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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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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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Loc: North Pembrokeshire
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: 9349
Loc: UK *but works all over the pl...
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

--------------------
Don't get the hump when i tell you it's going to be expensive, it's not my fault , you picked the site/building/room â


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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: 12390
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: 5649
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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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203825 - 31/10/05 01:14 AM
I understand and sympathise deeply with the perception that the 'pros' get all sniffy and snobbish when a Newbie asks what monitor he should buy for £200 a pair, or if a Behringer channel strip or mic for £60 is better or worse than some other similarly priced items. The reason is not (just?) that we are a bunch of arseholes who just want to indulge in some kind of testosterone-driven pissing contest, but because most of us have made the mistake of buying that kind of gear at one time or another. Even an amateur with no higher aspirations to musical greatness ends up having to replace that kind of stuff fairly soon - usually because it fails completely.

There would appear to be a fundamental misunderstanding about how all electronic equipment is made. Unless you are talking about small items with just a handful of components being built in very small numbers, all production is automated.

That's right, even big mixing desks from SSL and AMS-Neve.

If you place an order with SSL for a K-Series 60-frame, that does not mean that droves of men with tweed jackets with leather elbows bought at Dunn & Co, all don white smocks, strap on bi-focals and fire up the old soldering irons. All production today is performed by pick-and-place machines. The same type of machine that puts the parts into your high-end mixing desk can also be seen placing the parts into (or rather on) a Behringer Eurodesk in Shanghai.

The difference in manufacturing costs is largely the cost of the components. In modern manufacturing, labour is not a significant cost. Typically, a 19" rack unit takes between 10 mins and one hour of labour to build, depending on a whole host of variables like complexity, design and how difficult and thorough the QC has to be. QC for modern digital equipment is also mostly automated. That means that a labour intensive item built in high-wage Germany could have as much as £20 labour costs per piece, whereas an item built in Indonesia could have labour costs as low as 10 Cents.

So why does an item built in Indonesia cost far less in Germany than a similar item built in Germany? Common sense tells us that a microphone that takes an hour to assemble in Indonesia (wage cost per piece $1) should be far more expensive than the same type of microphone assembled in Germany (wage bill per microphone £20). After all, the Indonesian microphone has to spend three months at sea in a 40-foot container, it involves more paperwork, it incurs import duty and because it takes months to reach market, ties up more capital. So despite the slight advantage in lower wage costs, the cost of moving it halfway around the World, having to have some kind of office or representation in Indonesia, financing it for that journey and paying import duty should far outweigh the £19.50p extra that the manufacturer has to pay for labour.

The truth is of course that the two items are not the same, they are not even close to being the same. To find out what the difference is, you have to take them apart and look at the components that go into them. If you try to repair something like an amp or desk from Behringer the chances are that the jack sockets will not survive removal. They are so flimsy, that you can rip them apart with your fingers. The same is true for every component inside the box. It is built to the very lowest quality standard possible.

What you have in your hands is a minimal product. A product that is built to just work and no more. Just as some channel strips are there to exploit the upper reaches of the so-called 'snob effect' (only the very best will do) there are products that seek to do the opposite. It could be a Casio home organ to give to a child because you have to give it something, but seek only to spend £100. Its' function is to work at Christmas and make some sort of noise. The child will have broken it by Boxing Day, so any expenditure on a better model would be foolish.

In a similar fashion, the complete recording studio at home is of course not a complete recording studio. It is no more a complete recording studio then a one-chip hand-held video camera and some editing software will allow you to record a game show in 'broadcast quality.'

These products are the price they are, not because they are built in a particularly economical or rational manner, but because many Far Eastern manufacturers have made cheap production their speciality. This does not mean that it cannot perform its function. I hear that the Behringer Composer thingy is good on vocals and I do use their EQs and headphone amps. But then I bough their Eurodesk for quick and easy monitoring in the room and the second time I switched it on, it went up in smoke.

And there we have the problem with the minimal product. Even if they do what it says on the can, they fail very often.

You see, the law of diminishing returns (when relating to quality) works at both ends of the quality spectrum. At the high quality end, there is only so far that you can go before the product gains little or no genuine increase in quality. Indeed, ultra high quality in, say frequency response, may result in other new problems as op-amps start to work in radio frequency ranges. In other words, if you go too far, the utility of the product actually falls.

At the bottom end of the quality scale, the same applies. A desk or amp that breaks or distorts the signal also has no utility. There is a level of quality below which you cannot go. If you do, the utility suddenly becomes zero.

Obviously, as the quality of the product is reduced by introducing ever cheaper components, the utility is reduced, but not by as much as the fall in cost. The product still works, it therefore still has utility. In order for a manufacturer to offer the cheapest product in his market, he must learn how to reduce the cost of manufacture to a point as close to, but above, the point of total loss of utility.

Put simply, the manufacturer has to make the product as cheaply as possible, using the cheapest components, without a significant number of products failing completely.

(The remarks written earlier about the falling standards of some 'quality' cars such as Mercedes are a typical example of a result of the law of diminishing returns when seeking even greater quality. These cars have become more and more complex, to the point where their complexity starts to create new problems that they did not have before. If you buy a car with ABS, EPS, AC, Sat-Nav, hands-free telephone with voice recognition, computer controlled gear-changes, ant-theft alarms, remote central locking, distance warning cruise control and frequency seeking digital radios, you can expect these features to fail one day too.)
____________________________________________________________________________


I posted originally to make some people think - and not just about audio gear, but everything they buy. For some reason, the 'Shanghai syndrome' seems to have made some people believe that basic economic principles have somehow disappeared or have been altered in some way. There is a genuine belief that certain types of equipment are for ever going to get cheaper and cheaper, in much the same way that some people believed in 1999 that shares in Cisco and Sun would for ever rise.

Every few years a new technology or a new production method comes along and there is a retail feeding frenzy. In the 50's it was plastics. In the 60's we had the 'tranny' generation. In the 80's it was digital and now it is production in China and the Far East in general. Each time this happens, the unscrupulous jump onto the band waggon to sell snake oil.

PVC and nylon are not better than Bakelite or Formica and they in turn were not better than wood. Transistors are not better than valves. Digital is not better than analogue. Virtual synths or recorders are not better than hardware. Products made in China, Malaysia and Indonesia are not better than products made in Europe or the US. They are different, that's all.

This time, rather than a new technology, it is access to a new area of production with a depth of knowledge and component suppliers that have specialised in ultra cheap production. This means that low and medium technology products can be produced in very large numbers at lower cost, but also at a lower quality.

At one end of the quality scale there is a Fiat Uno which is built to survive its guarantee period and no more and at the other a Mercedes SL that now has every feature known to mankind, most of which nobody needs and many of which will fail. Between these two extremes you will find many good cars.

At one end of the monitor market you can buy a pair of Behringer Truths for £80. At the other end, you can commission a made to order set of Genelec wall-mounted speakers with complete room treatment and installation for £50,000 and more. Both are (in my opinion) fairly useless for recording and mixing music, but between these two mad extremes there are many good monitors you can buy.

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


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Digital Emoti



Joined: 30/10/05
Posts: 6
Loc: Brooklyn NY USA
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203837 - 31/10/05 02:44 AM
Quote The Byre:


... but between these two mad extremes there are many good monitors you can buy.





So, which ones out of many good monitors are the best?
Can I buy something for £200 a pair that are good enough?

Let’s discuss it in circles.

--------------------
Digital Emotions


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The real musiclover



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 4357
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Digital Emoti]
      #203839 - 31/10/05 03:10 AM
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah...... It's ok to like Behringer, it's ok not to like Behringer. That may or may not be the issue?

I gave up about 763 words back. And another, just to make sure.


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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]
      #203848 - 31/10/05 06:42 AM
good morning ... steve, have you ever used the mics youre on about ? even if you had, why would you compare them to mics costing 200 quid ? if you think this is a serious discussion you must be mad. i dont see why i got jumped on for saying rode mics are exceptional, but if you like that kind of playground game carry on.

mr byre, thanks for yr considerable post. agreed there is some crap out there, i didnt realise you were only on another behringer bash, the sarcastic thread title seems to be having a general go at newbies expectations. i just tried to open it up to include all this other cheap gear. rode mics, alesis monitors, joe meek pre's all do the job exceptionally well (for the price !) even certain bits of behringer kit. its really childish to compare any of it to gear costing 30 times as much, but its also pretty boring to keep telling newbies they have to save up or sell their children to get this gear cos they will never make anything worth doing otherwise.

joe meek make the 3q for 130 quid and it uses mostly the same components as their high end stuff costing 4 times as much because they are already tooled up and with the inclusion of a wall wart and a smaller case they can afford to do it ... alesis do the monitor 1 for 100 quid because theyve sold tons of them in the last 10 years or more. i only recommend gear ive used to newbies, and i will carry on doing so ...

as for the beatles, they didnt even know how to tune their own guitars or roll their own spliffs ...

cheers
grainger


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Arpangel
active member


Joined: 12/07/03
Posts: 5527
Loc: London
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #203875 - 31/10/05 09:08 AM
Hi all, I beleive we are shooting ourselves in the foot asking for cheaper and cheaper gear in the end the competition to cut corners and drive down prices just floods the market with second rate gear. I would rather spend a bit more than buy something thats ultra-cheap and that will probably break down or not do it's job properly.

Take care !

Tony.


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Dave B



Joined: 03/04/03
Posts: 5620
Loc: Maidenhead
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Arpangel]
      #203886 - 31/10/05 09:36 AM
Tony, That's a very nice summing up of what The Byre was trying to say. He just said it with a few more words...;)

What's more, it is a sentiment that quite a few people ( myself included ) have felt for a while now and Andy was the first to have the guts to start the ball rolling. Kudos to Andy for that. Wish I'd had the balls to, but I knew ( ok .. suspected ) what the response would be and have been pleasantly unsurprised to see that I was right in my expectations.

Sadly, the SOS forums actually _are_ fairly tolerant of the budget end of the gear spectrum. Even someone like the Byre is a pussycat compared to some of the other boards out there. Don't take my word for it though, go round a few of them with the comments that have been posted here and see what the response is. It's a harsh old world and I do think that sometimes people don't appreciate what they have.

So let's at least keep it civil round here, eh?? Leave the mud slinging to professional ladies in bikinis ...


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steveman



Joined: 17/03/02
Posts: 1142
Loc: London - UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #203925 - 31/10/05 10:30 AM
Still missing the point I see


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Steve Hill
member


Joined: 07/01/03
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Loc: Oxfordshire
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #203966 - 31/10/05 11:47 AM
Quote grAInger:

as for the beatles, they didnt even know how to tune their own guitars or roll their own spliffs ...




I don't know the authority for that statement, but it is fair to say that after you have earned the first few million, you can pay people to do these things for you. You may not like them but that doesn't make a few hundred million other record buyers wrong.

The same applies to your view that all Neumann mics "stink". Any commercial studio or broadcaster would respectfully (or perhaps not respectfully) disagree.

--------------------
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: The Byre]
      #203979 - 31/10/05 12:07 PM
Some great responses here...Andy, Grainger, Tony, Dave B...

Lower-priced gear has its place for those just starting out, I agree, but as Andy (The Byre) and Tony (arpangel) mention, you can take this idea just too far, and end up producing crap with the promise of the "something for nothing" miracle.

I agree with grainger that there are some "useable" pieces that don't cost an arm and a leg, and I'd have to agree that Rode is one of those companies making products that fit into that category... *however*, I would not call them "exceptional" either, but that is my opinion. I have had an NTK and an NT2 (I sold both), and still own a pair of NT5s that get occasional work, so I am familiar with the company. I do hear that some of the newer models sound better than their earlier stuff, but at this point, I am pretty much convinced that my personal needs don't include Rode at this point. 'Nuff said...

Quote:

So let's at least keep it civil round here, eh?? Leave the mud slinging to professional ladies in bikinis ...




Best advice I've heard all day!!!

--------------------
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: 12390
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #204062 - 31/10/05 01:47 PM
Quote grAInger:

... i know im out of my depth here but whats an AF condenser ?




Basically, AF condenser microphones use the capsule as a capacitor to store charge. With one fixed plate and the other free to vibrate in sympathy with the sound, the capacitance varies, and the charge moves in or out of the capsule accordingly. This is measured by the head preamplifier and an audio signal results. All well and good, but the capsule is inherently in a high impedance circuit (over 1Giga-Ohms) – it has to sit there with stored charge until the diaphragm moves and any changes in the charge are perceived as audio. In a humid atmosphere the stored charge finds it easier to escape on water molecules in the air rather than through the input of the preamplifier, hence noisy and reduced output, and misery all round. The high biasing voltage also attracts dust particles to the diaphragm, reducing its efficiency and linearity. Most condenser microphones use this technology and some manufacturers are better than others at minimising the effects - I have heard huge differences between manufacturers, some so noisy in humid conditions that they are unuseable, while others just give off a few crackles now and again. In dry conditions most are quiet, but I have heard some that give the odd crackle, even under these conditions.

The RF system (as used in Sennheiser MKH microphones) uses the capsule (a low impedance capsule) in a completely different way: as a tuning capacitor for an RF oscillator – which inherently employs it in a low impedance circuit where a high frequency signal is being passed through the capacitor all the time. Changes in capacitance (caused by sound moving the diaphragm) alter the resonant frequency of the circuit (circa 8MHz) and so its frequency becomes proportional to the audio signal. A simple RF demodulator restores the output to a conventional audio signal. More complex and sophisticated (but still very rugged), this system is highly immune to the effects of humidity and is thus the preferred design to be used out of doors (or when moving from outside to inside on a cold day!).

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


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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]
      #204064 - 31/10/05 01:49 PM
Quote Doublehelix:


Lower-priced gear has its place for those just starting out, I agree, but as Andy (The Byre) and Tony (arpangel) mention, you can take this idea just too far, and end up producing crap with the promise of the "something for nothing" miracle.





i aggree, but as i see it (only been browsing the page for a couple of months) most people dont ask for the cheapest gear.. and if u only want the cheapest you dont need advice.. you just need to know how to look at a price tag, right?

plus the people who do ask for advice (for cheap gear) is mostly looking for gear to get them started.. they didnt have shite to do with behringer getting all crazy and mass producing dung... theyre just confused cos the cheap gear market is so biig and full of dung...
noone expects to find £100 supergear.. no big studio is asking for advice on £300 monitors...
but if we do need a £100 mic and theres 30 to choose from and we do know that in this world today a lot of products are just mass produced garbage made only to make a profit, some advice can be very nice..

we're amateurs doing amateur stuff on amateur gear, ok?


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
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Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: KidCracken]
      #204068 - 31/10/05 01:54 PM
Quote KidCracken:

we're amateurs doing amateur stuff on amateur gear, ok?




But I know loads of amateurs who have better gear than the professionals - because they buy it themselves and want to get the best long-term value for money.

Amateur doesn't necessarily mean cheap - often the reverse

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


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Dave B



Joined: 03/04/03
Posts: 5620
Loc: Maidenhead
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204075 - 31/10/05 02:15 PM
WRT John's point - I know a couple of 'professional' studios that are jealous of about half of my kit and the rest is on par. And this is after a few years of lean times.

Sometimes, being an amateur means that you have more ready cash to 'invest' in gear.


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--
active member


Joined: 29/05/03
Posts: 6085
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: John Willett]
      #204081 - 31/10/05 02:18 PM
John

So the "AF" bit stands for "Audio Frequency" as opposed to "RF" for Radio Frequency? Whilst giving a very nice and full explanation (thank you), you missed expounding on that abbreviation.


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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: John Willett]
      #204082 - 31/10/05 02:18 PM
Quote John Willett:


But I know loads of amateurs who have better gear than the professionals - because they buy it themselves and want to get the best long-term value for money.




yea but theyre not newbies looking for gear to get them started...

i want nice gear too! and i do know what kind of money i have to spend to get it.. but it could take me years to save up for it.. and ofcourse i want to do stuff right now! so in the mean time im very happy with my £120 set of mic, pre-amp and mic stand.. this way i can even buy some great mic and use it straight away!

using my impression of your opinion i would have to save up for years to buy a set of nice gear just to get started..

why not use this time practicing my skills (bot technically and vocal) on cheap gear?


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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: The Byre]
      #204090 - 31/10/05 02:24 PM
plus.. if some of you guys got better equipment than studios then why the heck are you amateurs???

make money, money doesnt make you...


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drumon



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 243
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: KidCracken]
      #204100 - 31/10/05 02:43 PM
Quote KidCracken:

plus.. if some of you guys got better equipment than studios then why the heck are you amateurs???

make money, money doesnt make you...




Because they arent professinal musicians likely, and do earn money in other professions hence the ability to buy great gear for their hobby!

This applies to all sorts of things, not just amateur music, sport for example, you must know musicians who as well as spending every last penny on instruments and music gear, ALSO try to buy the best they can on mountain bikes, road bikes, skis, whatever... I know many people who do! in fact I do - GREAT, where's the snow?!


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
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Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: --]
      #204104 - 31/10/05 02:48 PM
Quote Wonkey Wabbit:

John

So the "AF" bit stands for "Audio Frequency" as opposed to "RF" for Radio Frequency? Whilst giving a very nice and full explanation (thank you), you missed expounding on that abbreviation.




Oops! That'll teach me to copy/paste

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


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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]
      #204108 - 31/10/05 02:55 PM
As you mention KidCracken, there are lots of pieces of gear around that fit into the lowest price category, but sometimes, the "what $100 mic should I buy?" questions come from folks that really expect there to be differences between them. At that price, who really cares? Just pick one, they all sound pretty much the same, and were probably made in the same factory, but just have a different brand name on the front.

To over-analyze a buying decision at that price point is really next-to-meaningless since they all sound about the same, and are all going to be in the waste basket in a year or three anyway.

As some folks say around here, stop stressing, and go make some music! I see posts like this where someone replies to the "$100 mic question" with a list of 2-3 mics to try, and then the original poster comes back with "OK, thanks, now who else? Or which one is going to give me the most low-end detail and sounds most like a U47?" These are the posts that crack me up the most, not the guy or gal that just wants to get some of their ideas down on tape, and need something to get started.

Now it is fair enough to ask the question, but once some suggestions are given, these over-analyzers then continue to press for details that don't really exist, or ask things like "I am looking for a vocal sound like 'Green Day' with a $100 mic, which one is going to give me that sound?" Don't laugh, 'cause you know its true!!!

Then when someone responds that you need to spend a whole lot more money to get where you want to go, all the calls of "snobbery" come flooding out!

Agreed that this is not *everyone*, but I am amazed at some of the questions and expectations that exist at the lower end.

One of the posts above said something like "with low-end products, we all know what we are getting, but need a place to start...". I'd have to say that from my experience on several forums, these folks are in the minority, and that there are many more folks that seem to think that $100 will get them a mic that will give them the 'Green Day" sound, and they just need the secret "inside scoop" from the pros to tell them which magic product to buy. "Ah yes, the magic U47 clone for $100 that *noone else knows about!!!" Once again, the "something for nothing Wal-Mart mentality" that is so prevelent here in The States has permeated this industry as well.

I honestly have nothing against low-priced gear, and nothing against those wanting to make their own music on a budget. I think that is great! But as KidCraken states, just look at the price tag, and pick out the lowest-priced option, realize what you are getting for your money, and go make music!

Someone else said something like "If you are such a snob, then don't bother reading/answering the 'I need a $100 mic' threads." This is pretty much what I do, not because I don't want to encourage those folks just starting out, only because I have nothing constructive to add. If I say "pick one", I get nasty replies from those who are positive that Model A sounds *much* better than Model B (but who have probably not really compared them directly, and if they have, it was probably on cheap monitors where you can't really make critical decisions), or I get flamed for being a gear snob, which is not my intent at all!!!

I have always abided by the rule that "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is..."

This is a great discussion, and there are lots of great opinions here. It is all good...

--------------------
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: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: drumon]
      #204112 - 31/10/05 03:02 PM
Quote drumon:


This applies to all sorts of things, not just amateur music, sport for example, you must know musicians who as well as spending every last penny on instruments and music gear, ALSO try to buy the best they can on mountain bikes, road bikes, skis, whatever... I know many people who do! in fact I do - GREAT, where's the snow?!




wich brings me back to;
Quote KidCracken:


yea but theyre not newbies looking for gear to get them started...





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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
Posts: 12390
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: KidCracken]
      #204114 - 31/10/05 03:04 PM
Quote KidCracken:

yea but theyre not newbies looking for gear to get them started ... using my impression of your opinion i would have to save up for years to buy a set of nice gear just to get started..




No, I was not saying that.

But making people aware of certain things mean that they can make more intelligent decisions and spend what they have more wisely.

When I started I did not have much money - I invested this in a good tape machine (Tandberg) and some not too expensive mics (Unisound) and monitored on good headphones (AKG K60). The mics were too cheap and quickly got changed for something better (Beyer M67).

My earliest recordings still sound good played back on the latest equipment.

Gradually, over the years, things got added to - but the Beyer mics are still in my kit and are not a disgrace 35 years on. The headphones lasted me about 15 years before I upgraded, the tape deck lasted a similar time before I got a better machine and became a reserve as it was still good.

Getting started now on a low budget I would probably look at a good second-hand mic. rather than a Chinese cheapo. Monitor on headphones until you can afford good monitors and get an inexpensive recorder (as these are technolony which changes every 5-minutes). You can still have quality at a low price if you spend wisely.

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


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drumon



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 243
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: KidCracken]
      #204117 - 31/10/05 03:13 PM

wich brings me back to;
Quote KidCracken:


yea but theyre not newbies looking for gear to get them started...








True, I went off on a tangent. Apologies

However, I'm aware of many "amateurs" in all sorts of things who can afford to buy "better" gear for their first whatever-it-may-be, because they have the time to research what will help them to improve at their hobby and end up buying impressive equipment to steepen their learning curve, which if you want to do something well, whether it be your profession OR hobby is a challenge we all want to rise to!

But yes, its not really what this discussion was all about to begin with, but it is relevant.


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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]
      #204118 - 31/10/05 03:16 PM
Quote Doublehelix:

As you mention KidCracken, there are lots of pieces of gear around that fit into the lowest price category, but sometimes, the "what $100 mic should I buy?" questions come from folks that really expect there to be differences between them. At that price, who really cares? Just pick one, they all sound pretty much the same, and were probably made in the same factory, but just have a different brand name on the front.




well even though you dont reccomend any model i find that very good advice...

as i see the market today (for any product) there can be a huge difference in quality no matter where in the price range you look.. and therefore i assume this is the same with audio gear... so if i were a total newb how should i know that all cheap mic's are the same?? probably by asking.. and where can i get answers from a lot of people?

and yea i know a lot of people on the net are arrogant and/or plain stupid.. but i still think this place is a lot more "mature" than many other sites i know...

so my advice is.. if people asking are just naive, please be nice and guide them... and if they flame you for not giving the "right" answer, please put on your mental /ignore


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BigAl
Just The Bass Player


Joined: 24/01/02
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: KidCracken]
      #204122 - 31/10/05 03:32 PM
There can be a place for many pieces of gear in a recording environment, regardless of price.
Recording is about capturing performances and being creative in the best way you can, but using your ears (not your eyes).
If you end up using a 100 quid mic on some source and it sounds good and fits in well - most importantly - it is played well) then that's all fine.
To suggest that we can only record with 2 grand mics etc... IS pure snobbery and completely wrong.
I'd love a cupboard full of 'top' mics - instead I have few 'project studio' ones which can do a very good job.

PS. On the Green Day bit - remember that the high sonic quality from a good condensor might not actually be used for a band such as this - and probably wouldn't sound good, unless it was dirtied up a bit.
The Chillies apparently use an SM57 for vocals. That's a $100 mic.

In some circumstances, the perfections of hi quality recording just don't work work, but it does depend on what you're doing and what you want to achieve.

The proof is in the pudding, and if someone with average mic's has better recordings than someone with mics valued at 10 times that, what does that tell you?

--------------------
Jack of all trades, master of some.


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PrinceXizor
member


Joined: 30/01/04
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: John Willett]
      #204134 - 31/10/05 03:49 PM
Interesting points all.

I think part of the problem is obviously the I want it now attitude. But its also the I want it ALL now. The vocal mics, the sequencer, the preamp, the compressor, the effects, the monitors, the drum mics, the 16 channel A/D. They NEED it ALL now. You can afford to get into the "quality, budget, would still use it 10 years from now" area if you are only buying one mic and a preamp" and going on from there.

For example, I try and pick my starting out gear to be useful if/when I upgrade.

Just my two cents.

P-X

--------------------
My Home Studio Build Thread


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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: The Byre]
      #204139 - 31/10/05 03:56 PM
yea and many of the 80'ies hiphop classics were done on a sm58 and a 4-track tape recorder...


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Simon (aka UK03878)



Joined: 02/11/05
Posts: 1504
Loc: Munching a Carrot, The Fens
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204147 - 31/10/05 04:08 PM
I find this quite funny...
Normally it's the other way around...
A newbie comes over and people much more knowledgable jump over him for asking daft questions.

Now we have non experts in Finance and Economics trying to talk economics of scale, capital cost/depreciation, cost of working capital, business models, the law of ostentatious consumption etc.
For me this is the JP22 thread of the year.
A little knowledge is very dangerous


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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: KidCracken]
      #204159 - 31/10/05 04:24 PM
Quote KidCracken:


so if i were a total newb how should i know that all cheap mic's are the same?? probably by asking.. and where can i get answers from a lot of people?





Great post KidCracken (not too bad for a "kid" ). I have no problem with that, as long as the expectations are set up front as to what you are getting for your hard-earned cash.

Think about it (I think Reg said something like this...), for $100, the missus and I can go out to a nice dinner, or maybe I can take all my kids along to a "medium" restaurant for that kind of cash. Doesn't our music gear deserve better than that?

Big Al, you make a good point also (as always). It does not always take a $2K mic to make a great recording, but as you mention, (in the hands of someone that knows that they are doing) something like an SM57 will always sound better than a cheap $100-200 chinese condenser, at least to my ears. It's not really apples-to-apples though, is it? The SM57 is a "decent-quality" dynamic mic from a reputable company, whereas a cheap Chinese knock-off is...well...er...a cheap Chinese knock-off from someone just copying ("aping" if you will...) someone else's design with no clue about what they are doing.

Now, there are exceptions, like SE electronics that are making their own mics in their own factories.

Also, a lot of US and EU manufacturers are starting to design their own mics, and then have them made in China rather than just buy re-branded knock-offs, and this trend will most likely lead to better quality stuff coming out of the far east. There are so many factors that go into the economics of this stuff however (as The Byre and Max have so "succinctly pointed out! ), that "something" still has to give in order for these manufacuters to make money. You have got to cut corners somewhere in order to stay competitive and still make a (small) profit. As The Byre mentioned, costs are high to manufacturer overseas: shipping, paperwork, customs, taxes, tying up your capital while in route, etc.

Face it, there a *lot* of people in China, and that includes a lot of *very* bright people, not just masses of cheap laborers, so it makes sense that things can and *will* change, as long as we are open to it, and not tainted by our prejudices (my own included).

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


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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: ]
      #204160 - 31/10/05 04:27 PM
Quote Simon (aka UK03878):

I find this quite funny...
Normally it's the other way around...
A newbie comes over and people much more knowledgable jump over him for asking daft questions.

Now we have non experts in Finance and Economics trying to talk economics of scale, capital cost/depreciation, cost of working capital, business models, the law of ostentatious consumption etc.
For me this is the JP22 thread of the year.
A little knowledge is very dangerous




And do you have any knowledge you'd like to share with the group? It sounds like you do, so why not contribute rather than critisize? (or if they are so far off base, contribute *AND* critisize! )

Are discussions of economics limited to experts only, or are we free to discuss with our limited working knowledge?

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


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204165 - 31/10/05 04:49 PM
Quote:

Now we have non experts in Finance and Economics trying to talk economics of scale, capital cost/depreciation, cost of working capital, business models, the law of ostentatious consumption etc.




I for one, am not aware of a 'law of ostentatious consumption' and I would like to hear about this law.

There is of course the phenomemum of ostentatious consumption which is a part of the 'snob effect' in which luxury goods enjoy a high income elasticity of demand, the higher their prices. But I am not aware of a law. Are we talking about Alfred Marshall or Veblen? I know that many economists have tried to quantify this effect.

Perhaps I have missed something!

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


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BigAl
Just The Bass Player


Joined: 24/01/02
Posts: 2682
Loc: The King's Height
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Doublehelix]
      #204168 - 31/10/05 04:52 PM
Be fair to the guy DH.
It must take years of studying in a finance and economic school to be able to apply the arithmetic you learned at primary & high school to the real world.

--------------------
Jack of all trades, master of some.


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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: Doublehelix]
      #204169 - 31/10/05 04:52 PM
Quote Doublehelix:

...a lot of US and EU manufacturers are starting to design their own mics, and then have them made in China rather than just buy re-branded knock-offs, and this trend will most likely lead to better quality stuff coming out of the far east.




Yes - in a way.

I know Sennheiser tried this with some products, but they did not pass quality control.

In the end they invested a fortune in automated production and all the evolution series are made in Germany. The costs come way down because only two people run the production line and the automation and high quality control keep the quality high and the price very low - well under half of what the price would be if made in the traditional method.

But it's not quite so easy with high quality condensers.....

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


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10719
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Doublehelix]
      #204171 - 31/10/05 04:54 PM
I think that Simon is probably hinting that The Byre hasn't quite grasped the economics of manufacturing large quanitites. They're much more complex than he's described.

For example - If I was to build a run of 10 units and needed 10 chips of a particular type then I would expect to pay 60p. If I wanted 500 chips then the price would halve. If I wanted 10000 chips then the price would probably halve again. So Behringer would be paying a quarter of the price that a small manufacturer would pay for the same components. It also becomes financially viable for them to build their own custom chips whereas a small manufacturer would have to make do with off the shelf chips.

Companies like Behringer are nothing new (Phonic have been selling cheap audio gear for longer) but Behringer have possibly marketed themselves more aggressively. In the old days a respectable recording musician would probably have dismissed anything from companies like Phonic as rubbish for people who didn't know any better but nowadays they're being taken more seriously for some reason.

cheers

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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BigAl
Just The Bass Player


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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Doublehelix]
      #204172 - 31/10/05 04:55 PM
I think when we talk of Chinese this and Chinese that, we assume poor quality and sweat shops, but as you correctly said, China has some smart folk.
If you can put a man in space, surely you could build a mic, although I'm perfectly aware that singing and being an astronaut isn't the same thing.

--------------------
Jack of all trades, master of some.


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Simon (aka UK03878)



Joined: 02/11/05
Posts: 1504
Loc: Munching a Carrot, The Fens
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Doublehelix]
      #204173 - 31/10/05 04:59 PM
Quote Doublehelix:

Quote Simon (aka UK03878):

I find this quite funny...
Normally it's the other way around...
A newbie comes over and people much more knowledgable jump over him for asking daft questions.

Now we have non experts in Finance and Economics trying to talk economics of scale, capital cost/depreciation, cost of working capital, business models, the law of ostentatious consumption etc.
For me this is the JP22 thread of the year.
A little knowledge is very dangerous




And do you have any knowledge you'd like to share with the group? It sounds like you do, so why not contribute rather than critisize? (or if they are so far off base, contribute *AND* critisize! )

Are discussions of economics limited to experts only, or are we free to discuss with our limited working knowledge?



The contribution was inside my answer..
These (and others would affect price point)..

Customer models are quite interesting - and I have done a few (it's not my speciality - Finance/Business Intelligence and BPR is..) - especially as you role in the QA returns..
That is if we build gear with slightly cheaper parts - we are going to loose market share because of unreliablity issues.
To be quite honest you are never going to be a millionaire selling 19inch studio bits of kit are you...
(If you don't believe me read that Rupert Neve interview in Tape Op - where he can't even afford to have around his old Neve modules - he ask to ask Fletcher to borrow them...)...

So you have a very small monetary market which has a fast turnaround time with technology... do you build resiliance into the kit..
In a harsh business sense - why the hell would you...
It's not like a house that's going to be around in 30 years time...
Uli Behringer is not going to stick Elmas and Sowter/Lundahl transformers inside his bits of kit - why the hell shoudl he
If he can get away with using electronic balanced connections via opamps and Alps or Lorlin (or OEM versions) switches then he will

Top down budgetting/Strategic Enterprise Management is also very very important
What difference does this make...
A Lot..
This is where the strategic plan decides how much money we have to build things... rather than the traditional approach of profit and cost centres telling management how much they need to spend.
Thus the strategic aims of the company are in line with the day to day tactical aims.
Thus cash management and the availability of working capital is sorted...
I could go on for ver - but youse will all be bored


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Simon (aka UK03878)



Joined: 02/11/05
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204174 - 31/10/05 05:03 PM
Quote The Byre:

Quote:

Now we have non experts in Finance and Economics trying to talk economics of scale, capital cost/depreciation, cost of working capital, business models, the law of ostentatious consumption etc.




I for one, am not aware of a 'law of ostentatious consumption' and I would like to hear about this law.

There is of course the phenomemum of ostentatious consumption which is a part of the 'snob effect' in which luxury goods enjoy a high income elasticity of demand, the higher their prices. But I am not aware of a law. Are we talking about Alfred Marshall or Veblen? I know that many economists have tried to quantify this effect.

Perhaps I have missed something!



You do make me laugh mate...

Edited by Simon (aka UK03878) (31/10/05 05:03 PM)


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Dave Gate
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Joined: 02/02/04
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #204175 - 31/10/05 05:08 PM
Quote James Lehmann:

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!




Strangely enough I did; now had it for three years with no major problems at all.

--------------------
Gear List: reverse only.


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: James Perrett]
      #204178 - 31/10/05 05:15 PM
Quote James Perrett:

I think that Simon is probably hinting that The Byre hasn't quite grasped the economics of manufacturing large quanitites. They're much more complex than he's described.




Sort of guilty as charged! I certainly did not go into detail about why certain companies and countries specialise in the production of certain types of goods. And as you state there is more to manufacturing in bulk than just automation and being able to transport in bulk.

One of the important factors is an infrastructure geared to your manufacturing needs. In order to use cheap components, one must have a supply of same. One must have formen and plant managers who understand how to keep down costs and all that it implies.

But Big Al raises an even more important point and that is it is not only the Chinese that can manufacture very cheaply. Both the US and Germany are able to do the same in some fields. In audio, the only example I can think of is PA amplifiers. You will not see any Chinese PA amps heading this way, as there are a couple of German companies that have made building ever-cheaper amps their life's work.

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www.the-byre.com No longer Forum Member


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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]
      #204189 - 31/10/05 05:28 PM
Quote Doublehelix:


Great post KidCracken (not too bad for a "kid" ). I have no problem with that, as long as the expectations are set up front as to what you are getting for your hard-earned cash.





well im only a "kid" in this biz...

Quote Doublehelix:


Think about it (I think Reg said something like this...), for $100, the missus and I can go out to a nice dinner, or maybe I can take all my kids along to a "medium" restaurant for that kind of cash. Doesn't our music gear deserve better than that?




yea it does, but you still gotta eat every day right?

but i promise i'll replace my lousy cheap chinese gear soon... and i promise my kid brother will be more than happy when i give it to him...


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Steve Hill
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: ]
      #204195 - 31/10/05 05:39 PM
Quote Simon (aka UK03878):

Now we have non experts in Finance and Economics trying to talk economics of scale, capital cost/depreciation, cost of working capital, business models, the law of ostentatious consumption etc.
For me this is the JP22 thread of the year.
A little knowledge is very dangerous




Um... speak for yourself, but I was a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers for 22 years, specialising in business recovery and insolvency. And I don't disagree with what Andy and the other "ersatz economists" are saying around here

--------------------
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: ]
      #204199 - 31/10/05 05:46 PM
Quote:

I could go on for ver - but youse will all be bored




Excellent my friend! Great contribution, I knew you had it in you!

I especially liked the part about Uli Behringer not wanting to put high-end transformers in his gear, and "why should he". Excellent point. He is certainly doing "something" right.

Some of this stuff will indeed be obsolete long before it breaks, but I also think that some of the points here were dealing with the quality of the sound, not just the reliability or the economics.

Mr. Behringer has made a lot of money in a very small and competitive market, and although some say he has flooded the market with crap, he has certainly been successful with it, and you can't argue with success.

My (very) limited knowledge of economics tells me that if his products were really that bad, no one would buy them and they would go out of business, but instead, they appear to be thriving in a VERY SMALL market. As you mention, Rupert Neve can't even afford one of his own modules!!! Pretty scary, eh?

Now, does anyone want to talk about Molecular Genetics or Biochemisty?

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


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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: KidCracken]
      #204203 - 31/10/05 05:48 PM
Quote:

yea it does, but you still gotta eat every day right?




Ahh..rubbish!!! Give me a nice rack of Neve modules and I could live on that for a month!!!

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


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204217 - 31/10/05 06:14 PM
Simon (aka UK03878) Quote:

You do make me laugh mate...




First of all, Simon, I am not quite sure why you (and one or two others here) feel a need to be rude. If anyone here wants to contribute than please feel free to do so, but perhaps it would be a good idea if we could discuss the price of budget equipment without childish polemic.

Simon, you imply a higher knowledge on this subject, but have given us a 50-word essay on stratigic management as it applies to Uli Behringer. I am not clear as to what this has to do with the wisdom of buying a $100 microphone. Perhaps you could explain.

Quote Simon (aka UK03878):

if we build gear with slightly cheaper parts - we are going to loose market share because of unreliablity issues.




Which is what is happening. That is why we are discussing this topic.

Quote Simon (aka UK03878):

So you have a very small monetary market which has a fast turnaround time with technology... do you build resiliance into the kit..
In a harsh business sense - why the hell would you...
It's not like a house that's going to be around in 30 years time...




And that is the crux of the issue. In the past, most audio kit was built to last 30 and longer.

I think most of us here are fully aware of why Uli Behringer and others build things the way they do. It was my contention that the customer should be aware of what is going on and be aware that he / she too should think economically. A $100 microphone certainly will not be around in 30 years time, but a $1,000 mic will be.

Quote Simon (aka UK03878):

Top down budgetting/Strategic Enterprise Management is also very very important
What difference does this make...
A Lot..
This is where the strategic plan decides how much money we have to build things... rather than the traditional approach of profit and cost centres telling management how much they need to spend.




Nothing new there. The 'Aldification' or 'Aldifizierung' of the market has been taking place for some time and many German companies have been learning the Aldi lesson. That lesson is, as you imply, that at a certain price, we can sell far more of a type of product by opening up new sectors of the market.

This means that production can no longer claim to 'need' a certain level of costs to produce an item. The market dictates what that price has to be and production has to come up with a method of manufacturing at that price if we are to serve this new market.

But taken too far, this leads to products that do not do what it says on the can. And that is what was being discussed.

And I am still hoping for an expanation of the law of ostentatious consumption. I genuinely have never heard of such a law, so if you or anybody else could enlighten me, I would be grateful.

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


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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: The Byre]
      #204222 - 31/10/05 06:30 PM
Quote The Byre:


But taken too far, this leads to products that do not do what it says on the can.




this has nothing to do with cheap.. ever heard slogans like "the best a man can get"?

but i know what you mean...


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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]
      #204291 - 31/10/05 10:07 PM
http://www.fivefish.net/diy/behringer/default.htm

Inside a behringer mixer, if anyone is interested.


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Simon (aka UK03878)



Joined: 02/11/05
Posts: 1504
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #204390 - 01/11/05 08:50 AM
Quote Steve Hill:


Um... speak for yourself, but I was a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers for 22 years, specialising in business recovery and insolvency. And I don't disagree with what Andy and the other "ersatz economists" are saying around here



Ahhh. one of my competitors...
I have nicked a few projects of you and you have nicked them of me... (and staff)

To Mr Byre - okay - I used the word "law" when I should have used the word "Goods"..
But thats okay - it's all debate (I have a thick skin - I should - I am currently being hassled by a load of Bulgarians who keep telling me that they need some weird accounting requirements unheard of for about 20 years in more Central European countries)
If my comment was inflammatory - I do apologise
Anyway - I am off to do some stuff for a big company in Russia and China (I am currently 1/3 of the way through a 61 country roll out) - when I finish I will try and give some indication of how the hell Chinese business practices work.
What I do know is that China should not be thought of a single market - everything is controlled via the provinces.
Normally countrys legal and statutory requirements are at the Federal, Republic, Country level.
I think this is quite interesting - you have different provinces "battling" for your custom - offering sweet deals etc..


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Simon (aka UK03878)



Joined: 02/11/05
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204395 - 01/11/05 09:00 AM
Quote The Byre:



This means that production can no longer claim to 'need' a certain level of costs to produce an item. The market dictates what that price has to be and production has to come up with a method of manufacturing at that price if we are to serve this new market.

But taken too far, this leads to products that do not do what it says on the can. And that is what was being discussed.
.



I think this can be expanded on more thoroughly as it leads us right to the crux of the matter.
Without going into a grandmother and eggs scenario.
And this is a highly simplified scenario.
Businesses can be though of as being big building societies for Investors/Shareholders.
A company needs to return money to people who invest their in them - through dividends against shares
A lot of the capital to invest in companies comes from our own pockets - our Pension plans.
Now what makes a pension plan want to invest in our company and not in a building society - simple - they get a better return and they get capital growth on the value of their investment.
So they will look at our company and look at others in the market.
In the market in our sector the analysts expect growth of say 5%.
Now we as a company have to do something to achieve or exceed this growth...
This is where product development or extension into new markets for existing products now comes in to achieve growth.
As I said - a highly simplified version of what may happen some companies (it does in some fo the ones I work for)
Now comes the creation of Sales Operational Plans for new products to try and achieve the growth target.
It could be new products and/or cost cutting (Global Supplier Discounts, FM-ing out non essential services, capital investment of obsolete gear...)
Anyway - as I said - a highly simplified version..


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Steve Hill
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: ]
      #204465 - 01/11/05 11:17 AM
Quote Simon (aka UK03878):

Ahhh. one of my competitors...
I have nicked a few projects of you and you have nicked them of me... (and staff)




Don't blame me for your staff problems, I left PwC five years ago and got a proper job running a studio for starvation wages (plus I do a few days p.m. of consulting to pay the rent)! And yes, I too have done the Central Europe/Russia "capitalism 101" roadshow for far too long!

I have a couple of 25 year old U87s, a 40 year old Urei LA4 and some other nice bits and bobs in my studio. These things work fine. They have a market value now which is way in excess of the retail prices when they were new. The U87s would sell for about two-thirds of the cost of a new one (which is, arguably, not so good). If any of these things broke (a) they would be worth repairing, and (b) it is possible to get them repaired economically. Theoretically they will never end up in a bin.

Some companies obviously adopt the "throwaway" culture and would prefer customers to come back more frequently than every 30 years. But it doesn't work like that - I bought two new Neumann mics last year, because they have my brand loyalty and I know from experience the build quality.

I would buy shares in Neumann, but not Behringer. To be fair, I'd probably buy shares in Rode, who are altogether a more exciting company from an investment point of view (the best you'd be likely to say about Neumann, as an analyst, is "safe" or "staid"), but also seem to have a growing commitment to quality and establishing a sustainable position in the middle ground.

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


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204591 - 01/11/05 02:45 PM
Simon, to call something a law when it is in fact a a good or an effect shows that you are not an economist.

An economist would no more call a good a law, than a mathematician would call an equation a formula, or a chemist would call an atom a molecule. When I first read that, I thought perhaps there is such a law, but I knew it was not any law of economic theory that I had heard of, so I thought it is either some crazy Marxist-Leninist 'theory' that the wild outreaches of the Left regard as absolute and as a 'given,' or that you are a sociologist and that this was some beatnik fringe law that has become flavour of the month.

My next guess was that you were a student who had come across the phrase 'ostentatious consumption' (AKA conspicuous consumption) in a lecture and now he was bursting to display his new-found knowledge.

But anyway, now we know that you are an accountant - and nothing wrong with that, after all they know where the money actually is and therefore earn money (unlike most economists).

But I digress . . .

The question at hand is one of microeconomics (i.e. the behaviour of the individual) given a range of products. I was attempting to get people to ask themselves a few basic economic questions, not as would-be 'ersatz economists,' but as bog standard and dead normal consumers.

(I was hoping to invoke the idea of indifference analysis and marginal utility, but in regards to quality and not quantity and without naming the beast!)

I was trying to point out, without getting long-haired about economic theory, that at both ends of the quality scale, the law of diminishing marginal utility applies. This law states that after a certain point, increases in the quantity of a good yield diminishing increases in utility.

But this is also true of quality. The most expensive car is not the most useful car. It is not even the most reliable car. Mercedes have shown us that if you take a medium priced brand and evolve the it into a series of plastic gin-palaces packed full of electronics, they become progressively unreliable and your traditional customer base leaves you. Like the Rolex Oyster, they leave the conservative middle classes and enter the choppy waters of vulgar and ostentatious consumption. The function of these products is not to get you from A to B or to tell the time, but to display your wealth. Their utility in traditional terms is very low.

Put in simple terms, if you are building a safe, economic and reliable car that is built to last, additional features do not add proportionately to the car's utility.

If we are dealing with traditional economic theory as it is taught to intermediate and graduate level, indifference analysis deals with quantity and not quality. Quality is dealt with in replacement, preference and 'basket of goods' theory (e.g. cake and milk replaces bread and water as incomes increase). Today's consumer is therefore mostly taught to think in those terms. In other words cake is better than bread. So the consumer buys cheap cake rather than good bread.

I am trying to get people to realise that a similar effect takes place at the other end of the quality scale as well.

If, after a certain point, increases in the quality of a good yield diminishing increases in utility, it is also true that after a certain point, decreases in the quality of a good yield disproportionate decreases in utility.

Simply stated, if you build it cheaply enough, it either falls to bits or does not work properly.

Elsewhere, there is a thread about someone trying to split-feed from a Behringer desk to a 24-track recorder. The only problem is that the direct outs on the desk are not direct outs at all, but taps taken from the fader. This means that the desk cannot be used for recording as every time the fader gets moved, the record level changes. The desk is useless for the task.

It looks like a 24 input desk, it has the words 'Mixing Desk' written on it and for the time being at least, it will perform some or most of the functions of a mixing desk. But it cannot be used for the task at hand. Its utility in this instance is zero.
_______________________________________________________

And to tick a few boxes:

No, Rupert Neve is not pan-handling under the arches of London Bridge, but running a successful company in Texas.

You cannot buy shares in Neumann as it belongs to the Sennheiser family.

You cannot (as far as I am aware) buy shares in Behringer either. It too is a private company.
______________________________________________________

This bit has nothing to do with any of the above -

And yes your 50-word essay on growth and investment in companies is over-simplified. But it also only applies to public companies. Most companies in pro-audio are either totally private or dominated by private ownership with limited public stock issues. It is often the case that UK competitors and analysts do not understand the goals of the typical German private company that lead them to be slowly undermined by the Behringers, Sennheisers, Bertelsmann, Lidls and Aldis of this World. You could add to that Thomann and Music Store. Both privately owned and with little or no borrowings, they grow slowly and organically. They do not go into voluntary liquidation from one day to the next, they do not lease their cars or rent their shops. Staff does not come via an agency with a head office in the Gambia. Doing business is not for them some kind of juggling or high-wire act between angry shareholders, disapproving boards of governors, demanding banks, angry customers and falling liquidity.

When I earlier wrote of the 'aldification' of the market, I was referring to the retail business model that has been the most hotly debated in Europe. To understand Behringer, you must understand Aldi. To understand Music Store, you must understand Aldi. The owner of Music Store even had a a big Aldi sign right behind his head in his office and the 2002 catalogue even had an Aldi sign on page three.

Your view of growth does not tally with my view of growth. Growth as a result of borrowings and market share at any price is just a bullfrog full of air. It is Morrison taking over Safeways. It is a man with a dead man on his shoulders. He is neither larger nor taller. He just weighs more.

The Behringer model will be very different.

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


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Simon (aka UK03878)



Joined: 02/11/05
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204608 - 01/11/05 03:21 PM
Quote The Byre:

But anyway, now we know that you are an accountant - and nothing wrong with that, after all they know where the money actually is and therefore earn money (unlike most economists).
.



Close... that was my training but I have gone into a more exotic field since then. (exotic being a fairly loose term)


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BigAl
Just The Bass Player


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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204611 - 01/11/05 03:23 PM
The only problem with the Aldi analogy is that Aldi actually sell many products which are actually better than the known brand of the bigger supermarkets.
There are thousands of food brands across the world and just because Asda or Tesco choose not to sell it, doesn't mean it is bad.

Eg. I have an Austrian aunt who commented that the coffe in Aldi is the main brand in Germany.

I also won an Aldi hamper and the quality of the produce inside was far superior to my local Morrisons and more akin to something you would buy in a deli.

Back to cheap goods...

When I worked for a well-known textile company, we were putting good quality T-shirts out the door for less than 2 quid. Reebok were branding them and selling them for 20 quid.
A golf brand were branding a £4.50 sweatshirt for 80 quid.

Yes, they were good quality, but come on......

How much do you reckon a U87 leaves the factory for?

--------------------
Jack of all trades, master of some.


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: BigAl]
      #204646 - 01/11/05 03:58 PM
Quote BigAl:

I have an Austrian aunt who commented that the coffe in Aldi is the main brand in Germany.

I also won an Aldi hamper and the quality of the produce inside was far superior to my local Morrisons and more akin to something you would buy in a deli.




And there you have the answer to the conundrum, "Quo vadis Behringer?"

1. Aldi owns its own manufacturing plant and is the largest manufacturer of coffee in Europe. It also supplies other stores with coffee.

2. Aldi began after the War as the cheapest of the cheap. It was regarded as a type of shame to have to shop at Aldi. Only very poor people shopped at Aldi. Already some 20 years ago, word got out that some of the products were not only cheaper than the competition, but also better. Slowly, it made its way up the quality ladder until today just about everybody shops at Aldi.

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


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BigAl
Just The Bass Player


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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204668 - 01/11/05 04:20 PM
I don't like to slag companies like Behringer because they do make stuff that can get beginners into recording fairly cheaply, and there are companies way ahead of them in my hit list. I actually own a headphone amp which is fine.

Just as you would buy your child a 100 quid Yamaha acoustic to start with, rather than a 2 grand Taylor.

On the watch thing - there are only one or two companies making mechanisms so many watches are priced on the name and not the quality of the watch.

--------------------
Jack of all trades, master of some.


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yorkio
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: BigAl]
      #204714 - 01/11/05 05:34 PM
Quote BigAl:

When I worked for a well-known textile company, we were putting good quality T-shirts out the door for less than 2 quid. Reebok were branding them and selling them for 20 quid.
A golf brand were branding a £4.50 sweatshirt for 80 quid.




Or there's the Telefunken/Apex scenario, where, according to a number of seemingly credible accounts, the same microphone will cost you $1399 with a Telefunken badge or $229 with an Apex badge.

www.studioreviews.com/m16-460.htm

It's reading stuff like that that makes me think, Ah sod it, I'll just get the cheapo Chinese knock-off because at least I'll know what I'm getting...


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ChrisR63



Joined: 06/10/05
Posts: 49
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: BigAl]
      #204866 - 01/11/05 10:51 PM
This thread is great - it's like a soap opera version of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists but set in a music studio (rather than decorating everyone is installing (cheap) acoustic treatment)!

I have just bought a Emu 0404 and a SE mike to get started. I know they are not going to be the best (or even the easiest to use) but it was what I thought was an appropraite price to start to dabble. I am assumimg as they will get light use they will actually last a while - if they were to be used day in day out OK they will fall to bits reasonable quickly. If they break in a 2 years time that will be ok cos by then I wouldln't want to use such crap mikes.
And buying new stuff is fun by the way!

And I was looking at the Behringer MC200 - only £33 in DV (who everyone hates but buys from) - looks like and is priced like a toy. After all that what hobbies are all about isn't it - toys! Yeah the crap valve with go in a few months and then you buy another better quality valve and you have doubled the value. But will I enjoy playing with it (like the kid did with the £100 keyboard)- probably. Will I really miss £33 - only 15 pints of beer so one good night out! I'd have to stop drinking for a whole week to get a good mike.

I think people do realise that sub £100 mikes shouldn't be used when Aretha Franklin visits your project studio (be ok for Diana Ross though)!
They want to 'just do it' (to pinch one of those money grabbing capitalist slogans).

(Please add virtual post icons to any bits that you don't like within this post.)


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The real musiclover



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 4357
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204950 - 02/11/05 05:54 AM

The Aldi analogy? Are you saying that Behringer aren't actually that bad? Or, unlike Aldi, they will not get better in your opinion?

Maybe as a skimmer of this thread i am missing some key info, and the analogy has a different context?
But i think some here are too hard on Behringer, although they do things that probably warrant criticism, granted.

Haha, like make audio eqpt i hear some cry.

But they fulfill a need.

On the food front... Some of the cheaper "copies" are the actual product in lesser packaging. Probably common knowledge?


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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: BigAl]
      #205008 - 02/11/05 09:53 AM
Quote BigAl:

How much do you reckon a U87 leaves the factory for?




A lot more than you think given your examples.

There is a standard retail mark-up plus a standard distributor mark-up and that's all - there is no vast inflated mark-up because it's a "Neumann" - the mic. costs so much to manufacture and the retail price is in direct relation to this.

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


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BigAl
Just The Bass Player


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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: John Willett]
      #205108 - 02/11/05 12:19 PM
I was only teasing John....

--------------------
Jack of all trades, master of some.


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Dishpan



Joined: 01/09/04
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: John Willett]
      #205228 - 02/11/05 03:47 PM
> There is a standard retail mark-up plus a standard distributor mark-up and that's all - there is no vast inflated mark-up because it's a "Neumann" - the mic. costs so much to manufacture and the retail price is in direct relation to this.

There's more to it than that John, Neumann deliberately raised their European prices (and cut prices in the US) to stop grey-market traders buying their microphones from Germany, and selling them over in the States at a far lower price than Neumann/USA (a seperate company with their own overheads, although as you know owned by Sennheiser) could do.


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The real musiclover]
      #205362 - 02/11/05 07:00 PM
Quote The real musiclover:

The Aldi analogy? Are you saying that Behringer aren't actually that bad? Or, unlike Aldi, they will not get better in your opinion?




Behringer has already been getting better at what they do. But some of their products are still pretty dreadful and some of their products are just wide of the mark and do not fulfill any significant market need - but then they die off pretty quickly anyway.

And yes, as Big Al points out, there are companies that produce products that are of lower quality. And this is the 'Aldi Problem' or in this case the 'Behringer Problem' - what happens to your market share when you start to drift up-market and new 'Aldis' and 'Behringers' come in behind you? I remember Tesco in the 60's as a series of small shops (no match for the Fine-Fares and Sainsburys of this World) that just sold a very small selection of cheap crap at rock-bottom prices. Now Tesco has to worry about Aldi and Aldi is loosing market share to Lidl.

To answer the question "Quo vadis Behringer?" you should look at German post War industrial history and the one company that defined German consumer psychology: Volkswagen.

After the War, VW produced one car; a horrible little thing that always seemed to warm the occupants with exauhst fumes, used too much fuel, spun out at every corner when pushed and was numbingly slow. But it was cheap and it was reliable. When the Bavarian winters dropped to -20C and all other cars just turned their faces to the wall, the Beetle fired up on two, then three and then - miracle of miracles - on all four cylinders and its owner was able to drive to work. It may have been a horrible drive, but it was infinitely better than loosing a day's pay.

Post War Germany was poor. It was poor beyond any modern, western imaginings. Young girls had sex with GI's and Tommies in exchange for chocolate and cigarettes to keep their families alive. Those children that had access to a school had to bring firewood with them.

From this was born the typical modern German cynicism. (And if you read Wilde, you will know that a cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.)

In other words, everything is an economic calculation. Sex, who you marry, which car you drive, what hobbies you persue and who your friends are. All decided by 'What's in it for me?'

Or as a German producer friend of mine once put it, "I loose all sympathy for a man when I find that he has no money."

In the 60's two brothers called Albrecht who had inherited their mother's corner store near Cologne, began to build small shops filled with a very few goods at very low prices. Nothing fresh and nothing fancy. Just tins and packages. Sugar and beans, soup and beer. Milk and gin.

The goods were left on the palettes and customers had to rip the goods out of the boxes themselves. The girl at the check-out had to lift each item from one basket to another as there was no proper till. There was just one brand of soap, one brand of toothpaste, one brand of beer, two types of stew and just one Schnapps. But if you wanted to eat (or just get drunk) and you did not have the money for the goods in one of the 'better' stores, Aldi was nothing short of a Godsend.

But today, just as Volkswagen covers every end of the market from Bugatti to Skoda, with a massive array of well-built family cars in between, Aldi has moved to the middle ground and now is known for good value for money all round.

My guess (and it is just a guess, but I think it makes sense) is that Uli Behringer will do the same.

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


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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]
      #205411 - 02/11/05 09:01 PM
im sure you got it the wrong way round with behringer there, mr byre, surely they have gone down market rapidly in the last ten years ... their gear used to be high quality pro rack equipment, then they jumped on the home recording bandwagon and got cheaper and cheaper .. anyone seen their new firewire interface for less than 60 quid !!!

cheers
grainger


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Stan



Joined: 17/01/05
Posts: 1311
Loc: Big Rock Candy Mountain
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #205466 - 02/11/05 11:16 PM
My SE2200 mic is sweet. The difference it made to the quality of my vocal recordings is large. My SE cost £50 less than my AKG c1000 and it was made in Shangai.
Quality got cheaper. I'd call my SE2200 good bread.
Audio quality was not the victim in this case.

--------------------
.. is this thing on?


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RegressiveRock
Just half a pint of cherryade for me


Joined: 01/09/04
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Stan]
      #205473 - 02/11/05 11:30 PM
Quote Stan:

My SE2200 mic is sweet. The difference it made to the quality of my vocal recordings is large. My SE cost £50 less than my AKG c1000 and it was made in Shangai.
Quality got cheaper. I'd call my SE2200 good bread.
Audio quality was not the victim in this case.




The original SE2200 is a fine mike. I had a couple and liked them. The C1000 is not a good mike from a good manufacturer, however.

There are some pearls out there cheap. Just not all the time.

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


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Garry S
new member


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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: RegressiveRock]
      #205521 - 03/11/05 02:02 AM
I think the Aldi / Tesco analogies are not relevant to the Behri (or Samson and so on, come to that) debate. The former is about something close to a perfect market, huge volumes, commoditised products and an informed audience (they can compare bread prices).

The market for products which allow people to record or make music at home is about relatively technically complex bits of kit, and has been changed out of recognition by (inter alia) the new power of PC's and the popularity of sample based music. So you have a whole new bunch of people who want to make music at home, believe that they can - and why shouldn't they - but don't have much of a budget and don't have the expertise to recognise quality. This is where I was until recently and I would bet I am one of millions across the globe. This is the perfect target market for Uli B and so on.

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


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Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


Joined: 22/07/03
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #205592 - 03/11/05 10:24 AM
Quote grAInger:

im sure you got it the wrong way round with behringer there, mr byre, surely they have gone down market rapidly in the last ten years ... their gear used to be high quality pro rack equipment, then they jumped on the home recording bandwagon and got cheaper and cheaper .. anyone seen their new firewire interface for less than 60 quid !!!

cheers
grainger




errr what the hell gave you that idea???

Behringer have NEVER been "high quality pro Rack equipment"

they've ALWAYS been about bringing the cheapest product to market they possibly could.... it's simply that as they've grown, they've used economies of scale to further reduce the prices, deliberately competing on price, and "over optimistic" marketing...

Simply saying "professional quality FX" and labelling an item "pro-xl" does NOT make it so.....

compare ANY generation of their product to an acknowledged "good" "pro" product of the same era, and you'll find the Behringer is the lesser of the two products... AND Cheaper.

I suspect a large part of their market earlier was the live sound market... it certainly was in my experience anyway...

the typical Hire PA thinking at the time went along the lines of

"why buy one of these, admittedly very nice DBX compressors, when I can buy 5 Composers for the same money, and not care if they break, get beer spilled in them and so on... " they didn't sound "amazing" they simply did a job cheaply...

the market penetration was highly effective....

okay, there were two products which could arguably be said to have bucked that trend...

the UltraCurve and Ultradyne....

these two actually didn't do a bad job... but they cost a lot more for a longer time than any of the other items in the range.... and can still be found today, sitting in some very prestigious PA racks..../.

I first Encountered them in Midge Ure's regular PA many years ago... when they were a "new" thing

and was actually impressed... with the facilities they provided FOR THE MONEY.

the same job could be done, arguably better, with other gear, but at 5 or 6 times the cost per unit.

but in the context of a Live PA rig, they did a perfectly acceptable Job... hell even if the power supply did Buzz acoustically, in that environment, you would NEVER have heard it....

in a decent studio control room though, damn right you'd hear it.... and put the EQ up against a decent quality analogue unit, and there's no way you'd choose it in preference...

and you need to pay quite a bit more than the price of an Ultradyne to get a unit that provides similar facilities AND sounds better.,

But you CAN improve on it's sound... TC triple C does a reasonable job, but you need to go further up market to match the 6 bands the Ultradyne has.,.

( to be fair, these days almost any half decent multiband dynamics plug in sounds better.... )


But in the Working PA rig, the balance between cost and performance is very different from the balance in the studio....

in the studio you should always strive for the n'th degree of perfection to some extent....

whereas in a Live scenario, you try and get the best sound you can, in the least time and for the least money.... to make the job pay, and be able to actually achieve a touring schedule that has the slightest chance of making a profit for anyone involved.
(and these days, it seems not forgetting to completely ignore the audience's experience )


Max

--------------------
Don't get the hump when i tell you it's going to be expensive, it's not my fault , you picked the site/building/room â


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Jcar81



Joined: 13/12/04
Posts: 84
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #205885 - 03/11/05 05:21 PM
There is something that has been touched on a little above which is the idea of brand value.

Taking the Fiat and Mercedes example - if Mercedes manufactured Puntos, it could charge signifcantly more for them than Fiat could.

Of course you have to earn that brand value in the first place.

I'd therefore suggest that, say, Mackie could sell an identical product to Behringer for perhaps double the price, simply because people have more confidence in the brand.

(ah but Behringer are in fact selling copies of Mackie products I hear you cry... but that's another issue...)

Anyway - I'm not going to pretend that Behringer gear is of the top quality availble. But I would suggest that you might pay around double for a similar product by another manufacturer.

I have several pieces of Behringer equipment and all are still in perfect working order, and have served me well. Would I buy them again? With my budget, yes. They definitely offer quality that would have been unheard of at the price a few years ago. And I don't neccessarily associate "Made in China" with bad quality any more - even Volkswagen are manufacturing cars in China. Often products made there actually seem of very high quality.

I also think it's a fair point that buying cheap equipment doesn't always represent good value for money, because the investment is in a sense wasted when the product needs replacing, whereas better gear may never require replacing. Also the issues of "can it be repaired" and "is there any customer service" are important ones for audio professionals.

I think the second-hand market sometimes provides the best value for money for the beginner, even if new products initially seem more appealing.

J


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Jcar81]
      #205897 - 03/11/05 05:46 PM
Don't forget there is copying and copying

You can copy using the same components or you can copy and use the cheapest components and down-rate them all -EG: 10% tolerance instead of 1%, etc., etc..

'Nuff said

--------------------
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: Studio Support Gnome]
      #205933 - 03/11/05 06:30 PM
errr .. sorry max but only 7 years ago the behringer composer had a higher rrp than dbx units of the same spec (so i dont see how you could buy 5 of them for the same as a dbx), i have a lot of old sos back issues here. their euro rack mixers were similarly expensive, and were equipped with high quality opamps .. although i know in those days rrp didnt mean that anyone really sold them at that price. (and of course i KNOW to call something PRO doesnt make it so !!! ... )

in those days the cheapest guys on the block were ZOOM - a name that hasnt come up in this discussion yet ..

also you are still making the mistake that this conversation is only about studio equipment, we are also talking about home recording. which has been pointed out already, will not require the gear to be industrial spec, so to pay premium prices for something that is made stronger seems a bit pointless. so long as it does the job and doesnt spoil the sound it will hopefully last long enough to get the ideas down on disc.

cheers
grainger


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Bill C



Joined: 13/10/04
Posts: 625
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #205947 - 03/11/05 07:23 PM
regarding the Behringer bashing - here's a successful media composer who when interviewed by SOS a few years ago was using Behringer ...

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Aug01/articles/pfarrer0801.asp


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Doublehelix



Joined: 04/12/02
Posts: 4162
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #205961 - 03/11/05 07:54 PM
Quote:

sorry max but only 7 years ago the behringer composer had a higher rrp than dbx units of the same spec (so i dont see how you could buy 5 of them for the same as a dbx), i have a lot of old sos back issues here. their euro rack mixers were similarly expensive, and were equipped with high quality opamps .. although i know in those days rrp didnt





The low-end DBX stuff doesn't neccessarily inspire confidence either. Years ago, DBX took a big turn for the worse with regards to quality when they started coming out with their lower-cost products.

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


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grahawk



Joined: 07/09/04
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #205969 - 03/11/05 08:08 PM
It's not entirely relevant but I see Behringer have just announced a £60 firewire interface.

Now you can get DVD players for £20 it illustrates how cheap it is to make mass produced electronics in China. These probably aren't great but as with audio many people don't notice or don't care. I certainly don't notice and it's probably also true of audio. The music has always mattered far more to me than the recording quality. However I do understand that such cheap stuff is probably not contributing to sustainability especially if it gives up after 18 moths and is replaced by something as cheap. Then again in the whole consumer electronics field I don't think expensive stuff is built to last either and that's a huge market compared to audio recording equipment.


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gerard



Joined: 07/02/05
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #205973 - 03/11/05 08:19 PM


...all i can say is the whole world is going down the toilet.

that's all i'm going to say...

you don't want to get me started!



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ChrisR63



Joined: 06/10/05
Posts: 49
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #206041 - 03/11/05 10:51 PM
I think you may have hit the nail on the head here.
In my kitchen I have a 'nice' cooker - I cook what I think is really nice meals but then again I don't cook for 200 seats a night every night every day of the week (except Wednesdays). It s not a 'pro' cooker. It serves my purposes - I use good ingredients and what comes out is good enough for people to eat(!) - in fact on occasions I have produced a really nice meal which peple said was lovely (the alcohol may have clouded their judgement (but so in a night club with anything recorded just to get back onto subject!!!))
Home recording is about getting ideas down not recording the next No.1 isn't it? Does anyone really think (as opposed to wish) they will have be on top of the pops (or make £m) with what they recorded on their PC. Don't you go into your proper studio and say I recorded this make it better with your thousand pound mike, thousand pound compressor, thousand pound valve guitar amp ... get the picture.
I work in IT and we prototype things and then build them properly with proper tools and proper implementations. But sometime we get a gem of a protype that actually is right. Sadley other time we push out the craply recorded prototypes just to make money
Music is a busines and there are lots of levels of 'quality', all are relevant as in all other busines. Cars, supermarkets, TV, music, sex - you get what you pay for just hope you have plenty of disposable income or can sell at a profit.


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The real musiclover



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 4357
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: ChrisR63]
      #206048 - 03/11/05 11:15 PM

This just occured to me... Erm?

Relevance? Up to you.

Just for arguments sake..... Just supposing that you were put in a studio and had a modicum (at least) of talent and a reasonable grasp of the basics of sound engineering and technology, that, i imagine is most of the contributors here... Anyway this studio you have at your disposal has a hell of a lot of behringer gear, lets say ALL behringer, aside from the synths and instruments.

Could you, or could you not get a decent recording?
A usable recording? Maybe not as fantastic as you may like, but given the nature of the eqpt, a reasonably decent recording that 1000's of people (musicians and non musicians?) up and down the country would regard as a listenable recording. Honestly!

I hope that made a little sense, it's a serious question.

I say yes.

And no, i'm not the man from Del Monte.


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Michael Harrison
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Joined: 10/09/02
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The real musiclover]
      #206058 - 03/11/05 11:58 PM
Quote RML:

lets say ALL behringer, aside from the synths and instruments.

Could you, or could you not get a decent recording?




Yes, I reckon I could; providing reliability (one of the main criticisms) wasn't an issue on the day. This is as you say; the skill of the operator is more important. However, it does cut both ways. Having a working knowledge of a wider range of equipment, I also reckon I could get a justifiably better recording using gear that doesn't cost the earth, but doesn't fall into the Behringer-Bargain-Basement category either.

The second caveat as I see it is this: Going back to the above quoted question, my reply of 'yes' is also qualified by the fact that I'm comfortable with my engineering skills and confident in my ability to spot & avoid/work around the inherrent limitations in most Behringer (or other low-budget) equipment. If I gave *myself-6-years-ago* a studio full of Behringer equipment to make a recording, I think the limitations would be harder for me to spot & counteract.

Hence, newbies stocking up on loads cheap Behringer-etc gear are satisfying the 'me too!' factor of our psyche, but would be better served learning more about how to make careful & effective recordings with a more limited range of better-quality gear. In the process, they'll learn how to differentiate between the relative value of cheapo shelf-filling items & better quality apparatus.

Regards,

Mike

--------------------
www.ehsound.co.uk - Live Sound Hire & Services


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The real musiclover



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 4357
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Michael Harrison]
      #206064 - 04/11/05 12:23 AM

Nice one Michael, yes that all makes good sense, i and think i am understanding you.

I too am reasonably comfortable with my skills and the abilities that years of hard work and therefore experience bring... To the two of us, for example!
Newbies gearing up on the cheap will miss out on the classy stuff? Hmmm? Maybe a few, but when i was driving an Escort i wanted a BMW. And always dreamt of the Porsche. Both just incidentally German, curiously enough.

Of course there are budget alternatives to behringer that could achieve better recordings, i know exactly what you mean.

Behringer is cheap, so are Zoom, Phonic, Edirol, Samson, And for a few quid more you can do Drawmer, Focusrite, Dynaudio etc etc..... And it all depends on the budget, if they have the money, they should buy better, yes of course.

I'll stop here before my incoherence increases.


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coool



Joined: 16/09/04
Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Michael Harrison]
      #206102 - 04/11/05 06:44 AM
hi michael - though if the 'newbie' buys a composer rather than downloading a vst i think he will probably at least learn more about how compressors work

hi gerard - yep youve got it, the world is already in the toilet. but it really isnt to do with cheap home recording gear

cheers
grainger


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drumon



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 243
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Michael Harrison]
      #206121 - 04/11/05 08:35 AM
Quote Michael Harrison:

Quote RML:


The second caveat as I see it is this: Going back to the above quoted question, my reply of 'yes' is also qualified by the fact that I'm comfortable with my engineering skills and confident in my ability to spot & avoid/work around the inherrent limitations in most Behringer (or other low-budget) equipment. If I gave *myself-6-years-ago* a studio full of Behringer equipment to make a recording, I think the limitations would be harder for me to spot & counteract.

Hence, newbies stocking up on loads cheap Behringer-etc gear are satisfying the 'me too!' factor of our psyche, but would be better served learning more about how to make careful & effective recordings with a more limited range of better-quality gear. In the process, they'll learn how to differentiate between the relative value of cheapo shelf-filling items & better quality apparatus.





This sounds like a fantastic piece of advice for anyone new to this, I shall certainly follow this rule too, very well put, thanks!


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Spy!
new member


Joined: 07/01/03
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #206349 - 04/11/05 03:21 PM
Quote grAInger:

also you are still making the mistake that this conversation is only about studio equipment, we are also talking about home recording. which has been pointed out already, will not require the gear to be industrial spec, so to pay premium prices for something that is made stronger seems a bit pointless. so long as it does the job and doesnt spoil the sound it will hopefully last long enough to get the ideas down on disc.

cheers
grainger



IMO there is a (relatively large) middle ground between esoteric, boutique, high-spec, professional studio gear and cheap-as-chips, lucky-if-it-lasts-a-month, sounds-like-crap, home recording gear.

I believe the point being made by many (and certainly by me) is that if you can't afford to and/or don't want to spend that much money on high end gear, it still doesn't make sense (economic or otherwise) to buy the cheap crap (whoever makes it) because you'll end up with junk (the hard/software and your recordings) that nobody wants.

Whether you're (one is) in it for the 'fun' of it or you have more serious ambitions, whether you're trying to just get a record (as in archive) of your band's practice, make a demo or produce a release-ready recording, to me, there is little point in skimping for the sake of a few quid here and there. What you save here you’ll lose later in wasted time and money when unreliable equipment inevitably breaks down.

--------------------
One Love, Spy!
Blog | Podcasts | Tunes


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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]
      #206657 - 05/11/05 04:50 AM
i dunno i think the behringer bashers are pretty much trounced to be honest (if you have the ideas and the abilities and the recording environment then behringer WILL do the job) . .. as was pointed out earlier, the world is going down the toilet, i for one believe that one of the reasons for this sad state of affairs is that on this side of the world some of us have a feeling that its ok to spend enormous amounts of money on esoteric TOYS that hypnotise the user, with their price tag, into believing that they sound better and will make their owners into a PRO !!!

the resale prices of behringer (and zoom etc) gear on ebay is pretty good to be honest. what do you have to lose ? except maybe your prejudices (or your illusions about your own abilities !?)

cheers
grainger


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #207126 - 06/11/05 01:31 PM
Quote grAInger:

i dunno i think the behringer bashers are pretty much trounced to be honest (if you have the ideas and the abilities and the recording environment then behringer WILL do the job)




You really don't get it, do you?

It is not an either / or -- pro / anti calculation. I too use Behringer for simple eq's and headphone amps and you will find some Behringer gear in some very prestige studios for whom the sticker price is hardly a big issue.

When you buy cheap kit (Cheap Kitt, Gadd how often I used to love that woman!) you also pay in loss of quality. Somewhere between a Rolls Royce and a Fiat Uno is a good car that is right for you. In the same way, somewhere between Erdirol and Avalon is the right pre-amp for you.
If the item is not mission critical, then one tends towards cheaper stuff. If the item is very important to what you do and it is a complicated task, then one tends to opt for better quality. But when you do buy the very, very cheapest, then you will end up with the very lowest quality. This all too often tips over into being useless.

(Remember the guy with the Behringer Eurodesk that wanted to use the direct outs for live recording, but could not because they were not direct outs at all, but just taps off the fader? That means that he spent £800 on a desk that is of no use to him.)

This calculation is one that we aught to take with us to every item we buy. The cheapest car breaks down, the cheapest bread is unhealthy, the cheapest vacuum cleaner falls to bits, the cheapest DVD player can't play all formats, the cheapest house has rising damp, the cheapest shoes are just glued together. All will be useless far sooner than something that has been built, manufactured, designed, what ever, properly.

This must not be confused with the so-called snob effect of having an item that carries a certain name and unfortunately the pro-audio market is full of these products. Items that are heavily marketed are often not the best. After all, who pays for the marketing?

Also, items that are just the most expensive in their field are not always the best. If you buy a Neve 88R you may be getting £250,000 worth of engineering excellence, but you are also getting a very unreliable desk. The very lowest THD and noise floor comes at an engineering cost, as well as a monetary cost.

If you buy a Behringer Eurodesk, you are getting a different type of engineering excellence (how to build a mixing desk for almost nothing) but you are still getting a very unreliable desk.

The law of diminishing marginal utility (aka the law of diminishing returns) tells us that if you have too much of anything, an extra one will be of little value. This law also places a very high value on those goods that you have very little of. If you are starving to death, a 50p bar of chocolate is worth everything you have.

But quality does not work like that. Too much quality may follow the law above, (the car that become a plastic gin-palace, the mixing desk that becomes a service black hole after a few years) but too little means that below a certain level, the item becomes useless.

Success is built of many components (intelligence, tenacity, attention to detail, realism, ability to judge people) and one of those components is to know when not to go to extremes.

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


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Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


Joined: 22/07/03
Posts: 9349
Loc: UK *but works all over the pl...
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #207137 - 06/11/05 02:14 PM
Quote grAInger:

though if the 'newbie' buys a composer rather than downloading a vst i think he will probably at least learn more about how compressors work





now THERE we can agree 150% Wholeheartedly....

, it's one of "those" things... i would much prefer it if people weren't allowed to use presets until AFTER they knew how to operate the "real thing" .

Although, to be fair, with some synths, that would be counter productive IMHO... but for Signal processing , it's very relevant...

Max

--------------------
Don't get the hump when i tell you it's going to be expensive, it's not my fault , you picked the site/building/room â


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steveman



Joined: 17/03/02
Posts: 1142
Loc: London - UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #207167 - 06/11/05 04:02 PM
Quote:

. .. as was pointed out earlier, the world is going down the toilet, i for one believe that one of the reasons for this sad state of affairs is that on this side of the world some of us have a feeling that its ok to spend enormous amounts of money on esoteric TOYS that hypnotise the user, with their price tag, into believing that they sound better and will make their owners into a PRO !!!



From what I've seen here, those that espouse the high-end gear aren't doing it for snobbery nor do believe these are esoteric 'toys', they buy it because of it's reliability and longevity. It's interesting to note that all of those arguing in favour of the higher end gear ARE Pros ie. they actually have to make a living using the gear.
If you or I as hobbyists have equipment die on us it's a pain, but we won't lose any work (ie. income) because of it. If you earn a living doing something, you buy the best tools you can afford for the job, but you also have to buy with cost in mind as you have to make a profit in the end. If these guys were happy that Behringer (or cheap DBX, Zoom whatever) would do the job reliably I'm sure they'd use it as they'd have to work less for the same income.

I fail to see how buying quality esoteric 'toys' makes the world a worse place. There's an implication in your comment that those buying expensive gear are more responsible for the world's problems than those of us that can only afford cheap gear. If you're referring generally to conspicuous comsumption, there's plenty of that right now at all price levels. Buying something that retains it's value and it still useable after a few years seems to me to be a far more beneficial thing to the world than buying a cheap item that could fail after a year, can't be fixed and ends up in a landfill.

I believe this was Max's original point, that low end manufacturer's business methods are both economically and ecologically unsustainable in the long term. If Behringer really has stimulated new demand for their products (ie. lots of new users who'd never thought of recording music before), why do their prices keep dropping? They are a business, surely it's in their interest to maximise returns? They have the brand awareness and market share at the low end, so the only reason I can see is that they're worried someone will come along and build stuff even cheaper. hardly a model for long term economic sustainability.

We have a worldwide glut of very cheap durable goods right now, mainly due to an excess of labour (ie the Chinese workforce). There's also major production overcapacity worldwide, which again is driving prices lower, at the same time raw material prices are rising, things will not get cheaper for ever.

...A behringer mixer owner


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Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


Joined: 22/07/03
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #207284 - 06/11/05 09:56 PM
Quote grAInger:

i dunno i think the behringer bashers are pretty much trounced to be honest (if you have the ideas and the abilities and the recording environment then behringer WILL do the job) . .. as was pointed out earlier, the world is going down the toilet, i for one believe that one of the reasons for this sad state of affairs is that on this side of the world some of us have a feeling that its ok to spend enormous amounts of money on esoteric TOYS that hypnotise the user, with their price tag, into believing that they sound better and will make their owners into a PRO !!!

the resale prices of behringer (and zoom etc) gear on ebay is pretty good to be honest. what do you have to lose ? except maybe your prejudices (or your illusions about your own abilities !?)

cheers
grainger




spoken by a man who's almost certainly never directly heard any of the gear which he decries, never mind actually used it.

I would point out that many here HAVE actually used both the expensive kit AND Behringer AND alternative cheap and Mid range brands, and are in a position to determine for themselves how much money they feel required to hand over to a manufacturer

and you'll find they ALL agree on the results and the majority of points under discussion here.

and NONE of them really enjoy giving money away that they could otherwise use on their own families, homes and pensions etc etc.,.....

Trounced?


I doubt it.
When's the next shuttle from planet grAInger then?


Max

--------------------
Don't get the hump when i tell you it's going to be expensive, it's not my fault , you picked the site/building/room â


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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]
      #207329 - 06/11/05 11:43 PM
aaah ... max you just couldnt let it lie could ya ?

im sure youve played with much more expensive toys than me, what does that prove ? what equipment have i seriously decried ? ("neumann stink" was an ironic statement ) ... yr words are like lead, they drop around you like spent pennies, or wasted shot. youve come and you didnt even realize it !! you have NOT refuted a single one of my points in any way .. we are not all studio owners, mebbe 5 percent of the forum users, its very interesting to hear yr esteemed opinions but please dont ram them down our throats. we dont all make money at it, most of us are on a seriously tight budget.

was i wrong when i said behringer gear goes for a fair price on ebay ? was i wrong when i agreed with another poster that if you have the idea, the ability and the environment you can do it with behringer ?

yes im opposed to conspicuous consumption, whats wrong with that ? and of course, i know its not black and white, but you lot keep trying to make it so .. there is NOT (IMHO) any particular RIGHT tool for any particular job (you can drive a nail with a stone, or a screw with a knife if you have to ... and some of us HAVE TO !!! )

behringer have proved consistently that there is no real reason for such vastly overpriced home recording gear. they can make it for a tenth of the price, why cant anyone else ? .. they have been bashed for 'copying' other manufacturers designs, but in solid state signal processing there is only one 'correct' way to construct a mic preamp or a bell shaped eq or a VCA compressor, you cant make it any other way - you can skimp on power supplies, or hardware or whatever but the circuit only works in one way - such fundamental designs cannot belong to one company.

night night
grainger

ps theres only one bus a day to and from planet grAInger and the driver wont let anyone on who smells funny ..


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steveman



Joined: 17/03/02
Posts: 1142
Loc: London - UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #207356 - 07/11/05 12:57 AM
Quote:

but in solid state signal processing there is only one 'correct' way to construct a mic preamp or a bell shaped eq or a VCA compressor, you cant make it any other way - you can skimp on power supplies, or hardware or whatever but the circuit only works in one way - such fundamental designs cannot belong to one company.



Spoken like someone with little knowledge of electronic engineeering.

Quote:

there is no real reason for such vastly overpriced home recording gear


Overpriced!! You really are on a different planet. BTW Neve & Neumann aren't designed for 'home recording'.

Like you I'm on a seriously tight budget, I just save up until I REALLY need something. But then 'saving' money isn't something any of us are supposed to now is it - we've got to keep the wheels of commerce oiled...


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Steve Hill
member


Joined: 07/01/03
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #207358 - 07/11/05 01:00 AM
Quote grAInger:

behringer have proved consistently that there is no real reason for such vastly overpriced home recording gear. they can make it for a tenth of the price, why cant anyone else ? .. they have been bashed for 'copying' other manufacturers designs, but in solid state signal processing there is only one 'correct' way to construct a mic preamp or a bell shaped eq or a VCA compressor, you cant make it any other way - you can skimp on power supplies, or hardware or whatever but the circuit only works in one way - such fundamental designs cannot belong to one company.




Not "bashed" for copying. Successfully sued (by Mackie). They steal. Pure and simple. A judge has so ordered. (And as a matter of pure personal morality I then decided not to buy their products. I don't really care if you call me sanctimonious. I can live with my own conscience).

See also their very recent withdrawal (under threat of legal action by Roland) of the launch of a bunch of Boss rip-off guitar pedals.

There are many ways of designing these things, which is why (say) a Manley compressor costs rather more than a Behringer. To say there is only one way to correctly make a mic pre-amp does, I fear, betray your lack of understanding of the topic. On that logic, Universal Audio (say) could argue they did it all in the 1960s and anything anyone else has done since (including Behringer) is a waste of space.

Actually, on reflection, that argument has some attractions....

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


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BigAl
Just The Bass Player


Joined: 24/01/02
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #207422 - 07/11/05 09:25 AM
Steve,
THis argument/discussion has been flogged to death on many occasions, but if you are going to excercise your rights not to buy a company's product(s) because of some moral reason, then I hope you apply that to ALL products you buy.
Microsoft are leaders in this field so I only hope you are posting your reply from a Mac or Linux machine.

--------------------
Jack of all trades, master of some.


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
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Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #207456 - 07/11/05 10:20 AM
"behringer have proved consistently that there is no real reason for such vastly overpriced home recording gear. they can make it for a tenth of the price, why cant anyone else ?"

Don't be silly! Behringer have proved no such thing! Consistent!! Yes, very consistently breaking down . . . noisy, and nasty gear (with some exceptions) Because to get good, reliable gear, you have to spend money on better electronics, R&D, components . . . the list goes on.

As to your point about making good recordings with Behringer & their like,
yes it is possible, but they could be BETTER, and that's what I strive for, and many others. It's no good burying your head in the sand and posting that inferior gear will be as good as great gear - and expecting a positive reaction from those of us who have used GREAT EQs, GREAT compressers, GREAT reverbs, GREAT mics & pres . . . . . . . and who have to use something dead cheap that is really bloody frustrating to use because it won't bloomin' do what you want of it!

G

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


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Steve Hill
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: BigAl]
      #207459 - 07/11/05 10:26 AM
Quote BigAl:

Steve,
THis argument/discussion has been flogged to death on many occasions, but if you are going to excercise your rights not to buy a company's product(s) because of some moral reason, then I hope you apply that to ALL products you buy.
Microsoft are leaders in this field so I only hope you are posting your reply from a Mac or Linux machine.




Mac

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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: Steve Hill]
      #207461 - 07/11/05 10:27 AM
Quote Steve Hill:

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").





Uhm, no. I've worked in bars and restaurants for over 10 years and I can assure you they all have a fixed ratio of wholesale price > customer price. So if they sell a £2,50 bottle for £10, they'll sell a £10 bottle for £40.

Think about it. The way you are presenting things, they would make as much money on a £10 bottle of wine as they would on a £200 bottle of champagne.

(With the food it's different. Restaurants make very little, if anything at all, on the food. But it's the food that allows them to sell a bottle of wine for 4 times what they pay for it.)


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BigAl
Just The Bass Player


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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: lo-fi]
      #207467 - 07/11/05 10:34 AM
ANd a bottle of Becks costs far too much in the supermarket, yet unknown German brands which are every bit as good are a lot less.
Brewer pubs who sell cans for 2 quid (carry out) usually have to buy them from the brewers at an inflated price, rather than go down their local off-license.

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Jack of all trades, master of some.


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Steve Hill
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: BigAl]
      #207471 - 07/11/05 10:39 AM
Straying wildly OT, reminds me of the business conference I was on in Italy where a bottle of beer from the hotel minibar was £4! The exact same bottle in the supermarket opposite the hotel was 33p. Got back to my room to find a handwritten note on the bed: "If you continue to use the minibar to store your own drinks there will be big trouble".

I never did find out what they had in mind, and whether this involved the local mafia bosses....

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tipex
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #207504 - 07/11/05 12:03 PM
I think sos should run a competition to see who can make the best recording with 200 quid or so of behringer gear (that'd include mics, mixer, outboard)


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coool



Joined: 16/09/04
Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #207512 - 07/11/05 12:20 PM
... who said behringer is AS GOOD AS (so called) great gear ? hey ? ... who said that ? .. NOT ME .. who said NEVE and NEUMANN were designed for 'home recording' ?? .. NOT ME

who says behringer gear is always breaking down ? .. who says it is noisy and nasty ? .. YOU LOT who are supposed to never buy behringer, so how do you know ? is there anyone else ? .. (anyone read the recent posts from extremely satisfied behringer owners talking about their midi controllers ?)

(as was said about 3 pages back) which 'professional' studio owner EVER sat down and made a choice between NEVE or BEHRINGER ?

as for yr own limited grasps of solid state electronics, of course there are 'many' ways of making a pre amp (etc) but they are ALL variations on ONE basic circuit. there is only one way of making a circuit with any particular characteristics ... so if you want to make a pre amp with particular high gain, particular low noise levels, particular wide dynamic range, particular wide frequency response, etc there is only ONE configuration of components to do it with ... am i right ? .. .

you really have all got yr heads stuck up yr back passages

bye fer now
grainger


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coool



Joined: 16/09/04
Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: tipex]
      #207514 - 07/11/05 12:21 PM
tipex - brilliant idea


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #207518 - 07/11/05 12:31 PM
Quote:

as for yr own limited grasps of solid state electronics, of course there are 'many' ways of making a pre amp (etc) but they are ALL variations on ONE basic circuit. there is only one way of making a circuit with any particular characteristics ... so if you want to make a pre amp with particular high gain, particular low noise levels, particular wide dynamic range, particular wide frequency response, etc there is only ONE configuration of components to do it with ... am i right ? .. .




No. You are about as wrong as it is humanly possible to be.

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www.the-byre.com No longer Forum Member


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Pat
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #207552 - 07/11/05 01:42 PM
Quote Steve Hill:


Not "bashed" for copying. Successfully sued (by Mackie). They steal. Pure and simple. A judge has so ordered. (And as a matter of pure personal morality I then decided not to buy their products. I don't really care if you call me sanctimonious. I can live with my own conscience).






Quote Steve Hill:

I can shamefully reveal that The Behringer Thing was used on the last album put together in this studio. They do seem to have got that particular rip-off right!




Latter quote originally posted by someone called, I believe, "Steve Hill" on 01/10/05.

Are these two related?

I think we should be told...


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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]
      #207566 - 07/11/05 02:13 PM
Interesting posting behaviour* of grAinger. I note there are no public details on his Forum name.

Feed him a line, and he bites quite predictably.

G

*polite for troll-candidate.

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


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ghr



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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #207634 - 07/11/05 04:16 PM
Quote:

I can shamefully reveal that The Behringer Thing was used on the last album put together in this studio. They do seem to have got that particular rip-off right!





And which particular Behringer Thing would that be


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Steve Hill
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: ghr]
      #207723 - 07/11/05 07:06 PM
To clear up a running hare before it becomes a popular misconception, a Behringer reverb unit was used here on the last album made before I bought the studio. Along with several Lexicons etc as well!

I own that album and it's OK. But don't ask me to endorse the reverb unit, because I don't know which one it was or how much it was used!

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


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Steve Hill
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #207730 - 07/11/05 07:11 PM
Quote grAInger:

as for yr own limited grasps of solid state electronics, of course there are 'many' ways of making a pre amp (etc) but they are ALL variations on ONE basic circuit.




Um, why do you even entertain the somewhat endearing illusion that "solid state electronics" have anything to do with the price of eggs? Most audiophiles spit on the term solid state, and with good reason...

Grainger, you may well be an interesting guy with interesting opinions, but when in a hole, stop digging. For your own sake. Please.

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


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coool



Joined: 16/09/04
Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #207808 - 07/11/05 09:37 PM
guy, gis a break mate, what dya want to know about me ? search the net, ive been around for years .. i will admit, i have some opinions which arent good for me, ie they make me look uncool, so what ? is that all you lot are here for ? im no expert, except when it comes to what i do.

i dont see what hole im in ? i was just responding to some half baked opinions from a scottish studio owner.

nuff said
grainger


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Steve Hill
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #207816 - 07/11/05 09:54 PM
Quote grAInger:

guy, gis a break mate, what dya want to know about me ? search the net, ive been around for years .. i will admit, i have some opinions which arent good for me, ie they make me look uncool, so what ? is that all you lot are here for ? im no expert, except when it comes to what i do.

i dont see what hole im in ? i was just responding to some half baked opinions from a scottish studio owner.

nuff said
grainger





Andy makes a living from his opinions. You don't. That's all there is to it. It's nothing personal. Really.

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The real musiclover



Joined: 01/09/04
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #207906 - 08/11/05 03:32 AM

Happy birthday Max.

I don't suppose you will be treating yourself to a nice new bit of Behringer kit then.

Didn't really need a question mark that, did it?

Have a good one.

Birthday bump(s)

Pensionable?


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trackstar



Joined: 25/08/05
Posts: 250
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #208002 - 08/11/05 10:59 AM
did i read it wrong, or is the opening thread the most vulgar piece of snobbery ever to disgrace these boards? i thought the 'tonmeister is good everything else is sh!t' thread he posted a while back tread a fine line. but this takes the cake.

whats your contribution to off topic? 'Terraced housing is sh!t, heres why...' or how about 'People on minimum wage should be shot'. You might have a good education, but your people skills are severely lacking. get out more.


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4340
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: trackstar]
      #208027 - 08/11/05 11:29 AM
A few punctuation and writing mistakes there. So I've corrected it for you:

Did I read it wrong, or is the opening thread the most vulgar piece of snobbery ever to disgrace these boards? I thought the 'tonmeister is good everything else is sh!t' thread he posted a while back, trod a fine line. But this takes the cake.

What's your contribution to off-topic? 'Terraced housing is sh!t, here's why...' or how about 'People on minimum wage should be shot'. You might have a good education, but your people skills are severely lacking: Get out more.


And you make not a lot of sense: I don't think your 'thesis' is correct.

G


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Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


Joined: 22/07/03
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The real musiclover]
      #208054 - 08/11/05 12:10 PM
Quote The real musiclover:


Happy birthday Max.

I don't suppose you will be treating yourself to a nice new bit of Behringer kit then.

Didn't really need a question mark that, did it?

Have a good one.

Birthday bump(s)

Pensionable?




Cheers matey.... Not quite pension territory yet

let's see, RME AD/DA, another POD, and Terry Pratchett's latest tome, and a late bacon butty Breakfast are so far the day's profits

have to wait for the Kids to come home from School before I get any more



Lets just all agree to differ and Raise a glass to each other's health this evening eh?

Salut grAInger


Max

--------------------
Don't get the hump when i tell you it's going to be expensive, it's not my fault , you picked the site/building/room â


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Guy Johnson



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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #208086 - 08/11/05 12:53 PM
Well, Well! Happy Birthday, Max. Have a good one, and keep the 'phones off the hook!

G


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Studio Support Gnome
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Joined: 22/07/03
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #208098 - 08/11/05 01:06 PM
Quote Guy Johnson:

Well, Well! Happy Birthday, Max. Have a good one, and keep the 'phones off the hook!

G




Wish I'd thought of it earlier mate... I've already done 1 Remix-recut to new vid edit this morning...

in MY religion, no one has to work on their Birthday !

Sorry chaps.... got a Bit OT there...

Max

--------------------
Don't get the hump when i tell you it's going to be expensive, it's not my fault , you picked the site/building/room â


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Guy Johnson



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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #208105 - 08/11/05 01:12 PM


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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]
      #208252 - 08/11/05 04:41 PM
hey happy birthday maximus ... i hope it was a really good one ... have a pint for me

cheers
grainger


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coool



Joined: 16/09/04
Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: trackstar]
      #208264 - 08/11/05 04:52 PM
Quote trackstar:

did i read it wrong, or is the opening thread the most vulgar piece of snobbery ever to disgrace these boards?




oh no it gets much more vulgar round here (i remember the thread - piracy is as bad as burglary - or even piracy is as bad as raping young girls !!)... i realize they are not real opinions in the end, something akin to trolling actually. i dont see how anyone with half a mind could think they can spout such bull and expect everyone to agree. its what comes from living life in a so called "control" room ...

grainger


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BigAl
Just The Bass Player


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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #208276 - 08/11/05 05:11 PM
Something which stimulates discussion can't be a bad thing really.

Everybody agreeing?

Don't be silly.

In fact I completely disagree with you last post.



--------------------
Jack of all trades, master of some.

Edited by BigAl (08/11/05 05:12 PM)


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Studio Support Gnome
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #208518 - 09/11/05 02:23 AM
Thing is grAinger, largely, this "discussion" has largely missed the point of my original utterance, which Andy lifted and used to start his dissertation

My Point was that what I loosely called "the Behringer phenomenon" has shifted the emphasis of our industry market from quality, innovation and technical excellence AND price, , to Price, price, price and price.,....

eventually this MUST change, or we will end up with no choice other than Behringer (or someone even cheaper and worse, less technically proficient ) , and someone like Neve, Uber expensive, REALLY VERY VERY VERY GOOD, but fiscally unattainable to anyone other than international broadcasters

it's easy to see the effects if you've been "shopping" seriously at a range of market levels for the last 10 years or so....

the number of manufacturers and breadth of product range is shrinking overall, SOME are growing as they absorb others and partly fill the voids left by collapses, downsizing and other reversals of fortune of their competitors.

but overall, the picture is one of a declining market in a vicious circle

this is NOT a good thing

the trend can (and probably will) end up in a defacto monopoly and this will utterly remove the need for competition on price or quality....

at which point, EVERYONE gets screwed, from bedroom hobbyist to Serious pro.


Just go and do a serious statistical study of product and market trends over the last 20 years, and then perhaps you'll need to re-appraise your position on "The Behringer bashers"

this isn't an argument about whether some decent results can be coaxed form less than ideal kit....

it's about the eventual extinction of almost anything but that less than ideal level of equipment.

A market where there is only a choice between Behringer or Neve is not one I look forward to., (names used as a generic example not specifics)

and nor should you.


Max

--------------------
Don't get the hump when i tell you it's going to be expensive, it's not my fault , you picked the site/building/room â


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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]
      #208531 - 09/11/05 05:55 AM
hi max

fine lets start again (did you have a good birthday ?) ... i still dont agree, i cant see any other area of commerce where that has happened, in supermarkets they still sell 'the best' range next to the 'bettabuy' range ... but none of these analogies will help us when it comes to studio gear, and thats maybe the point - STUDIO gear - in the last ten years there are very few STUDIOs left to sell the high end gear to ? (wether thats good or bad is another thread) .. it has shifted to become a consumer market with behringer, edirol, zoom etc jostling for their share of the home recording boom.

can i remind you i NEVER said behringer are as good as NEVE and i would be as sad as the next muso if we did end up in the position you describe. i also agree stuff shouldnt be made that is uneconomical or impractical to repair (though we are already in that position with a lot of hi fi and cars etc already) i personally have only one piece of behringer, my other gear is made by rode, echo, joe meek and blue - all of whom make a range of very good cheap gear along with the higher end stuff

the home recording market IS a different market to the studio market though, i hope you can agree with this, and i still think for some one starting out, they CAN get the results with behringer and as they maybe unsure wether they really have the ideas or the abilities, i for one could not recommend they spend anymore than that to begin with. there is something distinctly distasteful about our consumerist nightmare of a culture where people think theyve got to get 'the best' to begin with, and that it will somehow make up for their lack of ability (witness the 90's boom in fitness fads ... all those expensive trainers !!! )

im not going to go on much more than this now, this has been a very interesting thread, but i would say in closing i think its unfair to label behringer (or any other cheap gear) as 'noisy and nasty' when there really is no evidence for that (it does sound like snobbery, sorry) .. there has been more threads on here about motu and mackie gear breaking down than behringer im sure ...

cheers
grainger


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #208631 - 09/11/05 12:23 PM
Quote:

in supermarkets they still sell 'the best' range next to the 'bettabuy' range




If you take the usual market leaders of Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda, the answer is no they do not. Exactly that which Max was warning against took place. There used to be bakers in every village and town and each was proud of the quality of their best bread. Now, although Tesco has improved its bread selection, it falls well below the standard of a good baker.

The same is true for fish. All the shellfish are dead. Indeed most of the fish on display at all three came to the shop frozen (which destroys the taste). But because shoppers are becoming used to the taste (or rather the lack of taste) of fish from Tesco, they shun the local fishmonger and he goes out of business. The result is that we now can only get fresh fish in a handful of shops in the UK.

Something that every person used to have access to in every high street in Britain has gone.

This is not a snobism thing as this lack of choice effects poor people more than it effects rich people. The rich will always have access to the best food. But now go out onto the High Street and try to buy a freshly smoked kipper, something every family in Britain had access to just a few years ago.

I could go on with every foodstuff on the shelves of the big three, from flour to butter, from cheese to chocolate.

Quote:

there are very few STUDIOs left to sell the high end gear to




Not true. There are more studios around today than ever before. What is diminishing is the number of good quality commercial studios. Private studios of the very highest quality seem to be everywhere. Mark Knopfler has just spent £10m on a new studio.

Quote:

there has been more threads on here about motu and mackie gear breaking down than behringer




I doubt it.

But Grainger has made several important points throughout this debate.

Firstly snobbism

A commercial studio has to use snobbism as one of the weapons of war. This is for the very simple reason that as a commercial studio, you have to be able to offer the customer something that they do not have access to at home. Even if a Behringer microphone would be every bit as good as a Neuman 149, you cannot charge people money for using something that cost £100 or less. I have had people come to us because we have a Lexicon 960L and then not use it. Go figure!

And yes, there has been a silly pissing contest between some desk manufacturers in the totally misguided belief that there is a demand for ultimate quality, throwing every other consideration to the Four Winds.

The customer looks at price, reliability, features and quality.

Amek, AMS-Neve and SSL chased the holy grail of building the best analogue desk in the World. They wasted vast sums developing products that the market was not prepared to take. All three companies stumbled and fell (into new ownership) as an indirect result of placing quality and features above the other two needs.

Sony thought that they could dominate the pro-audio market after the success of their DASH recorders and launched the Oxford. This baby did everything and I do mean everything, but almost nobody wanted it.

If you chase one or two of the magic four above everything else, the product suffers.

Secondly mic pre design:

You stated earlier that there is only one way to make a mic pre-amp if it is to be any good. I wrote that you were "as wrong as it is humanly possible to be." But in a perverse way, you were right, there is only one way to build a decent mic pre - very cheaply. All the cheap mic pres of this World are built in the same way and they all colour the sound and cause distortion, especially in phantom power mics. That means that there would be little point in putting a good mic into a cheap desk as the pre-amp will bring both down to its poor level of performance.

(Schoeps produced several interesting papers on this subject and a series of lectures at the Tonmeister Tage a couple of years back.)

The same goes for the eqs. A simple filter is very easy to build and costs almost nothing. A filter that does not produce phase anomalies is very difficult to build. That is (one of) the reasons so many people believe that one should avoid boosting a frequency - as you bring up one band, the rest of the signal is subjected to a comb-filter effect and the whole thing begins to sound as if you have shoe boxes on your ears.

So you may not be right today, but one day all other pre-amp designs may have to give way to that pseudo-balanced thing with a couple of ICs running all the eq and auxes. It's a nasty noise, but we will know no better.

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www.the-byre.com No longer Forum Member


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Dishpan



Joined: 01/09/04
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #208691 - 09/11/05 01:51 PM
> Just go and do a serious statistical study of product and market trends over the last 20 years
> A market where there is only a choice between Behringer or Neve is not one I look forward to.,

Max, I'm not sure I agree with the thought that we'll be left with only the ultra low and ultra high ends, as I don't think the current market place reflects this at all. To me, there's FAR more choice now than there was a few years ago, at all price points, whether it be mics, pres, effects or whatever.

Of course, some areas of our industry have suffered, you can't find a hardware sampler anymore for example, but I really don't think that's part of the same argument.


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Simon (aka UK03878)



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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #208715 - 09/11/05 02:41 PM
... and this bring us to another option.
DIY.
I bought bits 'n' bobs over the space of 3 years in the late 1990s
I got all the bits of kit that FM and SoS and what my mates were raving about.
As a consequence and since then as a home recordist (and ex-pro/semipro musician as most of us are..) I have learnt more and more about recording and my ears have gotten more and more attuned to what to listen for.
And I am not very impressed with the £20,000 of kit I have (it all adds up....!!)
I can remember how things sounded in professional studios I have recorded in and compare them to what I get.

Last year I made the decision not to buy any more kit BUT to build my own.
This was to faciliate two things...
1. To be able to have real high end gear at afforable prices
2. To teach myself how all this stuff works.. adn thus use it better

The teaching bit is coming along very nicely indeed.
The problem with the gear lust still exists - although now I get more excited about getting a Carnhill transformer, Elma switch, EAO illuminated pushbuttons and trying to find decent engravers.

oh - and in my village we have a lovely baker, two butchers, greengrocers, farmers who deliver 25kg of potatoes for £3.50..
Fish... have to go to the local Loch Fyne for counter sales for that


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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]
      #209016 - 10/11/05 05:23 AM
some good points there ... (though i dont know how you, mr byre, can be so disingenuous to say there are more studios than ever, when ive seen you on more than one thread berating the closure of yet another studio - studio culture is coming to an end along with a lot of the so called 'music business' in general, i for one wont shed any tears about that)

GEAR LUST - how many times is there some sad discussion on these boards along the lines "oh dear im really sad, i dont make any music anymore i just buy expensive equipment i wish i still had my atari/analogue synth/cassette multitracker" ? ... well if the whole market was demystified and people could see the important things are ideas, ability and environment NOT GEAR then it might save some of us from such embarrassing ennui ..

CHOICE - just because a tesco is a big smelly dehumanised place doesnt mean they dont have masses more choice than any little corner shop and generally at a better price (the point about bread is daft, when i go to my corner shop their bread is always stale 'happy shopper' stuff at 4 times the price of tesco, and the milk is always sour) - the choice in musical gear is enormous nowadays, i cant see it getting less either at any price point.

DESIGN - though my original statement was a bit dogmatic - there is really only one way to make any particular circuit because electronics only works one way, but i know there are a lot of subtleties in power supply design and pcb construction. take a fuzz box for instance all of them are based on forcing a signal through a diode. i dont see how behringer can be slated for copying such a design, when you have people on ebay selling their so called 'boutique' designs for 50 quid using the "same circuit that jimmy hendrix used" with 50 pence worth of components in it !!! - if you admit theres only one way to make a crap pre amp how many ways do you think there is to make a good one ?

i am massively in favour of cheap gear (hand in hand with the good stuff) because as far as i can see the only real problems nowadays all come down to a collective lack of imagination. maybe something to do with tv or whatever, but at least the more people who get the chance to have a go, the more people who shouldnt really have this stuff, the more chance statistically that we will get something really new ... i think there is much more interesting music about now than ever and maybe some of this IS down to cheap gear opening up the playing field

monitors for a fiver a mic for a tenner ? .. yes please

grainger


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Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


Joined: 22/07/03
Posts: 9349
Loc: UK *but works all over the pl...
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #209055 - 10/11/05 09:44 AM
Quote grAInger:

DESIGN - though my original statement was a bit dogmatic - there is really only one way to make any particular circuit because electronics only works one way, but i know there are a lot of subtleties in power supply design and pcb construction. take a fuzz box for instance all of them are based on forcing a signal through a diode. i dont see how behringer can be slated for copying such a design, when you have people on ebay selling their so called 'boutique' designs for 50 quid using the "same circuit that jimmy hendrix used" with 50 pence worth of components in it !!! - if you admit theres only one way to make a crap pre amp how many ways do you think there is to make a good one ?




Ignoring all the other bits for a moment....

sorry but that's complete and utter bollox

seriously, sorry, it's nothing personal , but grAInger, it's plainly obvious you neither have any depth of understanding of that field, nor the background to do so.

there's almost infinite ways to create a circuit to do a specific job.

it's the differences between them in terms of both general topology and specific detail that gives each one it's unique tonal qualities....

there's different ways of using otherwise identical active devices that yield different results.

for as very loose example,

the MOTU 192HD, the Digidesign HD192, the EMU 1812M and (if memory serves me correctly) focusrite saffire all use the same AD/DA conversion chips.

however, they all have different sonic properties due to the entirely different surrounding circuitry... and it's NOT just the PSU./

they're all acknowledged as being good, within their market segment, but anyone thinking the EMU and Saffire sound exactly the same as the MOTU or Digidesign, is going to be somewhat disappointed . (although it's probably fair to say the Saffire performs above the expected level given it's street price... possibly thanks to the marriage of superb mic pre amps with reasonable converters)

and the MOTU doesn't sound EXACTLY like the Digidesign device either.... (although it's closer than either of the other two)

the same idea is also still true of distortion pedals.... 5 pedals using the same active element can , and will sound different, 5 ways , unless they're exact carbon copies.... and even then, component tolerances can result in different sounding units....

And there are fundamentally different topology ideas for generating a distorted signal... and by no means do all of them involve a diode as the core element.........


hell even at the most basic level, there's almost infinite ways of achieving a given resistance, capacitance or impedance in a single circuit element, never mind anything else...

(think about series and parallel components, just for a moment.... )

there's more to it, but I wanted to simply point out your false premise . in case you weren't aware that it was a fundamental flaw in your thinking....



Best regards

Max

--------------------
Don't get the hump when i tell you it's going to be expensive, it's not my fault , you picked the site/building/room â


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #209098 - 10/11/05 10:58 AM
I must say, I do not often speak out loud when reading postings here or elsewhere, but when I read that bit about fuzz boxes and said "What a load of bollocks!" in a clear voice and my wife thought I was calling her.

The trouble here is that Grainger has decided that he is the 'Advocate Royal' for cheap kit when he is obviously not qualified to speak on this topic.

This is a pity because there is an argument to be made for products that are built at the very lowest price possible. I personally do not agree with that argument, but it is there. Grainger is not the person to make that argument. It would be nice to have someone with a knowledge of the subject make that argument.

I too am not the person to hold impromptu seminars on mixer design or even fuzz boxes. I built my first fuzz box using a whisker diode when I was 15 and it sounded so poor that I scrapped the idea and tried something else. I have built mic pres, but only copies of other people's designs. Right now I am working on an old East German mixer that I hope to convert into a 5.1 compressor and trust me, it is a million years from any design you have ever seen. The brilliance of the design allows you to put anything, mic, line, guitar into the one input and it deals with it perfectly. It is completely unbalanced and not a transistor in sight.

So you see, even I, with my limited knowledge of mixing desk design, know that there are many ways to build a mic pre. But yes all the nasty cheap stuff (fuzz box or mixer) is built more or less in the same way.

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


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steveman



Joined: 17/03/02
Posts: 1142
Loc: London - UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #209110 - 10/11/05 11:32 AM
Quote:

CHOICE - just because a tesco is a big smelly dehumanised place doesnt mean they dont have masses more choice than any little corner shop and generally at a better price (the point about bread is daft, when i go to my corner shop their bread is always stale 'happy shopper' stuff at 4 times the price of tesco, and the milk is always sour)




I think the comparison was between dedicated bakers, butchers, greengrocers etc. rather than generic corner shops. There used to be all these different traders in one row of shops, still pretty convenient. You're right that corner shops as thwy now exist don't offer anything better than the supermarkets, but how can they? The supermarkets control the market for food in this country (despite what the monopolies & mergers commission may say).

I'd disagree about the choice too, they may have 1000's of lines but within each line you've often only a choice between the supermarket's own brand, and 1 other.
I'm lucky, I live in an affluent area, I've a choice of 3 supermarkets (1 of which is Tesco where I refuse to shop), 2 butchers and a couple of proper bakeries - no fishmonger sadly. This choice wouldn't exist in poorer areas though.

Re price, I've seen a number of comparisons where the supermarkets were all more expensive compared to the local greengrocer etc. based on a typical basket of shopping.


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: steveman]
      #209130 - 10/11/05 11:53 AM
Quote:

CHOICE - just because a tesco is a big smelly dehumanised place doesnt mean they dont have masses more choice than any little corner shop and generally at a better price (the point about bread is daft, when i go to my corner shop their bread is always stale 'happy shopper' stuff at 4 times the price of tesco, and the milk is always sour) - the choice in musical gear is enormous nowadays, i cant see it getting less either at any price point.




The above is true because your corner shop is part of a wholesale chain that buys its goods from the same sources as Tesco. You have been denied choice by the OEM market.

When I was a boy, you could buy all kinds of different olive oil and the different oils came from different places. Spain, Italy, Greece, each looked and tasted different. Today, if you go to Tesco and look at the olive oil shelves, you will see at least twelve different oils ranging in price from £3 to £12 a bottle.

Some have got garlic in them, some have a sprig of thyme in them. But they all come from the same company in Seville. I think they are called Urzante or something like that. All twelve use the same bulk oil and it is the same stuff as is in the bottles at Aldi, Lidl, Asda and of course your corner shop. This one company produces oils at three different quality levels and that's it.

You have been denied choice.

The same is happening with microphones. If you buy a cheap microphone, you stand a very good chance of getting a microphone built in one factory in Shanghai. It may say Fame, Behringer, Audio Technica or whatever on the outside and the housing may be different, but inside is one of a small range of capsules that they produce. They will build then for you with your name on the front and even with a special design just for you. And you don't even have to order huge numbers to get this service. A few hundred units will get your own special brand of microphones in your own design of housing and box into production.

But inside the new Grainger Mics from Grainger Audio will be the same capsules as inside all the other mics they produce. The Grainger Groove-100 may look different, but it will sound exactly the same as the Behringer B1.

Old established names are waking up to the fact that they are loosing market share to the ultra cheap market, so sadly they find themselves having to do the same. It's called the OEM market and when the customer thinks that he is going up-market by buying something slightly better (more expensive and an old, established brand) he finds that the better mic sounds just the same as the cheap mic. That is because they may come from the same factory outside Shanghai.

You have been denied choice.

And as for what Steveman says about prices, the one thing that shocks one when one comes from the US or mainland Europe is how grossly inflated Tesco's prices are.

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


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Squarepeg



Joined: 03/09/04
Posts: 394
Loc: Somerset, UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #209134 - 10/11/05 11:58 AM
Quote The Byre:


I could go on with every foodstuff on the shelves of the big three, from flour to butter, from cheese to chocolate.






Waitrose is a little bit better. They do sell live seafood. Their bread is ok though I still perfer to make my own.

They are not trying to drive shareholder value in the traditional way.


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Matcher



Joined: 11/05/05
Posts: 445
Loc: Finland
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Squarepeg]
      #209181 - 10/11/05 01:12 PM
Have you guys ever been to China? If you have, you know what's the real price for all the cheap stuff we buy.


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Squarepeg



Joined: 03/09/04
Posts: 394
Loc: Somerset, UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Matcher]
      #209231 - 10/11/05 02:47 PM
I have been to China and even to a few factories out there. However production cost is only one part of the overall price equation.


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Matcher



Joined: 11/05/05
Posts: 445
Loc: Finland
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Squarepeg]
      #209259 - 10/11/05 03:28 PM
That's true but it's a part big enough to move a lot of production lines there though the components remain the same. It's just ****ed up how people are treated there. Seeing pictures of the living conditions of many workers wouldn't make for a good advertisement for the western companies.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21736
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Matcher]
      #209293 - 10/11/05 04:47 PM
Quote Matcher:

Seeing pictures of the living conditions of many workers wouldn't make for a good advertisement for the western companies.




I agree, but what can they do? They all want to stay in business, so as soon as one competitor finds a way of producing products more cheaply (by moving production to China, say), then the others all pretty much have to do the same to remain competitive and retain their market share.

In an ideal world, the consumers would have the integrity to refrain from buying products made in Chinese sweatshops (although I must say that not all factories are like that -- some are more comparable to western employment standards)... but at then end of the day a large part of the buying public seems to want the cheapest thing going (free in the case of software!), and they simply dont see or understand the longer term consequences.

Hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Matcher



Joined: 11/05/05
Posts: 445
Loc: Finland
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #209475 - 10/11/05 10:12 PM
Like they say in the ghetto, I feel you man.

Especially with relatively poor people this is a difficult issue because they are the ones who get most out of this because the cheapest gets cheaper. On the other hand one might have less money because of a lost job at the factory which moved abroad. Hopefully for example China's situation will get better as the country is starting to open up. I still can't believe how the olympics can be held there, but that's enough of that. I guess all this leads to world economics and the politics behind it and voting is our best shot at getting things right, unless one has money to direct more votes to the desired way. The current situation should please most of the people, although we've seen many demonstrations at the G8 meetings etc which speak their own language. I hope the other side of the China- phenomenon becomes more known, so the mainstream middle- class there could afford to have some of the luxury that most of us often take for granted.


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Steve Hill
member


Joined: 07/01/03
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Matcher]
      #209487 - 10/11/05 10:35 PM
There's an almost colonial arrogance about rich Westerners lecturing China on working conditions. They have one of the fastest growth rates in the world and are making massive strides dragging themselves out of poverty (poverty in China is retreating faster than in any other large country in the world). They are prepared to compete with capitalists at their own game and succeed, massively.

The working conditions at say SE Electronics are fantastic by "normal" Chinese standards, as is the pay.

What do you want to do? Fire them all and send them back to subsistence farming, and a real risk of death by famine if the crops fail?

(And yes, for the record, I agree China's industrialisation carries some environmental costs which they might usefully pay more attention to!)

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


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Matcher



Joined: 11/05/05
Posts: 445
Loc: Finland
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #209496 - 10/11/05 11:04 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

There's an almost colonial arrogance about rich Westerners lecturing China on working conditions. They have one of the fastest growth rates in the world and are making massive strides dragging themselves out of poverty (poverty in China is retreating faster than in any other large country in the world). They are prepared to compete with capitalists at their own game and succeed, massively.




I'm sure that the more you dig into this subject the more carefully you chose your words. These massive strides are done with the cost of the people's properties. The goverment there is rotten almost all the way, huge amounts of money end up to the accounts of the financial elite. I can't remember the exact numbers but tens of billion of dollars that are suppposed to go for health care and basic stuff has been disappearing for years and years. A normal one parent family can't afford to put children to school or to have a health care because of that. Some of the people there are desperate and commit suicides and some try to complain through the official route but the system is so corrupted that the complainments are never handled. The core of the government tries to handle the situation but with very few results. Some people have been beaten up in the courtroom and driven to distant places so they won't be in the central China to cause problems.

I just read an article from the biggest newspaper in Finland and watched a BBC documentary about China's situation and I went there about half a year ago, and that's what I have to say. And I'm not rich


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The real musiclover



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 4357
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #209546 - 11/11/05 03:38 AM
Quote grAInger:


i am massively in favour of cheap gear (hand in hand with the good stuff) because as far as i can see the only real problems nowadays all come down to a collective lack of imagination. maybe something to do with tv or whatever, but at least the more people who get the chance to have a go, the more people who shouldnt really have this stuff, the more chance statistically that we will get something really new ... i think there is much more interesting music about now than ever and maybe some of this IS down to cheap gear opening up the playing field

monitors for a fiver a mic for a tenner ? .. yes please

grainger





Nothing too wrong with that statement.

Politicising the production of music? No ta, i'd rather be getting on and making some and having fun doing so.

Whatever recording gear is to hand.


Secret government agencies use Behringer, at least according to the racks in the Bourne identity the other night. At least it all looked like shiny silver Behringer! That's as political as i like to get.


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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]
      #209551 - 11/11/05 05:57 AM
cor ... good thread. i was being careful NOT to bring this down to politics, none of us really know what its like to be chinese so i think its best to leave that out of it. maybe we can come back to that discussion in 20 years time when china has bought the western world for a fiver !!! (only 50 years (or even less) ago most of us were slaves in the same sort of factories)

max and byre, you are right im not the one to explain electronics i dont have the depth of understanding, i definately dont take it personal dont worry about that (its just a forum, we are not real people) .. but as far as i know most preamps are made with mass produced ic's (the ones in my joe meek use burr and brown) i presume the ics only work with particular values of components around them ? .. thats not copying, thats engineering .. (max explain simply ONE other 'topology' for making a fuzz box (not an overdrive overloading a preamp, or some digital device) which doesnt involve a diode, please) .. (byre, do you always speak to yr missus like that then ?)

the supermarket discussion is taking us nowhere either, those of you with cosy memories of real bread and fish obviously dont live near one of the unhygienic, thieving, 'open all hours' corner shops most of us happily abandoned when the out of town superstores opened ... as for choice, which corner shop ever gave you the chance to buy fair trade coffee or organic potatoes, in MOST of them it was nescafe and radioactive spuds or nothing !!

cheers
grainger


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BigAl
Just The Bass Player


Joined: 24/01/02
Posts: 2682
Loc: The King's Height
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #209575 - 11/11/05 09:19 AM
I've never tried radioactive spuds.

My town has a few top class butchers, 2 or 3 top class bakers and a couple of good fruit & veg shops which are always queued out the door.
So supermarkets don't close the so-called traditional shops - not if they're good that is.

Not sure if they use any use Behringer gear.

--------------------
Jack of all trades, master of some.


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Pat
member


Joined: 18/02/03
Posts: 133
Loc: London
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #209689 - 11/11/05 12:34 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

There's an almost colonial arrogance about rich Westerners lecturing China on working conditions.




There an almost colonial arrogance about rich Westerners lecturing everyone else on what we are allowed to think.


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