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Building my home setup (after 12 years of CRAP gear)
Old 26th March 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 

Building my home setup (after 12 years of CRAP gear)

Hi everyone,

Well I'm 30 now, but started my own recordings on XP in 04'-05' lol.

After having hard drives crash, lack of motivation because of flaky gear, dealing with life, I'm ready to take my passion much more seriously. Right now I'm working with a singer and plan on going in a pro studio, BUT, I want to work on my other side music (sometimes electronic type stuff) and need a good setup for that.

Here's a list of stuff I'm looking at getting, and your input would be invaluable.

My budget is around 4-5k for everything, I'm splitting payments. A couple extra hundred bucks here or there for items if you have a better recommendation is welcome.

It's taken me a long time where I am finally at the point to get some gear, and invest in my hobby.

TL;DR, getting the gear in bold underlined. Any other suggestions?

Monitors:
JBL LSR 305s. I also heard Yamaha (HS7?) which sounded nice, but were fairly bright.

The audio guy at the store said I should also look at Focals as well.

Interface

UAD Apollo Twin, 2 input vs Clarrett 2 PRE .

A friend recommended getting an API lunchbox, and building a DIY pre-amp, compressor, etc. I also have contemplated building some 500 series type stuff (would this make the UAD purchase a waste of money considering all the plugins they come with?). Thoughts?

Thoughts?

I know they also make an Arrow now, not sure if they would be sufficient for my needs. I don't plan on tracking more than two inputs at a time, mainly would be guitar or vocals, but if I can track a drum kit in the future with two mics that would be well

Headphones

I went crazy searching about headphones. I'm leaning towards Focals (Spirit Pros I think), or Beyerdynamic 990s.

PC vs. Mac

Custom-built desktop PC vs OEM laptop?

I've been a PC user for years. I've also gone crazy trying to decide if the MAC plunge would be worth it, but I decided to stick to PC. I'm only using this computer for music production.

Haven't come up with the specs, but thinking I7, 32GB RAM (or at least 16GB),
1TB SSD, ITX form factor, possible external drive for backup?

Backup suggestions?

I also almost went for a Dell Laptop, because I thought it'd be nice to have portability. What do you guys think? My personal laptop is a ThinkPad, but I want to keep it separate from my production computer. Also this thing does not have a lot of storage space.

I have a friend who suggests getting a desktop PC for saving money. I think this may be a good route, I can invest in a good laptop in the future. How important is the portability aspect these days?

If I track some things at home and want to bring them in a studio, I feel having a separate laptop may be very important. If so, any recommendations on the PC side (I'm just not a MAC guy!)

DAW & Software

Reason. I like the hardware emulation in Reason.

I've been using FL studio for years, but I feel the final quality always sounds different than when I'm in Reason. I also find the built-in plugins and EQ in FL studio leave a lot to be studio and don't compare at all to Reason's EQs, etc.

Possibly also getting Native Instruments.

Midi Controller

Novation Impulse.

Guitar amp

For something in my room, having a hard time. I'm thinking about a Vox AC4W which I believe has an attenuator for bedroom levels yet tube sound.

Mics

I have a Rode M3 which I've used successfully on guitar amps, acoustic guitars, although I feel its sound is meh (or that could have been my Steinberg ci-1 lol).

For vocals, guitars, any mic suggestions? I'm thinking of building a microphone through microphone-parts.com (the T47 I think its called).

Room Treatment

I'm in a small condo, so this is going to be tough. I might have to post pictures of my room and see what I can do. Might even have to ditch my bed and get a hideaway couch in the living room and keep my room as the studio room, lol.

So for now, room treatment is TBA...


Would love to hear any feedback, recommendations to some of the questions I posted. Sorry for the brevity.

TL;DR, getting the gear in bold underlined. Any other suggestions?
Old 26th March 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
Where to begin...
Interface: it is an apples vs oranges thing. It is difficult to compare the UAD system to simpler interfaces. I would go simple, but not due to the Lunchbox possibility. If you want all the virtual gear, I would go with Slate, which doesn’t lock you in to a particular interface brand.
Headphones: there are so many good choices. Nothing obviously wrong with 990s.
Computer: nothing magical about Mac except the magically high price.
DAW: I am not familiar with anything beyond Cubase, so I can’t help you choose.
Skipping some categories...
Room Treatment: Not sexy, but extremely important to doing good work. Don’t buy foam!
Old 27th March 2018
  #3
Gear Head
 

Thanks bushman.

Is it worth doing a 500 series thing with some fit Mic preamp and using an external dac perhaps? Would it possibly sound better than UAD plugins? Anyone else chime in on this?

Thanks.
Old 28th March 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 

On your budget I'd avoid 500 series. Just buy a decent budget preamp eg. GAP pre-73 Jr, Warm WA12 etc. This will cost less than the 500 series power supply alone and will sound better than cheap interface preamps. Plenty of great records have been made with less.

I'd also avoid UAD - it's expensive, you're locked into using their hardware, you're limited in terms of processing power (because it runs on the hardware) etc. Regular plugins are just as good if you buy the right ones IMO and a decent modern computer has plenty of CPU power.

I'd even advise not buying any plugins until you've exhausted everything your DAW offers first. Every decent DAW includes everything you need for a good basic mix.
Old 28th March 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
500 hundred series pre's and UAD DSP plugins are great - you can slowly invest over the next few years.

There are some wonderful bargains in the 500 series pre range.

Look at the DAV 500 series pre 501

D.A.V. electronics - The Broadhurst Gardens No. 501 Mic Amp

I have a £3K Millennia channel strip and the DAV 501 pre sounds 95% as good as the Millennia for £250!! .... bargain!!

The UAD reverb and delay plugins are stunning - as good as the hardware imho!

Also the UAD LA2A Mk2 and 1176 MK2 collections are also superb and very close to the hardware and I'll use them instead of hardware sometimes.

UAD is a longer term thing but absolutely worth getting into imho.

In the 500 series there's amazing pre's by BAE and API to invest in later and excellent compressors
by IGS and Serpent Audio.

500 series are compact and can grow as money allows.

Try to demo where you can, the problem with asking on GS is 10 people will give you 10 different answers based on 10 different personal experiences and artistic aesthetics, not to mention their personal on what they see as value for money.

I'm in the camp of do it once do it right - cheap is expensive in the long run.
For the average muso, it takes many years to build up a decent pro sounding rig.

On that note remember to budget for quality, reliable equipment insurance!
Old 28th March 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 
mutetourettes's Avatar
 

I'd recommend the vox pathfinder 15R for your guitar amp needs. small very cheap and TRULY good sound...
Old 29th March 2018
  #7
Gear Head
 

hey guys thanks for the responses.

although its my first time getting more proper equipment, i do have a very good ear so the reason i mentioned 500 series is for 'warmth' as opposed to the tinniness of amp simulation plugins and all that - i really HATE amp simulation plugins for example (tried lots of them even expensive ones) and thats why im curious as to the UAD comps and eqs being close to the real thing, surprises me.

in terms of amps im trying to stick to tube. <------ scratch. i just checked reviews of the pathfinder. very curious about this amp. they are discontinued, i will check out for them. they seem to have amazing reviews for a solid state.

the other reason i consider 500 series is for doing a 'remicing' type thing. not sure if anyone does this here, but even for softsynths - after your track is complete, could you get a more 'natural sound' by taking some sort of line out (say for like a synth pads that were programmed with MIDI in the DAW), to an external amplifier (guitar amp?) and then micing that back into the daw to get the audio going through some nice sounding pre-amps and compressors (500 series?)

is this worth the trouble?

I don't mind investing in some things over time - i do agree with hightenor that cheap is expensive in the long term.

same time, i dont want to be a total gearS lol, and blow money on gear. i want to work on my songwriting and not be put off or let down by ****ty parts in a signal path causing **** recordings. i basically trying to have the gear avoid being an impedance. although I will be using DAW, i do play guitar, bass, and would like possibility of doing more natural instruments as well for different types of tracks.

hightenor, can you maybe give me your top recommendations (top 2?) for:
compressors
mic pre
eq? perhaps

thanks again everyone, love the different angles and advice.
Old 29th March 2018
  #8
Gear Head
 

also, im open to DIY recommendations for 500 series. i have some electronics experience and would be nice to build some stuff.
Old 29th March 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 

I would get an RME Babyface Pro, a pair of Focal Solos or similar, a Miktek C7 or similar, and spend the rest on room treatment.

Most important is good acoustics and a reliable front end. Outboard gear is nice but not necessary. I wouldn’t split your money up on a bunch of mid-level accessories. Focus on a nice solid backbone you can add to later: interface, monitors, microphone, and a decent room.
Old 29th March 2018
  #10
Gear Maniac
Beyerdynamic 990's are excellent. Can't go wrong with them.

PC vs. Mac. I personally prefer Mac's OS, but considering that you need to spend $2000+ on Mac that can compete with a $1000 DIY PC build, I would build the PC. I like Mac, but not enough to spend an extra grand on it.
Old 29th March 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yummerz View Post
I would get an RME Babyface Pro, a pair of Focal Solos or similar, a Miktek C7 or similar, and spend the rest on room treatment.

Most important is good acoustics and a reliable front end. Outboard gear is nice but not necessary. I wouldn’t split your money up on a bunch of mid-level accessories. Focus on a nice solid backbone you can add to later: interface, monitors, microphone, and a decent room.
Old 29th March 2018
  #12
Gear Addict
If your headphones are for mixing I'd recommend the Sennheiser HD650s.

Interface: UAD Apollo. Can't go wrong really, I don't own one but I would buy one in your situation.

Outboard gear I'd forget about for now. I'd focus on quality and stick with plugins for now, especially with the Slate preamp emulations and UAD preamp emus.

Monitors. I have Genelec 1030's they're great, you can pick them up at a decent price used. I also bought some Yamaha HS7's. More for monitoring low end than anything. They sound pretty scooped next to the Genelecs, definitely a load more top end, but you can back it off with the trim on the back of the monitor.

Computer:

I'd get a desktop for audio, means upgradability. Laptops are great for portability but I just don't find they're as solid for mixing unless you get something ridiculous.

DAW: It depends what style of music you're doing. I used to use Reason with Rewire in Pro Tools, honestly I know nothing about it these days. I use Pro Tools. If you use a lot of MIDI then Cubase could be a solid option for you.

Mics: I bought a slate VMS a year or so ago. Does the job for me and gives me some flexibility. Is it the best thing ever? No, but for a project studio it's nice. I also own an SM7b which is solid on vocals especially, Rode K2 (this can be nice on quite a few things). I'd recommend the Slate VMS though as you get flexibility and it just does the job.

Guitar amp: I wouldn't bother. I'd get a good plugin for amps for increased flexibility. You'd likely get a better tone from that and not have to worry about the volume levels. You could always expand to an amp down the line.

Room Treatment. Go here: Blog — Acoustics Insider do it yourself and avoid foam at all costs.
Old 29th March 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
You are getting good advice. I could quarrel with a point or two, but these are mainly taste and preference decisions. I don’t see anyone getting facts wrong.

The K2 is a great suggestion. It has none of the graininess or harshness of many lower priced condensers. It doesn’t have a strong character, but that could also be said for a U47, which it leans toward. If you are using the same mic for a lot of sources, a neutral good-quality mic is a good choice. They are still inexpensive new. I’d look for used. They are built like they expect to see combat, and are unlikely to fail for decades.
Old 29th March 2018
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by minervx View Post
Beyerdynamic 990's are excellent. Can't go wrong with them.
For me 990s are one of the worst headphones I've tried. Unbelievable harsh. I mean I rather use iPhone pods than 990s.
Old 29th March 2018
  #15
Lives for gear
See! Very opposite opinions on the exact same headphones. So 990s may be the “worst best” headphones, or the “best worst” headphones, or none of that. Don’t know, haven’t tried them.
Since they were mentioned, it is worth noting that IPhone earbuds are actually a very good second or third (or fifth) reference. Tens of millions listen to them. I sometimes check mixes on them, especially to see if the kick and bass can be heard at all.
Old 30th March 2018
  #16
Gear Head
 

thanks all, you're right bushman, lots to think about lol...
Old 30th March 2018
  #17
Gear Addict
I have high regards for UAD platform. Yes you are bought in, yes i hate steven slate's attitude and dont want to give him a penny. Apart from that, i love uad and the emulations. They are one of the best.

Lumchbox can be still usefull aside of that. But it always depends what you want. A eq? Pre like a neve 1073 or api... How much are you gonna record at the same time? I cannot advice you, but some things to think about.
Old 30th March 2018
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaguarguitar View Post
hightenor, can you maybe give me your top recommendations (top 2?) for:
compressors
mic pre
eq? perhaps

thanks again everyone, love the different angles and advice.
Well I do use 19" rack gear too but in the 500 series you could buy a chassis and then a Neve type pre by BAE or Avedis and then I'd buy a IGS LA500 and a Serpent Audio Splice MK2 1176 style comp.

Seriously a 500 series rack with BAE 1073 pre > Splice 1176 > IGS LA 500 (LA2A clone) and you've got a heck of a tracking chain in 500 series that will last you decades if you look after them!

It's a classic chain and that Splice MK2 can do blackface and bluestripe I/O vibes all in one 500 series unit - Mike at Serpent is a genius imho>

You can find these items second hand if you look carefully.

Good luck with your adventure.
Old 31st March 2018
  #19
Gear Head
500 series is cool because you can, like you said in your initial post, build some diy stuff which is fun but also inexpensive relative to buying gear. I love my EQP5 pair from DIYRE. It's also nice to get some gear you might otherwise never get (I could never justify the Shadow Hills Mastering Comp to myself but a used SH Dual Vandergraph? much easier). Check out the Chroma by Louder than Liftoff. Preamp that you can select A or N mode and a bit of EQ. It's designed to also run things through it while mixing (like you mentioned running synths through it). If you really want to reach for it, the Silver Bullet is 19" and what the Chroma is based on, but it's $1,999 so maybe out of reach with everything else you need.

DIY 500 series places to check out: CAPI, DIYRE, Bart HRK, Sound Skulptor, Audio Maintenance Limited (preamps only in 500 series I think), Hairball Audio.

Building a PC right now sucks hard due to RAM and GPU prices. You might be better off buying a prebuilt, so just be sure to check all your options if you go that route. Otherwise I'm all for building a PC yourself. 16GB is probably enough. Seriously, the prices are insane.

On guitar amps... yeah simulations are hard to get by. I've been happy with my AxeFX but obviously that (or a Kemper) is really going to push your budget too far. I really do think they're worth it especially for someone like you in a condo/apartment situation.
Old 31st March 2018
  #20
Gear Head
 

hey ya'll, lots of useful input here, thanks so much seriously. i will keep you guys updated on what i do purchase.

i've been reading about UAD, and how their DSP processing is negligible compared to what modern cpus can do - does this means its not worth gettingto them?

and what does it mean that you are 'locked into' their plugins? can you not use other plugins with their interface?

im a little confused with the setup, but for example in FL Studio when you are tracking (during or after) there is a channel FX where you can add any VST's you like, so i dont see how you are locked with UAD plugins. I'm not familiar with the plugin world of preamp emus to know what that means.

im definitely not getting any amp simulators, i absolutely hate it, granted i have tried any in 4 years, im not sure how far the improvements have come. i much rather plugin to an amp.

i've been reading about Slate VRS system but i'm not sure its my thing.

I think some mentioned here or on another forum, the advantage of having some hardware is that it can 'lock' you into your sound and develop your sound whihc i think is preferable - sometimes all these friggin plugins and options makes the process of making music overwhelming.

i think i need the restrictions. the UAD system seems not to be overwhelming, but something about slate seems like it could get overwhelming.

also considering an RME interface. what makes an interface good or bad?

after the boards here, and discussions, im definitely going to do a 500 series setup.

just depends what interface now...

are there any 500 series interfaces? essentially if im correct, interfaces just do AD/DA conversion right? is there something i can build out? or is there any 500 style AD/DA racks that focus on the conversion?

thanks all
Old 31st March 2018
  #21
Gear Head
 

chit, what diy stuff have you done that you found comparable to real gear by any chance? considering some diy options for preamps, but hteres quire a few...
Old 31st March 2018
  #22
Gear Head
I don't think there's anything in the 500 series as far as conversion, at least not anything on the lower end. Get an interface, as you'll need some monitor and/or headphone connectivity. It used to be converters made a bigger difference in interface but anything new now is pretty damn good. Everything else is basically I/O options and whether you need it or not.

500 series is something you should really make sure you want to commit to (although I guess you could buy used and sell things and not be out much). You could get a Heritage Audio Elite pre/eq for $900 and that's basically the minimum to get into 500 series with a pre and eq. So just really plan everything out. If you really want to get 500 series, get a 6 slot from Lindell or Fredenstein (I have the Fredenstein 10 and 6, never had any issues). If you got a Bento 6, Louder Than Liftoff Chroma and Serpent Splice you'd be looking at like $1900 right there, but it would be fantastic and give you lots of options considering that's only two modules. Of course you could always get a comp that doesn't cost $1000 new.... I wouldn't worry a ton about preamps though, a mic that you like and works for you will make a bigger difference.

UAD and being "locked in" is just referring to be locked to the hardware (most of the time, I think). Or the feeling of being committed 100% to the UAD stuff. Say you get an Apollo interface and one day you want to upgrade or just get something else. Well, you will still need your Apollo to use your UAD plug ins and if you've bought a couple of their $300 plugs, you probably aren't looking to sell your Apollo, or even look into another brand. Not saying you have to avoid UAD because of this, although personally, I haven't gotten into UAD because of it.

The only 500 series I've built are the DIYRE EQP5 and I've never heard a real pultec in person but I'm very happy with them.
Old 31st March 2018
  #23
Lives for gear
UAD have some plugins that are definately worth the price of admission, yes their DSP are part protection dongle (it's not even the elephant in the room anymore) but that's the way UA run their business model so if you want access to some of the very best plugins if not THE best plugins out there then that's how it rolls.

I find their reverb, delays and compressors second to none.

For EQ I use DMG Equilibrium and Fabfilter over UAD.
Old 31st March 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Just a 2 cents on the DAW: shop around, try several; many have trial versions. I would look into Reaper and Mixcraft, the 2 user-friendliest I found and also 2 of the least expensive.
Old 31st March 2018
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Hi JaguarGuitar, allow me to rap with you a bit. You and I are pretty much in the same shoes, except I'm a little distance ahead of you. I've been producing and beat making since I was 14 (2002) and between life and everything else, I stopped about two years ago. I never had a decent setup, or decent gear (except for that Novation X-Station I bought in 2010, and a few other things). At 20 years old I decided music is what I want to do as a career - well, I'm still not there. I've done so many different things after highschool (Graphic Design, IT, Marketing, Process Operations and now, I'm an EMT), all while juggling my musical passions. Two years ago, everything went to crap, and I haven't been making any music since, but have finally acquired most of the funds to build my dream studio. I'm 30 years old now (hey buddy lol), and now on the verge of kicking off something I absolutely Love. Please, allow me to tell you my process and why I chose the gear I purchased; maybe it might help.

Interface:
In 2010 I bought a Presonus Firestudio Project (great interface, but not for this day and age). The first interface I looked at was the Presonus Quantum - it really is an impressive piece of kit. But, I didn't have a Thunderbolt capable PC, and its converters aren't that great, compared to some of the competition. The Apollo Twin MkII was next on the list, and I really wanted that interface. But two things made me pause - having to upgrade my PC motherboard to take advantage of Tb3, and being locked into UAD plugins. UAD makes great stuff, but I don't like to lock myself into any one ecosystem. If I ever chose to upgrade to something else that's not UAD, I'll have to kiss those plugins goodbye. Now, that business decision is great for UAD, but it's not great for me. My budget was tight and I really wanted to save some money (invest it into other vital things, like acoustic treatment), so I stopped entertaining the idea of upgrading my motherboard (it's a recently bought, and damn good board as is). Next on the list was the Antelope Audio Discrete 4 - an excellent desktop interface, with USB and Thunderbolt connectivity, and damn good specs. But the problems I read that some people experience with their AA products, along with the customer interactions I saw from AA on Gearslutz really turned me off from them. I still wanted to purchase it though, and I might have, if it wasn't for two things: 1 - I'd run into that UAD problem of being locked into only buying their interface to use their plugins, and to get the full functionality/featureset of the interface, I had to spend roughly another $600 to $1300 bucks, and that just didn't feel right to me. So, hesitantly, I looked at other options. The Roland Octa interfaces were nearly perfect, but I wanted something that was more than just a marginal upgrade from my Presonus unit, and it wasn't. The Motu 828es was also a serious contender, but it was costly and only offered 2 mic pres, and although the conversion quality was good, there was better out there. And while searching, Audient announced the iD44. I looked at the specs, features and paid careful attention reviews of their other products and their customer relations (very inviting, warm, friendly and helpful reps) and my mind was made up; I was going to get the iD44. The specs rival those from the Apollo and the Discrete 4, can allow you to bypass the preamp for outboard gear, monitor control (important to me) and it's cheaper than the other two offerings. Conversion wise, I saw 126dB dynamic range for line-out and monitor DAC. 124dB dynamic range for Headphone outs. And 121dB dynamic range for ADC (mic pres). Go check the specs of the Apollo and the AA Discrete 4 for comparison - the iD44 (on paper) is better or just as good in some areas. The only thing is, it hasn't been released yet. Release is carded for the end of April or early May I think, which gives me some time to save up the money.

Workstation:
I have some IT chops, and have been doing PC builds and repairs since I was 17, so I built my own PC (It's generally cheaper, and again, my budget was tight). The specs are: An i7 skylake processor, 32GB of RAM, Windows 10 Pro...a real beast of a machine. But I still have to invest in some sort of backup system...maybe a Nas, or just external HDDs/SSDs coupled with the cloud. I already have my work backed up, but my work in IT has taught me that you can never have too many backups. I also use Blu-rays to backup my stuff. And I run FL Studio, mostly because I started on it and understand it well - I work fast on it and get the results I want, so I'm sticking with it, for now. Also, I love the idea of paying one price for a lifetime.

Monitors: This was another long search for me.
My go-to was the Eve Audio SC207, but that's just me dreaming; couldn't afford it. The next ones I looked at were, of course, the JBL LSR 305s. I basically searched for reviews far and wide, and the consensus was the same; these are the best budget monitors one can buy. Right now, I want you to go to YouTube and type in "JBL LSR305s Vs" and listen to them stacked up against other favourites in and above their price range (KRKs, Presonus Eris, Yamaha HS series, Adam F5s, Tannoys) and the JBLs have proven to be consistently better. Long story short, I bought them, along with a single Avantone MixCube, and a Mackie Big Knob Passive to switch between them. I have the JBLs hooked up to a Presonus SBX10 Sub I bought in 2011. I recommend purchasing the MkI version over the MkII. The MkII is a marginal upgrade, with no real difference in the sound. So save some money and purchase the first ones. I'll also be purchasing the Avantone Pro Abbey monitors in the very near future as my 3rd reference source. Other monitors I looked at were the Focal Alpha's and Fluid Audio FX8s. Oh, and get some Sorbothane Hemispheres to decouple your monitors.

Headphones:
After wading through tons of reviews I settled on a very uncommon pair of cans (well, uncommon in Gearslutz); the Status Audio CB1s. I've never had any high-end, or even mid-range studio headphones, so I don't have much to compare them to, except for some cheap Samsons, but these things sound amazing. I'm shocked at the price actually ($62 bucks). They sound rich, balanced, deep but not exaggerated bass, and the top end is clear and pristine, without the fatigue or unusual brightness. My next immediate purchase will be the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro. Down the road I want the AKG K702 and the K712; I've heard only wonderful things about them.

Microphones:
Presently I only have a Shure SH55, and an Audiotechnica AT2020, which were both purchased over 10 years ago, along with a CloudLifter. I don't really do recordings yet, so there isn't much need for decent mics right now. However, I definitely plan to start doing recordings soon, and will slowly build up a decent mic locker, starting with an SM7b and Aston Microphones Origin. The other mics I'm eyeing for purchase soon are; Heil Fin, Rode NT1, Blue Blueberry, Neumann TLM 102, Lewitt LCT 640, among a few other more high-end mics down the road. Building a microphone sounds like a really good idea; one that I've never considered before. But I'm going to explore it; thank you.

Preamp:
My very first preamp will be the Warm Audio TB12 (Tonebeast). I've heard it, and it can really make the vocals sound nice and thick. Apart from that, it has tons of options for adding colour and girth, and variance. I looked at several preamps, but ended up settling on this, as my first preamp. I heard a shootout between the Warm Audio WA12 and the Focusrite ISA One that someone posted on Gearslutz, and the WA12 easily bested it. And knowing that you can completely recreate the sound of the WA12 with the TB12 (Warm Audio explains how to do it, made the TB12 much more desirable. Of course, you can also coax out a lot of different tones that the WA12 can't do. For clean sound, I was looking at the Grace Designs m101, but I realised that the Audient pres are pretty clean, with a hint of colour and saw it pointless to purchase another clean preamp. Much later on, I'll be investing in a lunchbox with some 500 series pres, EQ and compression. But shortly after purchasing the TB12, I want to purchase the Silverbullet.

Acoustic Treatment:
There's no argument here as to why you shouldn't invest in it; do it! Treat the acoustics (room) and monitors as one and the same. They really shouldn't be thought of as two separate entities, even though they are. They're so very dependent on each other I see them as the same. In short, invest in it. And it won't hurt to invest in a good room measurement mic, and REW software, which is free.

These are just the decisions and thought processes I went through to determine the pieces of gear I needed, for now and the near future. There are a few more things I'll be purchasing, but not for a few years.

Good luck!

Last edited by VenVile; 31st March 2018 at 03:26 PM..
Old 1st April 2018
  #26
Gear Head
 

Hi guys,

thanks for all this input and answers.

update: got Reason 10, at a STEAL price (150$ after tax CAD .

vile, I was checking out the audient, I've heard good things about them but didn't realize their price is substantially lower than UAD. is there a reason you wanted 4 mic pres?

im thinking i can get away with 2 pres, in which case thoughts on the id22?

i've taken a look at the gear mentioned, lots of more options to consider lol.

i quite like the chrono for the colour module swap-options.. im also thinking of building the VP28, i read quite a good things about it (i think its CAPI).

what is the general path you would be using? pre-amp>compression>eq? i think those are the three main things im looking for.

i think the next piece i will focus on right now are choosing the interface, and building out a PC.

i may purchase a mic from DIYRE to try.

im also looking for the pathfinder 15r, but have been unable to find any :
Old 1st April 2018
  #27
Gear Head
 

btw whats your guys' opinion on used gear like off reverb.com?
Old 1st April 2018
  #28
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaguarguitar View Post
btw whats your guys' opinion on used gear like off reverb.com?
Used audio hardware boxes, like preamps, comps and compressors, are usually a safe bet. Transducers (mics, headphones and speakers) are sometimes sold after being seriously abused. Heavily used or driven transducers can have physical damage that isn’t always obvious. They can work, but be way off of factory spec. They can also reveal intermittent problems after you have them a while.
Old 2nd April 2018
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaguarguitar View Post
vile, I was checking out the audient, I've heard good things about them but didn't realize their price is substantially lower than UAD. is there a reason you wanted 4 mic pres?
Immediate expandability; didn't want to play it too close. Two is the most I'll need, in most circumstances, but it won't just be a hobby for me. So there would be the rare occasion where I need more than 2 mic inputs, and I want to be ready for such occasions, just in case...until I can open up my doors to recording full bands, in which case I'll add an 8 pre expansion through adat. Also, in Audient's case, the specs are better than the iD22, plus the drivers will be optimized for lower latency, and although the iD22 and iD14 will be getting those driver updates, the iD44 will get it first. Plus it has an on/off switch, which the iD22 doesn't. I just like being able to turn off my electronics without reaching to the back for the plug, lol.

Quote:
im thinking i can get away with 2 pres, in which case thoughts on the id22?
The iD22 is a great unit, from all I've read of it, as Audient's support is top notch. They seem to be extremely helpful where tech/customer support is concerned. But, we have different needs/wants.

Quote:
what is the general path you would be using? pre-amp>compression>eq? i think those are the three main things im looking for.
For now, preamp directly into interface with no additional outboard gear. But yes, eventually I'll be looking at the same signal path, with EQ coming either before or after compression, depending on my needs. For now, I'll be using software for compression and EQ. When I can afford to invest in a decent lunchbox with some 500 series modules, I'll be looking at API, Never and a few other boutique pieces. Because I can't afford the best of the best for individual pieces of gear (even for 19" rack stuff), my next best bet is to get something that does a little of everything, really well. Hence the reason why the Silver Bullet will be my next piece of outboard gear, after the Tonebeast 12.

Quote:
i think the next piece i will focus on right now are choosing the interface, and building out a PC.
Once you have the time, know-how or patience to do it, building your own PC is never a bad idea! The interfaces you're currently considering are all very good. Consider your needs, weigh the pros and cons of each piece of gear, see how they fall inline with those needs (immediately, or in the future), and make your decisions based on that. Everything I've suggested is what would work for me, at this point; but we have different needs/desires/taste. Good luck to you JaguarGuitar. Let's know how everything turns out.

Cheers
Old 2nd April 2018
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VenVile View Post
Once you have the time, know-how or patience to do it, building your own PC is never a bad idea!
I disagree, unless you really enjoy the process. You're not likely to save much money if any. Just buy one that meets your needs..or maybe meets needs minus extra RAM, which for some odd reason they charge you crazy for. Buy one with less RAM and do that upgrade yourself.
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