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What would you upgrade next?
Old 4th May 2015
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

What would you upgrade next?

I've got a little money that I can put into my setup, and wanted to get people's advice, since I'd be buying without trying (due to the area I live in).

So... here's my setup:

Interface: UAD Apollo quad + UAD 2 Quad

Preamps:

Golden audio Pre-73 x 2
UA 6176
True System P-solo
Arsenal Audio R20 preamps

Mics I typically use:

TLM-103
TLM-102
Miktek C5 x2
Heil PR40
RE-20
Studio Projects C4 x2
Audix i5

When I record Vocals, It's usually through the TLM-103 into the 6176
Guitars & bass vary quite a bit.

Drums are:
Kick Inside: PR40 -> Apollo pre (usually with Neve pre plugin)
Kick Outside: TLM-102 -> Apollo Pre (usually with Neve pre plugin)
Snare Top: i5 -> GAP pre-73
Snare bottom: SP C4 -> GAP Pre-73
Overheads: Miktek c5's -> Apollo Pre
Hihat: SP C4 - True P-Solo

I haven't really been using the arsenal pres, just because I assume that the Apollo's are just as good, and they are more convenient. I might be wrong (?)

I'm recording rock, reggae, folk and funk

So, 2 questions:

1. Are there any other takes on what preamps/mics I should be using for each of these things? For example, would the GAP Pre-73's be better used for something else?

2. What would be my best next upgrade? I was considering an API A2D for the overheads. Should I replace the Studio Projects mics? The GAP Pre-73's? The P-Solo (I'ts always bit a bit of a pain due to lack of headroom).

thanks everyone!
Old 4th May 2015
  #2
used AD16x ..use its clock aswell
Old 4th May 2015
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
used AD16x ..use its clock aswell
This surprises me. From what I've gathered, the impact that gear has on your sounds is:

instrument>mic>pre>converters

Also, my first thought would be that although the apogee converters were great when they were made, the Apollo converters are a lot newer, and could actually be better.

Would $1000+ put into an apogee converter net me a bigger improvement than upgrading mics or pres?

I'd love to hear your reasoning, I'm very interested in this.
Old 4th May 2015
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by mactac View Post
This surprises me. From what I've gathered, the impact that gear has on your sounds is:

instrument>mic>pre>converters

Also, my first thought would be that although the apogee converters were great when they were made, the Apollo converters are a lot newer, and could actually be better.

Would $1000+ put into an apogee converter net me a bigger improvement than upgrading mics or pres?

I'd love to hear your reasoning, I'm very interested in this.
well ...I did and all I can say is my ears are telling me I made the right choice ..I have an Apollo quad and I just bought an apogee ad16x and I monitor using my Rosetta 200 ..everything I'm doing now goes through the 16X and it just sounds fantastic and the clock is unbelievable.. I Clock the 200 and the Apollo via BNC and I noticed a difference immediately..The Apollo is good but adding the 16X made it great! another good choice for you would be adding a dangerous source ..or dbox..I definitely notice a difference and love working with the Rosetta over the Apollo for DA I would buy a source of I had a little more extra money
Old 4th May 2015
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mactac View Post
This surprises me. From what I've gathered, the impact that gear has on your sounds is:

instrument>mic>pre>converters

Also, my first thought would be that although the apogee converters were great when they were made, the Apollo converters are a lot newer, and could actually be better.

Would $1000+ put into an apogee converter net me a bigger improvement than upgrading mics or pres?

I'd love to hear your reasoning, I'm very interested in this.
to add to this you can move your preamps over to the AD16X and free up your Apollo preamps to do more on the way in ...all of it is a part of it,... Mics,preamps,converters ...there's no magic bullet ...but having 8 more channels of excellent conversion for your existing preamps and using the Apollo's preamps at the same time will be awesome
Old 4th May 2015
  #6
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
It seems like you could invest in higher grade microphones and possibly mic preamps.

Apollo is a great interface/converter. Get a Tascam UH-7000 if you want to up your DAC game and generally expand the apollo's SPDIF in/outs.
Old 4th May 2015
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Any thoughts on the A2D?
Old 4th May 2015
  #8
What monitors and room treatment have you got? In my experience getting great monitors and getting your room sorted make a bigger difference that most things. That said, you could add some ribbon mics. Maybe a couple of Royer 121s. The Royers are great on electric guitars, acoustic guitars and overheads / rooms. If your tracking room isn't perfect they can help smooth out the high end on the kit. The TLM103 is a nice mic but quite compressed / scooped sounding. You could go with a nice valve mic like the Flea 47 which is awesome on vocals, clean electric guitar, old school acoustic guitar. Also, a high end 4ch mic pre might be worth consideration, like the API 3124 or Neve 4081. Also, a good old SM57 for your guitars! Happy shopping.
Old 4th May 2015
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveAliveHQ View Post
What monitors and room treatment have you got? In my experience getting great monitors and getting your room sorted make a bigger difference that most things. That said, you could add some ribbon mics. Maybe a couple of Royer 121s. The Royers are great on electric guitars, acoustic guitars and overheads / rooms. If your tracking room isn't perfect they can help smooth out the high end on the kit. The TLM103 is a nice mic but quite compressed / scooped sounding. You could go with a nice valve mic like the Flea 47 which is awesome on vocals, clean electric guitar, old school acoustic guitar. Also, a high end 4ch mic pre might be worth consideration, like the API 3124 or Neve 4081. Also, a good old SM57 for your guitars! Happy shopping.
Thanks for the ideas!

I use Mackie 824's and a sub for monitoring. For room treatment, I have custom panels made out of wood & Rockwool, covering about 1/3 of the surfaces.

I've actually been considering the API 3124, thinking that it might get me more than the A2D, since the converters in the A2D are likely not even as good as the ones in the Apollo. The extra 2 channels of conversion would be nice, though.

I would love to get the Flea47, but I can't justify the cost right now (I know I posted this to high end!).

Although they are not in my list, I do have 57's & other mics (ie more i5's) for guitars.
Old 4th May 2015
  #10
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
API style preamps are my favorite. I use CAPI though. The current API stuff is really good though if you can afford it. I like to put a GAR2520 op amp in them.
Old 5th May 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
 
AllBread's Avatar
 

Just get to know the tools that you have. Not only is it a massive upgrade to the end product but it's free.
You're welcome.
Old 5th May 2015
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllBread View Post
Just get to know the tools that you have. Not only is it a massive upgrade to the end product but it's free.
You're welcome.
perfect high end answer!
Old 5th May 2015
  #13
Please only start these threads once in future
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