First up, I'm new to the board, so hello everyone! My name is Rick and I run a modest Pro Tools based studio in the wilds of Dorset, UK. We mainly do guitar bands - rock / punk / metal that kind of thing.
The 'new gear for a new year' bug has bitten me hard this year and I NEED to buy something. I have some relatively (I said it was MODEST studio ) nice front end already - I bring drums / guitars most things in through a TL Audio M3 Tube Trakker, a focusrite red 6 for vocals with a distressor and UA 2-1176, and a focusrite red 3 for compression. I really lust after some sexy channel strips. Something that'll be lush on guitars and bass. I'm thinking an API 7600...maybe an Amek CIB. Something dark and moody to contrast with the nice (some might say bland) TL / Focusrite stuff. I'm kinda tempted by the Toft ATC-2 because it's great value and I get a couple of extra compressors thrown in, but I read here the pre-amps are shite...maybe no more shite than the TL M3's though?
I still bring in all audio though 888 | 24's. (Boo! Hiss!)
Everyone knows that a/d convertors are the most boring bits of audio equipment you can buy , and as such don't really satisfy true 'gear lust'. But am I being stupid even considering buying channel strips when I could get some Apogee convertors?
The sensible part of me KNOWS it should be the convertors, but I keep trying to kid myself that maybe my clients would hear more difference in the better strips? Is this bollocks coming from a crazed and clouded brain?
If you think I should buy a strip, which of that lot would be better for moody and mean rock GTs / basses if any?
something dark and moody to contrast with what you have? api is not dark and moody, if anything it's forward and smooth.
i'm thinking you'd love a great river nv or phoenix drs. they're moody, they're not so much dark as thick, so if you want them dark just roll a little high off. but you'll love the highs so much you probably won't do that.
How about the Neve 1073 DPA? Gives you Apogee standard conversion and 2 great pres for the type of music you are recording.
Clean option of the above would be the Amek (Neve) DMCL with A/D. This is a much cleaner sound but also gives you linkable dynamics and filter section. Also, can be picked up for peanuts at the moment.
The Neve is definitely a good option. It would be the 1073 DPD, though, to get the conversion. the 1073 DPA is without the A/D conversion. Would the 1073 DPA allow you to compress (using a separate compressor) between the preamp and the converter?
I suggest that you get a Preamp and a new Word Clock Generator. I would Suggest the Mytek Studio Clock 192CX. It only costs around $1000. That would give you the ability to upgrade your pre's and converters at the same time. For the pre I would say try an Avalon 737 SP, or Millennia STT-1.
Another option would be the Mytek Stereo 96 ($1000). That would give you two channels of high quality converters, plus a now word clock to up grade the rest of your system.
most suggestions will be along the line of a moody pre.
i have a DACS Clarity and a high end moody tube mic (among others). The results are amazing. The DACS records the detail of the mic. Also when the singer regardless of music style has an amazing voice - a clear mic and the DACS records it with stunning results that cuts through in most mixes. For instrument recording the DACS is something that should not be missed.
if your clients are happy with your current product (from your equipment list) the DACS vs the DAD converters would be the least expensive for a dramatic sound change.
of course, i could be completely wrong - your ears rule!
Originally Posted by The Milkman
No not yet - just googled them though and they sound like an interesting option, I'll have to find out who distributes them here in the UK...thanks, Rob!
My problem is I can probably only afford either a preamp / or convertors not both. Which do you think will make the most appreciable (i.e. clients noticing) improvement in the sound I'm getting?
Everyone seems to recommend the Great River pre, Gregoire - sounds like you're a fan, but are they so audiophile that it would be sacrilege pumping such a lush sound through the crunchy 888 | 24's?