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My next purchase, your recommendation ?
Old 29th December 2010
  #1
Gear Nut
 

My next purchase, your recommendation ?

Hi there, I've been very unactive here for a long time. I had a habit of checking through here on Gearslutz and I will pick that habit up again from now on. I've learnt so much just by scrolling through various threads.

I have my own small setup in my bedroom. It's called "Studio Bedroom". Clever ? No not really, but It's simple and easy to remember.

Here's a photo, which is a bit dated right now but you'll get the big picture:


As you may see, I don't have a lot of gear. I'm working on it, I promise. You may or may not see that my audio interface on the picture is a Presonus Firepod, which I found to be okay. I've very recently upgraded to a Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56.

Now, i'll get to the point. I'm going to list below my gear roughly and I want you guys to give me recommendations on what I need to get the most out of my home studio. It doesn't matter what type of recommendation you give, just whatever you think is appropriate.

Interface:
Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 (read more here if you want)

Other:
Presonus StudioChannel Tube pre-amp with compressor and EQ
Alesis M-EQ 230 (got it for free, don't ever use it)

Computer:
Apple MacBook Pro 17" 2,5 GHz, 2Gb ram and 500Gb 7200rpm harddrive. I have extra 750Gb external space.

Monitors:
Event TR8 active monitors

Acoustic stuff:
Some auralex pads under the monitors
Auralex foam pads for use with mics and stuff, don't remember the name
Some wedgies and diffusors on the walls

Mics:
AKG P200
2x CAD m179
Oktava ML-53 ribbon
Shure beta57
2x Sennheiser MD421 black with a 5-way switch. They don't work but I'm keeping them if I get the chance to fix them.

Guitars:
2000 PRS Custom 22
1987 Fender Stratocaster Plus with lace pickups
Epiphone Les Paul Goth
Epiphone G310 (my first guitar!)
Martin D16GT
Hondo 12-string

Bass:
Fender Aerodyne Jazz Bass (japan model, still nice though)

Amp:
Bad Cat Hot Cat 30
Various pedals..

Plug-ins:
Waves Mercury
Bunch of other plugins

I think that's about it..

Thanks!
Old 29th December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by geiristudio View Post
It doesn't matter what type of recommendation you give, just whatever you think is appropriate.
Okay, I'll bite:

I recommend you do a search. The general "recommend an upgrade" question gets asked a lot.

I recommend evaluating your own needs and addressing areas in your current arsenal that are holding you back before throwing money at some random gadget. What do you hope to accomplish with your upgrade? What problem are you addressing?

I recommend reconsidering the value of suggestions and opinions on specific gear coming from people who don't know what you are able to accomplish with the gear you currently have.
Old 29th December 2010
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisc_o View Post
Okay, I'll bite:

I recommend you do a search. The general "recommend an upgrade" question gets asked a lot.

I recommend evaluating your own needs and addressing areas in your current arsenal that are holding you back before throwing money at some random gadget. What do you hope to accomplish with your upgrade? What problem are you addressing?

I recommend reconsidering the value of suggestions and opinions on specific gear coming from people who don't know what you are able to accomplish with the gear you currently have.
Fair enough. That was a pretty good recommendation you gave me.
Old 29th December 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by geiristudio View Post
Fair enough. That was a pretty good recommendation you gave me.
Cool.

Your gear list looks pretty sweet, FWIW.
Old 29th December 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
drmmrboy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by geiristudio View Post
Plug-ins:
Waves Mercury
Bunch of other plugins
Why spend thousands on plugins & considerably less in other areas. I'm sure you have a reason, just curious..

Old 29th December 2010
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
LirvA's Avatar
 

My recommendation: different guitar stands. Wall hangers can tweak your necks.
Old 29th December 2010
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmmrboy View Post
Why spend thousands on plugins & considerably less in other areas. I'm sure you have a reason, just curious..

I was very lucky. I got the whole bundle for a killer price and at the time I had a quite good job which payed well so I went for it and I don't regret it.
Old 29th December 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Storyville's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by LirvA View Post
My recommendation: different guitar stands. Wall hangers can tweak your necks.
thumbsup


Next to that, a nice preamp would do you some good.
Old 29th December 2010
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post
thumbsup


Next to that, a nice preamp would do you some good.
Thanks, I'll consider that. Like I stated before, I just upgraded from presonus firepod to Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 so I have a lot better preamps right away, right ?

I haven't tried the liquid preamps yet because of christmas-related things but I think they'll be a nice addition to my setup.
Old 29th December 2010
  #10
Gear Nut
 
metalmatt's Avatar
 

Bass Traps, small rooms need it alot
Old 29th December 2010
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by metalmatt View Post
Bass Traps, small rooms need it alot
+1

Looks like you have more than enough absorption for your mids and highs.

You need to get some bass trapping happening now.
Old 29th December 2010
  #12
TLR
Gear Head
 
TLR's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatgtrguy View Post
+1

Looks like you have more than enough absorption for your mids and highs.

You need to get some bass trapping happening now.
Massively in Agreement about the bass trapping. Also look at reducing overall noise in the room and carefully looking at your ideal listening position, as judging from the picture it looks like you may be sitting a little low. Although I assume you might have lifted your speakers to avoid flutter echo's. Also, pictures of your girlfriend can be distracting, replace it with a picture of Uncle Sam pointing at you saying "Thou shalt not record crap" thumbsup
Old 29th December 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TLR View Post
Also, pictures of your girlfriend can be distracting, replace it with a picture of Uncle Sam pointing at you saying "Thou shalt not record crap" thumbsup

Or, Uncle Sam saying "I WANT YOU!... to fight the loudness war!"
Old 29th December 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 

I would:

• Get bass traps.
• Improve mic collection - pay for 421 repairs, get some 57s and get an RE-20 / SM7B / Heil PR40 (the Heil is my favourite, but the 3 are all similar). Maybe some SDCs might also be good - I personally love sE SDCs, from the simple sE1-A cardioid SDCs to the more versatile sE4s with variable pick up patterns, hi-pass filters and pads.
• Think about surround sound monitoring? For interesting options in the future?
•*Monitor controller - you're going straight from a digital box to the speakers, meaning a digital malfunction could lead to speaker damage. An analogue box in between can be a good solution to ensure you can protect your speakers. Even just a TC Level Pilot or something.
Old 29th December 2010
  #15
Bass traps, it seems you record a lot of guitar. Fix the 421 and get a ua610 and for vocals and acoustic guitar try one of the tlm 102's. I bought one a few days ago (the 103 was on sale and cheaper but I stayed away). Very nice sounding.
Old 30th December 2010
  #16
Gear Head
 

How do you like your studio channel?

maybe a bigger monitor along with the bass traps?
Old 30th December 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 
uncle duncan's Avatar
 

Mac tower so you can run two video monitors
U87
500 series lunchbox with various boutique preamps
Tubetech compressor
Hammond B3
Yamaha C9 grand piano
Recording room with 16' ceilings - paneled in redwood

That would be a good start.
Old 30th December 2010
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanvoth View Post
Bass traps, it seems you record a lot of guitar. Fix the 421 and get a ua610 and for vocals and acoustic guitar try one of the tlm 102's. I bought one a few days ago (the 103 was on sale and cheaper but I stayed away). Very nice sounding.
Did you try both or just believe the hype?

The TLM103 is a great mic.
Old 30th December 2010
  #19
Here for the gear
 
Titus Lorkson's Avatar
 

You have a bunch of interesting devices, granted.

However, I am a bit confused as to what to recommend, since there are IMHO some questions to be asked first, such as :

- what musical genre are you mainly into ? Or what type of music do you record mostly ?

- are you going to do all the recording yourself ?

- what about the software ? Are you all set up ? What skills levels do you have with music applications ?
Old 30th December 2010
  #20
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
I'd recommend :-

1/ Bass Traps - Easy to build for around £30 each but makes a big difference to your room!

2/ Mixing headphones - I find it useful to check my mixes on headphones

3/ Maybe get a better mic for your voice IF you are not happy with your current mics?
Old 30th December 2010
  #21
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by metalmatt View Post
Bass Traps, small rooms need it alot
Yeah I'm acquiring some frames and material to make my own basstraps. I know that they will in fact do a huge difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatgtrguy View Post
+1

Looks like you have more than enough absorption for your mids and highs.

You need to get some bass trapping happening now.
Exactly, I'm going to re-arrange a bit when I'm done making some traps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TLR View Post
Massively in Agreement about the bass trapping. Also look at reducing overall noise in the room and carefully looking at your ideal listening position, as judging from the picture it looks like you may be sitting a little low. Although I assume you might have lifted your speakers to avoid flutter echo's. Also, pictures of your girlfriend can be distracting, replace it with a picture of Uncle Sam pointing at you saying "Thou shalt not record crap" thumbsup
Yeah definitely! First I only had a few wedgies but when I re-arranged them and added diffusers I found that the noise and acoustics got better. There is still some "room sound" which I don't like and the mics do pick it up. When I've gotten traps and maybe take the guitars down from the wall, it'll get better. I spent a while working on the listening position and I find it to be pretty nice. When I'm mixing I raise the chair up and the speakers point to my ears and I'm at the same distance from the monitors as the monitors are from each other. I got the Auralex mopads to eliminate any unwanted sounds from the monitors or the wooden stands beneath the monitors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
I would:

• Get bass traps.
• Improve mic collection - pay for 421 repairs, get some 57s and get an RE-20 / SM7B / Heil PR40 (the Heil is my favourite, but the 3 are all similar). Maybe some SDCs might also be good - I personally love sE SDCs, from the simple sE1-A cardioid SDCs to the more versatile sE4s with variable pick up patterns, hi-pass filters and pads.
• Think about surround sound monitoring? For interesting options in the future?
•*Monitor controller - you're going straight from a digital box to the speakers, meaning a digital malfunction could lead to speaker damage. An analogue box in between can be a good solution to ensure you can protect your speakers. Even just a TC Level Pilot or something.
I've been reading A LOT about mics the past couple of days and I will decide on a few mic purchases in the near future. Thanks for the recommendation!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanvoth View Post
Bass traps, it seems you record a lot of guitar. Fix the 421 and get a ua610 and for vocals and acoustic guitar try one of the tlm 102's. I bought one a few days ago (the 103 was on sale and cheaper but I stayed away). Very nice sounding.
Thanks, I will check them out! I have a friend who can possibly fix my 421's. One is in working condition but I want to have them both checked before I use them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxBouvrie View Post
How do you like your studio channel?

maybe a bigger monitor along with the bass traps?
I like the studio channel a lot. Now, combined with the focusrite, I expect good results. At least much better than before. I like to be able to use a bit of compression sometimes when I record guitar and vocals, even bass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan View Post
Mac tower so you can run two video monitors
U87
500 series lunchbox with various boutique preamps
Tubetech compressor
Hammond B3
Yamaha C9 grand piano
Recording room with 16' ceilings - paneled in redwood

That would be a good start.
Those are some big recommendations. I will keep them in mind though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titus Lorkson View Post
You have a bunch of interesting devices, granted.

However, I am a bit confused as to what to recommend, since there are IMHO some questions to be asked first, such as :

- what musical genre are you mainly into ? Or what type of music do you record mostly ?

- are you going to do all the recording yourself ?

- what about the software ? Are you all set up ? What skills levels do you have with music applications ?
1. Genres ? Well, I'm very interested in "experimental rock" in any kind of way. The "straight-forward-pop-easy-to-predict-rock" isn't really my kind of flavour but sometimes it can be a little interesting. I like electronic rock so I really need to have better control over the bass in my room. I like bass-heavy, minimalistic electro music. I do record a lot of guitar stuff, electric and acoustic but still my own music consists of electro elements as well as heavy-rock sounds.

2. This recording space is intended for me only. What I mean is that I will be doing all the button pushing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
I'd recommend :-

1/ Bass Traps - Easy to build for around £30 each but makes a big difference to your room!

2/ Mixing headphones - I find it useful to check my mixes on headphones

3/ Maybe get a better mic for your voice IF you are not happy with your current mics?
1. Yup!

2. I forgot to mention, I have 2x Sony MDR-7506 and I love the sound from them. I don't mix through headphones but I use them when I'm tracking and to check on mixes.

3. I kind of like my mics and I've gotten used to them but, ofcourse, I would be happy to get a very nice sounding mic dedicated to vocals (which can be used for other things when appropriate)
Old 31st December 2010
  #22
Gear Nut
 
Madestew's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatgtrguy View Post
+1

Looks like you have more than enough absorption for your mids and highs.

You need to get some bass trapping happening now.

Thank You. That Auralex isnt doing anything but being "pretty"
Old 31st December 2010
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madestew View Post
Thank You. That Auralex isnt doing anything but being "pretty"
So you're really telling me that a piece of foam does the EXACT same thing as the concrete wall behind it ?
Old 31st December 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by geiristudio View Post
So you're really telling me that a piece of foam does the EXACT same thing as the concrete wall behind it ?
define 'does the exact same thing' - does the exact same thing when hit with a cup of tea? when shot with an air rifle? when listening to music perhaps?

If the foam isn't placed intentionally - just chucked on the wall, then in terms of it's effect on the room's acoustics from the listening position, will not be the same as the concrete wall behind it, but won't be any better.

And EVEN if it is better, it won't be as much better as it could be if you placed it scientifically.
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