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Help a newb
Old 5th May 2008
Gear Nut

Help a newb

New member here looking for some friendly advice.

I'm in the process of building a project studio and am down to my last $1500 for now. So far I am running logic 8 on a macbook pro via an apogee ensemble. Monitors are adams A7. For room treatment a GIK roomkit. Drums are tracked with a V-kit to midi to DKFH. For Bass I have a sansamp PSA-1. I'm only micing guitars and vocals, and mostly work in the metal/hardcore genre. I've narrowed down this purchase to either a mic pre, compressor, or channel strip. As far as mics go I have a rodes NTA-2, SM7B, and a sm57.
I've never owned a quality pre or compressor. Perhaps, I'd be better off buying some high quality plugs.What to do?
Old 5th May 2008
Lives for gear
Get a good mic before getting a high end pre. The ensemble pre's are nice and will compare nicely to other high end pre's. Are my Pendulum, Mellenia and Neve pre's better than my ensemble? Yes, but the Ensemble pre's are really nice. In your situation get a high end mic, a high end hardware compressor and then a high end pre.

I own a STA Level and Rupert Neve Portico 5043. I also own the UAD card with plugs. I've gotta say, if I was just starting my gear collection up the UAD laptop card for running 1176 or LA-2A is HUGE bang for the buck.

Your biggest hole right now is a high end mic. Lots of people love the Peluso mics.

Logic 8 provides some very serious firepower and with your other items you have a nice kit assembled there.

Good luck!
Old 5th May 2008
Gear Nut

Thannx for the response.
I know i'm lacking a highend mic. However, I've read my sm7 kicks a** for the type vocals i'm recording with a neve like pre. After some thought my real question is how best to upgrade my front end with $1,500? Keeping in mind i'm only micing guitars/vocal. I've been looking at distressors, great rivers. Maybe even a cheap dbx160+great river.
Old 5th May 2008
Here for the gear

Some Thoughts

I would try a focusrite red.
There are some really good affordable pre's/DI's like the Grace Model, some Avalon models, or even a chandler germanium pre. Look on *************** or ebay to try to find some deals. Oh and guitar center stopped haggling so never shop there unless of you enjoy senselessly throwing away money.

Also, for home studios, and for under 100 you can get a [Nuetrik] patchbay. This has saved me so much time I can't even begin to say. Especially if you are working in logic and you quickly need to patch in this or that, or send stuff around to some outboard gear. Working with only two channels in one of my rigs, it has been very nice being able to seamlessly work and not always worry about re-routing things- i just plug in my mic to input one, then my keys, then my acoustic guitar without having to rewire or set up anything other than a simple patch. Definitely worth the money; and theres someone on ebay who hooks up 12 balanced patch cables for like 20 bucks, and its good cable. Reliable connectors, good quality signal.

Get to know you're plug ins very very well and you can save alot of money on outboard gear. Don't get me wrong there is no replacement for a good piece of gear, but unless you know how to properly compress/gate/limit, none of it will do you any good. And you can get some really really good sounding plugs that will do anything you'll ever need it to. Sounds to me like you are going to be recording drums on an eight channel setup or something, so you will need that many gates / comps if thats how you work. And unless you want to spend all that money on all this outboard gear, just use plug-ins. Buy mic's and pre's - you won't regret it. You can take them around to studios wherever you go and they will always be very helpful and the number one thing (besides performance) that will give you a high quality signal. Don't worry about A/D converters yet. Finally, buy some really ****ty ten dollar computer speakers and set them up as alternate monitors (and get some headphones set up) so you have high quality monitors, phones for another good source, and a source where most people will be listening to when they hear what you've done, on their little stock cpu speakers. Just having more ways to listen to the same mix will tell you more than any meters will. Hope this helps, as it's kind of a rant that I haven't proofread. Take care, and good luck.
Old 5th May 2008
Lives for gear
Well, I liked the Great River too. Nice pre.

OK, this is your official blessing. Go and buy the Great River.

Sometimes you need a little nudge....
Old 6th May 2008
Gear Nut

You called it piano. I just needed some affirmation. All my purchases up to now have been easier. I hate having to pick and choose what gets left out. Next on the agenda is a distressor. Anyone get their stimulus check yet?

The rest of my gear;Samsung 24", Presonus Central Station, 2x AKG 240S, Korg K25 cntrl, Furman PL-8, Axefx-ultra, Sans amp PSA-1, TC Fireworx, Echoplex DEP, Yamaha FX-500, Mesa Mark IV, Dual Rec Rackmount, Tremoverb, Hot Rod Deville, Mesa trad 4X12, Marshall 1960B, Gibson Les Paul Std, YJM Strat, ESP Viper Std, Jackson SL2H, Musicman Sting Ray, M.Sakurai classical guitar, Taylor 214S, Microsynth, TC line/boost/Dist, various Boss/MXR pedals,
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