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If you had $20,000 and a clean slate? Condenser Microphones
Old 25th April 2003
  #1
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atticus's Avatar
If you had $20,000 and a clean slate?

If you all had $20,000 to spend on gear and you had no gear to start with, what would you buy? A second hand analog deck and desk? A DAW with a controller of some sort? PT, Radar, Nuendo, Logic? Would you go extremely high quality but stripped down, or would you sacrifice some quality for more features? I'm just curious. If you'd care to participate, be as specific as you can. Some lurker may just be starting out. Thanks.
Old 25th April 2003
  #2
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littledog's Avatar
 

I'd buy all Benchmark stuff, of course!
Old 25th April 2003
  #3
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atticus's Avatar
Me too! Seriously, how would you go about it? Not a single one of us started knowing what we know now, so if you had to redo it, with a $20,000 budget, what would you do?

PS - Just because I work for Benchmark doesn't mean I don't love other gear
Old 25th April 2003
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Hmmm. Find a good sized space to rent that sounds good, do some acoustic treatment and soundproofing, and get a top of the line portastudio and some good dynamic mics?

My setup is pretty nice for the money I put into it, but I'm crammed into a small spare bedroom, and I don't have a good place to do anything loud. So I'm just reacting here. I'd love the right kind of space and build for a good one room tracking/mixing room, which would have it's own set of problems, but I'd prefer those problems to my own.

Bear
Old 25th April 2003
  #5
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atticus's Avatar
The $20,000 is for gear only. I'm curious to see what combinations the great minds here come up with.
Old 25th April 2003
  #6
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heartsoffire's Avatar
 

If I had to start fresh:

High Quality Stereo pre (around $3K)
4 good mics at around $1K each)
Very Good quality AD/DA ($4-$5K)
Good near-fields ($2K)
I'd probably stay with the Digi 001 and PT (my preferance)($1K)
Waves Platinum ($1500)
High Quality Stereo Compressor ($3K)
Octopre or Digimax for 8-Channel Light Pipe ($1K)

$20K doesn't buy you much, but I would add from there.
Old 25th April 2003
  #7
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atticus's Avatar
Specifics?
Old 25th April 2003
  #8
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heartsoffire's Avatar
 

If you had to pin me down today as far as specifics:

Brent Averill 1272 Class A Mic Preamps
Crane Song HEDD 192
Genelec 1031a
Manley Stereo Electro-Optical Limiter
Still shopping on the mics
Old 25th April 2003
  #9
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Cool. Thanks!
Old 25th April 2003
  #10
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Somewhere on my list would be a Crane Song Spider. For what you get, its one of the best bargains going in pro audio today.

Soundelux and Brauner would be on there as well to cover a good spectrum from accurate to colored.

A DAC-1 would be in there, too. That and then for monitors I would spend as much money possible while having enough cash to get a functional recording medium. Start off being able to trust what you hear. We focus so much on the front end fun stuff like preamps, compressors, mics.....but the monitoring environment is what brings home the bacon.
Old 25th April 2003
  #11
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atticus's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Ckevperry
Somewhere on my list would be a Crane Song Spider. For what you get, its one of the best bargains going in pro audio today.

Soundelux and Brauner would be on there as well to cover a good spectrum from accurate to colored.

A DAC-1 would be in there, too.
I agree! Would you use the Spider to sum stems from a DAW?
Old 25th April 2003
  #12
Re: If you had $20,000 and a clean slate?

Quote:
Originally posted by atticus
If you all had $20,000 to spend on gear and you had no gear to start with, what would you buy? A second hand analog deck and desk? A DAW with a controller of some sort? PT, Radar, Nuendo, Logic? Would you go extremely high quality but stripped down, or would you sacrifice some quality for more features? I'm just curious. If you'd care to participate, be as specific as you can. Some lurker may just be starting out. Thanks.
Is this for a personal studio or commercial studio?

Is it for tracking,producing or mixing?

What kind of music?Genre?

Is it for fun or profit?
Old 25th April 2003
  #13
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plexi's Avatar
 

I would still need 300K to get the Legacy+ I lust for......


Amund
Old 25th April 2003
  #14
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally posted by atticus
I agree! Would you use the Spider to sum stems from a DAW?
Heck no. I'd use $30 in the budget to loan to you to buy the DAWSUM cd to see why. heh
Old 25th April 2003
  #15
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atticus's Avatar
Re: Re: If you had $20,000 and a clean slate?

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
Is this for a personal studio or commercial studio?

Is it for tracking,producing or mixing?

What kind of music?Genre?

Is it for fun or profit?
Doesn't matter. I'm just curious to see what everyone would to in terms of stretching the budget to get the best results possible. You would have to be able to both track and mix.
Old 25th April 2003
  #16
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That is very tough, however, I'll try
These are things at a heavily discounted price, because I was giving the store $20k of business.

HD2 with the free plugs
192 i/o - $10k
used G4/monitor -$1k
ADAM P-11s $1500
Great River MP2NV $2k
Microtek Gefell UM92.1S $2500
Distressor $1300
Mackie 1402 $400
Waves Masters $1k
Wiring, the rest of it
Old 25th April 2003
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 

Mics:

Pair of schoeps cmc5...mk2 mk4 3k
pair of AEA r84's 2k
soundelux e47 4k
pair of 421 500


pre's
telefunken 2 channel tube pres 2k
millennia 2 channel solid state 1.5k
vipre 2.5k

daw with nuendo and waves plugins and a uad1


Marsh
Old 25th April 2003
  #18
DAC-1
Digidesign 002
Adam S2A's
Laptop Mac & FW drives

Second hand presonus style 8ch light pipe mic pre thingy
Second hand 2 x neve style pre for most overdubs
Second hand D12
Second hand 3 x SM57's
Second hand 3 x Sen 421's
Second hand 2 x KM 84

Royer 121

Distressor

Stands - cables

Record bands in rehersal studios - mix & overdub at home.
Old 26th April 2003
  #19
Re: Re: Re: If you had $20,000 and a clean slate?

Quote:
Originally posted by atticus
Doesn't matter. I'm just curious to see what everyone would to in terms of stretching the budget to get the best results possible. You would have to be able to both track and mix.
It matters a whole lot.

$20k isn't much to work with so I would want to spend it in the right areas.

Track and mix what?

Rock,rap,pop,Jazz,Classical?

All of these styles are produced differently.

What I would suggest first is to pay me 10% of the $20K and give me all of the guidelines to work with.

For $20K you are going to have to hit the used market and that takes a lot of research. Emails,phone calls and such. Haggling,maybe making bids(Ebay for eg.
Old 26th April 2003
  #20
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Albert's Avatar
 

I really couldn't do it for 20k, just impossible. No kidding.

If I *had* to I suppose I'd get a computer DAW setup consisting of a Mac and some MOTU hardware, DP or Logic, a couple channels of great converters for AD and DA (those would be Benchmark--I'm serious), along with some plugins. Because I write music, I'd get a Gigastudio or maybe the upcoming MOTU MachFive, and a few hardware synths. A budget analog desk for monitoring, some speakers, and a good quality hardware reverb unit would round it out. Should be possible to fit that into 20k.

My list is obviously a bit different from most here, as I'm not running a recording studio, but a writing studio. So things like nice mics, preamps, etc, would be further down the list. Of course, I own all that stuff now, but for 20k I don't see how I could and still have the tools that are essential for my work.

As heartsoffire said, 20 thousand doesn't buy much. :-(
Old 26th April 2003
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Wow this is a tough one. $20K seems like a lot but it really isn’t. I’ve gotten used to working the way I do with my regular set of tools.

I’d probably buy a Neotek series II or a Trident 65. An MCI JH24 would be a better idea than my 3M M79 because service issues would be less costly. AT make a bunch of cost effective and good sounding mics. I’d get an ATM 25 and an ATM23HE, a pair of 4050s and a pair of pro 37Rs, and maybe a 4047. I’d try to get some 421s. The EV 408 and 468 can be had cheap and sound great. The same with the Audix D2. A couple of SM57s I guess, though I’d rather have other things, sometimes a 57 is right. Beyer M88’s are also quite useful.

I think I’d need at least one outboard pre. Great River is wonderful, but if the budget were a problem I’d get an RNP. I would get at least two RNCs while I was at it. A Mindprint T-comp makes many different sounds, but is a bit hard to come by used.

For effects, I’d get a TC M-one and a D-two. Maybe a SPX something and a Lexi something. Those Line 6 delay and mod things look cool too.

Though they get dogged a lot I’d get a set of HR 824s. I’m familiar with them and actually like them. We’d need to add a headphone amp and phones, stands and lot’s of cabling to the mix as well.

I’d do 98% of my shopping on the used market. That way I could "maximize my buying dollar."



OH ****, I forgot a mixdown deck.
Old 26th April 2003
  #22
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heinz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Drumsound
Wow this is a tough one. $20K seems like a lot but it really isn’t.
Yep, it's about $2k in GearSlutz Dollars(tm).
Old 26th April 2003
  #23
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I'm sort of in that postion. Let's see what I've done so far:

1) Crane Song Spider (7.5k) takes care of 8 preamps and 8 great channels of A->D

2) Great mics (used):
a) Royer SF-12 (1.7k)
b) Earthworks SR-69 (150)
c) Dragonfly Blues (1.5k)
d) Earthworks TC30k (500 for a pair!)
e) AKG D112, SM57(2), SM58, bunch of sennheiser evos (all inherited)

3) Sick mono compressor (innerTUBE squeeze box, but I'm looking to trade that towards a SLAM! or a PAL-- if anyone is interested, let me know!)

4) Monitors (HD824 and happy so far, I'd get ADAMs eventually, but I'm fine w/ the the Mackies) - I don't remember, I think around 900.

That's basically what I've got so far. About 13,000 worth of stuff.

I'm thinking about getting a 002 rig so I can use pro tools, and I definitely want benchmark DA for my Crane Song (I'll have to check out Crane Song's DA though). I want a stereo compressor and probably want to trade out the squeezebox. I'd like two channels of tube mic preamplification. I'd also like a soundelux and a brauner, as someone above mentioned.

FWIW- I record bands I want to see develop, usually as a favor. My studio is for my stuff primarily, and I use it now to demo songs, and plan on using it later for overdubs of any studio stuff I do (string quartets, some vocals, electric guitars are great to do here, bass, etc. - I'm not too keen on doing drums at my own place), and for working out mix ideas, though I don't think I'd ever mix down seriously here.
Old 26th April 2003
  #24
Re: If you had $20,000 and a clean slate?

Quote:
Originally posted by atticus
If you all had $20,000 to spend on gear and you had no gear to start with, what would you buy? A second hand analog deck and desk? A DAW with a controller of some sort? PT, Radar, Nuendo, Logic? Would you go extremely high quality but stripped down, or would you sacrifice some quality for more features? I'm just curious. If you'd care to participate, be as specific as you can. Some lurker may just be starting out. Thanks.
$20K? Hahahahahahaha (but seriously). I'd stay exactly where I am (but unfortunately that would reduce my place to about 1/5 of what it is now depending on my mood that week). I'm really happy where I'm at now everything is going according to plan. Just have a few finishing touches that are really expensive (like a pair of $20K monitors, oh pleeeaasse Santa)!! Oh yeah, and a 56 in API Legacy (yeah right).
Old 26th April 2003
  #25
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littledog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by doug_hti
That is very tough, however, I'll try
These are things at a heavily discounted price, because I was giving the store $20k of business.

HD2 with the free plugs
192 i/o - $10k
used G4/monitor -$1k
ADAM P-11s $1500
Great River MP2NV $2k
Microtek Gefell UM92.1S $2500
Distressor $1300
Mackie 1402 $400
Waves Masters $1k
Wiring, the rest of it
I'll use Doug's setup as a reference because he's thinking along the same lines as i was (using the HD2 system)...

Differences:

(I'll cheat and assume you already have a G4 and monitor so I don't have to allocate resources for that...)

For tracking and mixing the Waves Platinum bundle might be more appropriate. ($1500)

Mics: replace the Gefell with a Lawson L47mp ($2000). You definitely need something like that as a "go to" vocal mic. But with only one mic, Doug is obviously not going to be recording bands. I won't make that assumption, so you'll need a kick mic (D112, ATM125, or equivalent) for around $200, a pair of Oktava MC012's picked CAREFULLY from Guitar Center for $150 will have to be your small diaphragm condensers until you can save for those Josephson C42's, and four SM57's ($300 total). A couple of DI boxes (Countryman) too ($200 total). Two Behringer ECM 8000's (again, carefully tested to eliminate the hissy ones) will have to suffice for omnis until you can afford those Earthworks QTC's. ($80)

Board: you are going to need something with a lot of useable preamps, since you don't have a budget for too many outboard ones. Something from the Crest XR series would be the cheapest that would be acceptable. ($2000?) Scratch the Mackie.

Mixdown will be to CD using the burner in your G4.

Of course, you will still need headphones (6 x Sony 7506 = $500), headphone amps, mic stands, and CABLING. Cabling is going to be the wildcard - because you will always end up spending far more for cabling than you think. Doug said cabling would be "the rest of it" - but this is after he already budgeted $19,700. And that was with only one mic and no headphones, stands, etc.

So, assuming the same $10,000 for the HD2 system, adding in my mics, the Crest board, headphones, and the Waves, if you put in the ADAMs, Great River, and the Distressor we're up to (gulp) $22,000, and that's without cabling, mic stands, and headphone amps.

Sorry Atticus, looks like you'll need a minimum of $25,000 to pull this off!

Back to the drawing board.
Old 26th April 2003
  #26
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Thinking out loud here: all prices in Cdn dollars (US X 1.5) or 30k

P4 tower (loaded) + 18" flatscreen - $3k
1 Genex 9000 - DSD and PCM - $7.5k (maybe more or less, option dependent)
2 Pyramix Mykerinos cards and basic software: $10k
BlueSky 2.1 monitoring - $2.5k
4 Davisound pre's (new and exciting: esp. the price!) - 1.5k
royer r-121 - 1k
DPA 3530A kit - $4k

That's about it - no mixer/headphones/cabling - then again with only 3 mics and this setup, there's not a lot of cable to run!

I definitely would opt for less and better quality - learned wrong the first go 'round
Old 26th April 2003
  #27
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pounce's Avatar
 

wouldn't folks still need a console?

doesn't seem to be on many lists. i'd at least get a neotek or amek or trident. but that's half this budget off the bat. like nathan said, i use much more than that dollar amount of gear now. however, i would buy a bit differently if starting now. the better console right away. with the hd systems sounding so decent finally, digital becomes a real kick ass tracking medium. some decent pres and outboard and we can play ball.
Old 26th April 2003
  #28
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Hmm.. heres goes..

MCI 428B 28 channel console with all looms - that covers a bitchin console with more headroom than most would need, and preamps that sound fat, punchy and funky. And nice useable EQ and TT patch. $5K S/H

MCI JH24-16 $3.5K S/H

PMC TB2 monitors and nice amp. $1.5K (10K) new speakers s/h amp

Phoenix DRS-2 $2k ($12K)

API 2500 $2500 ($14.5K)

Royer 121 (995) ($15.5)

Neumann CMV-563 $1.5K ($17K)

Neumann KM-84 $500 ($17.5K)

UA 7176 $2K ($19.5K)

Misc dynamics 57's 421's etc.


next on list would be..... in the next installment of $20 (pls santa!)

Radar project with 24 analogue io & 24 ADAT I/o so i could interface it with a S/H mix + system...with ADAT Bridge? 12K?

VIPRE $2.5K ($14.5K)

Dsitressor x 2 $2.5K ($17K)

Sontec MEP250c S/H $2K ($19K)

API Frame so i could load it with 560's!heh heh heh heh

PEACE
Wigyy...

SO whos goann put up the $$$$



Old 26th April 2003
  #29
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

id need more money. or id probably invest the $20k and not buy any gear at all if i had a clean slate, never get into this addiction.
Old 26th April 2003
  #30
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Roland's Avatar
My choice would be.

Secondhand A&H GS3 ($800) Cheap, sensible mic pre's.

Good P4 computer with RME hammerfall card 17" Flatscreen ($2,500)

2 x ADAT AI3's AD/DA convertors ($900) 16 AD channels respectable quality and cheap!

Waves & Timeworks plugins ($2,500)

Logic audio 5.5 secondhand ($300) I know its no longer supported for PC, but it works and has great standard plugs.

Mic's (all secondhand)

4 x Sennheiser 421's ($800) Toms, BD, Guits, Perc

3 x AKG 451's ($800) Overheads, h/hats, accoustics etc.

1 x U47 fet ($1800) BD, Bass cab, Vocals, great all rounder.

2 x STC 4038's ($1800) Classic ribbon Brass, Oh's, Strings, BD, Guit etc..............

4 x SM57's ($300) Drums, guits, whatever!

2 x SM81's ($300) OH's, accoustics, Violins, percussion, guits

1 x Neuman 149 ($2500) a new Neuman that sounds as good if not better than the original valves.

12 secondhand mic stands ($300)

Pair of PMC TB2's plus secondhand amp ($1,000) workable pro speakers that translate, great for the money!

4 sets of Sony cans and cheap secondhand headphone amp ($500)

Good stereo compressor for around $2000!


I'd record in real spaces, so no studio rent!

My view is that the mics would make the greatest difference, so on tight budget no specialist pre's. 1 good 2 channel compressor for tracking. Enough plugs there to tailor the sound on mixdown. Needless to say I would mix in the box.

I would buy some of the esoteric goodies only after these basics. Probably swop the desk up to a Sony DMX-R100. Compressor to STC8. Then maybe another interesting compressor say a Summit TLA100, followed by pair of BK mics, then I would possibly look at other pre's. This would do me for rock/jazz recording, classical, I would gear up slightly differently.

Regards


Roland
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