Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Nice Cheap Setup

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by tplyons, Sep 16, 2004.


  1. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I'm looking for a cheap setup, I already bought a Tascam Portastudio 414, and need cheap but loud monitors, and perhaps a tape deck. What else would I need that I'm not thinking of? I want to spend less than $250 on everything else. The less I can spend the better.
     
  2. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    P.S. This is mostly for recording jam sessions, so it needs to be quick and easy. We may do some demos with it too, so I need to be able to copy.
     
  3. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Go to Radio Shack and get some of these Sonys :

    http://www.radioshack.com/product.a..._name=CTLG_007_004_003_003&product_id=40-5050

    They're about $50 each (less if you hit a sale) and they sound pretty darn good. And later when you get better speakers, these are good backup reference speakers, since they sound like most people's good car speakers. A reality check, if you will.

    Then get a used stereo receiver to use as a power amp, maybe $50 should get you 100W/side.

    Then get a Hi-Fi VCR to use as a mixdown deck. You can get them now for about $75, since VCRs are dying out. Much higher fidelity than any cassette deck. Or see if you can find a used MiniDisc recorder instead. Don't waste money on cassette desks.

    Don't forget to budget for cables. You don't have to have gold plated hens-teeth decorated unobtanium cables, but neither should you use the cheapest available. Rapco is fine for your needs.
     
  4. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Oh, and use HiFi VCR tapes, at the speed that will give you the shortest recording time (you'll get higher quality at those speeds).
     
  5. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    IMO, you can't expect to get a good monitoring system for $250. Yes, you can get HiFi speakers, but I'd rather spend the money on a nice pair of headphones, and try to make the best mixes possible with those. It's not ideal, but doable.
     
  6. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Considering the current extent of my debt, I'd like to spend as little as possible.

    I think I still want to go the cassette route because it's more common to have a tape deck than a minidisc player, especially in a car to force my passengers to listen to my demos. :)
     
  7. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Nothing more than demos. I don't think I'll be hearing a difference between good and cheap monitors using a 4-track tape deck.
     
  8. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    You will hear a difference between a *good* pair of headphones and a *cheap* pair of speakers, though! It'll be MUCH easier to pick up details and nuances. Just a thought.
     
  9. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    True. How about a cheap set of speakers, and a decent set of headphones?
     
  10. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Well, pick up a used dual tape deck, $50 or less. But it will be a big compromise in whatever quality the 4 track was able to acheive.
     
  11. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Just don't go with headphones if you don't also have speakers. Headphones are useful, but almost impossible to mix on by themselves.

    Don't budget the phones in your initial $250. Once you get the other stuff, spend $75 on some Sony or AKG open-ear phones.
     
  12. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    It's better than just one of them, I suppose. Might be hard to stay within your $250 budget, though.