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Best low budget peice of gear in your studio?
Old 22nd December 2017
  #1
Best low budget SECRET WEAPON peice of gear in your studio?

Going for

1. Practical usefulness
2. Obscurity (sleepers?)
3. Under $100ish

Mine would have to be the RNC, any old tube tape head from an abandoned transport (might be the best mic pre in your room for $100 plus service), The DBX 296 Project 1 (shhh! One of my secret weapons and I got it for $40), MX200 (best verb you'll get under $500, and costs around $75 now), all that Capi and DIYRE (especially the LA2 for $45! A studio must have), Any modified Avatone (will rival mics many thousands more) and my old Dolby 672 A-type (amaaaazing on vocals, like a distressor but for $100ish plus the A Card mod which can be done for $5 and an hour of your time).

I'm looking for some fun winter toys I wasn't expecting. Hope so of those I mentioned helps someone else out. Let us know what your pick(s) would be!

Tiss the season for sharing after all ~
Old 23rd December 2017
  #2
Gear Addict
 

I am still using an M-Audio DMP3 Preamp, which is available for around 80-120€ on the markets. If you swap some condensors in the signal path and psu, you got a really good preamp, and even out of the box, it is still a good one.
Old 23rd December 2017
  #3
Behringer Control1 to control my monitors. Passive, so it's very clean sounding.
Logidy UMI3 MIDI over USB Foot Controller. I use the UMI3 to remotely control the transport in my DAW. In my case Reaper.
Old 23rd December 2017
  #4
Deleted User
Guest
My 30-year-old Realistic Optima 77 "bookshelf" speakers with a 4 1/2" woofer. I'm sure I didn't pay more than $40-50 for the pair when I bought them, and now they are selling used on eBay for 2-3 times that amount. These made excellent reference speakers for telephone "on-hold" recordings, voice prompts for electronic gadgets, and AM radio spots. I speak about them in the past-tense because very recently, the foam ring on one of them finally crumbled to dust. I've tried to find a replacement woofer to no avail, and I don't trust that re-foaming them will result in speakers that have the same magic.

These being gone now, I suppose my best current low-budget piece of gear would be my $29 Behringer audio interface.
Old 23rd December 2017
  #5
Here for the gear
The Steadman Pop Filter! $75 and it moves all your Puhs and Kuhs to sub 70Hz, so when you low-cut you get rid of all that crap but keep the aggressiveness of all your vocals.
Old 25th December 2017
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Bump! Just want to keep this thread close to the top! Curious about what other secret weapons you guys are willing to share.
Old 26th December 2017
  #7
Here for the gear
 

I'll give it a go! All my secret weapons (and pretty much my entire setup) are things I've picked up from searching the catacombs of the GS forums and learning what's best for the application regardless of name or prestige.

Two biggies for me within the OP's price range are:

1) Prodipe TT1

Got these in a 3-pack on Amazon for $109 when they recently came back in stock after about 3 years of passively searching for them at a reasonable price. Man, they sound great on just about anything! Well-built, too. And room rejection is pretty sweet, too, for less-than-optimal spaces such as mine. The mic clips included were a literal joke, as all three of them broke while mounting them up for the first time, but the mics themselves were (and are) a fantastic tool, especially for the price.

2) Behringer MDX2100

Got this for $45 used at GC. It's the Composer (not Pro) model, a very important distinction for some. After reading a myriad of posts on it, it turns out that this is very very seriously inspired by the Drawmer DL241. Super-fast, fairly clean...a surprisingly solid piece of gear! Haven't been able to put it through all of its paces yet, but everything I've used it for so far has been just what I needed. Still looking forward to modding it later on for added clarity, but a happy camper nonetheless.

Bonus: VOS SlickEQ / Kotelnikov - What can I say? Cannot believe this stuff is free. Amazing tools.
Old 27th December 2017
  #8
Here for the gear
 

My shure m67 is still a go to on kick, snare, and even guitar cabs at times. I modded it for 4 outs, but generally use 2 at a time. There are also times when I use it with a dbx163, which can be a cool sound with some styles. The sounds get so fat and vintage, even without the compression...and for under $10 per channel it's a steal.
Old 27th December 2017
  #9
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kumar View Post
The Steadman Pop Filter! $75 and it moves all your Puhs and Kuhs to sub 70Hz, so when you low-cut you get rid of all that crap but keep the aggressiveness of all your vocals.

$75 is low budget, but not for a pop filter
Old 27th December 2017
  #10
Got this 4 channel ART headphone amp that actually sounds good. Can’t remember how much it was, but definitely under $100
Old 27th December 2017
  #11
Gear Addict
 
Nick Stedman's Avatar
Ampex Aural Exciter - Despite it's inviting name this is not a device for pleasuring yourself. They first came out in the seventies and meant to bring out clarity in vocals. It does this by boosting and compressing certain high frequencies and adding them back on top of the original signal. It has 3 controls. Drive, Tune, and mix. The drive controls how hard the frequency is pushed. Tune controls which frequency is pushed. Mix controls the amount that is added back to the original signal. Waves makes a plugin that emulates it for $29, but you can get the actual hardware for the same price.

Radial RMDPro (Re-amping device) -Comes in useful for many things. Sending anything out of my DAW into any effect of choice. Hi hat and snare tracks are going into guitar amps, kick drums are going into bass amps. You name it.

VOX VT40+ Amp - A good buy for $100 because of all the effects that are built in. They don't all sound like junk either like some amps. The newer model ones they are making don't have all the effects this one did. I use it like an outboard effect processor/pedal and reamp with it. 12 different amp models with 3 different presets for each one (36 amp models) You get Compressor, Acoustic, Autowah, Univibe, Octaver, Treble Boost, Tube Overdrive, Gold Drive, Orange Distortion, Fuzz and on a separate knob (that you can blend with the 1st effect knob) is CE Chorus, Multi-Chorus, Flanger, Orange Phaser, Twin Tremolo, G4 Rotary, Pitch Shift, FILTRON, Tape Echo, Delay, Chorus Delay. All have a value control. That's A LOT of outboard effects for that price. Along with Room, Spring and Hall reverb.

Spring reverb Tank - Used as an outboard effect. You could take these out of almost any cheap guitar amp or buy one separately for $20). You could use a spring reverb plugin. You could use an effect pedal, or you could use this as a cheaper alternative.

Also theres various effect pedals in OP's budget that you can use to process with. It's just another tool.
Old 27th December 2017
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by minervx View Post
$75 is low budget, but not for a pop filter
lmao @ $75 for a pop filter
Old 27th December 2017
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Nick Stedman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guatecoop View Post
My shure m67 is still a go to on kick, snare, and even guitar cabs at times. I modded it for 4 outs, but generally use 2 at a time. There are also times when I use it with a dbx163, which can be a cool sound with some styles. The sounds get so fat and vintage, even without the compression...and for under $10 per channel it's a steal.
Since the dbx163 has a Hi-z Input, could you use it to reamp the output of your DAW with? instead of using a reamp device like a radial x amp? and just bypass the compression? (or use it) Seems like a cheaper alternative to a radial x amp if so.
Old 27th December 2017
  #14
Gear Guru
A shaving brush to clean my mixer and keyboard.....a $15- Monoprice vocal mic for BG vocals
Old 27th December 2017
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ardis View Post
A shaving brush to clean my mixer and keyboard...
That is brilliant! I'm getting one.
Old 27th December 2017
  #16
Lives for gear
 
rog951's Avatar
An old Ibanez HD-1000. I'm inspired every time I turn it on.
Old 27th December 2017
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by no genre View Post
That is brilliant! I'm getting one.
Be sure to buy new.
Old 27th December 2017
  #18
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razorboy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swing View Post
Be sure to buy new.
EEEEEeeeewwwwwwwwwww.........
Old 27th December 2017
  #19
Lives for gear
 
razorboy's Avatar
 

EDIT. My Blues Jr. isn't 'under $100, so I cut the post.
Old 27th December 2017
  #20
Lives for gear
 
bowzin's Avatar
Just got my wife a Behringer X-Touch Mini for $49 for Christmas. She is going to use it for photo editing, using a MIDI controller to control Lightroom with the MIDI2Lightroom software online. Very, very cool and something I just found out was a possibility, lots of Youtube videos detailing the ins and outs.

I like this one in particular because it has actual midi "encoders" vs. normal knobs, so it's receiving updated MIDI data back from the system, so the knob and the software are always aligned. It lights up the lights around the encoder vs. normal analog-style midi controllers which need a "catch up" mode enabled in the software. For a salty grizzled veteran with a thousand-yard stare like myself, I'm used to working on garbage, but to a MIDI nooby like a photographer, having true rotary encoders was a surprisingly important feature, it just works much more intuitively, "what you see is what you get."

That's the cheapest MIDI controller I'm aware of with actual rotary encoder knobs, so it edges out the similar offerings from Korg, Akai, etc.
Old 27th December 2017
  #21
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Stedman View Post
Since the dbx163 has a Hi-z Input, could you use it to reamp the output of your DAW with? instead of using a reamp device like a radial x amp? and just bypass the compression? (or use it) Seems like a cheaper alternative to a radial x amp if so.
Don't believe that you can bypass the compression with a 163. Totally input driven, so if you turn up the input, you'll get some compression, even with the one-squeezer all the way to the left.
Old 27th December 2017
  #22
Gear Addict
 
Nick Stedman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Don't believe that you can bypass the compression with a 163. Totally input driven, so if you turn up the input, you'll get some compression, even with the one-squeezer all the way to the left.
When I said "bypass" I really just meant keeping the compression at the lowest it could possibly go. Which won't "Bypass" it so I worded that wrong. What about using it instead of a radial x amp though? Will the hi-z input be enough to get things up from line level to instrument level or am I thinking completely wrong?
Old 27th December 2017
  #23
Gear Addict
 
Nick Stedman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowzin View Post
Just got my wife a Behringer X-Touch Mini for $49 for Christmas. She is going to use it for photo editing, using a MIDI controller to control Lightroom with the MIDI2Lightroom software online. Very, very cool and something I just found out was a possibility, lots of Youtube videos detailing the ins and outs.

I like this one in particular because it has actual midi "encoders" vs. normal knobs, so it's receiving updated MIDI data back from the system, so the knob and the software are always aligned. It lights up the lights around the encoder vs. normal analog-style midi controllers which need a "catch up" mode enabled in the software. For a salty grizzled veteran with a thousand-yard stare like myself, I'm used to working on garbage, but to a MIDI nooby like a photographer, having true rotary encoders was a surprisingly important feature, it just works much more intuitively, "what you see is what you get."

That's the cheapest MIDI controller I'm aware of with actual rotary encoder knobs, so it edges out the similar offerings from Korg, Akai, etc.
The X Touch (compact) is the most affordable midi controller that has motorized faders. Although the motors are a little loud, it totally beats using a midi controller that doesn't have motorized faders. Doing some fader riding/ automation towards the end of the mixing process is really important to help shape the mix.

OP you should add all the recommendations to the original post. Great thread
Old 27th December 2017
  #24
Lives for gear
 
bowzin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Stedman View Post
The X Touch (compact) is the most affordable midi controller that has motorized faders. Although the motors are a little loud, it totally beats using a midi controller that doesn't have motorized faders. Doing some fader riding/ automation towards the end of the mixing process is really important to help shape the mix.

OP you should add all the recommendations to the original post. Great thread
Totally agree Nick, but this is how it starts: buy X Touch Mini for wife... hmm the X Touch Compact adds motorized faders, that's sure cool... but for a little bit more I could get the X Touch Pro which adds an encoder wheel and....
Old 27th December 2017
  #25
Gear Addict
 
Nick Stedman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowzin View Post
Totally agree Nick, but this is how it starts: buy X Touch Mini for wife... hmm the X Touch Compact adds motorized faders, that's sure cool... but for a little bit more I could get the X Touch Pro which adds an encoder wheel and....
and for a little bit more lets just add some extenders while were at it...

Old 28th December 2017
  #26
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Stedman View Post
When I said "bypass" I really just meant keeping the compression at the lowest it could possibly go. Which won't "Bypass" it so I worded that wrong. What about using it instead of a radial x amp though? Will the hi-z input be enough to get things up from line level to instrument level or am I thinking completely wrong?
Actually instrument level (~ -20) is lower than line level (~ -10 to +4). To actually work properly, it would have to take line and drop it to instrument.

There may be some functionality with it because it does have a "level set" on the front. From the manual explanation, it appears that this pot is an output level of sorts, so you might be able to use that to trim the output to play nicely with a guitar amp input. Set at -20, it might cause the 163 to output -20 from a -10 to +4 level input signal.

So, send the track output from DAW to the input on the back (the line input), set the slider all the way left, send the 163 output to the amp (turn the amp's volume way down just in case), and adjust the "level set" on the front. Slowly turn up the amp, and listen to what comes out. As you listen to the amp, try adjusting 163's "level set" pot between -20 and -30.

The Hi Z input on the front probably useless in this endeavor. This pot adjusts how much a Hi Z input is amplified internally to push it up to line level. If you have a very low output instrument, you crank this pot to the right to amplify it more and get it up to line level. Loud output instruments, like synths, might need a tweak to the left for less internal amplification. Factory set is 20db of amplification, and all the way left is unity. So if setting it all the way left and sending a line level signal to the 1/4 inch front jack, you might as well just plug the line level input into the back line input and bypass the internal amp.

The key will be getting the 163x to output an instrument level instead of line level without drastically affecting S/N ratio, which your guitar amplifier will raise to hellish levels; i.e., proper gain staging.

Manual...
http://thesnowfields.com/manuals/163...s%20Manual.pdf
Old 28th December 2017
  #27
Lives for gear
 
subspace's Avatar
Brand new... dbx 560As were $100 a pop and work nicely as channel comps. Monoprice modern retro over ear headphones for $20 a pair, great tracking phones. $50 chinese ribbon mics that slay on guitar.

Used... old programmable analog pedals, just got a SansAmp Programmable Bass Driver DI for bass preamp duties, $50. Picked up an old Boss ME-5, programmable analog compressor, overdrive/distortion, EQ, chorus/flanger and noise suppressor plus a separately patchable digital reverb/delay for $40. Got a mess of Countryman Type 85 DIs for $40 each.
Old 28th December 2017
  #28
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Stedman View Post
When I said "bypass" I really just meant keeping the compression at the lowest it could possibly go. Which won't "Bypass" it so I worded that wrong. What about using it instead of a radial x amp though? Will the hi-z input be enough to get things up from line level to instrument level or am I thinking completely wrong?
One more thought. All you would be doing is using the 163 as a simple attenuator. Some might say that a really hard strummed guitar with high output humbuckers is putting out line level anyway, but then that will usually start to overdrive most amp input stages.
There are easier ways to attenuate a signal.
Uneeda Audio - Build your own attenuator pads
Old 28th December 2017
  #29
Gear Addict
 
Nick Stedman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
One more thought. All you would be doing is using the 163 as a simple attenuator. Some might say that a really hard strummed guitar with high output humbuckers is putting out line level anyway, but then that will usually start to overdrive most amp input stages.
There are easier ways to attenuate a signal.
Uneeda Audio - Build your own attenuator pads
Ill just continue reamping thru the radial joint I have. Just wondered if maybe going thru this would be cheaper and just as efficient but the Hi-z input isn't working in the same way it appears. Thanks I learned something.
Old 28th December 2017
  #30
While I'm above budget coming in at $275, I truly adore my Tascam M2516.

16 excellent preamps, tons of routing, 8 subgroups, Midi-compatible auto-muting that I never use...

For a board, $275 is definitely low end. I don't think you can buy a new Behringer Eurodesk for that.
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