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Which part of the chain to upgrade next-compressor or vocal mic?
Old 9th August 2010
Lives for gear
Which part of the chain to upgrade next-compressor or vocal mic?

First off, I promise this isn't another which compressor or which mic should I buy thread. I already pretty much know what I want, but can't afford both right now. Like many folks here I started out with low end stuff and have tried to add the high end stuff to the chain whenever finances allow. My preamps are a Great River ME1NV and a 2 channel John Hardy M1, so I'm done buying pre's. I recently aquired a matched pair of Beyerdynamic MC930's, so I'm done buying SDC's as well. I still need (or just want?) a great compressor and a great vocal mic. I don't mean great for the money, I mean great like "I'm done upgrading". Here's what I have now:

DBX 160X
Aphex Compellor (the original version)

Vocal Mic choices
Shure SM7b (I'll be keeping and using this one some no matter what I buy)
Audio-Technica AT3060
Kel Audio HM7U
MXL V69ME modded w/Mullard tube and Peluso capsule

Now with the extra cash I have I could comprimise and buy say a $1000 tube mic and an $800 compressor and that would be a significant improvement in both areas, but then I'd still be wanting a Distressor(a pair eventually) and a Pearlman TM1 at some point. I'd rather go the same route I did with the preamps-straight from the low end to the ones I won't ever want to replace. I'm really leaning toward the mic, but on the other hand every one of those compressors (and please don't anyone take offense at this) degrades the signal quality coming from my pre's. I should add that I strictly record my own music-acoustic based singer/songwriter stuff. The acoustic guitars and vocals are the focal point of all the songs with some electric bass, electric guitar, keyboards, mandolin, dobro thrown in. I'm totally OTB (HD24, Onyx mixer, Masterlink). So what's a poor fella who suddenly has some serious cash to do? I would really appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks and sorry for the really long post.

Old 9th August 2010
Lives for gear
I'd start with the mic if you're not happy with your acoustic/vocal recordings. You can always not use a compressor if it does something to the sound that you don't like.
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