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  #1  
Old 11-22-2001, 09:44 AM
MarkGenero MarkGenero is offline
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Location: Natick, MA, US
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Default So now help me spend $3,000...

Okay, okay, so I realized from the posts tha my $1,000 spending spree wasn't going to get me where I wanted, so I sold some things and now have $3,000 to spend. To recap,I want to upgrade my hom recording studio with as "professional" a front end as I can afford. Here's my setup:

Digi 001 on a fast computer
Neumann TLM-103 mic
Focusrite Platinum voicemaster (mic pre/comp)
Lexicon PCM 91 reverb

I have good instruments:
Taylor 713 CE acoustic guitar
Korg N1 synth and JV 1010 module

My style is folk/country light ballads, and I use the mic mostly for vocals and acoustic guitar. I use Acid for my drums and run the synth direct to the Digi. I'm a solo act and happy to record my mic tracks in mono, so I'mnot inclined to spend my money on more than one mic or a stereo mic pre/comp at this time. My computer's in my home office and for my "recording booth" I run mic cable to the spare bedroom with heavy curtains and blankets on the walls. I've been able to get decent sound so far. I'm focusing on the front end because with the help of the previous posters it seems that this is the weakest link in my overall musical chain: specifically the voicemaster and Digi a/d converters, and where the money would be best spent on upgrades. I'm pretty happy with the TLM-103 as an all around mic, and like the Alesis monitors and love the Lexi. So my thinking at the moment is to upgrade the mic pre/compressor and the a/d converters. I believe a tube mic pre might be best to warm up my TLM-103. (agree?) My current strategy is:

Avalon 737 sp mono mic pre/comp ($2000)
Lucid 9624 a/d converter ($800)

OR

Manley 60 db 301 mono mic pre ($1500)
RNC ($200)
Lucid 9624 a/d converter ($800)

Any other suggestions in this price range? Also open to hearing if you think this is the best way to spend my $3,000.

Thank for your help,
Mark
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2001, 09:49 AM
dkrausz dkrausz is offline
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Default Re: So now help me spend $3,000...

My consulting fee is only $1000.00 [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2001, 10:33 AM
Kamurah Kamurah is offline
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Default Re: So now help me spend $3,000...

Mark,

I vote for your first option listed. I think you would be very happy with the Avalon / Lucid combo, and this would give you a couple bucks left over to buy high quality cables for the units.

ML...whaddya think? [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

cheers
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Old 11-22-2001, 03:15 PM
M Lawrence M Lawrence is offline
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Default Re: So now help me spend $3,000...

great river MP-2-NV "Mercenary Edition"($2000)-
2 channels of neve-style (1073 to be specific) mic-pres (perhaps you might want to track guitar & vocals at same time, or mic your acoustic with 2 mics?) the "merc" edition is only $200 more, but you get inserts(for the rnc, or a speck/asc, which is a very vintagey sounding 4-band/para eg that only costs $550 for the balanced version!), a gain on the output, and and a proper led for level matching. this pre has neve warmth for days, and cleans up very nicely as well, but if you gotta have 1 mic pre, this'd be the one you'd want. and it's much quieter than a tube pre. http://www.mercenaryaudio.com/greatrivelmp.html
lucid ad2496 ($750)
fmr rnc ($180)

as an alternative to the g.river, if you have to have tubes, here's another alternative to the 2 you asked about:

DW FEARN VT-1 Vacuum Tube Microphone Preamplifier ($2000) http://www.mercenaryaudio.com/vt1vactubmic.html


good luck,

ml
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2001, 03:18 PM
M Lawrence M Lawrence is offline
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Default Re: So now help me spend $3,000...

i meant eq, not eg. doh!

ml
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2001, 03:23 PM
M Lawrence M Lawrence is offline
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Default Re: So now help me spend $3,000...

sorry, i just noticed the keys you listed. the great river will also give you 2 amazing instrument di's for giving your synth sounds more analog warmth. and that fat neve bottom!


ml
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2001, 11:13 PM
shaggy shaggy is offline
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Default Re: So now help me spend $3,000...

Have you looked into TL Audio?

And the Groove Tubes Vipre looks interesting.

my .02 fleas
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  #8  
Old 11-24-2001, 12:58 AM
M Lawrence M Lawrence is offline
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Default Re: So now help me spend $3,000...

like i said, if you really have to have tubes, & you want a toolbox style processor, you can pick up the mercenery edition avalon 737 for $1700, and it'll piss all over the hhb/tla stuff. you get a phenomenal mic/instr. pre, a great tube eq , and though its's only a 1-trick pony, a great sounding tube compressor. guys like steve albini & bob clearmountain stay away from the hhb/tla stuff like the plague. just 'cause a piece of gear has tubes in it (no matter how many, at the end of the day, the tubes don't cost that much), doesn't mean it's any better than gear that doesn't; it's just different.

in the under $1200-1500 range, the rnc is a quirk of nature, & just happens to be the only usable (& quite good sounding, as well) compressor for under that mark. the 1st, imho, great compressor you hit, at $1200, is the "distressor", which absolutely rules, & it starts to go drastically up from there ( though, peavey, oddly enough, make a very usable tube compressor, and a mic pre as well, & they both sell for just under a $1000, but they're still not in the "great" league.) and 1 other thing. if you see that the really good components start at $1500-2000, on their own, wouldn't you be a little leary of some of the "toolboxes" that cram everything in for the same, or less? well you should. look at the manley voxbox, for instance. when you start putting in more than one high quality component, it'll start costing $4000 & above. there' no way around it.

so anyway, after you've picked out a mic pre & an a/d converter, you pretty much only have enough $ for a rnc. and if it's a good enough compressor for albini, i'm sure it'll do the job for you. don't try to get everything you need for $3000. buy the best components (within reason, don't go buy a prism a/d converter) you can for the amount you have, & upgrade the rnc when you have more cash. and my vote is still for the great river. at $1000 a channel for a neve 1073 mic pre (the longer you're around, the more you'll hear engineers, almost 1 out of 3, mention this unit as being the one they'd keep if they could only have 1), you're not only getting phenomenal quality and value at the same time, you're getting the classic sound of so many of the great albums that were tracked on the old neve consoles of the 60's & 70''s. and there were no tubes in those channel paths! good luck.

sorry, that might have been .08¢.

ml
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  #9  
Old 11-24-2001, 01:02 AM
M Lawrence M Lawrence is offline
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Default Re: So now help me spend $3,000...

the groove tubes vipre is bloody amazing! weighs a ton!

ml
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  #10  
Old 11-24-2001, 05:57 AM
MarkGenero MarkGenero is offline
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Default Re: So now help me spend $3,000...

Thanks, everyone for your suggestions. It's been very informative. In the end I went to my local guitar center on the "day after thanksgiving" special and got the avalon 737 sp for 1660. couldn't believe it. even cheaper than the mercenary unit. They didn't stock lucid so I went with the apogee rosetta a/d converter and got it for 900. I immediately went home and put down an acoustic guitar and vocal track through this setup and couldn't believe what I was hearing. "Smooth" and "airy" are the words that come to mind. For the first time my stuff has a "professional quality" to the sound. And that's just the first, basic raw attempt. I'm very pleased. Thanks so much for the advice, you guys are an incredible resource. Thanks also to digi too for this board.

Mark
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