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Old June 23rd, 2006, 05:56 PM   #1
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
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ok, I have $1000.00 to spend

Well, I have been off shopping on the web,reading books and reading through the postings here. Got WAY bogged down in mics: omnidirectional, cardioid, hypercardioid, bidirectional,condenser mics, dynamic mics, windsocks. Then explored dolby sound, 5.1, surround sound, tracks. External audio boxes, pci cards, monitors, cables ...

Overwhelmed and of course underfunded.

So, the end result will take a while, but I can be patient. Just don't want to waste money, and at this point, I don't think I would even know if I did.

The video I want to make is an informal documentary, with dialog and music background important. The video part will be snapshots plus video from various sources - mostly digital but some older analog too. I hope to set out from this video to other documentaries, but not for the next year. This year is a learning year for my software and equipment.

Anyway, I am set for the video for the time being, since I have digital video now, and will wait for the hd prices to drop.

Suggestions for audio would be so welcome, because at this point all I have is the onboard audio from my motherboard. I am building this computer and can integrate audio easily (?) I believe. What is most important to have in your opinions? I want to start, and hopefully make smart purchases that will upgrade easily and/or give me the best result for my buck.

So mics, monitors, headphones, audio boxes are the areas I have explored and nearly drowned in. I hope you can give me specific items that would fit my budget, and if I would waste money on a cheap item I hope you can point that out to me. If you think one item is the most important and would make a huge difference, well, I could spend $1000.00 on just that. I know my NLE will help, but again I am learning it too. What is most important to buy first, and most forgiving of a minimal budget.

Go ahead, spend my money!

Many thanks in advance.

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Old June 23rd, 2006, 07:44 PM   #2
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I highly recommend the M-Audio Audiophile 192. You get stereo in, and stereo out in both analog and digital (S/PDIF) formats. It's a PCI card, which is fine for a desktop. If it's for a laptop, look at a firewire option.

The key benefit to this card is that it has balanced I/O, which means that you can run the cables wherever you need to without hum and inteference. Until the day you want surround sound, this is all the card you will need. You should be able to find it on the 'net for under $150.

I'd also recommend the Sennheiser HD280-Pro headphones. You can use these for field recording, as a sanity check for your mixes and for mixing late at night without upsetting others in your home. And if you have housemates who are loud, these help shut them out. Again, these are keepers. They're all the headphones that you will ever need. (The Senn cans are nice and flat, which is good for monitoring. If you want a sweeter sound, get Sony 7506s.) Expect to spend $90 - $100.

The next question is how much to spend on mics and monitors. Here's what I recommend. Get the audio card and the headphones. Record stuff with your camera's mic. Are you happy with the results? Great! Spend your money on monitors. Your mic stinks? Then get a good mic and accessories and get some cheap monitors with the change. And upgrade later when you have more cash.

I hope this is helpful...
Jon Fairhurst
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Old June 25th, 2006, 03:05 PM   #3
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Headed in the right direction


This is great. I found the m-audio at B&H for $179 including cables. The headphones fit into my beginning budget too. Got to thinking about an old microphone that came with some stereo equipment I bought years ago, went to the basement, found it! Here is the info I found on the 'net about it:

From: Rothenberg & Kupsaw <sirothe@well.com>
Subject: Sony ECM-99 mic info requested
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2000 22:01:01 -0800

Hugh StevensonAsked a while ago on 10/21
>>Can anyone tell
>>me the frequency response and max SPL rating on this mic? Any other
>>pertinent info?

The ECM 99's stated frequency response is 50-12,000 Hz. It is a one
point stereo electret condenser mic.(it requires batteries but needs no
phantom power)

Stated Pressure input level is 126 dB SPL.

Actually got pretty good results with it at a concert with admittedly
outstanding sound quality (Mirriam Makeba at Stern Grove in SF).
Obviously this mic is not for high frequency recording but I think
Sony may have understated its capabilities. Got mine on sale in early
1980's when it listed for about $100-150.


I will give it a try too (it's right here!), while reading about the AT822 and videomic, plus any other mic recommendations.

Thanks for all your help Jon-

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