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  #1  
Old 09-15-2008, 07:38 PM
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da_qtip da_qtip is offline
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Default Recording Equipment Assistance

I have a plethora of question for you kind scholars.

My parents bought me some drum mics for my birthday but they weren't exactly sure which brand to get. The guy working there recommended the Samson 7 piece over a similarly priced Shure set. Have you guys heard anything good about Samson?

As for mixers I was looking at the Mackie 802-VLZ3. I believe it only have 3 mic ins so I'd need to buy adapters for the rest of my mics. Is this a good choice? Also the 802-VLZ3 plugs into your sound card. Does this mean it takes all the mics and records only one track with them? Is USB or Firewire better?

If anyone can help me out it would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-15-2008, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Recording Equipment Assistance

firewire is better from what i have gathered.

im in the same situation. and everyone i have talked to says firewire..

http://www.guitarcenter.com/PreSonus...36-i1368483.gc

and, Samson mics IMO are great value...they are cheap, and they sound good...nothing like top quality mics...but they do well for the price..
ill either buy Samson or Carvin...

but as far as the recording, dont get a mixer that doesnt have enough channels for your mics...cause it you get an adapter, you cant mix them individually...

with the firewire, you will have to get an audio card. but those are only about 30-40 dollars..

Alex
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:01 PM
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dkerwood dkerwood is offline
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Default Re: Recording Equipment Assistance

USB and Firewire are equally fast in general... they just transfer data differently.

For live sound recording, however, Firewire is your friend and can support FAR more simultaneous channels than USB- most USB audio outputs will only do stereo due to the limitations of the interface.

Honestly, I wouldn't recommend getting a mixer with an interface built in. Rarely have I seen one in the cheap-ish range that works at all. Instead, get a decent mixer (maybe a Behringer or something- they make a 5 channel mixer for $100), and get a separate FW interface... Presonus makes great inexpensive gear for that.

I use 2 Presonus 4 channel interfaces chained together.

FWIW, you shouldn't need another audio card for a FW interface, given that you have a FW input on your computer (many don't). The FW bypasses your audio card.
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:03 PM
Mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: Recording Equipment Assistance

In your situation, I would consider getting an interface or a USB/FireWire mixer. Whilst the Mackie is a good mixer for basic analogue use, if you want to record onto your computer, you'd rather have the individual mic channels represented on screen rather than having to submix with no outboard gear. Basically, having all the channels on screen rather than just a stereo feed will allow you to manipulate everything more flexibly. Your other option is to buy a separate sound card for your computer and use the aux sends for your signal feed - this solution actually ends up being more expensive and as interfaces have become cheaper and more readily available, this solution is becoming obsolescent.

http://www.dv247.com/invt/29911/prod...1181_a_7c29911

This is a little more expensive than the Mackie, but has four microphone preamps and a FireWire out capability. If you want eight microphone preamps, the price does go up quite quickly.

On this forum, the most highly recommended audio interface (no mixer, just the preamps and the output to the computer) is the PreSonus FirePod.

http://www.soundslive.co.uk/product.asp?id=4530

These are a little more expensive than the other options, but can be had second-hand for a reasonable price. They are excellent and should provide you with everything you need to get going, provided that you have DAW software already enabled - the FirePod does come with a basic Cubase, so you can get recording straight away. Like Bojangle says, FireWire cards run at about $40-$50, so it isn't necessarily a budget-conscious decision, but on the other hand, you shouldn't compromise with your basic gear. It will serve you well for a long time if you buy the right gear at the start.

I'll actually contradict dkerwood and say that you don't necessarily need a separate outboard mixer with an interface - if you're happy working 'in the box' (on screen) then you could save a lot of money not using the separate mixer. Saves space too.
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:18 PM
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dkerwood dkerwood is offline
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Default Re: Recording Equipment Assistance

To clarify further, you don't NECESSARILY need a mixer at all... it's just another level of control over the EQ, gain, and occasionally effects on each channel. A quality mixer can also provide quality microphone preamps and even phantom power.

Depending on what interface you pick up, the interface might provide some or all of these features. For example, mine gives me separate mic preamps, gain structure, and phontom power. If I want, I can go record with JUST my computer, FW interface, and microphone.

I just like to use the mixer because it makes recording a bit simpler (for me). Know that you will need a mixer that will let you use the inserts to pull signal from each mixer channel into the interface's channels (assuming that you do more than 2).

Let me know if I can be of any further help (or confusion, as the case may be).
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Recording Equipment Assistance

MFB- glad we were on the same page. :-)
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:28 PM
Mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: Recording Equipment Assistance

I've used the mixer-interface combination before and for a new user - it can get a little confusing, particularly if you're using a studio that you haven't set up. Now, it's not all that difficult, but sometimes trying to work out which channel equates to which interface input can get irritating and having two gain structures makes things a bit more fiddly. So, at first, I'd just get the interface and no desk - otherwise things do get a tad complicated.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:04 PM
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hawk9290 hawk9290 is offline
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Default Re: Recording Equipment Assistance

Ditch the idea on the samson mics, whoever told you they were as good as Shure mics is either getting paid on commission and is overpricing the 20%, or doesn't have the foggiest clue what they're talking about. If your parents are willing to pay for the Shure mics, go for them, they'll make your life a whole lot easier as a beginner in the recording world. Better mics will get a sound that takes much less work to mix and master, and therefore you won't get overwhelmed (as much) by all the EQ setting, effects, and so forth. There are other mics out there that are great as well, and you don't necessarily have to buy a package, but for ease and convenience, then a Shure package will do the job. Also, if you could look on musiciansfriend.com and find the shure kit you are looking at and post it back here, that would help as well.


As for the mixer- it is not necessary, and a USB or Firewire mixer will only be a disappointment. Get something like the Presonus Firepod (or other Presonus mic preamp interfaces) or the MOTU 8pre. The 8pre is nice because it has ADAT which allows for greater flexibility in how much it can be connected to and expanded, but the Firepod does well too, and will get the job done well for a good bit cheaper.
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:52 AM
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da_qtip da_qtip is offline
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Default Re: Recording Equipment Assistance

Thanks for all the feedback. I shall take all this in mind when I head out to my local music store.

And Hawk9290 I worded the mic statement weird. The Shure pack had less mics than the Samson pack but were in the price range we were looking for. So he didn't mean that Samson was better but he recommened having a fully miced set rather than fewer mics.
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  #10  
Old 09-16-2008, 05:00 AM
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Default Re: Recording Equipment Assistance

the Samson's will do you fine...unless you are planning on recording an album or playing live in stadiums, they'll work fine..

Alex
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