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What Kit Would You Buy If You Started Again And Had £3,000?

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mikewest   

Yep if you get gear that covers what you do and does it well

that's the way to impress clients and move on earning

And you will love using great equipment

mike

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dfisk   

I always recommended the first purchases should be a good quality boom pole, a good mic (w/ suspension and windscreen), and a good pair of headphones, and throw in some XLR cables for good measure. You can then rent the other stuff that you need. Establish a good relationship with a rental house. If you are renting gear for a production, especially a long term, make sure to let the rental house know. They may offer you a discount. You bill that to production as you would your own gear, but you mark it up so you make some scratch on it. 

If renting isn't an option for you (you don't live close to a rental house, and you just got a call for a gig tomorrow morning, and there is stuff you need), then rent from fellow local sound mixers OR plan ahead and buy only what you need, such as a small recorder and one or two wireless systems. I typically don't recommend the buy once cry once model for people just starting out, because if in a year or so you decide this isn't for you, now you have all this expensive gear that you need to unload and it might not have paid for itself. If you know what you are doing, you can get the lower cost stuff to work for you, and at this point, you aren't working on a big TV show our feature. You're doing lower budget stuff or corporate gigs. The lower cost stuff will work just fine for that, and the rental you charge production for your gear will pay that gear off faster than the expensive stuff. As you move up in the world, then you can either sell off your lower cost gear and buy better stuff, or keep the low cost gear in case there are hard times and you get a low budget thing tossed your way. 

 

On the retail side of things, I often ask people "what's your budget" when they are looking for something like a mic or wireless system, and I get the inevitable dollar amount that is usually lower than optimal. This is typical, but it shouldn't be. I always encourage people that instead of saying "I can only spend 'x' amount of money on my gear", figure out how much the gear costs that you want/need, and THEN set your budget for buying gear. If it's do-able, then go for it. If it isn't, then figure out how to get there. 

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Go for top end, second hand gear. Get in groups like this and Facebook and purchase people's kit as they upgrade. Not only do you get more value for money, you'll make good contacts with other people in the industry.

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