Back in October 2008 I did a post that estimated the cost of getting all the gear to have a recording rig for your big band. Now, lets take a look at if things have changed.
The original post I went with an Alesis HD24 which was $1600 then. Its the same price now. For preamps, I went with the PreSonus’s DigiMax D8 which were going for $450. Now they go for about $400. We need three of these to give us 24 tracks. For mics, I had two options. Option one was 13 Shure 57s with stands and cables. Then they were $124 each. Now they are $109. Lets keep it simple and stick with that option.
Case for the PreSonus preamps and the Alesis. Its still about the same, $200. And we will keep the same snakes, which are still the same price. We need three of them. $200 each.
Running total now is $5017. Before it was $5412. The only real price difference was the DigiMax D8s and the Shure Mics. We still need to add in drum set mics which haven’t changed in price ($400), and two Rode NT4s, one for the drum overhead and one for acoustic piano. They haven’t changed in price. $530 each. And two SKB mic cases, which haven’t changed in price either. $150 each. And you need a vocalist mic, a Shure 58, which is $99, was $109.
Final total…..$6876. A year and a half ago, it was $7277. The single biggest cost are the microphones. I went the Shure 57 route due to cost and their reliability, but there are alternatives out there that are cheaper. And there are alternatives that are more expensive. If money was NO OPTION, I would probably replace the 13 mics used for the horns with Sennheiser 421s. However, at $299 not including stand and cable, replacing the Shure 57s with these would about $3887 and that is NOT including cables and stands. However, the microphones are really THE thing to spend money on.
So, it is slightly cheaper to get the gear. This is for all new stuff too. If you are internet savvy, you could probably score most all of the gear off Ebay or Craigslist or you could get the scratch and dent deals or open boxed ones. This could lower the costs by hundreds of dollars.
So, I’ve been working on this CD for a big band I play in. I have no idea how much it cost to get the person to record it, multitrack, and a couple of sessions. I’m thinking at least $6,000….if not more. So, say you have ProTools (or something similar) that can handle 30 tracks of audio. How much would it cost to get the equipment to do it yourself…..let’s figure it out……
Continue reading So You Wanna Record A Big Band…..
AKG has a new mic out, the AKG C214. From the press release:
Based on one of the most successful studio mics released by AKG, the C 414 model, and using all the feedback that during 30 years they have received from its users (maybe they could release a new version earlier, but…), AKG has released the C 214 Condenser Recording Mic, that includes some of the features of the models which is based on and some improvements that does not make it a expensive mic affordable only for big studios.
The AKG C 214 Recording Mic is a single capsule model that features cardioid polar pattern, 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response, from 12 to 52V phantom power, 1” edge-terminated large diaphragm, ultra low noise circuit (that includes a suspension to reduce the mechanical noise), rugged double mesh grill (to protect it from high radio-frequency signals), switchable bass cut filter, switchable pre-attenuation pad (up to -20 dB) and 3-pin XLR output.
This mic is specially good for vocals and miking instruments or amps, both in stage and studio, and comes with a shock mount and a carrying case. The AKG C 214 Recording Mic will be available after the AES show and its price will be $600.
I have two C414s (a ULS and an EB…..don’t ask why I need two, I just DO….or think I do). Honestly, I can’t think of the last time when I put them OUT of cardioid pattern.
Belkin has a product coming out that looks rather good. Belkin Podcast Studio.
Belkin Podcast Studio is an advanced attachment for your iPod to add high quality recording capabilities. Dual XLR and 1/4-inch channels offer a solid range of recording options. A built-in mic and speaker are powered by their own battery, saving your iPod juice better used for listening to your genius later.
Engadget has some more pictures of it.
Seems no one knows if it has phantom power or not (probably not), and it seems to be 16 bit. Though, if you hook up a iPod Nano to it, and have 4+ gigs of free space, that would easily give you 6 hours of 16bit 44.1Khz recording.
Two potential problems. First, battery life. If it is iPod battery powered, who knows how long it will last. Plus, if it has phantom power on the XLR plugs, that would probably kill the iPod’s battery in no time. Recording on my Marantz flash recorder using phantom power pretty much kills 8 AA batteries if I record 3 hours of stuff.
Second problem, Windows formatted iPods. You can’t get, as far as I know, over 2 gigabyte files on a FAT formatted drive. I tried copying Pirates Of The Caribbean on an FAT (PC) formatted iPod that was 2.6 gigabytes in size. The iPod did not like that. Mac formatted ones didn’t complain.
So, it’s an interesting idea, especially since most everyone already has an iPod, but until we see it actually come out (June?), we can only guess.
I mentioned before that I get this email letter thing from Shure every now and then. Well, the latest issue is out, and it gives some stereo micing techniques tips.
There is also an archive of all the previous ones. Great, free information.
In the July 2007 issue of Mix Magazine, there was a little article about the recording session for Michael’s last album. Some more insight into this album, Michael, and how they recorded it. Two microphones on Michael (U67 (vintage mic) and a Coles 4038 (ribbon mic))
Pimsoul writes “I play in a band, on alto sax. The think is, because the drums are loud the bass and guitar is loud, so i have to play loud too. But I can’t always keep up with loudness, so we thought about amplifieing my sax. Because it isn’t good for a normal guitar amplifier to use it for saxophone i’m looking for an alternative. I thinking about an amplifier for sax, but do they even exist? So yes, are these things expensive (when you compare it with the quality)? If they don’t exist, what are the other alternatives?
I would appreciate replies very much, thank you!
Kind regards, Pim
(excuse me for my bad English)”
There is not a “sax amplifier” per say. What you can use is pretty much any type of amp you want. Or a self powered speaker. Keyboard amps work great, something like Rolands KC350. Really depends on how much money you want to spend. And you would need a microphone as well, something like a Sennheiser 421.
But you might consider asking the other guys to play down at 11 rather than 13. If you can’t hear yourself play in a band, you have to wonder what the long term effects on your hearing (not to mention sanity). Is it worth losing your hearing to play really, really, really loud?
mipa Musikmesse International Press Award 2005 posted its winners. Some of the highlights:
- Best Innovative Product – Apple GarageBand
- Best E-Drums – Roland TD-12 V-Drums
- Sound Libraries – Apple Jam Pack (though I’ve heard Garritan Personal Orchestra, and it’s amazing)
- Mixing Desk (Project Studio) – Yamaha DM-2000 (beat the Mackie Onyx 1640…interesting, though the Yamaha’s list price is $20K compared to about $1800 for the Onyx 1640)
- Studio Microphone – AKG-C414 B-XLII
- Recording Software – Cakewalk Sonar 4 (beating out Logic 7 and Ableton Live 4)
- Recording I/O Devices – MOTU 828 MkII
- Recording Hardware – Digidesign Protools HD (no surprise)