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codja
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#1
13th July 2011
Old 13th July 2011
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$10,000 to spend.

Hello,

I've got $10,000 to spend on a project/composing studio. I'm pretty set on a Macbook Pro , boosted to 8g RAM and i7 and already own an mBox 2 & PT L.E. But where to from there. Was scoping out WAVES SSL Bundle and Isotope Ozone but also want to get a midi controller, cans, and monitors and a large diaphragm condenser. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

And sorry if this is a spam post.
#2
13th July 2011
Old 13th July 2011
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I would buy a couple of good extern preamps to..
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13th July 2011
Old 13th July 2011
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First ask yourself what you will use it for. How many simultaneous tracks are you tracking? If you are planning to track more than 4 tracks simultaneausly you would need a new interface.
you want outboard stuff as well?
I would buy some good pres as well...
Specify more.
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#4
13th July 2011
Old 13th July 2011
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what do you need to do for this project/composing studio? write down, make a list of what you need, search for them on some online store and see if your budget fits.

Anyway, I would sell the macbook and buy a macpro
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13th July 2011
Old 13th July 2011
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I agree with the other folks that you've barely provided any information. If it's a place for composing, arranging, don't buy ssl plugins and ozone. Invest in virtual instruments instead. As wild as the MacBook pro's are these days, a Mac pro is much better suited to a production environment, especially where heavy virtual instrument use is concerned. Huge amounts of ram, multiple hard drives, and beefy processors are a prerequisite. Depending how much virtual instruments you'd use look into ssd's and/or raid arrays. Some of the orchestral stuff (or even modern instruments) would eat 8gb of ram for breakfast.

Think about workflow, too - from good midi controllers, a setup that will be fast and easy to work with (patchbay? Headphone system? All the adapters, di's, cables... Guitar tuners, stands, what have you), down to the ergonomic layout - convenient desk with enough space to work, good chairs, and enough of them.... The little stuff gets overlooked way too easily IMO.

Anyway the most important thing I'd say is to spend the bare minimum possible to get the most minimal setup going, then use it for 6-12 months and slowly spend the rest on stuff you find you absolutely need.
codja
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13th July 2011
Old 13th July 2011
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Cheers for the input. My goal is to have a studio that I can pump out originals for genres, including not limited to, rock, pop, new age techno/dance. It's not for work. predominantly for demos and also so I can experiment and get my engineering chops up (hence the SSL and mastering plugin to get a feel for boutique gear and understanding of broadband compression, stereo imaging etc. Regards to o/b. I really only had a vocal preamp in mind. Am I going in the right direction?
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13th July 2011
Old 13th July 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codja View Post
Cheers for the input. My goal is to have a studio that I can pump out originals for genres, including not limited to, rock, pop, new age techno/dance. It's not for work. predominantly for demos and also so I can experiment and get my engineering chops up (hence the SSL and mastering plugin to get a feel for boutique gear and understanding of broadband compression, stereo imaging etc. Regards to o/b. I really only had a vocal preamp in mind. Am I going in the right direction?
Which area do you wanna excel in? Recording Engineer, Mixing Engineer or Mastering Engineer?

I take it you'll be composing demos yourself but wanna treat the engineering side of it pretty seriously - is that correct? I gather your focus seems to be on gear and not so much virtual instruments?

Regards
Josef Horhay
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www.acoosticzoo.com
#8
13th July 2011
Old 13th July 2011
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Forget the multiband thing...that's a problem solver, not a go to for mastering.

I echo the "get the minimum, expand when you need what to get" principle. Simply put, if you need to ask what to spend $10k on, you shouldn't be spending $10k - you won't get your money's worth. Buy a computer and DAW software, a good condenser mic, an interface with good preamps like a duet or rme, and some speakers, and learn how to use them. Expand when necessary - ie when you identify a need for something. Buying ssl plugins when you don't know the inbuilt ones in your DAW is pointless.
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#9
13th July 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Forget the multiband thing...that's a problem solver, not a go to for mastering.

I echo the "get the minimum, expand when you need what to get" principle. Simply put, if you need to ask what to spend $10k on, you shouldn't be spending $10k - you won't get your money's worth. Buy a computer and DAW software, a good condenser mic, an interface with good preamps like a duet or rme, and some speakers, and learn how to use them. Expand when necessary - ie when you identify a need for something. Buying ssl plugins when you don't know the inbuilt ones in your DAW is pointless.
Agreed. Starting with simple, quality gear always tends to yield the best results. Expand as needed.
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13th July 2011
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GOOD MONITORS.
POWERFUL DAW w/BEST CONVERTORS for money.
DECENT INPUT CHAIN (Decent mic/Preamp/Compressor)

Job Done!
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#11
13th July 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Estock View Post
Agreed. Starting with simple, quality gear always tends to yield the best results. Expand as needed.
Yep. Good stuff !
#12
13th July 2011
Old 13th July 2011
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Don't know what your tracking needs are - but I agree get the best / quality converters and pre's. The Burl Mothership is pretty f'ing awesome. Though they're "colored" so it depends on what you're trying to achieve.

http://www.vintageking.com/Burl-Audio-B80-Mothership

That's what I'd be getting if I had $10k to burn... and you'll notice that it would take a bite out of that budget...
#13
13th July 2011
Old 13th July 2011
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very good advices already, just a couple of very important things:

MONITORS..... this is VERY important....get GOOD monitors, obviously you don't ghave to spend 2,000 on a pair, but don't go extra cheap here.

Put some cash into room treatment..... again don't spend 2,000 but try to make the room sound decent at least.

Then after that, good lsolid interface (with good pre's and converters) will make the most out of your good mics.

A good solid computer that'll take the abuse is very important. I'd get an iMac i7 and expand the ram (just upgraded to 12gb from 4gb for $99.00. another thing I noticed is HOW MUCH an SSD drive makes a difference in speed, I'd pay the extra cash and get an SSD, you can buy a larger external HD to save the session in, but having the DAW run in a much faster SSD really makes a HUGE difference.

Other than that (which is pretty basic) make a decision on what it is that you'll do.....( engineering, post prod, mastering, etc before spending HUGE amounts of cash into software.

I'm a singer songwriter so my studio is used mainly to record my music. I do Voice Over work too, I don't need 10 mics and 3 different mic pres and a ton of options for "customers", I just have what works for ME.
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#14
13th July 2011
Old 13th July 2011
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Go for the mic first. It matters the most. Id go for two if you ask me. Either one U87 or two AKG 414's or maybe two TLM's.
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13th July 2011
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Like the other guy said, I would choose MacPro instead of MBP for serious work. Consider using an iPhone/iPad when you're on the go and use the MP as your main rig. How many inputs do you need? Maybe you can also get a nice 2 channel AD/DA and one of the smaller entry level Waves bundles with the remainder of your budget. Krk and Yamaha have some decent low priced monitors too.
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13th July 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCrippa View Post
Don't know what your tracking needs are - but I agree get the best / quality converters and pre's. The Burl Mothership is pretty f'ing awesome. Though they're "colored" so it depends on what you're trying to achieve.

Burl Audio B80 Mothership 80-channel configurable AD/DA | VintageKing.com

That's what I'd be getting if I had $10k to burn... and you'll notice that it would take a bite out of that budget...
Thats $2500 for an empty rack...
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13th July 2011
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I get the impression you want to record bands so...

A Lynx Aurora and a rack of x8 Seventh Circle Audio pres will eat through half your budget. You can buy the latter ready-built if you don't fancy DIY.

The rest will easily cover half-a-dozen or so ADK mics, including one or two tasty items from the custom shop. Say an ADK CS Tube or a couple of TTs (which you can upgrade later). A pair of A6, maybe a pair of lipsticks from the ADK offshoot 3 Zigma, and whatever else you fancy. S7s, Vienna, Hamburg...

Two things you commonly hear people say about ADK mics, right across the range, are:

1. Wow!

2. I thought I'd have to spend a lot more for that kind of sound!
#18
13th July 2011
Old 13th July 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgruff View Post
Two things you commonly hear people say about ADK mics, right across the range, are:

1. Wow!

2. I thought I'd have to spend a lot more for that kind of sound!
I have a couple of ADK A-51's that I bought several years ago for like $130 apiece (they're a bit more expensive these days). I still use them regularly and they've never let me down. I've heard better mics, but those mics can cost ten times as much.

...Also I believe the Waves SSL bundle could be a good investment for the OP. They are great plugs and you get the added bonus of the CLA presets. Don't just blindly throw those presets on your tracks, but take a careful look at how the compressors and gates are set, especially on the drum presets. It might give you a better understanding of how to use those tools.
#19
13th July 2011
Old 13th July 2011
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Apogee Rosetta 800 (get a deal on a used one w/ Xfirewire card
Adams A7 monitors
Blue Blueberry Mic and assorted drynamics for guitar, drums...etc
Extra 24 inch computer monitor
Upgrade to PT 9
Midi controller
Nice studio headphones for tracking.
Universal Audio LA-610 MK II Tube Recording Channel
Nice stereo tube pre like the Sebatron vmp2000e or 2 sebatron vmp4000e for 8 channels of nice tube preamps


This is my setup I used with my macbook pro and it works great.
#20
13th July 2011
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.

Buy some Linkwitz Orions.

Best investment you'll make at around $9k (amplified).

That way you can actually HEAR what you're doing.

Orion photos

If you don't believe me, find someone near you and go hear them.

I've worked on hundreds of speakers, and these are the best for production and QC.

Good luck.

.
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13th July 2011
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There goes half your budget on that Mac! Hehe, sorry I'm not really a mac guy. But if that's what your comfortable with then that sounds pretty decent.

A lot of people of said it already, but I will just echo them.

- Start off with quality monitors. This is Key!! Don't need to go overboard, but get something like some KRK VXT or Adam A7X's.
- Get a good Interface. I heard someone say RME...great stuff.
- Couple good Mics. One condenser, one Dynamic. Maybe Rode NT1-A, and a SM57.
- Also saw someone mention PT9. Definitely upgrade, so you can use the RME interface .

Good Luck. If you don't end up spending all the money, then I could use a few new pre's .
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#22
13th July 2011
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The MBP will set you back at least $1500, so here's what I'd do with the other $8500:

First, sell the MBox 2. You're steppin' up here.

Sounds like you need more than a couple of simultaneous tracks. You can get a Firewire interface with 8 mic pres or even consider the RME Fireface UC, which is USB with two mic pres and 6 or 8 line ins (can't remember). The UC will set you back about $1300. I don't care much for Protools and like how Cubase integrates with the Steinberg firewire interfaces. You can get two new units (16 mic pres) of MR816x online for about $1400. Etc., etc., there are many options and you might want some hands on time before you buy.

Get at least one channel strip. I'd recommend the Presonus Eureka used, which can be had in the $250 to $300 range, or maybe one of the ART tube based units.

Monitors - go out and listen to monitors. For a $10K budget, I'd allocate ~$1500.

At this point, you are down to about $5K remaining. I'd spend $2K on acoustic treatments, $2K on mics and $1K on plugs. If you buy a bundle like that of Soundtoys (between $400 and 500 if I remember right) you'll have the fundamentals covered, then go for something more exotic that catches your fancy.

With $2K to spend on mics, you have some latitude. Get a three or four dynamic mics like the 57 or the i5 that will work well in a range of applicaions. ~$400 there. Then look at condensors. You can get a used blue Bluebird for under $200 or new for around $300. I'd want a couple of condensors at least and would look at the AT's, Rode, AKG Perception or maybe one of the imports from China. Consider a ribbon like the Fathead, which I think is around $200. Save a few bucks for stands and cables. you can get very good headphones in the $100 to $150 range but like monitors - GO LISTEN TO THEM. Mics and monitors - the opposite ends of the chain, introduce their own distinctive signature. Make sure you like them before you buy.
#23
13th July 2011
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I would start with the computer then a decent pair of monitors. Depending on your situation if you will be doing a lot of mixing some treatment would be good or a pair of good headphones to check back and forth.

After those 3 are taken care of get yourself a high end pre or two and a decent converter. Mics and all that vary on what you will be recording and how many you need. But a used 2 channel converter and a nice pre amp or two with some virtual instruments and plugs will go far.

The SSL bundle is great! API,SSL, cla comps and a good eq for everything else like dmg equality would be a great start with plugins.

With 10,000 I could probably get a used mac pro at around 1,400, monitors around 1,000, 2 channel apogee used at 1,200 or less and 2 high end preamps at 2,000 new or less used. A sm7b 350, cables 150+, plugs 1,500.

There's still half the money left and if you went new on the mac which would be a good idea for longevity...you'd still have 3,500 or so left over. If you want to expand take the left over money and get a 8 channel converter and maybe add another pre or better a compressor or eq of your choice...Maybe something for the 2 buss would be nice.

10g can go pretty far if you buy converters used and spend smart. Really comes down to how many pres/channels of conversion you need as far as price starting to get out of hand. If you just need a high end setup with 2 pres 10,000 will do pretty well. Check the Lynx 8 channel fw converter out as well. Even if you end up with one or two decent pres it's nice to have the room to grow, have mix cues,extra outs and possibility of adding outboard. I didn't forsee all that when I bought my last converter and wish i would have for future use.
codja
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#24
14th July 2011
Old 14th July 2011
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Thanks guys.
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14th July 2011
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Room treatment will make any mic sound 200x better, build some bass traps with owens corning. Get some krk vxts to monitor on. Good interface, rme or apogee. Build some seventh circle preamps, get a Michael Joly modded mic. Best bang for the buck
#26
14th July 2011
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You're asking folks on GS to help you spend 10K?!?

If you have no idea how to spend it then the advice of a few earlier is best:
think hard before you spend and don't spend all of it at one time. Get the basics covered to meet your current needs and leave room and money to expand.


jn
#27
14th July 2011
Old 14th July 2011
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At the risk of sounding like im pissed... BUY THE Friggin Mic's first. Stop listening to these people. Anyone who puts pre amps and converters before mics doesnt know what they are talking about. Same with treating a room. Room treatment over a couple neumanns? Com'on man
#28
14th July 2011
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OH you can keep the Mbox too, get an ISA one with the digital outs and bypass those mbox pres.
#29
14th July 2011
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Agree about the mics. Room treatment can be sorted out any time with some cheap DIY panels. It would be a crime if you didn't get at least a couple of top-class ($1,000+) mics with that kind of budget.
#30
14th July 2011
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I like the suggestion about keeping the M-Box and just getting a pre with built in converters in the effort to save money.

Room Treatment is Very, Very Important. If you are just dicking around in your bedroom for the heck of it, then who cares. But if you are serious about your music then it would be very wise of you to invest in some.

As far as plugins, I suggest That you get the most bang for your buck stuff. The Massey stuff (CT4, Tape-Head, L2007) is great as well as some of the 112db stuff (Reverb, Big Blue Limiter). If your want the SSL bundle then get that too (although it's quite pricey now)

The Axiom Pro MIDI controler is awesome! I just got it a few days ago and it has improved my workflow greatly. The keys feel great, the rotary knobs are damn good for controlling plugins.

For Microphones, I chose two of the standards. U87 and the SM7b. Obviously you could choose another if the U87 is to pricey, AKG 414, TLM 103.

For what you want to do having a good arsenal of Virtual Instruments at your disposal is vital. Great Piano's with NI, Great Synths with Arturia, Great Drums with SSD.

Upgrade From LE to 9 $250
12 GB RAM - $750
SSD Harddrive - $400
External Harddrive - $400
GIK Room Treatment $750
Dynaudio BM5A MKII - $1000
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro - $100
API A2D - $1865
Neumann U87 - $3400
Sure SM7b - $350
M-Audio Axiom Pro 61 - $560
Waves SSL - $520
Native Instruments Komplete 7 - $500
Arturia V Collection 2 - $500
Steven Slate Drums - $250


It all comes out to somewhere around $11.600.. But i'm sure you could get some things cheaper or switch some things out for less inexpensive items.

Ex. Switch API out with Focusrite One digital (as a previous poster suggested), and switch the U87 out with A TLM 103 and now you are within budget.

Hope this helps.
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