1. Headphones and mikes
    1. Other ideas
  2. XLR jacks and recording
  3. Mixers
  4. Speakers
  5. Setup
    1. Shopping list
      1. Phase I: just vocals, ~600$
      2. Phase II: mono recording, ~650$
      3. Phase III: four+ track recording, ~800$
      4. Phase IV: better drum mikes and stereo PA, 500-100$+
  6. Shops

Headphones and mikes

This is my current audio hardware line up, yes I kind of splurged on this at some point:

I have many headphones + mike setups lying around, almost all are crap:

I also have many headphones-only gizmos:

Note that some devices do not have audio jacks anymore, see this An Ode to the Headphone Jack for the history.

Other ideas

Other over-the-ears headphones:

The Mee Audio is hard to find nowadays: you can order it directly from their website, but B&H doesn't carry them anymore. For people looking for an alternative "decent" pair of earbuds with an okay mic, consider:

XLR jacks and recording

I have thought of getting a Shure SM58 as a mike and plug it in, but it requires converting the XLR connector into a 1/8" jack, and that's complicated:


A&H seems to be the top of the line in build quality, but it's more expensive. The ZED-12FX is 700$CAD with 6 XLR/TRS and 3 line in, but only one stereo output bus. All lines have inserts.

Prosonus seems to be next, with this AR12 at 650$ with 8 XLR or 4 XLR and 4 stereo in (for 12 mono in). Only the first two lines have inserts. Builtin sd-card recorder with, apparently, 14/4 (14 in, 4 out) USB support.

The Soundcraft EPM8 is very interesting: 430$ at L&M, 360$ at steve's, with two stero output buses and inserts on all 8 XLR/TRS lines. No USB, for that you need to bump up to the Signature 12MTK at 730$ that has 14/12 USB. They also have the equivalent EFX8 with a built-in effects module, 640$ at L&M, 540$ at steve's.

Behringer had a bad reputation over a decade ago, and it seems that reputation is still around. They do provide a cheap alternative though. The X1204USB is an okay entry-level mixer with 4 XL jacks and 4 ¼ jacks for 290$ at Archambault.

Finally, what used to be a reference, Mackie, has lost quite a few feathers and people are now apparently saying "No Mackie!" in their sound specs. The Mackie PROFX12 at Music Red One for 325$ (260$ with mail in rebate, also at McQuade): 6 XLR jacks and 4 ¼ jacks.

Many mixers have USB outputs but it's unclear to me how the USB output will look like on a Linux system: a sound card with multiple inputs? Just a stereo input? Proprietary incompatible junk? To be researched...

Apparently, there's a "class compliant mode" which is compatible with ALSA, but it might be better to just use an analog mixer and feed the signal from each unmixed track into an USB audio interface like this, instead of trying to shove everything into a single device.

There was a lenghty conversation on the Ardour forums about this topic, see:



Entry level for JBL is the EON 610 for 580$ at Redone: 1000W active speaker, prices go up as we crack the speaker size. Diplomate Musique has a JBL PRX710 pair for 1450$ that seems rather expensive and the setup is strange as each speaker seems to have a stero input.

Mackie are definitely cheaper: McQuade has a Thump12A 1300W 12" speaker for 390$, suspiciously cheap.

Yorkville is a little more expensive, 12" 200W for 450$ on sale at McQuade.

Yamaha seem to have good shit, and is also more expensive. The DBR12 12" 1000W is a whopping 650$.

And of course, Behringer is cheaper than all of those, which makes me suspicious.


Our final setup would look something like this:

Shopping list

So I've spread out the gear acquisition in multiple phases...

Phase I: just vocals, ~600$

We already have a stand and SM58 + cable, so we just need:

Update: got a DBR10 at Steve's, works fine. Forgot the frigging stand home, but otherwise good start. Would be nice to have a mike there permanently and we are going to have space management issues. Might help to help koumbit sort through their cabling with a stack of trays or something.

Phase II: mono recording, ~650$

This second phase enables recording through the Notepad 102 mixer and Scarlett audio interface. Still need to figure out patch cabling.

Phase III: four+ track recording, ~800$

This enables stereo or four-track recording, or even more with inserts and a more elaborate audio interface.

Phase IV: better drum mikes and stereo PA, 500-100$+


This list was built mostly for rentals, but also features shops that sell the gear:

Created . Edited .