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Proposed Studio (please critique)

theHoss

Member
Messages
1,248
Howdy,

I am looking a various recording options for a home project studio. Here are the requirements.

1) I need at least 4 inputs, 8 would be ideal.
2) I need to have the ability to provide up to 4 separate monitoring mixes.
3) I would like the ability to add some compression during recording.
4) I would like to have the ability to add some processed signal to the monitoring mixes independent of the main mix. So, if the vocalist wants some verb for singing, but we don’t want to add the verb until mix down, then we can just add some to the monitor mix.
5) Project/Home studio quality, if I need pro quality, I will head to a studio.
6) Needs to work with Garageband or Logic Express. Although, I am considering other packages you folks might recommend.
7) If my drummer is not available, I need the ability to produce digital drum tracks.
8) I would like to keep the cost to around $2000. Not including the computer.
9) Decent vocal/guitar Mics Our drummer plays electronic drums so we are covered there.


Here is my solution, let me know what you think.

1) Presonus Firestudio (8 inputs, computer based mixing/routing)
2) Presonus HP60 headphone amplifier (seems very versatile for providing different mixes to different artists)
3) Mix of e609s and SM57s for guitar cabs
4) 1 Audio-Technica AT2020 for male vocals.
5) SansAmp para driver for acoustic or bass.
6) Neutrick patch bay for routing
7) 4 AKG M80 headphones
8) Hosa patch cables (24) for headphone and non-recording lines (headphone monitors etc.)
9) KRK RP-5 studio monitors
10) TC-Electronics C-300 compressor (I can get one used pretty cheap plus it has presets)
11) 8 Live Wire XLR Cables.

I already have a G-sharp and an old ART for monitoring FX.

I think the package I have put together new/used gear is about $1800. Let me know what you think, or if there is an obvious way to achieve the same goal at a better price or same price but better quality.

Thanks much!
 

TAVD

Guitar Player
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,669
I would add some sort of dirt box for the edrums. I like to run mine through api preamps then into an aggressive compressor. The TD modules sound like ass if you simply take the line out into your recorder. Clearly, the API's and 1176's are out of your budget, but a budget DBX/Symmetrix/Yamaha stereo compressor should do the job.
 

vladshap

Member
Messages
112
If you want to do stuff like adding reverb to the vocals, while recording, it would be a lot easier to use a Plug-in during the recording session, then if it doesn't sound good, Logic still has the original track, so all you have to do is just turn off the plug in.
 

theHoss

Member
Messages
1,248
I would add some sort of dirt box for the edrums. I like to run mine through api preamps then into an aggressive compressor. The TD modules sound like ass if you simply take the line out into your recorder. Clearly, the API's and 1176's are out of your budget, but a budget DBX/Symmetrix/Yamaha stereo compressor should do the job.

Thanks for getting back to me. Are you suggesting...

eDrums Stereo Outs > Yamaha Comp > FireStudio?

Thanks again, I really appreciate it.
 

theHoss

Member
Messages
1,248
If you want to do stuff like adding reverb to the vocals, while recording, it would be a lot easier to use a Plug-in during the recording session, then if it doesn't sound good, Logic still has the original track, so all you have to do is just turn off the plug in.
Just to clarify...

If I use a verb plugin during recording using Logic and Firestudio, the vocalist will be able to hear the verb in thier monitor mix. Then, if later I want to change the FX on mix down, I can do that?

Thanks again!
 

theHoss

Member
Messages
1,248
I would add some sort of dirt box for the edrums. I like to run mine through api preamps then into an aggressive compressor. The TD modules sound like ass if you simply take the line out into your recorder. Clearly, the API's and 1176's are out of your budget, but a budget DBX/Symmetrix/Yamaha stereo compressor should do the job.

Also, can you recommend a budget comp?
 

TAVD

Guitar Player
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,669
Thanks for getting back to me. Are you suggesting...

eDrums Stereo Outs > Yamaha Comp > FireStudio?

Thanks again, I really appreciate it.
Yes. Check out the Symetrix 522 or DBX 1066, or a pair of 501s or 160s. Maybe the C-300 will give the desired result, I haven't heard it.

The other trick you can try is to split the edrums, send one split through the sansamp, then mix the two.

Your list looks fine to me. Once you start recording, you'll know where you need to make improvements. I would ditch the patchbay and spend that $100 elsewhere. You don't have enough gear for it yet.
 

Dutchman

Member
Messages
164
Yamaha GC2020C is a good, dirt cheap compressor.
Not as clean as a $1000.00 compressor but they can be bought for less than $100 bucks. Sometimes way less....

Then there's the ART Pro Channel. Put some great(Telefunken,Mullard etc.) tubes in that unit and it gets impressive. Lot's of gain and warmth, but not a bank breaker.

I still think the ADC's are one of the most important items in the chain. The Firepods are good. The Firestudios are better.
 

Ransome

Member
Messages
532
My 2 cents...
I'd spend a bit more on better quality cables. It makes a world of difference. Also check out the UAD UAD-Xpander (ExpressCard for Laptops) for effects, it takes the load off of your CPU.

On another note, I have the Mackie 400f and IMHO it has the best pre's.

Ran$ome
 

theHoss

Member
Messages
1,248
My 2 cents...
I'd spend a bit more on better quality cables. It makes a world of difference. Also check out the UAD UAD-Xpander (ExpressCard for Laptops) for effects, it takes the load off of your CPU.

On another note, I have the Mackie 400f and IMHO it has the best pre's.

Ran$ome

I was going to use the HOSAs for headset monitoring, then I was going to get better cables for anything in the recording line. Can you recommend some decent cables other than the LiveWires? Thanks man!
 

vladshap

Member
Messages
112
Just to clarify...

If I use a verb plugin during recording using Logic and Firestudio, the vocalist will be able to hear the verb in thier monitor mix. Then, if later I want to change the FX on mix down, I can do that?

Thanks again!

Exactly, What it does, is record the dry track into logic, but as its recording, its going through a plug in. But the plug in effect doesn't actually get recorded, it just gets activated as sound travels through it. This is the exact way i record vocals. I put on a plug in Compressor and Verb on the vocals, so then when the vocalist are done recording, all i have to do is play the song, and it will be give me a pretty good idea of how the vocals will sound in the end. If i need to do any tweaking, I just open up the plug in and change it. No need to re-record anything.
 

theHoss

Member
Messages
1,248
Thanks for the clarification. Do you suggest using the plugins over getting any outboard FX?

Thanks much.
 

vladshap

Member
Messages
112
Thanks for the clarification. Do you suggest using the plugins over getting any outboard FX?

Thanks much.
Well, It highly depends on what kind of outboard gear you are planning on getting. If you are planning on getting cheaper, more of budget outboard fx, you will IMO be able to recreate it with Plug In's, if you are buying outboard effects that are pretty expensive, its obviously better to use those.

Plug ins these days are getting pretty good. Sure they will never surpass most of the outboard gear, just like Solid State amps, will never be able to replicate a Tube Amp, but it will in most occasions, do the job.
 

theHoss

Member
Messages
1,248
Well, It highly depends on what kind of outboard gear you are planning on getting. If you are planning on getting cheaper, more of budget outboard fx, you will IMO be able to recreate it with Plug In's, if you are buying outboard effects that are pretty expensive, its obviously better to use those.

Plug ins these days are getting pretty good. Sure they will never surpass most of the outboard gear, just like Solid State amps, will never be able to replicate a Tube Amp, but it will in most occasions, do the job.
Thanks VAL, that makes a lot of sense.
 

TAVD

Guitar Player
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,669
I think even a modest hardware fx box sounds better than plugs, granted, I'm not a big user of plugs. The Kurzweil Rumour is an excellent example. Superb fx and great convertors for $500.
 

Greggy

Member
Messages
13,440
If the goal is to use a compressor to "roughen" up a drum track, the RNC would not be my first choice. An 1176 would do this job well, but it seems beyond your budget. I use an 1176 plugin on my Roland VS recorder, and it fuzzes up drums well. The RNC on the other hand is very transparent, you can get a pumping effect with it, but otherwise I find it to be good as a simple volume regulation or peak limiting tool only and not that good at adding apparent distortion to a signal.
 

wgs1230

Fully Intonatable
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,060
The RNC on the other hand is very transparent, you can get a pumping effect with it, but otherwise I find it to be good as a simple volume regulation or peak limiting tool only and not that good at adding apparent distortion to a signal.
Agreed completely. That's what their Levelling Amp is for.

Another option would be one of the Joemeek half-rack units, they impart plenty of coloration and can squeeze cymbals flat if needs be.
 

theHoss

Member
Messages
1,248
Thanks again guys! I was looking at the FMR stuff, and it looks like a really good value. I have an old Berhinger Autocom that I will use for now (along with my Para Driver). Once I have better feel of what I need, I will dial it in.
 

theHoss

Member
Messages
1,248
I think even a modest hardware fx box sounds better than plugs, granted, I'm not a big user of plugs. The Kurzweil Rumour is an excellent example. Superb fx and great convertors for $500.

Lets say I am using outboard FX, can I still record the track raw, then add the fx from an outboard unit on mix down (either with Logic, Cuebase, etc..)

Thanks again!
 




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