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Thread: College Radio Budget Descisions! HELP

  1. #1
    ksmalk08 is offline Newbie
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    College Radio Budget Descisions! HELP

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    Hi there,

    Im the tech director for my schools Internet radio station - we don't have an FM station. We just got our budget for the next year and I'm responsible for deciding on how it is used.

    Here is what we do: On a daily basis students come in to the studio and plug their laptops or ipods into our mixer and use the mics connected to the mixer. The output then goes directly from the mixer to the Mac we use which runs our software to broadcast on the internet.

    Here is our current equipment (This is EVERYTHING we have):
    Alesis iMultimix 8 mixer
    Mac running Backbone software
    two AKG perception 220 mics
    tabltop mic stands
    Sennheiser HD202 headphones

    Our budget for next year (increased greatly from previous years):
    Tools, Implements, Instruments $ 1,430.00
    Dues, Licenses, Memberships $ 2,825.00
    Office Supplies $ 150.00
    TOTAL: $ 4,405.00

    What Ive planned on buying:
    Continue with Backbone software: $2800
    Interface:Apogee Duet interface - $500
    Mixer:Allen & Heath ZED-14 - $400
    Power Conditioner: Furman M-8x - $50
    Headphones: Sony MDR-7506 -$99
    Studio Monitors: KRK Rokit 5 - $300 pair
    Sonic Maximizer: BBE 362 - $100
    Compressor/Gate: dbx 266XL - $150
    Rackmounts: South Florida Racks Basic Series 8U - $55
    Telescoping Microphone Boom: Heil PL-2T - $110
    Acoustic Insulation Foam: $500 worth
    Additional Cables: Monoprice XLR/TRS cables - $75


    please let me know what you think of my potential upgrades - this is important to me and the school.

    - Kurt

  2. #2
    Jeff_D's Avatar
    Jeff_D is offline 1K Silver Member
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    Pretty cool. I don't know much about your topic, but I imagine its pretty similar to two track recording... So, what is it that you don't like about the Alesis MultiMix? Not saying there aren't better products, but just wondering what you've found as short comings for your application?

    As for your new gear list, keep in mind that the Allen & Heath ZED mixer is actually a usb interface, so you wouldn't really *need* the apogee Duet. If you really *want* the Duet, then maybe check out other options for mixers. I like to only pay for the features I need. If you decide to save money on the Duet, then maybe look at a broadcast "type" mic like an EV RE20.

    I question the usefulness of the Sonic Maximizer. Also, you probably have other options for the compressor too (if you really need it- again this isn't my forte) I'd go for a larger set of monitors.

    I wouldnt spend a penny on foam- get rockwool or rigid fiberglass instead. How critical is the acoustics of your listening environment? You're playing pre-recorded music correct? I'd guess you arent doing extensive mixing or eq of your audio. Do you have a room dedicated for this?

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    ksmalk08 is offline Newbie
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    What dont I like about the Multimix: Well the level knobs bleed like CRAZY - anytime you adjust the volume you get cracking. Also, it has horrible mic pre-amps.

    Usefulness of sonic maximizer: Most kids come into our studio with very poor quality mp3 files downloaded from youtube that they play over the air - id liek to use the maximizer to try to enhance this stuff (like trying to shine shit - i know)

    Why have a compressor: We have kids that come in and try to BLAST music into our computer through the mixer. They play music too loudly and dont pay attention to levels. The compressor would be more of a safe-guard before the signal gets to the interface.

    Pre recorded music: Yes

    Dedicated room: Yes, 8x12 roughly

    regards to monitors: nobody really uses the ones we have (unbelievably bad computer speakers) - so I figured I might as well not spend that much on them.
    Last edited by ksmalk08; 04-16-2010 at 19:26.

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    mshilarious's Avatar
    mshilarious is offline I see people
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    The compressor makes sense to me, but not the BBE. You can do that with free plugins.

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    ksmalk08 is offline Newbie
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    well - the BBE - my thought was sicne people come in there playing super low quality youtube downloads form their computer - I thought that was one of the only ways to even slightly improve anything. I know you cant shine shit - but are there any other alternatives other than just saying to people - look you got to use high quality files? What kind of free plugins do you know of?

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    ksmalk08 is offline Newbie
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    Maybe another question I should ask you guys - What do you think is ESSENTIAL for this round of the budget given what we have? what would you put the most money into whats most important? A new mixer? an interface? What should I really be focusing on?

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    The Cancers is offline Dedicated Member
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    Does it sound crappy when people are talking into the microphones live?
    Cause I'd invest in a broadcast mic or two, and some better room treatment than $500 worth of studiofoam.

    Maybe keep the mixer you've got, if it's working as an interface, and get an external preamp for live mics.
    The Black Lion Audio Auteur is a pretty fantastic two channel preamp for under $500.
    It's not exactly a clean, straight wire with gain sort of preamp, but it could definitely work for your purposes.

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    ksmalk08 is offline Newbie
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    it pretty much only sound like shit when knobs are turned -

    in terms of studio foam what would you recommend?

    if we get the A&H ZED mixer I think the pre-amps will prolly be better - unless you think the money is better spent on things other than a new mixer

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