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What to buy next?
Old 10th May 2006
  #1
Here for the gear
 

What to buy next?

Hey everyone, I finally have some money on my hands and I want to buy something new to add my recording set up. I really have no idea what to buy, as I am pretty new to recording and just do casual recording with people. I have am Digi002 and a Studio Projects C1 mic. Thats it... so yea, help me out. I have about $1000. I record mainly rap and r&b vocals. Thanks in advance.
Old 10th May 2006
  #2
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andrewj's Avatar
Have a look at Tony's page! There you will find what to use or to have! Most of the stuff is much more expensive! But perhaps you will find used units, or something similar!

I would concentrate on the main things: To me you need real good outboard (PreAmp and compressor first). Then you should think about a better converter from Crane Sond or Benchmark (my Faves!) and a better Mic! I say that thinking your monitoring is very very good, isn't it?

Regards and good luck,

AndrewJ
Old 10th May 2006
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Here's what I would do:

1) Send your 002 to Black Lion Audio and get the full mod. Just read about this mod on other gearslutz threads... there's a lot of hype building. I had my Motu Traveller modded by them... Very, very happy!

2) Buy an SM7B. This is a Shure dynamic mic. I'm assuming you record at home - this takes the room out of the recording, and will give you great results for hip-hop.

3) Read about DIY acoustic treatment for your studio space (bedroom???). This can be done on the cheap if you DIY. Don't be lazy wasting money on acoustic foam!!!

4) Start saving for decent studio monitors and a killer pre-amp.

Obviously there's a million ways to spend a grand, but I think this is a good approach. Probably not the most exciting if you've go your heart set on something new and shiney, but don't let flashing blue lights and marketing hype get the better of you.

Cheers - Rez
Old 10th May 2006
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Liam Judah's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewj
To me you need real good outboard (PreAmp and compressor first).

AndrewJ
I agree with andrew here. Address the signal going in to your DAW first. For 1G you're looking at some decent new pre's, or better ones if you go the used route.

Good luck....

G
Old 10th May 2006
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
commaKaze's Avatar
 

I agree with y'all...

I just had the black lion 002 mod come back(full mod). Money well spent, and wisely spent, and makes the 002 able to compete with the big boys. Way better conversion, clock, analog path in and out, and makes the preamps on the 002 very usable finally.

Another thing I recommend, especially for rapping, is the Groove Tubes "The Brick" as an outboard tube mic pre. Nasty tube pre at around $300-$400.

And for a mic, especially for rap, but really for anything, and not too far off from Reza's suggestion for a high end dynamic mic, I love the Electro Voice RE-20 mic. It's and old radio broadcast mic, used in studios everywhere. The only thing that sucks is that Rush Limbaugh has a gold-plated one!!! Seriously though, it's my favorite mic on the planet...

EV-RE 20->"the brick"->black lion 002...you'll be getting some sweet sounding tracks, and that's about exactly 1G if you add it all up.
Old 10th May 2006
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

RE20

yup I'll second that advice....also the sm58...same mic as the sm57 just has a spit screen built in....
Old 10th May 2006
  #7
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Jeffason's Avatar
 

poly you are confused about the shure models listed above

SM7B is a broadcast microphone...very different from the SM58 stage microphone
Old 10th May 2006
  #8
Gear Addict
 

I wouldn't get a different mic right now. The C1 is the best mic on the market under $1k in my opinion. I have one sitting in front of me in my ****ty Brasilian bedroom studio. I have been cutting mixtape stuff on it with BRAZA thru an A-Designs P1 500 series pre in my luchbox and the results are ****ing amazing. Given that, here's what I would do.

- save another $500

- buy an API lunchbox or Brett Averill 500 series lunchbox

- buy an A-Designs P-1

- buy a 12 pack of 2" thick 2' by 4' Owens Corning 703 semi rigid insulation from your local commercial insulation place

- buy enough fabric at Jo Ann fabrics or another fabrics store to wrap them all and a hot glue gun

- wrap the insulation like presents in the fabric, hot glue it, and put it all around your room.


- record with headphones with your monitors off

this is like the exact setup that I use to record here in my apartment in brasil, but my acoustics were proffessionally done because its dirt cheap here to do that.


I haven't heard the converters upgrade at all but this will give you a much more dramatic improvement in your overall sound than upgrading your converters, period. when you get more money you can add more things in your lunchbox like API compressors, EQs, other mic pres, etc. - for me the 500 series stuff is the best bang for the buck gear, period, after the initial cost of entry with a lunchbox or rack.

Last edited by Disco D; 10th May 2006 at 09:05 PM..
Old 10th May 2006
  #9
Gear Addict
 

in fact, im going to bounce this mixtape track and post it right now so you can hear exactly what im talking about
Old 10th May 2006
  #10
Gear Addict
 

the only thing i did on the vox was ren comp and a little ren verb and delay spent like 2 seconds on it - mixtapes baby
Attached Files

watchoutnow.mp3 (4.05 MB, 189 views)

Old 10th May 2006
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffason
poly you are confused about the shure models listed above

SM7B is a broadcast microphone...very different from the SM58 stage microphone

I know what an SM7B is ...but I wasn't talkking about that ....and I stand by my orginal post....use them both a lot....
Old 10th May 2006
  #12
Here for the gear
 

I appreciate all the feedback everyone. I am trying to save more money, so I will definitely keep all the advice in mind. Keep it coming though!
Old 10th May 2006
  #13
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

I would recommend purchasing one of the new API preamp/ converters... The A2D.

http://highprofileaudio.com/APIA2D.htm

That will kill 2 x birds with one stone... Great preamp and converter.

Also, it's not white (which everyone thinks it is from the pictures), but a silver brushed aluminum and has a huge bling factor for client with all the big LED meters and blue lights.

I'd also like to second the SM7 suggestions... Probably one of the best all around microphoens at any price!
Old 11th May 2006
  #14
Here for the gear
 

The Black Lion Audio mod for the 002 sounds pretty interesting from what I have read. Would it be worth it or would buying something like the A2D be a better option? Thanks for all the input thus far.
Old 11th May 2006
  #15
Gear Nut
 
tdm71's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco D
I wouldn't get a different mic right now. The C1 is the best mic on the market under $1k in my opinion. I have one sitting in front of me in my ****ty Brasilian bedroom studio. I have been cutting mixtape stuff on it with BRAZA thru an A-Designs P1 500 series pre in my luchbox and the results are ****ing amazing. Given that, here's what I would do.

- save another $500

- buy an API lunchbox or Brett Averill 500 series lunchbox

- buy an A-Designs P-1

- buy a 12 pack of 2" thick 2' by 4' Owens Corning 703 semi rigid insulation from your local commercial insulation place

- buy enough fabric at Jo Ann fabrics or another fabrics store to wrap them all and a hot glue gun

- wrap the insulation like presents in the fabric, hot glue it, and put it all around your room.


- record with headphones with your monitors off

this is like the exact setup that I use to record here in my apartment in brasil, but my acoustics were proffessionally done because its dirt cheap here to do that.


I haven't heard the converters upgrade at all but this will give you a much more dramatic improvement in your overall sound than upgrading your converters, period. when you get more money you can add more things in your lunchbox like API compressors, EQs, other mic pres, etc. - for me the 500 series stuff is the best bang for the buck gear, period, after the initial cost of entry with a lunchbox or rack.

Hey D--

Would you recommend a SP C1 mic into A Designs Audio PACIFICA ( same as the 500 but in a stand alone correct?) for RNB as well? And you like the C1 over the SM7 in that price range?

Also can you recommend another stand alone preamp for us basement dewellers in the <1,000 price range??

BTW man congrats on your recent success!!!
Old 11th May 2006
  #16
Gear Addict
 

The Pacifica is the same joint but I like the 500 series frame because in the long run it's cheaper. Some singers I like the C1 on, I used it on the Nina Sky album with them, but I didn't have the P1, it sounds the best with the P1 out of all preamps I've tried it on.

I have a Brick, it's $400, it's a good preamp for $400.

I've never used a Shure 7B or an SM58 on a real master. I use an SM58 when I DJ and I've recorded Jamaican dubplates on it, but honestly I don't particular gravitate to that sound as something I desire on a master. I've never used a Shure 7B, worth a try for the price I guess, I'll get one when I get back to the states.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tdm71
Hey D--

Would you recommend a SP C1 mic into A Designs Audio PACIFICA ( same as the 500 but in a stand alone correct?) for RNB as well? And you like the C1 over the SM7 in that price range?

Also can you recommend another stand alone preamp for us basement dewellers in the <1,000 price range??

BTW man congrats on your recent success!!!

thanks!!!

Last edited by Disco D; 11th May 2006 at 03:37 AM..
Old 11th May 2006
  #17
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJShowtime
The Black Lion Audio mod for the 002 sounds pretty interesting from what I have read. Would it be worth it or would buying something like the A2D be a better option? Thanks for all the input thus far.
I would get the API if you don't already have a good preamp and want a top notch pre & a top notch converter comparable to the best out there.. The Black Lion mod sounds cool, and I considered having that done. But, I now use the API and have my Aurora Audio GTQ2 that I plug into the A/D input when I want to track with a Neve flavor. I've only had the API for a little while, but I really like it... The API and the GTQ equals a monster setup for tracking, and it all fits in 2 rack spaces! Add the 002r and you have a whole studio in 4 rack spaces that is capable of major label quality records.
Old 11th May 2006
  #18
Gear Nut
 
tdm71's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont
I would get the API if you don't already have a good preamp and want a top notch pre & a top notch converter comparable to the best out there.. The Black Lion mod sounds cool, and I considered having that done. But, I now use the API and have my Aurora Audio GTQ2 that I plug into the A/D input when I want to track with a Neve flavor. I've only had the API for a little while, but I really like it... The API and the GTQ equals a monster setup for tracking, and it all fits in 2 rack spaces! Add the 002r and you have a whole studio in 4 rack spaces that is capable of major label quality records.

Hey Tony-


Are the converters that important or substantially better than say a 828? I know the preamp are, but I've read some past threads were you have stated there was not much difference in most AD converters and some other threads where others say those are the first to go obsolute?? How would they become obsolete??

THANKS for always helping out!!!
Old 11th May 2006
  #19
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdm71
Hey Tony-


Are the converters that important or substantially better than say a 828? I know the preamp are, but I've read some past threads were you have stated there was not much difference in most AD converters and some other threads where others say those are the first to go obsolute?? How would they become obsolete??

THANKS for always helping out!!!
When tracking beats, the difference in mid-level converters and some of the higher end converters is small. I think the 828 has usable converters for making beats, etc. But at the price of the A2D, you are basically getting a top tier converter included in the price of what a pair of API pre's typically cost... So, why not go for it and have a top quality converter along with a great preamp!

The A2D will not become obsolete... The guy that said that was saying a preamp will never be obsolete because it isn't digital. The converter is 192k capable, so it will be current for a long, long time... I'm sure in the future, if we start recording at higher sample rates, that it will be upgradable like the Crane Song HEDD, etc... But, that's so far in the future it's not even worth thinking about at this point...
Old 11th May 2006
  #20
Gear Addict
 

I still record everything at 44.1khz 24 bit. This is hip hop, people.
Old 11th May 2006
  #21
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco D
I still record everything at 44.1khz 24 bit. This is hip hop, people.
I couldn't imagine recording at 96k, nevermind 192... It eats up all the processing power, hard drive space, and doesn't really sound any different.
Old 11th May 2006
  #22
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andrewj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont
I couldn't imagine recording at 96k, nevermind 192... It eats up all the processing power, hard drive space, and doesn't really sound any different.
Okay, I must admit that there are differences when recording critical material at a higher samplingrate, but as disco said: this is hip hop. 96kHz may be good for Jazz, Classic and stuff like that. 192kHz is not so necessary to my ears! There is a difference, but a small one. By the way: Daniel Weiss has released a software version of his dithering tool! This could be a way for the important parts: record at a higher samplerate and dither down at high quality! But at first a good converter is a must! This will improve every recording. Then you couls also get some extras with an external Wordclock! If this isn't enough you should think about higher samplerates!

tdm71: Better converters improve your soundquality more than you might think before you have tried! I believe that the difference in 96kHz or even 192kHz may be a bit lesser, but at 44.1kHz it is enormous! Rent a Benchmark ADC if you do not believe me and record a signal through that! I switched my recording interface (From M-Audio to Metric Halo) and this improved my sound so much that I am happy with the stuff I get at 44.1!

Last edited by andrewj; 11th May 2006 at 01:22 PM..
Old 11th May 2006
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Surely this is a bit crazy seeing as you can only put 44.1Khz on your standard CD? I can see the higher rates having a slight advantage when recording certain things but for the most part 44.1 is going to be fine
Old 11th May 2006
  #24
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

The only time this type of stuff will come into play is future playback formats like SACD, etc. Where the material has to be of a high sample rate...

Although, I don't even think that is going to take off with the way MP3's are..
Old 11th May 2006
  #25
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andrewj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont
The only time this type of stuff will come into play is future playback formats like SACD, etc. Where the material has to be of a high sample rate...
Isn't SACD as high as 384kHz? Heard something like that from the guys of Digital Audio Denmark! Then we have to wait for the right converters and for a brandnew Generation of computers!
Old 11th May 2006
  #26
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewj
Isn't SACD as high as 384kHz? Heard something like that from the guys of Digital Audio Denmark! Then we have to wait for the right converters and for a brandnew Generation of computers!
Yeah, but I don't think that format is really going to take off.
Old 11th May 2006
  #27
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halfguard's Avatar
 

dont want to hijack this thread but......tony, what about the piece you are helping design? is it a pre type, or something thrown on the master bus?
Old 11th May 2006
  #28
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by halfguard
dont want to hijack this thread but......tony, what about the piece you are helping design? is it a pre type, or something thrown on the master bus?
I can't talk about it yet... Soon, though.
Old 12th May 2006
  #29
Here for the gear
 

Obviously, I am relatively new to the recording game, and I thank you for all your input. I've always looked at catalogs and seen gear and coming to this forum, I read about gear I'm hearing for the first time (API, Great River, Tab Funk, etc.) Would Avalon equipment be in the same league as these?
Old 12th May 2006
  #30
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andrewj's Avatar
Wow this Avalon question is a really good one! I heard about Avalon a lot from the traders around here and saw them in some studios, but actually noone recommended these units to me here! I am sure they are good, because you see them so often in so many studios, but noone recommends them!

But I can give you two names where I only heard good things about: Empirical Labs and Crane Song! Perhaps these units are the first to invest in!

Tony by the way: Saw the STC-8 and the Distressors at your Top 5 compressor charts! Is the STC an alternative to buy, or is the distresoor pair the first unit to buy if you do not own outboard compressors at all? Oh and what about the Fatso?

As you know I have two great Compressor plugins which may help me a lot too! heh
Perhaps they could fill the hole in the compressor sector for the first time, where I can only buy one unit!

P.S.: I am coincedent in your opinion about SACD! This one seems lost! But there are still people using it!
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