The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Basic studio equipment to open a studio Condenser Microphones
Old 3rd January 2017
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Midas's Avatar
Basic studio equipment to open a studio

Hello Slutzs

I just would like to known what is the basic studio gear needed to open a comercial studio, a part of the costumers of course..

starting from a mixer, analog or digital?, microphone set,headphones mixer, preamps, comp, eq , and so on..

cheers
Old 3rd January 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
For what type of music?
Old 3rd January 2017
  #3
Lives for gear
Depends on the target market surely.
Old 3rd January 2017
  #4
Lives for gear
Drums are the breaking point from a few tracks to many tracks at first pass. Do you plan to record drums? Will it always be other peoples drums?
Old 3rd January 2017
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Midas's Avatar
basic studio equipment

Basically just to cover a full rock/pop band playing togeather

headphones amp, mixer, mics, stands, monitors and so on..
Old 3rd January 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
For a minimal approach, find a used Midas, Crest or Soundcraft board with at least 24 channels. It can provided tracking capabilities for drums. These can also be used for summing. Convertors, used Lynx Aurora 16 or Orion 32. If you want a more upscale approach then skip the mixer and get a 500 series rack with a mix of API and Neve preamps and EQ. Then use a Dangerous Summing Box.

Monitors...how much do you want to spend? I am out of touch on these as I've used Event Precision 8s for years but JBLs are a good bet, a couple of grand. If you want to spend less money then the Yamahas with 8 inch speakers are a good bet and under a grand. Get some Avantone or even M-Audio BX5 type speakers for crafting the midrange.

Mics: For rock, SM7b on vocals, more refined vocalist maybe a U87. Drums AKGD112 or Shure Beta 52, Sennheiser MD421 for toms, on the cheap a pair of Oktava MC012 mics for overheads and acoustic guitar. Better yet a pair of KM84s. A good Bass DI like a Reddi (can also be used for guitars). 4 SM57 mics for snare, guitars and associated mic stands for all.

Headphone systems - on the cheap a couple of Behringer headphone amps can do the trick or the presonus one. A good one can run up to $2k. Don't skimp on the actual headphones. Spend a little money here and you clients will appreciate it.

Outboard - Compressors, this is where you either step up for some quality devices or stick to plugins. I've seen studios that got away with a couple of ArtProVLA compressors but most high end studios would have an 1176, LA2A or CL1B for a variety of things. An API 2500 for drum buss compression or maybe a Portico 5043. Some of this can be done in the 500 series format.

Reverbs and Delays - I've found even low end external reverbs sound better than the best plugins.

If you need to keep costs down abandon any ideas of outboard because you also will need a couple of patchbays and cables which very inexpensively can cost $500-600 dollars.

On the cheap stay ITB for mixing but at least sum to an external mixer or summing box. Also note there are ways to cut costs even more by using an inexpensive Focusrite or other type all in one interface however the preamps are generally substandard even though you get a lot of channels of ADDA.

Hope that helps. Also note, customers like to see known names of gear so it's always a game of getting something like a Neumann mic and realizing the marketing value.
Old 3rd January 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
Huge can of worms to ask here. What kind of budget? or is that what you are trying to determine?

The largest choice will be the sound card's protocol. USB, Firewire, MADI, etc...
USB can get 24 tracks of 44.1 under the right conditions. MADI will track 64 channels at 96K.

The choice of sound card is also related to MAC/PC choice. And blended in is the DAW choice.

How will you move data around, USB3 copy of hard drive space?

When tracking drums, You wan't everything but have nothing. 20K in mic's 10K in preamps, 10K in EQ and another 10K in compressors. So $50K worth of tracking chains is desired. How much can you afford?. Having a few analog EQ's and compressors goes a long way w/ drums.

Speakers, Monitor controller, Headphone systems. Very easy to spend 2K each item. How many sets of speakers?

Summing, Latency, Bouncing. Are you going to let the CPU do the mixing? Using a real mixer or outboard summer? Is a patch bay involved? Is monitoring before the box?

Then into mic specifics.

Mic's level 1:
57's, 58's, CM3's, one cheap ribbon. SM7B & B52

Mic's level 2 -add-: One Tube LCD, One good Ribbon, One good non-tube LDC. RE-20, MD421. Say Advanced Audio for the LDC's and a Coles 4038 for the ribbon. e906 or ATM25 or CAD(forget) for the toms. Few kick mic's and a sub kick mic.

Mic's level 3 -add-. Wide selections of LDC's, Ribbons, SDC's Large dynamics.
At least one Neumann, One Sony, and One EV. Some copy of 47, 67, 12, 37.

Mic's level 4: U49B, U47fet, U67, C37A, C800G, Ru4, RCA44, U50, Schoeps, Pearl/MiLab-non round.

Preamps:
Level 1: On lower end board, or next level is Audient, Auteur, Warm12, Grace 101, Gap 73

Level 2: No EQ clones of preamps- 1073, 72, SSL, Jensen transformers, Low end tube preamps. Vintage Audio is makes great clones.

Level 3: Anything by Forsell, Millinia, Neve, SSL, API, Vern, GML, long list.

EQ's & compressors. Don't buy stuff for less than $1000. Better off in the box. One good compressor and one good EQ can do wonders. Up to 4 of each in pairs are game changers. ....that will be $20K.
Compressors, in the end you want two of each: optical, FET, Digital controlled (EL-7, EL-8), Multi band
EQ's, in the end you want Avalon, GML, SSL, NEVE, and in general, some inductor style, and some pultic styles are nice to have. Each have applications

Computers w/ A mixture of mono-side, EQ, compression, and mixing have really opened up some controls not available in hardware.

Starting out, you can't have it all. The single most important thing on the starting list is a good set of speakers and the Golden ears training CD to get your ears into shape. Really, you MUST spend more than $800 on your main speakers. I would use the Yamaha HS80M as a minimum and look at options vs that. I consider it the modern day NS-10. $2000 for a better set is likely the right thing.

So doing everything in the box to start, you need good speakers, converters, and a few preamps and mic's.

I would start w/ an M12, Two warm12, and Two Gap73 as the first 8 preamps.

An 8 in/out RME box is another good place look at. Perhaps a PC from Sweetwater. Don't get converters w/ preamps you can't bypass. you will want upgrades over time. You will need to decide the sample rate, software, protocol, and platform on faith after a ton of time looking over the options. You have to jump in somewhere. The difficult part with music computers is the latency. Anything over about 4.5ms between action and sound is too long. So round trip monitoring needs to be as fast as possible to avoid the need for a isolated monitoring mix before the converters. High sample rates help the quality, but cut the CPU power in half. High sample rates also reduce the lag times because every converter requires X amount of samples to pass the info.

MIDI complicates things, USB, and recently Copperlan/Alyseum Network MIDI, are more choices and systems to integrate. Once you get into synths and bass, you also need direct box's. Reddi, JDI, 85, etc..
On the cheap, Stewart made a great copy of the Countryman 85 Active DI.

In general, it's a fight to keep everything off the USB buss you can. And have enough plugs for everything directly in. 6 USB plugs is not enough. The less traffic on USB the better the system works.

Good deals for reverbs are older lexicons, TCE M3000/4000/5000. Even Older Eventide stuff or a DP4 are not bad tools without spending a bunch.


I hope I have pointed you in the right direction. Went out on a small limb that's about to break.

Last edited by elegentdrum; 3rd January 2017 at 07:15 PM..
Old 3rd January 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Midas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone View Post
For a minimal approach, find a used Midas, Crest or Soundcraft board with at least 24 channels. It can provided tracking capabilities for drums. These can also be used for summing. Convertors, used Lynx Aurora 16 or Orion 32. If you want a more upscale approach then skip the mixer and get a 500 series rack with a mix of API and Neve preamps and EQ. Then use a Dangerous Summing Box.

Monitors...how much do you want to spend? I am out of touch on these as I've used Event Precision 8s for years but JBLs are a good bet, a couple of grand. If you want to spend less money then the Yamahas with 8 inch speakers are a good bet and under a grand. Get some Avantone or even M-Audio BX5 type speakers for crafting the midrange.

Mics: For rock, SM7b on vocals, more refined vocalist maybe a U87. Drums AKGD112 or Shure Beta 52, Sennheiser MD421 for toms, on the cheap a pair of Oktava MC012 mics for overheads and acoustic guitar. Better yet a pair of KM84s. A good Bass DI like a Reddi (can also be used for guitars). 4 SM57 mics for snare, guitars and associated mic stands for all.

Headphone systems - on the cheap a couple of Behringer headphone amps can do the trick or the presonus one. A good one can run up to $2k. Don't skimp on the actual headphones. Spend a little money here and you clients will appreciate it.

Outboard - Compressors, this is where you either step up for some quality devices or stick to plugins. I've seen studios that got away with a couple of ArtProVLA compressors but most high end studios would have an 1176, LA2A or CL1B for a variety of things. An API 2500 for drum buss compression or maybe a Portico 5043. Some of this can be done in the 500 series format.

Reverbs and Delays - I've found even low end external reverbs sound better than the best plugins.

If you need to keep costs down abandon any ideas of outboard because you also will need a couple of patchbays and cables which very inexpensively can cost $500-600 dollars.

On the cheap stay ITB for mixing but at least sum to an external mixer or summing box. Also note there are ways to cut costs even more by using an inexpensive Focusrite or other type all in one interface however the preamps are generally substandard even though you get a lot of channels of ADDA.

Hope that helps. Also note, customers like to see known names of gear so it's always a game of getting something like a Neumann mic and realizing the marketing value.

Nice and pretty much what i thought, i alredy have almost all mics, monitors, interface & converters and all that...my dilema is on a mixer...i alredy have a Small Neve sidecar, but for the last i´d say 15 years i´ve been stuck working with the daw and the mouse...the question is if that really worth to get a mixer, Midas or crest are a good sounding mixers...but more for Live sound than Studio proposes. I also think a about a Studer or something like that..but at the end i guess that it is just more for a esthetic issue than other real use..

regards
Old 3rd January 2017
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Midas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
Huge can of worms to ask here. What kind of budget? or is that what you are trying to determine?

The largest choice will be the sound card's protocol. USB, Firewire, MADI, etc...
USB can get 24 tracks of 44.1 under the right conditions. MADI will track 64 channels at 96K.

The choice of sound card is also related to MAC/PC choice. And blended in is the DAW choice.

How will you move data around, USB3 copy of hard drive space?

When tracking drums, You wan't everything but have nothing. 20K in mic's 10K in preamps, 10K in EQ and another 10K in compressors. So $50K worth of tracking chains is desired. How much can you afford?. Having a few analog EQ's and compressors goes a long way w/ drums.

Speakers, Monitor controller, Headphone systems. Very easy to spend 2K each item. How many sets of speakers?

Summing, Latency, Bouncing. Are you going to let the CPU do the mixing? Using a real mixer or outboard summer? Is a patch bay involved? Is monitoring before the box?

Then into mic specifics.

Mic's level 1:
57's, 58's, CM3's, one cheap ribbon. SM7B & B52

Mic's level 2 -add-: One Tube LCD, One good Ribbon, One good non-tube LDC. RE-20, MD421. Say Advanced Audio for the LDC's and a Coles 4038 for the ribbon. e906 or ATM25 or CAD(forget) for the toms. Few kick mic's and a sub kick mic.

Mic's level 3 -add-. Wide selections of LDC's, Ribbons, SDC's Large dynamics.
At least one Neumann, One Sony, and One EV. Some copy of 47, 67, 12, 37.

Mic's level 4: U49B, U47fet, U67, C37A, C800G, Ru4, RCA44, U50, Schoeps, Pearl/MiLab-non round.

Preamps:
Level 1: On lower end board, or next level is Audient, Auteur, Warm12, Grace 101, Gap 73

Level 2: No EQ clones of preamps- 1073, 72, SSL, Jensen transformers, Low end tube preamps. Vintage Audio is makes great clones.

Level 3: Anything by Forsell, Millinia, Neve, SSL, API, Vern, GML, long list.

EQ's & compressors. Don't buy stuff for less than $1000. Better off in the box. One good compressor and one good EQ can do wonders. Up to 4 of each in pairs are game changers. ....that will be $20K.
Compressors, in the end you want two of each: optical, FET, Digital controlled (EL-7, EL-8), Multi band
EQ's, in the end you want Avalon, GML, SSL, NEVE, and in general, some inductor style, and some pultic styles are nice to have. Each have applications

Computers w/ A mixture of mono-side, EQ, compression, and mixing have really opened up some controls not available in hardware.

Starting out, you can't have it all. The single most important thing on the starting list is a good set of speakers and the Golden ears training CD to get your ears into shape. Really, you MUST spend more than $800 on your main speakers. I would use the Yamaha HS80M as a minimum and look at options vs that. I consider it the modern day NS-10. $2000 for a better set is likely the right thing.

So doing everything in the box to start, you need good speakers, converters, and a few preamps and mic's.

I would start w/ an M12, Two warm12, and Two Gap73 as the first 8 preamps.

An 8 in/out RME box is another good place look at. Perhaps a PC from Sweetwater. Don't get converters w/ preamps you can't bypass. you will want upgrades over time. You will need to decide the sample rate, software, protocol, and platform on faith after a ton of time looking over the options. You have to jump in somewhere. The difficult part with music computers is the latency. Anything over about 4.5ms between action and sound is too long. So round trip monitoring needs to be as fast as possible to avoid the need for a isolated monitoring mix before the converters. High sample rates help the quality, but cut the CPU power in half. High sample rates also reduce the lag times because every converter requires X amount of samples to pass the info.

MIDI complicates things, USB, and recently Copperlan/Alyseum Network MIDI, are more choices and systems to integrate. Once you get into synths and bass, you also need direct box's. Reddi, JDI, 85, etc..
On the cheap, Stewart made a great copy of the Countryman 85 Active DI.

In general, it's a fight to keep everything off the USB buss you can. And have enough plugs for everything directly in. 6 USB plugs is not enough. The less traffic on USB the better the system works.

Good deals for reverbs are older lexicons, TCE M3000/4000/5000. Even Older Eventide stuff or a DP4 are not bad tools without spending a bunch.


I hope I have pointed you in the right direction. Went out on a small limb that's about to break.

well That was a lot of information...my plan was to open a comercial studio but not as a " big thing" but a good and operative one space, with the enough and basic stuff to work and cover a full band recording



i´d say that always i always go for the top level regarding quality...if not so at the end of the game you´ll be sorrounded by a stack of unuseful accumulated gear. Like i said the issue comes with a mixer...as a SSL or Neve cost a kidney

the option for a Live sound mixer sounds but having a large mixer with unusuable pres doesn´t seems to have much sense..perhaps as a summing mixer yes..

kind regards
Old 3rd January 2017
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Midas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psykx View Post
Depends on the target market surely.
Just as a modest comercial recording studio facility with a basic set up..not the abbey road neither a small recording studio in my room

regards
Old 3rd January 2017
  #11
Lives for gear
If you want to take it down a notch, get a Pre sonus mixer and DAW system.

If you don't need pristine quality and just want to get er all done easy, Get a digital board. Used digital boards go for cheap. Say an 02R or Midas.

But you still have to pick how to store and recall the stuff. You have to pick a DAW to work with Hard disk space as the medium.
Old 3rd January 2017
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midas View Post
Nice and pretty much what i thought, i alredy have almost all mics, monitors, interface & converters and all that...my dilema is on a mixer...i alredy have a Small Neve sidecar, but for the last i´d say 15 years i´ve been stuck working with the daw and the mouse...the question is if that really worth to get a mixer, Midas or crest are a good sounding mixers...but more for Live sound than Studio proposes. I also think a about a Studer or something like that..but at the end i guess that it is just more for a esthetic issue than other real use..

regards
In this day and age you either get a mixer for it's preamps and EQ (expensive) or to sum (less expensive). There are so many options today like 500 series mixers where you can build something custom or modular approaches like this studio Recording Studio Sweet Spot – Sound Generation, Union Square, NYC - SonicScoop

The large scale recording consoles are really dinosaurs that don't deliver any better results than getting creative with a patchbay and rack gear or 500 series can deliver. You can get a large console type of sound with much less gear these days. Unless you are doing large movie studio type projects with large numbers of tracks.

There is the marketing aspect which is to impress clients when they walk in the studio. I guess it depends on your definition of commercial and the client base you are trying to attract. If Eric Clapton or U2 wanted to do a project then yes, a Neve console is going to attract that type of client. Indy bands with minimum budgets are not going to care. Anyone who has been in the business is going to want the mix done on an SSL for the most part. So what star are you shooting for?
Old 3rd January 2017
  #13
First off, the biggest thing separating a commercial studio from a hobby one is the room, not the gear.

High ceilings, room layout,isolation, power, treatment, etc.

Then, gear.

All that stuff changes depending on what kind of studio you build.

Mixing? Mastering? Production? Tracking a band with a full kit? A jazz trio?

Then, the aesthetic stuff: do you want to be the modern studio with plugins and a raven, or the guy tracking to tape with outboard?

It's a big deep question you are asking.
Old 3rd January 2017
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Midas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DomiBabi View Post
First off, the biggest thing separating a commercial studio from a hobby one is the room, not the gear.

High ceilings, room layout,isolation, power, treatment, etc.

Then, gear.

All that stuff changes depending on what kind of studio you build.

Mixing? Mastering? Production? Tracking a band with a full kit? A jazz trio?

Then, the aesthetic stuff: do you want to be the modern studio with plugins and a raven, or the guy tracking to tape with outboard?

It's a big deep question you are asking.

That is so obvious the space is the most I'd say but a part of it we where talking about the basic stuff to start it off covering I'd say a full rock band just the basic equipment needed to cover it
Old 3rd January 2017
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Midas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone View Post
In this day and age you either get a mixer for it's preamps and EQ (expensive) or to sum (less expensive). There are so many options today like 500 series mixers where you can build something custom or modular approaches like this studio Recording Studio Sweet Spot – Sound Generation, Union Square, NYC - SonicScoop

The large scale recording consoles are really dinosaurs that don't deliver any better results than getting creative with a patchbay and rack gear or 500 series can deliver. You can get a large console type of sound with much less gear these days. Unless you are doing large movie studio type projects with large numbers of tracks.

There is the marketing aspect which is to impress clients when they walk in the studio. I guess it depends on your definition of commercial and the client base you are trying to attract. If Eric Clapton or U2 wanted to do a project then yes, a Neve console is going to attract that type of client. Indy bands with minimum budgets are not going to care. Anyone who has been in the business is going to want the mix done on an SSL for the most part. So what star are you shooting for?
I'd say that a pragmatic one ..as we alredy know what is so necessary and basic and what is not so..ending With a dinosaur mixer and not using it but summing is kind of pointless ..but I'd say that everyone wants to see a large mixer inna center of a comercial studio . I think that even some musicians associated it and differentiate it from a home studio isn't?

Regards
Old 3rd January 2017
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midas View Post
Just as a modest comercial recording studio facility with a basic set up..not the abbey road neither a small recording studio in my room

regards
As Domi Babi said, it's the room that really separates you from home studios. There are lots of guys with $200,000+ worth of gear recording in a living room or bedroom. What sets you apart is the room and the acoustics.

As a comparison for yourself... the room I run is pretty much exactly what you described, but we are in LA. We aren't a big studio like Capitol, East West or United... but we aren't a small home studio either.

Here's a link to our yelp page so you can see some pictures...

https://www.yelp.com/biz/megatrax-re...orth-hollywood

I studios aren't just about square footage, they are about cubic footage. The cubic volume of the space and how you control the sound as it bounces around are very important...

Here are the rough dimensions for my room... be aware, there are no parallel surfaces anywhere... so these dimensions are the "average".

Live Room - 40 ft x 24 ft x 18 ft
Iso Booth 1 - 15 ft x 14 ft x 10 ft
Iso Booth 2 - 8ft x 10 ft x 8 ft
Iso Booth 3 - 3ft x 4ft x 8ft
Control Room - 27ft x 19 ft x 12 ft

For gear, if you want to attract outside clients, you'll need all the usual suspects. Neumann, AKG, Sennheiser, Manley, SSL, Neve, API and so on.

If you already have a Neve sidecar, I might suggest a control surface for your daw. I have an ICON for Protools and love it. It has cut my tracking and mixing time by at least half. You could use the side car for tone/vibe and use the control surface for everything else.

Some other things about a studio that are really important... have a kitchen/cafeteria/dining area to eat at outside the control room and also have a very quiet and sound isolated lounge area for the artists. If a producer or someone needs to take a phone call while you are all working, it's nice to have a very quiet and isolated lounge to jump into so the session isn't disrupted and so the producer doesn't have to go outside the building or into a common area (like a kitchen or dining area).

Lastly, bathrooms. I always suggest having at least two bathrooms in a studio for speed of bathroom breaks during sessions. At our studio for example, we frequently have 30 strings players or a 20 person big band... when all of them take a 10 minute bathroom break, if we didn't have multiple bathrooms, the line would form immediately and the 10 min break would turn into 20 or 25 minutes. But even with a band of 5 or 6 people. If each person takes 3 minutes in the bathroom to go and wash their hands... that is 18 minutes for a 6 person band. So I always recommend putting two or more bathrooms in. You could have a bathroom with multiple stalls... but a lot of bands and artists don't like that as much as having a regular 1 person at a time bathroom.

Decor can also be very important. Making sure everything likes nice is also really important. You don't want the studio to feel like a college dorm room where furniture and decor are mismatched and hap-hazardly put together.

From my experiences, the people who are paying for the room usually don't really care about the nit picky stuff like mic selection or outboard compressors, etc.. they usually just care about the overall experience. the people THEY hire to help them are the ones who are usually gear snobs. hahaha... But if you can make a great experience for the person paying for everything (maybe the artist, maybe the exec at a label or TV/Film Studio, etc) they will be very interested in coming back to you with their next project, even if the project you initially worked with them on flops.

Last edited by Etch-A-Sketch; 4th January 2017 at 07:48 PM..
Old 4th January 2017
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Midas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
As Domi Babi said, it's the room that really separates you from home studios. There are lots of guys with $200,000+ worth of gear recording in a living room or bedroom. What sets you apart is the room and the acoustics.

As a comparison for yourself... the room I run is pretty much exactly what you described, but we are in LA. We are a big studio like Capitol, East West or United... but we are a small home studio either.

Here's a link to our yelp page so you can see some pictures...

https://www.yelp.com/biz/megatrax-re...orth-hollywood

I studios aren't just about square footage, they are about cubic footage. The cubic volume of the space and how you control the sound as it bounces around are very important...

Here are the rough dimensions for my room... be aware, there are no parallel surfaces anywhere... so these dimensions are the "average".

Live Room - 40 ft x 24 ft x 18 ft
Iso Booth 1 - 15 ft x 14 ft x 10 ft
Iso Booth 2 - 8ft x 10 ft x 8 ft
Iso Booth 3 - 3ft x 4ft x 8ft
Control Room - 27ft x 19 ft x 12 ft

For gear, if you want to attract outside clients, you'll need all the usual suspects. Neumann, AKG, Sennheiser, Manley, SSL, Neve, API and so on.

If you already have a Neve sidecar, I might suggest a control surface for your daw. I have an ICON for Protools and love it. It has cut my tracking and mixing time by at least half. You could use the side car for tone/vibe and use the control surface for everything else.

Some other things about a studio that are really important... have a kitchen/cafeteria/dining area to eat at outside the control room and also have a very quiet and sound isolated lounge area for the artists. If a producer or someone needs to take a phone call while you are all working, it's nice to have a very quiet and isolated lounge to jump into so the session isn't disrupted and so the producer doesn't have to go outside the building or into a common area (like a kitchen or dining area).

Lastly, bathrooms. I always suggest having at least two bathrooms in a studio for speed of bathroom breaks during sessions. At our studio for example, we frequently have 30 strings players or a 20 person big band... when all of them take a 10 minute bathroom break, if we didn't have multiple bathrooms, the line would form immediately and the 10 min break would turn into 20 or 25 minutes. But even with a band of 5 or 6 people. If each person takes 3 minutes in the bathroom to go and wash their hands... that is 18 minutes for a 6 person band. So I always recommend putting two or more bathrooms in. You could have a bathroom with multiple stalls... but a lot of bands and artists don't like that as much as having a regular 1 person at a time bathroom.

Decor can also be very important. Making sure everything likes nice is also really important. You don't want the studio to feel like a college dorm room where furniture and decor are mismatched and hap-hazardly put together.

From my experiences, the people who are paying for the room usually don't really care about the nit picky stuff like mic selection or outboard compressors, etc.. they usually just care about the overall experience. the people THEY hire to help them are the ones who are usually gear snobs. hahaha... But if you can make a great experience for the person paying for everything (maybe the artist, maybe the exec at a label or TV/Film Studio, etc) they will be very interested in coming back to you with their next project, even if the project you initially worked with them on flops.

That was kind of what i was thinking..very nice rooms in your studio and after all the space is the advantage of a comercial studio i guess that you have to face with a lot of competence in the area..kind regards
Old 4th January 2017
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midas View Post
That was kind of what i was thinking..very nice rooms in your studio and after all the space is the advantage of a comercial studio i guess that you have to face with a lot of competence in the area..kind regards
actually, studios have been closing down left and right here in LA... so there is very little competition left actually. There are tons of home studios that are trying to call themselves studios... and there are a couple of big studios left (East West, Larabee, Sunset Sound, Westlake, Capitol, United (old Oceanway)... but all of the middle sized studios have been going out of business or have been bought and turned into private studios by film/tv composers.
Old 4th January 2017
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
actually, studios have been closing down left and right here in LA... so there is very little competition left actually. There are tons of home studios that are trying to call themselves studios... and there are a couple of big studios left (East West, Larabee, Sunset Sound, Westlake, Capitol, United (old Oceanway)... but all of the middle sized studios have been going out of business or have been bought and turned into private studios by film/tv composers.
Exactly, which further distances those types of facilities from the bedroom and hobby studio.

I work in a small facility. We would be out of business if it wasn't for results. Those results wouldn't be possible without our built-out room.

I have my own setup at home, and the difference is a big one. Bigger than any gear difference.

Last edited by DomiBabi; 4th January 2017 at 09:14 PM.. Reason: Typo
Old 4th January 2017
  #20
Lives for gear
 
boombapdame's Avatar
@DomiBabi what's your home setup?
Old 4th January 2017
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by boombapdame View Post
@DomiBabi what's your home setup?
Burl mothership (16x24), Chandler mini mixer, genelec 2.1 SAM system, barefoot minimains, mixcubes, uad ultimate, real 1073, pair of AMS 1073s, BAE 1073, tg channel mk2, pair of TG2 500 pres, zener, curvebender, pair of tweakers, 2 electras, la2a, culture vulture 15, germ pre, 32 channel a&h mixer, u87ai, um92.1, 4047sp, 441, aea44, valvet x, too much to list.

As you can see, I've been doing this a long time. Still, my room isn't great. I don't have the best power scenario and that's huge. My ceilings are low. My room isn't isolated the way the studio is. I track vocals in the room I mix in. The room is treated, but you can only polish a turd so much. I have serious issues with bass build-up.

That's my point. I don't have ok gear... I have GREAT gear... but the room at the studio (not as well equipped in some ways) is a better place to record and mix. It really is the difference between a world-class recording and a good one.
Old 5th January 2017
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Midas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DomiBabi View Post
Exactly, which further distances those types of facilities from the bedroom and hobby studio.

I work in a small facility. We would be out of business if it wasn't for results. Those results wouldn't be possible without our built-out room.

I have my own setup at home, and the difference is a big one. Bigger than any gear difference.
That was my point..nowdays having a big space studio facility is what brings the work on .having a 200.000k invested in equipment inside a small home studio will be difficult to deal as being a professional recording studio..maybe not if you are Rafa Sardina or Dave Pensado in that case the story may change..
Old 5th January 2017
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Midas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone View Post
In this day and age you either get a mixer for it's preamps and EQ (expensive) or to sum (less expensive). There are so many options today like 500 series mixers where you can build something custom or modular approaches like this studio Recording Studio Sweet Spot – Sound Generation, Union Square, NYC - SonicScoop

The large scale recording consoles are really dinosaurs that don't deliver any better results than getting creative with a patchbay and rack gear or 500 series can deliver. You can get a large console type of sound with much less gear these days. Unless you are doing large movie studio type projects with large numbers of tracks.

There is the marketing aspect which is to impress clients when they walk in the studio. I guess it depends on your definition of commercial and the client base you are trying to attract. If Eric Clapton or U2 wanted to do a project then yes, a Neve console is going to attract that type of client. Indy bands with minimum budgets are not going to care. Anyone who has been in the business is going to want the mix done on an SSL for the most part. So what star are you shooting for?
well that fact is that i don´t think that buying a big mixer is gonna improve that much the sonic aspects of my job..from working with daw and analog gear..the issue i that if you open a comercial studio and the costumers see guy ..with a computer based daw sitting down in front of the screen , the may think that they could have been ripped off as their first impression once they make their first step into the studio..
Old 5th January 2017
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midas View Post
That was my point..nowdays having a big space studio facility is what brings the work on .having a 200.000k invested in equipment inside a small home studio will be difficult to deal as being a professional recording studio..maybe not if you are Rafa Sardina or Dave Pensado in that case the story may change..
Yes and no.

Yes, if your idea of a studio is tracking out rock bands and mixing songs for commercial release. Even more so if you hope to attract top tier talent and big contracts.

No, for a few reasons. This is gonna sound like I'm contradicting my previous posts, but bear with me here. No, a huge space is not required to make it a business that makes money. If you make music for games, commercials, track primarily vocals and guitar, sound libraries, radio, education, VO, blogging, hip hop, electronic music, format transfers, forensics, etc.... you can make a decent wage from a room in your home.

The mixes might take more work to nail down, and the workflow might be quirky. It may not look as pretty, and it is a bit harder to sell. Still, great products and services can be had.

My thing is this: if you can't do a full build, I don't want to discourage you. It may not be ideal, but if you can offer clients a great service, and it makes financial sense, do it. Rooms don't mix, people do.
Old 5th January 2017
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midas View Post
well that fact is that i don´t think that buying a big mixer is gonna improve that much the sonic aspects of my job..from working with daw and analog gear..the issue i that if you open a comercial studio and the costumers see guy ..with a computer based daw sitting down in front of the screen , the may think that they could have been ripped off as their first impression once they make their first step into the studio..
Yes... there is sometimes the "wow" factor for newbies and they want a huge console. But most of the time they don't want to pay the kind of studio rates it takes to maintain the consoles they want to see and use. LOL

Even at big studios... channels crap out all the time, switches need to constantly be replaced, etc. The running joke for most of us is that we've never worked on an analog console with all the channels working. The reason why you need to buy a 72 or 96 channel console is so that you'll always have at least 32 or 48 that are working at any one time. HAHAHAHA!!! Most of the time the whole right side of the console is filled with the channels that don't work.

Anyway... You might lose a few clients that don't know anything but a few buzz words and throw them out there... I've had a couple of people call me and book the studio and then they ask "what kind of SSL you got in there?" And I say "SSL? God no! Why the heck would we want one of those?! The rate for the studio would have to be more than double to pay for the maintenance and electric/Air Conditioning bill with one of those in the studio." So then the guy says..."Oh man, well my track is gonna be a hit and I need that SSL sound on my track. I'm gonna have to go somewhere else then. I can't not have that SSL sound, know what I'm saying?" LOL I do and good bye! You can be someone else's problem now! HAHAHA...

But the clients that actually know what they are doing and have money to do it know that while it's nice to have certain mics or preamps... it's the acoustics of the space that make the real difference.
Old 5th January 2017
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Midas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
Yes... there is sometimes the "wow" factor for newbies and they want a huge console. But most of the time they don't want to pay the kind of studio rates it takes to maintain the consoles they want to see and use. LOL

Even at big studios... channels crap out all the time, switches need to constantly be replaced, etc. The running joke for most of us is that we've never worked on an analog console with all the channels working. The reason why you need to buy a 72 or 96 channel console is so that you'll always have at least 32 or 48 that are working at any one time. HAHAHAHA!!! Most of the time the whole right side of the console is filled with the channels that don't work.

Anyway... You might lose a few clients that don't know anything but a few buzz words and throw them out there... I've had a couple of people call me and book the studio and then they ask "what kind of SSL you got in there?" And I say "SSL? God no! Why the heck would we want one of those?! The rate for the studio would have to be more than double to pay for the maintenance and electric/Air Conditioning bill with one of those in the studio." So then the guy says..."Oh man, well my track is gonna be a hit and I need that SSL sound on my track. I'm gonna have to go somewhere else then. I can't not have that SSL sound, know what I'm saying?" LOL I do and good bye! You can be someone else's problem now! HAHAHA...

But the clients that actually know what they are doing and have money to do it know that while it's nice to have certain mics or preamps... it's the acoustics of the space that make the real difference.

I totally agreed with you..nowdays a professional with a decent equipment and a good recording space can do a great job , the problem is that there are a few great musicians out there and their budget is pretty low with no support from
a record company anymore..
Old 5th January 2017
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midas View Post
Nice and pretty much what i thought, i alredy have almost all mics, monitors, interface & converters and all that...my dilema is on a mixer...i alredy have a Small Neve sidecar, but for the last i´d say 15 years i´ve been stuck working with the daw and the mouse...the question is if that really worth to get a mixer, Midas or crest are a good sounding mixers...but more for Live sound than Studio proposes. I also think a about a Studer or something like that..but at the end i guess that it is just more for a esthetic issue than other real use..

regards
APB make some of the best analog mixers one can buy. Amazing pres, excellent EQ, hpf on every channel, tons of headroom. I know a guy that knows a guy selling one...we recorded and mixed our last album with it.
APB Dynasonics ProDesk 4 x 32 with road case
Old 5th January 2017
  #28
Lives for gear
If I could pick whatever I wanted, but not have too much to work worth.
8 channels of Neve Preamps w/ EQ's
8 Channels of API pramps w/ EQ's
8 Channels of Millinia w/EQ's
8 more random different flavors. Tubes, FET, Transformer, Whatever
8 channels in pairs of the best EQ's
8 channels or more of good compressors

But when it comes down too it, Two things matter for preamps and EQ.

Mixing, and Tracking. Some don't track w/ EQ, but that's safer as an engineer on other peoples stuff. Good stuff happens when the EQ and compression are built into the feedback loop to the musician.

After reading 1000's of posts, scouring Eaby, and starting a thread of my own I ended up needing two sets of analog EQ's.

8 channels for EQ's on drum mics. Ended up w/ ADM's in a rack
2 Really good EQ's for anything. Ended up w/ GML 8200
New points to fill in on the patch bay.

Now I can solve most any EQ situation using real EQ's. If you buy a board, really you are buying EQ's. The summing/faders part does not have the spread in quality as the EQ's. In general only digital boards have built in compressors.

This was the breakthrough of SSL mixers. Large format, Good compression, Good EQ, and Automation. Other too, but SSL has the compression most others do not.

If you mix in the box and tend to use a different EQ on each track, then a mixer may not be a good choice. Patch your system together as needed.
Old 5th January 2017
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midas View Post
the problem is that there are a few great musicians out there and their budget is pretty low with no support from
a record company anymore..
That's the old paradigm. If artists are trying to approach the business that way they are going to fail right out of the gate. there are A LOT of new artists that understand how to make money in this day and age and are doing really well without a big label. And music for TV and film has taken up the void that was created by the implosion of a lot of the smaller and mid-tier record labels... so there is A LOT of that work going on. Just look around on this forum for how many people are doing remote orchestral recording sessions in Budapest, Bratislava, etc. The recording and music scenes in Eastern Europe are starting to boom right now. And the use of songs with lyrics in TV and Film placements is up significantly compared to 10 or 15 years ago. So all those indie bands that were looking for record deals are now looking for TV and film placements... and they are getting them! As they start to make more money they start to look for ways to improve the music they do. I've been saying this for about 10 years now and I'm finally starting to see it happen... there is going to be a resurgence for commercial recording studios. It is starting to happen now.

Technology make it possible for everyone to create in their homes. then the companies that sell the gear started selling the dream of making platinum records in your home... but after long enough, those manufacturers will have saturated the market with that notion and enough people will realize that it is not true... and when that happens... all these people will start looking back towards traditional purpose built recording studios to make their music in... because while they can spend $20k on gear for their spare bedroom... most people aren't going to spend $250k~$350k on proper construction of an acoustic space... but after spending $20K on gear for their house... what's $1500 or $3000 for a couple of days of tracking in an AMAZING acoustic space??? It's chump change. they can still take the tracks back to their place, edit them, overdub on them, etc... they can even try to mix there. But people are finally starting to come to the realization that nothing trumps good old fashion acoustics. Recording in a great sounding room is more important than JUST recording with a U47 or a C12 or a Neve 1073 or a Prism Converter, etc... Having that kind of equipment does no good if the acoustic space you are recording in is crap... and people are finally getting that. Most projects you don't need a huge space... you need a medium sized "live" (not dead) acoustically treated space to make a great sounding recordings.
Old 5th January 2017
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post

This was the breakthrough of SSL mixers. Large format, Good compression, Good EQ, and Automation. Other too, but SSL has the compression most others do not.
Uhh... NOW people say that. When SSL came out that is not what most people said. SSL's were very undesirable when they first came out. I remember most people saying the SSL 4000 consoles sounded like crap and that the E series EQ in them were way too "crunchy" on the top end. And that the consoles overall felt sterile and like there was a veil over the mix compared to all the other consoles that were out at that time (Neve, API, MCI, Focusrite, etc). That is ultimately why a lot of 80's rock records and hiphop/rap records were done on SSL 4000 consoles... because the SSL room was the "cheaper" room at the studio complex! HAHAHA Then SSL upgraded things... fixed some things... redesigned some things and started getting something that was half decent.

The one big thing about SSL consoles for their time was their automation system, hands down. They had an integrated automation system in the console (you didn't have to retro-fit flying faders or some other system into the console after you bought it) and when they started doing their TOTAL RECALL system that changed the game for a lot of people. Even if the console didn't sound as good, having the total recall system made people suck it up and use the console even though they were preferring the sound of other consoles. And over time you get used to it, you learn to work around the problems... and the sound becomes the sound...

Anyway... as time goes on people tend to forget all the negative stuff and glorify the few minor positives about any situation. LOL I always chuckle when people glorify tape too... most people hated working on tape and would fight over getting to work on a digital daw system so they didn't have to deal with all the problems that came along with tape... now people glorify tape. Same thing with Vinyl... hahahaha... my how times and perceptions change.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump