A set with recording devices – discussing their capabilities and alternatives

We’ve previously stopped at a few notable basic audio packs [раз, два]… Let’s move on and talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the new kit.

Mackie Creator Bundle - Audiomania.ru
Mackie Creator Bundle – Audiomania.ru

[27 900] Mackie Creator Bundle – Suitable for aspiring vocalists and composers, suitable for recording podcasts, streams and conversational interviews. The bundle contains: USB microphone, active multimedia monitors and closed headphones. We will tell you what you need to know about these devices and suggest alternatives.

Let’s start with the microphone. This is an EM-USB capacitor with cardioid focus. In simple words, it captures well everything that sounds in front of its front side, dampens side sounds and ignores what is happening on the back side quite well. However, when actively working with the keyboard – for example, during gameplay – the clicks will still fall on the recording, even if you spread the microphone and input device to different sides of the table.

A 14 mm diaphragm is installed on board the EM-USB. Compared to analogs, this microphone falls between MPM-1000U and C-1U other brands.

Another key feature for a USB microphone is its built-in DAC… In this case, it is 16-bit and supports sampling rates up to and including 48 kHz. This is the norm for devices of this type, but far from the limit even for relatively inexpensive external audio interfaces like Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen [24 бит/192 кГц] and Steinberg UR22C [32 бит/192 кГц], which we talked about in previous collections [раз, два]…

EM-USB USB condenser microphone
EM-USB USB condenser microphone

In reviews, the microphone is praised for its build quality. The body and the protective mesh are metal, the controls work smoothly and do not have the potential for degradation of the mounts. As you can see in the photo above, there is a “Mute” button on the front of the device and an LED that acts as an indicator of its operation. Even if you press this button smoothly during recording, a parasitic click will hit the audio track. However, on streams and during calls, the audience may not notice this moment, so it is not critical.

Also on the front there is a volume control for the signal output to the headphones for direct monitoring, plus a control for gain control – “Gain”. At the bottom there is a headphone input with a classic 1/8 ” TRS Jack and a USB-C port for connecting a microphone to a computer [кабель USB-C-USB-A входит в комплект]…

To install the microphone, the manufacturer has provided a small tripod with a holder. But we would recommend considering the option of buying a pantograph, albeit a primitive one. It is necessary to decouple the device from the surface and minimize the likelihood of spurious sounds from accidental touches of the table. By the way, the dimensions of EM-USB are slightly above average. [высота без треноги — 180 мм, вес — 390 г], so the pantograph will not hurt and will help unload the table from the next gadget.

In general, the reviews note the neutral sounding of recordings from this microphone and recommend it for working with spoken content. Other use cases that require constant monitoring can cause difficulties – there are complaints on the network about a small delay in the signal coming from the device directly to the headphones. Perhaps this is the only potential drawback that requires additional verification during the purchase process.

Reviews of other USB microphones:

  • The five most affordable models

  • Five mid-range USB microphones

  • Three not-so-ordinary and far from the cheapest USB microphones

The bundle also includes a pair of CR3-X multimedia monitors. By the way, in one of our reviews of available studio albums, we talked about Mackie CR4-X – a senior colleague of this model. CR3-X is an active near-field acoustics – it does not require an amplifier, it can sound small and medium-sized rooms without any problems – and competes with analogs like PreSonus E3.5

CR3-X multimedia monitors - Audiomania.ru
CR3-X multimedia monitors – Audiomania.ru

The system turned out to be really compact [206 x 140 x 180 мм] and easy [3.5 кг]… The column can be easily lifted with one hand, and the couple does not need significant space on the table. At the same time, a sufficiently powerful three-inch woofer and a 19 mm tweeter with a silk dome were installed in the CR3-X. The maximum sound pressure level of the system is 97 dB.

The phase inverter is located in the upper part of the rear side of the speakers – almost opposite the tweeter, and on the front side there is a 1/8 ” Jack TRS headphone output and a volume control, which also works as an on / off switch for acoustics.

The cabinets are made of MDF with a black vinyl finish. The reviews note the build quality – you need to try to find and formulate comments on this score. The set includes a cable 1 / 8”Jack TRS-2RCA, 1 / 8”Jack TRS-1 / 8”Jack TRS and a “switchboard” for connecting a passive speaker from an active one, which is “powered” from the network.

By the way, these monitors available and outside the kit. They are easy to find and order auditions. As another potential alternative, we would suggest Pioneer DJ DM-40

Reviews of other systems:

  • Affordable “monitors” for studio and general listening to music

  • For work with sound and multimedia – we share the reviews of “studioniki”

  • Even more acoustics – three pairs of noteworthy bookshelf systems

The third component of the bundle is the MC-100 closed monitor headphones. Their appearance speaks of the manufacturer’s attempt to bring audience expectations closer to what classic models like ATH-M30X and ATH-M40X… To some extent, he managed to do this – MC-100 are equipped with dynamic emitters of 40 mm and are lightweight. [233 г]… And by the nature of the sound they are able to compete with these models – it seems that the Americans have managed to do everything to offer the market a budget pair of universal “ears” with a neutral and fairly reliable sound. What you need to work on audio material and normal listening to music during rest and breaks.

From analogs, we would recommend examining the PreSonus HD-7, AKG K92 and other models, which we talked about in one of our thematic reviews of headphones for home studio.

A common moment for the whole pack – keys for Pro Tools | First and accesses to the plugin pack. This is a nice bonus, but not all reviews describe this bundle as universal. It is believed that its weak link is a USB microphone, which to some extent limits the possibilities for recording vocals and professional sounding of any content. Therefore, for such tasks, it is worth considering the option with an external audio interface and a classic condenser microphone with XLR connection.

Selections of audio equipment and reviews in our blog on Habré:

  • “Shelves” around 50k – three selected pairs

  • Two Advanced Recorder Kits

  • A couple of available bundles with audio recording devices

What else can you read in our Hi-Fi World:

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