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  #1  
Old 05-15-2002, 06:53 PM
elwoodblues elwoodblues is offline
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Location: Madison, WI
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Default What next?....need advice on home studio purchases..

sounds wierd huh...I just got my digi and here I am ready to take the dive..Anyway I love the digi and have loved recording and studio settings for years now and think that I want to pursue a small scale professional sounding setup of my own. here's what I was thinking:

I currently own:

digi 001 factory (with comp. Allen H. suggested)
Roland VS1680
Shure SM58 and KSM 32
Mackie 1604 VLZ Pro (recent purchase)
Alesis Studio 24 (probably going to sell soon)
Carvin SRS passive monitors

Keep in mind that I want this gear to be capable of all types of music (punk to classical--all)

Based on about a months worth of research, I was thinking of buying:

Mackie HR824 monitors
a couple of SM 57s
Studio projects C1 mic
Rode NTK
Drum mic package from musicians friend--(slammin' 6 drum mic package V1 product# 270281)
Grace 101 (really need some input here)
Alesis AI-3 lightpipe
Bass pod Pro (I have no bass amp)

the budget is roughly 5000.00 over the next 3 months

Or should I consider better plug-ins (waves), a/d d/a converter? [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] , or a HUI (they look damn sweet--are they good for PC though?) and obviously scale back on some other goodies..It is obvious that I need mics and lots of them if I am going to record drums...

I am not a crack dealer [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] I have a good job now, pay under 300.00/month for rent, and am selling a bunch of other non-recording stuff to help finance this venture, so I got some money to blow right now...please give me some solid suggestions based on what you would do..

as always thank you all for this resource [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2002, 11:58 PM
pk_hat pk_hat is offline
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Default Re: What next?....need advice on home studio purchases..

-what type of room will you be using?
-tracking and mixing in same room?
-mostly for your own music or to record other's?
-if it's mostly for you, what type of music (something less vague than johnny rotten to mozart)

they may seem like silly questions, but they may help us help you better. You listed a bunch of great gear, and there's a whole lot more great gear out there, it would suck to buy the 'one thing', only to find out later there was a 'better thing' for your situation.
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  #3  
Old 05-16-2002, 07:03 AM
elwoodblues elwoodblues is offline
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Default Re: What next?....need advice on home studio purchases..

Quote:
Originally posted by pk_hat:
-what type of room will you be using?
-tracking and mixing in same room?
-mostly for your own music or to record other's?
-if it's mostly for you, what type of music (something less vague than johnny rotten to mozart)

they may seem like silly questions, but they may help us help you better. You listed a bunch of great gear, and there's a whole lot more great gear out there, it would suck to buy the 'one thing', only to find out later there was a 'better thing' for your situation.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">pk_hat,

not silly questions at all.

1,2) For now I have the luxury of a downstairs bedroom about 11X14 for the gear and on the other side of concrete wall there is a small living room (maybe 14X16) that I will be doing the tracking from (where the mics will be set up)--both carpet floors and drywall but I have a number of cubicle panels (basically gobos) on legs that I can move around to kill most of the reflections from the drywall

3) Will be a lot of both my music and others..Honestly though, mostly my own [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] and the bands that I am in (currently one is a melodic hardcore type of thing--fast punk style rythms, hard breaks and a singer that actually sings, the other is indie rock type stuff)

4) Big guitars [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img] (distorted)...I guess harder rock if I had to classify it will be primarily the type of music this setup will be for..Maybe some light electronic/DJ type stuff too...Nothing like Korn and any of that type of newer so called metal, just mainly big guitar sounds and mean sounding drums. I also have some acoustic stuff that I really want to get recorded. Is this still too vague?

thank you for your interest in helping me out
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  #4  
Old 05-16-2002, 10:03 AM
pk_hat pk_hat is offline
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Default Re: What next?....need advice on home studio purchases..

good stuff, well here it goes then - although it's simply my opinion. You should sift through the numerous replies that may follow, there will be tons of gear suggestions making it even more difficult to decide....

definite buys (or strong contenders)

-Mackie HR824 (your room seems big enough, otherwise I would look into the 624's)

-Apogee Rosetta A/D converter

-Grace preamp, it's good stuff. As you already have a Mackie 1604, a Focusrite Octo-Pre or Digimax may seem redundant (assuming you'll be tracking drum kits?), so one 'great' mic pre could be the ticket. Then again, preamp quality is so subjective. Some love the VLZ, others hate 'em, and this is where a great standalone A/D converter can make a huge difference.

-Not sold on the Bass Pod, only based on what I've read about it. I think you're better off runnin your (good) bass direct through a great preamp->A/D converter combo. Once in PT, put some icing on it with good eq, compression, etc. If you have a good outboard compressor, you may want to track the bass through it (very lightly, don't kill the tone).

-for the killer guitars you mention. Well, a killer guitar and great player puts you in pole position, but for the sake of shop talk, Pod Pro - rack or kidney bean - can do some serious damage. A good amp->mic combo wouldn't go amiss here either. Double tracking with the mic'd amp sound panned on one side and a different tone with the Pod on the other will yield 'fat'. And remember, there's always plug-ins after the fact.

-Plugins! If you don't have the Waves bundle already, forget about eating for a while and do yourself a favor, get 'em! Unless you had your eyes on 3 or 4 outboard processors, you'd be doing great injustice to all that gear by slapping the stock Digirack plugs. Some of these have great use, but it sounds like you're pretty serious about getting a 'pro sound', so look ahead with this one, Waves and Bomb Factory plugs (LA-2A and 1176 compressors, etc).

-you listed 2 great mics, and you should go for it. A C1 and NTK should get you up and running for vocals and acoustic guitars, overheads, etc.

-AI3...I can't comment on that one, never had one, altough plenty of people on this DUC have one. My only concern would be it's functionality vs. all the other options out there. A second hand Yamaha O1V fitted with the optical card could prove to be a wiser choice, or even the Digimax LT with lightpipe out? After all, you do have the Mackie board, which I believe has 4 stereo busses? Confusing...
This is where I'd draw a few diagrams on paper, with a clear signal path pertaining to what you want to get done and how. It might clear up the fuzz to see it drawn out, figure out which pieve of gear you may not need.

-you haven't mentioned the need for synths or keyboards. Perhaps it's not on the agenda for yourself or your band's music, but if you plan on building a clientele to record, I'd seriously look into a good bread & butter synth module, such as a Roland XV-5050, or Korg Triton Rack or kbd. For more of that analog stuff, Novation K-Station, can' tbeat the priceerformance ratio.

-A good sampler is also some kit to consider. My adivce is go software. Kontakt is about to ship, it may just be all you need to get started. In fact, I'd look into that before the synth module. You'll definitely need some kind of midi controller (Oxygen 8, Roland A37, etc.).

Here's some sites you may want to sink your teeth into before spending a dime.

www.sonicstate.com (user reviews an just about any gear)

www.futuremusic.co.uk

www.sound-on-sound.com

www.prorec.com

www.recording.org
(similiar to this site, but all about recording, you may find all the answers you need about the Grace and other high-end preamps, and everything else as well)

good luck

pk
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  #5  
Old 05-16-2002, 10:59 AM
elwoodblues elwoodblues is offline
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Default Re: What next?....need advice on home studio purchases..

Thanks a ton Pk...

I do have a guitar Pod (kidney bean) two PRS's, marshall cabinets and soon a VHT head..For other stuff I use a G&L Legacy Special and Fender Bassman. So I got the initial gear to be recorded pretty well covered for the sounds that I am after. I am not interested in a synth for the near future.

I will definitly look into that converter. thanks again

any other opinions?
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  #6  
Old 05-16-2002, 11:34 AM
RonH RonH is offline
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Default Re: What next?....need advice on home studio purchases..

I notice you are soon getting a VHT head. I have one of these on order also. If it was me, I would focus on using the VHT and miking a cabinet with it. I have nothing against the Line 6 stuff, but I do think if you are going for a heavier distorted sound, you cant beat miking the cab while using a killer tube head which you will have with the VHT. I have used the POD Pro and got really great sounding stuff, but I prefer miking the cab. The grace 101 is a very clean mic pre, very transparent, and wont add any coloration. I currently use a Vintech Dual 72 which is a 2 channel mic pre designed exactly after the Neve 1272's. I have tracked guitars through this pre and a shure sm57 with killer results. The vintech adds some nice coloration to the sound. It has a very warm sound. I picked up the Vintech for 1225.00. I agree with PK about looking into converters. Check out the Apogee, Lucid (cheaper than apogee) and RME converters. If you get a killer pre, I would definitely run bass direct into the pre or pre/converter combo. I have only heard great things about the C1 mics, but have no personal experience with them. You can also check out ADK mikes. I have two the the A51s and they sound really nice for the money. Oh yeah, and since I am at the pc forum right now, buy a MAC and use it. Much better than those damn pcs! Nah, just kidding. The Waves plugins are also great, like pk said. You can pick up the Native Power Pack for 289.00 including shipping at www.bayviewproaudio.com. The gold bundle is quite a bit more but has a ton of plugins. Good luck!
Ron
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  #7  
Old 05-16-2002, 01:06 PM
RonH RonH is offline
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Default Re: What next?....need advice on home studio purchases..

I am sure you could come up with some pretty creative sounds using the grace and some waves plugs. GRM Tools has a lot of plugs that can really warp sounds so you might look into their plugins. They also have a free plugin on their web page which I have used on vocals and everything else. I think it is called Band Pass Free. I wouldnt say dont get the bass pod pro, you could just check into the bass pod, although I assume you loose the S/PDIF connection going that route. I think the bass pod pro would be nice for added effects and different tones. I I had the POD Pro, but sold it to get the VHT head. Now all I have is the J-station which has some pretty good sounds and a couple of bass presets (I havent tried them out on bass yet though). I forgot to say in my previous post, the Mackie HR824's are really nice. I have those and love them. I dont think you would go wrong there.
I would try to check out the grace with the mic that you choose. I have heard that since it is so clean it can sound kind of harsh going digital when using a bright mic. I think the C1 is supposed to be on the bright side, but I have no experience with this setup. Just thought I would throw that out there. Maybe someone with the grace can speak up and talk about what mics they are using with it.
Ron
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  #8  
Old 05-16-2002, 02:59 PM
Stone Knife Stone Knife is offline
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Default Re: What next?....need advice on home studio purchases..

Monitor-wise in your smaller space, I think you should try a pair of Mackie 624's and a Tannoy PS110B 10" sub down there for a trial run. I have a 12 x 14 control space and have yet to turn it up past -20 on the Mackie console monitor send. (Usually run it at -30)Great sound and lower lows than the 824's will do by themselves (Flat down to 31Hz) for about the same price- just not as loud as- the 824's, judging from watts. (about $1,400)

You will never regret aquiring a Rode NTK, ($405, BPM Express.com)

And if you win a lotto, toss in an Aphex 720 3-band stereo limiter...(about $1,100) it will keep your board's output from clipping your 001 inputs ...but stay quietly transparent so you can concentrate on mixing and skip the worry.

My 3 senses [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
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  #9  
Old 05-16-2002, 06:48 PM
Roly Roly is offline
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Default Re: What next?....need advice on home studio purchases..

Looks like you will need some headphone amps and cans too.
Mr Knife- you sound like a proud father [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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  #10  
Old 05-16-2002, 07:17 PM
Stone Knife Stone Knife is offline
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Default Re: What next?....need advice on home studio purchases..

Hey Roly!
Things are sounding pretty OK in here!
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