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front end for home studio computer recording environment
Old 12th June 2006
Gear Nut

front end for home studio computer recording environment


im looking at buying more gear for my home studio. i mostly make dance music (influences include: underworld, chemical brothers, gerling etc) and a bit of hip-hop every now and then.

i use a computer based recording system with an egosys wami rack 24 soundcard / midi interface (running cubase sx as main sequencer / recorder). i am monitoring from yamaha ns-10m's with a bryston 4b amp. i am using a novation remote 25 as the main controller keyboard.

i mainly use harware synths (roland jupiter 8, moog minimoog, roland juno-106, roland sh-101, access virus indigo, yamaha TX7, akai mpc4000) with a couple of soft synths / samplers every now and then.

i want to get a "pro" front end setup so that i dont need to rely on going to the studio to get a "wickid" sound. i am after a nice "warm" / "analog" sound (to compensate for the digital recording environment) - to enhance my analog synths. i am contemplating the following gear:

neve 1073 x 2 reissues (neve rackmounted)
neve 33609 J or neve 33609 J/D reissue

as i tend to record only at line level into the computer (no vocals or acoustic instruments), is a DI box a better option than the 1073 (alot cheaper!!! - no preamp / eq)? if so which one would you recommend (running stereo setup)? would be nice to have an analog eq - i am using waves software eq's at the moment. does the neve rackmount 1073's have a DI?

what is the difference in sound between the 33609J and 33609 J/D? which one would be more suitable for dance music in your opinion? this will be my only hardware compressor - i am using waves software compressors at the moment. i was also considering a pair of distressors but am willing to pay top money for a compressor.

i am also looking at adding a sub to my monitoring setup. i like using the ns-10m's but i really need the sub for dance music to feel the bass. what are your thoughts on a suitable sub for the ns-10m's. active would be nice so i dont need to buy another amp.

would be nice to hear comments from the experienced people here on these products for dance music production. any help would be appreciated.

of course i will need to find some to test before buying

sorry for the long long post... (its my first one).
Old 12th June 2006
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
Don't tell me... lemme guess... someone told you that the "N" word would give you everything under the sun for a big "warm", "punchy" recording that will sell 18 bazillion units... right?

There is no shortage of alternatives, and a great many have absolutely NOTHING to do with Neeeev. From your description the Portico range of products could be perfect for your requirements... or they could suck donkey balls... but you'll never know until you try a bunch of this stuff and figure out in what direction your personal sense of aesthetic will lead you.

This thread will probably grow to several pages long as participants of these forums try their best to confuse the snot out of you by validating their most recent purchases by telling you that the ______ is the greatest piece of hardware under the sun and you're a shmuck if you don't buy seven of them immediately.

They're full of ****.

The only thing that will be of any assistance to you is to try a variety of these tools, get a feeling and understanding for what they do and how they will affect and influence the tones you are recording... then, after you fukk around with the process for a while and get a feeling for how you want your stuff to sound... then, and only then will you be able to make an educated decision.

I realize this isn't congruous with our instant society built around instant greatness and instant answers to deep/subjective questions... but the fact of the matter is that you're going to have to excercize some effort to determine what will truly be best for your actual requirements... or be stuck with some fine "buzz word" based gear... which would put you squarely in the middle of the pack with nothing more than less money in your pocket.

Best of luck with it.

Old 12th June 2006
More cowbell!
natpub's Avatar
Hi bee, and welcome!

I dont know yer situation and finance, but I always consider non-name solutions before the uber name brands. i mean, unless yer a big ole commercial studio, is anyone gonna cry if it dont say Neve>??

even the chandler LTD1 or Brent Avarill is a better buy, and you are talking slices of a p-hair difference from the big N.

for that matter, the DPA 1272/1073 Neve boxes (i think you are calling them the rack model) are more affordable unless you are crazy on the most pefect vocal.

check up some posts by James Lugo on the LTD1, truly Neve-ish, or the Aurora, or the Phoenix, etc

I do in fact do tons of GIGA and synth work, and think you could warm up those tracks with something like the TAB-Funkenwerk DI boxes, and save an assload of cash.

try the simplest solutions before getting sucked into hype

P.S. oooh, mornin' Fletcher, you beat me to the punch:P
Old 12th June 2006
Lives for gear
nathanvacha's Avatar

I'd skip supplementing the ns-10's (keep 'em around) and get a larger set of full range active monitors that will pipe out some acceptable bass. Or just get one big one and stick it in front of you... dance music ends up pretty much mono, right?heh Okay, okay, so one speaker isn't reall slutty...

Man, I got beaten to the punch twice! Fletcher, weren't you gone for a while? Nice to see your posts again, I always enjoyed them.
Old 12th June 2006
Gear Nut

thanks guys. the olny reason i have mentioned neve is because i know underworld have used both the preamp and compressor in the past. this is most like the sound i am after. would be happy for other cheaper alternatives. if i could get vintage neves i would (as they seem to hold there money very well) but they dont turn up very often here. come to think of it, we dont get much of anything here :(
Old 12th June 2006
Lives for gear
C.Lambrechts's Avatar

Originally Posted by Fletcher
The only thing that will be of any assistance to you is to try a variety of these tools, get a feeling and understanding for what they do and how they will affect and influence the tones you are recording... then, after you fukk around with the process for a while and get a feeling for how you want your stuff to sound... then, and only then will you be able to make an educated decision.

Ah ... yes ... important that you read that part of fletchers' post a couple of times.

and then record the following part and loop - playback it for a couple of hours :

-- try a variety of these tools, get a feeling and understanding for what they do --

with the best intentions in mind ... get that banged in your head. Then and only then are you ready to read whatever may come in this thread (or others of the likes).

that said ... welcome to the forum ... enjoy.
Old 12th June 2006
Lives for gear
DigitMus's Avatar

+10 on Fletcher's post. Read it again (& again :D ).

Let me just add a side note. According to your initial post, you're recording a lot of synths; as someone who's been recording synths for at least 30 years may I humbly suggest you NOT go DI. Having tried dozens, if not hundreds, of ways of getting synthesized sounds to tape/hard disk, I keep coming back to a miked amp. To me (and I'm not going to try to justify/explain/theorize about the reasons) moving air just does "IT". Obviously this won't be true if you have a crappy room/amp/mic etc.

Just a thought to further confuse you.

Old 12th June 2006
Lives for gear
Knastratt's Avatar

OMG! You've been "Fletcherized"!

Read and ponder. Twice!

Old 12th June 2006
Lives for gear
cramseur's Avatar
Fletcher... Please go back to Mercenary (or some other gear pimp establishment), so I can buy somethng from you.
Old 13th June 2006
Gear Addict
Justynfromnz's Avatar

ummm...I'm not as flash as fletcher but i quite like the amek dmcl channel thingy for synths (ms-20,juno 106) that i've done in the past...might be too clean for you though....or maybe the chandler tg-2....I don't think those are too expensive but you should probably hunt around and try out a few things....and the sub's on the ns10's...theres a studio here that run their NS10's with subs (one either side) and I find it a little bit wierd...the stuff i take out of there never seems to sound quite how i thought...I have some mackie HR824's and although they're kinda hifi-ish they have mint bottom end...good luck though!
Old 17th January 2007
Here for the gear
JohnnyHo's Avatar
I agree with Fletcher. Try some stuff out b4 you spend a lot of money on something you may not like. I personally would not buy some vintage Neve stuff... too many bad experiences. yes they sound great sometimes, when they've been maintained, recapped, etc. There are so many options that are close to them. The Portico series, Vintech (Nsound without the price) Wunder Audio, Great River, etc. are all good choices as well. Another option would be a pair of Millenia ORIGINs... tube or solid state mic/line, comp, and eq. just another tool that gives you a ton of options.
Old 17th January 2007
Lives for gear
midnightsun's Avatar

Hedd 192

I recently picked up a Hedd 192 with the intent of using it for my final stereo mix. I pleasantly discovered that it worked magic for tracking. Its built in processor adds the closest texture of tape to digital that I have ever heard. Of course the Hedd 192 is not a preamp. I like a great deal in the signal pathway for recording direct electric guitar. I haven't tried it with a synth but think that it would be worth a listen.
Old 20th March 2012
I know this is a really old thread, but it probably deserves a bump for truth in audio device selection.

Fletcher, that is such an awesome post!!

Funny how when we get to something as subjective as what an individual's ear hears and what pleases a listener, that either folks ask for "The Best" whatever it may be for a particular task.

"Oh, and I only have a budget of $400 for a rig to record the Philharmonic

Or, folks need some one to get what they suggest as their preferrence.

It does seem, that the best judge of pleasing audio sound turns out to be one's very own ears!
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