Arcane's Guide to buying gear [and other things]

Discussion in 'Audio Help & Tips' started by Arcane, Jan 14, 2006.

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  1. Arcane

    Arcane Alcoholic Roadie

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
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    6,894
    This is what you need to do when you want to purchase a new peice of gear:

    1. Decide how much money you have to spend.
    2. Decide what it is you want to buy. (ie. preamp, soundcard, microphone, compressor, etc)
    3. Go to your local pro audio store (Guitar Center, Sam Ash, Long + McQuade, wherever)
    4. Talk to the rep there (even if they're white, nerdy and probably know nothing about hip hop outside of the occasional mtv video they see while channel surfing) about products that fit your description in your price range (ie. I'm looking for a microphone for vocals around $400, what have you got?)
    5. TRY THE DAMN GEAR, the store should either let you rent it (using the rental fee towards a potential purchase), try it in the store, or allow you to return it for a full refund within 30 days. I know any pro audio stores in Canada will let you do this, along with the major ones in the US too
    6. After trying the gear out, hit up ebay.com or froogle.com to find a way cheaper price than whatever they're trying to rip you off in the store with. 90% of the time you can find whatever you're looking to buy online for 1/3 or more off....save yourself some money for your next purchase.
    7. Paypal me $20 for helping you out...or any amount of money, because honestly, good advice is hard to come by these days :):
    8. After you record your tracks, send them to me for mixing/mastering...small fee, great result...ask around I do good work :):

    Here's a guide to having your questions answered quickly:

    1. Speak in english. If you want help, DON'T type your questions out in Ebonics, with LeTtErS LiKe ThIs or in some language that I can't understand (and yes, that does include like 1/3 of the people on this boards english). USING CAPS LOCK TO TYPE ALSO MEANS I WON'T BE REPLYING, SO TURN THE KEY OFF, DAMN IT. I don't give a shit how cool you think it makes you online, it will just result in a longer response or no response at all. The odd typo here and there is fine, we all make mistakes, but please type something understandable to the majority of the board. If I can't figure out what you're trying to say, I can't help you.

    2. Do some research before you post. 99% of the questions asked have already been asked already within the LAST WEEK (or last day...or last hour). Scroll down, read a few other threads that have similar titles/topics. This saves time, and gets you answers way faster than waiting for me to see your thread, I'm here a lot, but not 24/7.

    3. Please, for the love of god, don't ask what the "best" gear is for $X. "Best" is quite possibly the most relative term when it comes to audio. There is no "best", there is only certain sounds off pieces of gear. There are literally thousands of Mics/Preamps/Compressors/Soundcards/Whatever out there, and nobody knows what they all sound like. If YOU are interested in purchasing SOMETHING, the best way to figure out if you like it is to GO TO THE STORE AND TRY IT. No one in the professional audio industry buys something before they've used it, it takes an extra five minutes at a store to actually listen to what you're buying and make a somewhat informed decision. On this note, you have to realize that an "upgrade" will not grant you anything more than a suttle difference, especially when going from say, a $100 mic to a $300 mic, especially if you're still using the same preamp and soundcard. This also goes for asking if X piece of gear is "good". The answer is always yes, but... Different pieces of gear are good for different things.

    4. DON'T ask for "mixing processes" or "presets". There are none. They don't exist. There is no magic "formula" to making your tracks sound good. If you want them done correctly, hire a PROFESSIONAL engineer with good equipment to mix for you. One thing that's done for one track may or (in most cases) may not work for your next track.

    5. Only list the gear you're using if it's relative to the question. ie. if something doesn't work or you don't know how to hook something up. For "general" inquires there is no need to post a gear list, as it adds more to look through and gets confusing.

    If your question is not being answered, it's likely because of one of the following reasons:

    1. You're doing any of the above. Either rephrase your question or look around for a similar thread posted recently. I hate answering the same questons every single day, use your brain a little before you hit the "new thread" button.

    2. I havn't seen your question yet. I'm here around 3-4 times a day, more if I'm bored/not busy. I WILL see your question, but the speed of the answer depends on how much I actually need to think about the answer, or how much time it takes me to decipher your question in the first place.

    3. Your question has been answered by either a sticky or some other thread that's still on the first page of this forum. LOOK AROUND FIRST.

    4. I honestly can't give you an answer. I don't know everything (in fact I'm a lot closer to knowing nothing than everything). Deal with it.

    5. Your question is unclear. If I can't figure out what you're trying to ask I can't help you. This could be anything from incorrect model numbers on a piece of gear to your question not making any sense. Rephrase your question and it'll get answered.

    Lastly, please don't pm/IM me (or other mods for that matter) bitching that your question isn't being answered, if I havn't answered your question within 48 hours, theres probably a reason (see above). BE PATIENT, I'll get back to you if I know an answer for what you've asked. I do this thing called work (as an audio engineer) and I'm a busy dude. Pretty much everything comes before sitting here and answering questions all day, so keep your panties on (unless of course you're around 19-25, female and at least somewhat attractive).

    -Arcane
    test
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