check ebay auctions for used gear. You'll be able to get most things cheap that way.

    You're going to have a pretty hard time getting something for that price range unless you already have a decent computer to use.

    A decent budget microphone is the audiotechnica AT3035. It's a condenser that does pretty well on vocals, acoustic guitars, and electric guitar/bass cabs. It's got a high SPL rating, so it's not going to distort the mic unless you mic a jet engine. I would check on ebay, you can probably get one for about $130 new or a little less used.

    The other mic I'd recommend is a standard, the Shure SM57. They can do snare, kick, guitar, vocals, and more. They sound as good as you do. With some work, you're going to get a good sound. They run 60-70 dollars new including shipping on ebay. I would recommend a pair for stereo recording.

    A pop filter will run 20 dollars including shipping.

    So you've spent about 300 dollars.

    The Fostex MR-8 mkII 8-Track Digital Recorder is going to be a decent fit after that.

    (Dead Link Removed)

    You still need mic cables, and stands. Stands run about 20 dollars each including shipping, and cables can be really cheap, but you're better off getting some decent cable. Mogami cable is generally regarded as some of the best, and Hotwired cable sells mogami on ebay for 25 dollars each including shipping.

    That's 600 dollars or so. I know it's a little over budget for you, but I'd suggest you save up a bit and get something decent.

    First thing is the songs.

    If they sound great, people won't care what they were recorded on. Hendrix had some really terrible sounding early live recordings cut to muddy worn through tape that still rock harder than most things recorded today on 250,000 dollar pro tools HD systems.

    Gear doesn't make it sound better. I wasted a lot of money trying to get a "Perfect Guitar Tone", only to realize that my guitar playing was he weak link.

    My advice is to use less distortion and play with your amp louder. Saturation from a tube amp is better than clipping from any footpedal.

    I would suggest you mix with your good headphones, and then transfer to a CD and test it out on every stereo you can find.

    John Vestman has some great articles on that really helped me get my home recordings sounding a little beter.

    You can use the 57's on almost everything. If you get more cash you can save up and sell the Fostex to step up to something with a higher track count.

    I spent about 2000 dollars on my "studio".

    I'm using a Fostex VF160EX and it's great for what I'm doing.

    I monitor with a sony hi-fi speakers through a kenwood head I got at a yard sale. I spent 200 dollars on the speaker system and 500 on the Fostex.

    I have 3 SM57's, a pair of Samson CO2 overheads, an AKG D112 Kick mic, and an AT3035.

    I run most things through a BBE Maxcom compressor that I'm really conservative with during tracking, and use very gently to stop it from getting squished too much.

    I have a Furman power conditioner, and 3 pre amps, 2 presonus TubePre's, and Art Tube MP, and some Mogami cables with a couple mic stands.

    The room I'm in sucks. I suggest treating the room you're recording in, it will do more than you can imagine for your sounds. DIY stuff can be had for cheap, make some bass traps for the corners using fiberglass padding in some plastic trash cans. You can cut up styrofoam like this.

    to make cheap diffusers.

    But yeah. Make good music. That's all that matters.
  3. lildevil5387

    lildevil5387 Guest

    up, please even if u think im stupid, please help because im really new with recording
  4. Do you have any really specific questions? The boards here cover a lot of it, or all of John Vestman's articles at have helped me a lot.
  5. Vincebus

    Vincebus Guest

    Sorry to hijack this thread, but I have been looking at getting the Samson C02's, if you could enlighten me about their quality, sound etc. that would be cool.
  6. Kent L T

    Kent L T Active Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Home Page:
    I can only say that for a mic I wouldnt bother with any of the cheap condensers just get a shure sm58 or sm57 instead. It will sound better than most of the cheap condensers and will be easier to use as well.
  7. The C02 sounds good to me. I've used a 3000 dollar pair of Neumann overheads on drums, and I notice a little more clarity and detail, but they're also 2900 dollars more expensive. So to my ears, and my needs, they're 2900 times better. The AT3035 is great for what i'm using it for, too...just demo recordings that don't suck too much. I like to work out all my overdubs and ideas on a demo, so when I'm in a real studio I don't have to waste 10 hours figuring out a guitar solo that fits well.
  8. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    Aug 9, 2005
    From LV but Army brought me to TN
    Im thinking you have a computer since you made the post here, if you have firewire the presonus firepod is the best thing you could buy for the money listed.
  9. xjake88x

    xjake88x Guest

    SM57's actually run for around $99 last time I checked. I've used an SM57 for vocals, and I've used a "cheap condenser". The cheap condenser sounds much better. Of course, it depends what type of condenser. You want a large capsule such as the m-audio nova.

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