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High End Gear - Recording in Room
Old 2nd July 2015
  #31
Here for the gear
 

Thanks Pied. I appreciate it. I will definitely look into the Hulk. The SM7B a lot of people were saying is great for untreated rooms. Do you agree?

I don't mind investing some money in a good interface.. Is there something else you recommend? Or is the Digi 002R with the BLA mod a good place to start?

I just did a quick google search for the Digi 002R with the BLA mod and came across this site: Digidesign 002r Mods :: Black Lion Audio

I don't see it listed under their mods. Do you recommend trying to purchase it all together. Or should I buy the Digi 002r first and then buy the mod after?

Thanks!
Old 3rd July 2015
  #32
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natpub's Avatar
You've kinda moved into the cheaper stuff, and that is not something I know much about. These others may be able to help you more. I would not use an 002 or some of the other things suggested. The only all-in-one interfaces Ive messed with and liked were the UA Apollo, Anetlope Zen, Apogee stuff (you might like the Avid Apogee Quartet), and the like. Mic wise, they are right that the SM7 takes a LOT of gain, and might end up noisy with inexpensive preamps. Maybe have a look at the Pearlman TM2---that's a lotta mic, sweet large diaphragm tube condenser for an affordable price.
Old 3rd July 2015
  #33
I disagree about using the preamps on an audio interface.

Long time SM7 user here. A 002 stock OR modified will not be enough clean gain for this mic. The BL mods are great. I had a motu unit modded. Still didn't do it for me though.

You are better off buying the right tool the first time than paying a decent amount of money to "fix" sub par gear. Just buy a pre. Long after your interface becomes unsupported, you will have a profession tool that you can use for life.

On the cheap? An ISA ONE works wonderfully. Same with my personal fav: the LMNOPre. Lots o gain. Great tech specs. Clean pro sound. Very versatile and has unique features that work great for adding "balls" to a vocal.

Put the majority of your dough into the monitors and the room. Genelec triple play system is relatively cheap and much better than some of the others mentioned.
Old 3rd July 2015
  #34
Gear Addict
 

If you need a pre for the SM7b I cannot recommend the Daking Mic Pre 1 highly enough. It's great. Plenty of gain for the 7b. It has enough gain for spoken word for me. Built in HPF is a sexy, well thought out feature. Given the fact that it's dropped about $200 since I bought mine, it's a bloody steal at its current price. With untreated space, I think it's important to recognize that the 7b doesn't have a particularly great rejection. It is dynamic, which is going to be better than a LDC, something about dynamics just does not pick up the distant, unwanted noises the way LDCs do. Furthermore it has a cardiod pickup, which is better than an omni. It is not especially good or bad rejection, but it is going to be better than an LDC. FWIW I like mine, but I am sooo tempted to try an MD441.
Old 3rd July 2015
  #35
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeOwnwho View Post
Thanks Pied. I appreciate it. I will definitely look into the Hulk. The SM7B a lot of people were saying is great for untreated rooms. Do you agree?

I don't mind investing some money in a good interface.. Is there something else you recommend? Or is the Digi 002R with the BLA mod a good place to start?

I just did a quick google search for the Digi 002R with the BLA mod and came across this site: Digidesign 002r Mods :: Black Lion Audio

I don't see it listed under their mods. Do you recommend trying to purchase it all together. Or should I buy the Digi 002r first and then buy the mod after?

Thanks!
Yes the SM7B and the aforementioned RE20, being hypercardioid, will not pick up as much room and that can be helpful. It is just not the only consideration.

The BLA Signature Series Mod is right on that page you linked to. It is normally $1350 plus shipping but my point is you can pick one up already modded for around $600 on eBay because people are dumping the old and going for the new Apollo though it is arguably not as good. There is one on there now for $700 but I've seen them go for under 6
$600. You will still need to buy Protools 11 or 12 if you don't already have it.
Old 3rd July 2015
  #36
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by natpub View Post
I would not use an 002 or some of the other things suggested.
The BLA Signature mod is in a completely different league than the stock unit which is mediocre. The mod significantly improves the pres, line level analogue circuitry, converters, clock, headphone amp, and power supplies. The modded unit competes with the best. Getting it used for $600 is an absolute steal. It's a great opportunity right now that some don't know any better than to dump them.
Old 3rd July 2015
  #37
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DomiBabi View Post
I disagree about using the preamps on an audio interface.

Long time SM7 user here. A 002 stock OR modified will not be enough clean gain for this mic. The BL mods are great. I had a motu unit modded. Still didn't do it for me though.

You are better off buying the right tool the first time than paying a decent amount of money to "fix" sub par gear. Just buy a pre. Long after your interface becomes unsupported, you will have a profession tool that you can use for life.

On the cheap? An ISA ONE works wonderfully. Same with my personal fav: the LMNOPre. Lots o gain. Great tech specs. Clean pro sound. Very versatile and has unique features that work great for adding "balls" to a vocal.
The BLA Signature mod was their flagship product until they came up with an even better mod for Tony Maserati who had been using the Signature mod, and is better than your MOTU or the ISA One, IMHO.
Old 3rd July 2015
  #38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
The BLA Signature mod is in a completely different league than the stock unit which is mediocre. The mod significantly improves the pres, line level analogue circuitry, converters, clock, headphone amp, and power supplies. The modded unit competes with the best. Getting it used for $600 is an absolute steal. It's a great opportunity right now that some don't know any better than to dump them.
On the one hand you're recommending the 002 mod; on the other you're suggesting PT11 and 12. The 002 isn't supported under PT11+12; it might work for now, but there's no guarantee that a 12 update won't break that.

That's the reason people are moving on, more than anything. I think it's a bad idea to buy into technology that might well not be useful in a year's time. It's not like buying an older converter (that doesn't depend on drivers/software support).
Old 3rd July 2015
  #39
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
On the one hand you're recommending the 002 mod; on the other you're suggesting PT11 and 12. The 002 isn't supported under PT11+12; it might work for now, but there's no guarantee that a 12 update won't break that.

That's the reason people are moving on, more than anything. I think it's a bad idea to buy into technology that might well not be useful in a year's time. It's not like buying an older converter (that doesn't depend on drivers/software support).
The drivers for the 002R are identical to those of the 003 which is supported. It's BS... IOW, the 002R IS supported, despite the official stance. There is no reason why the 002/003 should not be supported for a long time.
Old 3rd July 2015
  #40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
The drivers for the 002R are identical to those of the 003 which is supported. It's BS... IOW, the 002R IS supported, despite the official stance. There is no reason why the 002/003 should not be supported for a long time.
No. It WORKS (i'm not denying that); it's not SUPPORTED which means guaranteed to work from Avid's side. That's the definition of the terms in this case.

I don't know enough about drivers to say they're 100% identical or not; I'm just saying that I don't think it's a great idea to buy into something in this situation - particularly with the PT12 subscription idea.

IF you want to buy one, and freeze the rig at PT10 and go into that knowingly (like purchasers of 2nd hand TDM rigs do) - that's a different case.

But IMO (and it is just an opinion) the OP isn't in this situation, and there's better products for his needs. Ultimate conversion quality isn't the be-all here.
Old 3rd July 2015
  #41
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
No. It WORKS (i'm not denying that); it's not SUPPORTED which means guaranteed to work from Avid's side. That's the definition of the terms in this case.

I don't know enough about drivers to say they're 100% identical or not; I'm just saying that I don't think it's a great idea to buy into something in this situation - particularly with the PT12 subscription idea.

IF you want to buy one, and freeze the rig at PT10 and go into that knowingly (like purchasers of 2nd hand TDM rigs do) - that's a different case.

But IMO (and it is just an opinion) the OP isn't in this situation, and there's better products for his needs. Ultimate conversion quality isn't the be-all here.
I appreciate your point of view here, but it is a fact that the 002R and 003R use the same drivers. I use them every day, with PT11. The 003 is supported. They use the same drivers, which is the only relevant variable, so the 002 is, in a sense, supported. As long as the 003 is supported, the 002R will also work. It's still speculation how long the 003 will be supported, but there doesn't seem to be any logistical necessity to drop it such as there is with the older HD rigs.

Last edited by Piedpiper; 3rd July 2015 at 07:24 AM..
Old 6th July 2015
  #42
Here for the gear
 

Hey Guys! Hope you all had a nice 4th. Here is my new updated list that I am looking at purchasing pretty soon. Let me know what you think!

Speakers: Yamaha HS8 Zen Pro Mod - $900
Microphone: Shure SM7B, Electrovoice RE30, Michael Joly Hulk 990 - $350-500
Interface: Apogee Duet (Comes with Waves Silver Plugin Bundle) - $650
Acoustic Treatment: GIK - $799
Head phones: Denon AH-D2000 -$299
DAW - Protools 11/Reaper

What do you guys think about this setup? I haven't decided on the microphones. Definitely interested in testing out all 3 of those mics to see which one works best with my voice.

Anything else I am missing here?
Old 6th July 2015
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeOwnwho View Post
Hey Guys! Hope you all had a nice 4th. Here is my new updated list that I am looking at purchasing pretty soon. Let me know what you think!

Speakers: Yamaha HS8 Zen Pro Mod - $900
Microphone: Shure SM7B, Electrovoice RE30, Michael Joly Hulk 990 - $350-500
Interface: Apogee Duet (Comes with Waves Silver Plugin Bundle) - $650
Acoustic Treatment: GIK - $799
Head phones: Denon AH-D2000 -$299
DAW - Protools 11/Reaper

What do you guys think about this setup? I haven't decided on the microphones. Definitely interested in testing out all 3 of those mics to see which one works best with my voice.

Anything else I am missing here?
I'd suggest different headhones, and 2 pairs (since you don't have a booth).

Cheap, loud, sealed ones for the artist... over ear quality ones for yourself.

I also suggest a different interface and an outboard pre.

If you go with the Duet, you will need a distribution amp to track vocals... (you will need 2 pairs of headphone outs without a booth).

The Duet pres are NOT great for an SM7b. But they will work.

How about:

DAW - Reaper (upgrade to PT later. Use the $ for better gear)

Cans - For the artist: MOREME deluxe headphones $30
For YOU: Focal Spirit $349

Speakers - Smaller Yamaha HS7 - $600
Yamaha Sub - HS8S $450

Interface - RME BabyFace Pro $750

Mic - SM7b $349

PREAMP - ISAone $500

Room Treatment - GIK #1 $550

------

This way, you get more I/o with the same relative quality, A real preamp, better monitoring, etc... cost difference is only about $600 and you will have a much more professional setup.

Also, notice I went down a package on the room treatment. Start with a smaller package first... you may not need all that crap.
Old 6th July 2015
  #44
Here for the gear
 

Thanks man I appreciate it! Are you a big fan of the SM7B? From all the reviews i've seen and youtube videos it looks like a great mic for the price.

Since I will be doing the recordings at my house I wouldn't mind spending money on some better headphones for recording. I do have Dr.Dre's Beats headphones currently the studio ones. Maybe I could use these if I buy the converter so it will fit into the pre?

Will I always need 2 headphones ( 1 for mixing/ 1 for recording) I've heard a lot of good things about mixing through the speakers themselves rather than using headphones. Thoughts?
Old 6th July 2015
  #45
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Vintageidiot's Avatar
I would not set out recording with an sm7b mic. While it may work on some things I wouldn't count on it for most/many things. Better to have too much than not enough....Manley Reference is great.
Old 6th July 2015
  #46
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for your input Vintage! What would you recommend to go with the Manley microphone as for as preamp/interface?
Old 6th July 2015
  #47
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DomiBabi View Post
I'd suggest different headhones, and 2 pairs (since you don't have a booth).
Have you used the Denon AH-D2000?

For the second pair o cans, I would suggest the Audio Technica AT M50. Skimping too much on the monitoring for the talent is not a good idea. They need to feel good about what they're hearing.

And @ the OP:

The Dre Beats are crap... dump em... or keep em around for the guy who wants everything to sound like that...

As for the rest of DomiBabi's post, just remember that you have virtually no experience. You have a lot to learn before plunking down big bucks is relevant. The SM7B is not a great mic, it just does a certain thing that comes in handy when you need it. Re: the Duet, my aforementioned suggestions will beat it easily both in quality and options. The 002R if want more everything. The Mbox Pro if you want new and comes with Protools. Not crazy about the ISA...

Last edited by Piedpiper; 6th July 2015 at 10:07 PM..
Old 6th July 2015
  #48
Here for the gear
 

Thanks Pied. Do you recommend getting 2 head phones as well or will I be set with the Denon AH-D2000?

Also I would love to get the Mbox pro, but I think the duet is very attractive that it comes with the Waves silver plugins package. I guess I have to way the cost/benefit, because if the Mbox Pro comes with Protools it may be worth it to just do that.

If i went with the duet would i need a distribution amp? I'm definitely leaning towards the Michael Joly Mic
Old 7th July 2015
  #49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintageidiot View Post
I would not set out recording with an sm7b mic. While it may work on some things I wouldn't count on it for most/many things. Better to have too much than not enough....Manley Reference is great.
And the price is....?!

I'm no huge fan of the sm7b, but it does hold its own. I tested against a u67 for a particular vocalist, and whilst the 67 was clearly better, it didn't sound like a $5k difference - I could happily have worked with the sm7b. And for some songs might even have been more appropriate!
Old 7th July 2015
  #50
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Well, if you're tracking anyone else other than yourself, you'll need a second pair of headphones, and a second headphone amp. The Mbox Pro has two headphone outs. The Denons are closed back, so you can track with them, and they are more accurate than most open backed cans. Though not perfect, they are more so than anything else I'm aware of for three times their price, and the way that they error is useful, and much more accurate than the Focal Spirit, though the Focals could be worse.

Last edited by Piedpiper; 7th July 2015 at 02:52 AM..
Old 7th July 2015
  #51
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Vintageidiot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
And the price is....?!
I can't argue based on price, but hey, I have my 4033 up now instead of my expensive others, just to force me to make it work, just because. If the OP wants a quality mic I don't think he should be talked out of it. Just as no one here should talk anyone out of investing in expensive gear. To the contrary, they should be encouraged to learn how to use that gear. Well known gear has a reputation for a reason, not necessarily flavor of the month. They are known because they deliver, in the rights hands. Make your hands the right hands....

Last edited by psycho_monkey; 7th July 2015 at 09:35 AM..
Old 7th July 2015
  #52
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Piedpiper's Avatar
I just pulled out my SM7B cuz we had just been talking about it, to test against a new Michael Joly modded MXL 910 that I just won in a naming contest for the mic! (There's a first time for everything!) The 910, hereafter called the BigBoy, is a bit more mid forward than the Hulk 990 as it uses a 6 micron capsule rather than the Hulk's 3 micron capsule that has a bit more air and refined detail. Both fly directly in the face of cheap bright mics that are so ubiquitous but for similar money. The BigBoy is actually kinda similar to the SM7B but it has a bit more detail and proximity effect. Neither of the three have the depth and refined detail of a really expensive tube mic, though the Hulk gets a you a little closer. In any case, they are all excellent values. The SM7B is a safe mic in that it is easy to work with, assuming a loud source, and can smooth out a hashy aggressively bright male rock vocal, or an overly sibilant female vocal. It can also remove some of the intimate detail of a subtler source though. If you are looking for less warmth or more cut it has a low cut and upper mid boost that can come in handy to taylor to a particular voice if you don't have other options. I just thought I'd throw some qualifying words towards my earlier remarks about the Shure. Psychomonkey's comparison to the U67 is interesting. The 67 is a similar flavor though more refined, detailed, and "magic".

Last edited by Piedpiper; 7th July 2015 at 04:48 AM..
Old 7th July 2015
  #53
Here for the gear
 

I do want to buy/test out the Michael Joly Hulk 990 and also the SM7B, but with the SM7B i am a little worried about having to buy a preamp that has enough gain to support it.

I know when I started this post I was looking to spend 7k+, but now I am looking at maybe half of that cost. One reason is because you guys are right I really don't know much about mixing/recording and I don't have enough money to just throw and spend easily over 10k!

So I definitely think going the cheaper route ($3,000-$4,000) and sharpening my skills is a lot better to do than chuckin out $8,000 for something I have no idea how to use YET!

Also one of my concerns buying into the monitors/interfaces that are modded is it kills the stock warranty. Not saying I am going to break my equipment, but it is nice to know you have some warranty and yes I see that the modded monitors/interface usually come with a 1 year warranty. With the Yamaha HS8 Zen pro mod is it highly recommended to get a sub?

I do hip hop and strictly hip hop. This mini-studio I am building is mainly for me to record myself and get better at recording/mixing. I have some decent knowledge with protools just from recording in the our studio booth and also recording my friends.

For interfaces I like the digi 002 Black Lion Mod, I like the Mbox that comes with Protools (that is a steal!), I also like the Apogee duet (mainly because it comes with the Waves Plugins). I really dislike the stock plugins in protools (or maybe I just have gotten good with them, but i've tried a few Waves plugins and they seem legit. My friend also has Reaper that he can give to me and he has a ton of great plugins as well. I'm just not sure I want to switch to Reaper when I was just getting the hang of protools.

What do you guys think I should do? I've narrowed down the microphones to SM7b, Electro R20, and the Michael Joly Hulk 990. I am leaning towards the 990 so far, but I have yet to test them out. For interfaces I am still not sure which one is the best for me and also which deal is the best.

Thanks
Old 7th July 2015
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DomiBabi View Post
The Duet pres are NOT great for an SM7b. But they will work.
The Duet has 75db of gain, more than most preamps on the market; specifically so it can sufficiently power dynamic and ribbon mics. As someone that has owned a Duet 2 and SM7B; I would say they actually do work great together.
Old 7th July 2015
  #55
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Obviously the Waves plugins are worthwhile. But you can always get plugins. I prefer to have a short list of exceptional plugins. I have the Fabfilter suite, Exponential Audio suite, and a few from UBK, a couple cheap but great ones from Klanghelm and a few more. Having an exceptional interface that gives you the quality and options without extra investment is a good hub to work from. The Duet is good, but very limited. The Mbox is a little better I think and is less limited. The BLA 002R is better still and much less limited, though it doesn't have the second headphone amp built in. A decent 4 channel headphone amp won't set you back much and you will need it if you do a live duet or have anyone else in the room with you even if you have a second headphone channel.

The SM7B and RE20 are great but the Hulk is gonna communicate more magic for the same price. Love the RE20 for kick drum but you're not tracking drums. The thing about vocals, is that if you're tracking different voices, you really need a few options, so you should factor that in for the long run. The Hulk is a good middle of the road, with some of the warmth and transparency of a U47 style without the assertive upper mids, and with a bit of the smooth air of a C12. It is very sweet but detailed. Don't mean to make it out to be super-mic, but it ain't bad, and a steal for the money. I prefer it to a U87 in most ways. For the price, you could easily get both a Hulk and an SM7B and see for yourself. Having an extra mic around can come in handy. As you get more experienced you'll gain deeper insight into the subtler flavors that better mics bring to different voices and contexts. Be sure to get a good pop filter if you don't already have one, especially for the Hulk.

Personally, I don't see the point of not going ahead with Protools.
Old 7th July 2015
  #56
Here for the gear
 

Yeah true I will definitely look into purchasing Waves plugins separately. Is it best to buy the packages or individually?

Also what do you think about this deal: http://www.amazon.com/Avid-Firewire-...ords=avid+mbox

Instead of an Mbox 2, would an mbox 3 be more beneficial? This comes with the Shure, but I will also buy the Hulk 990 as well. I'd get the Yamaha HS8 with the mod, and probably get the headphones you recommended.
Old 7th July 2015
  #57
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If I spent 4k on gear in 2015 and ended up with a 002 I think I'd cry.
Old 7th July 2015
  #58
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
If I spent 4k on gear in 2015 and ended up with a 002 I think I'd cry.
You don't know the BLA mod then.
Old 7th July 2015
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
You don't know the BLA mod then.
Nope. But 10 years ago I might have looked into it
Old 7th July 2015
  #60
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeOwnwho View Post
Yeah true I will definitely look into purchasing Waves plugins separately. Is it best to buy the packages or individually?

Also what do you think about this deal: http://www.amazon.com/Avid-Firewire-...ords=avid+mbox

Instead of an Mbox 2, would an mbox 3 be more beneficial? This comes with the Shure, but I will also buy the Hulk 990 as well. I'd get the Yamaha HS8 with the mod, and probably get the headphones you recommended.
The packages are obviously cheaper assuming you want all that is in them. I'm not sure I would prioritize Waves particularly though. In fact I haven't...

That looks like a great deal.

Definitely do not get an Mbox 2. The 3 is in a different league, and the Pro is the way to go.

Re: a sub, you can get by without one, but for hip hop you might want to. Just make sure you integrate it properly, otherwise it will just screw it up worse, especially in a small room. Place it so that it is equidistant from each speaker and the same distance from you as the other speakers. You'll get the best sound by running the satellites full range and rolling in the sub at it's lowest crossover point, unless you playing them super loud. This will keep the crossover from mucking up the phase of the satellites and add only what is needed on the bottom end. Keep the satellites away from the back wall, ideally 1/3 to 1/2 of the way into the room, on good stands. If you set them up 1/2 way into the room you can track behind them so you are looking at the talent, and they at you, over your computer monitor. This will give you a spacious deep soundstage that most people have never experienced.
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