Having had my Presonus Mobile for a few weeks now I am quite happy with it. It doesnt take up much space on my desk, and the inputs are in front so its easy to connect up some cables and start laying down tracks. The two preamps are quiet, and provide plenty of gain. Ninety precent of the time I only need two inputs anyways, and if i need more, I can connect an exteral preamp to the additional quarter inch inputs.
Now for a much tougher decision, choosing some microphones to record with. It seems on the internet there are endless debates and discussions on mic X vs mic Y vs mic Z. For any given mic some people will love, some will hate it, and some will think its ok. Except for perhaps the AKG C1000S, which i am sad to say I once owned.
The mics I have in mind so far:
Studio Projects C4
The CAD is a large diaphram condensor, the other two are small diaphram condensors. My budget is probably $500 max for a pair of mics. I will mostly be recording fingerpicked guitar, but also the occasional flute and rhythm guitar, and perhaps some banjo.
I had initially leaned towards small diaphram condensors (SDC’s), as they are popular choice for fingerstyle guitar. Folks say they are more detailed and pick up transients better. But I have not had a chance to use either the Rode’s or the Studio Projects, though a friend may be lending me the NT5’s in the near future. Alot of folks seem to like the Rodes. Teja Gerken recorded his second cd with them, and they seem to be widely used by acoustic musicians, at least according to my internet searches.
I have had the chance to use the CAD. It is a quiet, versatile mic, and I can get a pair of them for about $300 on Ebay. Being that I will be recording more sources than guitar it might be a bit more versatile than the small diaphram mics.
Folks online seem to say the Studio Projects are similar to Rodes. Except that they are a bit cheaper and come with omni directional capsules as well. So maybe a good choice, assuming their build quality and sound is up to par.
Corresponding with Fran Guidry over at Homebrewed Music I am inclined to take his advice. Get a pair of mics that work and then focus on room treatment. Fran his great insights on mic testing and what seems to stand out to our ears. Check out his post here comparing some cheap Naiants to very expensive Schoeps. Not as big of a difference as one would expect, giving the price difference. Another great article of his is building broadband absorbers, something I plan to try someday.
At this point I am leaning toward the CAD, but I would love to hear from folks if they have other suggestions. I know there are ton of other mics in this price range that would fit the bill.
I'm loving my CAD. It does great on everything. That's not to say the more expensive mics wouldn't be better, but I don't think you can go wrong with the CAD.