Adrien’s Audio Den
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 19:11
This special edition of Adrien’s Audio Den is designed specifically with a low budget in mind. The products in this list may not perform as well as their professional grade counterparts but they do still serve their purpose and will save quite a bit of moolah while music-lovers pay off their college tuition.
Product: Behringer Xenyx 802 Mixer
Price Tag: $60
Use: Live sound, DJ, radio/podcast, personal line-out, Karaoke, and more
The Xenyx 802 sounds much fancier than it actually is, so if you’re not audio inclined you may want to give this a look.
Even those who aren’t avid performers may have a guitar amp or two lying around. It would sure be nice if you could take a guitar, a keyboard, a microphone or an iPod, and put all of those into that guitar amp simultaneously. This is what a mixer does. It takes multiple inputs and directs them all to the same output.
The Xenyx 802 is one of the cheapest mixers out there, but it can be your best friend no matter who you are.
If you’re a fan of karaoke you can connect your iPod/laptop and a microphone into the mixer and plug the output into guitar amps or PA speakers. The Xenyx 802 has two microphone preamps so if you have another mic, sing with a friend.
Keyboardists tend to have two, three or even six keyboards on stage at a time. It would be much more convenient to have all of those come out of one amp. This mixer has eight inputs, and runs stereo out with two busses. So all six of those keyboards will run to your single amp and to the sound guys. Making both of your lives much easier.
For computer-only DJs who still want to talk to the crowd, plug your rig into this mixer along with a mic and sound more professional.
Jam with all of your friends with a single speaker, or a bass amp and guitar amp combo for lows and highs. Since the mixer is only a little over 2 lbs., it’s quite portable.
Note: Since the Xenyx 802’s outputs are 1/4” balanced, they can plug into guitar/bass/keyboard amps. However, it might take some knowledge of equalizing to get the desired sound out of your amplifier. Also, there may be ground noise from using unbalanced lines or just because it’s Behringer.
Product: Zoom H4n Personal Digital Recorder
Price Tag: $240
Use: Live recording, rehearsal recording, mobile recording
The best ideas always come when you least expect it. You’re jamming with your buds and all of the sudden you find the tightest groove your band has ever produced. The only problem is, in a half hour’s time, you’ve all forgotten it. The magic is gone, forever.
That is, unless you’ve recorded it.
With the Zoom H4n, you can record anywhere, for 11 hours at a time, without any wires or extras to buy.
Bring one to the gig and record every show for your band’s web page. You’re recording in stereo at 24bit/96kHz linear PCM, which means you have large files with lots of samples.
And for those jammy rehearsals, every note is on the record. You no longer need to spend a half hour setting up, just put the Zoom H4n on a mic stand or stash it somewhere interesting.
There are also two additional inputs for recording 4-tracks, so if your sound guy has an output from the board, you can mix those inputs with your crystal clear built-in microphones which will keep your screaming crowd on the recording.
Product: Akai Pro MPK Mini
Price Tag: $77
Use: Midi controller, music production, live sampling
MIDI, or multi instrumental digital interface, is the language of digital instruments. This type of connection allows computers to be controlled by instruments and vice versa.
The Akai Pro MPK mini is one of the cheapest MIDI keyboards on the market, and with eight sample pads, eight assignable knobs, and heaps of features. This 25-key MIDI keyboard is ideal for those beginning their journey into the art of digitally produced music.
Accessing different pitch ranges to change octaves is as easy as pushing a button, and a built-in arpeggiator allows melodic patterns to be played at any speed with tap-tempo.
The pads are said to be a little difficult to trigger and require a bit of muscle. But the keys are expressive, which means they’ll play with dynamics. However, the keys are not weighted, so don’t expect an ivory feel.
This is primarily a great tool for beginners in electronic music who are more comfortable composing on a keyboard.