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Alright fellow cheapies, finally going to buy a set-up Studio Monitors
Old 27th December 2010
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Sky_27's Avatar
 

Alright fellow cheapies, finally going to buy a set-up

Hey fellow low-end theory slutz, I finally got some cash together and decided to put together my first "real" set-up. Being a poor college student, I'm going to do it on the cheap, so -

First question.
I have 3 different monitor pairs that I am looking at. Here are the links.
Buy Fostex PM0.4 Powered Studio Monitors - Pair | Powered Monitors | Musician's Friend

Buy M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Powered Reference Speaker System pair | Powered Monitors | Musician's Friend

Buy Behringer MS16 Active Personal Monitor System | Powered Monitors | Musician's Friend

Honestly, to me, they all look about the same, which leads me to think I should just get the Behringer's. I know there will be a bunch of people saying "don't get any of those, they all suck" but sorry guys, I really can't afford much else

For interface, I have a couple in mind, but really I have some questions about them. Firstly, here are the links of the 2 I had in mind.

Buy TASCAM US-1641 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI Computer Interface | Audio Interfaces | Musician's Friend

Buy M-Audio Fast Track Ultra USB 2.0 Audio Interface | Audio Interfaces | Musician's Friend

Now, here is my question. The TASCAM is a 16x4. Does this mean that I can record 16 tracks at once, but it will only show up on my DAW as 4? I guess I don't exactly get what that means.

Sorry for the novel, but can anyone help me pick out some monitors and then help me with the interface question I have? Thanks everyone thumbsup
Old 27th December 2010
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
ktodac3298's Avatar
 

16x4 means 16 ins and 4 analog outs, this means you can have 2 pairs of speakers but all 16 tracks will show up separately on your computer

+1 for the fast track pro, some knock m-audio but I used to have it and loved it
Old 27th December 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 

tascam can only record 8 mic/line + 2 (spidf) inputs simul

and has 4 outs
Old 27th December 2010
  #4
Gear Nut
 
Sky_27's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktodac3298 View Post
16x4 means 16 ins and 4 analog outs, this means you can have 2 pairs of speakers but all 16 tracks will show up separately on your computer

+1 for the fast track pro, some knock m-audio but I used to have it and loved it
Excellent, thank you for answering. What did you like about the m-audio?
Old 27th December 2010
  #5
Gear Nut
 
Sky_27's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace_TX View Post
tascam can only record 8 mic/line + 2 (spidf) inputs simul

and has 4 outs
Why is that?
Old 27th December 2010
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Skip all those monitors and get a set of nice headphones until you can save up for decent monitors.

Trying to mix with crappy monitors is like trying to run with dress shoes. You can do it, but it's gonna hurt.

Audio Technica ATH-M50 sound great at $100

the Sony MDR-7506 are also nice for the same amount of money.
Old 27th December 2010
  #7
Gear Nut
 
Sky_27's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatgtrguy View Post
Skip all those monitors and get a set of nice headphones until you can save up for decent monitors.

Trying to mix with crappy monitors is like trying to run with dress shoes. You can do it, but it's gonna hurt.

Audio Technica ATH-M50 sound great at $100

the Sony MDR-7506 are also nice for the same amount of money.
I've always heard it's better to mix with ****ty monitors than decent headphones. No idea if it's true though since I don't have much experience either way.
Old 27th December 2010
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_27 View Post
I've always heard it's better to mix with ****ty monitors than decent headphones. No idea if it's true though since I don't have much experience either way.
It's a little bit of an apple and oranges thing.

Ever notice that when you listen through headphones; nothing sounds like it's in front of you. It either sounds left, right, or in the middle of your head.

I'll take great sounding headphones over crappy monitors any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

I have the Fostex PM0.4 that you're thinking about. They sound aweful. But I have a pair of BX8a that are my main monitors. I just have the fostex to see what my mix sounds like on a set of speakers that have poor bass response.
Old 27th December 2010
  #9
Gear Nut
 
Sky_27's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatgtrguy View Post
It's a little bit of an apple and oranges thing.

Ever notice that when you listen through headphones; nothing sounds like it's in front of you. It either sounds left, right, or in the middle of your head.

I'll take great sounding headphones over crappy monitors any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

I have the Fostex PM0.4 that you're thinking about. They sound aweful. But I have a pair of BX8a that are my main monitors. I just have the fostex to see what my mix sounds like on a set of speakers that have poor bass response.
I'm also afraid that if I start out mixing with headphones, I will always want to mix with headphones - even when I can afford some better monitors. Not trying to discredit you, because I'm sure you are right and you can get some amazing mixes out of headphones - it's just that I want to start with monitors so I can learn how to listen on monitors.

That being said - do you have any recommendations about the monitors I posted?
Old 27th December 2010
  #10
Gear Head
 
tanders12's Avatar
 

How many/what kind inputs do you need? ie how many mics, etc? Does it have to be USB or can you do Firewire?
Old 27th December 2010
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_27 View Post
That being said - do you have any recommendations about the monitors I posted?
I can tell you from first hand experience that the Fostex have weak bass response and very tubby mids. On the plus side, They respond predictably to just about any kind of music you put through them.

It's the reality of a 4 inch speaker. They have to work too hard to produce low end so it radically throws off the mids.

I would say since you're not really buying on the basis of quality; you should just go with whatever is cheapest.

No matter what you; make sure a quality set of headphones is in your near future. When you need to listen for microscopic details (clicks, pop, buzz, making sure your crossfades sound smooth) headphones are the way to go.
Old 27th December 2010
  #12
Gear Nut
 
Sky_27's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanders12 View Post
How many/what kind inputs do you need? ie how many mics, etc? Does it have to be USB or can you do Firewire?
Has to be USB. I would like the capability to record an entire band. (vocals, guitars, bass, and drums) but my personal band is a mudstomp band with mando, bass, guitar and banjo. I'd like to be able to mic each instrument and use their pickups to use in my mix.
Old 27th December 2010
  #13
Gear Nut
 
Sky_27's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatgtrguy View Post
I can tell you from first hand experience that the Fostex have weak bass response and very tubby mids. On the plus side, They respond predictably to just about any kind of music you put through them.

It's the reality of a 4 inch speaker. They have to work too hard to produce low end so it radically throws off the mids.

I would say since you're not really buying on the basis of quality; you should just go with whatever is cheapest.

No matter what you; make sure a quality set of headphones is in your near future. When you need to listen for microscopic details (clicks, pop, buzz, making sure your crossfades sound smooth) headphones are the way to go.
Thanks for the info. I was hoping the fostex were the best of the bunch, hopefully someone has something good to say about one of the others
Old 27th December 2010
  #14
Gear Nut
 
Sky_27's Avatar
 

Really looking for advice on the monitors if anyone has any input.
Old 27th December 2010
  #15
Gear Nut
 
Sky_27's Avatar
 

still looking for some guidance regarding the 3 sets of monitors I posted, if anyone has any input.
Old 28th December 2010
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Seriously dude. At$150, you're not asking about quality. You are asking which ones suck the least.

Spend $50 on a loud set of computer speakers and spend the other $100 on a good set of headphones. Good computer speakers wont be any Better/worse than the three you listed.
Old 28th December 2010
  #17
Gear Nut
 
Sky_27's Avatar
 

I came across a little more money and I think I'm going to increase my monitor budget to $300.

I'll do a little research and post my top 3. Maybe someone will have some input from there :P
Old 28th December 2010
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Well, at least you've moved to KRK Rokit 5 territory. This newfound money is at least making this viable.
Old 28th December 2010
  #19
Gear Nut
 
Sky_27's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Frets View Post
Well, at least you've moved to KRK Rokit 5 territory. This newfound money is at least making this viable.
Haha. You've got to love having a birthday and Christmas 3 days apart.

I like the KRK Rokit 5's, but I'm also curious about the M-Audio Studiophile BX5a monitors. I found them in a "package" with the mics I had already planned on getting for a really good price. How do the BX5a's compare. Any idea?
Old 31st December 2010
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Yeah I think the BX5a are contenders for $300

I think for $300 you might want to look at

KRK Rockit Powered 6
Tannoy Reveal 501
Fostex PM0.5

The 6 inch speaker of the KRK is really going to help with the bass response.
Old 31st December 2010
  #21
Gear Head
 

Alright fellow cheapies, finally going to buy a set-up

Here's my experience:

I mixed on the M-Audios before I could save for a good set of monitors.

I would be all high and mighty with these mixes, step in the car and play my mix and would be highly disappointed.

If I were you I would get the new SHURE SHR blah blah headphones(they might be SRH not sure).

Than I got my ADAMS, and couldn't be happier .
Old 31st December 2010
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Talking

Just a correction regarding the Tascam US1641: 16 simultaneous inputs available. 10 preamps (8 XLR input,2 line/gtr) 4 line level ts inputs and 2 digital inputs. There are actually 6 trs outputs (4 assignable and 2 are mix outs from master out of DAW and direct monitoring of inputs adjustable from front panel). The first 4 can be used for external patching of effects/mixer etc.
Old 31st December 2010
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Keep an eye on Craigslist for monitors. I've seen the old square KRK Rockit 6 for $100 pair here in Denver. Purchased my G2's for $170.
Old 31st December 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 

I mix on bose bookshelf speakers and a set of computer speakers and every time I get my music into my car for a listen it sounds fine.
Old 31st December 2010
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Just a word on the Tascam Us-1641. Ace_Tx doesn't know what he's talking about. As jimmys69 said, there are 16 ins to record simultaneously, but only 10 preamps (8 of which are XLR inputs). By the way, at B&H Photo, it is on sale for $210. Pretty great deal. At that price, you are not going to get boutique preamps, but they are very quiet and pretty decent quality.
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