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$7,500 budget. What should I spend it on? *Long time creeper, first time poster* Condenser Microphones
Old 6th September 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 

$7,500 budget. What should I spend it on? *Long time creeper, first time poster*

Hey Gang,

I've been a creeper around the forums for a long time, and have come to value the opinions that float around this network. Now that I've got a $7,500 budget and a bit of start up materials, I thought I'd ask the group how you think I should spend my money.

**[Stuff I've got]**
-I've got a 3.1Ghz Dual Core PC with 4 Gigs of DDR4 Ram.

-Cubase 5.1 Essentials and a bunch of plugins for my DAW

-I'm running 2 Aardvark Q10's that are Wordclocked together for my "A/D & D/A I/O" and a couple of "backup pres" [These units are via PCI Connection for up to 16 channels of 96khz sample rate. It also has a s/pdif I/O for 2 more digital channels].

-I've got a bunch of mike's already. More than enough and quite a few stereo pairs, so I'm covered there.

-I've got a lame and simple compression rack with an Alesis 3630 & an ART TCS in it. A total of 4 channels of dynamics that I connect via the inserts on the aardvark Q10.

-I started getting interested in the concept of collecting a bunch of different preamps, so I bought a "Robbie" by BLUE and 2 channel GOLD MP by ART which I changed the tubes on. I definitely appreciate the tones when I bypass my Aardvark Q10 pres by going directly in and switching to "Line".

-------------

I've been using this setup to record bands on the road and in mobile situations. We usually just mix in the box and have some amazing results during mixdown/master. That being said... I'm always looking for the next level, the next "wow factor" as Darell Sheets would say. haha.

That's why I'm here at GearSlutz. I'm here to see how everyone would spend this money given this situation to step my end product up a notch or two.

I've been seriously considering the purchase of 2 API Lunchboxes and decking them out with a bunch of pre/comp/eq modules. But what do you guys recommend? Do you think I should so something else entirely? Fire Away and tell me what you think!! Rip apart my idea and tell me what's a much better plan if you've got one. I want to hear everything and anything!!

**What I've got planned**
---------------------------
2 - API 6 slot lunchboxes
1 - Buzz Essence
1 - Elysia Xpressor 500
1 - LaChapell 583e
2 - API 512c
2 - Daking 500 Mic Pre

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts
[Remember, the budget is $7,500]
NewBlood
Old 6th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
kidvybes's Avatar
 

...$7,500 isn't really "low-end" IMHO...you would be better off getting opinions in the "So Much Gear..." forum with that kind of budget...but what do I know?...
Old 6th September 2011
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...$7,500 isn't really "low-end" IMHO...you would be better off getting opinions in the "So Much Gear..." forum with that kind of budget...but what do I know?...
Hmm, seems low-budget to me.

An SSL-AWS924 Goes for about $80k.

An API 1608 is $50k.
Old 6th September 2011
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewBlood View Post
Hmm, seems low-budget to me.

An SSL-AWS924 Goes for about $80k.

An API 1608 is $50k.
...but all the gear you listed definitely isn't! you don't need an AWS or 1608 to do high end work. Likewise, you probably wouldn't put behringer, Alesis or the like gear in a higher end room.
Old 6th September 2011
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
...but all the gear you listed definitely isn't! you don't need an AWS or 1608 to do high end work. Likewise, you probably wouldn't put behringer, Alesis or the like gear in a higher end room.
I completely agree.
You can get a whole lot done with a small budget.

So what would you guys do to this rig?
Do you think the lunchbox purchase is a good idea if I keep the Q10's as my A/D D/A?
Would you do something else entirely?
Old 6th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 

i know you say you are covered in the mic dept., but can you list what mics you have?

also, are you only doing mobile recording or are you thinking of setting up a studio/tracking room?

as far as your list goes, if you want Daking, spend a little more and buy used mic pre/eq modules, for about 300 more per channel, you get GREAT eq to go along with a nice pre.
Old 6th September 2011
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

I agree that $7500 is low budget. It doesn't seem it just because it's a lot of cash, but I consider my setup to be the bare bones I need to record full bands and have options on things, and over the years it's easily added up to more than $7500, considering all I've spend. And hell, I've been looking at more expensive gear now, so I'll be buying more things in the $1000 range rather than a few things int he $250 range that I'll end up selling.

Anyway, I'd agree that listing your mics would be a good idea because maybe you're happy with what you've got but there's something you haven't thought of that could open up a whole slew of sonic options that might add a lot. Regardless, the lunchboxes sound like the perfect idea to me. I'm coming to that point myself - I've got a decent mic setup, and I'm still looking to pick up a few more really nice ones here and there, but the lunchbox seems like a great thing to explore when you've got your bases relatively well-covered and can afford to sell a module to buy another and compare things and yadda yadda. When folks are starting out it seems like the lunchbox wouldn't be a great option because you can't always afford to be without that one or two mic pre's. But you seem to be in the boat I'm looking toward now, where you're able to cover what you need, which allows you to explore. It's great because you can buy different modules often for cheaper than the rack units, but it's also really easy to just swap them out, sell ones, get other ones, etc. "Modular" is such a great thing in the audio world.

I'm curious what mics you've got though!
Old 7th September 2011
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by j2dafo View Post
i know you say you are covered in the mic dept., but can you list what mics you have?

also, are you only doing mobile recording or are you thinking of setting up a studio/tracking room?

as far as your list goes, if you want Daking, spend a little more and buy used mic pre/eq modules, for about 300 more per channel, you get GREAT eq to go along with a nice pre.
Thanks for the reply.

Yea, I was def considering the EQ side of things when I added the LaChappell 583e. It's a badass tube pre with an amazing EQ on it. It would, however, leave me limited to mono EQing. Any time I want to do a stereo EQ I'll have to do 2 independent mono monitors... which can get dodgy for final masters. Yikes.

I'm gonna post a list of mikes below, so check it out too.
Old 7th September 2011
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewBlood View Post
Hey Gang,

I've been a creeper around the forums for a long time, and have come to value the opinions that float around this network. Now that I've got a $7,500 budget and a bit of start up materials, I thought I'd ask the group how you think I should spend my money.

**[Stuff I've got]**
-I've got a 3.1Ghz Dual Core PC with 4 Gigs of DDR4 Ram.

-Cubase 5.1 Essentials and a bunch of plugins for my DAW

-I'm running 2 Aardvark Q10's that are Wordclocked together for my "A/D & D/A I/O" and a couple of "backup pres" [These units are via PCI Connection for up to 16 channels of 96khz sample rate. It also has a s/pdif I/O for 2 more digital channels].

-I've got a bunch of mike's already. More than enough and quite a few stereo pairs, so I'm covered there.

-I've got a lame and simple compression rack with an Alesis 3630 & an ART TCS in it. A total of 4 channels of dynamics that I connect via the inserts on the aardvark Q10.

-I started getting interested in the concept of collecting a bunch of different preamps, so I bought a "Robbie" by BLUE and 2 channel GOLD MP by ART which I changed the tubes on. I definitely appreciate the tones when I bypass my Aardvark Q10 pres by going directly in and switching to "Line".

-------------

I've been using this setup to record bands on the road and in mobile situations. We usually just mix in the box and have some amazing results during mixdown/master. That being said... I'm always looking for the next level, the next "wow factor" as Darell Sheets would say. haha.

That's why I'm here at GearSlutz. I'm here to see how everyone would spend this money given this situation to step my end product up a notch or two.

I've been seriously considering the purchase of 2 API Lunchboxes and decking them out with a bunch of pre/comp/eq modules. But what do you guys recommend? Do you think I should so something else entirely? Fire Away and tell me what you think!! Rip apart my idea and tell me what's a much better plan if you've got one. I want to hear everything and anything!!

**What I've got planned**
---------------------------
2 - API 6 slot lunchboxes
1 - Buzz Essence
1 - Elysia Xpressor 500
1 - LaChapell 583e
2 - API 512c
2 - Daking 500 Mic Pre

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts
[Remember, the budget is $7,500]
NewBlood
Why two lunchboxes?
Honestly, I'd get a few things. I won't list how many because that is really up to you to decide.

I think the Purple Audio is a better deal.
Purple Audio Sweet Ten 10 Rack | 500 Series Power Supplies @ ZenProAudio.com

Plus, I would get a DBX 160X, at least a pair of 163X's (the more of these the better!)
2 Overstayers, an ART Pro VLA, a Chameleon Labs 7720 Stereo Bus Compressor... maybe some shadow hills, BAE, tonolux, safe sound, Emperical labs and/or some of the many eq's and comps stuff for the 500 rack

The black lion audio PM8 Summing Mixer or the Purple Audio Moiyn, depending on what you wanna do....


Out board summing is something I think is very cool....

If you don't wanna go this route, just get the same gear I mentioned, but don't get the stereo bus compressor and don't get the summing mixers.

Kind of hard to give an answer, but that's what I would do to improve my set up

Hope this helps,
Min

p.s. Ashly Audio SC 50 compressor, Orban Stereo EQ (pick one of the many on the used market, like the 622b (i think there might also be a 624, but I don't remember) and an Orban Stereo compressor, maybe a Furman Stereo EQ from the 80's Lot of ebaying and going to 2nd hand music shops for me, when it comes to buying gear
Old 7th September 2011
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgimbel View Post
I agree that $7500 is low budget. It doesn't seem it just because it's a lot of cash, but I consider my setup to be the bare bones I need to record full bands and have options on things, and over the years it's easily added up to more than $7500, considering all I've spend. And hell, I've been looking at more expensive gear now, so I'll be buying more things in the $1000 range rather than a few things int he $250 range that I'll end up selling.

Anyway, I'd agree that listing your mics would be a good idea because maybe you're happy with what you've got but there's something you haven't thought of that could open up a whole slew of sonic options that might add a lot. Regardless, the lunchboxes sound like the perfect idea to me. I'm coming to that point myself - I've got a decent mic setup, and I'm still looking to pick up a few more really nice ones here and there, but the lunchbox seems like a great thing to explore when you've got your bases relatively well-covered and can afford to sell a module to buy another and compare things and yadda yadda. When folks are starting out it seems like the lunchbox wouldn't be a great option because you can't always afford to be without that one or two mic pre's. But you seem to be in the boat I'm looking toward now, where you're able to cover what you need, which allows you to explore. It's great because you can buy different modules often for cheaper than the rack units, but it's also really easy to just swap them out, sell ones, get other ones, etc. "Modular" is such a great thing in the audio world.

I'm curious what mics you've got though!
Okay, so here goes my list of microphones:
2 - AKG C460B w CK-61 ULS Cardiod Capsules [Pencil Cond] (I use these for OHs)
2 - AT4033/CL Cardiod Wide Diaphragm Condensors (I use these for Stereo Rooms)
2 - AE3000 Cardiod Wide Diaphragm Condensors (I use these for stereo "floor" mikes)
2 - Sennheiser MD 409 U (Original Make Dynamics)
1 - Shure B56 (For brighter tom/snr/cab tones)
1 - Shure PG52 (Backup Bass Mike/Lo Toms)
1 - Shure SM57
1 - Shure SM58
1 - Shure B58
2 - Shure B57's
1 - Shure B52 Kik Mike
1 - Shure B91 Condensor [for Bass Freqs]
1 - Shure 16A Pencil Condensor
1 - Shure BG 4.1 Pencil Condensor
1 - AKG D100E Dynamic Mike
1 - Electrovoice 660 Dynamic
1 - Electrovoice RE27/NE Dynamic
1 - Homemade bi-directional ribbon mike
1 - Rebuilt Piezo Mike for "Floor/Wall Omni"

So there it is, my trusty suitcase of mikes.
There's 24 of them, so I make it through just about every tracking session (And even have enough for 6-7 Room/OH mikes when doing drums).

I haven't added any Neumann or C414s to the list since it's mobile and I never end up in any studio grade tracking rooms with the rig anyways. It just a tad risky to carry around the super expensive mikes in a mobile rig. I reckon I can invest in some C414's/Neumann's and a analogue summing board/stereo buss [Like the SSL X-Desk] when I've got another $7,000-$10,000 down the road and we find a cr room/live room to house all the gear in.

Now, The one thing my suitcase has always been lacking has been a good DUAL pair of bi-directionals and a real good Stereo OMNI pair. Any suggestions for a good performer on a mobile budget? Also, any other mikes I'm missing in my list that you guys think I should pay attention to?

Thanks for replying!
Old 7th September 2011
  #11
Oh and a Behringer V-verb... need that!

Well, I will say, a better vocal mic would be good... you could pick up a greyhound from JJaudio or get a stellar CM-6.

I'd say go with a greyhound since it's a FET and doesn't need a powersupply. Also, just get them to modify a pair of MXL 603's and then get the different capsules for them
Old 7th September 2011
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mista min View Post
Oh and a Behringer V-verb... need that!

Well, I will say, a better vocal mic would be good... you could pick up a greyhound from JJaudio or get a stellar CM-6.

I'd say go with a greyhound since it's a FET and doesn't need a powersupply. Also, just get them to modify a pair of MXL 603's and then get the different capsules for them
Haha, I've already got a piece of crap Alesis FireWire mixing board that I use for onboard reverb fx (strictly for singer headphone playback, never for tracking. I use software plugins for reverb in the mix).

The v-verb would never make it on to a track in one of my sessions, so it's good to go there. To be honest, I love the EVRE27/RE for a vocal mike, it never seems to disappoint me. I thought I would hate the fact that it doesn't have the character proximity effect on it when you get close, but that's actually what I love about the mike. I can put it on just about anyone and get a fairly flat response to work with.

The greyhound?
The CM-6?
Never heard of them! I'll take a look.
As for the MXL 603, my buddy has a pair... and to be honest, I even like the sound of the cheap capsules. (Though they do what they do). I love to use them on "smokers", helps capture the rasp. haha.
Old 7th September 2011
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mista min View Post
Why two lunchboxes?
Honestly, I'd get a few things. I won't list how many because that is really up to you to decide.

I think the Purple Audio is a better deal.
Purple Audio Sweet Ten 10 Rack | 500 Series Power Supplies @ ZenProAudio.com

Plus, I would get a DBX 160X, at least a pair of 163X's (the more of these the better!)
2 Overstayers, an ART Pro VLA, a Chameleon Labs 7720 Stereo Bus Compressor... maybe some shadow hills, BAE, tonolux, safe sound, Emperical labs and/or some of the many eq's and comps stuff for the 500 rack

The black lion audio PM8 Summing Mixer or the Purple Audio Moiyn, depending on what you wanna do....


Out board summing is something I think is very cool....

If you don't wanna go this route, just get the same gear I mentioned, but don't get the stereo bus compressor and don't get the summing mixers.

Kind of hard to give an answer, but that's what I would do to improve my set up

Hope this helps,
Min

p.s. Ashly Audio SC 50 compressor, Orban Stereo EQ (pick one of the many on the used market, like the 622b (i think there might also be a 624, but I don't remember) and an Orban Stereo compressor, maybe a Furman Stereo EQ from the 80's Lot of ebaying and going to 2nd hand music shops for me, when it comes to buying gear
I was considering 2 lunchboxes so I can use 12 slots at the same time. (Sometimes I might want more than 10).

That being said, I have seriously been considering a summing mixer. The Moiyn looks incredibly cost effective. Essentially a $1550 price tag for an 8 channel sum? AND I'd have more 500 modules too.

Has anyone else used the Moiyn? Is the analogue summing worth it?
I've always thought of the SSL-X-Desk as well.

How do you think the xpressor 500 by elysia would fair as a stereo buss compressor in both these situations?

As for dbx, they're alright for what they do... but to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the flavor. Don't get me wrong, I know guys like them and they can be amazing, I just want to try something dif. I've got access to dbx comps at the studio I teach at, and while they're great for the students... I'd like to try a different flavor out for my mobile rack.

Thanks for posting!
Old 7th September 2011
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mista min View Post
Why two lunchboxes?
Honestly, I'd get a few things. I won't list how many because that is really up to you to decide.

I think the Purple Audio is a better deal.
Purple Audio Sweet Ten 10 Rack | 500 Series Power Supplies @ ZenProAudio.com

Plus, I would get a DBX 160X, at least a pair of 163X's (the more of these the better!)
2 Overstayers, an ART Pro VLA, a Chameleon Labs 7720 Stereo Bus Compressor... maybe some shadow hills, BAE, tonolux, safe sound, Emperical labs and/or some of the many eq's and comps stuff for the 500 rack

The black lion audio PM8 Summing Mixer or the Purple Audio Moiyn, depending on what you wanna do....


Out board summing is something I think is very cool....

If you don't wanna go this route, just get the same gear I mentioned, but don't get the stereo bus compressor and don't get the summing mixers.

Kind of hard to give an answer, but that's what I would do to improve my set up

Hope this helps,
Min

p.s. Ashly Audio SC 50 compressor, Orban Stereo EQ (pick one of the many on the used market, like the 622b (i think there might also be a 624, but I don't remember) and an Orban Stereo compressor, maybe a Furman Stereo EQ from the 80's Lot of ebaying and going to 2nd hand music shops for me, when it comes to buying gear
What about the radial workhorse 5000?
I've been considering removing the buzz essence from my list of modules so I can afford one workhorse 5000.

It would leave me with 8 module slots to fill (which is how many I would have), and I would get an 8 channel summing mixer out of the deal to. Seems pretty sweet to me.

Has anyone used the Radial Workhorse 5000? How do you like the summing mixer?
Old 8th September 2011
  #15
X-Desk is a good one too, it all depends on what you prefer.

I don't think that one summing box is going to be better than the other, as long as they are good ones. With the SSL people say the separation is amazing, but it's not on a rack and not very mobile, also it's very expensive. I'd say the BLA or a 500 series summing box is the best choice, but that's because you are mobile.
Old 8th September 2011
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mista min View Post
X-Desk is a good one too, it all depends on what you prefer.

I don't think that one summing box is going to be better than the other, as long as they are good ones. With the SSL people say the separation is amazing, but it's not on a rack and not very mobile, also it's very expensive. I'd say the BLA or a 500 series summing box is the best choice, but that's because you are mobile.
Hey man, I thought about the X-Desk too... but now I'm considering skipping the summing mixer for a bundled package of Slate VCC plugins instead.

Checkout the end of our my conversation with another thread. Let me know what you think:

"
Originally Posted by SonicAlchemist
Can you clear up for me what you are looking to do?

Here is what I have pieced together: you are a pro engineer who works in a big studio who has a personal home rig. But you are not set up in your home to record there, but you do mix there. Your rig is mobile and you record mostly bands by going somewhere outside of your home to track and then bring your files home to mix. You use headphones when tracking, and you mix on Alesis monitors of some kind.

This is not a business venture primarily, and the upgrade is motivated far more from a pure GearSlutz drive to seek out a better sound for its own sake than to increase your financial bottom-line.

Any mics have to be road-worthy. So probably no expensive, old ribbon mics.

Hence the focus on mic pre's for sonics.

?

Yea, you've pretty much hit the nail on the head on what's going down. I mix in different locations though, seeing as I'm in an out of a lot of rooms. At home, I've got a couple of simple monitor setups (Alesis MkII, Some simple "full range" tweets and a good mono center speaker). No, I don't have any NS-10's at home, but a lot of the studios I go through do. I'll even mix while on the go in a mobile setup, basically trying to find and treat a decent room into something usable (much like we convert a space into a tracking room when we lay beds/overdubs).

Ultimately, the plan is to achieve a whole other level of sluttiness for my own projects, while stepping up the mobile rig a bit for my weekend warrior clients (whom I record 6-12 song albums on the side for $1200-$3000 with the mobile rig). They ultimately love being able to track and overlay with care by cutting out the studio time that weighs down on the clock. That being said, the physical spaces we secure for the project can make or break the production (as it's the mainly inconsistent variable). Sometimes it rocks, other rooms are like "Ugh, relocate, start over".... but hey, when you're not paying on the clock for all your sessions, you can get away with that .

So, here it is.
Tear me apart or at least let me know if I stepped up the quality of my home DAW. haha.

The order I forwarded to my dealer,
-API 500-6B (Lunchbox)
-API 512C x2
-LaChapell Audio 583e
-Buzz Audio potion
-Elysia Xpressor 500
-Focusrite OctoPre mkII
-Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56
-Slate Digital VCC iLock2 BOXED

Only thing is, I might have to scrap one item to meet my $7500 budget. My dealer is going to try and help me out to make up for some of the taxes, but he can only do so much. haha. Do you think I should ditch the Buzz Audio Potion, or the API 512c pair? (if push comes to shove that is).

I suppose I can always sell off my old gear and see if I can raise enough capital to pay for the extra 500 modules either way. haha.

Let me know if you think it's an upgrade:

Old DAW
--------
2 Aadrvark Q10's
1 Robbie Blue MP [Going to hold on to this pre for my new system]
2 ART Gold MP (refitted tubes) [Going to hold on to this stereo pre for my new system]
3 ART Black MP (refitted tubes)
1 Alesis 3630 (stereo comp)
1 ART TCS (stereo tube comp)"
Old 8th September 2011
  #17
Lives for gear
 
cdog's Avatar
Buy some nice mics, preamps are overrated
Old 9th September 2011
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewBlood View Post
Hey Gang,

I've been a creeper around the forums for a long time, and have come to value the opinions that float around this network. Now that I've got a $7,500 budget and a bit of start up materials, I thought I'd ask the group how you think I should spend my money.

**[Stuff I've got]**
-I've got a 3.1Ghz Dual Core PC with 4 Gigs of DDR4 Ram.

-Cubase 5.1 Essentials and a bunch of plugins for my DAW

-I'm running 2 Aardvark Q10's that are Wordclocked together for my "A/D & D/A I/O" and a couple of "backup pres" [These units are via PCI Connection for up to 16 channels of 96khz sample rate. It also has a s/pdif I/O for 2 more digital channels].

-I've got a bunch of mike's already. More than enough and quite a few stereo pairs, so I'm covered there.

-I've got a lame and simple compression rack with an Alesis 3630 & an ART TCS in it. A total of 4 channels of dynamics that I connect via the inserts on the aardvark Q10.

-I started getting interested in the concept of collecting a bunch of different preamps, so I bought a "Robbie" by BLUE and 2 channel GOLD MP by ART which I changed the tubes on. I definitely appreciate the tones when I bypass my Aardvark Q10 pres by going directly in and switching to "Line".

-------------

I've been using this setup to record bands on the road and in mobile situations. We usually just mix in the box and have some amazing results during mixdown/master. That being said... I'm always looking for the next level, the next "wow factor" as Darell Sheets would say. haha.

That's why I'm here at GearSlutz. I'm here to see how everyone would spend this money given this situation to step my end product up a notch or two.

I've been seriously considering the purchase of 2 API Lunchboxes and decking them out with a bunch of pre/comp/eq modules. But what do you guys recommend? Do you think I should so something else entirely? Fire Away and tell me what you think!! Rip apart my idea and tell me what's a much better plan if you've got one. I want to hear everything and anything!!

**What I've got planned**
---------------------------
2 - API 6 slot lunchboxes
1 - Buzz Essence
1 - Elysia Xpressor 500
1 - LaChapell 583e
2 - API 512c
2 - Daking 500 Mic Pre

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts
[Remember, the budget is $7,500]
NewBlood
nothing!!tutt

Save up for Fairchild 670..
Old 9th September 2011
  #19
Gear Nut
 

Which mikes do you suggest? Thanks for the input!
Old 9th September 2011
  #20
Gear Nut
 

Again, here's my final list I sent to order for anyone who wants to comment:

Ultimately, the plan is to achieve a whole other level of sluttiness for my own projects, while stepping up the mobile rig a bit for my weekend warrior clients (whom I record 6-12 song albums on the side for $1200-$3000 with the mobile rig). They ultimately love being able to track and overlay with care by cutting out the studio time that weighs down on the clock. That being said, the physical spaces we secure for the project can make or break the production (as it's the mainly inconsistent variable). Sometimes it rocks, other rooms are like "Ugh, relocate, start over".... but hey, when you're not paying on the clock for all your sessions, you can get away with that .

So, here it is.
Tear me apart or at least let me know if I stepped up the quality of my home DAW. haha.

The order I forwarded to my dealer,
-API 500-6B (Lunchbox)
-API 512C x2
-LaChapell Audio 583e
-Buzz Audio potion
-Elysia Xpressor 500
-Focusrite OctoPre mkII
-Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56
-Slate Digital VCC iLock2 BOXED

Only thing is, I might have to scrap one item to meet my $7500 budget. My dealer is going to try and help me out to make up for some of the taxes, but he can only do so much. haha. Do you think I should ditch the Buzz Audio Potion, or the API 512c pair? (if push comes to shove that is).

I suppose I can always sell off my old gear and see if I can raise enough capital to pay for the extra 500 modules either way. haha.

Let me know if you think it's an upgrade:

Old DAW
--------
2 Aadrvark Q10's
1 Robbie Blue MP [Going to hold on to this pre for my new system]
2 ART Gold MP (refitted tubes) [Going to hold on to this stereo pre for my new system]
3 ART Black MP (refitted tubes)
1 Alesis 3630 (stereo comp)
1 ART TCS (stereo tube comp)"
Old 10th September 2011
  #21
Don't get VCC!!!!! Not hating on Slate, but you should just get sonimus satson.

It cost a lot less than VCC and sounds great! Search for it here. I've done null test of just the cross talk and there was so much information. I think the levels were at about -16 to -14 db's when I nulled the tracks out. I did that just to make sure I wasn't kidding myself.

Everything on your list is a great upgrade and the Saffire 56 is awesome! I love it! We have it at our small labels studio I wanna get my own at home, maybe not the 56, since I don't need such a large unit at home, but one of the other Saffire's.

Also, the saffire pre's sound really nice, just fyi, but still get the API stuff, but also get yourself something Neve-ish Just saying.... heh

Oh and VCC uses more DSP than Satson. Satson is great
Old 12th September 2011
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for the input mista min!

I've used a copy of Satson on a few mixes and it's pretty awesome, for sure.
It only seems to have 2 settings though "Fat" and "Airy". I must admit, I like it a lot though and do enjoy using it.

I want to get a few more flavor options though, and I've heard that they took care of a whole lot of the CPU issues with the 3.5 upgrade (though I haven't tried VCC 3.5 myself yet). Have you heard anything about "Juice" or "Nebula 3". I haven't tried either, and they seem like great options too (from what i've read).

From what I've been told and heard out of the LaChappell 583e, it's a very neve-ish sounding pre, even though it's a tube (I know, I know, the 1073 was solid... but really, the LaChapell sound is really familiar to the 1073).

Also, the liquid pre's on the saffire 56 have got a "neve emulation" setting. I haven't heard them in action, but I figured it would give me 2 more neve-ish pres in a pinch (But we'll see how they perform in a real mix).

I've heard a lot of really good things about the saffire pres and conversion. It seemed like the cheapest way to upgrade my base pres/conversion in one go. I'm just curious at how well the Saffire Pres "stack" on top/beside eachother in a session with a lot of them being used. I know that the Q10 Preamps sounded pretty warm and full when you tracked something by itself, but as soon as I would track 10-16 channels of content using the same pres, everything would slowly become muddy, distant, filtery and brittle.

Have you had any of the same problems when using lots of the saffire pres in a mix?
Any input would be welcome.
Thanks!
Old 18th September 2011
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewBlood View Post
Thanks for the input mista min!

I've used a copy of Satson on a few mixes and it's pretty awesome, for sure.
It only seems to have 2 settings though "Fat" and "Airy". I must admit, I like it a lot though and do enjoy using it.

I want to get a few more flavor options though, and I've heard that they took care of a whole lot of the CPU issues with the 3.5 upgrade (though I haven't tried VCC 3.5 myself yet). Have you heard anything about "Juice" or "Nebula 3". I haven't tried either, and they seem like great options too (from what i've read).

From what I've been told and heard out of the LaChappell 583e, it's a very neve-ish sounding pre, even though it's a tube (I know, I know, the 1073 was solid... but really, the LaChapell sound is really familiar to the 1073).

Also, the liquid pre's on the saffire 56 have got a "neve emulation" setting. I haven't heard them in action, but I figured it would give me 2 more neve-ish pres in a pinch (But we'll see how they perform in a real mix).

I've heard a lot of really good things about the saffire pres and conversion. It seemed like the cheapest way to upgrade my base pres/conversion in one go. I'm just curious at how well the Saffire Pres "stack" on top/beside eachother in a session with a lot of them being used. I know that the Q10 Preamps sounded pretty warm and full when you tracked something by itself, but as soon as I would track 10-16 channels of content using the same pres, everything would slowly become muddy, distant, filtery and brittle.

Have you had any of the same problems when using lots of the saffire pres in a mix?
Any input would be welcome.
Thanks!
Nebula is cool, my buddy uses it and I have tried it, but it's too CPU intensive for my quad-core Q6600 hackintosh. An i5 or i7 would far better. I don't know anything about Juice.

The pre's are clean, but nice and clear, but not sterile. Really cool for drums and stuff like that.

How do you like your setup now?
Old 19th September 2011
  #24
Lives for gear
 
sonic dogg's Avatar
I think you're gonna miss something if you dont put something with Great River etched on it.
Old 20th September 2011
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
Freddo30's Avatar
 

my personal recommendation:

whatever you buy, just leave room for some neve flavor.

High End:
the 1073s from BAE's line are all keepers. some pres listed in here
are very likely to end on ebay sooner or later.

On the mics section: Peluso 2247LE is another mic i'll doubt anyone
could get rid off.

Low End:
the modded GAP73 from ZenProAudio will get you close to the neve flavor.
On the mics:Kel HM-7U will head you to the (u47 taste) direction.

With the rest of the money, you can buy pretty much anything to
complement your studio.
Old 2nd October 2011
  #26
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for all the feedback guys.
Honestly, i'm more than happy with my mikes, though i'd like to get one powerful contender eventually (a u47) clone or something.

In the mean time, the evre27, the akg c460b's and my boutique of vintage dynamics have performed quite well when i'm looking for something with some extra oomph for vox or gtrs.

Meanwhile, I've decided to upgrade my pres, conversion and compression/eq

it seems relevant.

Going for
-focusrite liquid saffire 56 with pro 40 ADATed to it. (total of 16 analog ins and more digital ins) [This is an upgrade from my aardvark q10s.]

-One lunchbox with:
API512c
Neve1073LB
LaChappel 583e
Buzz Audio Essence
Elysia xpressor 500

-existing pres to be held on to
Robbie Blue
Telefunken tube remake (custom)
2 'tiny tube' (custom starved plate design)

Also, remember i've got the liquid pres in this setup to experiment with.
So, i place this order tuesday.
If you've got anything to point out, do it now or forever hold your peace. Haha.
Should I really consider ditching a unit on this list for a 'contender' microphone?
Old 2nd October 2011
  #27
Gear Nut
 

In response to how happy i am with my current setup,
i love my front end but i feel like my mixes could benefit from some more analog gear.
I get great tones on individual instruments, but mixing everything itb ends up sounding overtly digital to me.

I plan to get some more analog color on my new pres when tracking and use the eq on the lachappel and compressors in the lunchbox when mixing as i print tracks back itb. This is why i ultimately considered vcc in tandem with satson. I could take all my final analog mix prints and do a final emu sum itb to get a bit of character on the master fader too.

What do you guys reckon?
Old 2nd October 2011
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Wow, these kel mh7s are looking pretty damn minty for their price range. You may have sold me. I still can't afford a peluso @ close to 3k... (i've got front end i need first before i could truly utilize a proper 47 remake for now). However, at $399 i can afford to get in the ballpark for now. The wav files i'm hearing online are blowing my mind for the price range.
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