It's SO HARD to choose equipment! Especially if you are like me and struggle with making decisions. And it gets even HARDER when money is a [very] limited resource. But don't worry musicians, I can give you some tips!
Tips for Purchasing Recording Equipment
1. Define your price range. Sure, I'd love a $700 microphone. But I don't have $700 to spend on a mic right now. And even if I did, I wouldn't want to pour all of my funds into one piece of equipment. Consider how much money you HAVE to spend, and how much money you are willing to spend. Typically, better equipment costs more...but usually there's some type of plateau. For example, you probably need to spend at least $100 to get a good mic, but spending $150 doesn't necessarily guarantee better quality than the $100 mic. Consider your price range, and define the options for that price range.
2.Speak to a pro. Whether you have someone in your contacts that you can speak with, or if you need to email some strangers, you should really speak with a professional. Talk to someone who's been doing this for years! I asked my teacher of my recording program for his advice, and it was BEYOND helpful! He suggested my mic to me, the AT 2035.
3. RESEARCH. This is a big one. What the heck is a low band pass filter? Do I need one? ...Look into it! Are you hoping to get a condensor mic, or will a dynamic work for you? What are you recording? What mics work best for that? Or should you just plug the instrument in? I know, I know, it's so overwhelming. But that's ok. Read up on everything that you can get your hands on. Maybe you won't understand every word you're reading, but you know more than you did yesterday! This starts to give you an idea of what questions to ask at the very least. Research the heck out of your equipment.
4. Consider all pieces equally. You music recordings are only as good as the weakest link. It won't matter if you have the best mic ever created...if you don't also have good cables, software, audio interfaces, and everything else, it won't matter. You need to consider the best way to distribute your funds over multiple pieces of equipment.
5. Test things out. This is why I love Sam Ash Music Co. They always let me ask endless questions and test out their equipment. This is so important. You might save a buck buying something online, but if you haven't seen for yourself how something sounds, you just don't know what you are buying. I definitely suggest making some physical trips to stores before purchasing equipment. Trust no one's ears but your own.
I hope this list helps you figure out what you want to buy!
If your curious, here's my equipment list
-Audio Technica AT 2035 (mic)
-Basic mic stand
-Basic pop shield
-Pig hog XLR cable (mic cable)
-Presonus Audiobox (audio interface)
-Desktop computer with Presonus Studio One (DAW)
-Sennheiser over the ear headphones
Next on my list that I hope to purchase (once I've got the dough) is a pair of monitor speakers.
Good luck recording artists!