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Big purchase question
Old 31st May 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 
BlakeMcKibben's Avatar
 

Big purchase question

I really just want my records to sound like records. In that case what would you go for, a Neve Melbourne or this gear that adds up to the same amount.

-Chandler Mini Mixer
-Manley Tube Reference mic
-Germanium preamp pair
-Distressor
-TG-1
-LTD-1 Pair
-API 560b EQ pair

For some reason I can't seem to come close to a decision. I already have 8-in/out of Lavry conversion, a u-87, pair of KM184's, 2 API 512c's, 2 560b's, TG-2, and a Coles 4038. So I'm tempted to go all in on a mixer. Such a big decision !!
Any advice?
Old 31st May 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 

If you could swing the melbourne, and still pick up a good compressor and mic, then I'd say go for it. How much is the Chandler mini mixer? That thing probably doesn't suck. I have a tonelux on the way... I don't know what your budget is but you check that out as well.
Old 31st May 2006
  #3
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakeMcKibben
I really just want my records to sound like records.
A great sounding room with a mackie, an adat and a couple of 57's.

Really.

I know guys that have stacks of the kind of gear you're talking about and some of them are no better off than before they had that stuff.

And maybe switch the 184's for 84's
Old 31st May 2006
  #4
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JSVice's Avatar
Are you sure that gear adds up to the same amount as a Melbourne? Must be one with something other than 1073s.
Old 31st May 2006
  #5
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Kestral's Avatar
 

Melbourne doesn't have 1073's but the pres are Class A.

I'd say go with the Melbourne. Having a full mixing board like that is way better imo. I like using the same preamps on everything, that helps meld all the instruments together to have one sound rather that a bunch of disperate colors that may or may not mix well together.

Also you can use the Melbourne as a summing bus. Daniel Lanois to this day still uses the Melbournes. I'd love to have one but I have to "slum it" with my single 1073 strip heh
Old 1st June 2006
  #6
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JSVice's Avatar
You're correct. For some reason I was picturing a BCM-10, which if loaded with 1073s, would be worth much more than the gear listed in the OP.
Old 1st June 2006
  #7
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Sorry dude. To make it sound like a record, you have to buy IT ALL!!!!heh

You are a gearslut, right? Just think how the TG-1 will sound inserted on the Melbourne.
Old 1st June 2006
  #8
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echorec's Avatar
 

Get the Melbourne, you won´t regret it.
Old 1st June 2006
  #9
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djui5's Avatar
 

Buying gear won't make your music sound "like a record"

We are all gearslutz here, but sierously, your going to be highly disappointed.

On that note, buying a Melbourne is a very slutty purchase...
Old 1st June 2006
  #10
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

I can make it sound like a record with a pair of preamps, good monitors and some plugins...

That gear you're buying isn't coming with a Recording Engineer's Degree!
Old 1st June 2006
  #11
Gear Nut
 
BlakeMcKibben's Avatar
 

Good points about the "record sound". I guess it's all in the ear of the beholder. I like to listen to off the wall sounding records where without certain tools certain levels of creativity probably wouldn't have been reached. I really want sounds that are one of a kind (a la Faust, Fleetwood Mac "Tusk") it seems to me that a Mackie would make this territory hard to reach. And sometimes I think modern equipment in general makes it hard to reach. The Melbourne really might just be what I'm looking for. I dislike when a record regardless of how good it sounds, feels like a diet record at the end of the day. I like the (I call it) honest sound that always seems to be related to mixing with a discreet console. Great recommendations and comments so far. I might need to get off of my gear kick and just get to work huh.
Old 1st June 2006
  #12
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djui5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakeMcKibben
I really want sounds that are one of a kind (a la Faust, Fleetwood Mac "Tusk") it seems to me that a Mackie would make this territory hard to reach. And sometimes I think modern equipment in general makes it hard to reach. The Melbourne really might just be what I'm looking for.

Yeah, a Mackie is def going to get in your way....haha. If your music is good, then the Melbourne is the way to go

BTW, your link is broken.
Old 1st June 2006
  #13
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Kestral's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djui5
Buying gear won't make your music sound "like a record"
The first time I plugged in my Neve 1073 and recorded a track, I played it back and it was a massive revelation. My first reaction was, "Holy sh-t, this sounds exactly like a PRO recording!" And that reaction still gets me to this day. So I'd have to disagree, having the right gear WILL make your music sound "like a record". The point of argument would be whether it's a GOOD or a BAD record heh

btw, clicked on your studio link, I kind of like how you have your studio setup laid out, very simple, functional and minimal.
Old 1st June 2006
  #14
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont
I can make it sound like a record with a pair of preamps, good monitors and some plugins...

That gear you're buying isn't coming with a Recording Engineer's Degree!
Agree, BUT...
WHY WE BUY GEARS ?????

After several years and small fortune spent I understood that mixes DID NOT IMPROVED at all to justify spending. REALLY NOT !

But what improved?

My confidence that gear is not cause of my bad mixes, so to justify all that money thrown I WAS FORCED TO IMPROVE MY SKILLS.

Just imagine bad mix done in acoustically excellent room, on top level monitors with several racks loaded with best outboards money can buy with mic locker worth alone 50k with some among the best acoustic instruments.

When you do bad mix with that you EITHER PROGRESS or MAKE SUICIDE !
No choice.
Then you can sell your gear and do your job on pretty simple setup.

well that's my story, so no guarantee it will work for others
Old 1st June 2006
  #15
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edvdr76's Avatar
If I were you, I would buy a more affordable board (high end but affordable) and maybe a few of those other little toys you have on your list and that way you have the new board and new equipment. THINK ABOUT IT..................



How much is that Neve anyways?
Old 1st June 2006
  #16
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Kestral's Avatar
 

Don't listen to him, buy the Melbourne - it's a buy once, keep forever purchase.

With any gear there is a learning curve. Even the pros when they get new gear have to go though that learning curve.

That's why keeping the same gear is so important, because then you don't have to waste time overcoming the learning curve.

Buy the Melbourne, overcome the learning curve and you're done for life. Otherwise you'll buy some half-assed semi-pro mixer, learn it inside out and then when you upgrade you'll have to overcome the learning curve again.

imo it takes a good 3-12 months (depending on how much you use it) to overcome a learning curve. Time is more valuable than money so minimize learning curve time where you can, even if you have to spend a little extra in the front end, it'll reap massive dividends on the back end.
Old 1st June 2006
  #17
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djui5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral
btw, clicked on your studio link, I kind of like how you have your studio setup laid out, very simple, functional and minimal.

Thanks I need to update the picture. It looks a little better now...


regarding your statement, if the music is good, great gear will make things sonically better.

It must be understood that a bad sounding guitar recorded through a neve is still a bad sounding guitar. A bad mix on an SSL is still a bad mix...

A great sounding guitar mic'd with good mics and Neve pre's will sound f'n amazing...
Old 1st June 2006
  #18
Gear Nut
 
BlakeMcKibben's Avatar
 

Thanks Kestral that's some solid advice. I've never had the balls(or maybe it's the full time job) to make a purchase like this till now, and your perspective on the learning curve is dead on I think. It took me awhile to realize I could do better with my soundcraft than ITB it just took some learning. I might even be able to piece together the money for some of those misc toys while I pay off the loan on the melbourne heh . This forum is priceless, thanks guys.

I fixed my link.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #19
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ajfarber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakeMcKibben
I really just want my records to sound like records. In that case what would you go for, a Neve Melbourne or this gear that adds up to the same amount.

-Chandler Mini Mixer
-Manley Tube Reference mic
-Germanium preamp pair
-Distressor
-TG-1
-LTD-1 Pair
-API 560b EQ pair

For some reason I can't seem to come close to a decision. I already have 8-in/out of Lavry conversion, a u-87, pair of KM184's, 2 API 512c's, 2 560b's, TG-2, and a Coles 4038. So I'm tempted to go all in on a mixer. Such a big decision !!
Any advice?
I saw your website. You've got an AMPEX MX-35! Get a good tube mic (the Manley is too expensive, get a Lawson L47 or Soundelux U99 or something you like in that range) of use your Coles. Run that through the Ampex direct to your MCI 8-track.

That ought to sound like a late 60s early 70s record.
You can sum from a DAW through the AMPEX.

Find annother MX-35 or MX-10 for about a grand and you'll have yourself a smokin' tube console.

The Distressor is pretty good thgough. And I suppose if you want some more slutty solid state pre amps, get the Melbourne. Or some racked 1073s.

Geoff Daking makes some pretty killin' pre/eq. Not nearly as much $$$ as Neve stuff.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #20
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont
That gear you're buying isn't coming with a Recording Engineer's Degree!
You're making it sound like everyone that went to school for this is good at it... And I beg to differ...
Old 2nd June 2006
  #21
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper
You're making it sound like everyone that went to school for this is good at it... And I beg to differ...
heh... I agree, but the point is the knowledge of knowing how to get a good sound doesn't come with any piece of gear.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont
heh... I agree, but the point is the knowledge of knowing how to get a good sound doesn't come with any piece of gear.
I also don't think it's knowledge...its ears, I think, and gear is the tool we use to get the sound to agree with our ears.

So bad ears=bad sound. Same goes with bad taste.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #23
Gear Addict
 
rashadrm@hotmai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by echorec
Get the Melbourne, you won´t regret it.
where can i get info on the melbourne, i'm not familiar with it
Old 2nd June 2006
  #24
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Kestral's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper
You're making it sound like everyone that went to school for this is good at it... And I beg to differ...
Especially if they went to Full Sail heh heh heh
Old 2nd June 2006
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakeMcKibben
For some reason I can't seem to come close to a decision. I already have 8-in/out of Lavry conversion, a u-87, pair of KM184's, 2 API 512c's, 2 560b's, TG-2, and a Coles 4038. So I'm tempted to go all in on a mixer. Such a big decision !!
Any advice?
If you have the kind of gear you are describing but can't make it sound like a record then you are facing a fundamental problem right now. Seriously.

Number 1, record great sounding instruments. Have you analyzed the quality of instruments you are recording? Who knows what **** you are recording through that slutty gear of yours?! You need to understand that frequencies are originally generated by the sound source, no matter what you put between the sound source and the record you are going to need great sounding instruments to make it professional sounding. Let me just tell you what professionals do when they want an organ to sound good on a record, they bring in a real B3 organ, though not at random, through contacts they get their hands on the very best sounding real B3 organ and hire it for the entire project.

Number 2, record electric instruments through a great sounding amplifier. You might have the right instruments but have chosen the completely wrong signal path. Focus on getting the combination of instrument + amplifier sounding great. Let me give you an example. I have a Fender Richie Sambora USA stratocaster that sounds truly amazing on several pickup positions. This guitar actually sounds so sweet that people come on stage after the shows and tell me about how overwhelmed they are with that guitar sound. In order to make it great sounding on a record I can't just record it directly, I need to amplify it with the right amplifiers. I can choose a Traynor YCV80 or a Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus and the sound on the record is all of a sudden of world class.

Number 3, use a great sounding overall microphone for tracking. The Neumann U-87 mic (that you use) has a 10 dB attenuation switch located on the rear. It enables the microphone to handle sound pressure levels up to 127 dB without distortion. You can also use it for M/S miking (together with another U-87...). Why not take maximum advantage of a great sounding mic?

Number 4, don't use gear for simulating room frequencies. No matter what kind of gear you use, you need to realise that an instrument sounds the best when the room allows it to shine. Maybe your recording room is too damped and you are now trying to compensate (negatively) by using gear.

Number 5, this is a controversial point, but I want to bring it up in this context. Maybe you are recording music that is not very well produced? In fact, I know a lot of professional sounding records that I don't like. Yes, the quality is great, but I ALSO WANT TO LIKE WHAT I HEAR!

I hope this makes it a bit cheaper for you and more efficient for reaching your goal...! If you can't make it sound like a record after these points are met, then I think you can't mix and should read about how professionals mix and/or you have monitoring problems and need to upgrade your monitors as well as configure your control room acoustics.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #26
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral
Especially if they went to Full Sail heh heh heh
I didn't want to name names...

Having said that, a couple of assistants here are really cool, and they went to fullsail. They'll just be paying for it for the next 15 years.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #27
Gear Nut
 
BlakeMcKibben's Avatar
 

I get good sounds, and when I get a tight group in to record things can turn out great. It just seems like all the records I love to listen to involved a Neve, SSL, or Trident console and a tape machine. I wonder if I should sell my Lavry's and abandon the computer completely, that could be what I don't like. The thought of not seeing my waveforms gives me the chills but it might be worth it.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakeMcKibben
I get good sounds, and when I get a tight group in to record things can turn out great. It just seems like all the records I love to listen to involved a Neve, SSL, or Trident console and a tape machine. I wonder if I should sell my Lavry's and abandon the computer completely, that could be what I don't like. The thought of not seeing my waveforms gives me the chills but it might be worth it.
Hmm... It could be a pre-conditioning thing, but could you please post a short A/B clip of what your current best mix sounds like and what you would like it to sound like...? In that way I think most of us will have some clue of where the focus should be. I would rather post this now and wait for spending on an expensive console, than spending and realising it was better sounding before...
Old 2nd June 2006
  #29
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DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 

Hey Blake

The gear list on your site lists a "Telefunken MD421".

Is that a mistake or is this a vintage model I haven't heard of?
Old 3rd June 2006
  #30
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ajfarber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DontLetMeDrown
Hey Blake

The gear list on your site lists a "Telefunken MD421".

Is that a mistake or is this a vintage model I haven't heard of?
I think that's the older grey one, right?
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