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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please!
      #203372 - 29/10/05 08:46 PM
Elsewhere in the guitar forum, Mac the Max (or is that Max the Mac?) wrote

Quote:


I've got to say, that talking to some of the designers and engineers, it's a bit of a revelation....
many of them are really quite unhappy about the need to do things in a given manner in order to compete almost solely on price rather than actual performance....or life span. equipment more and more often has to be just thrown away and replaced instead of repaired when it fails ..... because the cost cutting designs made them economically unserviceable.... Respected, world renowned companies, known for their quality of product and of service, are literally forced to bang out cheap knock offs of their designs, build them in China, and ship em round the world back to, for example the uk, knowing that if it goes wrong within warranty, they'll merely throw it away and give you another one..... because it's not economically viable to pay a service engineer to open the box and have a look....
amongst other things... hardly sound ecological sense is it??
I'm still a consumer, just like anyone else.,... even if I make my living at it... and so I do appreciate the downwards trend in pricing over the last 20 years...
but there's a point where it should have stopped, with a view to both long term ecological sustainability, and product serviceability as well as sound quality...... and the Behringer phenomenon is at least partly responsible for us passing that point without even blinking.





and at the same time this Music Technology forum is filled day-in-day-out with the same questions like "What monitors for £200?" or "Can I get a new multitracker for under £500?" and the usual "Is the B1 for £100 as good as a Neumann U87?" and so on.

Those of you who expect something for nothing, let me point out that you are actually getting less for your money when you look at the cheapest option. It works like this:

It costs as much to deliver a Mercedes for £50,000 as it does to deliver a Fiat for £5,000. Both cars take up as much space in the showroom and both cars involve as much paperwork. All together, it comes to about £500. That means that 10% of the Fiat is paperwork and delivery, but only 1% of the Mercedes. Also Fiat cars are very heavily advertised, so it is fairly safe to say that a similar amount falls on each and every car in advertising. Now the car company and the dealer have about £1,000 extra costs for both in after sales service. Fiats are cheaply built and therefore make heavier demands on after sales service in proportion to their costs. Mercedes customers are more demanding and the costs for an individual repair are far higher, but because the car is better built, it is less likely to break during the guarantee period.

All that means that the Mercedes dealer and manufacturer have £48,000 to spend on building the car and turn a profit and the Fiat manufacturer and dealer between them have just £3,000.

The same is true for audio. It costs the same to put the electronics in a metal box, print the box, put a mains cable in with the box, put that box in a styrofoam packing with a manual and a guarantee card and put all that in a package and tape the package shut and then ship that package to the dealer, whether it is a Universal Audio compressor for £1,700 or a Behringer Tube Composer for £80.

Both are 19" silver boxes with two-tone print and both have black knobs. One is built here and therefore labour costs will be higher, but the other is built in Shanghai and the transport and capital costs will be higher. The only difference between the two is the profit per unit and the cost of the build of the assembly inside that box.

The RRP of these two items is £100 and £2,000 respectively. (I took the Thoman / Music Store-Cologne price for the first prices.)

That means that the shop pays £60 and £1,200 for these two items. If we assume that each costs about £20 to paint, box and ship, that gives Universal Audio £1,180 to build its compressor and turn a profit, but Behringer has just £40 to build its compressor and have a profit.

Because of the higher handling costs and the commercial dangers of having to bulk buy, the cheaper an item is, the higher the profit has to be for the retailer. The extreme case is nylon Jack-plugs. They cost about 10p each in boxes of 1,000 and one sells them for a Pound (or some figure like that, I could look it up, but you get the idea!)

In pro-audio, one tends to buy from a dealer that gets either a handling fee or a small commission. He cannot reckon with a 60 / 40 mark-up (net to gross) as with guitars and synths, lights and drums. These are more expensive items and prices are high enough as it is without looking for normal retail mark-ups. Economically, they behave more like cars and less like carrots! Right at the top, big mixing desks are bought from the manufacturer and are commissioned months in advance with a 10% deposit (or whatever is agreed). It is not unusual for the manufacturer to make a loss on a big mixing desk, but he needs these sales to help establish and maintain his name and marque.

I am not advocating, or even implying, that you should quit buying cheap marques and only buy Avalon and Neve designs. The law of diminishing returns means that there has to be a common-sense barrier somewhere in the price range. There is BS at the top too.

But the next time you buy something cheap, ask yourself some questions. Questions like "Is it cheap because the shop is discounting boxes to clear old stock? Or is it cheap because it is slightly soiled? Perhaps it's cheap because the manufacturer is discounting to keep the doors to the factory open. It may even be that it is cheap because the competition has been too expensive for far too long - after all, a passive DI box is just a transformer and three plugs in a case, a headphone amp is just a couple of modules, a passive speaker distribution controller is just switches and wires."

But it could be that it is cheap because there is nothing of value inside it.

--------------------
www.the-byre.com No longer Forum Member


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RegressiveRock
Just half a pint of cherryade for me


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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203375 - 29/10/05 09:03 PM
All of which I would agree with and then, every now and again, I come across a cheap, little gem.

--------------------
Google less; read more!


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ghr



Joined: 18/12/04
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203379 - 29/10/05 09:16 PM
Yeah, but then again Behringer is a God-send for people who dont want to shell out thousands just so they can make a quick demo of their band. The way I see it is that Professionals pay higher prices, and get better products, and beginners pay lower prices, and get budget quality stuff, but it will get them going.

For example, for my "home studio", I have an ST Audio 8 i/o PCI interface, and it cost me about £100 on ebay. I *could* have bought a Delta 1010, but it would have cost me more than twice the price. Yes, my ST Audio device is a little tempremental at times, but for the amount I use it, it does the job very well. The M-Audio on the other hand would be a lot more stable, therfore essential for someone who will use it day in day out.

I think people should just expect to get what they pay for and no more, exept for CME controller keyboards, because their amazing for the money

Gareth x


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RegressiveRock
Just half a pint of cherryade for me


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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: ghr]
      #203381 - 29/10/05 09:20 PM
Excepting that I have yet to come across a piece of Behringer kit that sounded anything like useful, this includes exactly 6 pieces of Behringer kit that I bought in the triumph of hope over common sense over the years and sold again pretty much immediately. Having said which, I made a profit on all of them, (with the exception of a small desk which I gave away to a friend), so someone must like 'em.

--------------------
Google less; read more!


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adrian_k



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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203383 - 29/10/05 09:36 PM
I'm sure you've seen this before but no harm giving it another outing - I think it's from a poem by John Ruskin (1819 - 1900) but can't be sure:

Quote:

It’s unwise to pay too much. But it’s worse to pay too little.

When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

The common law of business balances prohibits paying a little and getting alot. It can’t be done.

If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to add something for the risk you run.

And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.

There is hardly anything in the world that someone can’t make a little worse and sell a little cheaper — and people who consider price alone are this man’s lawful prey.




--------------------
getting better all the time..


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coool



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Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203429 - 30/10/05 05:37 AM
erm .. what rubbish, sorry .. what about the fact that if you sell a million of a unit you can do it cheaper than if you sell ten ? .. the alesis monitor ones for 100 quid are the same monitors (probably better) as the alesis monitor ones they used to sell in the 1990's for 300 quid (which were award winning monitors and were used in almost as many pro studios as the cheaper yamaha ns10's), its just that theyve sold millions of pairs in that time and they can afford to knock them out much cheaper.

what about rode mics, they came out of the blue to show you can make an exceptional mic for less than 200 quid. as you keep saying mics and monitors are 'mature technology' that means it can only get cheaper.

the only behringer kit i have at the moment is the src2496 da/ad for 80 quid it does an excellent job that other boxes do for 3 or 4 times that price at least

i dont think any pro studio would buy behringer or maybe even alesis or rode, and that is part of why the pro studio will charge so much for its time .. but this equipment is absolutely fine for people to get a quite accurate idea of what their music sounds like

i really think you are suffering from some snobbery somewhere behind your self-justification for wasting so much cash, mate sorry ...

cheers
grainger


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Ultimate Fish
posting's fun


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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #203451 - 30/10/05 09:29 AM
I'm quite sure the Max and The Byre are perfectly aware that this phenomenon isn't confined to music gear... pretty much all domestic electronics and white goods are routinely chucked rather than repaired.

I'm all for carefully designed, hand built gear but, frankly, there's precious little of it around.

Also, taking The Byre's idea a bit further.... I can't afford a merc. What's more I wouldn't expect to have a merc as my first car... Just as a U87 is hardly a beginners mic purchase.

There's always been compromise between the design and marketing, it's nothing new.


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James Lehmann



Joined: 17/05/05
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203459 - 30/10/05 09:51 AM
Ironically Mercedes quality control had a total breakdown recently and the company was obliged to recall 1.3 million cars due to faulty engineering - not just one fault either, several different ones!

But I'd still take a 2nd hand one over a new Fiat anyday!


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narcoman
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203490 - 30/10/05 10:59 AM
and the old monitor ones, as many people DO know, are significantly better than the new ones....

--------------------
Battenburg to the power of 20 - said by Richie Royale in a moment of genius. 4pm. Wed 16th Nov 2011. Remember where you were....


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lo-fi



Joined: 10/09/04
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #203510 - 30/10/05 11:42 AM
Quote grAInger:

erm .. what rubbish, sorry .. what about the fact that if you sell a million of a unit you can do it cheaper than if you sell ten ?




Exactly. Economically, Behringer can do many things FAR more efficiently than LA Audio or Thermionic Culture. They buy parts in bulk, transport in bulk, and manufacture in bulk using cheap labour and automated processes.

Not to mention the fact that a large portion of the cost of equipment is R&D, not parts or manufacturing. Behringer can spread these costs over many thousands of units, smaller companies can not. Furthermore, Behringer R&D costs are far FAR smaller to begin with, because they just copy someone else's design! (They do have to pay lots of lawyer bills though...)

I know people who have made part-for-part clones of SSL compressors for a FRACTION of the cost. Try that with a Behringer and you'd be paying more for parts than the whole thing costs in the shops.

But who's comparing Behringer to LA Audio etc anyway? It's not like people are sitting in their studios going: "hmm Behringer Composer or Thermionic Culture Phoenix... Which would be the more economic compressor to buy?".


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mikeynyuk



Joined: 12/06/05
Posts: 155
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203518 - 30/10/05 11:55 AM
Hey,
At the end of the day, if the singers Crap and song is crap...its gonna be crap. I met an amzing singer once and we recorded a wicked sounding demo on my Fantom an emu 04 04 and a battered sm58. Ive moved up a bit now, but I've had some singers come into my studio who simply make it impossible to get the results that we got on that little demo......I just did what you told me, pushed a little 12k......swept out a bit of "honk"...sounds sweet. though my Rodek2 rules!!! I love it!

--------------------
Sorry, never could do joined'e'uppy writing...
[url=http://www.mcorbitmusic.com]


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Steve Hill
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203538 - 30/10/05 12:23 PM
It's like never ordering the cheapest wine on a restarant wine list (after costs, tax, storage, serving-staff costs etc that £10 bottle means you get about 25 pence worth of wine. Buy a £12 bottle and you get £2.25 worth of wine, i.e. something nine times "better").

The real issue is service. I have a couple of Samson Q5 headphone amps. Not exactly high end stuff, but serviceable, and £100+ for a headphone amp is not exactly a junkshop price either. One needs a new power supply. I can't get one. The thing was discontinued all of a year ago (approx) and everybody just shrugs in a "what do you expect" kind of way.

Sound Technology are trying, but I am not hopeful. I know I can cobble together an alternative 16v AC supply, despite Samson's dire warnings of the consequences of using anythnig but their own product, but that's hardly the point, is it? I can't really imagine getting this kind of response from Neve or Neumann or indeed a lot of people in the middle ground like say TLA or Dbx etc.

My personal guideline these days is to treat any "budget" gear as throwaway items, because if it goes wrong you are almost certainly out on a limb.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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KidCracken



Joined: 20/08/05
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203581 - 30/10/05 02:26 PM
Whats better? to sit and sing/play by yourself or to record your own stuff and listen to it and hear where you could do better?

sometimes this subject is treated like its only a case of making radio-ready music..
how big a part of musicians actually make a living off it you think?? 0.005% maybe? and maybe 10% of these have their own pro studio, the rest goes to a commerial studio.. assuming my numbers is right, the "pro-quality is the ONLY way" approach would only apply to 0.0005% of all musicians, right?

plus, i dont know about audio gear, but in a tv-store (here in denmark) it cost £50 just for the store to look at your broken equipment.. then the cost of repairing and spare parts is added.. this easily totals at least £100.. if we just assumes the numbers is similar in an audio-store and a cheap mic costs £50 then whats the point of repairing it??

Edited by KidCracken (30/10/05 02:28 PM)


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #203616 - 30/10/05 03:37 PM
Quote grAInger:

...what about rode mics, they came out of the blue to show you can make an exceptional mic for less than 200 quid. as you keep saying mics and monitors are 'mature technology' that means it can only get cheaper.




NO - mature technology means that it does not get cheaper, it can only get more expensive.

If the technology is mature it means that most of the developments have taken place, all the ways to manufacture more efficiently have been done. You can't make it cheaper and the price will therefore go up with inflation. An MKH 40 that cost just under £400 when it was introduced in 1985 now costs over £1,000 - that's mature technology - and if you bought one in £1985 for £395 it has cost you £19.75 a year and much cheaper than a cheap Chinese mic. you throw away when it goes wrong after a year and have to buy a new one!

And Røde, no, they are not exceptional; just good value for money at a reasonable price. You get what you pay for. You can't compare a Røde NT5 with a Neumann TLM 184, for example. You get what you pay for.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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coool



Joined: 16/09/04
Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: John Willett]
      #203631 - 30/10/05 04:58 PM
sorry john but i think thats wrong, Rode make exceptional mics for less than 200 quid which you CAN obviously compare to a neuman and maybe the neuman is a touch better for certain things (though i bet the neuman is noisier) and its up to the individual to decide if that touch better is worth a grand or not.

ive also got joe meek 3q pre amps .. ive seen them compared favourably to machines costing 10 times as much, mebbe someone should tell the reviewers they CANT do that

and as for 'mature technology' of course it will get cheaper, by volume of production.

what complete snobbery

grainger


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Ian Hamilton
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #203640 - 30/10/05 05:27 PM
If an item, has matured like john says, and costs X amount, not matter how many they make it will still cost that same X and will increase with inflation, as John said.. it might become cheaper for a while if they flood the market (make smaller profit on many), but there's only so far that can go with 'Mature technology' because there will be that point where they either raise the price or make a loss!!

I wouldn't say John was being snobbish in anyway! Think he had a fair point!


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coool



Joined: 16/09/04
Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Ian Hamilton]
      #203652 - 30/10/05 05:58 PM
hi, sorry, but nothing works like that, if you sell more you can do it cheaper and cheaper. i bet they sell a hell of a lot more pre amps, mics, compressors etc etc than they did 20 years ago. so its only right that companies like rode and joe meek find they can do it much cheaper than the established names who are clinging onto their profits

the snobbery was in the last sentence. of course rode make exceptional mics, compare them to whatever you like and they sound good. to ignore that is blind snobbery in my book, sorry

cheers
grainger


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Dishpan



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 813
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Ian Hamilton]
      #203655 - 30/10/05 06:05 PM
> If an item, has matured like john says, and costs X amount, not matter how many they make it will still cost that same X and will increase with inflation

I don't agree. That's assuming a manufacturer adds X% profit to each product they make, and continue doing this for the life of the product. This clearly isn't the case for a number of items, many of which despite being out for years still have price cuts.

Then of course their's outsourcing overseas to cut prices, something many manufacturers have done with existing mature products, which have had subsequent reductions in price.


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Garry S
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #203657 - 30/10/05 06:07 PM
A motor industry CEO once told me that in the £20k price difference between a £35k Porsche Boxter and a £15k Ford, about £10k is attributable to higher quality components, engineering etc., and £10k down to the greater expense of low volume production.

--------------------
Couple of our songs here http://www.mixposure.com/song.php?songid=9706


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Wease



Joined: 17/07/03
Posts: 2238
Loc: Sunny Walsall
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203659 - 30/10/05 06:12 PM
I know for a fact that some of the cheaper behringer products were used in the recording and mixing of certain commercially successful albums cause I was making the tea in the studio whilst it was being done. There was also an SSL desk in the mix as well....

The Byre's point seems to be that most things of a lower cost are going to be detrimental tot he recording process...and he's probably right - but there are more important factors that contribute more to the recording than just the gear....performance/attitude/knowledge/band dynamics etc etc - Sure - you would get a "technically" better recording at the Byres than at my studio ( by a factor of about 100) but mines cheaper and allows my fellow band musicians and I to record what we create.....we'd then use someone like the byres facilities to technically better our recordings - but we'd have done most of the groundwork in the rehersal room/on the behringer dx3216/in the local pub before committing to a pricey but worthwhile recording.

The behringer phenominon has opened recording to those musicians who would have still been playing live...but now can use the internet and the £1000 studio to get their music out there....cause the A&R men/5 major lables/commecial studios sure aint interested. - Behringer may have been partial;y responsible in creating a "falsehood" that every bedroom recordist can make a pro recording - but they've also re-created the "indy" vibe that takes music back from being a capitalist commodity to returning to its roots......


.....I know what I prefer......you can now go and see bands playing live every day of the week in birmingham now....and the standard of local acts has risen, cause the listener won't accept bad sound like he used to.....the disco's are closing down to make way for places like the acadamy...and the scene is revitalising itself. It MUST be partly due to the fact that you can mike up your band for less than a decent laptop....and sell a cd for £1 and still make your m
oney back....that the parents of 14-16 yr olds will pay for recording equipment cause its in the same league as an xbox 360 and gets those kids out-there making music.

...it's how i started - with a £250 drumkit....and an amega with soundtracker....and although I am one of the 99.9% of musicians who don't make a complete living from music - i've had my moments and entertained some people....

so ....don't bash the behringer (oooeer) to hard....it's meant that people like ssl neve etc have had to buck their Ideas up, and created a senario where we're actually getting better music than ever - we have the BBC with 6 music promoting less than perfectly recorded music - but which shines above the likes of the x-factor in terms of entertainment....which has got to be good - right?

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/seaapes


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #203665 - 30/10/05 06:34 PM
Sorry grainger, not snobbery, but you need to listen.

With higher prices you do get the rule of diminishing returns, so twice the price does not necessarily mean twice the quality.

But I have listened to Røde mics and I appreciate their good points and have also heard their deficiencies. They are very good value for money, but you do get what you pay for.

And, personally, I do not like the Neumann as much as I do the Sennheiser. But I listen ...

But having said all this, with "pop" music, you are creating a product, rateher than capturing a performance and go for the equipment that gives you the sound you want...

Snobbery, definately and loudly NO! - but in my own recxordings I always strive for the best I can do.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #203669 - 30/10/05 06:41 PM
Quote grAInger:

... if you sell more you can do it cheaper and cheaper.




No - only to a certain extent. Push too far and quality drops.

Røde acheive it by using cheap labour - Sennheiser evolution acheive it by automation.

But the best mics by all the major manufacturers are crafted products and you can only go so far before quality drops.

I spend a lot of money on top quality mics because they give the results, are consistant, and last. In fact, they woork out cheaper. I still have my old Beyer M67s which I bought back in about 1970.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203676 - 30/10/05 07:02 PM
Hmmm . . . Don't I remember a 'debate' involving the figure of £5.36?

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


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Dishpan



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 813
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #203678 - 30/10/05 07:07 PM
lol


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coool



Joined: 16/09/04
Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: John Willett]
      #203682 - 30/10/05 07:11 PM
john, look, in 20 or 30 years the technology of making gold sputtered diaghragms (and all the other components of a condenser mic) has advanced massively, so the price has dropped, nothing has been lost. why SHOULD a mic still cost the same ? nothing else does so why mics ? do you honestly believe any industrial manufacturer doesnt use the cheapest labour that it can ? just for old times sake or what ?

the old adage doesnt always hold true, you do NOT always get what you pay for, sometimes youre just paying for a name

ps im only reacting to the byres original inflammatory post, what is this forum for if not for learners to ask the questions they need answering ? it gets on me tits when a newbie gets jumped on for asking the monitor question again ? if you dont want to read them or answer them then dont ... the situation is changing constantly and each new poster has a set of precise needs including budget.

pps of course i agree with your last point, but the 'best' is for the high end users who can make money out of their purchases. the technology then trickles down to the rest of us.

ppps ive NEVER heard my rode nt1000 crackle with humidity, are you really, saying rode mics are more prone to this than ANY other mic ? come on ...

cheers
grainger


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Scottdru
Cool Dude


Joined: 17/12/02
Posts: 4392
Loc: NYC: isle off the coast of Eur...
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: John Willett]
      #203693 - 30/10/05 07:33 PM
Quote John Willett:


Røde acheive it by using cheap labour - Sennheiser evolution acheive it by automation.




Actually, John, if the information contained in Paul White's SOS article on the Røde manufacturing process is truthful (and I can only assume it is), Røde are INDEED now accomplishing the cost savings by using automation rather than cheap Chinese labour, so perhaps your statement is not really fair or unbiased in this case? (Unless you know something I don't, which of course is entirely possible.)

--------------------
Scott
--Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?


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Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


Joined: 22/07/03
Posts: 9315
never in all the fields of Human endeavour new [Re: The Byre]
      #203694 - 30/10/05 07:34 PM
have so many missed the point by so far.....

not to mention displayed such a devout ignorance of economics and business practices.


Let me start by saying I labelled a market sector trend "The Behringer phenomenon" I did not actually cite use of their equipment so directly...

And in fact the actual sonic quality was not the whole core of my initial comment, which Byre reproduced and perhaps only slightly misrepresented. BUT it was relevant to the discussion of the moment in the thread I posted it in, which explains the perhaps slightly inaccurate interpretation.

Equipment from ANY manufacturer which by it's very design and market placement, is defined as utterly uneconomic to service or repair, simply SHOULD NOT EXIST. In the short term it is pandering to the greed and the materials acquisition instinct of the public, who always want a free lunch, or at ;least the illusion of something close to it....

in the long term it is economically and ecologically unsustainable.,..

it's largely fair to say that it does exist in our industry , because of Uli Behringer and his Company's approach to business.

The happenstance that The Behringer gear IS largely fairly poor in many ways is irrelevant to my point...

So Whilst Byre's point is a fair one, it's also missing my point.

Those who doubt the validity of either , or the truth that the Behringer effect exists, should read back in SOS about say 10 years or so....


Compare the prices of equipment then to now, and adjust for inflation and currency valuation....

then look at the quality

to take examples of which i have direct personal knowledge....


Focusrite.,

The Platinum Range.

is their Acknowledged "budget" range, and is credited with having kept them in business... and that it's inception was as a response, directly, to the Existence of Behringer's ranges and their constant downwards pressure on market sector pricing.

Previously the Green range was their "budget range" and the two don't really compare..... in terms of performance OR cost.

The margins are small enough to keep the MD in the position of being tight with every penny , Their service dept doesn't even have a suitable test chamber or equipment to allow proper fault tracing and comparative analysis of Mic pre's for example........ the investment levels required are considered to be unwarranted , given that the huge majority of returned equipment is platinum

TLA

Look back about 10 years to the Indigo and Crimson Ranges, and their list prices (before the then Music village ,now Digital Village, stock clearanced the entire range just prior to the Ivory's announcement.... ) were in the £7-800 + range, NOT the £3-400 range the Ivory series inhabits...

why the change?? (to what many feel is an inferior product i might add (thus the revival of a product in the market position of the indigo series with the "classic" series... )

again, it's the downwards pressure induced by the Discount culture in certain retail sectors, and competition from inferior product on price NOT performance.... combined with the native greed of the average consumer.


look at it like this

you have a choice.
you can buy 2 channels of quality valve compressor for £750 ish...

or 20 Channels of Behringer composer for the same money.

the review of the composer said "it's really very good for the money"

comparing it to the next price bracket up, or maybe the one above that....

and the Review of the Tube device in question also said "it's really very good for the money. "
likewise comparatively assessed against the next higher price bracket type of equipment.... as well as on it's own merits.

which one does Joe bloggs go an buy??

largely the deComposer.... it's sadly Human nature

then buys several other toys as well..


ultimately though he'd probably make better sounding recordings with fewer toys, but of better quality, AND if or When they break down, then there's a reasonable chance of actually having it repaired.... and continuing to get use out of it for many many years. rather than throwing it away and buying a new one.....




It's common human nature to want a free lunch, and in effect that's what Behringer have been marketing.


and why they have such significant sales figures, however, i would add that they haven't been achieved solely by way of creation of new sales, but more by way of stealing sales from other market sectors.... like the more expensive ones....

In the past musicians have still bought Compressors, and EQ, and Reverb and so on, but they've saved longer and harder to do it... and used studio facilities when they couldn't do so any other way....


So now more music gets made..., well probably not as such, we were makiug it before we had access to recording gear as such but certainly More gets recorded for posterity..... which has it's plus sides....



but it has some down sides as well


The White Stripes.

I rest my Case


it's Not NECESSARILY the Equipment I have issue with in terms of the "Behringer bashing" although I do object to many of their rack units... coz their PSU's buzz annoyingly...


SOME of it actually does a creditable job regardless of cost.

But the Ethics, economics and i suppose, the long term ecological implications , now that's entirely another matter.,




Max

--------------------
if you don't know who i am, i aint gonna tell you.


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Doublehelix



Joined: 04/12/02
Posts: 4162
Loc: USA
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203704 - 30/10/05 08:06 PM
Call it "snobbery", call it what you want, but there is a considerable quality difference between a pair of NT5s and a pair of KM184s. The KM184 sound so much better than the NT5s, it is not even close.

I have both pairs of mics, and have compared them directly many times. A lot of the folks (not all) that think that the NT5s sound as good, have never really heard the KM184s, and really don't know the difference.

It is pretty easy to think something sounds great and "just as good as the big guys" until you actually hear the big guys...then you know what everyone is talking about.

Are the ROde's rubbish? Of course not. They are good value for the money as has been mentioned.

Are they disposable? In my opinion, yes. If they go down, they go in the dust bin.

I am sure I am going to get flammed for the next bit, but I am just trying to stimulate conversation here, so be easy on me!

I understand all the posts claiming that Behringer-like gear has helped "starving" musicians and engineers get their start. This is true...but you could also argue that maybe that is not a good thing in all cases!!!

It has certainly led to a lot of folks with the freedom to do their own thing in their own place, but it has also led (in my opinion) to a lot of people making recordings that don't know what they are doing, and in a lot of cases, it sounds like it!

You could take this a step further and claim that it has hurt the industry overall by taking business away from the project studios, and then from the bigger studios, and the industry is currently in a shambles overall.

Rather than paying our dues, and learning the trade, we can set up shop in our bedrooms with a cheap Behringer mixer, a $75 sound card, a $100 Chinese condenser, a $100 DAW, and $200 monitors.

So for less than $500, you have a "studio-in-a-box". That is all great, but unfortunately, the results can be pretty sad without any knowledge of what is going on. What is really sad, is that a lot of folks think that this sounds great, but a lot of that might be due to not knowing the difference.

Of course, the argument here is that "you have to learn it somehow...". I understand that, but the advent of cheap and cheerful home recording gear has spawned an entire generation of home recordists that think that their bedroom recordings sound "good enough".

It gives freedom at the same time that it hurts those professionals that have made this their career, and the quality manufacturers that just can't compete with the Behringers of the world in a market that can't tell the difference.

Just look at the MP3 explosion. It is amazing how many folks can't hear the difference between an MP3 and an audio CD recording.

We have created a generation of "good enough"...in more ways than one.

Flame suit on...

--------------------
James
"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake" ~Napoleon Bonaparte~


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
Posts: 12347
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #203713 - 30/10/05 08:17 PM
Quote grAInger:

are you really, saying rode mics are more prone to this than ANY other mic ? come on ...




No, I did not say this at all, don't put words into my mouth.

I am not saying Røde are bad, in fact the opposite. But it was your use of "exellent" that got my goat, rather than the correct term of "very good value for money" - which they are.

But top quality does cost money and you get what you pay for. The top manufacturers products cost what they do because of the design and engineering involved - you are not "paying for a name" because the price is artificially hiked (which is what you are implying), but for the engineering and manufacturing costs involved. If a major manufacturer could drop the price and maintain quality he would - I know.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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ghr



Joined: 18/12/04
Posts: 272
Loc: Cardiff, Wales, UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203717 - 30/10/05 08:27 PM
But if there wasn't any cheaper gear, how would people get a start in the industry? Im in the market for some half decent monitors - maybe the new Yamaha's, or some Events. There is no way i could afford a full blown set of Genelecs (though as it happens I might have to consider the 8020's, because i dont have that much space). Another something Im looking for is some more pre-amps. Now, I could go and buy a TL Audio valve one, for say £500 odd, or i could get a Behringer, or SM Pro Audio one, for under £200. No, i wouldnt get the best of quality, but I simply couldnt warrant the expense of Pro gear.

On a side note, while browsing through the DIY forum I found some nice DIY mic-pre's, based on designs like Neve and the like. If people put together some nice, fairly good quality kits for a reasonable price, that would allow us bedroom studio owners to get a nice unit, while actually learning how they work, and would reduce the competiton in the pro market, as the pro stuff would be for people who just needed a unit there and then. ucapps.de also has some amazing DIY midi controller projects, and is a great way of learning about midi and such, and comming out with a control surface/synth/sequencer at the end of it! Go DIY!



(Reading back on that it might not make much sense - i ramble a lot sometimes, but yeah, i cant afford pro stuff )


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coool



Joined: 16/09/04
Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203723 - 30/10/05 08:39 PM
john, im not putting worms in yr mouth, i was in fact asking you WHAT you were saying, grow up ... the term i used was 'exceptional' and i still stand by that, why mention the rode mic buzzing with humidity then, what does that have to do with anything if its something that all mics are prone to ?

max ... oddly i agree 100 percent with your central point - gear should not be made which is uneconomical to repair, blimey that IS a long way from this thread intit ?

groove tubes r a bit dearer than rode arent they ? i bet they dont have 6db self noise either ... ive heard the pre alesis gt mics which admittedly, are bloody good, bloody noisy and bloody expensive

and im sorry double helix, anyone who seems to be saying its better for people to pay someone to make them sound more like other people wont get my vote either, sorry.

cheers
grainger


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jonny stringbender



Joined: 16/08/05
Posts: 202
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Doublehelix]
      #203725 - 30/10/05 08:44 PM
there was a time when i had a strat copy and a fostex x-15 4-track, and i thought to myself - when i write a really good song, i'll save up and go to a studio.

Then i had an alesis mmt-8, a u110, a telecaster and a fostex x-15, and i thought to myself - when i write a really good song, i'll save up and go to a studio.

Then i had a kawai Q80, a u110, a telecaster and a bass, a zoom multi-effects box and a fostex model-80 8-track, and i thought to myself - when i write a really good song, i'll save up and go to a studio.

Now I have an oldish mac running logic, a few keyboards, some guitars, some ok budget mics and a few better-end-of-budget pre amps, and i still think to myself - when i write a really good song, i'll save up and go to a studio; even though it would be a 'vanity' recording- I'm well past kidding myself that there's a spot on TOTP with my name on it.

But the sad fact is, I'm really happy writing and recording my own music, and the pleasure i get from it justifies the expense for me, but i'm also not kidding myself that my songs are as good as and of my heroes, and i'm not kidding myself that the quality is as good as a professional studio.

Having said all of that, however, looking through the flyers and websites for local studios, quite a few (budget but) commercial studios have gear not much above what i'd consider 'project', but must be attracting enough business to make it worth while.

Circular and personal post, but i wanted to say it anyway- I suppose that's why I write songs in the first place. At least it's not all about a girl from yorkshire who broke my heart by not sleeping with me in 1988.

jon


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Steve Hill
member


Joined: 07/01/03
Posts: 13141
Loc: Oxfordshire
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #203731 - 30/10/05 08:56 PM
Quote grAInger:

the snobbery was in the last sentence. of course rode make exceptional mics, compare them to whatever you like and they sound good. to ignore that is blind snobbery in my book, sorry





That is such total bollocks it almost does not merit a considered response.

Rode mics are "good". That's it. To call them exceptional is ridiculous. That's putting them in the same league as a valve Neumann M49 (£6 - 7k if you can find one) or say a Brauner VM1 or a Soundfield (both well north of £5k). This is not a "snobbish" statement - I wish I could afford any of these! - just a factual assertion that you get what you pay for.

And yes, I'll put my U87s up against any Rode product any day of the week. It's no contest and you are living in cloud cuckoo land if you believe otherwise.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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Doublehelix



Joined: 04/12/02
Posts: 4162
Loc: USA
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #203733 - 30/10/05 08:57 PM
Quote grAInger:

john, im not putting worms in yr mouth, i was in fact asking you WHAT you were saying, grow up ... the term i used was 'exceptional' and i still stand by that, why mention the rode mic buzzing with humidity then, what does that have to do with anything if its something that all mics are prone to ?





What John said was:

"Røde are excellent value for money, but I have heard a Røde mic. crackling away due to moisture in the air under normal acoustic conditions and goes very crackly if the humidity rises (as lots of other AF condensers do, of course, nothing against Røde per se)."

He was talking about ALL AF condensers, which are a cheaper condenser design with a pre-charged capsule. He used Rode as an example since it was being discussed.


Quote:

and im sorry double helix, anyone who seems to be saying its better for people to pay someone to make them sound more like other people wont get my vote either, sorry.





I definitely agree with you here grainger. Getting a (good) unique sound is a great thing, and going to an established studio doing work-a-day recording can provide that.

But that is a bit simplified to make a point, isn't it? Most of what is unique about music is about the composition of the song and choice of instruments, not the recording technique.

But as I said, your point is well-taken. A good home recording is truly a thing of beauty, no doubt about that. My problem is finding a lot of them...most of the ones I hear nowadays are "less than steller" made by folks that think they sound good (and I am not talking about compositional quality here!).

--------------------
James
"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake" ~Napoleon Bonaparte~


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KidCracken



Joined: 20/08/05
Posts: 65
Loc: Nykøbing F - DK
Re: never in all the fields of Human endeavour new [Re: Studio Support Gnome]
      #203744 - 30/10/05 09:17 PM
Quote Max The Mac:


Equipment from ANY manufacturer which by it's very design and market placement, is defined as utterly uneconomic to service or repair, simply SHOULD NOT EXIST. In the short term it is pandering to the greed and the materials acquisition instinct of the public, who always want a free lunch, or at ;least the illusion of something close to it....





so if big automated factories makes it possible to make a £20 mp3player and still make a living from it, they just shouldn't or what?? its obvious that making 1000000 copies a time makes the unit cheaper.. but noone's got a factory that can repair a million units a time so that price stays the same, right?

plus i dont know what some of you guys here assume, but most people who posts here to get some cheap equipment do know the more expencive stuff is better!
most even write something like they need equipment to get them started...

i really dont understand the problem here? no one in their right mind would spend £200 on a ball and shoes just to check out if that soccer thing is any fun.. but everybody know a leather ball from a sports store is better than a plastic ball from the toy store! its obvious!!

and this goes to everything a man can buy.. we know the cheapest aint the best, but this doesnt mean we got unlimited cash to spend on everything we like.. but we still wanna do what we wanna do with the recources we got..
we all want a mercedes, but most people just need to get from point A to point B (and back) every day..

and we also all know that a lot of brands is just that.. brands.. a lot of crappy companies advertise so much they have to double the price to make a living from it..

and its not that i wouldnt like having a £1500 pre-amp, but if i were to spend that kind of money on anything, i'd like to be really really shure that i really needed it and could use it for the next 20 years.. and cheap gear is an exelent way to figure out where to go later... plus chances are that if your a musician and gets so good that you need "super equipment", its probably easier to get a record deal and have them pay your studiotime...

and in the end, why do you care?? let the masses buy cheap crap.. it'll just make your own music sound even better (compared to theirs)

and its not the audiocompanies fault.. its the cd-burner..

the vikings played soccer with a pigs bladder, but they still thought it was fun...


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coool



Joined: 16/09/04
Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203749 - 30/10/05 09:22 PM
cheers DH .. thanks for explaining what john was saying without being offensive, i know im out of my depth here but whats an AF condenser ?

but no one ever said anything about recording as 'good' as a studio in yr bedroom, god ive been down these threads before. we are talking about home recordists who ask for advice on this forum about cheap gear, remember ...

the byre's got a lot to answer for here ... you naughty man ..

steve, u can toss yrself off as much as you like, this is from the guy who thinks the beatles sounded good, they were boring old gits who just copied everyone else, badly. just like you, your post is so predictable i think anyone else could have come up with it .. neumann stink, they cost too much. who do you think you are with the only definitions, i have already said rode ARE exceptional because of the price, the sound and the low self noise ... i think thats enough

good night
grainger


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KidCracken



Joined: 20/08/05
Posts: 65
Loc: Nykøbing F - DK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Doublehelix]
      #203759 - 30/10/05 09:40 PM
Quote Doublehelix:


Just look at the MP3 explosion. It is amazing how many folks can't hear the difference between an MP3 and an audio CD recording.

We have created a generation of "good enough"...in more ways than one.




a lot of people's ears just dont care... the pop consumers.. most normal people just turn on the radio or mtv and listen to whatever's on.. they dont know shite about the "sound", the just like that song with that "da du du dum in the da da da love you something something" part..

its a common "elitist" mistake to either think that everybody else used to be wise, but pop culture (or whatever appliable) made em forget.. or to think that theyre god on their subject and everybody else is stupid..

me.. im god..


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Steve Hill
member


Joined: 07/01/03
Posts: 13141
Loc: Oxfordshire
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #203761 - 30/10/05 09:42 PM
Quote grAInger:

steve, u can toss yrself off as much as you like, this is from the guy who thinks the beatles sounded good, they were boring old gits who just copied everyone else, badly. just like you, your post is so predictable i think anyone else could have come up with it .. neumann stink, they cost too much. who do you think you are with the only definitions, i have already said rode ARE exceptional because of the price, the sound and the low self noise ... i think thats enough




I think it's more than enough too (from you), but would point out that two of the three mics I cited are not Neumann, which kind of puts your compendious knowledge of the topic in some kind of perspective for the benefit of other readers does it not?

I don't recall this thread being about the Beatles or my (presumed) opinion of them before now. Your own considered (?) opinion however speaks volumes and needs no further comment.

You want to keep digging, you're doing just fine...

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203766 - 30/10/05 09:53 PM
If memory serves me correctly (which it does with infalable accuracy). Did not the Beatles record a composition "Ticket to ride" in the mid twentieth century. And would not the "she" refered to in this composition have "rode" using her ticket.

Further proof of the incredible foresight of these composers. Clearly yet another hidden reference. This time to the future of mass microphone manufacture. Fascinating.

--------------------
Yeah!


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RegressiveRock
Just half a pint of cherryade for me


Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 5623
Loc: Buntingford, Herts
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #203788 - 30/10/05 10:40 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

Quote grAInger:

steve, u can toss yrself off as much as you like, this is from the guy who thinks the beatles sounded good, they were boring old gits who just copied everyone else, badly. just like you, your post is so predictable i think anyone else could have come up with it .. neumann stink, they cost too much. who do you think you are with the only definitions, i have already said rode ARE exceptional because of the price, the sound and the low self noise ... i think thats enough




I think it's more than enough too (from you), but would point out that two of the three mics I cited are not Neumann, which kind of puts your compendious knowledge of the topic in some kind of perspective for the benefit of other readers does it not?

I don't recall this thread being about the Beatles or my (presumed) opinion of them before now. Your own considered (?) opinion however speaks volumes and needs no further comment.

You want to keep digging, you're doing just fine...




Hey guys! should we just put you in a small room with a big, dirty stick???

Now, I like Rode mikes to the point where I have written an extensive review of one of their models on this site. I think describing these mikes as exceptional value for money might be the fairest thing. There are, on the other hand, much better mikes which are typically considerably more expensive.

If somebody told me I HAD to record something with a Rode mike, would I break out in a panicky sweat...? Of course not. If I saw an NT5 on a tray with KM(1)84's or M300's, or if I was lucky C42s would I be reaching for it first...? No I wouldn't.

--------------------
Google less; read more!


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