Future proofing?

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Johnny P
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Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:28 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Future proofing?

Post by Johnny P » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:07 am

I started to purchase my podcasting gear about 6 months ago. I already had some gear from years ago when I played (not so well) amateur music: some Shure SM58 mics, headphones & other stuff. I've had to take a break from buying at the moment because of some large medical bills, but I believe I can get started with what I have now. I bought a mixer about 6 months ago, that is probably overkill for normal podcasting. But I have a need to do multiple tracks simultaneously with, on occasion, multiple voices for some sketch comedy I have planned to use. The "Future Proofing" comes I'm to play here, I bought a Behringer QX2442USB with 8 direct outputs & tons of aux outs, sub outs, etc. My thoughts are that with those direct outputs, I can get a USB 3 or Thunderbolt interface after a USB 2 interface (the Built in USB is limited to 2 tracks) becomes outdated. If I need to sell it someday it would appeal also to a lot of musicians because of USB 2 latency issues. I would like some thought on this approach and any ideas that you have on ways to future proof other podcasting gear you can think of. Thanks everyone, Johnny P.

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StargatePioneer
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Re: Future proofing?

Post by StargatePioneer » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:45 pm

Future proofing is something that Stephen and I consider all the time when purchasing anything podcast related. Also, affordability is something we consider on a daily basis. And as you can imagine the two are often at odds with one another. But the one thing to consider is the lifespan of anything that you purchase. Once you consider lifespan, future proofing often takes a second seat to affordability.

For instance, I would no longer invest in Firewire connections. While incredibly useful when the technology came out, for the hobbyist it really never gained affordability and because of that the technology died off for mass use.

Both Stephen and I went through a phase about 18-24 months ago where we were looking at high end mixers for multi-tracking. What we found out is that the cost of the high end capability was going to be prohibitively expensive for us to maintain so we both opted for more pedestrian or hobbyist technology solutions. If our recorders go out? That will only be a few hundred dollars. If our mixers go out? Again, a few hundred dollars. If our audio processors fail? a couple hundred at most. However, if we would have opted for a high end all inclusive system? We were looking at $1,000 - $5,000 for the initial purchase price and then to have to replace it if it failed at some point.

I do believe that in a few years multi-tracking USB 3.0 devices will be much more affordable for multi-tracking. However, until that day arrives we do prefer our current setups.

Also, the tendency for a computer to not work when under the duress of complex systems does increase quite a bit. We run into these technology limitations all the time with our video recording broadcasts. I see this trend continuing while adding 4k video sources and streaming as well as more and more multi-tracking for video.

With all that said I am starting to have my head on a swivel for multi-tracking DAW capable audio interfaces. So far I have not seen a true front runner but I'm always interested to learn more about the capabilities headed our way in the next few years.

Until then? Use what you got! Get some content recorded and get it out there! You cannot improve what you have not produced!

~SP
Host of www.betterpodcasting.com and Vice President Network Deveopment GonnaGeek.com

Johnny P
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:28 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Future proofing?

Post by Johnny P » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:20 am

Thanks SP. My mixer listed for $399 and I used a 15%off coupon from Guitar Center where I bought it. My thoughts for it still to be useful in the future was all the routing possibilities (being able to not just be locked into USB 2 when it becomes obsolete). I'm hoping to learn from others on what they have personally done using the same & different type equipment to try and protect their purchase & stretch their limited budget. Thanks again for your insight. Johnny P.

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StargatePioneer
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Re: Future proofing?

Post by StargatePioneer » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:25 am

Johnny P wrote:
Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:20 am
Thanks SP. My mixer listed for $399 and I used a 15%off coupon from Guitar Center where I bought it. My thoughts for it still to be useful in the future was all the routing possibilities (being able to not just be locked into USB 2 when it becomes obsolete). I'm hoping to learn from others on what they have personally done using the same & different type equipment to try and protect their purchase & stretch their limited budget. Thanks again for your insight. Johnny P.
It's a sweet mixer for sure! I'm part jealous of those 8 direct outs! For $50 less it has more capability than my Mackie ProFX16v2 with the extra FX Send and the Direct Outs. I sure hope you have better luck with the Behringer brand mixers than I did. Although I'm starting to think as much as I use my equipment it does tend to have a shorter service life. I mean, if you drive a car 50,000 miles a year odds are it won't last 10 years the way a car will if you only drive it 12,000 miles a year.

Which USB 3.0 devices are you looking at for multi-track capability? I think this is a smart way to go if you are building a studio for the next 5 years. Will you have everyone in studio or will you be connecting virtually?

On a lessor scale future proofing is a big reason why I think the Audio Technica AT2005/ATR2100 microphones are a great budget start for anyone's studio since you can try out podcasting for the price of the USB microphone yet you can grow with the XLR capability without having to purchase an entirely new microphone.
Host of www.betterpodcasting.com and Vice President Network Deveopment GonnaGeek.com

Johnny P
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:28 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Future proofing?

Post by Johnny P » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:44 pm

SP, Since funds at the moment are very limited, I'm going to start out with the actual USB 2 channels that it currently has. It was not my original intent, but I can get by on the sketches that require 2 people are less at first. I intend to probably move up to a 4 channel interface USB Behringer next. It's just $99 (with coupon about $85). I know you are not a fan of Behringer (Stephen, Daniel J. Lewis and many others have had good luck with them though), but it gets me in the game much quicker. As I bring more actors in, I'll upgrade my interface to USB 3 or Thunderbolt when the funds & need warrant it. That's what the future proofing to me is all about (my mixer will allow me to upgrade). I will mostly use actors all together, as that creates better readings I believe (that's the way I have always done that in professional studios years ago). I also purchased about 5 months ago 2 ATR2100 microphones with "lifetime warranties" (future proofing again), so along with my 2 SM58s, I've have a good start. As needed, I'll expand from there on mic upgrades and quantities. As my computer died and I have to use my iPad for now, I picking up today a Fuman M-8X2 power conditioner, that I had ordered,to help protect the equipment that I already have. Hopefully a little protection in the future. Thanks, Johnny P.

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