This does look like an excellent device (and cute to boot). I feel like I’ve made some bad purchase choices over the years. Not that any of it has made bad recordings but I probably should have saved up for longer and gotten a couple of top tier items versus the collection of middle-of-the-range products. No real regrets though and I do like having more options/backups.
I started with laptop but when I found myself only doing live concert recordings, the field recorder options took away a lot of anxiety about device noise, driver/software issues, distance from ensemble etc. I still have my Oade Brothers concert-modded Marantz PMD 661 around for backup if the MixPre fails (hope that never happens!) Perhaps the Zoom F-series and SD MixPres are at just the right price point that the older Marantz/Korg type options are no longer worth getting used on eBay? I did actually try to sell my Marantz but zero interest despite it looking like new. I consider the modded preamps quite excellent.
It is a matter of vanity but if I could somehow cover up the Behringer label, I’d happily use the UMC1820 for a classical album requiring lots of channels. I worry more about the judgements from clients far more than the results. I always have to answer questions from performers about what gear I’m using. I once used a pair of the B5 microphones in ORTF into my Marantz and the result was excellent (despite being too far from the ensemble due to camera constraints). I, too, used to use a minidisc recorder (and one of those Sony plugin-power stereo microphones) but back then I knew absolutely nothing about audio engineering so any serviceable results were pure luck, honestly.
Agreed. Some of my own recordings that are closest to my heart are the ones that I made with my first equipment purchases in my student days: a single AKG Perception 200 mic to record my wife’s and my vocals into a Behringer MIC100 for some VSTi carol arrangements I had made with the original IK Multimedia Miroslav samples. I probably made all sorts of hideous errors with gain-staging etc but somehow they turned out well enough to send to the relatives
I do love reading through those type of shootouts. When the rational side of my brain kicks in, I realize that such direct comparisons are extremely rare in the real recording world. I don’t think I’ve ever brought multiple pairs of microphones to a gig in order that I might switch them out to hear the difference. I trust the microphones I picked and focus more on their placement given time is often limited. However, based on the shootouts, it’s clear that a B5 can hold its own against higher-priced options (as can the C2 pair when positioned well). Likewise, a UMC204HD interface can record a great classical performance.
But, yes, I concur: buy the best you can afford and start recording! Purchase choices likely go hand-in-hand with job opportunities. If you find yourself recording the Chicago Symphony perhaps you will be in the market for DPA/Schoeps/Gefell/Sennheiser and separate preamps etc. Or, if like me you live in an area with generally bad spaces and mostly do live concert recordings, there’s probably not the income or need to go any further than a solid mid-range option. I’m slightly contradicting my opening statement here but as you can infer, I still wrestle with what the best purchase route for gear should be.