The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Noob console, Pre's, and convertor selection help. Condenser Microphones
Old 18th December 2010
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Noob console, Pre's, and convertor selection help.

Hi, new slut here. I'm also learning the engineering craft. I would like to thank everyone, and anyone who's posts I've read off of this site. This is truly one of the best online communities I have ever seen. A lot of truly talented and intelligent people on this board. I'd also like to thank anyone who chimes in on this thread, I really need the help, and it is much appreciated.

I'll start by painting the scene here in Kansas City. I'm a professional upright and electric bassist with 20 years experience playing mostly jazz. (about half of those years were spent playing in New Orleans and on the east coast.) I have taken a few audio engineering classes in college, taken the logic studio training course (sept 2010, fmc new york), and worked briefly as an intern at a studio.

The knowledge I have about engineering has come mostly from running my own DAW, and Motu 8 pre, within logic, with some basic microphones, doing live recordings at some of my gigs. I have a small 10.5x11.5 studio (which will be used primarily for mixing, which is being treated with a dozen or so 2x4x6" traps. Space is at a premium, I do have a window seat which currently houses my daw, motu, and could be a potential resting spot for monitors. (now they are on stands)

Recently I've gotten the attention of some other musicians, and I've been fortunate enough to engineer some of my friends records, as well as make some $ recording audition tapes for vocalists, usually on location. I have access to another space where I've been recording jazz trio's and quartets. It's not really treated, but I am able to put up gobo's, and some traps, the recordings have been steadily improving, as I learn more about engineering, treat the room more, and add new gear.

Here is my gear:

Motu 8 pre (functional, pop in output though 4-5 years old)
motu 896 HD (broken, possibly broken fw port, thinking about sending into motu, got it for $100, think its about 5-6 years old)
13" Macbook Pro ( 8gb ram, ssd, 2.4 intel core duo) Imac 24" 2.66 4 gb ram 7200 rpm hdd.
Akg 414 bxls, akg c1000s (pos i know), ADK Hamburg(might do the pitbull mod), stereo pair Stellar RM-3, 2 Matched stereo studio projects c4, beta 57, regular 57s, at 2021, at 2020, shure b52, superlux R102, mxl v63m (gonna get the joly treatment), plan on adding a pair of 421's, and a decent tube mic.

On to the questions, which undoubtedly will lead to only more questions, thank you for your patience.

What am I missing in my mic locker. Obviously a Neumann or two. But seriously, suggestions, not necessarily low budget, but not expensive either.

I would like a small analog console with some decent pre's. New or used. mostly it's going to be used to mix and lay tracks one instrument at a time. I'll be stuck in my small room setup for the next few years, so a large frame console is out of the question. I'd like at least 16 channels\faders. I could spend up to 5,000 for the right box, but I don't think it would be necessary to spend that much, mostly due to the lack of space, and my relative lack of engineering experience. The tech situation here is average to below average. I know some good ones, but they are busy, a little crazy, and have their own studios, so I wouldn't want a "project" at this point. I can do some of my own work, but time is at a premium for me right now 2 kids, another on the way, and I'm a stay at home dad. I'd like to get up and running quickly, as I have three projects I'm mixing, and the ipad control surface brings me no mojo. So something used wold have to be close to 100% functional.

I'd need a converter too to go with this board. Any recommendations for that? I could spend up to $2,000 for that piece of gear. I love my Motu's but they are old, and My thought is to get them serviced, and use them together as a mobile rig exclusively.

I have an opportunity to buy some original mackie 824's, for $500 for the pair, excellent condition. Is there anything that is going to sound better than those in my small room for that kind of money? Are they too much for my small room?

I don't think I'm going to go nuts with a ton of outboard gear yet, I would like to get 2-4 nicer mic pre's, but depending on the board and convertor, it may not be necessary. I like a lot of logic's plug ins, and I probably will be teaching some logic classes eventually, so I need to concentrate on that for the next year, then I'll get all slutty with compressors, pre's and the like.

Let's say the total budget is $8,000-10,000 for a Console, convertor, pre's, a few mics, and monitors. Could I get some suggestions with my needs and budget in mind? Am I doing anything blatantly wrong in terms of equipment or decision path? Thanks again for your time.
Regards,
Burninworm
Old 20th December 2010
  #2
Here for the gear
 

bump...
Old 20th December 2010
  #3
Registered User
 

I hate to be negative, but I"m not sure if 10 grand will get you there. yea you might could find an old used something, but unless you have a tech or know your way around electronics I doubt a console would be worth it in the end. Regardless your still going to need a computer a interface and converters on top of the console and a small room like that is going to be a pian to make sound good. I'd say at least 1,000 will have to go in acoustic treatment alone. Lets do some math and show you what I'm talking about then answer this question

why do you need a console?

are you planning on mixing without level automation, panning eq fx? do you have any hardware extra eqs compressors reverbs to interface with it?
if not your wasting your money

***blowing your budget in a hurry***

toft atb 5,000 "a new 16 channel real mini console"
acoustic treatment 1,000
say you own the computer (your laptop might lack processing power for a full mix)
interface say you go with another moutu 800.00
external converters a lynx auror is 3,000
or 2 grand for some extra moutu add on a/d
that leaves less then 1,200 for mics, monitors, cables to wire the console etc. which can be about 300 to 500 dollars alone for mogami cabling

your best bet is to drop the mixer console idea stay in the box and use external hardware that's the only way your going to get what you want around 8 grand, then its very doable to get great results for the money.

also try to stay away from 8 inch monitors in your size room 6 inch will be easier to deal with for the space and acoustic needs
if you need more low end refrence get a great set of headphones like sennheiser hd600s to check the low end
Old 20th December 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doulos24 View Post
toft atb 5,000 "a new 16 channel real mini console"
acoustic treatment 1,000
Fine

Quote:
interface say you go with another moutu 800.00
external converters a lynx auror is 3,000
or 2 grand for some extra moutu add on a/d
Why??

You're talking 2-3k. No need at all!

1) Get 896 repaired.
2) Plug 896 into 8pre by FW. Plug either into computer, doesn't matter. This gives a total of 16 mic ins, or 8 line ins and 8 instrument ins, and 10 line outs. Use the latter.
3) Buy a Behringer ADA8000 (or 2) and plug into the Optical (ADAT) input(s) on the 896 (and 8pre if 2 units).
4) You now have 16 (24) line ins, 8 instrument ins (for DI) and 18 (26) line outs. And it didn't cost anythiing close to £3k.

MOTU conversion isn't the best but it's perfectly good and most of those who slag it off have never really compared it to Lynx or whatever.

Keep with the 16ch console and if you want the extra ADA8000 you can use it for FX returns.

That said, what is it that you want the console for? If you only want it for it's mic pres, just don't bother. You're spending $x on pres, EQs, auxes and faders for pres. That doesn't make sense. If you needed a set of wheels, you wouldn't buy a whole car.

If the above is so, use the MOTU pres, connect the 896 by ADAT (if its broken FW port you don't even need it repaired) and you have 16 mics ins and 10 line outs straight away without spending any money, and can spend the rest on a nice pair of speakers (with that money, you could get PMC / K&H / ATC), Room Treatment, decent cabling, and a good set of mics; as well as a Waves bundle or 3 to get started on mixing ITB.
Old 20th December 2010
  #5
Registered User
 

Quote:
MOTU conversion isn't the best but it's perfectly good
whats the point of good if you sinking 5 grand into a console? why would you pay so much for the consoles analog sound only to be limited by the converters? analog console limited to 48khz sample rate why? the 2 grand was for 96k to 192k converters I think the 192 is over kill but 96k is what I would use
Old 21st December 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doulos24 View Post
whats the point of good if you sinking 5 grand into a console? why would you pay so much for the consoles analog sound only to be limited by the converters? analog console limited to 48khz sample rate why? the 2 grand was for 96k to 192k converters I think the 192 is over kill but 96k is what I would use
MOTU supports 96k conversion.

CDs, on the other hand, only support 44.1k. As do MP3s. In fact, I'm not quite sure of any current popular format utilising 96k. Even films only use 48k.

5 grand on a console is nothing and MOTU converters will do absolutely fine for that. You do not need to go wild buying a Lynx Aurora when at a $10k budget you need to focus on functionality and getting everything you need. I mix a lot of records on MOTU converters and I don't get many complaints from people saying that the conversion is audible and they won't pay until I mix on Lynx converters.
Old 21st December 2010
  #7
Registered User
 

Quote:
I mix a lot of records on MOTU converters and I don't get many complaints from people saying that the conversion is audible and they won't pay until I mix on Lynx converters.
if thats the standard we go by the general public why don't we just shoot for mp3 converters with the fedility of cheap boom boxes and ipod ear buds?

you missed the point for around 5 grand I could have 8 neve 1272s or 8 api 512s
have a standard interface and enough left over for stellar converters

or I could have a toft atb and a moutu
Old 21st December 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doulos24 View Post
if thats the standard we go by the general public why don't we just shoot for mp3 converters with the fedility of cheap boom boxes and ipod ear buds?

you missed the point for around 5 grand I could have 8 neve 1272s or 8 api 512s
have a standard interface and enough left over for stellar converters

or I could have a toft atb and a moutu
Nowt wrong with a Toft ATB and a set of MOTUs for somebody with a $10k budget. At all. There are a number of good studios in the UK that use entirely MOTU conversion, there are also a number of rubbish ones with Lynx's.

I just think that with $10k, there is really no need to burn between 20% and 30% on converters ALONE. They really don't make that much of a different. Mics, pres, speakers, acoustic treatment, outboard and plugins ALL amount to a far more noticable change (for better or worse) than converters and when on a limited budget, I'd go for those of a good standard and get good everything else, than get ADA of excellent standard and end up skimping on mics or speakers.
Old 25th December 2010
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Wow, thanks for the advice. I am definitely a noob, so if I sound like I don't know what I'm doing its because I don't. I actually enjoy the convertors vs pres\mics debate. I've actually made some progress in terms of treatment - made 8 2x4 cloud\absorber panels with 6" of SAFB (mineral wool). Total cost $210. I still have plenty of wood, fabric, and 8 - 3" 2x4 sheets of SAFB to make smaller absorbers, corner traps, acoustic panels, etc. I have around 20 sq. feet of high density foam I could do something with. Plus Eclipse blackout curtains on the windows already.

Coincidentally a buddy of mine was just given a 16 channel allen and heath board in a road case as payment for a session. I don't have a lot of details like model number, last known state of operation yet. I do know it was made sometime in the 80's and will be completely recapped by a really great tech, and then tested by another excellent engineer, who are both my really good friends, so I know they will take care of me, should I decide to buy it. It's going to be pretty cheap, around $350. I'll get the model number next time I see him, and post it up and get some opinions.

Part of what I plan to do is a lot of live remote recording of jazz groups, and other roots type music in clubs, small concert halls, lofts, etc. I actually made my traps easily removable, and super light in case I need to use them outside my studio.

how about some suggestions on what is missing in my mic locker. Here is what's in there now:

1 Akg 414 bxls,
1 akg c1000s (pos i know), 1 ADK Hamburg(might do the pitbull mod), stereo pair Stellar RM-3, 2 Matched stereo studio projects c4,1 beta 57, 4 regular 57s, 1 at 2021, 1 at 2020, 1 shure b52, 1 superlux R102,1 mxl v63m (gonna get the joly treatment). I know I need sennheiser 421's, any other mic suggestions. My thought is not to buy any really expensive mics (over $1,000), because I won't want to use them on remotes.

I am going to go ahead and get the motu's fixed. I should get at least one more convertor, something new, as both motu's have been in service for a while. Which motu should I get. another one with built in pre's, or strictly a convertor. I like motu, and their convertors do sound decent enough to my ears.

My laptop does 12 channels @ 96 K, no problems, so far. I haven't really tested what it's capable of though. I'm running logic off of an internal ssd, and recording to an external 7200 rpm hdd. Will upgrade that to ssd as well once this one gets full.

So mics, pres, and convertor suggestions, I'm pretty resourceful at getting decent deals on gear. Any body care to help!
Thanks,
Burninworm
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
jlaugh87 / So much gear, so little time
5
raga2000 / So much gear, so little time
16
sonicolonic / Studio building / acoustics
5
stickstome2 / High end
31

Forum Jump
Forum Jump