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Is This Too Much for a Start? Monitor Controllers
Old 27th December 2010
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Is This Too Much for a Start?

Hi, I've built this gear and plug in list for a small mix studio and I was wondering if I was overdoing my list for starters. This list only includes gear and plug ins, not acoustics, so please do not tell me that my room should be acoustically sound first. Well, without further ado, here we go.

Monitor Section-
1 - Blue Sky Sky System One 2.1 System
1 - AKG K 271 MK II
1 - Presonus Monitor Station Studio Control Center
1 - Avatone Active MixCubes
2 - Yamaha HS80M

DAW-
1 - Apple Mac Pro- Two 2.4GHz 8 core, 16GB, 4 TB/4 Drives
1 - Avid Pro Tools HD Native Core
1 - Digidesign 192
2 - 19" Wide Screen Displays

Plugins-
Slate Digital Trigger Platinum
Slate Digital FG-X
Antares Autotune 7 RTAS
Waves API Collection Native
Waves SSL 4000 Collection Native
Focusrite d2/d3 red series
Waves Mercury Collection Native

Any tips on plug ins or gear would be greatly appreciated.

-Jon
Old 27th December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 
janjaal's Avatar
instead of buying those studio monitors
just get a pair of genelec, adam, or dynaudio

it's better to buy a benz, then buy two civics

for plugs, waves mercury is 12 thousand dollars and it includes the api and the ssl
i would get a uad quad flexi and fill myself with some nice plugs...
Old 27th December 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 
YOHAMI's Avatar
 

My vote goes for Focal Twin 6 Be as the sole monitors. then listen on your car´s stereo if you want different setups

+ UAD 2 quad for plugs, cytomic "the glue", nebula, sound toys
Old 27th December 2010
  #4
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unskilled Jon View Post
Waves API Collection Native
Waves SSL 4000 Collection Native
Focusrite d2/d3 red series
Waves Mercury Collection Native

Just pick one plugin bundle and stick with it. Give yourself time to learn the ins & outs of whatever tool you choose; when you find that you've come up against a wall that isn't actually you (and that takes a good long time, believe me) then you can consider adding more processors.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 27th December 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
DaVogi's Avatar
Is This Too Much for a Start?

better monitors!!!

larger lcd screens if you have the space...

do you need pt hd? you could save lots of money if you stick with other converters and pt9. native has no tdm anyways.

wouldn't buy mercury - you can get other good plugins for less money. and you really don't need so much plugins. a small efficient set of tools is preferable imho
Old 27th December 2010
  #6
Is This Too Much for a Start?

Mercury is total overkill for a "startup" - you'll be overwhelmed, good as the bundle is.

+1 on the get some proper monitors comments. I'd go for a better stereo setup rather than a multimedia 2.1 approach.

Kudos for approaching things from the "do I really need this?" approach instead of the "help me spend my money!" approach most seem to take.
Old 27th December 2010
  #7
Gear Nut
 

+1 to better monitors.and maybe better monitor controller also imo. i use big knob. it is the same range with presonus. i feel a little uncomfortable with them and really wonder what will happen when i get more transpartent monitor controller.
Old 27th December 2010
  #8
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dbjp's Avatar
 

Any particular reason why you need HD Native?
Old 27th December 2010
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Thanks so much for the over expected response. It seems that every time I've posted on forums it takes so much time for only one response. I appreciate the help. Here are my new ideas.

The Focal Twin6 Be seem to be ideal for my methods.

Next, I went over the Mercury Bundle for the Plug ins I use on a regular bases and picked them, and added some suggestions, here is my updated list

DeEsser Native
PAZ-Psychoacoustic Analyzer Native
C4 Multiband Native
L2 Native
Slate Digital Trigger Platinum
Antares Autotune 7 RTAS
MaxxVolume Native
SoundToys Native Effects
L3-16 Native+ L3 Native
Focusrite d2/d3 red series
Universal Audio UAD-2 Quad Neve

Next, I only included the Slate Digital Trigger Platinum because it looks and seems to be a replacement to Drumagog. Now I am more familiar with Drumagog, does it make sense to make the jump to a new program?

Native HD is not necessary, would a Lynx Aurora 8 w/ FW card work for my situation, or is there a more ideal choice.

Finally, in regards to the idea of a better Monitor Controller, does it make sense to make the jump to a Dangerous Music Monitor ST instead? The price jump is reasonable if I switch to Pro Tools 9 with the Complete Production Kit 2 ( I have Pro Tools 9 already and I had the DVTK2 so the upgrade isn't much.

Thanks again for the overwhelming response and I hope more help comes.

Here is an updated list of things I talked about in this message

Monitor Section-
1 - AKG K 271 MK II
1 - Dangerous Music Monitor ST
2 - Focal Twin6 Be

DAW-
1 - Apple Mac Pro- Two 2.4GHz 8 core, 16GB, 4 TB/4 Drives
1 - Lynx Aurora 8/FW
2 - Acer G235HAbd 23" LC Widescreen

Plugins
DeEsser Native
PAZ-Psychoacoustic Analyzer Native
C4 Multiband Native
L2 Native
Slate Digital Trigger Platinum
Antares Autotune 7 RTAS
MaxxVolume Native
SoundToys Native Effects
L3-16 Native+ L3 Native
Focusrite d2/d3 red series
Universal Audio UAD-2 Quad Neve
Old 27th December 2010
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

having two screens is great if you have the room.. Or just one huge screen that you can open two windows in. I have a two screen setup in the tracking studio and one huge screen in my mix studio, and the two screens definitely help my workflow
Old 27th December 2010
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Bump =]
Old 28th December 2010
  #12
Gear Addict
 
payne104's Avatar
IMHO The massey L2007 is cheaper and more effective mix buss limiter than waves L2 or L3.

I have all the waves plugs but I rarely use them. I'm mostly using the softube, soundtoys, and massey stuff, even though I have a lot of other options, those three brands cover most of my needs and at a good price.

Also, have you considered any outboard gear. One nice analog eq and compressor can get you a long ways. Maybe an 1176, a distressor, and a 7602. You can get all 3 of those for under $3000, whereas a waves bundle costs twice that.
Old 28th December 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
 
aj633's Avatar
Is This Too Much for a Start?

If you're mainly mixing, I'd say get some outboard gear that sets you apart from all the guys who downloaded Waves to a computer in their basement. If it were me, I'd probably get a stereo comp, a few mono comps that are versatile, and a good EQ. Go for character.
Old 28th December 2010
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Again, Thanks so much for the quick responses, it's awesome to know someone I've never met cares enough to help

Here is the newly updated list, a lot of things were taken into consideration like budget, I'd like to keep it as close to 16 for gear as I can. Here is a list with sweetwater prices

Monitor Section-
1 - AKG K 271 MK II- $300
1 - Dangerous Music Monitor ST- $1,900
2 - Focal Twin6 Be- $3,390
$5,590
DAW-
1 - Apple Mac Pro- Two 2.8GHz Quad Core- $2000
1 - 16.0GB Ram 4GBx4 Modules- $700
1 - Apogee Rosetta 200 + X-FireWire Card- $2000
1 - Pro Tools 9 w/ Complete Production Toolkit 2- $300
2 - Acer G235HAbd 23" LC Widescreen- $300
$5,300
Furniture-
1 - Sound Construction AVM 6x3 Audio Video Mixing/Mastering Desk- $1,000
Outboard Gear-
1 - Chameleon Labs 7602 - $740
2 - dbx 160A - $860
$1,600
Plugins-
DeEsser Native- $90
Massey L2007- $90
PAZ-Psychoacoustic Analyzer Native- $120
Slate Digital Trigger Platinum- $250
Antares Autotune 7 RTAS- $320
Universal Audio UAD-2 Quad Neve- $2000
$2,870
Total-
16,360

I'd like as much help as I can, as I'm looking to start purchasing gear in the new years. Also, as per acoustics, I have an 8x8 room set aside for a rent I could not pass up. Is that usable? And about how much should I set aside for acoustic treatment? Time to open a whole new bottle of worms.

Also, for those interested, I've been keeping a list of things that I will have to get after this list is finished, here it is.

Wish List
1 - Universal Audio UAD-2 Quad Flexi- $1800
1 - Universal Audio 2-1176LN- $3000
1 - Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor- $1,400
1 - Neve Portico II- $3,300
1 - Universal Audio LA-2A- $3000

Thanks so much for the help. I hope you all have a happy new years =]
Old 28th December 2010
  #15
  1. If you go with a Rosetta 200 how are you planning on hooking up your outboard gear as inserts when mixing? The Lynx Aurora16 with the AES16e is a much better choice that gives you plenty of i/o to grow as time goes on. Plus, since you are going to have a Mac Pro, why would you go FW when it's not nearly as fast and stable as a PCIe based solution? Always think about growth plans when purchasing gear.

  2. Save your money and don't buy Waves software. Not only are their policies deplorable but you can purchase the McDSP Emerald Pack for a lot less and have all the plug-ins you'll need for mixing (and IMHO they sound a lot better too). The SoundToys bundle, some of the Sonnox stuff like the EQ and Dynamics, and AltiVerb are also great additions. That list also alleviates the need for the UAD card right off the bat. Remember, you can always buy it later if you decide you can't live without it.

  3. There is no need to have 16GB of RAM in your machine as ProTools is not 64-bit. Unless you are using tons of really memory intensive VIs that RAM will go to waste. 8GB is plenty for right now.

  4. Seeing as how you're on a rather tight budget, does the Dangerous Monitor ST really make sense when you could get the SPL 2Control (or if you absolutely need talkback capabilities, the SPL MTC-2381) for a whole lot less? Both are excellent monitor controllers with no coloration or signal degradation.

  5. An 8x8 room is not a great place to work. Not only is it square, which we all try to avoid, but it's very small. Sound needs space to travel and the smaller and more square the room the more room treatment it will take to make it useable. While the room is too small for any type of diffusion, you will need extensive bass trapping to control the reflections. Primacoustic makes excellent products that you can take with you to a new location when/if you decide to move. You may want to check out their website and look at the MondoTraps for the corners and the MaxTraps for the flat portion of the walls. You can stack the MondoTraps on top of one another, so if you have at least an 8ft. ceiling (which most rooms do), you should plan on two of them per corner (8 total for the room). Then plan on two MaxTraps per flat wall (8 total for the room), along with a Stratus ceiling cloud to control the ceiling reflections above the mix position (3 panels should be plenty). Bear in mind that this is not a cheap solution but it will absolutely do the job very well. If you can't hear it, you can't record/mix it.

  6. I love the Focal Twins and use them every day, however your room is way too small for them. The Focal Solo6 BE is what you need for that room. When/if you move up to a 11x14 or larger room, then you can look into replacing the Solos with the Twins.

It sounds to me like you could benefit from someone's experience who knows about building a studio. I encourage you to choose a dealer that will provide the consulting knowledge you're searching for so that you can ask your questions and receive detailed answers.
Old 28th December 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unskilled Jon View Post

Next, I only included the Slate Digital Trigger Platinum because it looks and seems to be a replacement to Drumagog. Now I am more familiar with Drumagog, does it make sense to make the jump to a new program?

Nat
Trigger is definitely better than Drumagog. The way it uses the original wave to match it's samples is very clever and gives very accurate drum replacement.

I see you have taken FG-X of the list. That's a reasonably wise move. It's an excellent plug-in (probably the most transparent volume-pushing limiter out there), but because of it's volume-pushing application, doesn't have so much application in the mix room as the mastering house.
Old 28th December 2010
  #17
Kittonian: Do you use the Focal twins with or without the subwoofer?

I've been considering these monitors and am curious.

Cheers,

Ward
Old 28th December 2010
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
[LIST=1][*]If you go with a Rosetta 200 how are you planning on hooking up your outboard gear as inserts when mixing? The Lynx Aurora16 with the AES16e is a much better choice that gives you plenty of i/o to grow as time goes on. Plus, since you are going to have a Mac Pro, why would you go FW when it's not nearly as fast and stable as a PCIe based solution? Always think about growth plans when purchasing gear.
Agreed, it's too easy to jump to the Apogee name for namesake. Functionality needs to come before quality - you can't do the job well if you can't do the job!

Lynx is a good option and probably the best 16 I/O you can get in that price range.

Quote:
[*]Save your money and don't buy Waves software. Not only are their policies deplorable but you can purchase the McDSP Emerald Pack for a lot less and have all the plug-ins you'll need for mixing (and IMHO they sound a lot better too). The SoundToys bundle, some of the Sonnox stuff like the EQ and Dynamics, and AltiVerb are also great additions. That list also alleviates the need for the UAD card right off the bat. Remember, you can always buy it later if you decide you can't live without it.
Hmm not entirely agreeing here. I'd consider the SSL bundle pretty much compulsory purchase, it's really THAT good. And the CLA limiters bundle Everything else, I could live without.

McDSP is a good bundle, so is Sonnox. Also DEFINITELY check out Softube (the Tubetech compressor and Trident EQ are both great, and the bass amp and vintage guitar amp sims are THE amp sims to buy), Brainworx (for very high quality EQ solutions) and Abbey Road (for very 'vintage' sounding EQs and dynamics with interesting control) plug-in packs. Finally, Nomad Factory plug-ins are a great way to supplement your plug-in collection with some high quality yet cheap plug-ins that are definitely worth toying with. There are some very good Pultec and Fairchild emulations - IMO, better than the JJP-branded ones from Waves.

Quote:
[*]There is no need to have 16GB of RAM in your machine as ProTools is not 64-bit. Unless you are using tons of really memory intensive VIs that RAM will go to waste. 8GB is plenty for right now.
Agree here too. In the future, 8GB sticks will become cheaper, and you'll be able to upgrade to 16GB when you have 64-bit PT. There will still be plenty of poor folk happy to buy your 2x4GB off you.

Quote:
[*]Seeing as how you're on a rather tight budget, does the Dangerous Monitor ST really make sense when you could get the SPL 2Control (or if you absolutely need talkback capabilities, the SPL MTC-2381) for a whole lot less? Both are excellent monitor controllers with no coloration or signal degradation.
The D-Box is where I'd go. You still get the quality and control capabilities of the Dangerous ST but with 8-track analogue summing too.

Quote:
• I love the Focal Twins and use them every day, however your room is way too small for them. The Focal Solo6 BE is what you need for that room. When/if you move up to a 11x14 or larger room, then you can look into replacing the Solos with the Twins.
I say this to everyone but I would, in that size room, be straight on the PMC DB1S+. They really are the best monitor I have experienced for small rooms. They go extremely low and are accurate all the way down. Focal are great monitors too, but small rooms are really where the DB1s are at home. Sound on Sound said, on the 'cons' to buying them, 'once you've heard them, you'll have to buy them'. That's certainly what happened to me.

Quote:
It sounds to me like you could benefit from someone's experience who knows about building a studio. I encourage you to choose a dealer that will provide the consulting knowledge you're searching for so that you can ask your questions and receive detailed answers.
Agreed. The problem with Gearslutz is people will promote pieces of gear because they own it, and they feel that by promoting it, they are justifying their money to themselves. You really need advice from somebody who is impartial, and in a position where they will have actually heard a wide range of different options. Many people are only familiar with the equipment in their studio.
Old 28th December 2010
  #19
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
It sounds like you have money burning a hole in your pockets. That's the #1 scenario for making illogical, un-needed or just plain wrong purchases. It's the thing that keeps gear pimps in biz though....

Man....as someone who's spent HUNDREDS of thousands on gear over the years, my best advice to you is along the lines of what Greg said.

Buy ONLY what you need to boot the computer and get your DAW running first. Then start adding as circumstance & creative flow DEMANDS it. Go slow. Learn what you buy first before buying more.

You can ignore this advice, but 20 years from now, it's the advice you will be giving out.....

bp

PS - my one actually useful bit of gear related advice - don't bother wasting your money on WAVES plug-ins or summing boxes. Now, back to rampant gear lust & speculation..... heh heh Good luck!
Old 28th December 2010
  #20
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
... look at the MondoTraps for the corners and the MaxTraps for the flat portion of the walls. You can stack the MondoTraps on top of one another
Just to clarify, MondoTraps are a trademarked product of RealTraps. They are not made by any company other than RealTraps.

I do agree with you that the poster needs a lot of excellent bass traps for that 8x8 room.

--Ethan

________________
The Acoustic Treatment Experts
Old 29th December 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 
YOHAMI's Avatar
 

+1 on the Dangerous D-Box, adds analog summing to your setup

Focal solo 6 be for your room size or even CMS 65 / 50 and a couple of pro headphones

If you dont mind cutting from plugins or some other corners, I would add an A-Designs Hammer EQ + Portico 5043 compressor to the 2bus, and you get to use them as mixing plugins as well
Old 29th December 2010
  #22
Gear Nut
 
Dudevico's Avatar
 

I agree with drBill on this one. I am a beginner myself, and I know that I would have absolutely zero use for all that gear and plugins (I'm still learning the plugs that come with cubase lol). What sets the limits when starting out is not the gear, but the one behind the controls, . I started out about a year ago with a cheap interface and an sm58 basically. When I've felt the need, I've added equipment that I thought I would be handy. In the beginning I had absolutely no use for monitors for example, since I was just learning how to get stuff running through my DAW. When I started to get the hang of that, I thought it might be nice to add a MIDI-keyboard. Accordingly, I started to learn more about virtual instruments etc.

Today, my setup consists of:

- M-audio fast track ultra
- Cubase Studio 5
- M-audio keyrig 49
- Adam A5X pair
- Shure sm58
- A couple of free guitar-sims
- EZDrummer

I'm not producing any sonic miracles, but my recordings and mixes are getting better all the time. Recently, I've started to realize that my room is in serious need of some well-planned acoustic treatment, so I guess that'll be my next investment.

Anyways, I am in no way trying to put you down, just wanted to offer my 2 cents. Heck, for all I know, you may have great use for that gear. Good luck!
Old 29th December 2010
  #23
Gear Head
 

dont wanna start a debate. i do own a5x/cms50. but BlueSky System One it's a good bet. did listen & work a little. a friend work a lot. pro cans u need anyway. room treatment u need anyway.
respect focal (spec soloBe), Adam, PMC and so on. but my 2 wateva monetary subdivision u like. listen, analise, empatise, buy. or don't. or try barefoot, ya know?
Old 29th December 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 
loopy's Avatar
 

My advice is to buy it in stages. Get your monitoring setup done first and with an 8x8 room you are going to have to take your time. Everything else will be a house of cards and will drive you crazy if your monitoring is off kilter.

Like the other guy said, one Mercedes is better than 3 Civics.
The Twins are great, Genelec 8040/50 are excellent as are the JBL LSR series. In your price range it's tough to pick a loser but you need to pick something that matches your tastes.

The Waves Mercury Bundle is way overkill IMHO.
You are going to be totally overwhelmed because of the quantity of plugins.

Start small and learn to use what you have and build up to your list of gear.

That's how I would do it.

Best of luck!
Old 29th December 2010
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
It sounds like you have money burning a hole in your pockets. That's the #1 scenario for making illogical, un-needed or just plain wrong purchases. It's the thing that keeps gear pimps in biz though....

Man....as someone who's spent HUNDREDS of thousands on gear over the years, my best advice to you is along the lines of what Greg said.

Buy ONLY what you need to boot the computer and get your DAW running first. Then start adding as circumstance & creative flow DEMANDS it. Go slow. Learn what you buy first before buying more.

You can ignore this advice, but 20 years from now, it's the advice you will be giving out.....

bp
This is the best advice you've been given so far. Start with a high quality, minimal setup (I agree with those recommending a single set of GREAT monitors) and add what you need as you go. Once you're doing sessions you'll start to identify what you think are "weak links" in your setup; focus on those and make improvements based on your own experience and opinion as you go along. I'm sure many of the full-time engineers on this site could have saved a LOT of money and trouble if we'd followed this advice.

Best of luck!
Old 29th December 2010
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Just to clarify, MondoTraps are a trademarked product of RealTraps. They are not made by any company other than RealTraps.

I do agree with you that the poster needs a lot of excellent bass traps for that 8x8 room.

--Ethan

________________
The Acoustic Treatment Experts
Sorry about that Ethan. You are absolutely correct and I have no idea why I said MondoTraps and MaxTraps instead of MaxTraps and FullTraps, which is what I meant.
Old 29th December 2010
  #27
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
It sounds like you have money burning a hole in your pockets. That's the #1 scenario for making illogical, un-needed or just plain wrong purchases. It's the thing that keeps gear pimps in biz though....

Man....as someone who's spent HUNDREDS of thousands on gear over the years, my best advice to you is along the lines of what Greg said.

Buy ONLY what you need to boot the computer and get your DAW running first. Then start adding as circumstance & creative flow DEMANDS it. Go slow. Learn what you buy first before buying more.

You can ignore this advice, but 20 years from now, it's the advice you will be giving out.....

bp

PS - my one actually useful bit of gear related advice - don't bother wasting your money on WAVES plug-ins or summing boxes. Now, back to rampant gear lust & speculation..... heh heh Good luck!
good advice
Old 30th December 2010
  #28
Here for the gear
 

Thanks so much again for the responses.

To answer what seems to be a lot of peoples ideas as I am not a beginner. I have been working in studios for the past 3 years as a first or second engineer. I have decided I wanted to move out on my own and that seems to be the direction I'm heading.

As for monitors, I've been looking at the Adam A7's, do they seem to be a fit for my room? Also, with the help of you guys I have selected plug ins for what my needs are. As many people have said, if need be I can grow.

Lastly, with primeacoustics, are they priced similiarly to GIK or realtraps? I can't seem to find a price.

-Jon
Old 30th December 2010
  #29
Gear Addict
 

Monitor Section-
1 - Genelec 8040 or 8050 - recommended by Bob Katz
1 - AKG K 271 MK II - got em, like em

DAW-
1 - Apple Mac Pro- Two 2.4GHz 8 core, 16GB, 4 TB/4 Drives
1 - Avid Pro Tools HD Native Core
1 - Digidesign 192 - not the best but i guess protools compatible
2 - 24" Wide Screen Displays - 24" is better

Plugins-
Slate Digital Trigger Platinum
Antares Autotune 7 RTAS
Cytomic The Glue - better than Waves SSL
PSP MixSquad - SSL / Neve emulation, very good
Old 1st January 2011
  #30
Here for the gear
 

2011 bump =]]
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