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High End Gear - Recording in Room
Old 7th July 2015
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
You don't know the BLA mod then.
good thing .. absolute waste of money

you can buy apogee converters for less than those mods, which basically do nothing
Old 7th July 2015
  #62
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
Nope. But 10 years ago I might have looked into it
You'd think so, wouldn't you. But then, you don't really know what you're talking about, do you?
Old 7th July 2015
  #63
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
good thing .. absolute waste of money

you can buy apogee converters for less than those mods, which basically do nothing
Whatever you say...
Old 7th July 2015
  #64
You can download reaper yourself, and buy it for the region of $50...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeOwnwho View Post
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
  #65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
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.
I was just trying to explain that the OP would benefit more from a dedicated outboard pre.

I tried steering him away from the Duet, only because there aren't enough outputs to facilitate tracking with two headphones (unless he buys a monitor controller or headphone distro).

I had a duet for years. The pres are good, but not at the level of a dedicated outboard pre.

Remember, the OP is working within a budget. There will be compromises. Because of this, i tried steering him in the direction of tools that he won't outgrow. Budget interfaces have improved dramatically over the last few years. I'd rather he get something with more i/o and options at the cost of a marginal quality difference

The baby face pro is a great sounding interface. Costs 100 more but then he wouldn't need a separate box to track with. That saves him money and there is less of a chance he will outgrow it.

As for the mic, the sm7 is a tool that any studio can benefit from. Hell yeah, a Manley condenser sounds great in a treated booth. OP doesn't have that.

Big detailed condensers are a pain to work with if you are tracking in the CR. more hassle than they are worth, especially for someone just starting out. OP can upgrade as his needs permit.
Old 7th July 2015
  #66
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Thanks guys. I ended up going with the package I had linked you guys with the Mbox Pro 3, Shure SM7B, and Protools 11.

Only two things I need now is headphones and the monitors. Was really interested in the Yamaha HS8, but I am almost considering getting the Adam A7X monitors. I am just not sure I need these monitors in my small bedroom.

Thoughts?
Old 7th July 2015
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DomiBabi View Post
I was just trying to explain that the OP would benefit more from a dedicated outboard pre.

I tried steering him away from the Duet, only because there aren't enough outputs to facilitate tracking with two headphones (unless he buys a monitor controller or headphone distro).

I had a duet for years. The pres are good, but not at the level of a dedicated outboard pre.

Remember, the OP is working within a budget. There will be compromises. Because of this, i tried steering him in the direction of tools that he won't outgrow. Budget interfaces have improved dramatically over the last few years. I'd rather he get something with more i/o and options at the cost of a marginal quality difference

The baby face pro is a great sounding interface. Costs 100 more but then he wouldn't need a separate box to track with. That saves him money and there is less of a chance he will outgrow it.

As for the mic, the sm7 is a tool that any studio can benefit from. Hell yeah, a Manley condenser sounds great in a treated booth. OP doesn't have that.

Big detailed condensers are a pain to work with if you are tracking in the CR. more hassle than they are worth, especially for someone just starting out. OP can upgrade as his needs permit.
I totally agree with you on the two headphone outs. This is a critical problem on interfaces that the manufacturers use to up-sell. I wasn't aware the Babyface Pro had two headphone outs, that's really cool. Hope you can control the output of them without menu diving with a single knob like the Duet. I much prefer a standalone headphone knob I can just turn. Nice to see the RME get rid of the breakout cable.

You say the Babyface Pro is a great sounding interface; they don't appear to be out yet. Did the manufacturer supply you one?


SM7 is nice, but for my rap vocals I sold it and got a Neumann instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
You'd think so, wouldn't you. But then, you don't really know what you're talking about, do you?
So what has black lion done to make that 15 year old rack better than everything on the market today? I'm not doubting that they may have been great at some point, but I think most owners have pretty much jumped ship to Quartet, Apollo, etc and there are tons of people on here who have documented their switch.

Last edited by Inverted314; 7th July 2015 at 04:25 PM..
Old 7th July 2015
  #68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
I totally agree with you on the two headphone outs. This is a critical problem on interfaces that the manufacturers use to up-sell. I wasn't aware the Babyface Pro had two headphone outs, that's really cool. Hope you can control the output of them without menu diving with a single knob like the Duet. I much prefer a standalone headphone knob I can just turn. Nice to see the RME get rid of the breakout cable.

You say the Babyface Pro is a great sounding interface; they don't appear to be out yet. Did the manufacturer supply you one?


SM7 is nice, but for my rap vocals I sold it and got a Neumann instead.
I was going on the quality of the original Babyface. Did you record in a vocal booth or an open room next to the monitors and engineer? Either way, an sm7 is an easier mic to record with in a less than stellar room.
Old 7th July 2015
  #69
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeOwnwho View Post
Thanks guys. I ended up going with the package I had linked you guys with the Mbox Pro 3, Shure SM7B, and Protools 11.

Only two things I need now is headphones and the monitors. Was really interested in the Yamaha HS8, but I am almost considering getting the Adam A7X monitors. I am just not sure I need these monitors in my small bedroom.

Thoughts?

Good choices!

As for monitors, go for quality over loudness. Two smaller monitors and a switchable sub woofer is a great choice when you are starting out and only have one pair of monitors to reference on.

The yamahas aren't bad, but nowhere near top of the line. I know you are on a budget, and have to start somewhere though.

You could do much better AND much worse. Try not to overthink it too much while you are still learning. I'm not too sure about the Zen pro mods on the website. I have no experience with them so I'll keep my mouth shut on that.

Get the Yamaha's, and then save up for a pair of mix cubes. Having a two sets of differently voiced monitors is in some ways better than having one pair of great ones.
Old 7th July 2015
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DomiBabi View Post
I was going on the quality of the original Babyface. Did you record in a vocal booth or an open room next to the monitors and engineer? Either way, an sm7 is an easier mic to record with in a less than stellar room.
That's what everyone says, which is why I bought a SM7 in the first place. I definitely fell for the SM7 hype on here; but it's a solid mic. My TLM 102 is actually really good at handling the room, I had a handheld Sennheiser dynamic mic that picked up way more of the room.
Old 8th July 2015
  #71
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
So what has black lion done to make that 15 year old rack better than everything on the market today? I'm not doubting that they may have been great at some point, but I think most owners have pretty much jumped ship to Quartet, Apollo, etc and there are tons of people on here who have documented their switch.
You can read about it on their site. I hear ya, but I think a lot o those who have done that are doing so for reasons other than sound quality, mostly cuz they're attracted to the shiny new thing, assuming that it's better, but it's not.

This quote from another recent thread says it all:

"I had a 002r that I had BLA do a signature mod on. I bought a new Apollo for the workflow. The 002r sounded better than the stock Apollo. I had BLA mod the Apollo and that improved things to the point where I could live with it. The 002r was still right there with the modded Apollo soundwise. I sold mine for a little under $600."
Old 8th July 2015
  #72
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DomiBabi View Post
The yamahas aren't bad, but nowhere near top of the line. I know you are on a budget, and have to start somewhere though.

You could do much better AND much worse. Try not to overthink it too much while you are still learning. I'm not too sure about the Zen pro mods on the website. I have no experience with them so I'll keep my mouth shut on that.
The Zen Pro mod is the point. The Yammies are a decent choice without it. With it, they are an exceptional choice, at that price. The Adams are also a great choice for a similar price. I've never compared them side by side so I'm unfortunately no help there. Either way, he could do worse.
Old 8th July 2015
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
My TLM 102 is actually really good at handling the room, I had a handheld Sennheiser dynamic mic that picked up way more of the room.
The 102 is a nice mic, and I like it better than Neumann's much more expensive TLM 103. But I like the Hulk 990 better still, and for less money. It's a bit more open and detailed with a more refined top end without even a hint of harshness.
Old 8th July 2015
  #74
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Tried out the TLM 103 tonight at a studio and I really loved it! The engineer was using an expensive preamp though. Can't remember what kind, but his setup was nice.
Old 10th July 2015
  #75
JAT
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It helps to think of the room/mic/preamp as a "system." Just about any mic I use at home sounds great through my RND Portico II. Most of our rooms are pretty much static, a great preamp gets the most out of your mic, but the mic is the biggest variable (both make and placement).

@
Old 11th July 2015
  #76
Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
good thing .. absolute waste of money

you can buy apogee converters for less than those mods, which basically do nothing
I think to make as sweeping statement as that, you need to provide proof.

"Basically do nothing" - in what way - can you show schematics, or A/B test results, or basically anything other than a (presumably uninformed) opinion?

I don't think investing in a 002 at this point is a good idea, but that's from a functional point of view, not sonic. I've not heard a BLA mod personally (have you?), I've heard their Sparrow and it was fine (but not as nice sounding as the Avid IO).
Old 21st July 2015
  #77
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Got everything setup and working. Have only recorded a couple times with the SM7B, but damn that microphone needs a lot of gain. I have my gain knob turned up like 80-90% just to be able to hear myself. Anyone have any tips on how to use this microphone for the best? I heard about the cloudlifter part that will bring up the gain, but I'd like to stay away from getting that. Might just think about getting a new microphone. Vocals sound okay on the microphone, not as nice as the Neumann 103, but I knew that would be the case.

Also whenever i pronounce the "P" sound with this mic it seems to really catch onto it.

Any advice helps!
Old 24th July 2015
  #78
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeOwnwho View Post
Got everything setup and working. Have only recorded a couple times with the SM7B, but damn that microphone needs a lot of gain. I have my gain knob turned up like 80-90% just to be able to hear myself. Anyone have any tips on how to use this microphone for the best? I heard about the cloudlifter part that will bring up the gain, but I'd like to stay away from getting that. Might just think about getting a new microphone. Vocals sound okay on the microphone, not as nice as the Neumann 103, but I knew that would be the case.

Also whenever i pronounce the "P" sound with this mic it seems to really catch onto it.

Any advice helps!
We all weren't kidding when we said the mic needs clean gain.

It's a great mic, but it needs an out-board pre to shine. The plosives are a matter of distance and using a pop filter (take off the windscreen).
Old 24th July 2015
  #79
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Yeah it definitely does need a lot of clean gain. I can get decent recording levels, but yeah the knob is turned up 85% of the way which kind of blows, but its whatever. Probably going to look into another mic soon. Just gonna practice with the SM7b for now.

Yeah I finally was able to take off the wind screen, now I am going to invest in a quality pop filter and see how that works. I'm not too happy with the vocals I am getting, but once it is all mixed it obviously sounds a lot better. I just got the demo for the Waves Gold Plugin package and I'm experimenting with that.
Old 24th July 2015
  #80
JAT
Lives for gear
To the OP, as you can see there are as many opinions as there is equipment. So I'll throw in my 2 cents worth, keeping in mind you do have money to spend, but not waste. So everything I'm suggesting won't be top price, but stuff you can continue to use even after you put in another $8,000.

Interface/preamp: Tascam UH-7000. High end conversion with very very nice preamps. High-latency in the drivers, but it soft switches between AES and SPdif so you can integrate it into a cheaper but faster interface (I get 11ms on my system, which is fast enough for most tasks and all mixing, of course). The preamps are clean (transformerless) but not sterile so if you want to "warm" up your sound a WARM Audio preamp will add some nice transformer goodness to your sound. Both units retail about $400. If you want to go whole hog get a RND Portico II Channel for your transformer sound. That is what I use here at home (RND>7000). Brilliant at home sound. The two hardware units will run about $3500, but you are set for a professional sound.

Speakers - Yamaha MPS 7s. The monitor version of their speakers, flatter instead of sounding good like the home series. A solid investment that will let you hear the sound you are making/mixing better than your ears, if you are just starting out. The 6.5 inch woofer can go low enough in a medium room that you won't need a sub. $800, + stands etc.

Mics: Love Joly stuff so I'm down w/ the Hulk. $400. But you might as well get some others as well. Do you record guitar cabs or horns (if you don't record guitar you are likely to soon). There are plenty of cheap ribbons that work well. I use a sub$100 MXL that works great on a cab. I just did some trombone and it sounded old school on that. A good friend w/ a major studio here in Dallas got rid of his Royer since a $200 ribbon sounded better on cabs. It is worthwhile to have one, esp. with the Hulk being more mid forward. A ribbon is high-shy. Nice mix and match, and a sm-57 is always welcome, if not a 7. And you should really invest in a pair of SD condensers for stereo recording, but that can wait. Still, my suggestions (including cables/ stands/clamps) is $400 +$100 + $100, which brings you to under $1000. You can spend another $700 for a pair of joly-mod Oktava 102s, or wait and spend more when you've developed your ear to taste.

Plus the $800 for room treatment.

So, the above is less than $6000. You'll have as good as an input channel as you can get and a fine stereo mixing rig. The Portico is as flexible of a single channel as you can find, and you have several good choices of mics (and more flexibility for input). With an OK room you can get a killer sound from all that. And half the investment is in the RND unit, which I never see for sale so if you did get rid of it, you are likely to loose only a couple of hundred bucks. And the Tascam unit will make a pricey but hell of a home playback unit if you retire from recording. You'll have to eat some of the mics and all the room treatment, but you know that already. But all the above makes a great basis for a recording studio, and it is all stuff you can use even if you go full-bore professional.
Old 24th July 2015
  #81
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I'd be very surprised if that Tascam was not a downgrade from the Mbox Pro, or at the least, not an upgrade.
Old 8th September 2015
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post

One other thought. You can get a Digi 002R interface with the Black Lion Audio Signature modification for crazy cheap right now on eBay for about $600. It will be better than most options at any price and is still compatible with Protools even though it is old, which is why people are dumping them. It will compare well with several thousand dollars of outboard and have more than enough ins and outs for you purposes. You may still want to get a serious preamp for the particular qualities it offers, but you won't need to.
How does the MBox 3 Pro compare with a BLA Signature Digi 002r Mod? Any pros and cons of either unit e.g. sonic quality, reliability, when upgrading/adding hardware, software/driver compatibility?

P.S. Using a MacBook Pro (Mid-2012), Pro Tools, no other equipment apart from an SE z3300a mic, keyboard and HS50M monitors (no pres/converters etc.). Looking to upgrade to pro level like my MC buddy (from an MBox 2).
Old 8th September 2015
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shyamazing View Post
How does the MBox 3 Pro compare with a BLA Signature Digi 002r Mod? Any pros and cons of either unit e.g. sonic quality, reliability, when upgrading/adding hardware, software/driver compatibility?

P.S. Using a MacBook Pro (Mid-2012), Pro Tools, no other equipment apart from an SE z3300a mic, keyboard and HS50M monitors (no pres/converters etc.). Looking to upgrade to pro level like my MC buddy (from an MBox 2).
see the other thread where you posted this same question.
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