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Studio gear investment from scratch. Dynamic Microphones
Old 2nd December 2010
  #1
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Studio gear install from scratch.

So this post is about getting opinions from seasoned engineers about a quite big gear buy and install about to be made in a month or two. The project is to fully install a non-commercial recording studio from scratch with a €60.000 budget. Here are different goals of the project, without detailing everything precisely :

- provide amateur musicians recording services.

- provide amateur engineers recording techniques teaching and knowledge of gear not likely to be found in run-o-the-mill home-studios, but classic pro studio gear.

- It's an associative non-profit structure.

- The focus has been placed first on recording/tracking, not mixing, as a first step. Future developments are planned for later.

- Versatility is paramount to the project.

- Gear has to be standard, classic studio equipment, not obscure tweaked boutique brands.

- Reaper will be used as the recording software so that people can take the projects home and continue to work back and forth without having to buy costly Protools/Samplitude/Cubase etc.

The rooms are already build and fully treated acoustically. There is a control room and two recording spaces, one big and one small.

So here is the proposed gear list, still in discussion. All gear has to be new, not used or vintage. Some prices come from a well known online gear seller, other are rough estimates. All comments are welcome concerning the gear choice. What would you change if given the choice, within the intended budget, trying to fit the aforementionned conditions ?


PC computer (TBD) €2000
SSL Alphalink Madi SX €2222
RME HDSPe MADI PCIe €1089
SSL Nucleus control surface €4200

TOTAL digital section €9511


Audient ASP008 X2 €1958
API 3124+ €2649
AMS Neve 1073 DPA €2199
Chandler Germanium + PSU1 €1501
TubeTech MP1A €2516

TOTAL preamps €10823


Audient Centro €1279
Focal Twin 6BE €2444
Rane HC6 X2 €1070
Beyer DT-770 X8 €1328
JBL Compact5 €266
ART SL1 X2 €554

TOTAL Talkback/CUE/Monitoring €6941

Neumann U87ai + EA87 €2555
Schoeps CMC64 X2 €2550
Josephson C42mp X2 €950
Beyer MC930 X2 €649
Oktava MK-012 MSP6 €435
Royer R121 X2 €2390
Beyer M160 X2 €836
AKG C414 XLII X2 €2111
Shure SM57 X4 €436
Shure SM7B X2 €776
Sennheiser MD421 X2 €732
Sennheiser MD441 X2 €1732
AKG D112 €138
ElectroVoice RE-20 €458

TOTAL microphones €16748

H&K Red Box Classic X2 €154
SansAmp Bass Driver DI €239
Radial Eng Reamp kit €388
K&M mic hardware €1500
Zoom H4N €322
Wall boxes €3000
Control room cabling €3000
Video link €3203
furnitures (seats/desk etc.) €3800
Tools (various) €1000

TOTAL Infra €16606


GRAND TOTAL €60629
Old 3rd December 2010
  #2
Without going through every detail in depth the two things I see right off the bat that I would change are:

1. Don't buy a PC get a Mac Pro

2. Don't go MADI unless you are doing live sound and need all those inputs. The jitter spec is slightly worse than AES/EBU and the Lynx Aurora16 with the AES16e card is a fantastic combination that is also highly flexible.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #3
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nukmusic's Avatar
 

There are so many ways of doing the same thing. (making music). Yes, best advance would be to stick with classic gear combos that has worked. You can check the gear list of the studios in your area and see what gear they all have in common. Amateurs can learn the basics then explore uncommon combos later. Sometimes the used gear market is a good option.

SSL Nucleus only has one monitor control. You have two sets of monitors. At that price, make sure its what you need/want. Reaper over Protools in a teaching atmosphere... I disagree on that one especially with PT9 now on the market. But if Reaper is more commonly used in your area, go for it. I would also rethink the headphone choice. Amateurs and expensive headphones don't mix. heh Headphones may be one of the items that you may repair/replace often. Mac/PC..either way as long as the software works correctly. Mac Pro might have the edge because you can run a dual boot. Buy Mac Pros also cost more.

I'd trim the fat by 10-15% to leave yourself cash for unexpected things. You should also have someone check/adjust your acoustics once the monitors are in place. You need to hear whats really going on in the recording stage as well as the mixing stage. Good luck.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #4
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JoaT's Avatar
Not to start a flame war but I disagree with Kittonian. If the goal is to provide a setup where people can track at the studio and continue at their home computers, definitely stick with a PC. Mac might be (or might not be) better for the pro studio work, but PC is the dominant platform at homes and you are better off sticking with that. Also, I'm not even certain how is it with Mac & Reaper nowadays..
Old 3rd December 2010
  #5
Deleted #157546
Guest
Yeah, your shooting yourself in the foot....imoo....by choosing reaper. I wouldn't be spending that much and then interfacing it with a cheap DAW. You need something that is quick and easy to use. I've used Reaper and it's NOT anywhere close to Pro Tools or Cubase.

As far as taking stuff home....

Just give your clients the audio files. Write complete files and your clients can drop them into whatever DAW they use.

More versatile that way.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Luminous View Post

PC computer (TBD) €2000
SSL Alphalink Madi SX €2222
RME HDSPe MADI PCIe €1089
SSL Nucleus control surface €4200

TOTAL digital section €9511


Audient ASP008 X2 €1958
API 3124+ €2649
AMS Neve 1073 DPA €2199
Chandler Germanium + PSU1 €1501
TubeTech MP1A €2516

TOTAL preamps €10823


Audient Centro €1279
Focal Twin 6BE €2444
Rane HC6 X2 €1070
Beyer DT-770 X8 €1328
JBL Compact5 €266
ART SL1 X2 €554

TOTAL Talkback/CUE/Monitoring €6941

Neumann U87ai + EA87 €2555
Schoeps CMC64 X2 €2550
Josephson C42mp X2 €950
Beyer MC930 X2 €649
Oktava MK-012 MSP6 €435
Royer R121 X2 €2390
Beyer M160 X2 €836
AKG C414 XLII X2 €2111
Shure SM57 X4 €436
Shure SM7B X2 €776
Sennheiser MD421 X2 €732
Sennheiser MD441 X2 €1732
AKG D112 €138
ElectroVoice RE-20 €458

TOTAL microphones €16748

H&K Red Box Classic X2 €154
SansAmp Bass Driver DI €239
Radial Eng Reamp kit €388
K&M mic hardware €1500
Zoom H4N €322
Wall boxes €3000
Control room cabling €3000
Video link €3203
furnitures (seats/desk etc.) €3800
Tools (various) €1000

TOTAL Infra €16606


GRAND TOTAL €60629
I would personally recommend you squeeze an outboard reverb in there as reverb VST plugs aren't really that great.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #7
Lives for gear
Studio gear investment from scratch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoaT
Not to start a flame war but I disagree with Kittonian. If the goal is to provide a setup where people can track at the studio and continue at their home computers, definitely stick with a PC. Mac might be (or might not be) better for the pro studio work, but PC is the dominant platform at homes and you are better off sticking with that. Also, I'm not even certain how is it with Mac & Reaper nowadays..
Do you know you can install windows xp/7 in Mac pro and all other MacBook series as well?
Old 3rd December 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoaT View Post
Not to start a flame war but I disagree with Kittonian. If the goal is to provide a setup where people can track at the studio and continue at their home computers, definitely stick with a PC. Mac might be (or might not be) better for the pro studio work, but PC is the dominant platform at homes and you are better off sticking with that. Also, I'm not even certain how is it with Mac & Reaper nowadays..
You can run Reaper in OS X or Windows; so my choice would be a high-spec Mac Pro with Windows and OS X boot drives. Take your pic when booting up based on what the end user has.

I don't know if the USA is vastly different to the UK but here, most musicians and certainly engineers own macs.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Additionally, there seem to be huge gaps in the list. There don't appear to be any plugins OR outboard for a start. I would take out some of the more 'specialist' mics if it's largely an 'educational' studio and replace with some compression, EQ and reverb on the outboard front, or a Waves bundle (everyone loves the SSL bundle). I would probably lose the 441s and the Royers off the list.

The Nucleus is an expensive way to do a reasonably simple task. It's a big mouse.

In your situation, the new A&H Zed R24 really might be a recommendable product. You'd get the control surface (replaces Nucleus. Control Surface doesn't need to be SSL, no audio process), 24 mic amps (not the best sounding but useful to have some), 24 EQs (pretty nice), and Control Room section. Also acts as 24ch FW Interface if you so desire.

And don't bother with MADI. MADI, when you're running an 80-channel live show, with multiple desks, is great. When you're running through the wall of the studio, it's just not worth the money and effort (and jitter) for the sake of having to put less wires through the wall.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #10
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Aisle 6's Avatar
The heading is interesting...studio gear...and investment. I hope to hell that you do not really consider it an investment. There are many other ways that will outstrip a studio. Not saying don't do it, but do not do it for an investment.

That said, and educational facility should have Pro Tools. Reaper is a very good program but not what I would call required learning at this time. Certainly a good recommendation for the student s to own to have a cheap DAW at home. But at the school...Pro Tools or Pro Tools and Reaper.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Luminous View Post
- Gear has to be standard, classic studio equipment, not obscure tweaked boutique brands.

- Reaper will be used as the recording software so that people can take the projects home and continue to work back and forth without having to buy costly Protools/Samplitude/Cubase etc.
Right there, those two statements are in conflict!

Reaper costs nothing, or almost nothing, but you will still need to have both Logic and ProTools. No ifs and no buts, if you really want to teach people something and are not just filling out a crazy wish-list!

Also, you could well afford to loose the Nucleus. Like the man said, it's just a mouse.

There seems to be a great deal of looking through catalogues and websites and saying "Ooo, that looks nice, I'll have one!" in your list. About half of what you have listed is nonsense and you are missing vital equipment, like a desk, proper foldback and good monitors.

Of your list, I would keep about two-thirds of the mics and the Alphalink and chuck out ALL the rest and get some bog-standard studio equipment, so that students actually learn something.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
Without going through every detail in depth the two things I see right off the bat that I would change are:

1. Don't buy a PC get a Mac Pro
I will consider that. It is still in discussion. I chose specifically a PC because I will be the main technical responsible for running all the gear and I know the Windows platform much better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
2. Don't go MADI unless you are doing live sound and need all those inputs. The jitter spec is slightly worse than AES/EBU and the Lynx Aurora16 with the AES16e card is a fantastic combination that is also highly flexible.
We plan to record live shows a few times a year that will take place just outside the studio. I didn't know jitter was a problem with MADI. It there really an audible degradation using MADI over AES with a given converter ?
Old 3rd December 2010
  #13
Gear interested
 

Some ideas...

mac pro w logic

Lynx aurora

Crane Song Avocet

4ch GML preamps, 4 ch api preamps, 8ch. (Geoff Tanner) neve preamps

(buy 2nd hand..)
(60% of your original list has no resale value)
Old 3rd December 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 
jindrich's Avatar
 

What The Byre said.

You need first and foremost the meat and potatoes of a standard studio, which is a big, good sounding live+control room and a proper 24ch console.

Make sure your rooms are big enough and well ventilated and that they sound right, not with auralex add-ons but by building the standard studio cage with insulation.

Then get a proper console like the Audient ASP-8024, which fits your budget. Then add PT and Logic running on a MacPro with the SSL alphalink, a decent set of mics (neumann, AEA, gefell, schoeps, Beyer) plus a comprehensive headphone sound mixing/distribution for no less than 8 people.

Forget everything else, it's just marketing from manufacturers that want you to believe you'll get "Hit Factory Studios" results by buying their latest gizmo.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nukmusic View Post
There are so many ways of doing the same thing. (making music). Yes, best advance would be to stick with classic gear combos that has worked. You can check the gear list of the studios in your area and see what gear they all have in common. Amateurs can learn the basics then explore uncommon combos later. Sometimes the used gear market is a good option.
I have some experience in studio gear and I know several studios in the area so that was taken into consideration. I also have a project studio in my home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nukmusic View Post
SSL Nucleus only has one monitor control. You have two sets of monitors. At that price, make sure its what you need/want.
I included an Audient Centro in the list for all cues/monitoring purposes. The monitoring section of the Nucleus will likely not be used or eventually fed into the Centro. The Nucleus was chosen both for control surface (over a Mackie MCU) and also for the two included preamps and soundcard for quickie "in control room recording" when the two tracking rooms are busy with rehearsals or music lessons. A user can bring a laptop and plug the Nucleus USB and start recording vocals or acoustic guitar quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nukmusic View Post
Reaper over Protools in a teaching atmosphere... I disagree on that one especially with PT9 now on the market. But if Reaper is more commonly used in your area, go for it. I would also rethink the headphone choice. Amateurs and expensive headphones don't mix. heh Headphones may be one of the items that you may repair/replace often. Mac/PC..either way as long as the software works correctly. Mac Pro might have the edge because you can run a dual boot. Buy Mac Pros also cost more.
Ok, you are not the first one to tell me about Protools 9. I need to consider buying the thing. I personaly always used Samplitude and Cubase in my various projects (in semi-pro environment, not big commercial studios).

Quote:
Originally Posted by nukmusic View Post
I'd trim the fat by 10-15% to leave yourself cash for unexpected things. You should also have someone check/adjust your acoustics once the monitors are in place. You need to hear whats really going on in the recording stage as well as the mixing stage. Good luck.
There is still cash for unexpected things, that has been planned. The acoustic is not adjusted for the specific monitors I chose but I already did some test and the control room seems to work very well. Jean-Pierre Lafont (same guy from Lafont console) did all the acoustic treatment. Thanks for all the advices !
Old 3rd December 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoaT View Post
Not to start a flame war but I disagree with Kittonian. If the goal is to provide a setup where people can track at the studio and continue at their home computers, definitely stick with a PC. Mac might be (or might not be) better for the pro studio work, but PC is the dominant platform at homes and you are better off sticking with that. Also, I'm not even certain how is it with Mac & Reaper nowadays..
Yeah that was exactly my reasoning but I may well be wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayvo86 View Post
Yeah, your shooting yourself in the foot....imoo....by choosing reaper. I wouldn't be spending that much and then interfacing it with a cheap DAW. You need something that is quick and easy to use. I've used Reaper and it's NOT anywhere close to Pro Tools or Cubase.

As far as taking stuff home....

Just give your clients the audio files. Write complete files and your clients can drop them into whatever DAW they use.

More versatile that way.
I'm more and more considering Protools 9 since several people told me it was great and easy to use. It is also the pro studio standard. It just bothers me that the actual users wopn't be able to save mix projects to take them home but maybe it's no that important.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyage.One View Post
I would personally recommend you squeeze an outboard reverb in there as reverb VST plugs aren't really that great.
Which one would you advise ? I personaly like the Lexicon sound. But what I read is that the latest Lexicon offering is kinda dodgy when interfacing with the computer. Bricasti is a bit out of budget and maybe overkill. The thing must be new and fully warranted. I'd buy a used Lexicon 300 for my personal project studio but I cannot do that here.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
Additionally, there seem to be huge gaps in the list. There don't appear to be any plugins OR outboard for a start. I would take out some of the more 'specialist' mics if it's largely an 'educational' studio and replace with some compression, EQ and reverb on the outboard front, or a Waves bundle (everyone loves the SSL bundle). I would probably lose the 441s and the Royers off the list.
My reasoning was to spend the most money in durable things like mics and preamps and the least in expendable things like plugins or daw software as it is outdated quickly and worth nothing a year after they're out. The whole project is planned to last a long time, at least 10 years or more so I thought about building the walls before decorating the interior if you know what I mean. Also, the variety of mics was intended to teach aspiring amateur engineers to know and use all kind of different mics, large/small diaphragm, dynamic, ribbon, cardioid/omni/figure eight etc. from various brands.

Also, the emphasis has been placed first on recording/tracking before mixing, though it is also planned to expand that side. As a first step, I thought about using Reaper and free VST plugs so that people using the studio could bring their projects home and find the exact same mixing config at home. Maybe it is a wrong approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
The Nucleus is an expensive way to do a reasonably simple task. It's a big mouse.
What other control surface would you recommend ? A Mackie MCU with 2 extension isn't that far from the Nucleus pricewise. The Nucleus also offer 2 SSL preamps and integrated soundcard so that quick recording sessions can take place in the control room without firing up the whole system or unplugging racked pres from the tracking rooms wiring looms, as I explained in a post above.


Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
And don't bother with MADI. MADI, when you're running an 80-channel live show, with multiple desks, is great. When you're running through the wall of the studio, it's just not worth the money and effort (and jitter) for the sake of having to put less wires through the wall.
MADI won't run thru the walls, just between the PCIe soundcard and alphalink. All the "thru-the-wall" cabling is already installed. There is 24 mic lines and 8 foldbacks, 2 midi and also speakons etc... I thought about MADI with the Alphalink for ease of cabling and also I want all the pres to stay plugged in at all time. It leaves room for adding outboard later. All the routing will be done inside the DAW. It's comfy to have 64 in/out. You're the second person in this thread associating MADI with jitter. I've never heard of this before (I've got no experience with MADI either). Is that a serious problem ?
Old 3rd December 2010
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aisle 6 View Post
The heading is interesting...studio gear...and investment. I hope to hell that you do not really consider it an investment. There are many other ways that will outstrip a studio. Not saying don't do it, but do not do it for an investment.

That said, and educational facility should have Pro Tools. Reaper is a very good program but not what I would call required learning at this time. Certainly a good recommendation for the student s to own to have a cheap DAW at home. But at the school...Pro Tools or Pro Tools and Reaper.
Protools 9 and Reaper seem like a good solution.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #20
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G-Spot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
What The Byre said.

You need first and foremost the meat and potatoes of a standard studio, which is a big, good sounding live+control room and a proper 24ch console.

Make sure your rooms are big enough and well ventilated and that they sound right, not with auralex add-ons but by building the standard studio cage with insulation.

Then get a proper console like the Audient ASP-8024, which fits your budget. Then add PT and Logic running on a MacPro with the SSL alphalink, a decent set of mics (neumann, AEA, gefell, schoeps, Beyer) plus a comprehensive headphone sound distribution for no less than 8 people.

Forget everything else, it's just marketing from manufacturers that want you to believe you'll get "Hit Factory Studios" results by buying their latest gizmo.
Exactly that and what Byre said.
The only thing to add is that I find the U87Ai to be too expensive for the purpose (and sound actually... yes, I have one).
In that frame (teaching recording/tracking) a AT4047 will do a very nice job. I'm not comparing it with the U87Ai, I'm just saying that it fits the purpose and saves you more money for the ASP-8024 (I also have one) heh. The routing capabilities in this desk and i/o are amazing, its EQ is much more than just usable, and you get a Buss compressor to play with (but not that great ). You really learn the steps with this desk.

Nucleus? hummm... If you need an "extended mouse", I would get a old Command 8 or something similar and have at the side of the desk. Or actually an iPad with some app to control the DAW, right at the desk...

Get the older AKG414, the new XL-II is really too hyped in the highs (I had one and sold it). Have also a look to the AKG 214. It is only the "half" of a AKG414 (no membrane on the back side) but it is not hyped in the highs, and sounds great. Get some Audix mics (i5 and D6) as well.

Logic and/or ProTools and Cubase are a must. You can't ignore them in the frame of recording. PC or MAC? First define the software and hardware interface platform and then decide.
From what I have experienced in the past I would say: Cubase with PC, ProTools with MAC.

I would also think in having basic amps and instruments like an Orange Tiny Terror, some nice but cheap cabs like a marshall 1960 TV, a Harley Benton 212 with Celestions V30 (at Thomann.de), a 4x10 for bass, and Epiphone Les Paul, a Stratocaster, a Fender P-Bass, some valve pre-amp like an Ampeg SVT DI, Mesa boggie V-Twin, and basic a Drum set (like a Yamaha Gigmaker with the 22" kick). You can (teach to) get great sounds with that unexpensive and simple equipment. Your students will be pleased to see what you can do without spending zillions.

Good luck and post photos!!!
Old 3rd December 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
Right there, those two statements are in conflict!

Reaper costs nothing, or almost nothing, but you will still need to have both Logic and ProTools. No ifs and no buts, if you really want to teach people something and are not just filling out a crazy wish-list!
It is not a crazy wish list or a rethorical question as the money is about to be spent and I'm the one who devised the list. It's not my money but the responsability is big.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
Also, you could well afford to loose the Nucleus. Like the man said, it's just a mouse.
People here seem to dislike the Nucleus LOL. What would be a good control surface ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
There seems to be a great deal of looking through catalogues and websites and saying "Ooo, that looks nice, I'll have one!" in your list. About half of what you have listed is nonsense and you are missing vital equipment, like a desk, proper foldback and good monitors.
Ok, that is interesting. The choice has been made first to avoid using a desk and to center the studio around a ouboard preamps/converters, a computer and a control surface. Maybe it's a bad choice but I think it's the future of recording. I love me a big vintage analog desk but it was not possible/feasible in the context of the project IMHO.

What is nonsense in my list ? Could you detail precisely if you have some time ? I'm really looking for useful advice. Doesn't the Audient Centro/Focal Twin/Rane HC6/Beyer headphones constitutes a proper monitoring/foldback system ? How would you do it differently?


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
Of your list, I would keep about two-thirds of the mics and the Alphalink and chuck out ALL the rest and get some bog-standard studio equipment, so that students actually learn something.
If you could PM me a corrected proposal, it would be great !
Old 3rd December 2010
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
What The Byre said.

You need first and foremost the meat and potatoes of a standard studio, which is a big, good sounding live+control room and a proper 24ch console.
Make sure your rooms are big enough and well ventilated and that they sound right, not with auralex add-ons but by building the standard studio cage with insulation.

Then get a proper console like the Audient ASP-8024, which fits your budget. Then add PT and Logic running on a MacPro with the SSL alphalink, a decent set of mics (neumann, AEA, gefell, schoeps, Beyer) plus a comprehensive headphone sound mixing/distribution for no less than 8 people.

Forget everything else, it's just marketing from manufacturers that want you to believe you'll get "Hit Factory Studios" results by buying their latest gizmo.

There is a proper control room and two live rooms with good acoustic treatment and ventilation already in place so that is covered. As I said in a previous post, a well known pro acoustician (JP Lafont) has designed and built the entire studio from scratch. I'm not sure about the console though. How's that mandatory ? My feeling is that apart some very big structures with huge automated Neve or API consoles, tracking is done nowadays with outboard preamps and mixing ITB. Am I wrong with that ? It's the case in the majority of studios in my area.

I thought my mic selection was quite decent. What mics would you lose from my list ? What would you add ?

Also, I thing the Audient Centro/Rane 8 mic amps/Beyer headphones was a more than proper monitoring/cue/headphone system. You're the second one in this thread that seems to think it wouldn't fit. Could you explain why exactly ?
Old 3rd December 2010
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Spot View Post
Exactly that and what Byre said.
The only thing to add is that I find the U87Ai to be too expensive for its purpose (and sound actually... yes, I have one).
In that frame (recording/tracking) a AT4047 will do a very nice job. I'm not comparing it with the U87Ai, I'm just saying that it fits the purpose and saves you more money for the ASP-8024 (I also have one) heh. The routing capabilities in this desk and i/o are amazing, its EQ is much more than just usable, and you get a Buss compressor to play with (but not that great ). You really learn the steps with this desk.
I chose the U87ai because it is a widely used mic around here likely to be found in almost every studio. It's a kinda "standard", more so than the AT4047. But I will consider it. The mic list is not written in stone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Spot View Post
Nucleos? hummm... If you need an "extended mouse", I would get a old Command 8 or something similar and have at the side of the desk. Or actually an iPad with some app to control the DAW, right at the desk...
LOL everyone seems to hate the Nucleus for some reason. I cannot buy a used Command 8 as everything needs to be new. I don't want an Ipad but real faders at least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Spot View Post
Get the older AKG414, the new XL-II is really too hyped in the highs (I had one and sold it). Have also a look to The AKG 214. It is only the "half" of a AKG414 (no membrane on the back side) it is not hyped in the highs, and sounds great. Get some Audix mics (i5 and D6) as well.
Cannot get older 414 (no used gear). I chose the 414 for the same reason as I chose the U87. It is a "standard" in recording.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Spot View Post
Logic and/or ProTools and Cubase are a must. You can't ignore them in the frame of recording. PC or MAC? First define the software and hardware platform and then decide.
From what I have experienced in the past I would say: Cubase with PC, ProTools with MAC.

Good luck and post photos!!!
I think I'll get Protools 9 along Reaper. I'll post pics in the thread as soon as the install is fully finished... Normally, around february.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Anyway, thanks a lot to eveyone for sharing your experience ! Keep it coming !!
Old 3rd December 2010
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Luminous View Post
It is not a crazy wish list or a rethorical question as the money is about to be spent and I'm the one who devised the list. It's not my money but the responsability is big.

What is nonsense in my list ? Could you detail precisely if you have some time ? I'm really looking for useful advice. Doesn't the Audient Centro/Focal Twin/rane HC6/Beyer headphones constitutes a proper monitoring/foldback system ? How would you do it differently?

If you could PM me a corrected proposal, it would be great !
With all due respect, essentially here you're asking The Byre to be your unpaid studio consultant.

Which is a job I'm sure he could do of course, but I would offer a fee.

With a great budget like that comes great responsibility (to paraphrase...). If you're not 100% certain of what you need (and you've not worked in studios of that size before) I'd hire a professional.

I'm pretty certain that I could spec you out a gear list for what you need, as could many of the posters on here. Because we've worked in many different studios, you learn what works in a setup, what doesn't.

For example, in your setup, would you have thought to include a way to sum mics into the recording system? would you have thought of a way to easily polarity invert for those preamps that don't have a polarity switch (and some don't)? who's going to design the patchbay? Have you thought about guitar/speaker ties from control room to live rooms?

I've worked in rooms designed by people who've not worked in large scale rooms. There's always inconveniences and problems that you have to work around.

I really wish you all the best with this, but it may be time to swallow the pride and hire a pro consultant. At worst, speak to anyone you can find and offer them a fee to come and give you their honest thoughts on how they'd like to find things. You'll get differing opinions, but hopefully some things you hadn't thought of too.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Luminous View Post
I chose the U87ai because it is a widely used mic around here likely to be found in almost every studio. It's a kinda "standard", more so than the AT4047. But I will consider it. The mic list is not written in stone.

Cannot get older 414 (no used gear). I chose the 414 for the same reason as I chose the U87. It is a "standard" in recording.
One extra thing. The newer 414 is NOT a standard in recording. Arguably, the newer 87 now is (since so many people have them) but again, it's the older ones which are generally preferred.

Good thinking though on going for a certain amount of "standards" though - that's one reason why freelancers will use a facility, gear that they know - over a facility which may well be better, but which has boutique, unfamiliar gear in it (thought we all like one or two estoric "money" pieces!).
Old 3rd December 2010
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Luminous View Post
It is not a crazy wish list or a rethorical question as the money is about to be spent and I'm the one who devised the list. It's not my money but the responsability is big.



People here seem to dislike the Nucleus LOL. What would be a good control surface ?



Ok, that is interesting. The choice has been made first to avoid using a desk and to center the studio around a ouboard preamps/converters, a computer and a control surface. Maybe it's a bad choice but I think it's the future of recording. I love me a big vintage analog desk but it was not possible/feasible in the context of the project IMHO.

What is nonsense in my list ? Could you detail precisely if you have some time ? I'm really looking for useful advice. Doesn't the Audient Centro/Focal Twin/Rane HC6/Beyer headphones constitutes a proper monitoring/foldback system ? How would you do it differently?




If you could PM me a corrected proposal, it would be great !
OK, OK. So, if the purpose is to avoid using a desk, then you should not get one heh. But keep the ASP-8024 or the Zed 24 solutions at the back of your head...

How many inputs do you need to record simultaneously? 4? 8? 16? Will you be recording complete bands all at the same time? Or just "one instrument at the time"?

I know you are not aiming to mixing, but I guess that's like learning to read, without having the intention to talk... a proper desk with proper monitoring and routing will spare you the use of many gadgets and work arounds.

Since you don't want to go into mixing, have you considered in EQ and compression when recording? Some hardware reverbs/delay for the vocalist?

There's no point going MADI if the number of tracks you are recording (or later mixing) is small (below 16/18 tracks).

No hate to the Nucleus (I love and have SSL stuff) but I don't see so many advantages. Define the software, sound-card and computer first and then the matching/appropriate controller. The Euphonix are great to jump between DAWs.

I understand the problem that you can't buy old gear, but don't buy the new versions just because they have the same "root name" on it. The majority of the affordable mics do a good job. I get a feeling that in order to hear a 20% increase in sound, I have to spend 200% more. Not really worth it if you are teaching recording principles.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #28
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
With all due respect, essentially here you're asking The Byre to be your unpaid studio consultant.

Which is a job I'm sure he could do of course, but I would offer a fee.

With a great budget like that comes great responsibility (to paraphrase...). If you're not 100% certain of what you need (and you've not worked in studios of that size before) I'd hire a professional.
heh

Well, I have better things to do with my time, than work pro bono. But when I am not a studio owner, I run a company and I also work now and again as a business consultant. For these activities, people pay me! Just as well, really!

So, let me give you a few pointers -

Firstly, if the studio is to genuinely have a pedagogical purpose, then it has to be as conventional as possible. It has to allow people to explore all types of music and the recording, editing, mixing and mastering of music. That means ITB and out of the box and through a desk.

Everybody works differently. That means you have to be able to allow your students to try out every type of recording and for all types of music. The classical pianist is hardly going to want to work in the same way as hip-hop or heavy metal.

Some people like to edit during the session, some want to do it all later. Some want to work with compression going in, some want to do all that afterwards. Some people want to sing with reverb in the cans, some hate that idea. Some musicians need to be able to adjust the foldback mix themselves, using small mixers on a music stand, others just want to hear an overall mix.

As for the choice of DAW, you do not get to decide. The students need to learn PT and Logic. After that, you may indulge in other DAWs for fun, be that Reaper or anything else. But PT and Logic have to be there. PT, because it is what is expected for audio editing and recording and Logic because it is the composer's standard.

Success in anything is all about facing reality and the reality of teaching audio and music recording is that you will need a desk, PT and Logic, a reverb box and a few other things that you seem to have set your mind against. But you have to ask yourself a simple question, do I want to teach music and the recording of music in all its types, methods and variations, or do I want to fill a room with nice toys that would be my personal choice for the dream home studio I cannot afford?

As for the absurd idea that you are going to fit out a studio, that provides students with a professional environment, but without used equipment, well, what can I say?

1. Your budget is €60k, not €300k.

2. Funky Junk is right there where you live and work and they will provide you with complete invoices and service agreements and even guarantees, if that is what you need.

3. I expect to see a reel-to-reel and certain standard items, such as the ubiquitous NS10s (and a whole host of other things, such as certain microphones, as Psycho-Monkey has pointed out) in any facility that is devoted to teaching kids about recording. These are must-have items that are ONLY available on the used market. Again, walk over to Funky Junk and talk to the people there!
Old 3rd December 2010
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
With all due respect, essentially here you're asking The Byre to be your unpaid studio consultant.
Which is a job I'm sure he could do of course, but I would offer a fee.
Yes that's exactly what I'm asking... NOT. I ask for quick advice on an internet board. If he doesn't feel like answering, no problem. If he can freely give 10 minutes of his time, cool ! The project I'm involved in doesn't need a studio consultant per se as it is big part of the project for the people involved to create the studio from scratch (and learn/live/enjoy the process). There is no obligation of results in the end nor is it intended to make any profit. A studio consultant is more of a turn-key solution which is not at all the spirit.

If I needed a real consulting session, I'd give much more precise infos than I've given in this thread obviously. I'm more after quick gear comments. I think it qualifies as free infos on this board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
With a great budget like that comes great responsibility (to paraphrase...). If you're not 100% certain of what you need (and you've not worked in studios of that size before) I'd hire a professional.
I'm not 100% sure. I'm never 100% sure in any situation anyway. I have a reasonable idea though. I'm not a pro but I'm not a total beginner either. I've done some vocal/instrumental recordings that ended on commercial records. I recorded instruments for TV jingles. I recorded interviews for promo films etc. I'm involved in music playing/recording since a long time and I have a similar budget project studio at home where I play/record with friends for my own pleasure. I know some people have much more experience than me and it never hurts to discuss and gather infos.


Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I'm pretty certain that I could spec you out a gear list for what you need, as could many of the posters on here. Because we've worked in many different studios, you learn what works in a setup, what doesn't.

For example, in your setup, would you have thought to include a way to sum mics into the recording system? would you have thought of a way to easily polarity invert for those preamps that don't have a polarity switch (and some don't)? who's going to design the patchbay? Have you thought about guitar/speaker ties from control room to live rooms?
I can invert polarity in the DAW if necessary. It's not an analog recording env. There is no patchbay yet as there is no outboard. It is planned in the future and I'll do the design. The wall boxes are designed already and I don't think I forgot anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I've worked in rooms designed by people who've not worked in large scale rooms. There's always inconveniences and problems that you have to work around.

I really wish you all the best with this, but it may be time to swallow the pride and hire a pro consultant.
No pride at all is involved here, only pleasure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
At worst, speak to anyone you can find and offer them a fee to come and give you their honest thoughts on how they'd like to find things. You'll get differing opinions, but hopefully some things you hadn't thought of too.
That's exactly what I'm doing, including in here.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
heh

Well, I have better things to do with my time, than work pro bono. But when I am not a studio owner, I run a company and I also work now and again as a business consultant. For these activities, people pay me! Just as well, really!

So, let me give you a few pointers -

Firstly, if the studio is to genuinely have a pedagogical purpose, then it has to be as conventional as possible. It has to allow people to explore all types of music and the recording, editing, mixing and mastering of music. That means ITB and out of the box and through a desk.

Everybody works differently. That means you have to be able to allow your students to try out every type of recording and for all types of music. The classical pianist is hardly going to want to work in the same way as hip-hop or heavy metal.

Some people like to edit during the session, some want to do it all later. Some want to work with compression going in, some want to do all that afterwards. Some people want to sing with reverb in the cans, some hate that idea. Some musicians need to be able to adjust the foldback mix themselves, using small mixers on a music stand, others just want to hear an overall mix.

As for the choice of DAW, you do not get to decide. The students need to learn PT and Logic. After that, you may indulge in other DAWs for fun, be that Reaper or anything else. But PT and Logic have to be there. PT, because it is what is expected for audio editing and recording and Logic because it is the composer's standard.

Success in anything is all about facing reality and the reality of teaching audio and music recording is that you will need a desk, PT and Logic, a reverb box and a few other things that you seem to have set your mind against. But you have to ask yourself a simple question, do I want to teach music and the recording of music in all its types, methods and variations, or do I want to fill a room with nice toys that would be my personal choice for the dream home studio I cannot afford?

As for the absurd idea that you are going to fit out a studio, that provides students with a professional environment, but without used equipment, well, what can I say?

1. Your budget is €60k, not €300k.

2. Funky Junk is right there where you live and work and they will provide you with complete invoices and service agreements and even guarantees, if that is what you need.

3. I expect to see a reel-to-reel and certain standard items, such as the ubiquitous NS10s (and a whole host of other things, such as certain microphones, as Psycho-Monkey has pointed out) in any facility that is devoted to teaching kids about recording. These are must-have items that are ONLY available on the used market. Again, walk over to Funky Junk and talk to the people there!

Yes the studio is going to have a pedagogical purpose but it is not its only purpose (I cannot detail everything here). I perfectly understand your point of view, particularly encompassing all the possible and most common recording/producing techniques. That would be great and a very ambitious goal but you said it yourself, I don't think it is possible within a €60K budget. I wish I had €300K or even more to spend because there would be less choices to be made, less dilemna obviously.

Secondly, the vast majority of people that will be frequenting the place are not students per se, but more amateur musicians that want to go deeper but already have a day-job, not involving music at all. It's not that important that they'll master all possible tracking methods and all possible mixing workflows including analog and digital desk, various DAWs, multitrack magnetic tape recording etc. since they don't intend at all to make a career out of it.

Third, I'll prefer not to deal with used gear or Funky Junk Paris for that matter (let's not go into that please). My personal studio is full of used gear so I perfectly know that there are irreplaceable things from the past but alas it is not possible in the context of this project.

Also, Could you please detail which essential microphones you think are missing from my list ? Neumann TLM103 for example ?

Thanks a lot for all your advices.
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