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Help me buy the right gear!
Old 14th July 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Help me buy the right gear!

Ok slutz, really I need some help deciding which piece of gear to get next for my homestudio:

This is what i have:

soundcard: Dsp factory with 2 ax 44 converter boxes (20bit -10dbv, unbalanced). mindprint di port (cheap 2ch ad/da with pretty clean micpres)

pres: 2ch DIY Api 312, 2ch of diy Green pre which ill build soon (same as the pres in amek mozart).
soundcraft 400b 24ch mixer (borrowed indefinately, so I cant sell it).

jbl 4406 monitors
+Some misc mics (I borrow most of my mics from a local live sound company when I need them, so I have access to tons of the typical "live sound" suspects. ) Im also building some nice SDCs soon, and if I can afford it a tube mic.

I record mostly rock music, and mix ITB.

This is what im considering:

Either I get

a) better AD conversion. Im thinking of picking up a lynx 2c card.
Any other "cheap" suggestions that sound as good?

Have anyone worked with the dsp factory converters, that has an opinion on them?

b) Im also considering building 2ch of Neve 1272 (I already got the pcbs)

I can only afford one of these atm.

So which upgrade would you think make the biggest difference? More high end pres in the form of neve 1272, or better AD conversion?
This is for a home studio right now, but im thinking of stacking up on gear to be able to record professionally sometime in the future.

/Jonas
Old 14th July 2005
  #2
well man, you are lowbudget as I am..

try to rent MD-421 on toms, some KLM84 for Overheads and try shure SM58 on toms..

Can't tell great things about pre's but my Mackie 1604 vlz pro behaves very well for low budget (maybe they are lilbit better than the soundcraft?).

try to get a royer for recording guitars (but they are very expensive.. from a lowbudget view).

For AD/DA try out RME if you are running PC.. HDSP card and 1 or 2 Multiface (or the ADI-8).

good luck man.
Old 14th July 2005
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Well, I actually dont need to buy/rent mics (at this moment) since I can borrow as many as I want. I've tried the mackie pres a couple of times, and I actually prefer the soundcraft for most stuff. But, thanks for the advice anyway man!


Im just trying trying to decide whether to buy a new soundcard/ad, or if to get more high end pres than the api:s, or maybe just save my money (yeah, like that will ever happen heh )

Im a bit worried that the Dsp factory+di port converters may be limiting my signal chain..thus negating the positive effect my api312 pre's have. What are your experiences with cheap ad/expensive pres?

It may be placebo, but im feeling that alot of transparency and stereo image gets lost after you stack a couple of tracks with the dsp factory.

Bring on the advice!

/Jonas
Old 14th July 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 
enharmonic's Avatar
 

Better conversion and monitoring would be my first move. I'm taking care of conversion right off the bat myself...and monitoring later this year.
Old 14th July 2005
  #5
ok, the problem with my terratec EWS88/MT is, that it doesnt record the transients (or too little), so your sound feels like covered or in a room and not in your face..

I had the HDSP and the mulitface but I ran out of money so I had to ebay em..

I push my signals with the freeware dominion (transientdesigner, like the waves-x or the hardwareunit from SPL) and so I can push drums and guitars more up to front.

I had sofar:
creative audigy (consumer.. sucks on recordings)
ESI july (nice but only 2 channels)
terratec 2496 (only 2 channels, sounds very similar to the EWS88)
Guillemot ISIS (this card is just a joke)
HDSP & Multiface

My direction is RME & ADI-8 pro or if I should run mac once I would buy motu-hardware.

Try to buy a second "used?" monitor pair.. so you can switch between monitors while listening.. this is very important if you use 2 lowbudget monitors (mostly lowbudget are somewhere weak.. no bassresponse, highmids are muddy) so you can compare your mixes..

THe microphonestuff:
I thought about renting the stuff, just mentionend some good (in my opinion) rental Livegearstuff for recording..

don't forget:
- you must have a good room (important for drums)
- good sources (low budget drumsound sound like lowbudget even if you go through 100000 $ pres..
- good band =>players..
Old 4th December 2006
  #6
Here for the gear
 

To answer your Q's on DSP factories, I've 2 of them for a few years; 2 DS2416's and 2 AX44s.

I've been agonising over moving away from this kit for a while myself and last week made the decision; an RME fireface 400 is gonna be here tomorrow and I'll post back what I find.

I'm fussy about sound quality and did some comparisons of the DS2416 analog outs (those on the card), with the AX44 analog outs and then using a digital to an 01V96 which uses much more modern and generally respected converters, using my Mackie HR824 and Sennheiser HD600 headphones.

It was this little experiment that cemented my decision to move away from the DS2416's, although reluctantly. The bottom line is, the DS2416 outputs sound "muddy". Nice firm bottom end (but a little cold and clumsy), brittle but present mids and a top end that's imprecise. As you point out the stereo image is also confused. Digital out from the DS2416 to the 01V96 revealed a much cleaner mix that's so much easier to work with, and I'm assuming that the RME will be another notch up from the 01V96 quality, although I'm guessing a smaller leap than the jump from the DS2416 converters to the 01v96.

Sound quality is all for me... Other problems with the DSP factory have been funnicky motherboard compatibility, total lack of driver support in the last 3+ years and digital clicks on mixdown which again are a product of PCI latency and bandwidth issues. I'd minimised the problems through clever choice of mobo, but they've never gone away completely. Together with the vsti/dxi latency and the growing likelihood that I'm not going to find a next generation motherboard that they'll work in at all, sound quality was the clincher.

Apart from the interface upgrade, spend all you can afford on monitoring and your control room setup. The leap to good monitors transformed my skills for mixing, mastering and production when I bought them years back. I'll post back with some thoughts about the FF 400 and the MH ULN2 both of which I'll be playing with in my setup over the next few days.
Old 4th December 2006
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

I have since my first post bought a Black Lion Audio modded Motu traveler. I still havent gotten it though, cause my friend has it. As soon as i get it i will report back!

Im guessing it will walk all over the dsp factory.

I also built two neve 1272ish preamps, and has started work on four channels of JLM baby animals, with discrete opamps.

So things are slowly starting to shape up for me. together with the traveler i will now have 16ch of good/usable preamps, i just have to get some kind of adat converter so i get 16ch in and out.

Perhaps ill even start mixing otb, as soon as i have built some compressors.

/J
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