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Expensive V.S Cheap?
Old 31st December 2010
  #1
Deleted 6ccb844
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Expensive V.S Cheap?

This may be out of my own ignorance here, but I have now mixed and mastered several albums / EP's / Demo's (Mainly Metal) for friends and bands and some of my own work.. Don't get me wrong I can make a pigs ear of it at the start but after weeks of relentless determination and finding out new things I never new on a day to day basis I WILL make it sound like the reference track (Or within a close margin)..

I'm not really new to this as I have been a musician for many years and I have alot of positive results from my work and I've got alot more work coming from word of mouth. (Also did sound engineering at college)

Now my gear is well considered rubbish by many!! I know I could get an extra 5 - 10 % if I spent a fortune on equipment but why? (I also wish I could afford it so poor :( ) When I can get great results on cost effective equipment I have??

Don't get me wrong I am a perfectionist and my workflow is slow (About a week to a week and a half to mix a 9 track @ 4 hours a day)

A customer want's to know what gear I have and I have to admit it sounds a bit embarrising but I said to him your buying my ears not my equipment...

But I digress and get to the point.

Would I benefit a substantial gain from an upgrade say withing the £1000.00 region?

Is there any benefits to spending a fortune like 30K? when I can do it (or close enough) with equipment for less than 5k?

Would it speed up my workflow?

What is relatively inexpensive and would benefit me?

I use:

MBOX3
SM58 / 57
AKG C4000
AKG Drum Mic set
Pro tools LE 8
Amplitube and a mxiture of guitars (7 / 8 String Ibanez, Kramer 2 with Carlsbro amp and a Fender amp with DI)
Yamaha Bass
Yamaha Drum Kit
Massey Plugins
Various other well known Mastering tools
Yamaha Synth
Superior drummer for overlay's
Old 31st December 2010
  #2
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Just to add some other questions!!

Do you think it is possible to get similar results with an MBOX compared to something expensive like an SSL console for example?

Do you think it is more about talent than equipment?

Do you think it is worth spending a fortune and why?
Old 31st December 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
Dude, I think your setup is more than fine for good results! I have been lugging around a digi 002 for years and a bit more than a year ago added a rosetta 200,api 512c, great river for 3,200. If I add 10 years up it's in that 30,000+ range but I never thought hey, I have to blow 30,000 at one time to make great recordings. I find the better gear inspiring,different tonal colors and overall better than what I had, but it doesn't make up for skill. I'd rather have a skilled mixer with a mbox than a newbie with a dad for a doctor and a bunch of shiney gear. A SSL board for a home studio is insane for up keep price...Even if you bought one channel would you want to run every track through it? The waves SSL plug is pretty nice. Hybrid is a better reasonable way to go IMO.

To me the better gear just makes it easier during tracking after knowing how to use it, and comes down to taste.That's not to say the same couldn't be done on something else. The mbox 3 is suppose to be pretty good from I've heard. Just add some pres for color if you want down the line and your choice of mics. I do think the focus on converters is a bit overated at times and the pres/mic/talent are first priority for me.
Old 31st December 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
Well its one of those things haha...here's my view of it:

A great engineer can get a great sound from budget equipment, and even better sound from expensive equipment

A crap engineer will get crap from either.

I don't think you could get similar results (well audio is very much microcosms anyway, but i'll go on) from an MBOX compared to something like an SSL console...but that being said, i don't think an SSL would sound exactly like another series SSL desk for example...

At the end of the day, its all about the song and the artist as well...if its a good song and the artist is a good musician, that will come through not matter what gear you use. You never mentioned monitors in your recording equipment...i think a substantial gain in the 1k region would be some room treatment and a decent pair of monitors.

I guess owning a combination of some higher end stuff (also having worked on a lot of higher end stuff) but mostly mid range stuff, i'd have to say that you don't spend as much time "tweaking" with better quality stuff...

Here's the thing though....if there's a decent cash flow, its worth investing in some higher quality gear...because then you won't spend as long doing 1 thing, i.e. more business because you have more time to do it...
Old 31st December 2010
  #5
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Oh forgot to mention I have some tc helicon pres I was shocked at how good they are for the price, I agree with you but I get the feeling some people think it is a necessity to have a good sounding track you need to rob a bank then buy expensive.

Imo it's the plugins that sting me the most.
Old 31st December 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
Oh forgot to mention I have some tc helicon pres I was shocked at how good they are for the price, I agree with you but I get the feeling some people think it is a necessity to have a good sounding track you need to rob a bank then buy expensive.

Imo it's the plugins that sting me the most.
haha...you still haven't mentioned your monitors though?
Old 31st December 2010
  #7
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson89 View Post
Well its one of those things haha...here's my view of it:

A great engineer can get a great sound from budget equipment, and even better sound from expensive equipment

A crap engineer will get crap from either.

I don't think you could get similar results (well audio is very much microcosms anyway, but i'll go on) from an MBOX compared to something like an SSL console...but that being said, i don't think an SSL would sound exactly like another series SSL desk for example...

At the end of the day, its all about the song and the artist as well...if its a good song and the artist is a good musician, that will come through not matter what gear you use. You never mentioned monitors in your recording equipment...i think a substantial gain in the 1k region would be some room treatment and a decent pair of monitors.

I guess owning a combination of some higher end stuff (also having worked on a lot of higher end stuff) but mostly mid range stuff, i'd have to say that you don't spend as much time "tweaking" with better quality stuff...

Here's the thing though....if there's a decent cash flow, its worth investing in some higher quality gear...because then you won't spend as long doing 1 thing, i.e. more business because you have more time to do it...
I'm using some m-audios my friend I think there bx5a something ones lol, I test on a fair few mediums, stereos pc speakers etc.

I agree with the tweaking guys, but gear is expensive, is it worth spending your hard earned cash on something that might not make a world changing difference?
Old 31st December 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
I'm using some m-audios my friend I think there nx5 something ones lol, I test on a fair few mediums, stereos pc speakers etc.
Ok well, i'd say out of everything, this is probably the weak link in your chain. If you're room is untreated, you might wanna hang a couple of DIY sheets of 703 (rigid fibreglass), other than that just better monitors depending on what you could afford. Your mixing will get better because you'll be able to hear more of what you're doing...i mean at the end of the day, ears are the most important thing...it only makes sense to give them the most accurate representation of what you're doing...the rest of your chain right now seems fine.
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