Great Studio Equipment doesn't need to cost the earth and, after recovering from the festive season, what better time to round up of some our favourite budget gear to get the year started...

 


Monitoring?...

DMSD 50 Pro - (£199)

The DSMD 50 Pro are a set of decouplers for professional studio monitors weighing up to 12kgs. These are made from the same aerospace-grade materials of the DMSD 60 and offers the same tight low end providing improved accurate stereo imaging for your existing speakers, in a pack of 8 - so 4 under each monitor.

 

China Cones - (£99)

China Cones are a monitor speaker isolation system featuring a ceramic anti-resonance system for all fixed position audio monitors. Any piece of equipment that vibrates on a flat surface will sound more accurate and tighter when using china cones. They should be arranged in a triangular position underneath the monitors with the tip placed downwards, coming in a pack of 6.

 

Iso-Acoustic ISO-L8R200 Speaker Stand - (£129)

The IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R200 are a pair of sound isolating speaker stands are fully adjustable and designed to reduce sympathetic vibrations, increasing monitoring accuracy. The ability to adjust the height and tilt angle of the supported speaker enclosure also helps get the speaker in the right listening position.

 

Avantone MixCube Mono Block - (£257)

The Avantone MixCube Mono Block is a single shielded full-range active reference monitor for desktop or meter-bridge nearfield monitoring. The mono block is a very handy secondary reference monitor with power from a 60W Class A/B amp and is ideal for checking mono compatibility and low level mix checking... really handy!

 

Sonarworks Reference Suite 4 - (£249)

The Sonarworks Reference Suite 4 + Microphone is a room and monitor calibration system to help correct for deficiencies inherent to many project and home studios. The Sonarworks Reference Suite 4 + Microphone includes a software calibration tool that comes standalone or as a plug-in alongside and a Sonarworks measurement microphone. The software helps compensate problems in your room by correcting the frequency spectrum of your output - or will help flatten the curves in your headphones by using model specific calibration, which you can choose as presets.

 

Heritage Audio Baby RAM - (£198)

The Heritage Audio Baby RAM is a neat passive desktop monitor controller with a minimalist audiophile-grade circuit to provide a completely transparent signal path. The Heritage Audio Baby Ram passive monitor controller lets you connect two stereo input and output sources which connect via the included TRS Jack connectors. Additional controls include Mute, Dim and Mono buttons alongside a very large Marconi 'Vintage British Style' centre dial!

 


Portable Recording?...

 

Solid State Logic SSL2+ - (£222)

The Solid State Logic SSL 2+ is a new desktop/portable USB audio interface with two SSL-designed mic preamps, MIDI I/O and easy-to-use Monitor Mix Control. The SSL 2+ is capable of has 2-in/4-out, 24-bit/192kHz recording with each channel including a Legacy 4K button which adds analogue harmonic enhancement, inspired by their iconic SSL 4000 consoles.

 

Audient iD4 MkII - (£137)

The Audient iD4 MkII is a portable compact 2-in 2-out USB 3.0 audio interface with two headphone outputs powered by a Class-AB headphone amp. Recently updated with improved converters and a stylish new appearance, the iD4 MkII uses the volume encoder with iD ScrollControl as a virtual scroll wheel which lets you control DAW hosts and commands.

 

Sennheiser HD600 Headphones - (£279)

The Sennheiser HD 600 open-backed headphones have become a bit of an industry 'standard', providing a truly open, natural and detailed sound that will satisfy audiophile listeners and professional engineers alike. The HD600's are also extremely comfortable to wear allowing for long session mixing, writing and composing without fatigue.

 

Crane Song Phoenix II Plug-in - (£299)

There are many 'Tape-Emulations' available but one of the most musical is the Dave Hill designed Crane Song Phoenix II plug-in for AAX Native and AAX DSP format. The Phoenix II plug-in features 5 flavours of harmonic distortion with the Iridescent setting the most similar to the tape knob on the classic HEDD-192 / HEDD-Quantum hardware unit. The Phoenix II Suite is not a cut-down version of the Crane Song HEDD processor, but more a ground-up plug-in derived from HEDD technology, and specifically engineered and optimised for the AAX architecture.

 

Sontronics PODCAST Pro Mic - (£99)

The Sontronics Podcast Pro microphone was launched last year, and has gone on to be one of the most popular portable mics for podcasts and portable remote recordings. With a supercardioid pattern and excellent side rejection it's capable of capturing spoken word through to vocals and instruments.

 

 


Need sounds?...

 

Dreadbox TYPHON - (£315)

The Dreadbox TYPHON is a compact Analogue Synthesizer which is USB powered and features complex modulation routing, 256 preset memory and 32 note sequencer. Featuring the 2 Classic Dreadbox Osc, a 4-pole Low Pass Filter and 12 built in FX by Sinevibes. The Typhon is one of our favourites.

 

Arturia Drumbrute Impact - (£269)

The Drumbrute Impact is the second drum machine from Arturia, with a brand new set of 10 analogue voices. the Drumbrute Impact really packs a massive punch with variable built-in harmonic distortion - think '808' for 2021!

 

 


Tracking Audio?...

 

 

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor - (£185)

The FMR RNC1773 is a compact, affordable stereo compressor using digital controls and an all-analogue signal path which providing two modes of operation: normal and SuperNice. One of the best sounding and cost effective professional analogue compressors you can find!

 

 

D.A.V Electronics BG501 Preamp - (£259)

The D.A.V Electronics BG501 is the same preamp as the UK made Decca Heritage BG1 (Broadhurst Gardens) preamp that was used in Decca Studios, UK. Now designed for use in the 500-Series format but still with extremely low noise and low distortion the BG501 preamp and D.I provide a very high quality flexible front end for microphones or DI sources.

 

Radial EXTC-SA Guitar Effects Interface Module - (£299)

The Radial EXTC-SA allows you to connect guitar pedals as inserts in/out of your recording system. Simply connect a line level signal from your DAW into the EXTC-SA where it unbalances the signal and converts it to high impedance, all you then need to do is add guitar pedals! Extremely useful for adding some LoFi grit and effects via pedals to your in the box or hybrid workflow.

 

Rupert Neve Designs RNDI - (£263)

If a high quality DI is what you're after then the Rupert Neve DI may just provide the solution. The Rupert Neve Designs RNDI uses Rupert Neve-designed transformers and Class A discrete FET amplifiers to provide a fuller and deeper bass with rich tone and very musical harmonics as well as a frequency response that far exceeds the audible range.

 

Aston Halo Reflection Filter - (£219)

The Aston Halo is a high-quality, well-engineered reflection filter designed to bring better sound refraction using a truly unique design made in the UK. The Aston Halo uses the latest patented acoustic materials and proprietary moulding techniques for improved performance and offers 40% more surface than other designs. The Halo not only offers horizontal isolation, but its 360-degree filtering design also provides vertical absorption. Ideal no matter what environment you're tracking vocals in.

 

Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1 - (£169)

The Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1 is a single-channel in-line mic preamp designed to boost the output of dynamic and ribbon microphones. The CL-1 provides up to 25dB of ultra-clean and transparent gain to complement your main mic preamp. It uses a high-quality two-stage amplification design with a direct-coupled Class A discrete JFET circuitry and its patent-pending technology ensures that the direct audio path remains free from transformers, capacitors and resistors. A must for Ribbon mics!