GEAR I TRUST
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Before I had the 18i20, I recorded and mixed a lot on this guy. If you're not ready for 8 channels, and you only need 2, this is your guy. It's perfect for the singer songwriter, or if you're on the go and need a travel sized interface to through in a backpack. It has 2 inputs, perfect for a guitar and vocal, along with 1 headphone jack. SUPER affordable. It says Protools ready, but can be used with any DAW.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface - $150.00
Retail Price: $199.99
You Save: $49.99
The Focusrite 18i20 Audio Interface
I use this every day in my home studio and LOVE it! It has 8 award winning pre-amps inside and 2 headphone jacks. This is a budget friendly interface for someone looking to up the amount of channels for recording drums with 8 mics, or drums with 4 mics, and 4 extra channels for the rest of the band. It's awesome! This link is for the USB 2.0, but once you click on it, you will be directed to the newer 2nd generation USB 3.0, which is what I have. Same price and same awesomeness.
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Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 USB 2.0 Audio Interface - $499.00
Retail Price: $599.99
You Save: $100.99
This is a pretty sweet deal, because you get a really good set of Audix drum mics for $100 off the normal price once you calculate each item individually. That's not including the mic cables, so you save even more! I've used Audix mics, and love them.
Focusrite/Protools First Bundle
This is a great bundle if you're just getting started. It has a couple of inputs, plus a large diaphragm condenser mic, headphones, AND Protools First, which is an entry level Protools DAW to get you familiar with the software. It's not the full version of Protools, but will get you started for CHEAP!
KRK Rokit 5 Studio Monitors (pair)
I use these exact monitors in my studio with GREAT results. The songs I record and mix on these get played on the radio here in Texas, so that's good enough for me. Very affordable studio monitors.
$299.00 for the pair
IsoAcoustics Isolating Speaker Stands
I use these in conjunction with my Rokit 5 studio monitors. Here is what they do..."Patented isolation technology effectively eliminates energy transfer to surrounding surfaces for more accurate, satisfying sound, which enhances the mixing and listening experience". These help optimize your speakers and listening environment. I don't record or mix without them.
$109.99 for the pair
Audio Technica AT2020 Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic
I have 2 of these, and use them on vocals, acoustic guitar, drum overheads, EVERYTHING! I love this mic, and best of all it's $100.
Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardiod Condenser Studio Microphone - $99.00
Retail Price: $169.00
You Save: $70.00
Shure DMK57-52 Drum Microphone Kit
I have and love this drum mic kit because not only do you get and bad ass kick drum mic, you get THREE sm57's which are used on EVERYTHING. I call the sm57 the workhorse of the studio. It is used on tons of hit records to record snare, toms, vocals, electric guitar amps, and anything you can throw at it. It is arguably the most common used mic for snare drum and electric guitar amps world wide.
Shure SM57 Dynamic Mic
I nick named this guy "The Boss"! like I said above, this is the workhorse of the studio. You can't have enough of these guys in your home, project, or professional studio. It is used on vocals, acoustic guitars, snare drums, toms, electric guitars, and on, and on. Only $99!
Avantone Audio CR-14 (Ribbon Mic)
If you're looking to expand your mic locker on a budget, this VERY affordable ribbon mic is a great addition to your collection. I borrowed one from my buddy Bobby to record Fiddle, and was blown away by how natural it sounded. Ribbon mics are very useful on harsh sounding instruments such as horns and cymbals. It is also great on woodwind instruments and vocals. Just be careful not to overload them with too much volume.