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How much stuff do I need for a portable rig? Dynamic Microphones
Old 9th September 2011
How much stuff do I need for a portable rig?

I'm thinking of setting up a portable rig to offer my services to local bands for a pretty reasonable rate to build experience and a portfolio of work.

This is what I have right now.

M-Audio Ultra 8r (8 XLR inputs)
Audio Technica 3035
Audio Technica 2035
Shure Beta 58A
Shure SM57
Shure BG 3.1
A decent laptop running Windows 7 and Reaper.

I have about a $1000 budget for this and thinking of getting the following

A 6U rack case to hold everything (SKB 6U Case)
A decent compressor (ART PRO VLA II)
Pre-Amp (ART TPS II)
A power condition/distributor
25 foot 8-XLR snake to make connecting everything easier
And a couple more decent microphones (thinking Audix i5 & D6)

Would this be enough equipment to offer services for a nominal charge?
Old 9th September 2011
Lives for gear

The first question is, how much gear do these bands provide and how much do you provide? Will these bands have their own mics and stands and if so, are they any good or are they crappy?

Maybe forego the compressor, preamp and snake and get a pile of (separate) 50' cables and assorted stands? You'll probably end up miking a lot of guitar cabs.

Pick up a handful of Shure SM48's. They are half the price of an SM58 and a bit crisper but they'll get you by just fine for starters. You will then have several mics of the same type.

Maybe a couple of mic splitters? Got a good set of cans (headphones)?
Old 9th September 2011
Thanks for the reply, I have about 7 mic stands right now and at least 10 mic cables.

I do have a pair of Sony MDR-V600 headphones that I've had forever and they seem to be pretty good.
Old 9th September 2011
Lives for gear

Also get some windscreens for those mics, not so much for audio purposes as to protect your gear from vocalist spittle:

Olsen Audio Group: WindTech Microphone Windscreen & Mic Muff Home Page
Old 10th September 2011
Here for the gear
TenaciousJ's Avatar

A snake will definitely make your life easier. You might think about going with more than 8 inputs for future upgrades though. I've been looking at the ones at for my rig.

- more mics: a SM7b / M88 / RE20 type quality dynamic that you can use on a variety of sources including vocals and set of clip-on tom mics or another 57 or two. A pair of SDCs for overheads would be good but you can get by with those ATs for now.

- headphone amp: I hesitate to recommend Behringer but mine was cheap and I've had no problems with it so far. Also a couple of headphones and extender cords.

- DI box / SansAmp: very useful for bass and keyboards.

- Packing blankets: ghetto gobos, You're gonna find yourself in some terrible sounding rooms, guaranteed. These will help a lot. Just toss 'em over a mic stand.

- Hard drive for backups (or tracking if you have FireWire).

I'd probably skip the compressor and pre-amp until you're set with the basics; a good mic will make a much bigger difference than those in your situation. You can also just buy a power strip instead of spending more on a rack unit.

Hope that helps, good luck with your endeavor!
Old 10th September 2011
Lives for gear

A pair of RE20s will run $858, putting a rather large dent in his $1,000 budget.
Old 10th September 2011
Here for the gear
TenaciousJ's Avatar

Originally Posted by chris319 View Post
A pair of RE20s will run $858, putting a rather large dent in his $1,000 budget.
Pair? No, just one. Here:

SM7b - $350
SM57 - $100
Snake - $200
SansAmp - $200
Headphone amp: $120
Hard drive - $80

That's $50 over, close enough I reckon.You'll have 7 mics and one DI. Tell the musicians to bring their own headphones. I'm sure you can find some blankets.
Old 10th September 2011
Lives for gear

SM7b - $350
SM57 - $100
For $450 he could get four SM48s and have $200 left over for the moving blankets you suggested.

Rolls makes a decent headphone amp as an alternative to brand "B".
Old 10th September 2011
I forgot to mention I already have an ART 4 channel headphone amp and an ART DI box.

I appreciate all the replies, keep them coming
Old 12th September 2011
Will my M-Audio Ultra 8R have enough usable gain to drive an RE20 or SM7b? I hear they need rather high gain pre's and the Ultra 8R only has 54db of gain.
Old 14th September 2011
Lives for gear

It depends how loud the source is. You can always use a Cloud Lifter or Triton Fethead if need be.
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