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What should I add to my studio? Condenser Microphones
Old 14th September 2015
  #1
Gear Addict
What should I add to my studio?

What should I add to my studio?

I'm a bluegrass, "folkgrass", and acoustic country musician and recordist. My current studio set up is:

Mics - Manley Gold Reference, sE Electronics RN17 stereo pair, Royer R122 ribbon mic, Audio Technica AT4041 stereo pair, Sennheiser e906 dynamic, Shure SM-57s.

Preamps - Millennia HV3C, Universal Audio LA610.

RME Baby Face interface.

Neumann KH120A monitors.

Running the current Reaper DAW version and Windows 10.

The only electric instrument I record is bass (Fender P-Bass Special). All other recording is to acoustic instruments (guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and resonator guitar) and vocals with lots of harmonies.

Is there anything else I need? If not, fine. Thanks in advance.


Tom

Last edited by kr1012; 14th September 2015 at 03:22 AM..
Old 14th September 2015
  #2
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dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

If you're happy with your set up, I'd stay put until you feel you need something.

I'd look to upgrade your conversion next.
Old 14th September 2015
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
When considering gear, my mantra has become "what sound am I not getting out of the gear I have?" Then I look into things that can do what I feel is missing. So I ask you What sounds are you having trouble achieving?
Old 14th September 2015
  #4
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AllBread's Avatar
 

Agree with dhiltonlittle: never buy anything until you know exactly what you need.
Old 14th September 2015
  #5
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Quote:
What should I add to my studio?
talent
Old 14th September 2015
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

maybe a converter upgrade?
Old 14th September 2015
  #7
room treatment if you haven't done that yet. that would make biggest improvement, since you do a lot of instrument recording. If you have already done that get some pro level conversion
Old 14th September 2015
  #8
Gear Addict
Hmmm...very good advice from all. Just curious...what converters would you recommend for a home studio?


Tom
Old 14th September 2015
  #9
As a fellow all/most-acoustic recordist, I found that banjo was the most difficult (and upright bass which you dont use). You have some real good equipment there, so possibly your banjo is more top end than mine, and don't have the same issues with it. But I was using the AT 4041's, various good quality LC's, ribbons, and for the life of me just couldnt get banjo right on a consistent basis.... a lot of hit and miss. Moved to Neumann KM 140 and Neumann 184's and now that instrument sounds like a huber or mastertone, (surprisingly through the 184 in particular). For me the 140's or large c's on bass and guitar, 184 for mando, banjo, to the point where I dont even worry about banjo any more, other than creating a mood on slower material. I'd add that the room is "ok" not great, but those sc mics made most difference for me on acoustic if you already have those top end preamps, etc.

Paul Ryan
Old 14th September 2015
  #10
I'd build acoustic diffusers, like these: PME Records QRD Diffusor Construction I recently built 3 of them and plan to build 3 more for my back wall, they aren't too difficult to build and it's easy to find the wood for them, in my room even having 1 diffuser makes a noticeable difference.
Old 14th September 2015
  #11
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist View Post
I'd build acoustic diffusers, like these: PME Records QRD Diffusor Construction I recently built 3 of them and plan to build 3 more for my back wall, they aren't too difficult to build and it's easy to find the wood for them, in my room even having 1 diffuser makes a noticeable difference.

Just curious...could you use Styrofoam for this?


Tom
Old 15th September 2015
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kr1012 View Post
Just curious...could you use Styrofoam for this?


Tom
techically yes, RPG make the skyline diffuser and it's designed to be lightweight but it won't sound the same as a proper wood version and is at least double the cost per unit.

word of warning though, they are very heavy when built from wood.
Old 16th September 2015
  #13
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kr1012 View Post
Just curious...could you use Styrofoam for this?
Do NOT under any circumstances use regular styrofoam anywhere, unless you want your house to go up like The Station.

Old 16th September 2015
  #14
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toneguru's Avatar
With so many of your sessions revolving around acoustic instruments...

A pair of Neumann KM54s would be soooo very useful.

PS. Where abouts is your studio?
Old 16th September 2015
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Tommyswami's Avatar
Converters are a good choice I also do a lot of acoustic work the a designs Reddi would be a good choice to add to your arsenal . Since you put you use your p bass it would really sound great with that addition .
Old 16th September 2015
  #16
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by toneguru View Post
With so many of your sessions revolving around acoustic instruments...

A pair of Neumann KM54s would be soooo very useful.

PS. Where abouts is your studio?
+1 KM54's particularly on a lot of stringed instruments, and if you have a nice sounding live room I'd highly recommend a pair of M50's. They don't get talked about a whole lot anymore, but trust me.
Old 16th September 2015
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kr1012 View Post
What should I add to my studio?

I'm a bluegrass, "folkgrass", and acoustic country musician and recordist. My current studio set up is:

Mics - Manley Gold Reference, sE Electronics RN17 stereo pair, Royer R122 ribbon mic, Audio Technica AT4041 stereo pair, Sennheiser e906 dynamic, Shure SM-57s.

Preamps - Millennia HV3C, Universal Audio LA610.

RME Baby Face interface.

Neumann KH120A monitors.

Running the current Reaper DAW version and Windows 10.

The only electric instrument I record is bass (Fender P-Bass Special). All other recording is to acoustic instruments (guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and resonator guitar) and vocals with lots of harmonies.

Is there anything else I need? If not, fine. Thanks in advance.


Tom
Definitely a nicer converter. Something good, used, sell the Babyface to soften the cost.

Maybe a nicer string mic. I have a Schoeps which is great if you like rabbit holes, but a vintage KM84 or an AA 1084 on a budget, that would be a great addition. KM84 on acoustic is classic bluegrass sound. A sleeper for bluegrass is the AT4033. What a ridiculously useful mic for that sound, and you can grab them cheap.
Old 16th September 2015
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

What's your budget?

I would say a Manley vari-Mu.

Icing on the cake for what you do.

I would also second the convertors suggestions.
Old 16th September 2015
  #19
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kr1012 View Post
Hmmm...very good advice from all. Just curious...what converters would you recommend for a home studio?
Tom
Couple of questions
How many channels you need to record at once ?
Do you use or like the RME software ?
Most importantly is connectivity...what is your computer..do you plan an upgrade ?
The Apogee Ensemble is Thunderbolt only..UAD Apollo 8 TB as well...tho a USB/FW Apollo still available. These converters are probably as far as you need to go and the most expensive choices in that range but they integrate well as monitor controller/front end.
If you like the RME the UFX or UCX...depending on channels needed..will continue to use the connectivity you presently have and bring familiar software to you. I do recommend the optional remote (comes in two sizes) which speeds operation in a Babyface like package you know so well.
Below that you could look at the Audient id22..while an upgrade it may not go far enough.
Old 16th September 2015
  #20
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Midas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kr1012 View Post
What should I add to my studio?

I'm a bluegrass, "folkgrass", and acoustic country musician and recordist. My current studio set up is:

Mics - Manley Gold Reference, sE Electronics RN17 stereo pair, Royer R122 ribbon mic, Audio Technica AT4041 stereo pair, Sennheiser e906 dynamic, Shure SM-57s.

Preamps - Millennia HV3C, Universal Audio LA610.

RME Baby Face interface.

Neumann KH120A monitors.

Running the current Reaper DAW version and Windows 10.

The only electric instrument I record is bass (Fender P-Bass Special). All other recording is to acoustic instruments (guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and resonator guitar) and vocals with lots of harmonies.

Is there anything else I need? If not, fine. Thanks in advance.


Tom
Good Musicians to be recorded...much needed than any possible other piece go gear...Your equipment should be enough to make decent quality recordings...

cheers
Old 16th September 2015
  #21
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
Do NOT under any circumstances use regular styrofoam anywhere, unless you want your house to go up like The Station.


Thank you for that reminder. I do appreciate it. Will avoid Styrofoam.


Tom
Old 16th September 2015
  #22
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS View Post
Couple of questions
How many channels you need to record at once ?
Do you use or like the RME software ?
Most importantly is connectivity...what is your computer..do you plan an upgrade ?
The Apogee Ensemble is Thunderbolt only..UAD Apollo 8 TB as well...tho a USB/FW Apollo still available. These converters are probably as far as you need to go and the most expensive choices in that range but they integrate well as monitor controller/front end.
If you like the RME the UFX or UCX...depending on channels needed..will continue to use the connectivity you presently have and bring familiar software to you. I do recommend the optional remote (comes in two sizes) which speeds operation in a Babyface like package you know so well.
Below that you could look at the Audient id22..while an upgrade it may not go far enough.

I just use 1-2 channels. Usually it's just me I'm recording. All I use for an interface is the RME Baby Face. I wanted to purchase a UA Apollo but I'm running Windows, so that nixed that. The only other thing I could find in the relative/same price range as the Apollo 2. So, the RME was about the only thing I could go with at the time. I was told by some here it was actually a pretty good quality unit. Although I wouldn't mind moving up. I see where the new Apollo USB is a Windows unit. My budget is $800-$2000.


Tom

Last edited by kr1012; 16th September 2015 at 04:18 PM..
Old 16th September 2015
  #23
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
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Old 16th September 2015
  #24
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist View Post
I'd build acoustic diffusers, like these: PME Records QRD Diffusor Construction I recently built 3 of them and plan to build 3 more for my back wall, they aren't too difficult to build and it's easy to find the wood for them, in my room even having 1 diffuser makes a noticeable difference.

I'm very interested in building some of these. I'd like to build 4-5 of them. Half of my family room is living area with a 50" plasma TV, couch, love seat, and recliner and wood burning stove. The north end of the room, where the TV, wood burning stove and furniture is, is brick from the floor to about 5' high. The other (southern) half of the room is my studio and is open with and common to the living area. The entire room is about 28' x 12'. There is a walk in closet just off the studio. The walls are all wood paneling and the floor is carpeted concrete. I record facing a paneled (west) wall and have a diffuser for vocals made by sE Electronics...one of the curved kind that attaches to a mic stand. So I have 2 and possibly 3 walls I could hang diffusers from. I could use 2 diffusers each on the east and west walls right now. The south wall has instruments hanging from it and is an optional wall for 1-2 diffusers. That's it.


Tom

Last edited by kr1012; 16th September 2015 at 08:06 PM..
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