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Upgrading..... what first? Audio Interfaces
Old 12th September 2011
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Upgrading..... what first?

I just acquired a FireStudio Project to replace my MBox2 mini recording blues, soul, funk, roots rock/ americana stuff... I have 3 cheap MXL LDCs, 2 MXL SDCs, several lower end dynamics(57/58 and similar) and an Audix D6?(kick mic). I also have an ART TPS(not II) that I have not tried to record with yet. I have around $1000 to spend to get more appropriate equipment to get sounds that replicate the sounds of old recording styles... ribbon mics, tube pres, analog tape...etc. I am trying to decide where my money would best be invested. I am fairly certain that I am going to be getting a couple of inexpensive ribbon mics, but should I get a good colored pre such as a Golden Age Pre 73? Compressor(comp 54)? or should I spend it all on mics right now and get pres, comps, eqs, etc. in the future? What do you think?
Old 12th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 

If you don't have a plan, you are destined to throw money at the latest internet craze or popular buzzword product and usually waste that money. Make a plan. Examine your needs and what you have, and only buy what makes things better, in the order you've determined logically advances your needs. If a piece of gear is really good today, it will still be good tomorrow. If not, tomorrow you can buy it cheaper.... if you still want it.
Old 12th September 2011
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Ok... I guess my post might have been confusing??? I am buying at least two ribbon mics. Should I buy a third ribbon mic or possibly a tube condenser, or should I get a GA Pre73? As in what should I get right now? My plan is to get a few Pre73s and Comp54s, an assortment of mics(Cascade Fathead, Sontronics Sigma, Avantone CR-14, tube condenser maybe) haven't decided on outboard EQs but I'm sure I will have decided before I get to that point. I don't have the money to get it all right now(I know some people don't understand being in this position) I was asking what should I buy first? As in what will make the biggest difference in my sound? A nice colored pre and a couple of warm mics or 3-4 ribbon mics? I want ribbons on drums, vox, and guitar eventually. Would I be better off with a bigger selection of mics or should I go ahead and get the Pre73 and get less mics?
Old 12th September 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
If you don't have a plan, you are destined to throw money at the latest internet craze or popular buzzword product and usually waste that money. Make a plan. Examine your needs and what you have, and only buy what makes things better, in the order you've determined logically advances your needs. If a piece of gear is really good today, it will still be good tomorrow. If not, tomorrow you can buy it cheaper.... if you still want it.

Excellent advice. I'd say that most gear is way better than you'd think. Learn to exploit the strengths of the gear you currently have before looking to "improve" on something that may be just fine for your needs.

I'd add that a lot of the character can come from the sources, not just the studio gear. Instruments, room tone, arrangement style, performance, etc. Focus on getting the tone and song right before you even touch a mic and you'll be surprised how close you can get.

Once you get all that down use a minimalist approach to recording. Don't overdo it and don't tell yourself that the tools are inadequate. YOU have control, not the equipment. The music is in your hands.
Old 13th September 2011
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Alright... if you two think these horribly bright, harsh MXL mics are all one would need to capture vintage style sounds, let's just trade equipment.... you take the MXLs and I'll take all of your mics, pres, comps, tape machines if you got em... Just kidding, but seriously... I've used this equipment and gotten decent results, but I am fairly certain I've reached the limitations of these mics. I can get very respectable sounds... have treated my room and figured out different mic placement techniques that work for me. I have some funds set aside to get more appropriate gear for getting the sounds of my favorite records(probably 90%+ recorded with ribbon mics, tube or very colored pres and comps, and analog tape machines) Maybe I'm completely wrong and my equipment is fine and I'm about to waste a bunch of money, but let's pretend for a second that I am completely right about what I need to buy...... Should I get a larger assortment of mics, put off the outboard gear and rely on the XMAX pres in my FireStudio and software comps, eqs, etc? Or should I get a good mic pre, possibly a compressor and a smaller assortment of mics? I am leaning towards getting more mics and probably eliminating the condensers altogether... these records did not use condenser mics... Willie Mitchell certainly had access to condenser mics, yet Al Green and probably the rest of the Hi Records roster's voices were tracked with ribbon mics... any opinions that might help me make a decision here?
Old 25th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Balance both needs! Speaking as someone with a FireStudio Project and being exactly in your shoes now, I decided to balance both my needs. Get the preamp and one or two decent mics. You may have to do more research to get the best bang for your buck (I hate small budgets too). I decided to purchase an Sm7b and a RNC RNP. I already have an AT2035 and Shure SM55. I'm also purchasing an ART Tube MP V3 MicPre because I know the RNP is more transparent, while the ART colours the sound a bit, and I'd like both options. The ART is cheap, a mere 70 bucks, but I like the way it sounds.

There was a very interesting shootout and blind test on GS between the Art pre and Great River pre. One labelled Orange, the other labelled Apple and members were asked which sounded best to our ears. I listened and made my decision. Later in the thread, I was a bit surprised to learn what my choice was. Needless to say, I preferred the sound of the 70 dollar pre over the 2000+ dollar GR in that test, so I decided to buy the Art.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...eat-river.html

^ That's the test! Give it a try!
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