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When does it quit being low end?
Old 23rd May 2006
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years
When does it quit being low end?

Hi everyone! Total noobula here. (be easy if you will)

i have been working at recording and mixing for a while (a couple of years) and although everyone says the B word is crap, it would seem that for the bux it seems to work ok. i was looking to improve a few things and began working as an assistant with a person more experienced than me that has all of the toys and it seems if the mix and master is going to be compressed anyway, i can't tell that much difference between the boutique stuff and what i was able to afford. i did a mix that was also mixed in a nicer facility and even though they are different, one does not really sound much better than the other.

me= 5000.00 in gear, 2 years experience
nicer facility= 300000.00 in gear 20+ years experience.

i admit the nicer facility can do much more and more choices, more experiences fromthe choices but the focus of the music does not sound anybetter, to me it is more clustered up. (you can't pick out the instruments as well)

all my friends seem to pick my cheezy mix b'cause it is louder and you can hear the drums, guitars and words better.

when does it go from low end to high end, is it all about money?

just b'cause my friends like the mixes i did and so does the band, does this mean i need to get a backer to be taken serious (b'cause i am not taken serious at all, they get the bux, i work with **** bands (oy)

I barely know what i am doing
Old 23rd May 2006
Gear Guru
tINY's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years

Tools are tools. Sometimes a cheap wrench works just as well as a snap-on model.

The truth is that most pop music doesn't need much that's too fancy.

Where the cheapest stuff isn't as good is durability - You may have to buy another cheap mixer in 3-5 years, but the one that costs twice as much typically lasts a lot longer (or can be repaired a lot easier).


Old 23rd May 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
max cooper's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I agree with Tiny.

It's really important to ignore the endless banter about expensive, shiny goodies.

Sometimes we talk about that stuff because it's something we can control; if you spend a few days with a really awful band, it can be pretty disheartening.

Do you subscribe to Tape Op?

I think that if you're asking this question, you should.

This month there are a couple of great articles, one with Mike Patton and one with Brian Beattie.

There's a great quote in the Mike Patton article:

"Record your own sh*t. Don't worry about what some f**king engineer is gonna tell you. Don't worry about the right way to do it. You can make incredible music on that [pocket dictation recorder]. And you're the only one who's going to know how to record it right. ... If you need to be told what to do then you don't know what you want."

Ahh.. refreshing.

Originally Posted by Burton Nash

just b'cause my friends like the mixes i did and so does the band, does this mean i need to get a backer to be taken serious (b'cause i am not taken serious at all, they get the bux, i work with **** bands (oy)

I barely know what i am doing

Then you're gonna be fine. That's what matters, period, and that YOU like what you're doing.

Don't question yourself. Just go.

Forget the BS.

Doesn't it suk that having 'only $5000 worth of gear' can give you a complex?
Old 23rd May 2006 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years
Thanks! This is very encouraging. tiny, for as cheap as these mixer are, I can just toss it when it gets ratty. It won't go on the road so in may have a chance to last longer that way.

Max, thank YOU! Very encouraging. i do need to check out the tape op. i have been reading forums all over the web forabout 18 months andwhen someone goes gaga over a technique and i try it and it sucks for me, i usualy blame it on equipment, lack of understanding, etc.

One thing i have learned. good sound is the simple way of doing things. the more bs i hook up, the more the good things go in the dumper. i do like the simple '''less is more''' approach.

You guys made my day.
Old 23rd May 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
bunnerabb's Avatar
🎧 15 years
It's stops being cheap when the cool kids in the Ferraris stop smirking at it.

Some people buy tools, some people buy decorative objects.

If it wasn't a 1073, it'd be a Rolex or a 1,600.00 food processor.

Work on being able to get the song in your head to come out of your speakers and have everybody you play it for, everywhere, hear the same song. You will suddenly become stunningly uninterested in the label on the tool kit once you can do that.
Old 23rd May 2006 | Show parent
Jai guru deva om
warhead's Avatar
🎧 15 years
"High End" doesn't always net you a better sound, but almost always nets you better build quality. Having said that, a home recordist who's twisting knobs a couple nights a week vs a pro studio that twists knobs 24/7...that's where a lot of low end or "prosumer" gear won't work well because it's going to fall apart in that environment. The switches / pots etc aren't near as good in most cases.

But it's always about the sound, look how many mixing engineers use guitar pedals for effects etc.

I'd be willing to bet your $5k worth of equipment will record more tracks, allow more editing and has more effects than any rig the Beatles ever worked with. The missing ingredient at this stage in the game may be experience although I've never heard anything you've done so that is a guess.

You gotta have the essentials, but having a $2500 preamp doesn't make sense for everyone and the incremental increase in sound quality isn't always worth it.

Old 23rd May 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Jim vanBergen's Avatar
🎧 15 years
You have received excellent replies.

The LOW END versus HIGH END is largely about the cost factor and secondarily build quality.

Your other question, about the B word- that's a whole OTHER issue.
That manufacturer is hated by many people due to blatant (legally documented, internationally prosecuted & court-ordered cease & desists, as well as major monetary damages) ripoffs of other companies' designs.

As a company, they have a dark history. Some people love their stuff... many people just have moral issues, such as- if you steal the designs from other manufacturers and remove the R&D cost, you can make things cheaper in China. But you will destroy the competition and, in turn, the R&D of new, better products.

Part of the difference you find between LOW and HIGH end companies, is having a relationship with the designer & manufacturer. Getting SERVICE from them, and having the finest products money can buy, WITH INTEGRITY, elicits both a cost factor and a reliability that is inherently HIGH end.

Would you rather have a Millenia, Grace, Manley, Crane Song, Chandler, Daking, DAV, Aurora, Neve, (etc, etc) outboard preamp or a Yamaha, Mackie, Presonus, Allen & Heath, etc etc preamp?

Does that make sense?

Some people may take me to task for airing these issues, and calling the less expensive manufacturers LOW END when they have some high quality products. Quality and price are not the only factors that are involved in LOW and HIGH end, though most qualifications here are based solely on price.

While many people agree that the RNC/RNLA/RNP line of products are inherently LOW END, they are great value from a company with an excellent albeit inexpensive product line. But no one is angry at a small manufacturer for designing a good and original product-- its for the theft of other copyrighted designs that B got a bad name.

Hope this helps.

Old 23rd May 2006 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years

thank you Jim, warhead and bunnerabb. Jim, i did not really know about the rippoffs but come to think of it the little yamaha mixer looks almost like the behringer. makes sense to me. It is just a hobby at this stage although i do get people asking me to record from time to time. In my town, you have a bunch of mid priced facilities and a couple of high priced ones. Generally, the people i record just get in and get out. One song at a time, no more than a couple of hours. Most facilities around here have a minimim 5 hour rate. (400 dollars and more) and these little bar bands dont make that in 2 nights. On my off days, i charge 200 for as long as it takes. Quick bands i get good pay (less than 200 though for short gig), unpracticed bands are a headache.
i might get 6 gigs a year. The larger facilities are hard to approach in my area (Destin, panama city)


i won't be replacing my day job anytime soon fellows.
Old 23rd May 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Jim vanBergen's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I'm sure we're all happy to be able to offer some insight. Warren & Tiny always have good opinions, and Bunerrabb sounds VERY intuitive & smart to me. Nice people all around, methinks!

Look, it's a hard business, and you have to pay the bills. NOTHING is wrong with owning a piece of WHATEVER gear. If it works, it works.

I pay good money to go mix songs on a Neve or SSL, and sometimes I mix on my Trident. I also mix on a Mackie (shudder) more often than I would like to admit. We all do what we have to. Having a fleible business plan and keeping the clients rolling in-- that will allow you to eventually upgrade that console to something better. In the mean time, keep on kickin' ass, bro!

Finally, I have to quote Bunnerabb, whose words ring in my head like a golden, ultimate truth: "You will suddenly become stunningly uninterested in the label on the tool kit once you can do that."


Old 23rd May 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Kestral's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Knowing your gear is almost as important as having killer gear. I've heard people do some wild things with Behringer gear that they learned inside out.

The time it takes to travel the experience curve is worth more than the $$$ to me. I don't have the time to learn all the types of gear, so I bought the 1073 and 1176. Every decent studio has those, so if I know them, then I'm good to go. Whereas if I know some cheap gear, when its time to upgrade the gear, I don't want to go on the learning curve treadmill all over again.
Old 24th May 2006 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
i'd say your expeirence is your best tool, and how comfortable you are with your equipment, I have only about a 15000 dollar hobby studio, that i've been building up since i was in highschool about 6 years ago, and i just now started getting lots of bands because i have a space to track lots of instruments in, but i tell you what i do, I charge 50 bucks a songs and i get so many bands come to me and record, and from that i get alot of expeirence, more expirementing, use of different mics, and get my name out more, its to the point where my studio time is a prize at a battle of the bands. and i'm just strickly hobby based, i have a full time job, not really any desire to engineer fulltime, (at least not at this point). Its fun, and the relationships you make with alot of the bands too, is very rewarding.

Just get very comfortable with basics and diff mic techniques and that'll help you in the long run,

later dude
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