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Upgrading Home Setup- Help?
Old 5th February 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Upgrading Home Setup- Help?

Hey guys,

I'd appreciate some helpful opinions on what I'm going to end up doing with my setup. First, a bit about my acoustical profile so you can make necessary recommendations.

I'm a singer/songwriter with acoustic guitar and vocals only. I tend to strum hard and fast, and my guitar is a Taylor DN8 (dreadnought), so there's that consideration. I'm a tenor with a high range, I don't tend to do a lot of my singing in the lower ranges because I don't have much of one.

Now, I already know my setup isn't the greatest, so please, no comments about, "Why the heck would you have gotten that gear, it's terrible!" I know it's not great! I purchased what I could afford 2 years ago and I'm looking into upgrading now on what I can afford. I'm going to be coming into some bonus money from work at around $600, so that's my target price range.

Current gear:

Audio Interface: M-Audio USB Fast Track Pro
Current Mic: Rode NT1-A

I'm very unhappy with my recordings due to the fact that there's no presence, sparkle, or life to them. I see a lot of complaints around the NT1-A microphone being too "bright", but for me, I don't seem to have that issue. Seems like the mid to high range frequencies are severely dampened or missing entirely.

My question to the experts on the forum here are:

1) What portion of my rig should I be upgrading? What is going to get me the best sound quality? Better microphone, or better audio interface?

2) Depending on what you answered for number 1, what do you recommend, based upon my sound profile, and that I want a lot of clarity and crispness to my guitar tone and vocal tone, that I get for new gear? This would apply to new microphones, and/or new interface, or both, if they both fit under $600.

Thanks for your help!
Old 5th February 2009
  #2
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I would say, keep the mic, buy a new interface. Are you on a Mac or PC. If you are on a Mac, go with the Apogee Duet, if you are on a PC, go with an Echo product. Both should give you the A/D conversion you are looking for and will keep you below the $600 mark. I also would suggest using a preamp but With only $600 you will not find one better than the one in the interface itself. As far as the Mic, you may want to sell you mic and take that money and buy a new one but I would first go out and do some research and or testing at your local music store. Good luck.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
if the acoustic is a main part of your song recording it with 2 mics panned to the sides is where its at. I'd suggest getting a pair of small diaphragm condenser microphones. The rode nt4s or nt5s are in your budget.

Actually i would say keep the interface and get stereo preamp instead for another option.
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