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Decent console vs one awesome pre?
Old 11th May 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Decent console vs one awesome pre?

[ cross post due to bad choice of title in other forum ]

Gearing up to do a recording of my band, in the broad "rock" style. I'm just tracking, probably use a professional for mixing. I'm on a pretty low budget, so I want to make the most broad improvements I can. I've got a Digi002R, a Digimax LT and a dbx376.

I've got access to a trident S40 and a better AD converter, as well as mics that I'm reasonably happy with. I'm thinking that an improvement in the preamp department is going to help the most, so my decision is between:

- semi-decent console, like an Allen & Heath, Soundcraft or possibly the Trident s100
- a budget preamp (RNP, e.g.) and a higher-end pre (e.g. GR MP-1NV)

I'd like to keep the entire purchase below 2 or 3K. I plan to use 10-12 tracks for drums, which is why I'm considering a console. Will console pres of the above-named brands be significantly better than those in the Digimax LT?
Old 11th May 2006
  #2
Gear Nut
 

So, the pres in an A&H or Soundcraft are that much better than the Digimax?
Old 11th May 2006
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Well, based on the preamps I have, here's my thoughts, best to worst:

- dbx376
- presonus digimax lt
- art tube mp
- tascam TMD-1000
- mackie XDR
- digi 002R

Sorry I don't have any behringer gear to put in there
Old 12th May 2006
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
aetucker1's Avatar
 

you could pickup an older soundcraft or allen and heath for under $1000. I picked up a soundcraft 600 for $610 on ebay. Both of those would be a better choice than the digi...plus you would have EQ if you wanted to use it before you got ITB.
Old 12th May 2006
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davetron5000
Well, based on the preamps I have, here's my thoughts, best to worst:

- dbx376
- presonus digimax lt
- art tube mp
- tascam TMD-1000
- mackie XDR
- digi 002R

Sorry I don't have any behringer gear to put in there
mackie at the bottom

if you have access to a trident why not just use that?
Old 12th May 2006
  #6
Gear Nut
 

The Trident is just a channel strip, and I'm going to be tracking drums, so I want to beef up my pres if possible (and without laying out tons of cash and hoping for good resale values). I'll use the Trident for anything "important" (e.g. snare, vocals)

I'm starting to lean toward the console thing (though it seems no one likes the Trident s100). My other option was an FMR RNP and then a higher-end pre like a great river and just dealing with the Digimax's pres for everything else....
Old 12th May 2006
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
aetucker1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davetron5000
The Trident is just a channel strip, and I'm going to be tracking drums, so I want to beef up my pres if possible (and without laying out tons of cash and hoping for good resale values). I'll use the Trident for anything "important" (e.g. snare, vocals)

I'm starting to lean toward the console thing (though it seems no one likes the Trident s100). My other option was an FMR RNP and then a higher-end pre like a great river and just dealing with the Digimax's pres for everything else....
i like using a console, but the digi will get you through and you could get a great river to use on gweetars. that would actually be what i would do if i were in your shoes.
Old 13th May 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 

have a look around for a used soundcraft console series 500/600 era are nice
you will get more pres than you need and great EQ all for the price of a single good pre. i dont think any modern low end console would be worth it unless you fork out for something like a venice.
do you have access to enough converters?

the digimax and 002 pres are usable for drums if you decide to go for a single pre
Old 15th May 2006
  #9
Gear Nut
 

I'd be using the digimax for a converter, and I also have access to another converter for the SPDIF port on the 002 (not sure the brand, but it's not behringer .

Basically, my budget is looking to allow me either a new A&H Mix Wizard or a used Soundcraft, if I can find one cheap. But, I'm scheduled to do this first week of June, so I need to decide pretty soon. Since I'm not mixing it (hopefully it will be done by a pro with better gear than I), I don't know if EQ is going to buy me that much....
Old 17th May 2006
  #10
Gear Addict
 
UPRYZ's Avatar
How much do you have to spend?

Can you swing a new A&H MixWizard 16:2 and an RNP? This will give you A LOT of mileage. Use the RNP for your money channels. The board sounds great and you can set some jumpers internally so that the EQ is pre Direct Out. You can even configure stereo aux sends. Do up some stereo headphone mixes and put a bit of the internal reverb in there. A great headphone mix will do more for your bands recording than any fancy pre. When you hear well you play well.

Dan Fox

and yes the A&H pres sound better than the presonus (to my ears)
Old 17th May 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
 
pingu's Avatar
 

FWIW

The 002 pres are puss
Old 17th May 2006
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UPRYZ
How much do you have to spend?

Can you swing a new A&H MixWizard 16:2 and an RNP? This will give you A LOT of mileage. Use the RNP for your money channels. The board sounds great and you can set some jumpers internally so that the EQ is pre Direct Out. You can even configure stereo aux sends. Do up some stereo headphone mixes and put a bit of the internal reverb in there. A great headphone mix will do more for your bands recording than any fancy pre. When you hear well you play well.

Dan Fox

and yes the A&H pres sound better than the presonus (to my ears)
i agree 100% with this post...i like the MixWizard pres and they are perfect for drums, and i especially like the option of EQ'n a little to make the kick and toms sound WAY BETTER on the way in. a dual pre of better quality (RNP or better) is the only other thing that you'll need after you're done with recording the drums! your total cost would be under your 2k budget and both the mixwizard and rnp have pretty good resale value on ebay...i've seen both go for 75-90% of retail prices on a few auctions. whatever you decide to get, stay away from the presonus type of pres when it comes to the dual pre option!!! so get the mixwizard and 1 good dual pre, you won't regret it.
Old 17th May 2006
  #13
Gear Nut
 
foxonestudios's Avatar
 

what about an older digital board like a Ramsa da-7 (i love this thing, the pres are clean too) or a yamaha 01v
Old 17th May 2006
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
arpodthegreat's Avatar
 

you could get an ATI 8mx2 for under 3k. that's eight channels of great pres that are top top qualit for about 337 bucks a channel. doesn't get much better than that. or get 2 sytecks for under 2k and then if you can either pocket some money or spend the rest on one good pre that's just under a grand like a TAB v78 for vocals and solo stuff. or spend that stuff however you want.
Old 17th May 2006
  #15
Gear Addict
 
frontierfran's Avatar
 

...

I fancy the sound of my Soundtracs Topaz. it is quite lovely as a front end to my DAW. mixing on it is a pleasure as well, since those EQ's are so yummy.
Old 18th May 2006
  #16
Lives for gear
The Digimax LT is not a bad piece. It's going to work OK on toms and such. On the $3k side you could find a API 3124+ and maybe have some leftover depending on whether you get a used API or a new one. If you go used you might could find one around $2100 and if you get lucky score a single channel Great River for $800-900.......or you could go with an OSA lunchbox with 4-5 pre's. This allows you to pick 2 different types of preamp pairs for some variety. Just the pre's on kick, snare & OH's should make your sound alot better. Use the Digimax for the room mics and toms & such.
Old 18th May 2006
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Yeah, right now it looks like I'm going to get an RNP and an A&H mixwizard. Depending on how the instrument tracking goes (i.e. how great I think this thing is going to sound), I may dig a little deeper and get a great river or something like that for vocals...
Old 18th May 2006
  #18
Gear Nut
 
Empire 21 Music's Avatar
 

Buy the $1000-1200 A&H board and RENT an API Lunchbox for the days you decide to track drums - you will be hooked
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