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$2,000.00. What should I get? Dynamic Microphones
Old 21st March 2007
  #1
Here for the gear
 

$2,000.00. What should I get?

Here is the situation. I have a budget around $2,000.00. I need: (1) a protools set up, like an Mbox2, digi002, etc. (2) an amazing mic and (3) a nice preamp for the mic.

The main purpose is for recording vocals. My vocals (male) are soft Elliot Smith-ish and the female vocalist can really belt it out in a Sade's range meets Etta James way. I also will be recording saxophone, bass, other things. I will not be recording drums or multiple instruments at the same time. This will all be recorded into a Mac. My only concern is having amazing vocals.

What do I get and WHY?
Old 21st March 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
lpkyer's Avatar
 

an Mbox, an RNP and a shure sm7b
Old 21st March 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
first thing to get would be another 2 grand. Then you can do everything else that you want.
Old 21st March 2007
  #4
Gear Head
 
Florian's Avatar
 

Why don't you spent the 2,000 on a good recording in a pro studio?

I don't know what you`re going to record and how long that takes, but that would be the option with the best results ......

Florian
Old 21st March 2007
  #5
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

saxrmc, since you only need one input at a time the MBox2 "Mini" for around $300 would work fine. For the type of vocals you describe I would pick up a Safe Sound Audio P1 which is a channel strip with a good preamp and an excellent dynamics section to control those loud singers without an obviously compressed sound. The Shure SM7B is a good suggestion. You'll need headphones, Sennheiser HD280 or Sony 7506 are decent choices for about $100. Monitors on a budget, the Tascam VL-X5 are sufficient for around $300.

No reason why you can't do this for under $2k these days.

War
Old 21st March 2007
  #6
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frans's Avatar
Gearwise, listen to War! But... how often will you use all this gear? Or how long? Do you have an okay room? It really could be an option to go to someone elses studio and take the tracks home with you. Recording yourself - it's a beast. Maybe check some fellow slutz in your neighborhood.
Old 21st March 2007
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Definetly a second vote for Safe Sound Audio P1 and for Shure SM7b.

I use that combo every day for recording voiceovers and what can I say- PERFECT COMBO !!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
saxrmc, since you only need one input at a time the MBox2 "Mini" for around $300 would work fine. For the type of vocals you describe I would pick up a Safe Sound Audio P1 which is a channel strip with a good preamp and an excellent dynamics section to control those loud singers without an obviously compressed sound. The Shure SM7B is a good suggestion. You'll need headphones, Sennheiser HD280 or Sony 7506 are decent choices for about $100. Monitors on a budget, the Tascam VL-X5 are sufficient for around $300.

No reason why you can't do this for under $2k these days.

War
Old 21st March 2007
  #8
Here for the gear
 

War, thank you for answering the question I was asking and going into detail as to why (compression etc.) For people that are saying, "go to a studio", that wasn't my question. If it was, I would have asked who do you reccomend in my neighborhood?

To give more info, I plan on recording indefinitely. I will be recording on a laptop so I will have access to different rooms, etc.

So if your comment is get another $2,000.00 or go to a studio, don't bother. If you have some really great ideas and agree with War or disagree, I would genuinely love to hear your opinions as to what I should get adn WHY with this budget. Thanks!
Old 21st March 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by saxrmc View Post
War, thank you for answering the question I was asking and going into detail as to why (compression etc.) For people that are saying, "go to a studio", that wasn't my question. If it was, I would have asked who do you reccomend in my neighborhood?

To give more info, I plan on recording indefinitely. I will be recording on a laptop so I will have access to different rooms, etc.

So if your comment is get another $2,000.00 or go to a studio, don't bother. If you have some really great ideas and agree with War or disagree, I would genuinely love to hear your opinions as to what I should get adn WHY with this budget. Thanks!
You said:

"Here is the situation. I have a budget around $2,000.00. I need: (1) a protools set up, like an Mbox2, digi002, etc. (2) an amazing mic and (3) a nice preamp for the mic.

The main purpose is for recording vocals. My vocals (male) are soft Elliot Smith-ish and the female vocalist can really belt it out in a Sade's range meets Etta James way. I also will be recording saxophone, bass, other things. I will not be recording drums or multiple instruments at the same time. This will all be recorded into a Mac. My only concern is having amazing vocals.

What do I get and WHY?"

--

Its my opinion that in order to achieve these standards your looking for you need to spend about 4 grand. Which is actually pretty resonable. If you desperately cant do that then stick with whatever everyone else is saying. Just keep in mind that for multipurpose recording you are DEFINATELY compromising a ton. But thats just my opinion. Soft eliot smithish could use a really nice tube or condensor mic. The belting out girl might do wonders into an RE20. Even just buying one of these though will mean you gotto buy a reaaaaaaally cheap protools rig and pre to stay in that range. I also suggest spending a little more because you never grow out of good quality gear. the worst thing that happeneds with high end gear is you sell it down the road for a very reasonable price and get back most of what you put into it.
Old 21st March 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 
sleepwalker's Avatar
 

A vacation with your wife. Or an ARP 2600. Ask her which one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saxrmc View Post
Here is the situation. I have a budget around $2,000.00. I need: (1) a protools set up, like an Mbox2, digi002, etc. (2) an amazing mic and (3) a nice preamp for the mic.

The main purpose is for recording vocals. My vocals (male) are soft Elliot Smith-ish and the female vocalist can really belt it out in a Sade's range meets Etta James way. I also will be recording saxophone, bass, other things. I will not be recording drums or multiple instruments at the same time. This will all be recorded into a Mac. My only concern is having amazing vocals.

What do I get and WHY?
Old 21st March 2007
  #11
Gear Head
 
codabass's Avatar
 

After a 30 hiaitis from making music, I returned three years ago. I walked into a music store and told the guy I wanted to pay a 4 track cassette recorder (that was the cream of the crop 30 years ago). He looked at me and said," we might have one in the rafters for a hundred bucks." After an hour of education from a kid that was trying to disguise peach fuzz for a mustache, I was show a whole new world. I left with an mbox2, monitors and some cables. Three years and 10K later am almost there, beig able to reproduce the sounds that have been in my head for those 30 years. Sir, my point it this, back up, take a deep breath and don't throw good money after bad. Buy your good gear one setp at a time, because once your bitten with this BUG, it's a ride of a lifetime. The mbox is a fine tool, but you will soon start chasing the music monkey and move up and up. I wish now I would have started with a 2k budget from day one. Of course that's not counting the learning curve and education costs t learn how to use this stuff (but thats just me). Good luck and lets hear some of yur stuff when your ready. Welcome to the concert hall, between your ears
Old 21st March 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 
DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 

You can get a pretty nice recording for 2k but sadly, not much [decent] gear. Do you really need to do it yourself? If so, maybe look into a line 6 toneport and an audix i5. With that you can record vocals and use it for Guitar (and bass) amp modelling. I started out recording bands using a POD (yes, even for vocals) and it did the job quite well, considering. I don't think any combination of items will get you "amazing" vocals for a mere 2k, but you can definitely get a usable demo out of the Toneport, a mic, and some cables. Don't forget to check out Reaper: very inexpensive kick ass DAW software.
Old 21st March 2007
  #13
Registered User
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florian View Post
Why don't you spent the 2,000 on a good recording in a pro studio?

I don't know what you`re going to record and how long that takes, but that would be the option with the best results ......

Florian
Maybe...but once the 2 thou is gone, it is gone, and if you are not happy with the results, there is nothing you can do about it.

Listen to the saner folks on this board, for elliot smithy type stuff (kinda lo fi in the first place) it is ALL about songwriting and performance, and a little bit in Mic technique, instrumentation, and mixing. Nice gear (your own or some overpriced studio's) will help you not.
Old 21st March 2007
  #14
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De chromium cob's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florian View Post
Why don't you spent the 2,000 on a good recording in a pro studio?

I don't know what you`re going to record and how long that takes, but that would be the option with the best results ......

Florian
Totally. thumbsup
Old 21st March 2007
  #15
Lives for gear
 
big country's Avatar
 

WAR knows his sh-it.

I go with War 's plan exept I go with a Heil PR 40
http://www.frontendaudio.com/Heil_PR...one_p/8258.htm
Old 21st March 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 
De chromium cob's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldTimey View Post
Maybe...but once the 2 thou is gone, it is gone, and if you are not happy with the results, there is nothing you can do about it.

.
For 2K in studio time you get a much better mic +pre +converter +comps +efx +room +cables. And you get someone who knows what they're doing so you can concentrate on the music instead of trying to split your brain between creative and technical duties.....(heh i said "duty")

And Warren certainly does know his ****, but I'm not selling gear. (no offense intended)
Old 21st March 2007
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Kestral's Avatar
 

Get a Pro Tools-able firewire interface of your choice and then RENT a nice mic, pre, comp, converter for your session.
Old 22nd March 2007
  #18
Gear Addict
 
anteupaudio's Avatar
 

Wow... I bet the original poster wishes more people would just answer his question (as well as possible given the guidelines) instead of trying to re-write his question. "What can I buy for $4k" or "Is $2k enough to buy..." may make fine threads but they don't answer the question at hand.

That said, the disclaimer that $2k isn't going to buy an AMAZING mic and an AMAZING pre has already been made and, while I agree with that, $2k can still buy some very workable gear that will yield reasonably good results if used properly. Most of Mr. Smith's early recordings were very lo-fi but they still sounded great, in their own way, because his performances were convincing and he made the gear he had work for what he was doing. Maybe the person asking this question can do the same with his music!

Here's what I would do.

- Buy a used M-Box for a couple hundred dollars on Ebay because it's the cheapest way to get into protools. You can't afford to buy external D/A converters anyway so lightpipe and all of the extra stuff an 002 or something of the like would offer you won't help anyway. Stick to what's cheap here.

- Buy a solid mic pre. Spend most of your money here. The Universal Audio SOLO 610 is pretty cool if you like something with some color to it. These are about $800 new and I've seen them for substantially less used. I think it would be a good bet for the type of music you're doing and it would fit your budget.. I own the 2-610 and I use it quite a bit to spite having other options. Also, see if you can find a used Chandler.. I've seen them, on occasion, go for around a grand. I think anything too clean or sterile would be a mistake for the kind of music you're doing. If you're a little more adventurous, you could also consider buying a single channel strip from an old Neotek (not as clean as the other stuff but that would give you a decent EQ as well) and hooking up a supply yourself. Someone was also selling Trident 80 series console strips on Ebay for $150.00 each recently. They're not my personal favorites but a lot of people like them and they would do the job.

- Buy the best mic you can afford with whatever money's left. You'll probably end up replacing the mic at some point down the road when you have more money to play with so just do the best you can for now. It never hurts to have another mic around even if you do replace it with something better in the future. IMO, unless you have over $2k to spend on just a mic you may as well stick to something in the under $600 range because I don't think you'll find much improvement until you get up over $2k after that. Don't worry about brand name as much as what you can get decent results from without going over your budget (read... The Neumann TLM-103 which I think costs around $900.00 doesn't really sound any better than many $100-$300 mics but since it says Neumann on it a lot of people will spend the extra money anyway... silly)

People will likely bitch about my saying this but even a $100.00 Marshal MXL mic can yield respectable results if used right. When it comes to bang for the buck, it's hard to beat. I just mixed a record that a client of mine tracked completely on his own and the MXL was the best mic he had for vocals (or for anything else "important" really). The mixes came out really nice and the vocal tracks were totally workable to spite being tracked on a $100 mic. I have, at times, used the MXL over expensive vintage Neumann mics (M-149, UM57, etc) and my AKG C-12. You can also pick up a AKG 414, or various AT mics for $400-$600 and these are all respectable mics within your budget.

Be realistic and realize that $2k isn't a ton of money to spend on a vocal chain and DAW system. There's no reason you can't make respectable recordings with the gear listed above. It's not a "dream chain" but it will get the job done and yield good results if used properly.


Michael Seifert
Owner : Ante Up Audio, LLC
www.anteupaudio.com
www.michaelseifert.com
Old 22nd March 2007
  #19
Lives for gear
 
big country's Avatar
 

I would deal with war

if your just setting up a system war probly has kick ass support

+ he is a smart cracker
+ 1 for the little guy
+ the guy plays with this **** all day
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