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$2000 to invest in my recording rig
Old 16th June 2016
  #1
Here for the gear
$2000 to invest in my recording rig

Hi guys,

Like the title suggests, I have $2,000 to invest in gear. I'm currently in college and am studying audio professionally.

So far, I have:

Pro Tools 12
1 Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
1 Rode NT-1A
1 Avid Fast Track Solo
1 Mackie HUI control surface (old, but works perfectly for what I'm doing)
1 Digitech Studio Quad v2
Sennheiser HD 280 headphones

You may be able to see that I've gotten some free 90's gear.

I'd like to divide my budget roughly into $800 for monitors, $1200 for mics/pres/plugins/etc

My current thought is to buy a pair of Event 20/20BAS for monitors, but I'm open to anything.

Anyway, help me invest/waste my money with some suggestions
Old 16th June 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Lenzo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneAudi View Post
Hi guys,

Like the title suggests, I have $2,000 to invest in gear. I'm currently in college and am studying audio professionally.

So far, I have:

Pro Tools 12
1 Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
1 Rode NT-1A
1 Avid Fast Track Solo
1 Mackie HUI control surface (old, but works perfectly for what I'm doing)
1 Digitech Studio Quad v2
Sennheiser HD 280 headphones

You may be able to see that I've gotten some free 90's gear.

I'd like to divide my budget roughly into $800 for monitors, $1200 for mics/pres/plugins/etc

My current thought is to buy a pair of Event 20/20BAS for monitors, but I'm open to anything.

Anyway, help me invest/waste my money with some suggestions
I've had the events...also had the SP12's...now use Adam A7's. I prefer the adams. A good used pair can probably be found in your budget. From there it's all a money pit. But as far as reasonable with good results go, the Warm pre's, be it the WA-12 or the tonebeast will serve you well at a decent price. As far as mics go, that's pretty subjective, but in your budget range a used Miktek CV3 or C7 might be a option. A used Lauten Audio Clarion can be had for $500 if you're patient. I love my Blue Woodpecker for Vocals and acoustic instruments. Also can be had for around $500 with some patience, but it is a ribbon, so it's good to check it out if possible before buying. Lots of good comments about the 3U mics. Do a search on GS. I have no experience with those, but they are very affordable. Sell the Rode...it's a pile. Use whatever you can get out of it to supplement your budget. Good luck.
L.

Last edited by Lenzo; 16th June 2016 at 08:19 PM..
Old 17th June 2016
  #3
Lives for gear
 

If you have really small room (pretty usual for students) it might not be wise to invest too much on monitors. You could also consider some treatment, e.g. treating early reflections at least. Even if you're living in a rented room this is something you can do quite easily and cheap as well.

For plugins I'd consider Valhalla (verbs), U-He (synths, compressor and tape-sat) and Fabfilter (EQ, comp, sat).. Tokyo Dawn has really nice free plugins, especially Slick-EQ (free version, there's also pretty cheap buy-version) the Kotelnikov compressor is nice as well.
Old 17th June 2016
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
CEG85's Avatar
 

As far as plugins go, look into the PSP audioware plugins.

Monitors, id go with Yamaha HS7's.

Mics...
Dynamic- Heil PR30 or PR40
Ribbon- Cascade fathead
Condenser- Bluebird Cardioid Condenser or AKG 214
Old 17th June 2016
  #5
Gear Addict
 
David C.'s Avatar
 

JBL LSR 305 monitors are excellent and cost less than what you're looking at. I've been through a ton of mics and pres and the pre I'm happiest with is the Langevin DVC which you can find for around $850.00 used these days. The limiters are just perfect on it plus it's stereo so that is covered. For mics I'd get a workhorse like the AKG 414 B/ULS used and get a Beta 57 to have a dynamic. There are a ton of great free plugs so not sure I'd pay for any right this minute in time.
Old 18th June 2016
  #6
Here for the gear
First of all, before I start this wall of text reply, I'd like to thank you all for giving me some great insight!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo
I've had the events...also had the SP12's...now use Adam A7's. I prefer the adams. A good used pair can probably be found in your budget. From there it's all a money pit. But as far as reasonable with good results go, the Warm pre's, be it the WA-12 or the tonebeast will serve you well at a decent price. As far as mics go, that's pretty subjective, but in your budget range a used Miktek CV3 or C7 might be a option. A used Lauten Audio Clarion can be had for $500 if you're patient. I love my Blue Woodpecker for Vocals and acoustic instruments. Also can be had for around $500 with some patience, but it is a ribbon, so it's good to check it out if possible before buying. Lots of good comments about the 3U mics. Do a search on GS. I have no experience with those, but they are very affordable. Sell the Rode...it's a pile. Use whatever you can get out of it to supplement your budget. Good luck.
L.
I haven't heard the events personally yet, I have a friend who swears by them, and have heard great things. I've actually been using Adam A7's here and there since we have a pair in the FOH booth in my school. I've heard nothing but great things about Warm as far as their affordability and quality, I will look into them. Haven't heard much about Miktek, I'll take a look. 3U mics look nice as well. I might sell off the Rode, but honestly it's worth the $150 tops I'd get for the thing at the moment. Thanks, knowing my atrocious luck, I'll need all the luck I can get!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teofunk
If you have really small room (pretty usual for students) it might not be wise to invest too much on monitors. You could also consider some treatment, e.g. treating early reflections at least. Even if you're living in a rented room this is something you can do quite easily and cheap as well.

For plugins I'd consider Valhalla (verbs), U-He (synths, compressor and tape-sat) and Fabfilter (EQ, comp, sat).. Tokyo Dawn has really nice free plugins, especially Slick-EQ (free version, there's also pretty cheap buy-version) the Kotelnikov compressor is nice as well.
I do have a small room at the moment, but it's fairly decent as far as reflections - I've done some quick crunches in Room EQ Wizard. I'm holed up in a temporary room until the time comes for the next semester to roll around. The amount I move kind of makes it pointless to treat at the moment. I have some second hand bass traps that I've scavenged just to do some basic room treatment.

I'm liking the look and price of the Valhalla plugins. Also was considering Waves Silver since it's on sale at the moment... And as far as plugins go, in the labs I find myself grabbing for SoundToys a lot, and the discount for students slashes the price to $250. I'll definitely look into the freebies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CEG85
As far as plugins go, look into the PSP audioware plugins.

Monitors, id go with Yamaha HS7's.

Mics...
Dynamic- Heil PR30 or PR40
Ribbon- Cascade fathead
Condenser- Bluebird Cardioid Condenser or AKG 214
PSP plugins are interesting. I'll take a look. I've also been looking into HS7s, and will probably A/B all the choices if/when I take a demoing trip to Guitar Center before I buy off Parson's.

I've actually used all those mics except the Heils. I will look into the Heils. The 214 is the best on a budget 414 stand in you can get, and I've been considering that for a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David C.
JBL LSR 305 monitors are excellent and cost less than what you're looking at. I've been through a ton of mics and pres and the pre I'm happiest with is the Langevin DVC which you can find for around $850.00 used these days. The limiters are just perfect on it plus it's stereo so that is covered. For mics I'd get a workhorse like the AKG 414 B/ULS used and get a Beta 57 to have a dynamic. There are a ton of great free plugs so not sure I'd pay for any right this minute in time.
I've heard good things about the JBL LSR 305s, and will add them to my list of monitors to test. If I can find a Langevin DVC, I'll take a look. Currently looking into a pair of Chameleon 7602s, which since it's my buddy selling them, I could pay them off overtime. The B/ULS 414s are nice, I've gotten some sick recordings out of them on projects. The Beta 57 is also pretty solid, and I agree. I might be cheap and pick up a pair of 57s/58s locally off the local bar band scene for the ease of access though.

Thanks again, I'm glad to hear opinions on how I should invest my money!
Old 18th June 2016
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
CEG85's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneAudi View Post

PSP plugins are interesting. I'll take a look. I've also been looking into HS7s, and will probably A/B all the choices if/when I take a demoing trip to Guitar Center before I buy off Parson's.

I've actually used all those mics except the Heils. I will look into the Heils. The 214 is the best on a budget 414 stand in you can get, and I've been considering that for a while.
The Avedis E27 EQ plugin is one of the best eq plugins I've ever came across in a while. you can demo any of the PSP software for free so that's a plus.

You'll be very happy with the Heil PR 30. One of my favorite dynamic mics.
Old 18th June 2016
  #8
Lives for gear
 
G-Sun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneAudi View Post
Anyway, help me invest/waste my money with some suggestions
First,
it seems you have much to learn yet,
so you should leave room for that.

Start with some basic stuff,
that allows you to do what you want to do,
and to learn.

Like a pair of HS7, and an sm57/58,
and use you NT1A
Maybe buy yourself a 500-series lunchbox,
then
buy som used stuff, or build some.

Plugins:
Try out everything, but do not believe the hype.
Just start with the basics, free, cheap.
Personally I like Valhalla Plate, DDMF IIProEq, Klanghelm comps.
Then I find some tools are sort of essential for a studo:
Drum vst, piano vst, Kontakt, Melodyne (or similar),
a generic do it all sample library.
These things could be a reasonable investment.

Do you have a midi-keyboard?

If you're sure of being into this for a long time,
then saving up for some classics can be worth it,
like a 414, Sm7b, RE20, UA610..
Old 20th June 2016
  #9
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEG85
The Avedis E27 EQ plugin is one of the best eq plugins I've ever came across in a while. you can demo any of the PSP software for free so that's a plus.

You'll be very happy with the Heil PR 30. One of my favorite dynamic mics.
I've gotten the luxury to actually work with a hardware version of the E27, so that's been on my lunchbox list if I get one. I will definitely look into the plugin version, though. It's an amazing EQ.

I've done some research on it, and I can see why, to be honest. I'll probably end up snagging one...

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Sun
First,
it seems you have much to learn yet,
so you should leave room for that.

Start with some basic stuff,
that allows you to do what you want to do,
and to learn.

Like a pair of HS7, and an sm57/58,
and use you NT1A
Maybe buy yourself a 500-series lunchbox,
then
buy som used stuff, or build some.

Plugins:
Try out everything, but do not believe the hype.
Just start with the basics, free, cheap.
Personally I like Valhalla Plate, DDMF IIProEq, Klanghelm comps.
Then I find some tools are sort of essential for a studo:
Drum vst, piano vst, Kontakt, Melodyne (or similar),
a generic do it all sample library.
These things could be a reasonable investment.

Do you have a midi-keyboard?

If you're sure of being into this for a long time,
then saving up for some classics can be worth it,
like a 414, Sm7b, RE20, UA610..
I do have a midi keyboard! And these are some great pointers. I didn't think of half this stuff. I do have room to learn, but I'm also fairly committed to the industry. Wrapping up my second year in college, I'm certain that I will remain in the industry. I also like the allure of building things, as between semesters and with my current job, I have stretches of time where I get bored and need projects. Building seems like a great place to start, considering right now I'm working audio maintenance and have fixed a fair share of DIs, mics, etc...
Old 20th June 2016
  #10
Lives for gear
 
uncle duncan's Avatar
 

A pair of Focal Alpha 50's would be around $600. It's a 5" speaker with a front-facing port, but there's plenty of bass. Plus, in a small room, they say smaller monitors are safer. They're not as "hard" sounding as the Adams, but they are clean and clear.

Depending on what you mic, a sm57 and one of the cheaper 3u Audio mics would get you going. If your Rode NT1a is one of the new black ones, it should sound pretty good. If it's an old silver one - not so much, although it might come in handy for adding life to a dead-sounding acoustic guitar or a really muffled voice.

Tokyo Dawn makes a free dynamic EQ plugin. They're great for clearing the low end mud out of guitar tracks.
Old 20th June 2016
  #11
Lives for gear
 
G-Sun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneAudi View Post
I do have a midi keyboard! And these are some great pointers. I didn't think of half this stuff. I do have room to learn, but I'm also fairly committed to the industry. Wrapping up my second year in college, I'm certain that I will remain in the industry. I also like the allure of building things, as between semesters and with my current job, I have stretches of time where I get bored and need projects. Building seems like a great place to start, considering right now I'm working audio maintenance and have fixed a fair share of DIs, mics, etc...
Ok, good.

Just extra thing to remember:
Software will typically have a lifespan of 5years,
while a good piece of hardware could be perfectly fine for 20years.
No set rules, but, nice to remember when investing money.
Old 20th June 2016
  #12
Gear Nut
 

I'm not going to suggest anything however what I would say when looking at mikes and stuff is that there is little point buying something you already have access to at college for instance they are likely to have sm57's in there labs and you mentioned some of the plugiins they had too. Use your money for things you dont have access to at college
Old 22nd June 2016
  #13
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Sun View Post
Ok, good.

Just extra thing to remember:
Software will typically have a lifespan of 5years,
while a good piece of hardware could be perfectly fine for 20years.
No set rules, but, nice to remember when investing money.
I've actually been told that a lot. Also, I've been told that software immediately loses value the second you purchase it (of course there's resale, but the 5 years you mentioned comes to mind) philosophically. Hardware can be resold if the need be. I also like the feel of hardware better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrhstudio
I'm not going to suggest anything however what I would say when looking at mikes and stuff is that there is little point buying something you already have access to at college for instance they are likely to have sm57's in there labs and you mentioned some of the plugiins they had too. Use your money for things you dont have access to at college
I'm glad someone mentioned this. I'm doing a combo of this and buying gear that I like and would love to keep with me after college. That's why I'm thinking of investing in Heil mics, since we have a distinct lack of those around. Also, 3U mics are looking pretty good right now as budget alternatives to things we don't use at my school (our school has a radio tower in it's back yard because of the radio program, meaning our u47, and a good portion of older tube amps don't like that, and it's not grounding before someone says that). I'm also thinking of investing in kits because I have decent soldering skills.
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