As a follow up to the 600 Euro/Dollar studio challenge, what if I had no recording gear and 1 200 units of one those two currencies ?

Let’s keep the rules just the same as in our first challenge: I have a computer and I record acoustic intruments track per track.

Ahhh! I feel rich… So let’s go shopping.

Monitors – 400 Euros/Dollars

Studio monitors are the last link in the chain to your ears.

I will therefore choose to spend one third of the budget on them. And for 400 Euros/Dollars, I am able to get a pair of new generation Yamaha studio monitors. Their elders, the NS-10s were the staple of all recording studios in the 80s and 90s. I choose the HS-7. Very well built, very flat in response, very durable. It is like buying a goodHonda 🙂

Yamaha HS-7

Interface – 500 Euros/Dollars

The interface is a tricky choice as it will depend a lot on your interfacing needs.

I am opting for irreprochable audio quality and the possibility for evolution.
I choose the Audient iD22.

I have recently added to my personal studio the Audient ASP-880 8 mic-pre 1 unit rackmount to record all 5 members of my band simultaneously… Beyond all the cool colored lights, I love the Audient pre-amps. They are super clean and precise. I prefer them to my UAD Apollo Twin pres!

If I choose this expansion route, it will connect nicely with the iD22 via ADAT. In anycase, I already have 2 of those great-sounding pre-amps in the Audient iD22.

Capture d'écran 2014-10-09 10.28.06

The Audient iD22 will also enable me to insert two pieces of future outboard gear. I don’t know… Maybe an 500 series SSL bus compressor 🙂

And as mixing is the trickiest thing to get right, I may also decide to get a second pair of speakers, which will be possible with the iD22.

Mic – 250 Euros/Dollars

As you can tell by now, more money does not mean I get more stuff. Just like in the 600 Euro/Dollar challenge, I am sticking to a simple monitors / USB interface / mic combination. But this time, I hesitate between getting the two I recommended last time (Shure SM57 + Audio-Technica AT2035) or just one better mic… with a  mic stand and pop-filter, this time. No luxury!

If it was to be just one mic, which one would it be?
The Rode NT-1 with its patented/integrated pop-filter… And a good standard 15 Euro/Dollar mic stand.

If you wish to record to simultaneous tracks, go for the Shure + Audio Technica. Otherwise, the Rode NT1 is a better choice.

DAW and the miscalleaneous

No change here.

At this level of budget, I am still do not willing to invest hard currency on software. There is enough free stuff out there… But, we are now at the limit of that approach. With 600 more Euros/Dollars (1 800 total), it will be a no-brainer.

On the cabling end, the set is the same as in the 600 Euro/Dollar challenge:

  • 2 1/4″ male to XLR male (to connect the monitors to the audio interface)
  • 1 or 2 XLR (to connect the microphone to the audio interface)
  • 1 1/4″ adapter (to connect your iPhone earbuds to the audio interface)