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Newbie about to take the plunge... flames, facts, opinions welcome
Old 25th June 2005
Here for the gear
entheon's Avatar
🎧 15 years
What do you suggest for newbie gear?

Old 25th June 2005
Lives for gear
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
🎧 15 years
don't use the C1000 for voice. I have one, and I hate it.

Why not just get a decent mic and a MBox ? why the mixer ?

Instead of buying low end outboard gear I would buy plug's. Buying low end outboard (analog) gear is a waste of money in my opinion.
Old 26th June 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
🎧 15 years
check out the mbox at

If I was into doing demos right now, I would buy a Mbox and a decent mic for vocals. As to what is a decent mic for vocals in your price range, I'm sure there are other people way more prepared than me to answer the question. I just happen to have a C1000 and did not work for me.

Plus the cool thing of the Mbox, is that you will familiarize yourself with pro-tools which is the studio standard computer work station.

The Mbox is basically a interface/pre for pro-tools LE.
Old 26th June 2005
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
My advice... stay away from Behringer. doing one or two tracks at a time you don't really need a board at all.

really good cheap comp is the FMR RNC, do a search on it.

depends on what your budget really is but you gotta spend some dough to get good sound. I don't know anything about your soundcard but you might look at splitting your budget into a decent converter (outboard soundcard), a mic and a better preamp.

Do you really need to spend $ to silence your PC? can the CPU go in a closet or another room from where you are tracking if it's loud?

I'd say read somemore here and other sites.

some very well liked budget gear; Studio Projects C-1 and B-1 mics, AT 30 and 40 series mics, ADK mics. FMR RNP and RNC, Groove Tubes The Brick, the Safe Sound P1, Joemeek stuff, grace 101... there is lot's more stuff out there.

Search on what I have listed above and see what else people suggest throughout the threads. take your time and try not to buy things impulsively.

Good Luck!
Old 26th June 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
max cooper's Avatar
🎧 15 years
With $1000 and the computer/DAW software that you have, I know exactly what I'd get:

Apogee Mini-me USB from Ebay (completed items show that one went for $800 recently, another one for $925.)

Shure SM 57. $65 used (approx)


The mini-me is two channels of very-hard-to-beat analog to digital converter AND two channels of darn nice mic preamp, you can USB right into your DAW. You can totally grow into that thing; you could spend less, but I don't think there's a better value at any price.

57's are good. Not exciting. Good, though. Does anyone on this forum NOT have one? You can get better mics later, but meanwhile, a 57 is no slouch.

*Here's a blurb on the mini-me:

By the way, just to bring you up to speed on Behringer, if the Apogee Mini-me is a 3-series BMW, the Behringer mixer is a beater Yugo. Really. I rented a rehearsal space that had a brand new Behringer mixer in the PA, and it sounded unacceptably bad, even with the JBL/Peavey stuff it was hooked up to. The only positive thing I could say about it is that signal went in one end and came out the other. Utter yuck. No, double utter yuck. Bad and not good all at once.

Other than that, I liked it!

P.S: the monkey in the 'smilies' section is there expressly for use with the word 'Behringer'.
Old 26th June 2005 | Show parent
Gear Guru
lucey's Avatar
Originally Posted by Jose Mrochek
Plus the cool thing of the Mbox, is that you will familiarize yourself with pro-tools which is the studio standard computer work station.

easy now ... studio standard, but not best, or necessary
Old 26th June 2005 | Show parent
Gear Addict
wilkinswp's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Definitely listen to what the guys here have to say. I've been spending a good chunk of change on gear and am glad I instead spent many hours researching and researching before buying.

It's allowed me to save a lot of money, yet get I want and need. Also has pointed me in the direction of which gear to stray from and which to consider.

I like Max Cooper's strategy. Must have a 57 as he mentioned. Learn mic placement with it.

Also, check the second-hand threads for equipment if you buy used. Throw out a WTB thread and someone may be willing to sell you want you need. Of course, that's not as fun as going out and buying it in the store. But, it's always fun to save some cash. . . .

Read and research. . . . .
Old 26th June 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Henchman's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I just picked up the Presonus firebox. $400,-.
It's very cool, small and compact, but still has some excellent features, including midi and s/pdif I/O. As well as 2 mic-pre's. And it's firewire, and very low latency.
I would also pick up an Apex 460 condenser mic for $200,-.
And with the rest of the money upgrade your PC.
Old 26th June 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
doorknocker's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Originally Posted by entheon
rethinking of the whole thing...
I'm actually probably gonna get a Rode NTK... so that sorta puts the Mini-Me out of my price range atm...
Please, please (falling to knees) PLEASE don't do it!
I really hate audio snobbery but it's not that long ago that I went through the same start-up process as you do and looking back I must admit that in some cases I really fell for hype-prosumer hype that is.

The RODE NTK looks really nice, it's a TUBE design, Musician's Friend loves it....
But believe me, it's hype and hype only, and in a literal sense. The NTK has a heavy upper midrange lift that might spell 'clarity' or 'sizzle' to newbies. And while there are places where that can be fine (The NTK actually isn't bad on something like a compressed drum room or too-mellow acoustic guitars that need to cut through a track), you'll pretty soon realize that taken on its own i.e listening to the mic rather than looking at it, it's a very mediocre thing that's actually way overpriced for what it is.
'A tube mic for way less money', that's the marketing hype.
'A shrill-sounding big mic that needs a even bigger power supply to run and tubes to change for about 5 times the price of a great sounding dynamic mic that will fit in your pocket.' that's more like reality.

When I started out I got 2 57s because that's what everybody says you should have. After a while I started to realize that there's a reason a lot of pros, some with million dollar mic lockers, swear by the 57.
It took me a while to even think of trying it on acoustic guitar. And you know what, I just finished a full CD production where almost all acoustic guitars were recorded with a single 57. (And if not, it would be a Shure SM7)
The 57 is great on guitar amps and snares, works on a lot of vocals (especially rock). It's a great room mic, takes EQ really well, the list goes on.

Chances are that as a 'start up' you won't have a perfectly designed and treated room. And you know what, the 57 will be tremendous because it will 'blend out' a lot of background noise, weird reflections, etc because of it's focus. With a prosumer condenser like the NTK, you'll end up with a lot of room sound/reflections that you will have to get rid of eventually.

I guess it should be clear by now that I rather like this little mic. A good pre like the Mini-Me would really help too.
Like Max said, it makes so much more sense to get a decent pre like the Mini-Me and a 57 instead of a 'pseudo tube mic' and mediocre pres that will make your recording sound like, well, home recordings.

If you're into new age or classical, then the 57 won't be the right choice but for everything else it's a no-brainer.
And there's an added bonus too: Once you're updating your gear (and it'll happen faster than you'd wish, be happy should you not be familiar with the term GAS yet ) you'll realize that the 57 only gets better with great pres, comps, EQs, etc. You might add all kinds of fancy condensors but chances are that you'll keep the 57s forever.
You'll have to get used to the fact though that the 57 needs a lot of gain. This is not an easy thing to learn as so many people equal gain with power/impact or hi-end response with 'quality'.
A track recorded with a 57 might not sound stellar and audiophile on its own but more often than not it will fit very nicely into the mix and give you a very organic sound.

Enough talk, I'd happily sell you my (pristine) NTK for a real good price (it's going to e-bay soon) but while there's nothing like personal experience there are also things that you don't need to go through and the doomed 'why spend thousands on a vintage Neumann when there's this great affordable tube design here for a fraction of the price' theory is a classic example.

Good luck

Old 26th June 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
AlphaDingo's Avatar
🎧 15 years
If I were you, I'd go listen to a bunch of different mics before you even bought one. I would also check ut the pacific pro audio LD2ube mic. $300 30 day money back guarantee.
Old 26th June 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Henchman's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Originally Posted by doorknocker
After a while I started to realize that there's a reason a lot of pros, some with million dollar mic lockers, swear by the 57.
Alot of pro's swear AT them as well.
IMO, the only thing a 57 is good for, is a doorstop or hammer.
Old 26th June 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
max cooper's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I think other people have said this before; When I was first buying gear, I thought it was pretty cool that there were a bunch cheap condenser mics to buy; in retrospect, I would have done MUCH better had I bought some nice dynamic mics instead. At least I could still be using them. And sure, there are people who don't like SM57's. But there are a bunch of good dynamic mics out there that are not expensive but that sound nice.

The reason I recommended the Mini-Me/SM57 combination is this:

We usually have a thousand dollars to spend on gear less often than we have a couple or three hundred dollars. So instead of putting half here and half there and ending up with pretty good stuff, I figure it's better to put 90% of it into something REALLY good (like an Apogee Mini-Me) and get a microphone that you can use now and that you can ALWAYS use (take a poll of Gearslutz re: SM57's... 'Who used one the last time they made a recording.')

Then when you can scrape together a little more cash, you can get a good condenser mic, but you won't have to get a grand together to do it.

Ultimately, you're the person who has to use what you decide to buy, not any of the rest of us. But you can learn from our mistakes.

And really, you can make a good recording with virtually anything. I just like to know that the gear isn't getting in the way of a good result.
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