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How about this for a first home studio?
Old 1st November 2002
  #1
Here for the gear
 

How about this for a first home studio?

Hello all,

I've been looking over several message boards the last couple of months trying to put together a first home studio. I think i've narrowed down the "initial" purchase (i plan on supplementing it with future purchases - mostly mics and preamps). My budget is about $30,000 - not including renovation/sound treatment costs - which i'm budgeting another $5,000 (note prices below are rough estimates)

Let me know what you think

BTW - I plan on recording a lot of synths + the standards (bass/guitar/vox/drums) + along with middle eastern strings/wind/percussion

RECORDER
--------
Ensoniq Paris Pro $2000
Recording PC $1500


MONITORS
--------
ADAM S-3A $4000


PREAMPS
-------
Sytek 4-Channel $800
Crane Song Flamingo $2700
VIPRE $2500
Avalon U5 x2 $800


MIC CABINET
-----------
Soundelux U195 $1125
Lawson L47MP $2000
Royer SF12 $2250
Neumann KM84 x2 $1500
Sennheiser e602 $200
Sennheiser 421 $250
Shure SM57 x 2 $150


EFFECTS
-------
Kurzweil KSP-8 $2500
UAD-1 $700


PROCESSING
----------
RNC Compx2 $400
Crane Song Trakker $3800
Crane Song HEDD $3200
Fatso Jnr $2500
Old 1st November 2002
  #2
All looks like really great choices. Don't forget about ATC Speakers...Sony chose ATC speakers for their SACD Demo room @ AES. That says a hell of a lot to me, since those guys can use whatever they want whenever they want. Their two least expensive models are less than $3000/pair. Also, Old School Audio Mic Preamps are excellent professional quality with lots 'o iron in the path.
Old 1st November 2002
  #3
Ass-Tounding!

Additionals:

1) You may need a monitor / 2 track a/b switcher (why not get Talkback funtion on it too) Coleman has a good rep on-line

2) Talk back mic

3) Headphone amp / mic stands / mic cables
Old 1st November 2002
  #4
Gear Nut
 
Diginerd's Avatar
 

That Sony ATC demo rig is the most amazingly over the top setup you could have.

5 x SCM-300?!! The number refers to Litres in the Cabinet. My 50s are pretty loud and spectacular (They couldn't be described as nearfields), my best friends 100s are exactly the same, but louder.

Couple those 5 x 300s with 4 subs and I have no idea how much damage they could do to anyone within half a mile..

That's the key thing about ATCs, (And why LucasSound/Skywalker Ranch has them in every room) is that from the smallest SCM-10 to the SCM-300s they have almost exactly (To all intents and purposes exactly) response.

I bought my 50s for £1500 S/H, and spend £1000 at ATC getting them renovated (Not easy if you are in the USA), they are currently listing at nearly $12k a pair.. yuktyy yuktyy


You do owe it to yourself to check them out..
Old 1st November 2002
  #5
Quote:
Originally posted by Diginerd
5 x 300s with 4 subs and I have no idea how much damage they could do to anyone within half a mile..

:eek:
Old 1st November 2002
  #6
Gear Nut
 
Diginerd's Avatar
 

No kidding, one, one mind you can kick out 121dB @ 1 Meter CONTINUOUS.

Pretty much zero distortion too.









5.4?! Scary
Old 2nd November 2002
  #7
Gear Nut
 

U might wanna go for some Neve 1073's and API 312's instead of the vipre to start with. INMHO u can get alot more cooler gear with 30k. Wut about PRO TOOLS?
Old 2nd November 2002
  #8
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
You do know that Paris has been discontinued right? Also, like Jules said don't forgot about all the other stuff like cabling, racks and patchbays. I have more money invested in that then I ever dreamed about spending.
Old 2nd November 2002
  #9
I agree about the cabling and patchbay.
My patchbay is probably the most expensive thing in my studio.
I agree about Pro Tools vs Paris also.....err see hot headed debates on other threads. LOTS of people are using Radar also.
In fact, it's so easy to come up with good alternatives to all your choices. I'd look around some more and ask some more questions.
Mind you it's easy to lose track and become confused.
Old 2nd November 2002
  #10
Re: How about this for a first home studio?

Quote:
Originally posted by Keyboardji


MONITORS
--------
ADAM S-3A $4000


PREAMPS
-------
Sytek 4-Channel $800
Crane Song Flamingo $2700
VIPRE $2500
Avalon U5 x2 $800


MIC CABINET
-----------
Soundelux U195 $1125
Lawson L47MP $2000
Royer SF12 $2250
Neumann KM84 x2 $1500
Sennheiser e602 $200
Sennheiser 421 $250
Shure SM57 x 2 $150


EFFECTS
-------
Kurzweil KSP-8 $2500
UAD-1 $700


PROCESSING
----------
RNC Compx2 $400
Crane Song Trakker $3800
Crane Song HEDD $3200
Fatso Jnr $2500
Where is the console BTW?
Some options:
Speakers....Genelec
They sound fab, possibly a bit too nice, I guess you might think your mixes sound better than they really do.
PreAmps......I'm not personally keen on Avalon. What about Api and/or one of their all in one 1U units.
Mics......The new Soundelux UFET7 looks like a doozy. I'm not sold on the SF12.
Effects.....I think it's useful to have a dedicated reverb. I know the Kurzweil is getting a lot of positive comments but I worry about units that try to be all thing to all men. Besides, the price is bound to halve over the next couple of years. I'm not saying you shouldn't get the KSP, just that you should look at a basic reverb in addition.
Processing......why 2 x RNC?
With the two Cranesong's and the Fatso aren't you treading a bit more similar territory than you need to?
It seems they are all (in different ways) trying to impart a bit of tube or tape colouring to your sound. So why not choose two of the three and pick up something else completely different? Manley Variable Mu? A pair of Dakings compressors would be awesome. In fact put a couple of his MicPre's down on your list also.
Old 2nd November 2002
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Recorder: I'd be concerned about chosing Paris. Those who use it love it and use phrases like "cold, dead hands" when describing their attachment, so I have no doubt that it's a high quality platform. But it is no more. Tough call to make.

Mic Pre's: great pre's, but not much variety for the outlay. The Syteks have been a great price/performance winner for years, but beware of fairly low headroom. There are no internal pads, so get outboards if you plan on using them on drums. The new RNP will price similarly for four channels worth, and has higher headroom, and more features. I haven't put them head to head, though, so I can't recomend one over the other. You might plan on the RNP as an alternate to a U-5, though, as it has some nice DI's on each channel.

Mic's: using the backside of a Royer 121 sounds a lot brighter, cleaner, and more natural, in other words close to what the Royer SF-1 and SF-12 do. In addition, the front side will stand more punishment and give that more colored sound. So I'd figure you'd get more flexibility out of a pair of 121's than the SF-12. I'd also pass on the E-602 on principle. In a small cabinet, I don't believe in one trick pony mics when I can get something more flexible, evey though the 602 is pretty damned nice on kick. Usually suspect do-it-all dynamics will give you more flexibility. I might add some small diaphragm omni condensors to the mix.

But, hey, that's just my pondering, and means very little unless you have an extra $30,000 to lend me to do the same.

Bear
Old 2nd November 2002
  #12
Gear Addict
 
largeunit's Avatar
 

Don't get Paris.

What about a console?
Old 2nd November 2002
  #13
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XHipHop's Avatar
it's a "home studio". why would he need a console? i think the "recording pc" would serve as that, no?
Old 2nd November 2002
  #14
Gear Addict
 
largeunit's Avatar
 

I'd also recommend:

1) a backup battery UPS for the computer
2) firewire drive(s) for audio
3) balanced power - something like this:

http://www.furmansound.com/pro/blncd/balanced1.htm

4) cables ($1000-1500)
5) Mac rather than PC for the computer. OSX audio will be here in moments, and I wouldn't want to miss out on that
6) "Retrospect" or similar software backup utility
7) A refurbished or used Mix Plus system rather than Paris/UA-1
Old 2nd November 2002
  #15
I think life would be easier with a console.
Agreed on the Mac.
Don't bother with archiving software, you can save everything (more cheaply) to DVD on the new Macs.
Old 2nd November 2002
  #16
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largeunit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by chrisso
Don't bother with archiving software, you can save everything (more cheaply) to DVD on the new Macs.
That would be a mistake. I have DVD-R, and there's no way that would be a practical solution. Every time I wanted to back something up, I'd have to use a blank DVD-R (what are they now, $10?) and wait 20 minutes for it to burn (and do this for every 4 gigs). Then the next day, if I want to backup again, I have to do the same thing. Then if I want to restore something from the DVD, it takes FOREVER! Have you tried that? Those are very, very slow readers.

Retrospect, on the other hand, will back up only the files that have changed since the initial backup, and it does it very quickly. I have a large Firewire drive that I'm using for backups. It's a snap.
Old 2nd November 2002
  #17
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largeunit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by XHipHop
it's a "home studio". why would he need a console? i think the "recording pc" would serve as that, no?
I wouldn't want to have to be the guy recording a band without a console of some sort.

Speaking of which, if you're recording drums, etc. you're probably going to want a snake too.

And chrisso is right. A patchbay. Hard to overemphasize the importance of that. And what Jules said: mic stands, headphone amp!
Old 2nd November 2002
  #18
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
The other thing to consider is that $30K is enough bread for a decent studio based around a 2" deck. Just food for thought.
Old 2nd November 2002
  #19
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by largeunit
I'd also recommend:

5) Mac rather than PC for the computer. OSX audio will be here in moments, and I wouldn't want to miss out on that
I think that it's a really, really dumb idea to try to build a studio around something that isnt for sale yet. And OSX audio is not here, even if it will be soon.

I have a friend who decided that the Alesis hard disk recorder was just what he needed, so he sold his ADATs to buy one. And couldn't book anything into his home studio for 3 months, because the hard disk recorder was release date slipped.

To me, the trick is to find gear that's currently available. that will do what you want, and buy it.
Old 2nd November 2002
  #20
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I fear some of you guys are making him more mixed up by trying to push your personal prefrences down his throat a bit. Methinks he's not starting his reasoning from scratch, he's asking if there's a dead horse in his equipment choice and frankly, this is all quite good and fine gear. The only really questionable choice is Paris for reasons that have been mentioned already and have nothing to do with sound quality. I'll guess he already have made a personnal reflection on mixing board vs in-the-box operation and analog vs DAW as well as what is gonna be his main type of gigs/activities with this setup.

If he doesn't have enough personal experience under his belt to pounder those questions toroughly before burning that sort of cash to find out what style of setup is gonna suit him, then nothing you can write on an internet forum is gonna prevent him from making some less relevent choices down the line.:eek:

However I think he should really checkout this new...
Old 3rd November 2002
  #21
Gear Addict
 
largeunit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin


I think that it's a really, really dumb idea to try to build a studio around something that isnt for sale yet. And OSX audio is not here, even if it will be soon.

I have a friend who decided that the Alesis hard disk recorder was just what he needed, so he sold his ADATs to buy one. And couldn't book anything into his home studio for 3 months, because the hard disk recorder was release date slipped.

To me, the trick is to find gear that's currently available. that will do what you want, and buy it.
The Mac's currently work great without OSX, so your analogy does not apply.

BTW, Logic 5 for OS X is out right now. ProTools 6 for OS X is slated for Christmas release.
Old 3rd November 2002
  #22
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

i think that list is just fine... except for the omission of cabling/mic stands/headphones/cue system... i'd recommend the furman hd6 for the cue system.

pay no mind to that vipre comment... thats the ONE pre you WANT. i'd take it over a neve or api any day of the week. a vipre with the flamingo would give you more possible tones than any other combination i could think of.... although i would probably go with a neve/vintech/chandler/clone over the avalon since the flamingo in normal mode is a really nice clean pre.
Old 3rd November 2002
  #23
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by largeunit


The Mac's currently work great without OSX, so your analogy does not apply.

BTW, Logic 5 for OS X is out right now. ProTools 6 for OS X is slated for Christmas release.
No, I think my analogy applies just fine. So PT6 for OSX is supposed to be out at Christmas (assuming, of course, that it actually IS out then). By choosing that particular software for his workstation, the original poster won't be able to do ANY work for a couple of months. THAT'S not good.

The fact that Macs work fine without OSX is also not relevant to the fact that PT for OSX is coming real soon now. I'm running PT 5.1 on OS 9.2 (I think). It does work fine. That has no relevance either, except that it's a currently availably stable setup, rather than vaporware. As it happens, I think that buying the first generation of OSX audio apps (it doesn't matter whether it's the curently available Logic o the upcoming PT), is also a bad idea, if you have client work that actually needs to be completed and turned in. I'd you're simply messing around with a program as a hobbiest, a first generation version may be fine, but I have no desire to have a program crash and burn with a paying client in the room.

I'd rather wait for some of the bugs to be fixed, just like I'm waiting for some of the plug-in issues to be resolved before I jump into PT HD. Which goes back to my original premise - that buying something that works NOW is better than waiting for the next thing.
Old 3rd November 2002
  #24
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Ditto above post. Good advice from Dave.
Old 3rd November 2002
  #25
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largeunit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin


No, I think my analogy applies just fine. So PT6 for OSX is supposed to be out at Christmas (assuming, of course, that it actually IS out then). By choosing that particular software for his workstation, the original poster won't be able to do ANY work for a couple of months. THAT'S not good.

The fact that Macs work fine without OSX is also not relevant to the fact that PT for OSX is coming real soon now. I'm running PT 5.1 on OS 9.2 (I think). It does work fine. That has no relevance either, except that it's a currently availably stable setup, rather than vaporware. As it happens, I think that buying the first generation of OSX audio apps (it doesn't matter whether it's the curently available Logic o the upcoming PT), is also a bad idea, if you have client work that actually needs to be completed and turned in. I'd you're simply messing around with a program as a hobbiest, a first generation version may be fine, but I have no desire to have a program crash and burn with a paying client in the room.

I'd rather wait for some of the bugs to be fixed, just like I'm waiting for some of the plug-in issues to be resolved before I jump into PT HD. Which goes back to my original premise - that buying something that works NOW is better than waiting for the next thing.
If he gets a Mac, he has the luxury of working on the standard platform for professional digital audio, and has the additional luxury and option of being able to use a next-generation platform as it becomes available.

That's very different from your dumb friend who left himself with nothing.
Old 4th November 2002
  #26
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studjo's Avatar
 

If something can go wrong with computers, then it will go wrong. I think you should rely on apps that are running in different studios at the time you buy the app and the hardware.

Just my experience (but that's not much ) Jo
Old 4th November 2002
  #27
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by largeunit
If he gets a Mac, he has the luxury of working on the standard platform for professional digital audio, and has the additional luxury and option of being able to use a next-generation platform as it becomes available.

That's very different from your dumb friend who left himself with nothing.
Not really. It's a really bad idea to base a studio or workplan around something that doesn't exist yet. Also, it's incredibly expensive to stay on the cutting edge of digital. Most studios that upgrade every few months or every year find themselves with much smaller profit margins. For a home studio to do that it's almost impossible because there are no clients to provide cash flow. In that case I'd pick a system and work it into the ground. There are still plenty of people making great music with old equipment and software.
Old 4th November 2002
  #28
Here for the gear
 

Sorry for not promptly responding.. Here are my thoughts....

Paris - The reason that I chose Paris for my recorder/mixer was because, IMO, it is the best bang-for-the-buck recorder out there. For $2000 I'll get a DSP-based system with an external controller that can record/edit a ton of tracks, use Direct-X plugins (VST with a wrapper), is extremely flexible (audio-routing wise) and, above all, is an excellent sounding system (from what I've read it sounds incredible - much better than PT). I understand that hardware development has stopped but software development/support will continue, and I don't see outgrowing Paris for a long while.

Cabling & Patch bays - I understand that these are extremely important. I plan on either buying Mogami cables or making my own (if i'm not lazy). I didn't put them in my budget because I'll be purchasing them with gig money from playing out (and i'm not sure exactly how much i'll need)

Mics - The reason I chose the U195 were the glowing reviews they've received. I might purchase the UFET7 (this'll offer more sound options than the 195 but I might miss the FAT switch). THe reason for the SF-12 was because of its excellent Stereo image, and the fact that it's easy (I can just put it up over the kit and i won't have to worry about mic-positioning/phase cancellation/imaging). I was thinking of getting the SF-12 initially and then supplementing it with the 121, but I might just get two 121's for overheads. I'm not really sure (I do know that I definately want a ribbon in my cabinet). In general for the mics I was looking to get a small high-quality cabinet that is extremely versatile. I think i might drop the e602 and just use the 421 + the 195 or ufet for kick).

Compressors - I think i'll drop the RNC's as well. I'm really not a "compressor-freak," I'm just going to use them lightly during tracking (no more than 1-3db of reduction) and during mixdown ( the Trakkers and the UAD-1 should be able to handle all of that and then some)

Mic-Pre's - Again, with the Mic-pres I wanted to go for the most versatile pre's possible. For my limited budget I didn't want to get too many "one-trick ponies" so I opted for the Flamingo (which has a number of possible sounds in it) along with the VIPRE (to get a meaty-tube pre, plus you can get a lot of sounds out it). I'm not really sure what I'm going to get for the remaining pres though (I need at least two more channels, preferably more). The sytek is extremely cheap at $200 a channel (plus i'll have two seperate sounds available with the burr brown mod). The RNP looks promising as well (along with the OLD School Audio stuff). We'll see.. Hopefully I can add some "colored" pres later.

DI's - THe only reason I chose the Avalon's was because they received some good reviews. I'd be more than happy to get a pre/di combination to fill out my needs for di's and more pres. I'd like to have a good bass di + two (stereo) "clean/straight-wire" di's for keyboards + two (stereo) silky/tubey/colored di's for keyboards (all of which can be used for bass/guitar as well)

Recording "Platform"/PC - I'm definatley going to go with a DAW. I've grown up with computers and have been using them for quite a while - somehow I feel reassured seeing the wave on screen rather than listening to it on tape.. I'm not exactly sure about the whole PC vs Mac thing though. The reason I initially chose a PC is because that's what I've been using for audio for a while - but that Mac is a possibility b/c it is rather stable and extremely audio friendly (and i'll be able to use Firewire drives easily). However, getting a properly equipped Mac will be a bit more expensive than a PC (though it will be faster) - we'll see (need to read-up more on Paris on the Mac).

Basically this studio is going to be for personal projects (whether it be my band's or my friend's bands). I'm hoping to hone my recording skills enough to sell my services and make some money (turning it into a part-time, then hopefully full-time job). THat's why I want to get some solid-flexible equipment from the get-go so I don't have to constantly be upgrading things/adding variants of the same thing (having 10-different compressors/20-different effects-boxes/specialized boxes). Once I do hone my skills I plan on taking this equipment, adding a bit more to it and then opening up a larger studio (hopefully making/purchasing a seperate facility) - but for now I'm just trying to get this thing up and running.
Old 4th November 2002
  #29
Sounds good to me!
Old 5th November 2002
  #30
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groundcontrol's Avatar
 

With the kind of gear you're planning to get, you're gonna run out of excuses for a long time for things not sounding the way you would like them...

Have fun!
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