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Complete studio make-over. $35,000 to $40,000 Audio Interfaces
Old 25th March 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
antonbuys's Avatar
 

Complete studio make-over. $35,000 to $40,000

For the last year or so, I've been using a Mac G5 Dual 2.7 with Motu 2408MkIII , RME OctaMic D, Yamaha MSP5A's , Mackie HUI, Kurzweil PC1x, Access Virus Classic, Korg Prophecy and Alesis Ion, all feeding Logic Pro 7.2. A couple a weeks ago, my 424PCI decided it was time to go, and also to take my Mac with it... As this was not my first MOTU related fatality (828MkII and iMAC...), I'll be waving goodby to that! (gotta learn sometime, I suppose)

My goal is to have a home studio for producing music for visual media applications, such as music libraries, internet content, video games and budget movies. I won't be making use of live musicians, but will work mosty with hardware synths, sample libraries and one vocalist (my wife, and the composing part of our duo).

For 2007, I have $35,000 to $40,000 to spend on a complete studio make-over. As I have no serious (make that quality!) outboard gear right now, most of the above listed items are going out, for sale, and are to be replaced. Right now, I've got my set-up narrowed down, but need some advice/input as to what to change/add/ommit:

Apple Mac Pro with 8GB RAM (hope to snag one of the "soon to be released" OctaCores)

Keep the HUI, and add a Novation SL ZeRo for Plug-In control

Brauner Phantom Aniversary Edition Mic
Presonus ADL 600 (most here seem to like it)
Lynx Aurora 8 - or Lavry Blue 4AD/4DA (note sure which to take yet - budget vs quality issue?)
Lynx AES-16 PCI-e - due after Messe, I think
Elysia Alpha Compressor (no, this isn't a joke :-)
SPL PassEQ
SPL 2381 Talkback & monitor controller (or just use the one on the HUI?)
Tannoy Ellipse 8's (& keep MSP5A's for B monitors)
TC Electronic Reverb 4000
TC Electronic PowerCore FW (with some TC-Helicon and Noveltech Vocal Plugs)
SE Electronics Reflection Filter
Furman AR-15's
Silent Case for MacPro
Korg Oasys 88
Access Virus Ti

A few extra sample libraries
Cabling and sundry...
Acoustic treatment.

I am also wondering about possibly adding some of the following:
SPL Tube Vitalizer/Fatso Jr/Portico Tape Saturation
UAD-1e
SSL Duende
Focusrite Liquid Mix
Brent Averill 1272 2 channel

The idea is to keep it fairly simple, as I have limited space. My approach here was to go for a few high-end, versatile products, rather than a heap of middle range stuff.

Any ideas/suggestions?

Thanks
Anton
Old 25th March 2007
  #2
..

man, i almost just bought a house that needed at least $40,000 worth of

FOUNDATION work, alone....wood rotting fungus..... ..heh

...
Old 25th March 2007
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
antonbuys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
..

man, i almost just bought a house that needed at least $40,000 worth of

FOUNDATION work, alone....wood rotting fungus..... ..heh

...
Ouch! Did you find that out before or after? Shows you, it's expensive to be "fundamentaly" unstableheh BTW Nice studio. What's the desk?
Old 25th March 2007
  #4
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jindrich's Avatar
 

Welcome Anton,

you're on the right direction, but I'd add a few more mics (and pres). A guy playing acoustic guitar and singing that's 2 mics. If you also want to hit a snare/wood box/kellogs box in stereo for percussion or sound design that's 4.

I think you'll need 4 nice mics and 4 pres (2 clean, 2 nevesque), 2 compressors (or 1 stereo), maybe a hardware eq (just maybe), nice converters, a great hardware reverb and some monitoring/headphone manager and killer speakers. Like this:


-get a U47 or 251 tube clone, a couple of great utility mics (like a matched pair of gefell 930), and some cheap Shure sm57s. If you also want a couple of SD mics, a macthed pair of Beyer MC930 cost €650 and they sound just like the old Neuman KM84s.

-As for converters and interface, if you use logic, look no further: apogee ensemble. Going higher in the A/D/A is not worth it for you. Also you get 4 great clean pres to boot.

-add a Nevesque stereo pre (aurora, chandler, great river...)

-Compressors: A Portico stereo comp and a 1176, great combo. If you wanna get it all, go for an LA-2A as well (or a Pendulum Quartet, more options).

-I'd skip the hardware eq. Do it with plugs.

-TC 4000 as reverb is awesome. In a short budget get a Kurzweil rumour.

-SPL for monitor, talkback etc is a great idea.

-Monitors: check the focal solo6, adam A7, dynaudio 6a...



for plugins, I'd add the native UA versions of Altiverb, Waves SSL4000 and SoundToys pack (eventide) for delays, chorus and funny things.


Forget about the powercore, duende, UAD, Tape simulators, Liquid Mix, Vitalizers... etc. You dont need antyhing else, except for ideas and talent.

Later.
Old 27th March 2007
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
antonbuys's Avatar
 

Thanks jindrich,

I was wondering about all that DSP stuff... With the Mac Pro's, it may just be worth it to go native. Some of them (DSP's) don't always seem to want to play along nicely, or require their own separate FW cards/busses. And, PCI slots don't exactly grow on trees when it comes to Macs...

Quote: "As for converters and interface, if you use logic, look no further: apogee ensemble. Going higher in the A/D/A is not worth it for you. Also you get 4 great clean pres to boot."

Have checked out several threads here, seems most people are quite pleased with it.

Quote: "add a Nevesque stereo pre (aurora, chandler, great river...)"

How about Brent Averill 1272?

Quote: "Compressors: A Portico stereo comp and a 1176, great combo. If you wanna get it all, go for an LA-2A as well (or a Pendulum Quartet, more options)."

I'm thinking about 2-1176.
Also maybe dbx162SL, or Pendulum OCL...
Am also going to keep an eye on the soon to be released Elysia Mpressor (1/2 the alpha's price, apparently)

Quote: "I'd skip the hardware eq. Do it with plugs."

I may look at one nice eq, to bring something to my mixes... Suggestions? Price range $2,000-$3,000 (oh, darn, can o worms opened!)heh

I'm pretty well sold on the Tannoy Ellipse 8's, have A/B/C... them against Genelec 1031's, Emes Black HR, Mackie 624's, Adam A7's and Event ASP 8's. (That's what's readily available here at my dealer.)

Also having a look at Gyraf's stuff, very nice. And, most droolworthy, this:
http://www.diygallery.de/gallery/index.html

Anybody around here own some of Steff's stuff? Any recommendations about putting together a system based on his stuff and maybe Gyraf's?

Ah, well, more gear... Just couldn't keep it simple! 's not called gearslutz for nothing!

Anton
----------------------------
"This space reserved for future wise crack remarks/statements/quotes."
Old 4th August 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
God, if I had that kind of money to spend, I would SERIOUSLY probably call up a real studio designer and spend it all on a FANTASTIC SOUNDING small recording space.

I'm quickly learning that beyond talent, a great room is SO ****ing important for making great recordings! Way more important than almost any mics or outboard gear.


halcyo
Old 5th August 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 
deda's Avatar
 

Motu Bad?

I was about to buy a Motu 2408MKIII and 424PCI to interface my Radar with my G5 MAC running Logic Pro 7.2. Should I scrap that idea before I set myself up for disaster? You say you've had 2 total meltdowns via Motu as the cause and I want to learn from your unfortunate experience. Are there any other Slutz with similar horror stories using Motu? Accept my sincere regrets for your lost work and the financial burden to your family and kids collage fund, regards ,,deda,,
Old 5th August 2007
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by antonbuys View Post
For the last year or so, I've been using a Mac G5 Dual 2.7 with Motu 2408MkIII , RME OctaMic D, Yamaha MSP5A's , Mackie HUI, Kurzweil PC1x, Access Virus Classic, Korg Prophecy and Alesis Ion, all feeding Logic Pro 7.2. A couple a weeks ago, my 424PCI decided it was time to go, and also to take my Mac with it... As this was not my first MOTU related fatality (828MkII and iMAC...), I'll be waving goodby to that! (gotta learn sometime, I suppose)

My goal is to have a home studio for producing music for visual media applications, such as music libraries, internet content, video games and budget movies. I won't be making use of live musicians, but will work mosty with hardware synths, sample libraries and one vocalist (my wife, and the composing part of our duo).

For 2007, I have $35,000 to $40,000 to spend on a complete studio make-over. As I have no serious (make that quality!) outboard gear right now, most of the above listed items are going out, for sale, and are to be replaced. Right now, I've got my set-up narrowed down, but need some advice/input as to what to change/add/ommit:

Apple Mac Pro with 8GB RAM (hope to snag one of the "soon to be released" OctaCores)

Keep the HUI, and add a Novation SL ZeRo for Plug-In control

Brauner Phantom Aniversary Edition Mic
Presonus ADL 600 (most here seem to like it)
Lynx Aurora 8 - or Lavry Blue 4AD/4DA (note sure which to take yet - budget vs quality issue?)
Lynx AES-16 PCI-e - due after Messe, I think
Elysia Alpha Compressor (no, this isn't a joke :-)
SPL PassEQ
SPL 2381 Talkback & monitor controller (or just use the one on the HUI?)
Tannoy Ellipse 8's (& keep MSP5A's for B monitors)
TC Electronic Reverb 4000
TC Electronic PowerCore FW (with some TC-Helicon and Noveltech Vocal Plugs)
SE Electronics Reflection Filter
Furman AR-15's
Silent Case for MacPro
Korg Oasys 88
Access Virus Ti

A few extra sample libraries
Cabling and sundry...
Acoustic treatment.

I am also wondering about possibly adding some of the following:
SPL Tube Vitalizer/Fatso Jr/Portico Tape Saturation
UAD-1e
SSL Duende
Focusrite Liquid Mix
Brent Averill 1272 2 channel

The idea is to keep it fairly simple, as I have limited space. My approach here was to go for a few high-end, versatile products, rather than a heap of middle range stuff.

Any ideas/suggestions?

Thanks
Anton
Stylus RMX is great for drum loops. it's very affordable. Everything they make is great. Trilogy, Atmosphere, the sound libraries. i'd look at them for the majority of your sounds.
The Vienna Orchestral Library is great for strings.
The Oasis has a lot of those cool sounds.
The Lynx Aurora is Great.

The Fousrite Liquid Mix is cool. Check out the URS everything bundle. it has some great effects and they don't eat up processing power.

For Pres the neve is cool. i'd also look at the Chandler TG2, the A Designs Pacifica, etc.

I like Genelec, KRK, and Yamaha monitors. The events are cool. i'd also look at some ADAM monitors.

The TC Electronics Reverb 4000 is also great. sounds like you have a great list. Any piece of gear from the list that you have will sound great.

The Dirk Brauner is also geat.

i almost forgot a high end analog compressor would be great. something like the manley labs variable mu.
Old 5th August 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 

40 g's is a lot of money to put into gear in an existing home studio. Is this just a hobby or are you making this your primary business? I would like to see the business plan on how you plan to recoup all that.

Another thing to consider.. not sure what your experience level is, but there will be a substantial learning curve with all that new stuff.

Good luck!
Old 5th August 2007
  #10
Gear Addict
 
drewrevolution's Avatar
 

I agree with above. I just invested 3G which is nowhere near close to 40G and I had to make sure that the turnaround of work was something that I can recoup in a foreseeable amount of time.

Maybe you have that extra cash to not worry about recouping anytime soon, obviously I don't know, but I do know that sometimes spending half what you had originally planned can get the same job done IMHO.

Regardless, I have the UAD-1 card and I seriously love it on vocals so if you're doing low budget movies and what not, I'd consider it. It's pretty good plugin eye candy too.

-Drew
Old 5th August 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Not to be a jerk, but I had to chuckle seeing a "SE Electronics Reflection Filter" on the wish-list of a 50k studio. Do you not have a booth?
Old 5th August 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Get an Eventide H8000FW it will serve you well with what you want to do. Their are sounds in that thing where you can send one note through a preset and it sounds like a fricking movie score.
Old 5th August 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Getting a studio designer isnt always as expensive as you might think (Wes Lachot is coming to take a look at my place on tuesday!.. feels like christmas is coming up).

I'd put 20k aside to have a studio designer come in and make your space workable. It'll go way further then some nice equipment.

If you look around you'll probably find someone close to you that can make you a decent sounding room.
Old 6th August 2007
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
antonbuys's Avatar
 

Finally dropped about 25K...

Hi all,

OK, so this is what I got for now:

Apogee Ensemble
Violet Design The Junior
Tannoy Ellipse 8's with stands
TC Electronic PowerCore FireWire *2
TC Electronic VSS3, DVR2, NonLin 2 and MD3
TC Helicon Intonator HS & Voice Modeler
NovelTech Vocal Enhancer
SSL Duende
Granite Digital 2 Bay eSATA Rack mounts (2) with 2 * 250 GB Seagate Barracuda each
SE Electronic Reflexion Filter
Auralex Maxwall 420
Bass Traps
Novation Remote SL ZeRO
Speck X.SUM Line mixer
2nd Motu Midi Express XT
Clavia Nord 3 Rack
Waldorf Q Rack
Access Virus Ti
Akai EWI 4000S
Line 6 Spider III 75
4GB RAM
2 PCI-X eSATA Cards
Belkin USB HUB
East West Storm Drum 2
East West Voices of Passion
VSL VI Special Edition
Prominy LPC
Vir.2 Acoustic Legends HD

Now, to answer some questions/address some remarks:

1. "I'm quickly learning that beyond talent, a great room is SO ****ing important for making great recordings! Way more important than almost any mics or outboard gear."

I agree, except that I'm stuck in a bloody small apartment at the moment. Contract's up early next year, so then I'm moving into a bigger place, at which time money will be spent on getting studio design sorted out. For now, I've got to make do with what I've got...

2. "Not to be a jerk, but I had to chuckle seeing a "SE Electronics Reflection Filter" on the wish-list of a 50k studio. Do you not have a booth?"

Nope, not yet! See answer to 1 above. Also scheduled for 2008...

3. "I agree with above. I just invested 3G which is nowhere near close to 40G and I had to make sure that the turnaround of work was something that I can recoup in a foreseeable amount of time.

Maybe you have that extra cash to not worry about recouping anytime soon, obviously I don't know, but I do know that sometimes spending half what you had originally planned can get the same job done IMHO.

Regardless, I have the UAD-1 card and I seriously love it on vocals so if you're doing low budget movies and what not, I'd consider it. It's pretty good plugin eye candy too."

That's part of what motivated me to go for what I went for right now. Later, as the project budgets increase, I'll go for more serious outboard gear. (I can still lust after it, though!heh)

4. "I was about to buy a Motu 2408MKIII and 424PCI to interface my Radar with my G5 MAC running Logic Pro 7.2. Should I scrap that idea before I set myself up for disaster? You say you've had 2 total meltdowns via Motu as the cause and I want to learn from your unfortunate experience. Are there any other Slutz with similar horror stories using Motu? Accept my sincere regrets for your lost work and the financial burden to your family and kids collage fund, regards ,,deda,,"

deda, this is my personal experience. To add one extra bit of info, my local dealer has stopped carrying Motu hardware products due to a high failure rate. And, to give you an idea, my card failed in February, I received it back from Motu only in July! Right now it is in the market.

And then, just a couple of snaps of my current set-up:heh
Attached Thumbnails
Complete studio make-over. ,000 to ,000-dsc00791.jpg   Complete studio make-over. ,000 to ,000-dsc00795.jpg   Complete studio make-over. ,000 to ,000-dsc00800.jpg  
Old 7th August 2007
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by deda View Post
I was about to buy a Motu 2408MKIII and 424PCI to interface my Radar with my G5 MAC running Logic Pro 7.2. Should I scrap that idea before I set myself up for disaster? You say you've had 2 total meltdowns via Motu as the cause and I want to learn from your unfortunate experience. Are there any other Slutz with similar horror stories using Motu? Accept my sincere regrets for your lost work and the financial burden to your family and kids collage fund, regards ,,deda,,
running a pci-424 rig with 2408mkIII, 24i/o and 24i. never a problem, and it sounds wonderful. open it up and find the same chips everyone else (even the guys with great marketing depts. and superb high-end brand equity) is using. even better: bought it all on ebay for fraction of the new cost.
Old 7th August 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
What the hell do you guys mean by MELTDOWN?!!?!? Are you saying the Motu actually FRIED your computer PHYSICALLY!? That's ****ed up...I would dare say that is a pretty fluke thing, and it probably has nothing to do with Motu hardware in particular.



halcyo
Old 7th August 2007
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
antonbuys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by halcyo View Post
What the hell do you guys mean by MELTDOWN?!!?!? Are you saying the Motu actually FRIED your computer PHYSICALLY!? That's ****ed up...I would dare say that is a pretty fluke thing, and it probably has nothing to do with Motu hardware in particular.



halcyo
Rundown of what happened:

1. iMac G5 with Motu 828MkIII - Motherboard replacement required 3 times within 5 months - done under Apple warranty. Possible cause FireWire related - Never confirmed. Solution - Sold 828, got M-Audio FireWire Solo as temp interface. 2 years later still running fine, without a hick-up. Sold it to a friend, who is pleased as pie with the bargain.

2. PowerMac G5 - 8 months after installation, it refused to power up. Sent it of to Apple, informed me that the power supply was blown, and that there was some problems with one of the PCI-X- slots - The one with the 424 PCi card. Oh, and the card was dead, as well! Their analysis - Root cause was PCI card failure, which damaged PCI slot and blew out power supply.

In comparison, 2nd Mac G5 with RME HDSP 9652 - 1 year on - no problems...

And Apogee Ensemble - 3 or 4 months now with no problems - Still a bit early to tell (darn, need to find a piece of wood around here...!)

So, that's my sad tale. YMMV, of course. I'd rather just quit while I'm behind, and before I'm totally stike... I've hear of loads of people who are pleased as pie with Motu. To them, more power to your system!thumbsup

I'm still using my Motu Midi Express XT's, as well as a Motu FastLane for my HUI, and Motu Symphonic and Ethno... So, I'm not dumping on Motu as such, just not using them for "Mission Critical" items.

What did burn me was the slow turn-around time on repairing/replacing my 424 PCI card - almost 4 months!



Anton
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