Help me build my home studio on a budget...

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by soundchemistry, May 27, 2008.

  1. soundchemistry

    soundchemistry Member

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    O.k.

    So I want to make myself a fairly portable but great little home studio. I want to make it the best I can for great demos but maybe potentially be able to have keeper guitar tracks. I use Pro Tools the one and the only. Pro Tools HD systems are too expensive as of yet so I'm working with LE 7.4. Here is what I have...

    What more do think I need to get the best quality sound without having an HD system?​

    MacBook Pro 2.6GHz 4GB RAM 200GB HD with a WD 320GB Xternal HD

    Pro Tools LE 7.4 (yes 7.4 somehow now works on MacBook Pro's!)

    MBox 2 (may want to upgrade to a Digi 002 or 003...?)

    KRK VTX4's Speakers with Mogami cables

    Presonus Faderport

    Sterling Audio ST55 Condenser Mic (for scratch vocals)
    Shure SM57 (for guitars)



    I have tons of guitars, amps, and pedals, a Jazz bass, and a Nord Electro 2-61 keyboard for MIDI

    I plan on doing a lot with virtual instruments once I can build a nice plug-in library? What more as far as Mic Pre's and Pro Tools can I do do make the sounds quality the best it can be?

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    I'd think a good preamp should be a priority. Lots of choices depending on your needs and budget.
     
  3. Timmylikesthing

    Timmylikesthing Member

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    Well... a few questions first.

    1) Needs. Are you ever planning on recording drums? If so, you need at least 4 inputs. If not, 2 is sufficient.

    2) Budget? If we knew how much you intended to spend, well that would help. There are good pres from $500 all the way to $7500.

    If you want keeper guitar tracks I'd say you need 2 channels of great pres and 2 awesome mics.

    We could start with the mics, because those are easier. I'd say definitely a ribbon. A cascade fathead on the low end of the spectrum, or if budget allows, get a Royer. Great all around mics.

    You have a 57, which is a studio staple. If you want a different flavor try a Sennheiser MD421. Great mic. Sounds, well bigger than a 57. But, the 57 is more than proficient.

    You have an okay condensor and if you want a good condensor that's okay, but I don't prefer them on guitar, so you could skip spending some dough there.

    If you plan on doing anything acoustic, I'd whole heartedly recommend a good set of small diaphragm condensors. I have a pair of oktavamod mk012's that I won't hesitate to recommend. These mics are incredible. The Rode NT5's are nice as well. You could also pair one SDC with a ribbon for nice results.

    Now pres are a different story.

    Depending on budget, you could do an FMR RNP. Very clean and not a lot of character but DEFINITELY ahead of the digidesign pres.

    Now if we have slightly more room in the budget I'd suggest either a nice stereo pre that is middle of the road sonically (not too colored), or 1 clean pre and 1 colored pre. You could literally spend $5000 on pres alone. I'd suggest either API, Chandler, UA (LA-610 is an awesome pre), and there's one that is on the tip of my tongue that I'm sure someone else will mention later...

    If you are kind of middle budget, try a chameleon labs 7602 (single channel w/eq) or a 7622 (dual channel, no eq). They are very nice Neve 1073ish pres. I own a pair of 7602's and have not regretted it. Pres are very nice and the eq is superb.

    Well, I guess that's a lot to think about. I didn't even get into converters...

    Good luck,
    Tim
     
  4. shawntp

    shawntp Member

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    Check out the Apogee Duet also - I've used the MBox2, Motu 828MKII, Firepod, and the M-Audio firewire and the Apogee Duet really smokes them - its the first one I have used and felt the quality is so good that I could unload my external preamps and use just the Duet (obviously 2 channels only).

    The SM7b is a good sleeper mic for under $300 used that can work with vocals, guitars and lots of others - its like an enhanced SM57. It requires lots of juice and the DUET is the first unit that can really drive it well.

    If you are set on using pro tools - I am not sure who that works (possibly you have to use the dongle based version with the Duet - maybe you cant use it).

    Just my experience - the Duet is a clear winner at $500 for the solo songwriter/home studio type.
     
  5. soundchemistry

    soundchemistry Member

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    I was thinking of the Apogee Duet! Is it compatible with Pro Tools? I was thinking someday to get Logic and learn that for sake of comparison and difference.

    Timmylikesthing,
    Budget: Between $500.00 and $1000.00 for a mic pre
    Good recommendations on Mics. I have a buddy who has a Royer 121 I think. Was thinking about that... what do you think?
     
  6. soundchemistry

    soundchemistry Member

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    WOW just check to see how much royer's are... expensivo...
     
  7. soundchemistry

    soundchemistry Member

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    I was looking at the Universal Audio solo/610 mic pre... have you guys used it or know anything about it?
     
  8. sears

    sears Member

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    Treat your room.
     
  9. Timmylikesthing

    Timmylikesthing Member

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    Pres in the $500 to 1k range...

    The RNP is a nice piece.

    The Chameleon 7622 is in another league.

    The 610 is a nice pre. For the money though i think if you worked on your mic collection a bit and worked out some mic technique you could do quite well with a couple reasonably nice mics through an RNP or similar pre.

    If you're handy with a soldering iron you could also go the www.seventhcircleaudio.com route and build your own pres.

    If the Royer is too hot and heavy, try the Fathead. Great ribbon mic for the money.

    As for the duet and Pro Tools, well I don't think they will 100% play nice. I just sold my pro tools rig. I've never looked back either. I use sonar and will be most likely moving on to something else soon. Just don't dig the way Sonar's video settings can induce some serious pop and click. (But that's another thread).

    Recording is an easier way to spend a ton of cash than guitar. My recording rig has cost me over $6k and I STILL need to upgrade.

    Room treatment is also important. But from a guy with an Mbox, some KRK's, an SM57 and a Low End condenser I don't think it's really top priority, yet. Once he upgrades those few pieces though, he'll be bu,ping up against that point.

    Good luck,
    Tim
     
  10. Jim S

    Jim S Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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