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Sell most of outboard for a 5088?
Old 12th November 2009
  #1
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sfoote's Avatar
Sell most of outboard for a 5088?

So there is a 5088 for sale here (no penthouse) and that got me thinking. Should I sell most of my beloved outboard for it?

The reason why I think this is worthy of a new thread is because it presents the reality--that most people's gear lust is a tradeoff of limited resources. Perhaps this is a question of "outboard versus mixing board" too.

And heck, I'm a hobbyist. I love to record me and the band, and friends, but I'm nowhere near the league of most people here. Just have extra time and money for a fantastic hobby that I've dreamed of all my life.

So, I'm experiencing gearslut-itude. Itching for a change, perhaps?

If I sold off my Retro 176s, Sta-level, Aurora compressors and preamps, fatso, mc77s and a toft atb24 with meter bridge, and a guitar or two, I'd get close enough that I could afford that used RND 5088 (with no eqs and no meter bridge)

I'd be left with Protools HD with some sonnox and UAD plugs for EQ and compression (that's kind of a drag), outboard preamps from A-designs and API (not so bad), lynx and prism converters (very happy), a collection of mics that I'm keeping, Meyer HD1s -- and a lot of empty rack space. Guess I could sell some power conditioning stuff too.

I'm not unhappy with how things are sounding here. I've learned a ton. I'm finally starting to understand the Toft and it's sounding much better. Gain staging and cleaning up my sh8t house power were big helps. It's interesting, as I learn the toft better, there is less difference to my ear when I insert those Retro compressors. Retros still sound pretty darn fabulous, though, probably my favorite outboard purchase. But I do lust for a top notch mixing board.

Would it make a difference? Am I giving up too much? What would you do?
Old 12th November 2009
  #2
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The MPCist's Avatar
 

I think the 5088 is great but without EQ's, I dunno.... I might just keep what I had and wait a bit more... Sometimes it's not cuz we need it but more along the lines of we want it -- just do what will make you happy and enjoy doing music!
Old 12th November 2009
  #3
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tapehiss's Avatar
i feel personally that you could make better recordings now with those tools than limiting yourself to a nice board and plugins.

if you put some money into modding you toft, you'll have nothing holding you back.

have you looked into the jim williams mods from audio upgrades?
Old 12th November 2009
  #4
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As Walter Sear puts it: all you need is a good microphone that suits the source, a good desk and a recorder. All the rest is known as "correctional devices".
Old 12th November 2009
  #5
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPeters86 View Post
As Walter Sear puts it: all you need is a good microphone that suits the source, a good desk and a recorder. All the rest is known as "correctional devices".
For some genres and recording styles this is absolutely true. Acoustic music especially.

But, as I'm sure you know, there are other styles where the outboard is more central to the creative process.

I don't know what sfoote is doing, musically, but there are some genres that I would not want to tackle without a stack of racks. YMMV.
Old 12th November 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSM Interactive View Post
For some genres and recording styles this is absolutely true. Acoustic music especially.

But, as I'm sure you know, there are other styles where the outboard is more central to the creative process.

I don't know what sfoote is doing, musically, but there are some genres that I would not want to tackle without a stack of racks. YMMV.
I agree
Old 12th November 2009
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

I would suggest you take a 16 channel mix, and simply put up the faders. That should tell you a great deal about what you'll be able to achieve.

PM me if there's any additional information that I can send you.

Best,

Josh
Old 12th November 2009
  #8
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
avoid the impulse.just wait and save up instead of taking a bath on selling your stuff and eventually re buying it later.
I personally really like the Rupert console but selling your stuff and using only that and plugs is a sideways step if you ask me.
the basic console is not a color mojo box.it has its own color but on the cleaner side
imo the real stuff happens when your using the vibey outboard stuff through the consoles channels,auxes,busses and all its wonderful headroom,depth and width.
Old 12th November 2009
  #9
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
A console without EQ is like a car with no doors. It might get you there, but.....

I'd say keep the outboard. You'll sustain a heavy loss if you sell them in this market. Good consoles are a dime a dozen. Maybe not a RND, but there are many great options out there.
Old 12th November 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
Keep the outboard - period. Retro compressors are a wonderful sound that the Neve 5043 do not cover.

Do you really think your sound is going to be all that much better with the Neve? I tend to doubt the difference will be all that earth shattering.

I's love to hear a blind shoot out. Absolutely would love it!
Old 12th November 2009
  #11
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GYang's Avatar
Depending on price.
If you can get 5088 for price of 5 comps, one preamp and rather uninteresting mixer I would pick it, as quality of summing path would make good fundament for making nice mixes. Later you would still need at least 2-3 good outboards (there are many nice used gears offered nowdays).
Old 12th November 2009
  #12
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Lee Cardan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
Do you really think your sound is going to be all that much better with the Neve? I tend to doubt the difference will be all that earth shattering.
I just sold most of my outboard to afford an MCI 500 console, MCI 2" 24 track, and 1961 EMT plate reverb. Just on playback, without EQ, without compression (lol because I have none) BIG difference. HUGE difference

and in a very, very, very good way
Old 12th November 2009
  #13
Gear Addict
 
sfoote's Avatar
Thanks all. I think I've been talked back from the edge. The lack of EQs is the big problem with this line of thinking for me. Twiddling like a profools is something I'm glad I don't do anymore. It's a lot easier to get a good sound for me with a board.

The attraction was

1) moving up to the big leagues with a better board in an attempt to replicate my last experience -- from nothing to an ATB. That was a religious experience. I found God and God was OTB.

2) an attempt to simplify. Things sound good here (I'm acoustic singer songwriter with a band, so it's more on the acoustic side of things than those fantastic mixes you guys do and I only dream of having time and talent for). I've got enough really great gear and not enough talent to use it (though improving). I'd love a simpler setup and just: hit record, perform, stop and be 80% of the way instead of perhaps 60%.

The 1608 is out of range for me until used ones start appearing (or I strip it of its EQs, but then I'm in the same boat as a 5088 line mixer). Plus, I find the API 3124 to be too mid-rangey or something for me. Is the board similar?

Used boards will eventually be suggested in this thread. That fails the simplification test for me, as I don't want to play tech (or have to call, pay, and babysit one)

MAYBE I'll consider some mods. The Toft sounds OK, and will sound better after I chase down this f&*#in buzzing. I bought an equitech, but that no helpy.

I think I'll sit tight and just keep writing, playing, and recording. That will make everything sound better eventually.

This gearslutz board really does rock. You all have no idea how much I've learned about gear, recording, and mixing from you. You have made me sound better.

Sean
Old 12th November 2009
  #14
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sfoote's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Cardan View Post
I just sold most of my outboard to afford an MCI 500 console, MCI 2" 24 track, and 1961 EMT plate reverb. Just on playback, without EQ, without compression (lol because I have none) BIG difference. HUGE difference

and in a very, very, very good way
Cool!
Old 12th November 2009
  #15
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Kronos147's Avatar
I feel for people going through these questions. I too struggled long and hard trying to figure out what 'mixing/playback' only console was right for me. In the end when I found what I got, it was far cheaper than what I expected.

I might be in a different situation though, having the outboard mic pres that I wanted and not needing a tracking/mixing board. But if someone is in my situation, you may choose to look at what broadcast mixers are available.

I ended up with a Wheatstone TV-600. I have spoken to two people in the last 30 days that went that same route.

Food for thought.
Old 12th November 2009
  #16
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cdog's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoote View Post
used RND 5088 (with no eqs and no meter bridge)
Thats fail unless you have a huge rack of 500 series EQs and comps
Old 12th November 2009
  #17
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoote View Post
I found God and God was OTB.
Sean, while I too have found that God is OTB in a metaphysical way, I'm 98% sure He's ITB when it comes to making music. thumbsup heh As always, YMMV. And from what I've heard, copper (and therefore wire) is going to be skyrocketing in the next couple of years.
Old 12th November 2009
  #18
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoote View Post
after I chase down this f&*#in buzzing. I bought an equitech, but that no helpy.
Without a PROPER install, ANY console will be full of f&*#in buzzing. A good analog install costs serious coin. A good 48 channel analog console, with full outboard, PT and an analog deck could easily run you $20-30k dependiing.
Old 13th November 2009
  #19
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sfoote's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPeters86 View Post
As Walter Sear puts it: all you need is a good microphone that suits the source, a good desk and a recorder. All the rest is known as "correctional devices".
I woke up this morning thinking about this. When I got a meterbridge for the Toft, I realized I had been overdriving the channels. When I was, the Retros were really cleaning up the sound and making it beautiful, much like a "correctional device".

Then, when driving the Toft correctly, it sounded pretty darn good, and the improvement from inserting the Retros was a lot less.

So, thanks for that.
Sean
Old 13th November 2009
  #20
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoote View Post
I woke up this morning thinking about this. When I got a meterbridge for the Toft, I realized I had been overdriving the channels. When I was, the Retros were really cleaning up the sound and making it beautiful, much like a "correctional device".

Then, when driving the Toft correctly, it sounded pretty darn good, and the improvement from inserting the Retros was a lot less.

So, thanks for that.
Sean
Interesting comment - but it's entirely unclear what conclusion you reached - if any.

Did you conclude that the Toft doesn't really have the headroom for what you would like to do with it? Did you conclude that you don't need the Retros now that you don't need "correction" after overdriving the Toft channels? Or did you conclude that you don't need the 5088 now that you are coaxing more satisfying sounds from the Toft? Or... ???
Old 13th November 2009
  #21
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoote View Post
I woke up this morning thinking about this. When I got a meterbridge for the Toft, I realized I had been overdriving the channels. When I was, the Retros were really cleaning up the sound and making it beautiful, much like a "correctional device".

Then, when driving the Toft correctly, it sounded pretty darn good, and the improvement from inserting the Retros was a lot less.

So, thanks for that.
Sean
How does the retro clean up distorted audio? Not to be an a$$, but come on.
Old 13th November 2009
  #22
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
How does the retro clean up distorted audio? Not to be an a$$, but come on.
Well, yes
Old 13th November 2009
  #23
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sfoote's Avatar
I'm not sure I reached any conclusions. It was really more of a "that's an interesting learning". Those learnings were 1) the Toft doesn't like to be in the red 2) The Retro compression made that driving in the red sound better versus no Retro compression, and 3) the Retro compression was a less noticeable improvement when I wasn't overdriving the Toft. Thus, the reflections (in my sleep apparently) about "everything else is correction tools". (No a$$-ness taken, I understand you're questioning. I overstated the point. It's not "cleaning up", but it was "improving")

I appreciate the thoughts on a good install and it's improvement on buzzing. I should check that out. I had previously noticed that the buzzing seems to build and change over the course of the day -- which had made me think it's my neighbors turning on their washing machines or something. More contemplation needed there.

I guess part of those late night thoughts was that I may be needing the outboard less than I used to to get good sound, which then led to thinking about trading it all in on some new goodie -- an extreme solution. I've been stable in the studio for a year, and I started dreamin' of new/different stuff without spending more dough on what is an enjoyable but expensive hobby.

It is an interesting question overall, though. Which is better? outboard vs. board board? So far, the posts lean towards:

(good outboard + average board) > (0 outboard + great board)
Old 13th November 2009
  #24
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoote View Post
It's not "cleaning up", but it was "improving"
Now, THAT I can understand. thumbsup


Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoote View Post
(good outboard + average board) > (0 outboard + great board)

I'd agree. Who is a better contractor. A guy with the greatest table saw in the world and no nail guns. Or a guy who has an "OK" table saw and a bevy of nail guns? I know who I'd be using.
Old 13th November 2009
  #25
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
A console without EQ is like a car with no doors.
So it'd be like Fantasy Island.

Client: "Um, where are the EQ's?"

Mr. Rourke: "Smiles everyone, SMILES!"


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
Old 13th November 2009
  #26
Gear Addict
 
sfoote's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Who is a better contractor. A guy with the greatest table saw in the world and no nail guns. Or a guy who has an "OK" table saw and a bevy of nail guns? I know who I'd be using.
Great, now I'm going to dream of table saws. Good analogy.
Old 14th November 2009
  #27
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
So it'd be like Fantasy Island.

Client: "Um, where are the EQ's?"

Mr. Rourke: "Smiles everyone, SMILES!"


Gregory Scott - ubk
.



I needed a smile today!
Old 14th November 2009
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoote View Post
It is an interesting question overall, though. Which is better? outboard vs. board board? So far, the posts lean towards:

(good outboard + average board) > (0 outboard + great board)
It depends who you ask and what you do for a living.

For the right console to me its a no brainer about selling some outboard. Actually i did it earlier this year and don't even bother looking back. The increase in speed, sonics and the pleasure i get every time i walk into my room, sit down at my board and pull up a mix and get instantly to work is priceless. Going on now 23 years in audio i can easily tell you that the opportunity to buy outboard will always be there. I've found that there will always be a gear seller who is either fickle or mercurial, in financial desperation or always in pursuit of his "sound" that will never exist, that if you wait things out the gear you want at a good price will appear. You can't go by things that go on the forumn because alot of times its just one thin slice of perspective in a specific situation. Like porn sites, movies and mags.

Real & everyday studio life is just not like that.
Old 14th November 2009
  #29
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Thrill, you were sweating that console choice for a longass time! What did you end up getting?


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
Old 14th November 2009
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Thrill, you were sweating that console choice for a longass time! What did you end up getting?


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
SSL.

Went with in the end what i know best.

Saw the writing on the wall on the current offerings & didn't like what i saw. There really is nothing that has everything i need for the price. I knew that if i didn't do it now i would never get another chance with what the music business has become. Got a great deal on one and made the push. Sold my Neve mic pres, one of my pair of Distressors, a couple of other things & paid the rest out of pocket. Have had the best time this year when mixing on it.

I kept what i felt is more essential to my way of working. These days its more a "less is more" do everything on the console, AW style of working.
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