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Last comments on the Behringer LED tube glow 'scandal'...

A post by David Mellor
Monday October 03, 2005
One last round of comments on the Behringer revelation. Shall we just let Behringer get on with it?
Last comments on the Behringer LED tube glow 'scandal'...

One last round of comments in the Behringer LED 'tube glow' argument. This topic has probably run its course and to let it run further would not achieve anything useful, so no more please. A certain name has been abbreviated out of a desire not to make this any more personal than it already is. Here we go...


Seeing as so many people feel the need to criticize Audio Masterclass, I felt it prudent to offer some gratitude for a change.

I am (relatively) new to this world of audio technology, I have a fair knowledge of live sound with a mere 3 years of experience in the professional domain, as well as a rather trivial BSc in the subject.

As such I find the Audio Masterclass newsletter quite indispensable in that it provides different points of view on the subject than those taught in the colleges/universities across the land. The tips, ideas and musings provide much sought after inspiration to try new things instead of sticking to the definitive rules on recording as taught on all the 'HND miking up a drum kit' courses.

All those than can't offer constructive argument/criticism should keep their views to themselves, instead of showing their ignorance. Not ignorance in the field of audio and audio recording, but ignorance of constructive debate and their ability to correctly interpret the English language.

Kind regards
A. Liley.

I read the guy who got pissed at you for dissing Behringer. I do have a question: Why don't you deal on a one-to-one basis with folks who write you before you display their evident petulence to the rest of the e-world? I see that your staff has, in a blurb with a thumbnail about the Behringer question, made an incorrect, somewhat slanderous inference about the guy who wrote you conerning it. Sorry I'm not being a bit more illuminating- I'm running to band rehearsal- but I think you know what I refer to.

It looks like you and your dedicated staff are putting up for ridicule those that express (fine- passionate) opposition to your views. So what if he was a bit inflamed? Maybe you pissed him off? You know, you are a guy who has a website, calls himself (probably rightly so) an educator, and with some vigor underwrites ProTools as the only really worthy software app for professionl-quality work. So much for the rest of us! You have a lot of opinions. Yes, you can back them up, in a way, but you also have a personal angle on sound, ethic, and a method that suits you and what you use. It's a formula, and there are a lot of formulas.

I will also say here that just because a record (read: "Sound", "Production ethic", etc.) sells a lot of copies, that doesn't make it by definition good music. Not in my opinion...

Now I'm late. Oops. Peace,

Roger Vaughan

Oops - responds David Mellor - I've done it again! I'm really not trying to upset anyone. I'm just trying to produce a useful and entertaining website based on my experience and my contact with the industry. I really can't understand why people get so angry when I express an opinion. Audio Masterclass is one website out of millions, and I'm not stopping anyone else from having their say. Peace to you too - enjoy your music.


I just read your publication of Mr. W’s flame mail. I must whole-heartily agree with you when you say this guy is way off base. When Mr. W states “...I like Behringer gear and use it a lot.” This tells me 2 things, 1) He’s budget restricted (I totally understand that one, no slam there) but 2) He does not understand the first thing about true “audio recording” engineering; you would think that his degree in Electrical Engineering would help him understand, that the reason Behringer is cheap is because they use “cheap” components. Translated further, cheap components generally sound like mud and are harder to adjust to get a clear, tight sound – period!

I too liked Beringer when I first started; because I thought, Beringer gave me more punch for the buck. At one point, my studio consisted of only inexpensive “commercial grade” equipment and cheap microphones. I later discovered, when comparing my mixes to those coming out of a world-class studio located here in my area, that my mixes just sounded tiny, lifeless, no air/space and downright no comparison. I then asked the owner how they got that big, open sound? Throwing the semantics of my engineering style aside, I discovered that they use only “professional” grade equipment i.e. Sony Oxford & SSL rooms, Neumann, AKG C12, TL Audio, UAD (not the plug-ins), TRUE Audio P8, Avalon, Manley, etc. Bottom line is that you will NOT find one “consumer” grade piece of equipment in their racks – period. This is what he told me, this is what I followed. Hence, I ended up throwing out most all of my consumer grade equipment and reinvested in “pro” grade, I also rewired the studio and got rid of all my -10 interfaces and moved up to +4. I will tell you this, when you talk about the 3 “C’s”, it is MUCH easier to achieve these (read less work involved) with a $3000 Neumann and $5000 Manley than a Mackie console pre-amp and a $250 MXL microphone!

READ MY WORDS Mr. W: Gear is NOT Gear, an MXL Microphone will never equal a Neumann U-87 just like an Alesis 360 will never have the openness of an 1170! If you are selling you customers on this idea, then that is, well just wrong. I agree that you can, with enough time, tweak this gear to a point, but only to a point. If you do a side-by-side comparison between an MXL Microphone through Mackie pres and Neumann through a Manley Vox Box or Avalon, you will notice right off the bat the later combination just sits better in the mix – without EQ.

Mr. W, if you truly believe this statement “...Gear is Gear, if it's clean and adds no noise it's GOOD for recording.” Then I must say that you know very little about recording engineering – EOM!

Side note to you Mr. Mellor: I would take his flame with a grin of salt. If you go out to his studio site and look at the equipment list – I rest my case. One look there suggested that I question his rationale behind the following statement: “...You don't know the first thing about how gear works but want to bitch about someone "pulling the wool over your eyes". How can they do that when you don't know. “ wooo, talk about throwing stones man!

AND I ESPECIALLY LIKE THIS ONE: Gear is Gear, if it's clean and adds no noise it's GOOD for recording. Holy shit!!! Is this guy from Pluto? Cause Mars wouldn’t claim him.

Ps. I am not putting down his engineering abilities, heck he did not provide any refs to his work. Nor am I slamming him for having, well, basically only “consumer grade” equipment. What I am pointing out is his absurdness to make bold statements like “Gear is Gear.” Good lord man!

Brad Lund

The sad part of the whole Behringer marketing ploy--lighting the tube with an LED--is that it works! How much gear is on the market today with dancing LEDs and analog meters that are completely unnecessary? What about the knob factor? If it doesn't have lots of knobs, it can't be good right? Software plug-ins have taken this marketing concept to new levels--a lot of them look like the Space Shuttle's pilot's console. But all the pilot's readouts really are necessary. The same can't be said for a lot of pro audio gear.

Don Merz
Pittsburgh, PA

Hi David,

I just read your article on Behringer Gear and also the reply from SW.

I am amazed that anyone with an ounce of experience, would ever make a statement like the one I just read in the article (Latest Round of Insults).

And SW, are you for real? Have you checked the specifications and compared the "Sonic" quality of the gear (Behringer) against that of say-Soundcraft or Allen & Heath? Are you really serious when you state that "gear is gear, as long as it is clean and adds no noise"?

For example: Lets say that I need my garden plowed, it's a one acre lot and I have a lawn/garden tractor made by John Deere, which is primarialy used for mowing the lawn.

I have the implements for plowing the garden, but I know for sure it's gonna be a little bit hard on the John Deere to do the job, but it can do it. It won't plow as deep, but deep enough, or as wide a swath, but it is at the very least sufficent to do the job.

However, lets say my neighbor has a Allis Chalmers tractor which is designed primarily for doing the plowing of fields.

Now which tractor would be best for the job?

As can be deduced from this example, (most) people would say that the Allis Chalmers would be the most effective means to getting the job done, with the least effort being expended and the least wear and tear to the equipment being incurred.

SW you really can't be serious when you assume that Behringer is comparable and/or equal in quality, (and this means not only the sonic quality, but the component quality of the equipment), to recognized industry standards.
C'mon, lets be honest here and state the facts. If you don't have much money and you need gear, Behringer is probably a good choice to get the most "Bang" for your buck.

But SW, don't expect me or (most) other people to buy your thesis just because of your prejudice and perhaps because you happen to own or have invested in Behringer gear.

When you want qaulity and reliability, it is hard to purchase those two things without spending an appropriate amount of capital.

The old addage, you get what you pay for, has not changed in all the time I have had the pleasure to be alive on this planet, we call earth.

And I don't want you to think (or assume), that I am a big fan of David's. For the record, there are some things I disagree with David on, but to be honest, the disagreements I have with David are so insignificant, as to not bear mentioning. 95% of what I have read on Record Producer is timely, factual and informative.

I would also disagree with your statement that David (flames) those he disagrees with.

I would think that the appropriate statement would be, "David has no tolerance for statements that are not factual or based in reality".

Sure, he occasionally beats someone up, but only after they failed to listen (and follow) the advice which he has given, which are not his ideas, but simply principles which are recognized industry standards.

SW, I really don't understand or have knowledge of what your qaulifications are, or what your background is, within the music industry.

I will state that unless you have a wealth of experience, within the industry, with a proven track record, (see pro) it would be best not to offer opinions or advice, that some poor inexperienced musician/sound guy/techie may pick up on and be thereafter disappointed because he/she doesn't understand why the issues they are having, can't be gotten rid of...........................

If you disagree with someone, (regardless of what the disagreement is about), back up any statements you may have, with hard evidence, to prove your thoughts are based on the rational and analytical thought process and SW, please leave emotions out of the equation.

As to my qualifications, (I could bore you to tears, with the namedropping game), sufficient to say that I have spent twenty seven years in the industry and I beleive that David has a very good grasp on how most of us in the industry do things.

I am not here to tell you that you can't achieve a good mix with the Lawn tractor. It's just that you will work 400% harder and expend more effort, just to get a (good) mix.

However if you want that field plowed, in a timely manner and with the (best) results, may I suggest the Allis Chalmers.

I hope that I have somehow managed to assuage your anger and induce your mind towards the idea that what David seeks, as do others like him, is a best world scenario, which allows you (the engineer/producer/musician/composer) to focus on whats important, (the mix), instead of focusing on how many manipulations you have to do, with the equipment you have , just to get a (almost as good) sound.

My ten cents worth.................

Hey Dave,

I would firstly like to thank you for the informative and interesting mail you provide, i've really learnt a lot!

Getting straight to the point, you get what you pay for. Simple as that. Clearly the majority of behringer fanatics are in complete denial, you can not buy a cheap, bottom of the range product and get it to perform like the top runners - or we'd all be buying multiple luxury cars with the change.

As for our good friend SW (notice high levels of sarcasm) he obiously hasn't been around that long - six months... a year maybe - that's how long it takes for most behinger products to develop the most arbitory glitches!

Behinger are conveniently cheap and do make some decent products but it's no mystery (maybe to SW) how they can make them so cheap.

Don't be affected by arrogant people like SW, love your work, keep it up!!


Hi David,

I just recently discovered and have been frequenting your website, of which this whole “insults” thing seems to be front and center over all the other content. This correspondence comes in on the heels of a recently received email newsletter, of which the “insults” link focused on a spat over some Behringer gear. Fact or fiction aside regarding Behringer, this debate went lost on me with the introduction of degree this and credentials that; “I’ve got paper and you don’t so my opinion counts and yours doesn’t” hype. Now, I’m a nobody as far as ”commercial” radio pop music is concerned, I suppose, and rather find much fulfillment in what most would consider a “project” studio and a small indie label (although some amount of the same gear listed on SW’s “pro” studio website is also racked up in my “hobby” studio...hmm?). Still, success (or legitimacy?), in my humble opinion, is what a person makes (and does) of what is at hand and how they value it, not what hangs on a wall in a frame that cost thousands of dollars of debt to acquire in order to pump ones ego and maintain bragging rights. Throughout my musical life, many a night, day, and weekend has been spent in “A” list studios, working with a variety of known producers and engineers, often times debating such in depth topics as education vs. practical experience, the natural ear vs. the trained ear, the musical vs. the mechanical, and so on. Conclusion? There are “educated” engineers out there that couldn’t professionally mix a record to save there skins, as well as “off the street” , un-schooled naturals that can put the most pedestal riding producers to bed. Is it four years of diode, transducer, and schematics study that makes a great engineer? Probably not. Is it a room full of top end gear that makes a golden child producer? Unlikely. By the way, don’t many successful engineer / producers choose their gear based on the “coloration” and personality that it actually does bring to a session, thus in some way the chosen gear helping to define the sound that got that engineer noticed in the first place? I dunno. I believe there are two types of musicians; those that are spirited players and those that are mechanical readers. Players bring it forth from a deep, emotionally moving, spiritual place. Reader’s suck it in off a page then mechanically filter it out through a too often lifeless performance. This also, I think, holds true of engineers, wherein too often the formally educated recordist gets so locked into formula and textbook that the art and life of the process gets lost in the translation. There are many exceptions to this hypothesis, of course, of which only supports the concept that what is right for one will be wrong for someone else. Do I use Behringer? Yea, some. Why? Because it’s affordable and in some applications actually does work well. Doesn’t mean I agree or disagree with either yours or SW’s opinion, nor think mine is any more or less valid. Nor do I take offense at either, as opinion is just that, opinion, and at the end of the day is still there for all to hear. In the end, maybe it’s as simple as what aspiring knob twisters can afford at any particular moment in time that dictates the contents of their studios. After all, everyone has to start somewhere. To Behringer or not to Behringer; I guess for some that is the question.

Musically Yours,


"There's no such thing as bad publicity"
- Mel Gibosn, commenting on the criticism recieved for his movie The Passion of the Christ-

Personally, I agree.

Here in Puerto Rico we say that you can do ten great things and never be recognized for it. But if you mess up in one of them, you'll never hear the end of it. I thought it silly to suggest that anyone having an oppinion or disagreeing with someone on any particular subject matter, immediatly discualifies him/her from possesing any knowledge or valid credentials on that particular matter. In the end we or I as a consumer will decide to validate any particular argument without regards to whether David Mellor or anyother person thinks regardless of how knowledgable they may be. The implicity of: "Listen to me; I'm cualified" is rather childish going along the lines of "My dad can beat your dad". In end we don't care what anybody thinks, in music; but more so how it sounds.

I've learned a great deal from Mr. Mellor on this page. Should I now disregard all the proven points that I've put intro practice 'cause somebody with some shcooling is mad at him? I don't think so... So, thank you David!

All truths are self-sustainable; they need neither apology nor defense. They're irrevocable.


Just a brief comment about the SW article. So far, I have never seen you try to "flame", or ridicule anyone that has disagreed with one of your articles. I think you have been fair, kind and polite in dealing with anyone who's opinions differ from yours! You often publish their comments and fairly respond. You're always very professional. I see musicians as a group of brothers and sisters that share a passion, and most musicians that I have met are more than pleased to offer advice and help to their fellow musicians. You certainly fall within that genre. Keep up the good work!

John Davis
Huntsville, Al.

Thank you everyone. Now let's move on...

Or you can leave further comments in the audiomasterclass.com Forum

A post by David Mellor
Monday October 03, 2005 ARCHIVE
David Mellor has been creating music and recording in professional and home studios for more than 30 years. This website is all about learning how to improve and have more fun with music and recording. If you enjoy creating music and recording it, then you're definitely in the right place :-)