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  • Guy at Guitar Center Recommended Sterling Audio ST55

    Hello. I have a Shure SM58 (with a pop filter) and a cheap Live Wire with Neutrix cable I got for free...and when I record vocals in my home stuido (using Line 6 Pod Studio UX2), if I pump the mic volume high I get lots of noise.

    I went into Guitar Center to perhaps buy a better cable, like a Mogami Gold or something, but the salesman recommended I upgrade my mic, saying that I will definitely hear a huge difference, so he pointed me to the Sterling Audio (Groove Tubes) ST55 for $199, oh, and also to get a shock mount for $30 and also the Mogami Gold cable...so we're lookin at around $300.

    Wow why does that always happen: go in for something cheap and come out with stuff you cant afford?

    ANYWAYS, is the Sterling Audio ST55 the mic to get in that price range? Any other tips? Thanks!
    BEST intro or reference I've found for your own Home Recording Studio:
    Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies

  • #2
    I don't know much about sterling audio, although i've herd great things about there large diaphragm condensers. They are in the cheaper price range but they make up for it with a decent sound. I own a pair of sterling audio st31 small diaphragm hyper cardioid condensers, and they've always served me well. I use them as drum overheads and also to record mandolin. From what i get out of those mics i can't honestly say anything bad about the company. If you aren't 100% sold on the sterling, you could try something like an AKG 220 perception (great mic but very uncolored), or an mxl 4000.

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    • #3
      1. Most Guitar Center sales staff are either morons, just looking to sell you something, or both.

      2. A dynamic mic like an SM58 is a very low noise piece of equipment, if you have noise you are doing something wrong (most probable) or something is broken.

      3. A condenser like the Sterling is a different sounding mic than a dynamic mic like the SM58 but it isn't necessarily "better", figure out what your problem really is and then you can spend your money wisely on something that will really help you rather than buying stuff that isn't even related to your problem.

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      • #4
        I hate guitar center guys.

        I have NEVER had one take into consideration what I would be using whatever I was buying for.

        They looked at me like a ****************ing idiot when I said "needs to be VST" in fact the answer was "what's VST". How ****************ing hard is it to memorize the handful of plugin formats?

        They also tried to sell me on that mogami/monster ****************. You wanna know why they push that stuff? Because literally and I mean LITERALLY the markup on that nonsense is WAY over 300%.

        My brother worked at best buy and got cables at cost. I bought a $60 monster HDMI, a $40 monster HDMI and a $40 monster fiber op audio cable. At cost it ran him $12. TWELVE ****************ING DOLLARS.

        As far as the mic goes, meh. I have not heard a $200 LDC that has really blown my socks off yet. If anyone has any suggestions though....
        www.nerolstudio.com

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        • #5
          The noise is probably coming from the mic preamp in your Pod. You probably have to crank the gain pretty high, and it's probably not a very good preamp, thus you're getting a lot of noise. The Sterling mic might actually appear to fix the problem since it's a condenser and most condensers have hotter outputs than dynamics. So you won't have to crank the gain as high on the preamp, and thus you'll have less noise. But did the mic actually solve the problem? No. The SM58 is fine for recording vocals. A smarter move for you would be to get a better external preamp, or an interface with better built-in preamps.

          Also, +1 on high end cables largely being rip-offs. I actively boycott Monster Cable in particular and tell everyone I know to do the same. They go around suing any company that uses the word monster in their name for trademark infringement. This has included a vintage clothing shop in Oregon called Monster Vintage, and believe it or not, the Boston Red Sox for the "green monster". See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123869022704882969.html

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          • #6
            Im new to recording and the ST55 was the first and only vocal mic i have ever purchased. this may be a biased and a somewhat naive opinion but i have had no problems with the mic. Im running protools with the m-audio fast track ultra and the st55 is remarkably quiet. no complaints what so ever.

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            • #7
              Since Guitar Center has driven out all other retailers, I have to go there for physical retailer needs.

              I am in my 50s and look pretty clean cut, so I have endure their ridiculous sales schtick, assuming I am buying an Epiphone Les Paul and solid state Marshall for my son, until they catch their breath, then I tell them very specifically what I need. They are generally, almost completely clueless, offering my favorite endorsement "Oh, these are the headphones that I use" as though a personal testimonial from a guy who can't even make enough money off music to pay half his girlfriend's rent once in a while, is worth a damn.

              If GC salesweasel endorses something, I reflexively dismiss it.
              Todzilla
              HUGE sound generation & capture facility
              Eno River Basin

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              • #8
                The noise is probably coming from the mic preamp in your Pod. You probably have to crank the gain pretty high, and it's probably not a very good preamp, thus you're getting a lot of noise. The Sterling mic might actually appear to fix the problem since it's a condenser and most condensers have hotter outputs than dynamics. So you won't have to crank the gain as high on the preamp, and thus you'll have less noise. But did the mic actually solve the problem? No. The SM58 is fine for recording vocals. A smarter move for you would be to get a better external preamp, or an interface with better built-in preamps.

                Also, +1 on high end cables largely being rip-offs. I actively boycott Monster Cable in particular and tell everyone I know to do the same. They go around suing any company that uses the word monster in their name for trademark infringement. This has included a vintage clothing shop in Oregon called Monster Vintage, and believe it or not, the Boston Red Sox for the "green monster". See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123869022704882969.html


                This...is the answer you're looking for.

                With your SM58 you just have to turn the volume (preamp) on your Line 6 box up high and since it's a lower end piece of equipment it will have some inherent electrical noise that gets introduced to the signal. So if you want to continue to use the SM58 then you'll need a better preamp to run through your Line 6 box. And you'll have to spend around $300 to get one that will make a significant difference.

                The GC guy IS on the right track by showing you a condenser microphone (though I don't know if he knows WHY it's the right track) which you can record at lower volumes with. But you'll need phantom power to use it (not sure if your Line 6 Box has that as a feature). If not you can get an outboard phantom power unit which you'll plug the mic into and then from there into the Line 6 box. Or you can buy a new audio interface (Presonus has some good ones, as do M-Audio and Emu), that has phantom power included.

                The stuff about the cables is garbage. Any balanced cable will do, just get the cheapest ones you find.

                As for whether that microhphone is good I can't speak to it. But I do have an AT2020 which is $100 new ($75ish used) which does just fine for entry level recording.

                Comment


                • #9
                  A Sterling mic is not going to reduce noise over a 58. The noise is coming from somewhere else, most likely - as mentioned - from the pre. That GC guy has NO idea what he's talking about. The ST55 will probably sound warmer than the 58, but your noise will still be there.
                  *Video Drum Lessons

                  *Need to Know How to Register Your Copyrights for Your Band?

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                  • #10
                    I have a sterling audio ST51 which is the cheaper $100 version, it's pretty darn good!
                    http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/je...414999790?uo=4

                    http://www.ilike.com/artist/Jerad+Laxson

                    http://www.amazon.com/Jerad-Laxson-E...8142991&sr=8-1

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                    • #11
                      That GC guy has NO idea what he's talking about.



                      What are the odds?
                      Todzilla
                      HUGE sound generation & capture facility
                      Eno River Basin

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                      • #12
                        If a GC guy recommends something to me, I consider that STRIKE-ONE against that product.
                        -+O+-
                        Gibson Southern Jumbo
                        Fender Standard Telecaster & VOX AC4TV
                        Martin DX1
                        Squire P-Base

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                        • #13
                          In defense of GC staff people, my local store has a couple of real gear swimmers---they live and breath gear---and when they punch out at whatever time they leave---they go straight to a gig. They are broke at any given time as they are constantly buying gear and hating it---or on forums talking about gear. I no doubt need to visit more GC's so I can meet these infamous morons as my contacts are strictly gearphiles----annoyingly so. They were casualties of the older defunct "hearty" stores that fell waste from the Walmart-type GC invasion.
                          I dunno----I just feel like manufacturers of chinese made junk gear deserve the ire, not some poor shlubs working dead end retail. A good rule of thumb is to not bash anyone without health insurance ---they're a sick kid away from BK.


                          please excuse my rant.
                          "Gentleman, you can't fight in here, this is the war room!"--------Dr. Strangelove, Peter Sellers

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                          • #14
                            Is it possible that GC owns the manufacturing facilities that produce the ST55? The cost would then be significantly lower to GC. The GC people work on commision, a small percentage of their total sales and a touch larger percentage of their gross profit from those sales. Is it possible that a GC employee would be financially motivated to sell the ST55 over a competing product that has less mark up?

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                            • #15
                              BTW.

                              Markup on cable is astronomical. Monster cable is usually marked up well over 300% or more.
                              www.nerolstudio.com

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