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I have 3.5k to spend starting my studio, What do you suggest I buy?
Old 21st December 2010
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Red face I have 3.5k to spend starting my studio, What do you suggest I buy?

So I finished school at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences a few years ago before moving to LA to start my career. Worked at a few studios that ended up either closing or sold. I have been saving my money with hopes of starting my own small studio with some friends.

At this point I saved up around 3.5k to spend, which isnt much I know. I need some help getting started with some suggestions on what to spend my money on.

I have a few pieces of recording gear such as a Presonus Firestudio and various microphones but I want to step up my sound so I can be taken a bit more seriously.

Suggest away!

Thanks in advanceheh

edit:
I forgot to mention that I already have a Pair of JVC monitors and a bunch of acoustic treatment material.
Old 21st December 2010
  #2
Gear Head
 
awimoe's Avatar
 

I have 3.5k to spend starting my studio, What do you suggest I buy?

Buy an imac and you should go for the 27" i7, logic express, waves bundle plugins, and the rest money on the monitors you can afford. If you have a pair in the 400-500€/$ then save your money for later. Well firestudio is ok. Α sm57 (which you may have) and a versatible condenser(check se electronics)would be enough for your first steps. For drums...well the value for money I think is vst solutions because of the mics and the money you have to spent for acoustic treatment. Don't forget cAble tester and a screwdriver!
Old 21st December 2010
  #3
Here for the gear
 

what would you recommend as far as outboard gear?
Old 22nd December 2010
  #4
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awimoe's Avatar
 

a tube pre would be a nice start, and a controller for the daw you choose
Old 22nd December 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HipJester View Post
what would you recommend as far as outboard gear?
None at all. It's an outdated concept as far as low-budget studios are concerned. Buy $1000 will buy you 72 channels of virtual SSL E series or G series strips with as many bus compressors as you like, whilst $1000 would not buy you a single E or G series strip, or a bus compressor. And the sound difference is there, but not there enough to mean on your budget that it's an issue.

Yes 1 nice channel strip is always a bonus but I'd rather get 16 pretty good pres and have to use them for everything than 16 alright pres so I could use a fancy LA610 for nice stuff.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #6
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Scott Whigham's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HipJester View Post
So I finished school at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences a few years ago before moving to LA to start my career. Worked at a few studios that ended up either closing or sold. I have been saving my money with hopes of starting my own small studio with some friends.

At this point I saved up around 3.5k to spend, which isnt much I know. I need some help getting started with some suggestions on what to spend my money on.

I have a few pieces of recording gear such as a Presonus Firestudio and various microphones but I want to step up my sound so I can be taken a bit more seriously.

Suggest away!

Thanks in advanceheh

edit:
I forgot to mention that I already have a Pair of JVC monitors and a bunch of acoustic treatment material.
With "only" $3500, you are very limited as you likely know. I'd suggest picking up a Digi 002 rack which you can probably get for $500ish. Spend another $250 to upgrade to PT9 if you want to impress easily impressable people.

After that, check out the Focusrite stuff to extend your pres.

Once you've done that, it's time for better mics. "various microphones" won't cut it - you need versatile, time-tested beasts:

* SM57 (2), SM58, SM7B, MD421 (2), AKG 414SM52, Cascade Fathead or BD M160

That would get you the dynamics for both guitar and drums, a great ribbon for fattening stuff up, and then a large diaphragm condenser that can work with lots of things. Consider the MXL V67G too - works nice with vox and acoustic gtr.

I think you're done at that point.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Whigham View Post
With "only" $3500, you are very limited as you likely know. I'd suggest picking up a Digi 002 rack which you can probably get for $500ish. Spend another $250 to upgrade to PT9 if you want to impress easily impressable people.

After that, check out the Focusrite stuff to extend your pres.

Once you've done that, it's time for better mics. "various microphones" won't cut it - you need versatile, time-tested beasts:

* SM57 (2), SM58, SM7B, MD421 (2), AKG 414SM52, Cascade Fathead or BD M160

That would get you the dynamics for both guitar and drums, a great ribbon for fattening stuff up, and then a large diaphragm condenser that can work with lots of things. Consider the MXL V67G too - works nice with vox and acoustic gtr.

I think you're done at that point.
+1 on most of this, i would probably also look at a pair of small diaphragm condensers, these can be used for overheads for drums, choirs, stereo recordings...in summing, they come in VERY handy...

Rode make some pretty good cheap condensers. I have the NT1a, its a bit on the bright side for most of my tasks nowadays, but its still my go to mic for distant recordings and room mic. I have a pair of NT5s for small diaphragm condensers...some people find them dark, i find them pretty good...of course there's better mic's out there, but for the price, they're hard to beat.

Personally i use an m-audio profire 2626, i've used this AND the digi 002r, i find the profire a bit better...the conversion isn't the best in the world, but its probably about on par with the digi, and cheaper too. The digi will win out if you specifically want to use protools, however the profire will work with protools m powered 8 and protools 9. Reaper is also another option, and will more than get you what you need, but as Scott said, "protools" seems to be the buzz word...i haven't personally used protools yet, since i use Cubase Studio 5.5 and Logic Pro 9, however PT9 has come a LONG way from PT8. Both the profire and the digi 002/003 will get you a step up from presonus...

The pre's in the profire to me seem a little better than the ones in the 002r, however i've also got a Focusrite Octopre mkII Dynamic running into that via lightpipe, which are pretty good pre's as well.

Seeing as you only have a 3.5k budget, i'd look at employing the idea of a golden channel or two. What i mean by this is stick to say these middle of the range pre's such as the Focusrite Octopre mkII Dynamic, and also get one or two "better" pre's. Personally i only have one "better" pre right now, this one is the UA 710, which i think is great, some people have complained about it, but as long as you've got the gain staging right, they're pretty good. I'm also in the market for a Focusrite ISA One pretty soon. The Grace m101 is also worth a look (as is the UA 610, UA 110 if you can find one, even the UA DCS is great if you can get one, they're discontinued, but they're still around). As you start to get good sounds and paying customers, you can start getting pre's that are even better than these...
Old 23rd December 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
A plane ticket to florida or youll end up in a VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER.

YouTube - Chris Farley plays Matt Foley as the Motivational Santa
Old 23rd December 2010
  #9
Registered User
 

I have 3.5k to spend starting my studio, What do you suggest I buy?

Congratulations and good luck with your career.

You should consider starting out tracking basics in a good studio, grabbing the files and finishing the productions/overdubs at home.

I would suggest getting a second-hand early 2008 or 2009 Mac Pro with at least 8GB of RAM and 4 hard drives (1TB Seagate Sata drives are $70 now): One for OSX+DAW/Plugs/Apps, one for your Record drive, one for temporary daily project backups, and one for streaming sample libraries (if used).

UAD2 Quad card.

And if you can swing it, the Soundtoys bundle. Amazing.
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