adventures in dysthymia

Friday, May 08, 2009

I am moving some of the posts at my Peanut Road blog here, in anticipation of shutting it down. The recording and so on is as much a part of my life as the stuff I usually put here, so why not have it all together? The original idea was just to use PR for PR anyway, i.e to make announcements, and I can do that here and/or at the website. So here's the first of 'em (with a few updated comments added).

CHEAP JUNK part 1
originally posted Aug 31, 2007 at Peanut Road

Hobbyist musicians and recordists (and a fair number of pros, as well) love to vilify Behringer equipment, even as they buy it. If any brand is more deserving of the 'cheap junk' label, I don't know what it might be! (well, maybe Nady, huh?)

Actually, most of the stuff from Behringer sounds pretty decent; this is largely due to the fact that most of the stuff from Behringer is cheap knockoff versions of other, better brands. The main rap against the company is the shoddy components and workmanship -- it just isn't very dependable. (this may have improved some since they moved into their own new factory in China two years ago and are not outsourcing as much)

Now I must admit that I've had no problem with any Behry equipment I've bought. And I have bought a couple items; the prices are just irresistible at times. I have one of their Autocom compressors here that I've owned for almost ten years (over ten now) and it still works fine. Sounds reasonably nice too. It was my main 'studio' compression unit until I went digital and started using plug-ins, i.e. software. To be honest, I don't think any of them have quite the character of a 'real' analog compressor, even a cheap Behringer, but then I'm mostly doing music that doesn't need character added -- acoustic and classical.

Anyway, this Autocom has held up just fine and is still part of my 'live' rack even if I don't record through it these days (nor perform live, much...alas). I also have owned one of the company's little portable mixers for four years or so and it's still in service as well, mostly for routing speakers and headphones and such though I occasionally might take it out for live use, providing a few extra inputs to my PA system (an ancient Crate). I'll also admit that I have recorded through its preamps now and then. They sound okay, clean, reasonably accurate if a tad 'thin.' Could use more gain but what do you expect from Cheap Junk, anyway?

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