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Help me choose what is essential and what can wait!
Old 20th October 2013
  #1
Help me choose what is essential and what can wait!

I'm diving into Post Production (games included) from mostly doing music (recording, mixing). I've put together a sort of wishlist for gear I'd want/need for this work (recording, mixing, sound design, etc.). I can finally afford to buy some of this but not all.

Here's a list of what I currently have:

Yamaha HS80m monitors
Avid Artist Mix
Apogee Duet 2
Pro Tools 10/11
Logic Pro 9/X
Kensington Expert Trackball
3x SM57
1x Beta52
2x Sterling Audio ST31 Matched Pair
1x Blue Baby Bottle
1x Senn MKH416
Mic stands/clips
Komplete 8
NI: Damage


Here's the list of gear/plugins/software that I'm looking into:

Behritone ($130)
Sound Forge ($300)
Waves Gold ($800)
SoundToys Bundle ($250)
IR Reverb - Altiverb ($600)
Izotope Trash (Distortion) ($250)
The Glue (Compressor) ($100)
NI: Kinetic Metal ($100)
Fabfilter Pro Series ($300 or $600)
Rode NT4 ($530)
Rhode Blimp ($300)
Rhode Boom Pole ($150)
Zoom H6 ($400)

Sound Libraries:
Sound Ideas 6000 ($995)
Hollywood Edge Premiere Edition ($750)


I'm wondering what people think would be best to buy now and what would be best to hold off on?

Also, definitely would like any more recommendations for gear/plugins.

Thanks so much!

Last edited by NoctemAudio; 20th October 2013 at 06:27 AM.. Reason: Mistyped Title
Old 20th October 2013
  #2
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pethenis's Avatar
 

I can only speak for tv and film, but I would get the SFX-Libraries, Izotope RX3 and you're good to go for now.
Old 20th October 2013
  #3
Ok, thanks! I've heard great things about Izotope's RX3, I'll look more into it.
Old 21st October 2013
  #4
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ggegan's Avatar
I would start out with a Pro Tools HD Native system running on an 8 core Mac Pro (buy one on eBay to save money). The first plugin I would get is Revibe, not Altiverb. Wait on all other plugins and buy them only if needed. Next I would invest in the best monitors you can afford, maybe JBL 4328s or 6328s, since they are fairly ubiquitous within the industry. You can start with stereo and expand to 5.1 if and when it becomes necessary. Invest in a decent stereo recorder like a Sound Devices 702 and a decent but cost effective stereo mic, like an Audio Technica BP8025 with a Rode blimp. I would also buy a small portable recorder for spontaneous recordings, like the Sony M10 or something equivalent. Regarding sound effects libraries, while it's useful to have at least one general library, like the Sound Ideas 6000 series or the the Hollywood Edge, I would only buy one and then try to record record as much as possible yourself or buy from the smaller boutique libraries as needed.

All that other stuff should really be put on the back burner and only purchased if you find you really need it.
Old 21st October 2013
  #5
Gear Nut
 
brainspin's Avatar
 

Out of curiosity, what would you use Sound Forge for given that you have PT?
Old 21st October 2013
  #6
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Henchman's Avatar
What Gary said.
Old 21st October 2013
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by brainspin View Post
Out of curiosity, what would you use Sound Forge for given that you have PT?
I would be using Sound Forge as more of a close up sound file editor, for mastering, and also for large batch processing of files.
Old 21st October 2013
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan View Post
I would start out with a Pro Tools HD Native system running on an 8 core Mac Pro (buy one on eBay to save money). The first plugin I would get is Revibe, not Altiverb. Wait on all other plugins and buy them only if needed. Next I would invest in the best monitors you can afford, maybe JBL 4328s or 6328s, since they are fairly ubiquitous within the industry. You can start with stereo and expand to 5.1 if and when it becomes necessary. Invest in a decent stereo recorder like a Sound Devices 702 and a decent but cost effective stereo mic, like an Audio Technica BP8025 with a Rode blimp. I would also buy a small portable recorder for spontaneous recordings, like the Sony M10 or something equivalent. Regarding sound effects libraries, while it's useful to have at least one general library, like the Sound Ideas 6000 series or the the Hollywood Edge, I would only buy one and then try to record record as much as possible yourself or buy from the smaller boutique libraries as needed.

All that other stuff should really be put on the back burner and only purchased if you find you really need it.
Thanks for all the input, really helps! I had known about the Sound Devices 702, but it's a bit pricey for what I have to spend, maybe I'll just save up for it instead of buying anything lesser?

I do have a newer Mac Mini with i7 quad core, 16gb ram, SSD, and USB 3.0/TB. I was thinking of in the future when my sessions require it, upgrading to the newer Mac Pro.

If you had to choose one to start out with (Sound Ideas 6000 or Hollywood Edge Premier), which would you choose? Or is it definitely preference based. I like the idea of just getting one and building on top of it with self recorded samples and buying single sounds I would need through smaller boutiques.

I know my Yamaha HS80m's aren't nearly the best, but you'd still recommend upgrading from them?

Last thing, may I ask why you chose Revibe over Altiverb? Just wondering!

Thanks again, all this helps tons.
Old 21st October 2013
  #9
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ggegan's Avatar
You asked about what you needed for editing and mixing and I answered based on what I would do, but on further reflection, I think you should consider how your transition from music to post is likely to proceed.

Realistically, if you are just getting started in post, it is highly unlikely that you will be hired as a mixer or supervisor right off the bat. You will probably need to work for an experienced supervising sound editor or as a mix tech at a facility for a while in order to learn standard industry practices and build up your reputation, which means that you probably will not need to have your own general library and probably won't need a lot of gear at first, either.

Your main goal should be to become proficient on a Pro Tools system that is configured for professional post production work and to put yourself in a position to learn from others. Even if you have used Pro Tools in the music industry, post production requires a very different set of skills. Owning a basic Pro Tools HD system and a decent computer will allow you to do a lot of homework on your own time, which will help you get you up to speed technically. Your Yamahas will be fine for now.

All that other gear and software is probably an unnecessary expense at this time, with the possible exception of the field recording gear. Having your own comprehensive library will be an invaluable asset at some point, but it takes a very long time to build one up, so the sooner you get started the better.
Old 21st October 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 

What Gary said. All of it.

In addition to that I'm guessing that you're not only looking to get a gig in a studio but also do low/no-pay work by yourself to start building a resume and get experience. So from a post perspective I'd weed out anything that isn't clearly post if that's the case, and I'd be careful with spending until I get a gig that pays for the functionality I'm spending on.

So I would for example demo plugins and keep track of what they do and when to buy them. Put part of this upgrade money in a "jar" and spend it when a gig comes in that requires that plug. The gig will then pay for the plug if you know what I mean.

Also pay attention to time=money. If you have a bunch of spare time for some reason then it's possibly a good thing to get the remote recording capability to record SFX and start doing that off the bat, because you have time available that you wouldn't do other work on, so you're not losing anything by doing it. That might be better and cheaper than buying a library for lots of money.

Last thing I'd comment on is monitoring. Again, if you can push the cost over to your clients it's really just a matter of you knowing the limits of your monitoring system and then renting a real studio when needed, but you'd push that cost over to your client of course. If not, I'd say treating your room acoustically and getting more revealing speakers would be a good thing. It's been a while since I hear the HS series but I personally didn't care for them. You'll definitely need a clear and revealing midrange with a good stereo image imo. I think it's more important practically speaking than low end which is hard to get right in a "normal room" but can at least be rolled off (not ideal, I know). I'm personally a fan of the Equator D5 for the money. Gary makes a great point about picking something that translates to other studios though.
Old 21st October 2013
  #11
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Henchman's Avatar
Yeah, again, Gary said it right.
Post isn't a case of "build it and they will come".
Get gear when you need it. I know a lot of location guys who would rent when they were starting out.
You will HAVE to know pro-tools well.

And most important, you will need clients to give you work.

All I own is an i7 Mac mini, and a motu firebox which I've had for years.
The only gear I've bought in the last 5 years was the UAD satellite.

Also, there are much better plugins than waves. I don't use a single one.
Old 21st October 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Re monitoring, it's important that you learn how whatever you use translates to other venues, like dubstages or TV sets or whatever. A change in monitoring means starting that learning process over. For the rest of it--do you want to be the proprietor of a small studio/dubstage (that you work in) or do you want to work for other people in bigger facilities? If the latter, then your set up is all about practice and research, and you should economize where you can. Starting out as a freelancer is a lot about personal expense overhead management, so you can be available for the last minute calls. If you want to build a facility, then you need to do a lot of research, both in audio/construction and in marketing for that business in your area. I'd advise getting some professional help or at least advice.

philp
Old 22nd October 2013
  #13
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BIGBANGBUZZ's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Yeah, again, Gary said it right.
Post isn't a case of "build it and they will come".
Get gear when you need it. I know a lot of location guys who would rent when they were starting out.
You will HAVE to know pro-tools well.

And most important, you will need clients to give you work.

All I own is an i7 Mac mini, and a motu firebox which I've had for years.
The only gear I've bought in the last 5 years was the UAD satellite.

Also, there are much better plugins than waves. I don't use a single one.
I hope my GF, doesn't see your post, the amount ive dropped in equipment over the last year... Ouch

Sent from my Nexus 4
Old 22nd October 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
 
ggegan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGBANGBUZZ View Post
I hope my GF, doesn't see your post, the amount ive dropped in equipment over the last year... Ouch

Sent from my Nexus 4
If I am going to be honest, I have spent a lot more on gear and software than I really needed to. I'd say maybe 30% is totally superfluous and rarely if ever used, but I'm in a situation where I established myself in my career a long time ago, I have enough disposable income to afford it and I'm also a gear junky who just likes to play with new stuff. If I was just starting off, I would be very wary about buying gear or software.

For one thing, it very quickly becomes obsolete and also you really need a lot less than you think you do. I can think of a number of Digidesign and Avid apps and plugins that I spent a lot of money on that were soon included free in subsequent releases. There are also a number of apps and plugins that I assumed were indispensable, but which ended up being rarely used.

It is very easy to set up all sorts of imaginary scenarios in your head that seem totally rational, and then you find that reality is a very different situation. These days I just wait until I need something in order to complete the job and then buy it.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #15
These all definitely seem like great points, thanks! This is basically for my project/home studio where I can work on indie films and indie games to practice and grow. If I happen to land a position at a post facility or game company, that would be awesome. For now I'm just freelancing and growing my portfolio and getting my demo reel going.

I've really slimmed down the above list for what I want. I'm thinking of:

Rode Blimp
Rode Boom Pole
Zoom H6
UAD Apollo Quad
SoundToys Bundle
NI: Kinetic Metal
Hollywood Edge HD Premiere Edition

I had completely forgotten about the UAD stuff, and I'm hearing some very positive things. I think the Apollo would be great because it'd allow me to expand to 5.1 when I can and allow me to draw from UAD plugins.

I'm excited to get out and get started field recording, even if it's just simple stuff at first. Building my own library seems rewarding and a great thing to have from what you guys are saying.

For a base set of general sound effects and samples, Hollywood Edge HD Premiere Edition seems like a good place to start. I want something to be able to easily put in general sounds to indie material, and then if I need something more specialized I would record it or use sounddogs etc.

Of course I'd try to record anything I have access to for it to be unique!

Last edited by NoctemAudio; 22nd October 2013 at 07:25 AM.. Reason: Typo
Old 22nd October 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
 

I agree With Gary and Hench. And even though your list is shorter now, I still suggest not getting the plugins or the cinematic metal.
Save the money and spend it wisely.
The standard plugins in PT together with whatever you already have and a few free plugins will Definetly be enough while starting out.

After a while working with lo budget you will need a good problem solver, I recommend izotope RX. But there's no point in buying it straight up. You need to learn how to edit and repair sound using editing rather than processing first.
A usable post reverb, be it IR or algorithmic would be third.

Use your money to place yourself in useful recording situations.
Record a lot of ambiances, LISTEN, move your mics to get as much focus as possible on what generates character of a certain location.
Get to know your gear!
Rent or preferably borrow houses or apartments and record everything, doors, ambiances, cutlery, beds, creaks, everything. Do the same with a few cars, buses etc.

The money and time spent to create as much custom sounds will be a lot more valuable than whatever "help" you will get from plugins.

The masses of editing and file handling you will have to do with all those sounds will get your basic editing chops up to speed.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoctemAudio View Post
These all definitely seem like great points, thanks! This is basically for my project/home studio where I can work on indie films and indie games to practice and grow. If I happen to land a position at a post facility or game company, that would be awesome. For now I'm just freelancing and growing my portfolio and getting my demo reel going.

I've really slimmed down the above list for what I want. I'm thinking of:

Rode Blimp
Rode Boom Pole
Zoom H6
UAD Apollo Quad
SoundToys Bundle
NI: Kinetic Metal
Hollywood Edge HD Premiere Edition

I had completely forgotten about the UAD stuff, and I'm hearing some very positive things. I think the Apollo would be great because it'd allow me to expand to 5.1 when I can and allow me to draw from UAD plugins.

I'm excited to get out and get started field recording, even if it's just simple stuff at first. Building my own library seems rewarding and a great thing to have from what you guys are saying.

For a base set of general sound effects and samples, Hollywood Edge HD Premiere Edition seems like a good place to start. I want something to be able to easily put in general sounds to indie material, and then if I need something more specialized I would record it or use sounddogs etc.

Of course I'd try to record anything I have access to for it to be unique!
The UAD-2 software is great I think. In your case though I'd still seriously consider spending that money on acoustic treatment and possibly different speakers instead. Sure, at some point you might want UAD processing or 5.1, but as we pointed out before it may take some time at which point you'll get more for the same amount of money and you'll hopefully have a paying client to pass on part of the cost to. I also think you'll likely get much bigger improvement in general "quality" out of an improved monitoring situation than you do UAD processing.

Then again, this is Gearslutz after all.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #18
ErikG, that does make sense. I'll definitely pick up the field recording gear and start recording everything I can in my own place and family/friends homes as well. I live in LA, so there should be lots of interesting places to record. Getting basic editing skills down while working on my own library seems like a great idea!

Mattiasnyc, that's true. I have invested a bit on acoustic treatment, have bass traps and absorption panels at key points/first and second reflections in the room.

I either hear people tell me the Yamaha HS80m's are fine and that they are transparent and nice, and others say I should get a much better pair!
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