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What would you buy next, were you in my shoes..? $2500 budget
Old 13th September 2008
  #1
Gear Nut
 
decius01's Avatar
 

What would you buy next, were you in my shoes..? $2500 budget

I have this for pre's:
GR MP2-NV
2 x API 3124+
3 x FMR RNP

Conversion:
Radar II

Mics:
2 x ksm32
TM-1
C414b XL-II
SM7b
RE20
2 x km184
d112
EV nd868
4 x sm57
sm58
3 x sennheiser e604
4 various cheap AT drum mics (2 snare/Tom, 2 Kick/tom)
*waiting currently for a Royer SF-12 on order :P)

Outboard gear:
Drawmer 1968

Running:
Cubase 3.1.1

Extras:
2 x UAD-1 w/ a few various plugs
Waves diamond bundle w/SSL and API waves packs

I was totally stoked on the release of the UAD-2-- and promptly went out and ordered a quad.... now I'm not so sure. The problem with my UAD-1 setup is that I can't fit both of the cards in my DAW. as my interface (soundscape) takes up the only other slot I have available- so am currently using only one. For this reason, I thought the release of the UAD-2's timing was perfect.
*I have a small control room, so space is an option-- hence the lack of outboard gear. I have been happy mostly ITB up until this point.

The thing is, I can see myself with an outboard eq (Drawmer 1961 maybe... mmm), or maybe the other MP2-NV that I've been wanting for so long (I do a lot of full band recording, so more pre's are always welcome).

What would you do?
Old 13th September 2008
  #2
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dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

i think you will really be suprised at what a nice piece of outboard can add to itb mix's. i'd look at some outboard comps/eq's if i where in you're shoes.
Old 13th September 2008
  #3
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decius01's Avatar
 

Thanks for the thoughts, dhiltonlittle

Any suggestions..?
Old 13th September 2008
  #4
What kind of music are you doing? Just looking at the list, knowing where I started and what my path was at the time, I'd want a more hi end condenser mic, an additional and more lush (as opposed to generally punchy like you have with the GR and API) preamp, and definitely some more outboard, especially if only ITB. Outboard choices are almost infinite, you could potentially be on here mulling for months.

A compressor with attack/release and ratio controls would be essential to add to the Drawmer. Probably start with a Distressor or two since they can do the color/clean or aggressive/subtle thing. Use those on individual tracks and sub bus, and the Drawmer can live on the master two bus. The Buzz Audio Tonic 500 series EQ is the best sounding for the least amount of money that I've heard in an EQ. It's got a very sweet sound with a ton of headroom that can be used on tracks or bus. Even just one of each of those would be nice, like dhiltonlittle said even just one nice mono signal path would spice things up. You can always go D/A into comp/EQ then print A/D, especially since you have nice converters. Even if the track is stereo, there is no harm in doing this 'dual mono', i.e. print track left, then print track right back to the computer, post processing.
Old 14th September 2008
  #5
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Fearless1's Avatar
 

I agree with Nathan's choices, but you didn't list your monitors.
What monitors do you use?
A pair of JBL LSR6328 with RMC calibration kit would be nice if you need to upgrade your monitors.
Otherwise I save up a little more and get a Blue Bottle.
Old 14th September 2008
  #6
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woomanmoomin's Avatar
 

New shoes.
Old 14th September 2008
  #7
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decius01's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearless1 View Post
I agree with Nathan's choices, but you didn't list your monitors.
What monitors do you use?
A pair of JBL LSR6328 with RMC calibration kit would be nice if you need to upgrade your monitors.
Otherwise I save up a little more and get a Blue Bottle.
You're right-- I didnt, did I?
I use Genelec 8030a's and the 7050b sub (my control room is small, like I said above, so I don't need more than that).

I'm thinking of a pacifica or a distressor re: Nathan's advice... or maybe a nice 2 bus eq.

What do you guys think of the API 5500, or the li'l freq eq's?
For that matter, how about the fatso jr. for some warmth?
Old 14th September 2008
  #8
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decius01's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by woomanmoomin View Post
New shoes.
My shoes are fine for now, thanks!
Old 14th September 2008
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by decius01 View Post

I'm thinking of a pacifica or a distressor re: Nathan's advice... or maybe a nice 2 bus eq.
If you get a preamp, I would go in a completely opposite direction. The Pacifica is in the same 'camp' as an API (I'm not saying it's exactly the same...I think the Pacifica sounds like a brighter API, where the Great River sounds like a slightly softer and fatter version of an API - generally speaking). My point being is that these are all punchy faster preamps, not of the softer/slower sort. Different sounds for different applications. So my recommendation would be a LaChapell 583s with a Mullard tube added from a trusted tube dealer to put in it. It's great on vocals. And most important quite different from your API and Great River.

Distressors are meat and potatoes. Fatso has a very cool color, but you can never turn that color completely off (where you can turn the coloration off on a Distressor), and the compression on the Fatso consists of just a few presets, where the Distressor is almost any possible combination of attack, release, and ratio that you can think of. Again, having that amount of control would put you further away in features from the Drawmer. So you can cover more bases instead of more sideways steps (in terms of character and function, not talking about quality here...everything we are talking about in this entire post is professional gear). Just my additional 2 cents.
Old 14th September 2008
  #10
Lives for gear
 

I'm taking it you're on PC?

If so;
Step 1) Save a wee bit more and buy a Mac Pro and load the Mac version on Cubase.

Step 2) Get Logic Studio - it will be a great compliment to your Cubase and at the price it's a no brainer. (I'm actually a Pro Tools Le user myself and a past Steinberg user but have found the that at the price Logic Studio is great to have. I'm not saying one is better than the other they are all just tools in the shed.)


With the above you will have enough native processing power and a good machine around which to base your setup.


BTW: A second Great River Pre can always be good. Run a lot of my mixes through mine for a bit of "magic" then into my Great River MAQ-2NV !!
Old 14th September 2008
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peacock View Post
I would sell a few things and buy a high end tube condensor. True high end (5K) You will not regret that. The sound improves more from source to tape/hard drive in that order.

From most important to less (with tracking not mixing)

1. Performance
2. instrument / voice
3. Microphone
4. Pres
5. Convertors
6. recording device
7. outboard boxes.
etc

Strengthen your mics with your money. Boxes will not help nearly as much and may make things worse. You need mic upgrades. high end tube compressor, ribbons, scheops (these kinda things).
True...
Old 14th September 2008
  #12
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soupking's Avatar
 

get a stereo compressor that you can afford. (that, or what Peacock said)

good outboard comps suck the dust out of the signal and present new qualities to what you record.

that's why they cost so damn much.

Actually, I take that back.

Buy a Transient Designer 4 before they become too pricey.

It's the ultimate for drum flux.

Peace,
soup
Old 14th September 2008
  #13
Gear Nut
 
decius01's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
If you get a preamp, I would go in a completely opposite direction. The Pacifica is in the same 'camp' as an API (I'm not saying it's exactly the same...I think the Pacifica sounds like a brighter API, where the Great River sounds like a slightly softer and fatter version of an API - generally speaking). My point being is that these are all punchy faster preamps, not of the softer/slower sort. Different sounds for different applications. So my recommendation would be a LaChapell 583s with a Mullard tube added from a trusted tube dealer to put in it. It's great on vocals. And most important quite different from your API and Great River.
I guess the only thing that confuses me about statements like this, is the fact that so many older studios use boards that have only 1 type of preamp in the whole board. I'm talking about entire consoles of API legacy or neve 1073's etc.
People record and cut whole albums with these and don't have any issues with the fact that there aren't any different pre's in said console, because the quality of the pre's is highly usable. You did state that we're not talking about quality, as it's all high quality pro gear... but I still can't fathom as to why I truly need a different make of pre.

Getting a mac isn't even a consideration at this point, as I don't like Apple more than windows for familiarity's sake- I'm quite happy running on a PC platform, actually.

Is the Pearlman TM-1 really not good enough for a tube LDC..?
I am thinking that I have enough mics for a small sized home based studio at this point-- want to become pro quality, but am willing to take my time getting there. I guess I just want to get the best bang for my buck with regards as to which direction to go next.... Don't we all? hah

I do appreciate all of your opinions and suggestions-- thank you to you all! My above statements aren't meant to diss anyone, just illustrate my frustrations with regards to choosing the next step in picking gear!

So....many....choices....!
Old 14th September 2008
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by decius01 View Post
I guess the only thing that confuses me about statements like this, is the fact that so many older studios use boards that have only 1 type of preamp in the whole board. I'm talking about entire consoles of API legacy or neve 1073's etc.
People record and cut whole albums with these and don't have any issues with the fact that there aren't any different pre's in said console, because the quality of the pre's is highly usable. You did state that we're not talking about quality, as it's all high quality pro gear... but I still can't fathom as to why I truly need a different make of pre.

I recommended outboard gear (comp and EQ) mostly in my original post at the top of the thread (post #4). You had mentioned getting an additional preamp (post #7). So because you mentioned a different pre, I pointed out that (IME and IMO) a different texture of preamp would be a better choice instead of getting another piece that is similar (to an extent). I was just going on what you said. FWIW, I think that having different textures of preamps adds a lot to the recording experience as an engineer. They do have quantifiable differences, and having things become more of a 'fader up' experience is a great feeling.

But for you, right now, I still stick to my Distressor comp/Buzz Tonic EQ recommendation, I think it will serve you well and in your budget. I'm having trouble thinking of two pieces that will sound as good as they do and be as inexpensive as they are. And those two pieces will mostly allow you to sculpt the tools you have into just about any sound for any genre and for any application. And then work on getting a high end microphone if you can afford it later down the road.
Old 14th September 2008
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Well, if you haven't already, I would buy some Realtraps and hear what all the stuff you already have really sounds like ...

Steve
Old 14th September 2008
  #16
Gear Nut
 
decius01's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
I recommended outboard gear (comp and EQ) mostly in my original post at the top of the thread (post #4). You had mentioned getting an additional preamp (post #7). So because you mentioned a different pre, I pointed out that (IME and IMO) a different texture of preamp would be a better choice instead of getting another piece that is similar (to an extent). I was just going on what you said. FWIW, I think that having different textures of preamps adds a lot to the recording experience as an engineer. They do have quantifiable differences, and having things become more of a 'fader up' experience is a great feeling.

But for you, right now, I still stick to my Distressor comp/Buzz Tonic EQ recommendation, I think it will serve you well and in your budget. I'm having trouble thinking of two pieces that will sound as good as they do and be as inexpensive as they are. And those two pieces will mostly allow you to sculpt the tools you have into just about any sound for any genre and for any application. And then work on getting a high end microphone if you can afford it later down the road.
Hey Nathan-- I really do appreciate your opinions/advice, man!
I mean no disrespect or hard feelings with my statements-- as stated, I am just confused by the myriad of choices, and always wondering where my energy/time/$$ should be placed..
I will indeed consider a distressor (was already thinking of that for a long time, anyways);
the Buzz eq also looks interesting, but I don't have a lunch box.... and I would definitely want stereo eq'ing. But I'll look into them as well. Thanks for those suggestions-- very insightful!

As for my room, Steve, I have many GIK bass traps and diffusors, as well as various panels up in my room, so not too worried about that. But thanks for the advice-- always appreciated!
Old 15th September 2008
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Hey Nathan-- I really do appreciate your opinions/advice, man!
I mean no disrespect or hard feelings with my statements-- as stated, I am just confused by the myriad of choices, and always wondering where my energy/time/$$ should be placed..
I will indeed consider a distressor (was already thinking of that for a long time, anyways);
the Buzz eq also looks interesting, but I don't have a lunch box.... and I would definitely want stereo eq'ing. But I'll look into them as well. Thanks for those suggestions-- very insightful!

As for my room, Steve, I have many GIK bass traps and diffusors, as well as various panels up in my room, so not too worried about that. But thanks for the advice-- always appreciated!

Then consider a lunch box and some 500 series modules.
They Great River pre is also available in that format and there a some nice comps as well.
Old 15th September 2008
  #18
Gear Addict
 
alyricalmind's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by decius01 View Post
I have this for pre's:
GR MP2-NV
2 x API 3124+
3 x FMR RNP

Conversion:
Radar II

Mics:
2 x ksm32
TM-1
C414b XL-II
SM7b
RE20
2 x km184
d112
EV nd868
4 x sm57
sm58
3 x sennheiser e604
4 various cheap AT drum mics (2 snare/Tom, 2 Kick/tom)
*waiting currently for a Royer SF-12 on order :P)

Outboard gear:
Drawmer 1968

Running:
Cubase 3.1.1

Extras:
2 x UAD-1 w/ a few various plugs
Waves diamond bundle w/SSL and API waves packs

I was totally stoked on the release of the UAD-2-- and promptly went out and ordered a quad.... now I'm not so sure. The problem with my UAD-1 setup is that I can't fit both of the cards in my DAW. as my interface (soundscape) takes up the only other slot I have available- so am currently using only one. For this reason, I thought the release of the UAD-2's timing was perfect.
*I have a small control room, so space is an option-- hence the lack of outboard gear. I have been happy mostly ITB up until this point.

The thing is, I can see myself with an outboard eq (Drawmer 1961 maybe... mmm), or maybe the other MP2-NV that I've been wanting for so long (I do a lot of full band recording, so more pre's are always welcome).

What would you do?

Distressor, Pacifica, BAE 1073, Lawson L47MP, Peluso 2247LE, Sennheiser HD-650... that's what comes to mind right now. I'd say get a high end mic since your mic collection is a little on the low budget side and you already have great pres. But any of those choices or a combo of those would be great.
Old 16th September 2008
  #19
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegybug View Post
Well, if you haven't already, I would buy some Realtraps and hear what all the stuff you already have really sounds like ...

Steve

I would agree, with the gear you have, a good room would be the best improvement to our quality. Yea yea yea, not as sexy.


Glenn
Old 16th September 2008
  #20
Gear Nut
 
decius01's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by decius01 View Post
As for my room, Steve, I have many GIK bass traps and diffusors, as well as various panels up in my room, so not too worried about that. But thanks for the advice-- always appreciated!
As you can see, I already do have a bunch of panels and GIK monsters/244's... with the plans to get a couple more 244's in the next week or 2! They're relatively cost efficient, however, so getting these isn't a huge concern regarding money!

High end gear is.....

I finally bit the bullet and ordered an API 5500 and a distressor-- The distressor was out of my budget after the 5500, but like a true slut I found a way to make it work.

Now, I feel so good..... and so bad!
Old 16th September 2008
  #21
Gear Nut
 
decius01's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peacock View Post
Actually I use one pre for all sources and prefer a clear less colored pre. I really believe its way easier to have a cohesive sound using one pre. This is very debatable by some.

The LDC midrange mics are good but not great like high end LDC. The difference between mid range LDC and high end like Gefell, Brauner, Marek etc is substantial. Mics will make the most difference for you. Real good mics. (Coles, Marek, scheops, royer, DPA, Gefell, etc)

Mics are more important and cannot be a weak link. Best bang for the bucks- REAL GOOD MICS
I have an SF-12 on the way, too... and later in the year, I may finance a nice Neumann, Gefell or similar.
Old 16th September 2008
  #22
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

A Designs Hammer
Old 16th September 2008
  #23
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radiant's Avatar
 

Sell the RNP's and pick up a couple Vintech X73's. Great EQ and pre.
Old 17th September 2008
  #24
Gear Nut
 
decius01's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peacock View Post
Sounds good. Go with the Gefell not the Neuman
Which Gefell would you recommend?

An A-designs hammer was something I mulled over... but my control room is just too small and I worry about heat issues, so for me, tube amps/pre's/eq's etc aren't really a viable option. Lame, I know.

I keep reading that Neumann has deteriorated in quality the last number of years... same with Telefunken- so, I guess I do intend to steer clear of those.
As for the Vintech, I am not all that stoked about the RNP's anymore. When I was 1st setting my thing up, I had read that for the $$ they were very good. Admittedly, I thought they were much better than the Focusrite Octopre that I had at the time... but twice junk is still junk I guess lol! I'll definitely consider this move-- but maybe later, as I have $0 for now, since ordering an SF-12, a 5500, and a distressor (Yes, I'm truly turning slutty)!! heh

As always, thanks for the advice-- I definitely appreciate the help. thumbsup
Old 17th September 2008
  #25
Gear Nut
 
decius01's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by radiant View Post
Sell the RNP's and pick up a couple Vintech X73's. Great EQ and pre.
What is the difference between the X73 and the X73i..?

They appear similar, but there's obviously more to it than meets the eye. The X73i seems to have more controls, but is around $500 cheaper! Does it have inferior components in its build?

I know, I know-- that's what the search button is for (trust me, my fingers are already numb from so much searching the last few weeks lol).

The thing is, I have such limited room in my rack, that it doesn't really make sense for me to get 1u single unit pre's.
Can you suggest any decent complementary double channel pre's..?
I was thinking of the pacifica, but Nathan Eldred stated they were too much like my MP2-NV and 3124's already. Ok.

What about the TG-2? The Portico 5012?

I'm not in the market for another pre as of now.. but may be into selling my RNP's and investing in another dual channel unit later.
Old 17th September 2008
  #26
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radiant's Avatar
 

You're definitely heading in the right direction!

The X73i, I think, is the same exact pre accept the X73 was hard wired by hand and the X73i was wired via manufacturing processes.

Kyle
Old 17th September 2008
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by decius01 View Post
What is the difference between the X73 and the X73i..?

They appear similar, but there's obviously more to it than meets the eye. The X73i seems to have more controls, but is around $500 cheaper! Does it have inferior components in its build?
.
Not inferior, just not military grade. The "i" uses Greyhill pots (which quality companies like Manley, Great River, etc use), instead of precision dual concentric Elmas. Big price difference on the part cost and labor time there.

The "i" also uses 2 instead of 3 transformers. The line and mic share the same transformer on the "i", where there is a dedicated transformer for line and mic, respectively on the regular X73 (both have one single output transformer). The transformers themselves are the same ones. I personally don't think the difference is enough to worry about, they both have a nice coloration and richness without losing high frequency detail IME.
Old 17th September 2008
  #28
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by decius01 View Post
As you can see, I already do have a bunch of panels and GIK monsters/244's... with the plans to get a couple more 244's in the next week or 2! They're relatively cost efficient, however, so getting these isn't a huge concern regarding money!

High end gear is.....

I finally bit the bullet and ordered an API 5500 and a distressor-- The distressor was out of my budget after the 5500, but like a true slut I found a way to make it work.

Now, I feel so good..... and so bad!
Oh, sorry I missed that. Lets know if you have any questions when you order.

Glenn
Old 17th September 2008
  #29
Gear Nut
 
decius01's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Kuras View Post
Oh, sorry I missed that. Lets know if you have any questions when you order.

Glenn
Thanks for that, Glenn- you and Brian have been most helpful (Brian by way of his oh-so-helpful telephone/email advice on how to treat my tiny control room-- It's soo much better now!- and you for your insight and suggestions on these forums)!

I actually may have to hold off on those 244's for now-- but my room still sounds quite a bit better than when I started. Much obliged!
Old 18th September 2008
  #30
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by decius01 View Post
Which Gefell would you recommend?

An A-designs hammer was something I mulled over... but my control room is just too small and I worry about heat issues, so for me, tube amps/pre's/eq's etc aren't really a viable option. Lame, I know.

How about an AC?
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