New gear for 2009

I’m not a buy it all at once guy. I like to build the gear over time, getting intimate with a few pieces of equipment at a time until I’ve got the ideal solution. Plus, it’s nice to know there’s a consistent budget for the MT classes, rather than just big money injections every so many years (if you’re lucky!)

That being said, here’s my gear choices for this year – feel free to chime in via Twitter (@willkuhn) if you have any strong opinions about any of these items.

I needed to solve the following solutions this year: Room sound, Live preamping, and class sound management.

ROOM SOUND: M-AUDIO BX8A’S & BX10 SUBWOOFER
I know these may not be the right tool for the job, but I love the sound and the price. I also like the on/off footswitch for the subwoofer. I ordered monitor pedestals to go along with these, but I may look at wall-mounting them as well. They’ll monitor some during mixing, but the main purpose is to fill my classroom with pure, leveled sound. I haven’t been impressed by the passive systems I’ve heard in this price range (incl. amplification) so I went with nearfields. I tested out the room with my BX5a’s and it didn’t sound narrow or have any obvious dead spots so I think these will do nicely.

PREAMP: AUDIENT MICO
For the preamp, it’s going to do two things: work the live mics (Røde NT5 pair) during auditorium recordings, and enhance vocals & acoustic guitar during Recording Club. I don’t need an 8-channel preamp for drums, as we only use a couple condensers for drums anyway. Thus, a 2-channel solution was best (although this suggestion from Mike Hughes would have been awesome if we had the cashola for it…and if the company weren’t located exclusively in the UK). A couple neat bonuses with the Audient Mico: Variphase adjust knob to ensure no phasing issues, and an ADAT Lightpipe output. I may not even need an interface when we do live recordings with the MacBook, because it has optical inputs!

CLASS SOUND: SENNHEISER HD201 HEADPHONES
It’s time, children. You’re getting proper headphones, and you’re all going to have them every day because I got a pair for each station. As the ancient Romans would say, they’re circumaural (that means they cover your ears all the way), and they’re closed back so they should work well for session recording as well. I also got handsome hooks for storing the cans at each station when not in use.

Overall, I’m excited about the new gear for this year. Now if I can just get my hands on a new set of computers…

Author: Will Kuhn

I teach music technology to high schoolers. I do some other stuff too. @willkuhn on Twitter.