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OK.. Really need some help now...
Old 18th January 2007
  #1
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OK.. Really need some help now...

Hello all, and a happy new year slutzz!!!

Ok, a little while ago i posted a similar thread asking for advice ( https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/90499-i-neeed-slut-advice.html ).

to give some background, i have been working with an artist (myspace.com/valentinamusic) for around 6 months as a producer/writer. we are now in final negotiations with the record company thumbsup thumbsup . and it is dawning on me that i am going to need to spend a lot of money very soon. And while this thought is very exciting.. it is somewhat daunting!! as i dont really have money to make mistakes on bad equipment.

The core sound is based around old soul.. but incorporating electronic/modern sounds as well. The singer has a warm soulful female voice.

So as an update on the previous thread.. I am no longer considering mixing the project myself.. However i am going to be doing all recording and production from my own studio... i will be moving my studio into a purpose built room (acoustically treated etc) with a decent sized contol room & live room.

I already have-
Mac G5 Dual2.0 w/ 2.5GBram,RME Fireface 800 (adding a second), Dynaudio Bm6p, Logic pro7, Tons of plug ins, tons of guitars, nice amps and gtr fx.

So I have maximum £25k to spend, I have already budgeted for all wiring etc.. I also have a budget for more instruments..

Here is what i need help with....
(i know the only way to know is to test for myself but recomendations are really appreciated!!)

Vocal mic- (max £2k)
I need something in U87 price range that is not a U87

Main Stereo pre- (max £2k)
current ideas are A designs pacifica/ 1073DPA / Chandler TG2

Secondary Pre's- (max £3k)
i need 4 xtra channels to allow me to track drums, ideas - API 3124 / Selection of 500 series (ideas please(good for drums) / (cheaper) UA 4110 / Small console (amek BC3?)

Main tracking compressors - (max £3k)
Can i not go wrong with 2 x 1176/MC77? what about the Tube-Tech CL2A? Distressors on vox? i want a compressor i can hear if that makes sense?? Need some soulful colour!

Secondary comps x 4 - (max 2k)
2x DBX 160 cant be a bad thing no?? and a couple of API 525s or a TL Audio IVORY 502?? or can i save some money and buy a Drawmer DL441?? options options....

General mics (Drums/Gtr Cabs/AccGtr/Piano/Brass/Strings etc..)
3x Sen 421s
2x Shure 57s
1x Shure Beta 52a/AKG d112?
2x AKG 451
2x AKG 414 (Overhead alternatives please!!! i'm not fond of 414s but understand they are good studio workhorses!!)

Bus Comp- (max £3k)
Alan Smart C1 sounds good to my ears.. 33609 sounds ever better, other ideas?? how much is the Shadow Hills Comp??? I love the look of that thing, i hear it sounds as good as well!!!!!!!!!!!!

Main monitors (max £3.5k)
I'm currently using Dynaudio BM6s which i love.. I want a larger monitor with more headroom.. really like the look of the quested vs3208... anyone using them??? also thinking about adam s3a's?? any other ideas??

I also need some sort of monitor control/selecter.. i dont like the look of the 'mackie Big Knob' would prefer something i could rack under my computer screens, (probably end up getting my wiring guy to make a custom unit.

Sorry for the verrrrrry long post.. i understand these "help me spend my money" posts can get a little annoying but i really appreciate the help!!

Please no 'go to a pro studio posts' i really appreciate these comments and this project will ultimately end up being mixed in a 'pro studio' but for a number of reasons this option doesn't suit me. One of which being that I have more projects lined up after this one and it is really importand i start building some serious foundations in my studio!!

Thanks again


Blue.
Old 18th January 2007
  #2
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Blue May's Avatar
 

Just heard James Lugo's Pearlman clips.. Seems like the way to go as far as mics go.. anyone got any female sound clips of the Tm-1? whats the wait time like on them at the moment?
B.
Old 18th January 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 

well...

since none of the "pro's" are saying anything, yet....


I'm not a real singer, but I've got a Pearlman and I just got the Pacifica last week.
I can tell you both are really good. I've been running a Portico pre and there is a day and night difference between it and the Pacifica. I'm glad I have both!

I'd like to hear that Peluso 22 47 in a shootout with the Pearlman.
somebody on this forum posted saying the peluso held it's own in a shootout with the Wagner 47...citing the Pearlman in the shootout as being not as smooth.

well, I've got clips in my links, but they don't really do the gear justice. I have a lot to learn as far as production and mixing is concerned.

also, some friends of mine are using the Great River pre's. We sale those in the guitar shop I work at, so, I've heard those ...and i can say they are VERY good, too.

In my opinion, the pre's with the most character would be the pacifica and the Chandler. The Portico sounds similar to the G.R., but the Portico has a puffy/airy type sound to it. The Great River has a better/ more solid bottom than the portico.

sorry i can't tell you more about the pacifica, but I just got it and i'm busy trying to beat Dragon Warrior 4.
Old 18th January 2007
  #4
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What are you going to be recording? Vocals obviously, but what else?
Old 18th January 2007
  #5
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

You seem to have a pretty good idea about what to get. Just some thoughts..

If you're not gonna mix it yourself, and if the gear is beeing used for this particular project for the nearest future I'd change a couple of things.

Ditch the 2-buss compressor and use that money in the mic & pre department. Also you might want to add a quality eq to the list. Again, for tracking it might come in handy.
Old 18th January 2007
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djui5 View Post
What are you going to be recording? Vocals obviously, but what else?
Mainly electric guitar, acc gtr, drums, bass, upright piano. and the occasional horn / string player. the most i can see recording at one time is drums and bass, so i think 6-8 real nice pre's should be enough for me?
Old 18th January 2007
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
You seem to have a pretty good idea about what to get. Just some thoughts..

If you're not gonna mix it yourself, and if the gear is beeing used for this particular project for the nearest future I'd change a couple of things.

Ditch the 2-buss compressor and use that money in the mic & pre department. Also you might want to add a quality eq to the list. Again, for tracking it might come in handy.
Thats and interesting idea, I was wondering about a nice eq.. Not an area i know a lot about,
So imagine i was to get rid of the bus comp that would free say £2k, what eq(s) are available in that price range that are real juciey???

Thanks again everyone!
Old 18th January 2007
  #8
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This pearlman is sounding ever so tempting!! anyone just received one?? I'm just wondering about wait times at the moment?
Old 18th January 2007
  #9
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Hi
Consider hiring or borrowing some of the more expensive items on your 'wish list' and try them 'live' in a real situation (yours). Gear seems to 'float about' in various studios and you may get the chance to borrow various bits.
Try the likes of Sterling or SCV for 'loan' (hopefully their sale!) units or simply hire some units.
Best of luck in your search
Matt S
Old 18th January 2007
  #10
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue May View Post
Thats and interesting idea, I was wondering about a nice eq.. Not an area i know a lot about,
So imagine i was to get rid of the bus comp that would free say £2k, what eq(s) are available in that price range that are real juciey???

Thanks again everyone!
For that money you have a lot of eq options, especially if you include the possibility of buying second hand.

Api, RND Portico, Great River, Massive Passive (should fit that budget with the low $ exchange rate at the moment), SSL Xlogic, maybe even a used GML or Ibis, Millennia, speck, Avalon... Plenty to choose from. heh
Old 18th January 2007
  #11
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Well I kinda threw something together keeping in mind what you are recording and what kinda sound your after. That girl has an amazing voice This is just suggestive of course. Finding a lot of this stuff used would save a ton, and I priced it in USD. The $ is in the crapper right now, so your £25,000 is worth about $50,000 USD. If I did this with a $50,000 budget, well....



Pres:
Vintec 473 4ch pre: $2,900
1 TAB-Funkenwerk V78: $1,000
1 Martech MSS-10: $1,800

Comps:
DBX 162 (stereo): $1,200
Distressor EL 8SX: $3,000 (pair)
RCA BA6A Limiter: $??
1 DBX 160A (or XT): $500

EQ:
6 slot used Lunchbox $500
2 API 550B: $1000
2 ??

Mics:
2 Sen 421: $600
2 SM57: $160
1 AKG D12: $350 (kick mic/bass)
2 AT 4047: $800 (OH's)
2 AKG 451: $700
1 Blue Bottle: $4,000

Monitor controller:
1 Dangerous Music Monitor ST: $1,900
(this isn't entirely necessary, but I think would make your life a lot easier. If you don't buy a box like this you will need to have someone build a monitor controller/switcher, plus you'll have to find a way to deal with your cue sends/headphone amps, etc.

Mains:
What you might wanna do here is trade your Dyns for a pair of Adam S3A's, and have another small pair of something for a 2nd reference.

You didn't mention headphones, so I "assume" you have them.

Also you have no need for a buss comp since your not mixing. You can use plug-ins for verb if you need it.
Old 18th January 2007
  #12
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Djui5 - Now thats a replythumbsup thumbsup thumbsup , thanks so much that is extremely helpful.. i think you guys are right about dropping the Bus comp.. money spent better else where in my situation!!!
I am definitely going to need some sort of monitor controller, the dangerous looks just the ticket!!!

I know my dyns really well so i intend on keeping them and adding some adam s3a's / quested vs3208!

Yeah, i have a few pairs of dt100, would prefer something else.. but not a priority!!

Thanks again guys... any other opinions out there, i dont know what i'd do without this forum (probably be recording at 12bit into cubasis 2.3 on a 10yr old pc!!???)..

Also has any one any of experience of buying equipment from america and importing it to the uk... it seems like a really good option, but am i gonna get stung with loads of tax after.. Any dealers reading interested in helping me out??
Old 19th January 2007
  #13
this might sound boring but:
also consider things like headphones, patchbays (TT?) cables, and racks (the ones you can take on the road), headphone amps, and some power filtering like a isolating transformer. -edit: oops sorry some of that already mentioned..-

then, compressors suggest you are going to mix? or just record?
if mix then think about ITB/OTB/hybrid. think about a control surface or a mixer.
if mix then you need a mixing comp. that is versitile.

IMO for preamps, and tracking comps, and eq I suggest getting a lunchbox, and just stuff it. small and lots of options. heh

good luck! must be really exciting times

Last edited by Reptil; 19th January 2007 at 01:25 AM.. Reason: oops
Old 19th January 2007
  #14
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thanks,

so i'm starting to built a nice picture here..

I'm 90% sold on the pearlman,

The pacifica seems like a good vote and i'm pretty set on that as a main stereo pre, can anyone comment on the pacifica for aplications like stereo micing a paino? also is it particularly good on any part of the drum kit? anyone using it on gtrs acc or elec?

.. Not much said about the api 3124, i'm guessing that means that its a good workhorse pre? is it good on drums?? this will probably be the main application for me

i think i'm still most confused about compressors..
2 x Dbx 160 is a definite as they seem like a good value and versatile comp (any specifically good applications for the 160s?). and a i'm also thinking of getting one dbx 1066 for an ultra value comp,
My main comp problem is the 'high end' choice.
2 x 1176 seem to be a good option, is it really useful having a pair or could i for example buy one 1176 and buy one LA-2A for more options?. another name that people keep on recomending is Tube tech.. would it be worth sacraficing the 1176s/LA2A for one Tube-Tech CL2A for example?
In my mind one 1176 and one LA-2A seems like the best??

I think i'm 80% sure of my general mic selection.. 3x421,2x57,2x451,1xD12 seem like good choices to me, i am tempted to drop the stereo 414s, i know they're usefull but i have never really liked the sound.. and in their place a single Royer R-121???? It seems like a good idea to have at least one good quality ribbon??

I think its important to mention that i love the minimal, old, slightly lo-fi / dirty drum sound.. (Al Green esque). of course a lot of this is down to the kit/player/tuning but i thought i should mention that i'm not looking for a super crisp and isolated drum sound.

I have also been thinking about investing in a small 4 or 8 track tape maching to record drums / brass to. could this be the secretof all my dream... hah.

Thanks again.. appreciate your time and knowledge!

B.
Old 19th January 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue May View Post
Djui5 - Now thats a replythumbsup thumbsup thumbsup , thanks so much that is extremely helpful

Glad I could help. BTW, of everything on that list I think the Martinsound pre and the Blue Bottle (or whatever vox mic you decide on) should be the biggest priority. Don't be afraid to spend $4-5,000 on a great vocal mic. Would be worth it to try out a few of them including the Manley ref, the Sony C-800, an old Sony C-48 or something of that sort, an AEA R84, things like that. Find what works best on her voice and buy it, even if you have to cut back on something else. You'll thank me later...

Also I didn't put the API on because I feel the Vintec would suite the sound better, and added the AT 4047's for OH's to get a drum sound your after.
Old 19th January 2007
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djui5 View Post
Glad I could help. BTW, of everything on that list I think the Martinsound pre and the Blue Bottle (or whatever vox mic you decide on) should be the biggest priority. Don't be afraid to spend $4-5,000 on a great vocal mic. Would be worth it to try out a few of them including the Manley ref, the Sony C-800, an old Sony C-48 or something of that sort, an AEA R84, things like that. Find what works best on her voice and buy it, even if you have to cut back on something else. You'll thank me later...

Also I didn't put the API on because I feel the Vintec would suite the sound better, and added the AT 4047's for OH's to get a drum sound your after.
I agree completely with spending money on a top quality mic, a good friend of mine swears by the c800 and i love the look of the manley mics!!! but a lot of people on this forum seem to think the pearlman is on those levels (without the price tag)

Martinsound pre looks v. interesting, I've never heard of them.. could you give what kind of sound they have?

I agree actually, i should try the vintech, if it does have a 1073ish sound that would most certainly suit this sound better!!

I'll definitely try the 4047s as well.. are they good in stereo on piano / acoustic guitar?
Old 19th January 2007
  #17
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It sounds big and beautiful

I'm a big fan of the C-800 also. I don't really like the Manley mic, but just threw it in for ****s and giggles. Would be worth it for her to try a few mics just to make sure. It wouldn't take long. I'm bettin either the Bottle or the C-800.
Old 19th January 2007
  #18
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the bottle would make extra sense seen as my name is blue.. it will look to clients like i have personalised micrpophones.... wont stop them wanting neumanns though ey!! haha
Old 19th January 2007
  #19
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Hi Blue May,

In your shoes I'd audition the mic. It's usually pretty easy to tell with a mic what works nicely with the singer auditioning the mic. Next do a preamp shoot out. It is amazing what this can do for a vocal. Record a couple of tracks for each of the pres you want to try. Level match then as you will pick the most forward or loudest at first until your ear tunes in. Listen out for the mids more than anything. This is where you will notice if things sound real or synthetic.

Don't go for a character compressor for tracking! Let a high quality compressor that leave no fingerprints reduce the dynamic range or use no comp at all. Use the character comp for the mix! Let the mic choice and the pre dictate tone and vibe.

I can recommend the Pearlman TM1 for female vocals by the way. Takes EQ very well and is a bright and smooth mic.

I really like ribbon mics for overheads myself but the old soul sound your after was often not done with the overhead mic approach or if they where then quite often mono overhead.

The Senn 421's are nice mics for kick too.

The API pres sound great on most things including vocals. I found that with a bright mic they brought in a touch more esssesss and mouth sounds such as spit sloshing and lip smacks but nice flattering tone in the mids of the voice.

Unless you have experience miking up drums and know your room and how to tune a kit then it's hard to boil it all down to 4-6 pre amp channels.

I mike each drum and double mic the kick. Then for me it's 2 overheads and up to 3 other mics around the room! That is my starting point for my own recordings. 11 mics and pres on my drumkit.

Just some things to think about.

Peace,
cortisol
Old 19th January 2007
  #20
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wicked, thats all good advice..

Rest assured, i will be trying a lot of these products before buying them, just trying to get a heads up on it all so i can narrow my options down a little,

Interesting what your saying about compressors for tracking, what would you reccomend as far as a 'clean' comp? say for example in a Pearlman>Pacifica>...comp-x...A-D card signal chain?

I do have quite a bit of experience micing up kits, i have a lot of patience for that kind of think... managed to get a really good sound with 2 or 3 mics,
I'm thinking to do it like this with my next set up..

KIK - D12 > pacifica
SN - 57 > pacifica
Tom 1 - 421 > Api 3124
Tom 2 - 421 > Api 3124
Oh- R 121 > Api 3124
Room - Tm-1 > Api 3124

(i will also have a pair of 451 that i'm planning to use for sereo micing piano and acc guitars.. i could put one on the hh if needed.)



Is anyone using the dangerous monitor st??
Old 19th January 2007
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue May View Post
Interesting what your saying about compressors for tracking, what would you reccomend as far as a 'clean' comp? say for example in a Pearlman>Pacifica>...comp-x...A-D card signal chain?
Buzz Audio SOC 1.1
Old 19th January 2007
  #22
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Nice... looks good, its stereo and is a nice price, at that price, i could afford to buy one of them and a 1176/Distressor/LA2a..

Someone has just offered me a distressor for very cheap as well

Would say for example a Buzz Audio SOC 1.1, Ditrerssor, 2 x 160a and Dbx 1066 cover all bases for now??
what is the buzz like on drums??
Old 20th January 2007
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue May View Post
what is the buzz like on drums??
It's an optical comp so it doesn't behave like a 1176 for example. You may or may not like it on drums. However...

... It's an absolutely great comp for vocals, bass, any acoustic string instrument, electrics, horns, mixbuss...
Old 20th January 2007
  #24
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You are being scared into spending money on kit, when you should be concentrating on doing what you do best - producing, writing and arranging.

Dear God, you are in London. There is no shortage in Town of great studios with rock-bottom rates right now. Track in a good studio and edit at home or get an engineer to edit for you at about £200 a day.

You would not buy a JCB or Catapillar digger for £50,000 if you wanted to dig a pond, would you? Of course not! You would give some guy with a JCB £300 and one day later, a dirty great big hole would be right there in the garden.
Old 20th January 2007
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
You are being scared into spending money on kit, when you should be concentrating on doing what you do best - producing, writing and arranging.

Dear God, you are in London. There is no shortage in Town of great studios with rock-bottom rates right now. Track in a good studio and edit at home or get an engineer to edit for you at about £200 a day.

You would not buy a JCB or Catapillar digger for £50,000 if you wanted to dig a pond, would you? Of course not! You would give some guy with a JCB £300 and one day later, a dirty great big hole would be right there in the garden.
Hi,
without being at all rude, because i appreciate your comment, did you read the start of the thread?
I am pleased to say I am concentrating extremely hard on Producing, Writing and arranging, as it is my full time job.
This solution of going to large studios to record will just not work for me. And i dont see why i should need to, i am extremely capable of getting great recordings from my own studio and am just looking for some equipment to improve it even further, I dont understand why i am being given advice like 'pay an engineer to edit for me' I am perfectly good at doing that myself, I do it all day every day.
There is a tendency on this forum to asume that people asking questions like mine are complete novices, and while i'm sure a good percentage are, i would hope a little bit of investigation would, in my case, convince you otherwise. and while i am no way claiming to know it all (hence why i'm on this forum researching gear) i do know a fair bit.

and to use your metaphor, No if i was digging a pond i would not buy a jcb, but if i was starting a business digging ponds with jcb's then i probably would.

Sorry if i seem a little arsy, i have just woken up! But honestly for how i work, it is in my best interest to start setting up a great little studio that can expand with every project i do. now if i was producing a rock band, there is no doubt that i would rehears them up and get them in the best studio available.. however i am not (yet).

Back to the thread..
Old 20th January 2007
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
It's an optical comp so it doesn't behave like a 1176 for example. You may or may not like it on drums. However...

... It's an absolutely great comp for vocals, bass, any acoustic string instrument, electrics, horns, mixbuss...
Mmmm... interesting, sounds like a pretty versatile comp.. I'm definitely going to have to try one
I've read the Pendulum Audio OCL-2 is quite similar to the buzz, any comments on these?

Any takers on getting a small tascam tape machine to track drums and horns to before recording into my daw? is this a good idea.. or should i just hold on and if i need to, bounce my drums to a proper tape machine in the studio i end up mixing in?

Thanks guys.
Old 20th January 2007
  #27
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Im jumpin in here kinda late, but if its 'old soul' you are vibing on howsabout some Quad Eight MM100s or a pair of old electrodyne micpres? Some nice vintage iron (circa Motown) with a crisp digital recording medium could turn out some great results...
Old 20th January 2007
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch333 View Post
Im jumpin in here kinda late, but if its 'old soul' you are vibing on howsabout some Quad Eight MM100s or a pair of old electrodyne micpres? Some nice vintage iron (circa Motown) with a crisp digital recording medium could turn out some great results...
Nice, i'll check those out.. are they very hard to come by?
I am i right in thinking the a designs is based on quad 8 pre's?
Old 20th January 2007
  #29
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There are these too, and the 601's :0

http://cgi.ebay.com/rare-AMPEX-403d-...QQcmdZViewItem
Old 20th January 2007
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djui5 View Post
There are these too, and the 601's :0

http://cgi.ebay.com/rare-AMPEX-403d-...QQcmdZViewItem
WOWheh heh heh heh heh heh heh
I if that thing sounds as good as it looks then i'm in!!! thanks again!!!!
i want all my gear to have over sized nobs!!! (no vugar conitation intended!!!)
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