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newbie system decision help please

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Anonymous
November 5, 2004 8:10:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Well, I looked over the archives for this group before coming here, so I am
a bit more familiar with equipment you recommend but I want to narrow it
down a bit. Here's what I want to do:

I'd like to obtain a system able to record just about anything from vocals
to instruments, sounds of nature, etc. I don't have a lot of money to spend
and the archives suggest microphones ranging from the Shure 58 and Radio
Shack PZM to more expensive condensers like AKG series. My big question is-
which mic? The PZM looks promising especially after doing the mods, but I
am a bit lost as to the actual purpose of this mic. Is it designed to
capture an orchestra in the morning and then the crickets of the night? How
about the Shure 57? I see that it is supposed to be designed for
instruments, but how would it compare to an AKG condenser? Speaking of AKG,
what are the differences in the 414 suffixes, like 414XLS and 414BULS. I
see price differences. Also, there is an AKG-C3000 going for much less than
the 414. How does that one compare quality wise?

How about older microphones? Surely, they could be obtained cheaper from
used outlets or Ebay- what would be some good ones?

My other topic concerns mixers. The FAQ mentions Mackie for budgets and
this may be the way I have to go for a preamp for my mic. What are some
good Mackie mixer models that aren't too expensive. What about building my
own mixer or preamp with a low noise IC? Any plans/ schematics available?

Bottom line is that I have $1500 to spend on this system, total. You
mentioned that a good portion of $ spent should be on a decent mic as that
is the weakest link (or strongest depending on how you look at it) of the
system. Right now, I can forego on the recording device for portable use
and maybe use my computer sound card for recording, which is a Prodif Plus.
So, I would need the mic and a decent preamp or mixer.

Anyway, I know I'm asking quite a few questions here, but I had hoped to
narrow down some of my alternatives a bit, so any advice would be
appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Bill

More about : newbie system decision

Anonymous
November 5, 2004 9:01:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>From: "Bill Saturn" cc@dd.ee
>Date: 11/5/04 12:10 PM Eastern Standard Time
>Message-id: <euOid.922$_J2.849@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net>
>
>Well, I looked over the archives for this group before coming here, so I am
>a bit more familiar with equipment you recommend but I want to narrow it
>down a bit.

Did you read the FAQ?

http://www.phys.tue.nl/people/etimmerman/recordingfaq/R...


>I'd like to obtain a system able to record just about anything from vocals
>to instruments, sounds of nature, etc. I don't have a lot of money to spend
>and the archives suggest microphones ranging from the Shure 58 and Radio
>Shack PZM to more expensive condensers like AKG series. My big question is-
>which mic?

Your asking a lot out of one mic for anything in the world you may come up
against. This will depend on what you have to record, how it sounds to your
ears as your checking the subject your recording on your monitors. The SM57 is
one good all around mic but you never know until you start working with one.

>The PZM looks promising especially after doing the mods, but I
>am a bit lost as to the actual purpose of this mic. Is it designed to
>capture an orchestra in the morning and then the crickets of the night?

It can be used to record in many situations but I don't use one for anything so
I really can't give them any kind of respect.

>
>How about older microphones? Surely, they could be obtained cheaper from
>used outlets or Ebay- what would be some good ones?
>

Yes, and no.

>
>My other topic concerns mixers. The FAQ mentions Mackie for budgets and
>this may be the way I have to go for a preamp for my mic. What are some
>good Mackie mixer models that aren't too expensive. What about building my
>own mixer or preamp with a low noise IC? Any plans/ schematics available?

Yuck...that's what I think about Mackie products, I just don't like how
anything they make sounds. Maybe something you can learn the basics on but I
wouldn't expect to get anything professional sounding out of them.

>Bottom line is that I have $1500 to spend on this system, total. You
>mentioned that a good portion of $ spent should be on a decent mic as that
>is the weakest link (or strongest depending on how you look at it) of the
>system. Right now, I can forego on the recording device for portable use
>and maybe use my computer sound card for recording, which is a Prodif Plus.
>So, I would need the mic and a decent preamp or mixer.

Don't expect much for $1500 bucks, you can't even get a car that will be
reliable for that, you need at least 3 or 4 times that for anything that will
give you even a clue about how the pro world works.
I see about 10 posts a month here with the same questions you have just asked,
most of the time we never hear from them again, once they find out how complex
an operation recording really is. You can invest what you have on a stand alone
recorder that has a lot of functions and a good pair of condenser mics. This
would be the easy way to go but it doesn't even scratch the surface as far as
full blown professional recording studios go.
Anonymous
November 5, 2004 9:19:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Bill Saturn" <cc@dd.ee> wrote in message
news:euOid.922$_J2.849@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...

> I'd like to obtain a system able to record just about anything from vocals
> to instruments, sounds of nature, etc. I don't have a lot of money to
spend
> and the archives suggest microphones ranging from the Shure 58 and Radio
> Shack PZM to more expensive condensers like AKG series. My big question
is-
> which mic? The PZM looks promising especially after doing the mods, but I
> am a bit lost as to the actual purpose of this mic. Is it designed to
> capture an orchestra in the morning and then the crickets of the night?
How
> about the Shure 57? I see that it is supposed to be designed for
> instruments, but how would it compare to an AKG condenser? Speaking of
AKG,
> what are the differences in the 414 suffixes, like 414XLS and 414BULS. I
> see price differences. Also, there is an AKG-C3000 going for much less
than
> the 414. How does that one compare quality wise?

Like a Yugo vs. a Volvo. The difference between the XLS and the ULS is that
the ULS is an older model with similar response -- fairly flat in the upper
octaves. The XLII, which is the current model that complements the XLS, has
a brighter response in the upper octaves. The C3000 is unbearably harsh and
screechy, to my ears.

The PZM is a special-purpose microphone, not something you'll use every day.
The Radio Shack version is probably too noisy to use on crickets unless
they're nice loud ones.

> How about older microphones? Surely, they could be obtained cheaper from
> used outlets or Ebay- what would be some good ones?

> Bottom line is that I have $1500 to spend on this system, total. You
> mentioned that a good portion of $ spent should be on a decent mic as that
> is the weakest link (or strongest depending on how you look at it) of the
> system. Right now, I can forego on the recording device for portable use
> and maybe use my computer sound card for recording, which is a Prodif
Plus.
> So, I would need the mic and a decent preamp or mixer.

If you can live with recording one channel at a time, I would spend the
money on either a C414-XLS or a Microtech Gefell M930, a microphone I
frankly love (whereas I *admire* the C414-XLS) and a Real Nice Preamp. Later
on, you may want to get a better sound card. Don't forget you'll need a
stand and cable, and if you get the Gefell I recommend an E-V shock mount.

If you were only doing instrumentals or vocals, the choices would be wider,
but since you want to do both, I think this'd be a good place to start. If
you want to record in stereo, well, that's a whole 'nother ball game.

Peace,
Paul
Related resources
Anonymous
November 6, 2004 3:04:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Bill Saturn wrote:
> Well, I looked over the archives for this group before coming here, so I am
> a bit more familiar with equipment you recommend but I want to narrow it
> down a bit. Here's what I want to do:

Consider using alt.music.home-studio. See link in signature for details.

--
***My real address is m/ike at u/nmusic d/ot co dot u/k (removing /s)
np:
http://www.unmusic.co.uk
http://www.unmusic.co.uk/amh-s-faq.html - alt.music.home-studio FAQ
http://www.unmusic.co.uk/wrap.php?file=vhs.html - vhs purchase log.
Anonymous
November 6, 2004 6:28:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Bill Saturn wrote:

> Anyway, I know I'm asking quite a few questions here, but I had hoped to
> narrow down some of my alternatives a bit, so any advice would be
> appreciated.

You outlined some stuff you've been thinking about getting to put
together a handy and versatile personal recording rig. But before you
spend money take time to think through many more issues and ask yourself
questions about personal preferences.

Do you like the idea of recording straight to a computer? Or would you
prefer a standalone workstation? Or a traditional mixer + recorder
setup?

What elements do you already have? Speakers and power amp(s) you could
use for monitoring? Headphones? The computer? Etc.

Imagine doing the work. How do you see yourself enjoying the work and
getting it done to your own satisfaction?

--
ha
!