Getting new gear?


Well-known member
My recent post about the UMC 204 HD and now a thread in Newbies by Curtis prompts me to offer some advice to people, especially newbs, for when the package arrives.

First off, inspect the packaging for damage, especially any holes! If any seen, snap it and then carefully open. If the internal, manfctr's box is damaged it might be as well to smudge that then stop and get onto the vendor ASAP.

If all is well CAREFULLY open the box and remove the (say) interface, likely in a poly bag, try to preserve it. If supplied with a cable, USB e.g. best not to use it at this stage. A 1mtr USB A to B is peanuts. Now find the setup instruction or, more likely, download them, in fact, good idea to have done that a day or so before and read them.


Assuming everything flies right, do a few tests now! These consist of a playback test of any existing recordings or radio/YT or a CD. The sound quality in headphones or monitors should be excellent, even for the cheapest of units with NO discernable background noise that can be put on the AI.

Now do a test recording with a mic and voice. A dynamic mic should these days give you a healthy level on speech an inch or so from the mic and with the gain pots at 3/4 rotation at most. Once you have set that level, unplug mic and the noise level should fall to better than -70dB fs (the signal scale in the DAW recording software) If you are not happy with the recording quality re noise, level etc, ask here pronto, attaching an MP3 sample if you can.

I say all this because the price of some AIs is now stupidly low and one area that might suffer is Quality Control and if you get a bad 'un best to find out ASAP to get it changed and the less you disturb the packaging the better you will be considered by the vendor, atmo and for future sales. A case in point is the BM-800/ Neewer capacitor microphones. These are remarkably good for their money but do seem to suffer from poor (no?) QC.

So, bottom line...Don't mess the packaging. Check it ASAP.