5k budget studio at a public university, thoughts?
twest8
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#1
15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
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5k budget studio at a public university, thoughts?

Hey all,

I am building a studio in a public university library for general use by students. The only requirement is students in english 1101 could use it for voice over work. Based on student demand and other recording spaces on campus I am leaning towards an electronic dj setup/mixing mastering control room. It will all be in one room which will have acoustic treatment but will not be soundproof (it is fairly quiet...). Roughly 10' x 16' sized room.


The Gear (I will continue to edit in updates)

Catagory Name/Model Est. Cost

Acoustical Treatment - - excluded from budget
Computer- Mac Mini 2.3GHz quad core -excluded from budget
DAW - Apple Logic Pro - excluded from budget
DAW + AI - Avid Pro Tools + Mbox Pro Academic Version - 750
DAW - FL Studio Producer Edition - 120 - edu price
DAW - abelton live lite - 0 - included with Impulse
Monitors - (2) Yamaha HS80M - 700
Microphone - Mojave Audio MA-201fet - 700
Microphone - Shure SM7B - 350
Microphone - Shure SM58 - 100
Midi Controller - Novation Impulse 61 MIDI Controller - 400
Headphones - (2) Audio-Technica ATH-M50S - 300
Software Synths - Native Instruments Komplete 8 - 400
Software Mastering - iZotope Ozone 5 - 125 - edu price Est.

Accessories
External Hard Drive - Glyph GPT50 - 200
Monitors - On-Stage Stands SMS6000-P Studio Monitor Stand (pair) - 100
Microphones - Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1 - 150
Microphones - sE Electronics Reflexion Filter X - 120
Microphones - On-Stage Stands MS7201B - 20
Microphones - On-Stage Stands ASVS6B Pop Blocker -20

Cables
2 6' Mogami Gold Quad Conductor Patch Cable (monitors to wall) - 100
2 25' Mogami Gold Neutrik XLR (In the wall) - excluded from budget
2 3' Mogami Gold 1/4" to XLR Male Cable (wall to audio interface) - 100
3 6' Mogami Gold Neutrik XLR (audio interface to microphones) - 100
1 2m Monster StudioLink Interconnect TS-RCA (Monitors to television) - 30

Current Total: 4,915

What do you think. Am I missing something?
If I had a little more money where do you think it should go? I am fairly new to this field and would love your opinions and advice. Thank you.

Last edited by twest8; 21st February 2013 at 12:50 PM.. Reason: gear updates
#2
15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
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I think spending 20% of your budget on midi controllers is off. I think you need to decide more firmly what the vision of this room is. To me it sounds like your personal DJ playground with a couple of "afterthought" VO items thrown in to get it paid for. But maybe I'm off there.

I also think you're not planning well for breakages, loss, whatever. 2 pairs of ($150??) headphones is not enough. Go cheaper and more pairs. A single mic stand? What if English 1101 needs to do a 2-person VO? I'd skip the auralex nonsense. I don't see any cables on there. Why is acoustic treatment left off the budget?

Is it necessary for you to spend the whole budget at once? The common problem with these threads is this unspoken requirement that you must spend every dime right away. You should allocate all the money, but only spend the absolute bare minimum to get it going. Run it for a while, see what you forgot, and go from there. If I were you I'd start with and interface, a couple of good VO mics (sm7, re20, maybe an AT 2020 - look at radio studios), cables, stands, headphones, monitors (I'd probably not spend 1200 on those either!) and see where you're at.

Mixing/mastering/Dj/VoiceOver studio is too broad for $5k and a 10'x16' room.
twest8
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#3
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
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Thread Starter
I am not particularly planning for breakage/loss because all the equipment will be checked out to students and they will be liable for it.

The room will not be 100% soundproof which is why I am considering the auralax mudguard, why do you think it isn't worth it?

I haven't picked the cables yet only because the equipment could change, I'll figure them out once I have all the hardware set.

Acoustical treatment is coming out of a different budget so I don't have to worry about it in my 5k.

It unfortunately is necessary for me to spend 80-90% of the money at once. It is all grant money. I predict I will have an extra 1000 or so after to cover anything I miss up front. I agree and I wish I could only buy a couple things and take it slow but I cannot.

The way the grant is written I am required to provide the ability to do voice over work, but students are asking us for an electronic dj station and I would like the room to get heavy use. So your first statement is accurate.

why do you think dj/voiceover is to broad for 5k?
#4
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
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Thanks for the additional info - by that I meant that I thought a mixing/mastering/voiceover/and DJ production room (how you defined it) was asking a lot from a smallish budget and a small room. We'd have to first bend the definition of mastering... fine... it's at a school... but what mastering equipment will you have (besides software and an Mbox)? Or mixing equipment for that matter? Will you just be using the built-in plugins in Logic and Pro Tools? Is your novation automap thing compatible with those plugins for control?

By the way is buying used out of the question? You'd certainly be able to stretch your dollars a lot farther. You also might consider getting one of the "gear pimps" involved - they could probably guide you (though be wary of their heavily biased opinions) and give you a package deal on all of it. As an educational institution you should be eligible for discounts on software and maybe some equipment.

How exactly is "electronic DJ station" defined? Honest question. Are we making tracks, practicing our beatmatching... what kind of "DJ", you know?
#5
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
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Daw: Reaper $60

Mic: NT-1A, AT2020 both used on eBay under 150 each

Headphones: don't need to be expensive they are headphones $80/ea

Interface: used Digi 002 Mixer eBay 250-500

This saves some money if you want to go this route just a few suggestions
#6
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
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I think you did a very good job on the gear decisions for a dj electronic studio! Personally I would have went for a rme babyface and a real copy of PT10 at a ed discount for $300. But I think the mbox pro with the two headphone outs will be a good solution. I would upgrade your mics to a Neumann tlm102 and shure sm7b. This should about cover your 5k budget. Your mics are were your money should go after room treatment.

If you have not already purchased that mac mini definitely go for the 2.3 i7! It has a huge increase in power compared to the base 2.5ghz model. Not a deal breaker but a no brainer. You also need to be recording to a external oxford approved hard drive like a glyph. Pt does not recommend recording to the internal drive, you may get errors.

So all in all I would go for the below options.

Replace the mics with a neumann tlm102 and shure sm7b.
upgrade the mini to a i7 processor
Get another hard drive (external glyph or internal 7200 diy)
twest8
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17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
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rcb4t2:

I have clearly misinterpreted mixing/mastering, you got me. I was under the impression you only need a DAW to accomplish those. This room is from scratch so there is no mixing or mastering equipment other than what I listed. From what I understand I'll have built in plugins from logic and pro tools as well as some plugins from the maschine software. The novation automap appears to be compatible with all major DAWs ditto for maschine so I am ok there I think.

Unfortunately yes buying used is out of the question as is a gear pimp. Buying things here is stupid and complicated.

I don't really know how an electronic dj station is defined. In this case the room will be used by around 80-100 different musicians a semester so I am sort of looking to be as broad as possible without being inadequate. I'm still curious why you think the auralax mudguard isn't worth it.

Melvin:

I would normally very much appreciate your frugality buy unfortunately I have to spend a majority of the budget right away and I can't buy anything used.

tribedescribe:

I like the babyface personally but mobility is not a concern in my case.
I will try to get the mini upgraded, luckily it's not coming out of my budget
You are probably right about the external, I will go ahead and add Glyph GPT50 (200) unless a ton of people disagree.

Good to know about the microphones, adding them both would put me overbudget I think and I haven't done cables yet. Also I am concerned that they will not get much use in the studio especially considering the room will not be 100% soundproof. If I can only afford one would you say the Neumann?


I'm also toying with the idea of getting a 3rd DAW, specifically FL Studio Producer Edition (200). I am already leaning towards nay but I'd like some thoughts on that idea. Would maybe generate more interest in using the room among students.

Thank you all again for the help, this advice is exceptionally helpful.
#8
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
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If the room is going to be used for VOs, and there's no separate booth, you're going to NEED something like the Mudguard, or the sE Reflexion filter. Otherwise there'll be too much room tone in the VO - especially if any compression is being applied. If this is the case, I'd also go for the quietest computer you can - you'd be surprised at how much computer noise gets picked up on a VO recording.

I would go for a simpler, cheaper midi controller (I actually have a Novation 25SL myself, I don't use ANY of the controllers. To use the sliders/knobs to control plugins you need to use Automap, which when I looked into it looked like more hassle than it was worth to set up - wrapping plugins etc). I'd also ditch Maschine for something like Reason or indeed FL. The problem with things like this in a public setting is that no-one uses them, because they don't have them at home, and don't want to spend the time setting them up/learning when they have things to do, so they sit there unused.

I'd spend that extra money on a good selection of current soft synths - yes, both Logic and PT come with synths, but there's so much 3rd party stuff now that doesn't break the bank, it'd be worth having a couple there. I'd also go for a much better mic than the NT2A. Ideally for VO stuff you'd want a clean, hi-gain mic pre than the Mbox, like a Grace or something, but realistically given the rest of your spec, it'd be overkill.

And yes - you'll spend more than you expect on cabling, hard drive space, and so on. Max out the RAM on the Mac if you can - you'll be grateful further down the line.
#9
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
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Here is the dilemma, from the sounds of it, a high quality dynamic mic will get much more use for vocals because your studio is not soundproof. A dynamic will excel in this situation compared to a condenser which will pick up everything, which makes the neumann a poor choice. The mbox pro is a fine interface but does not have enough gain for the sm7b.

I would highly consider the ev re27n/d dynamic mic. Its a new design that does not require much gain and will do a great job for voice(what its designed for). Its a versatile mic that can do well with singers and instruments. Its cheaper brother the ev320 is nice also, but I think the ev re27 is worth the upgrade. Another rival of the ev is the heil pr40 or pr30. In fact I owned the pr40 and its great for voice.
#10
18th February 2013
Old 18th February 2013
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Okay, here's my two cents on this, take it or leave it.

As a current college student with an interest in recording and experience in a variety of studios, from professional facilities to home facilities to college facilities, here's what I think would work well for your $5000.

While there may be a large interest in DJing and electronic music, I wouldn't make that the only thing in the studio-it is relatively easy and very common to produce EDM on a small budget with basic equipment.

I would plan on getting Logic and PT with the educational discount. That should run $500 all together or so. This way students have access to the two most common softwares used in recording studios around the world.

Next up, conversion. You're going to want something with a fair number of inputs and outputs, just in case. I'd go for one of the relatively common 8 I/O interfaces with built in pres. Steinberg make a great option, the Mr816. That's what I'd recommend, and I think it runs around $700- less than your M Box.

Now monitors. I'd get something versatile and flat- KRKs are a bit too geared towards EDM for being all rounders in a college studio. Yamaha HS80m's are a great fit for about $500 a pair. They're flat enough for VO and other things, but go deep enough for EDM production.

Next up, microphones. I'd pick up a couple good utility dynamics- these are great for Voice Over, Vocals, amps, drums, anything really. So maybe pick up an SM7b and a couple 57s or 58s for around $500 all together. Then condensers. I'd pick up one good LDC- maybe an AT4040, or another LDC around $300. Add 2 Oktava MK012 SDCs just as utility whatever mics (acoustic guitar, percussion, room, pianos, etc). This way students have access to a lot of the basic kind of mics you'd find in a real studio, and can experiment with a variety of different miking options. With this selection of mics students could mic nearly anything. So around $1200 on mics should round out your front end.

So, if we're counting, we're now at $3500 or so.

The last $1500 should go on accessories.

Firstly, a headphone amp- students working on group projects will all want to be able to hear, and monitors become a feedback liability when in the same room as the mics. Presonus makes a great one for $130 or so.

Now headphones. Pick up at least a few pairs of good headphones. Maybe two good pairs and a few utility kind of pairs. Say 2 pairs of Sennheiser HD280 Pros, and 4 pairs of Sennheiser HD201's. That'd be $300.

Now mic stands- grab a variety. The ProLine/OnStageStands variety work fine. If you have the money, DR Pros are my favorite. Pick up 4-6 boom stands. Maybe $200-300.

Now grab a MIDI controller if you want. There are many that have pads, a keyboard, and a control surface all in one. This is what you should go for. Budget $400-500 for this.

Spend the remainder of your budget on quality cables- Mogami or Canare type thing if you can.

This studio would be well equipped to handle anything- voice over, singer/songwriter demos, multitracked overdubbed full band demos, EDM, college music groups, etc.

My current setup is basically a variation of this, and sits in an 8 space rack in my dorm, ready to be lugged out to do whatever whenever. It's portable, simple, and insanely versatile. I realize that portability isn't a factor for you, but versatility and quality for money should be a HUGE factor.

My two cents.

Thanks,

Alex
twest8
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18th February 2013
Old 18th February 2013
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psycho_monkey:

I switched the mudguard for an sE Electronics Reflexion Filter X. They seem like a more reputable company.

I will look more into automap and decide whether or not it is worth the hassle thank you for pointing out this potential caveat.

One of the main reasons I was looking at maschine is it comes with massive. I also like the idea of having more than 1 midi controller because this room is connected to a mac multimedia computer lab where students could also in theory use some of this hardware/software (licenses will be keyserved).

I also like the idea of maschine because it can be used as a beatmaker and I didn't find any really equivalent competitors. I agree with you about a potential lack of use, I am unsure weather or not I will keep it. I will get FL regardless, you have swayed me there.

I'm stuck with the mac mini so I'll just have to deal with it. it is normally really quiet unless the fan is running at 100%.

I agree more soft synths would be nice, komplete 8 has crossed my mind more than once. Are there any good competitors? or cheaper alternatives worth looking at?

tribedescribe:

You are correct about my current predicament. Also thank you for pointing out the poor quality of the mbox pro preamp. The microphone or microphones is what I am least sure about at the moment. I'll have to decide either a couple midrange microphones or just try to get one very good all around.

alexevans917:

I like a lot of your ideas and I get where you are coming from but unfortunately this set up doesn't match up with my specifications. I know in the beginning I said genreal purpose but that is in fact an outright lie. My boss would be quite upset with me if students rolled in full drum kits or something of that sort. There are two other locations with recording rooms for students to record live instruments in that are actually soundproof. you have a good point about the Monitors and I may end up switching them.


As of now I have taken nothing off because I am selfish. I'm sure I will have to ditch something eventually. I added the glyph, komplete 8, and fl studio just to see what happens with my budget and I end up 100 under. The mics need to be changed for sure I just haven't decided to what. Thank you all again for the help.
#12
18th February 2013
Old 18th February 2013
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There's nothing "poor" about the mbox3 pro preamp....many people are basing their opinions on either prior experience with the mbox original or 2, or purely on forum hearsay. Few saying they're crap will actually have used them unless they own one.

For what you're doing, I'm pretty sure you won't need an extra preamp for pure gain. The mbox3 might not be the most characterful in the world, but they'll be clean and quiet.

I didn't mean the Mudguard isn't any good - I'm sure it's fine, auralex are a reputable company - I was disagreeing with the poster who said you wouldn't need anything.

I'm not sure the mbox3 wouldn't have enough gain for an sm7 - I'd try it before committing at any rate. I also disagree that you'd want a dynamic over a condenser in all situations - yes, if there's noise outside you might do better with a dynamic option; but chances are it'll still be too noisy for VO work if that's the case. A condenser plus reflexion filter should be fine, assuming its quiet-ish outside.
#13
18th February 2013
Old 18th February 2013
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I think I have a solution for you with the sm7b and gain. The triton audio fet, it is designed specially to boost dynamic and ribbon and will work great. The sm7b is standard for a reason, it excels with vocals. It will make the mbox preamps work with the sm7b. Its $99.

Quote:
Triton Audio FetHead | Preamps @ ZenProAudio.com



ZenPro Audio Recording studio gear & equipment, reviews|sales|advice|Warren Dent|ZenPro Audio has the Triton Audio FetHead Ribbon Mic Booster JFET Amplifier and all of your microphone, mic accessories, preamp, equalizer EQ, compressor, limiter, channel strip, direct box, mixer, monitor, headphones, cable, stand, acoustic treatment, daw interface, converter and clock, software, desk, rack, case, mod service, podcast, 500 series and recording studio needs covered as an authorized dealer with free shipping and great service.
#14
18th February 2013
Old 18th February 2013
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Gear is going to wear and walk in a student room go cheap with spares. Check Avid education priceing!

Mics just buy 3-4 SM58s ( I would prefer 635as or the Shure VP74 omni cheaper take more abuse less sexy and your user base has no Idea of how to use a mic so omnis are going to work better)
Headphones buy as many $50. Koss as your budget allows! They will break you will need new ones next year!
Midi controller, go ask the music Dept if they have a keyboard with midi they can spare/ no longer need- you need something simple with some built in sounds if you go all virtual syns your not thinking stupid enough ! not all of your user base is going to be at that level! Plus a POS 15 year old syn is going to be built better than a new controller, any money you spend on a controller is going to be spent again every 16-24 months!

The check out policy / responsibility sounds great but never works ! Is somebody going to check every function after each session? Dream on! never going to happen! even if you collect damages , try makeing sure they get budgeted back ! HA!

Your trying to get as much bang for as little coin as you can, but your looking at it wrong IF it gets used it will be used hard and 99% of all prosumer crap isn't designed to be used its designed to sit in the closet!
Go into the locak shop and find stuff that you tink is built to last, you will find it in the used section. The way around this is to get used equipment donated!

You have to think like your not going to see another penny ever, this is why you see so much Behringer in situations like this, The Department and the dealer both get that this is a one time thing and buy 5 of everything and pry that if it breaks its in warrenty so they don't eat it also why you see Hosa crappy life time warranty cables!

Buying from a Major Dealer (Fullco, Sweetwater B&H) may mean a discount, but means everything is going to nice and neat as far as invoice/ warranty, I have Seen more screw ups by the local GC that cost schools $$ in the long run!

treatment wise avoid foam in 2 years its going to look like crap in a learning situation,
Find out where the facilities guys are putting old office cubicles and you have treatment that looks ok and will last, and can be cleaned!

Monitors, find something that has grills you can screw on save a tweeter! or find something cheap that uses easy to find drivers ( sold tons of the Tannoy PBMs to schools years ago because the tweeters were easy to find at Madisound and that got me tons of school business because they could fix what they bought and I was saving them $$!
#15
18th February 2013
Old 18th February 2013
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I guess I'm the one who said to skip the mudguard... I mainly just hate auralex products. In a 10x16 room if you treat it correctly and are using dynamic mics, I don't see that you'd need that kind of product. Don't cover the room with foam or eggcrates, treat it correctly. Otherwise it'll be useless for mixing anyway. I would attach 703 and fabric to 2 lightweight pieces of plywood 2'x8' each, connected by hinges - leave it folded up in the corner and bring it out for VO. You might even get away with having the monitors on with that. Wouldn't cost any more than the mudguard and would be far more effective. Takes up almost no space folded up.

Another thing I'd consider is getting a firewire or USB equipped mixer instead of an interface. I feel like that's easier to explain to an english student than working with an interface. Plus you get more channels, capability to stem tracks out for the EDM kids, easy headphone mixes, and teach the students a little about using a mixer.

I agree with everyone about keeping the choices cheap and stretching the dollars as much as possible. +1 on HS50s (or whatever in comparable price range), cheap cheap headphones, etc. This stuff will break, you'll not be able to collect from anyone. Better to have spares. 2 pairs of $150 headphones is nuts. Also FYI most mics come with clips when you buy them. Upon further thought, I might not even bother with SM7s or RE20s or condensers. Just get 3 or 4 58s and call it a day.

The "SM7 will not work with mbox preamps" is bananas. True gearslutz misinformation.

Where are you located that purchasing is so difficult?
twest8
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#16
20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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Round 2

Thank you all for the recommendations. I have changed a fair amount of gear so here is the list round 2.

Computer- Mac Mini 2.3GHz quad core (8 or 16 Gb RAM) -excluded from budget
DAW - Apple Logic Pro (4 copies) - excluded from budget
DAW + AI - Avid Pro Tools + Mbox Pro Academic Version - 750
DAW - FL Studio Producer Edition - 120 - edu price
DAW - abelton live lite - 0 - included with Novation Impulse
Monitors - Yamaha HS80M - 350
Monitors - Yamaha HS80M - 350
Microphone - Mojave Audio MA-201fet - 700
Microphone - Shure SM7B - 350
Midi Controller - Novation Impulse 61 MIDI Controller - 400
Headphones - Audio-Technica ATH-M50S - 150
Headphones - Audio-Technica ATH-M50S - 150
Software Synths - Native Instruments Komplete 8 (Standard Version) - 400
Software Mastering - iZotope Ozone 5 - 125 - edu price Est.
Software Mixing - Waves Gold Native Bundle - 312 - edu price Est.

Accessories
External Hard Drive - Glyph GPT50 - 200
Monitors - On-Stage Stands SMS6000-P Studio Monitor Stand (pair) - 100
Microphones - sE Electronics Reflexion Filter X - 120
Microphones - On-Stage Stands MS7201B - 20
Microphones - On-Stage Stands ASVS6B Pop Blocker w/ Clamp & Gooseneck -20
Acoustical Treatment - excluded from budget

Cables
2 6' xlr M/F (monitors to wall)
2 3' xlr M to TS M (wall to audio interface)
2 6' xlr M/F (audio interface to microphones)

Total (assuming all cables are 50): 4,917

So, I know you guys have been saying buy more cheaper equipment. I considered the option heavily and talked it over with my department head and coworkers. This university doesn't even have a music major (1 music minor and 1 grad program), we decided if hardware breaks we can replace it with cheaper equivalents and would rather do this than buy 4 pairs of 50$ headphones and have them collect dust in a closet. We do expect the room to have a fair amount of use but not constantly all the time.

Microphones

I am still very unsure of course. The MA-201fet came recommended to me by a pro tools engineer. I have no idea weather or not mbox pro can power it. Worst case it cannot and I pick up a Triton or Cloudlifter CL-1 I hope. I am thinking this is the microphone most vocalists will use. Where the SM7B will be what voice over people prefer.

Software

I recently met with the president of the student run musicians network on campus and he was particularly interested in Ozone and Waves Gold. I know nothing about these software nor his level of expertise in the matter. Any knowledge or advice would be particularly useful here.

Cables

I know you guys have been saying high quality cables, I am having trouble finding good name brands rough pricing. Any guidance here would again be helpful. There will be XLR F/F run above the celling wich does not come out of my budget but I do get some say in.

RIP maschine, possibly extra money

Another midi controller/beatmaker would be nice but as it has been pointed out the maschine is an exotic item most students will be uninterested in or unfamiliar with. There is a chance I will end up with more money in my budget. If I had up to an extra 1000 where do you think it should go?

Purchasing

Purchasing is a pain here because I can only go through a small list of retailers like SCW or specific Contractors who will go get it all for me and give me a total price. In this case it will have to be the latter. So nothing used and no finding the lowest price myself either.

Thank you all again you have all been extremely helpful.

EDIT: extra note, all the acoustical treatment will be contracted out to an expert/sound engineer so I appreciate the advice on cheap alternatives but it is not up to me.

Last edited by twest8; 20th February 2013 at 12:42 PM.. Reason: I forgot something
#17
20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
  #17
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Just buy some 58's and be done with it. All that midi stuff is lame you fool!
#18
20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
  #18
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It's a crying shame you can't buy used. Getting a TLM 103 for $600 or $700 would really cover that end well. And even though it's not amazing, there have been a number of pro VO projects done entirely on that mic.

Cheap acoustic treatment - packing blankets. They don't solve half the room bugaboos present in recording and mixing, but they deaden well and cover large areas terrifically for the price. They're also a studio staple.
#19
20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
  #19
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Get gear thats built like a tank. Theres going to be mishandling of equipment, keep repairs and maintenance in mind.
#20
21st February 2013
Old 21st February 2013
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The problem you have here is that it is being spec'd, designed and installed by somebody who doesn't know very much about studios in education. This is evident from your first post onwards. I know you're trying your hardest but it's not like setting up a studio in your bedroom it's a very different sack of potatoes.

What will happen is what happens at every other cheap education studio. It will start off nice then some gangsta rappers or whatever will break a few things, the students who did use it responsibly will buy their own because they can't be bothered with the unreliability of the studio, and it will from there just get worn down til it's dead, and lies unused for evermore.

The 3 main requirements of kit in education - outside the proper studio courses, are:
- simplicity
- robustness
- ease of maintenance

Speaker drivers will get blown, several times a year. You need to be able to source the spares and fit them yourself, and have an annual budget for this. If you have delicate mics, they will get dropped and will have to go back to the manufacturer for repair. It won't be cheap. So not only do you need the money to cover it, you also need replacements in stock to use whilst they're being repaired. The mac will get full of junk and slow down so you need to be a good mac technician to keep it in good shape. Cables will break so you need good soldering skills and the time to sit down and do that. Seriously if you refuse this advice, you will be sitting on a pile of busted stuff in 6 months and all the decent students who treated it respectfully will have given up and bought their own stuff for home. After all an mbox mini to plug into the laptop they already have, and a budget condenser and reflexion filter copy don't cost much.

PS you can't expect the students to pay the whole cost when stuff breaks. Its an educational facility, stuff will get broken and that's just part of what learning is about.

also if you have a 5 grand grant for a VO studio why are you spending so much on DJ kit? If the grant is for VO you need to spend it on VO. Yu are missing key things that a good VO studio should have and spending it on toys.

Get somebody who knows what they're doing involved. It might sink a fifth of your budget but in the long term it will be cheaper because they've learned from their first time mistakes whereas you're still waiting to make yours.
twest8
Thread Starter
#21
22nd February 2013
Old 22nd February 2013
  #21
Gear interested
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 6

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by tc_live View Post
The problem you have here is that it is being spec'd, designed and installed by somebody who doesn't know very much about studios in education. This is evident from your first post onwards. I know you're trying your hardest but it's not like setting up a studio in your bedroom it's a very different sack of potatoes.

What will happen is what happens at every other cheap education studio. It will start off nice then some gangsta rappers or whatever will break a few things, the students who did use it responsibly will buy their own because they can't be bothered with the unreliability of the studio, and it will from there just get worn down til it's dead, and lies unused for evermore.

The 3 main requirements of kit in education - outside the proper studio courses, are:
- simplicity
- robustness
- ease of maintenance

Speaker drivers will get blown, several times a year. You need to be able to source the spares and fit them yourself, and have an annual budget for this. If you have delicate mics, they will get dropped and will have to go back to the manufacturer for repair. It won't be cheap. So not only do you need the money to cover it, you also need replacements in stock to use whilst they're being repaired. The mac will get full of junk and slow down so you need to be a good mac technician to keep it in good shape. Cables will break so you need good soldering skills and the time to sit down and do that. Seriously if you refuse this advice, you will be sitting on a pile of busted stuff in 6 months and all the decent students who treated it respectfully will have given up and bought their own stuff for home. After all an mbox mini to plug into the laptop they already have, and a budget condenser and reflexion filter copy don't cost much.

PS you can't expect the students to pay the whole cost when stuff breaks. Its an educational facility, stuff will get broken and that's just part of what learning is about.

also if you have a 5 grand grant for a VO studio why are you spending so much on DJ kit? If the grant is for VO you need to spend it on VO. Yu are missing key things that a good VO studio should have and spending it on toys.

Get somebody who knows what they're doing involved. It might sink a fifth of your budget but in the long term it will be cheaper because they've learned from their first time mistakes whereas you're still waiting to make yours.
I agree with most of what you say however you offer a lot of criticism and very little advice.

How could I avoid speaker drivers getting blown out?
What key things am I missing for Voice Over work?
#22
22nd February 2013
Old 22nd February 2013
  #22
Gear addict
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: London, UK
Posts: 377

Quote:
Originally Posted by twest8 View Post
I agree with most of what you say however you offer a lot of criticism and very little advice.

How could I avoid speaker drivers getting blown out?
What key things am I missing for Voice Over work?
My point is that its not my job, or anyone else's on this forum, to tell you that. If you are unable to answer those questions yourself, then you are not the man to spend the money!

Also with damage - including speakers being blown, it's not about stopping it. Yu can't. If you are going to give people the control to use the equipment- which is what studios are there for, if they misuse the kit, stuff uawill break. Even sometimes, you don't even need to mis use it. Some stuff just needs heavy maintenance because because.

I am not just kicking you in the balls but I am saying if you need a consultancy then you need a real consultancy not an Internet forum.
#23
23rd February 2013
Old 23rd February 2013
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Pittston, Maine

As far as cable, Mogami Gold is a great brand and should fit your budget. They should have all the connections you need. I would get a much longer xlr cable for the mic(15-25 ft). I also use canare cables which are cheaper but offer a very good value.
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