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New Interface or A/D converter or mic preamp
Old 11th August 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 

New Interface or A/D converter or mic preamp

For a quicker read glimpse over the text in bold below.

I am wondering what about my setup is currently most detrimental. I want to know what improvement is most imperative concerning the quality of my recordings.

I am currently using:

Mics- AKG C414, AKG C214, Rode NTK, etc.

Here is where I start to become concerned.

I plug my mics directly into my

Interface- Alesis firewire Multimix 8 interface which goes directly into

DAW- Cubase LE and then I export into

Mastering Software- Nuendo at 24 bit 44.1hz.

I figured I would purchase Nuendo instead of Cubase 5 because LE was sufficient for my needs for the most part and since most of the eqing and compression is being done in Nuendo. Cubase LE is just my initial hub for recording and gathering the tracks and for doing the initial minor steps of mixing them.

I am wondering if I should first be purchasing a mic pre. I am looking at the Blue Robbie. Seems like the best bang for the buck. I find this outperforms the avalon 737 and any focusrite I have listened to. It of course is not as great as the Neve 1073 but for how much I am willing to spend it is great.

Or should I be changing my interface? I am concerned about the A/D converter on the Alesis Multimix 8 so I was thinking about upgrading to an RME Babyface. This apparently has fireface 800 A/D and M-32 D/A.

Is this sufficient or should I go a step further and get the Mytek Stereo96 A/D converter?

Any advice or other hardware suggestions would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.
Old 11th August 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
kooz's Avatar
 

wow, lots to debate

You're obviously comfortable with an ITB workflow, so that narrows things down...but you're probably still not gonna like what I have to say.

conversion quality is important, but a quality preamp will blow your mind with what it does even with a "lowly" sm57. that being said, if that can't be translated into digital form accurately and then back into analog in as transparent and natural way as possible, what's the point? you're not choosing the best mic, you're not placing it correctly, you're using tools like EQ and compression as sledgehammers rather than tweakers...you're never happy.

So, my advice: Upgrade both, and strengthen your chain. be prepared for further upgrades - monitoring, acoustics...
either it's good enough, or you're on a quest. PM me if you want specific advice.
Old 14th August 2011
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kooz View Post
You're obviously comfortable with an ITB workflow, so that narrows things down...but you're probably still not gonna like what I have to say.

conversion quality is important, but a quality preamp will blow your mind with what it does even with a "lowly" sm57. that being said, if that can't be translated into digital form accurately and then back into analog in as transparent and natural way as possible, what's the point? you're not choosing the best mic, you're not placing it correctly, you're using tools like EQ and compression as sledgehammers rather than tweakers...you're never happy.

So, my advice: Upgrade both, and strengthen your chain. be prepared for further upgrades - monitoring, acoustics...
either it's good enough, or you're on a quest.
That is exactly what I had feared yet I still hoped someone would have a magical solution. Thank you for the confirmation and assurance concerning what needs to be done. I will be working on getting the preamp asap and the ad da converters shortly after so that I can appreciate the tone of the new pre with clarity from the new converters. I still need to get like a babyface or m audio box with spdif's so that I can hook up the converters. I wonder how much of an improvement the mytek converters are compared to the ones stock in the babyface. I have listened to some samples in a forum on gearslut which played and recorded a track 10x with the rme fireface 800 (which has the same workings as the babyface to amplify the differences. For now I do not notice too much of a quality difference.
Old 14th August 2011
  #4
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kooz View Post
either it's good enough, or you're on a quest.
I am definitely on a quest. Always have been and always will be when it comes to improving my audio and getting that sound and feel from the drums and entire track etc.

I will definitely take you up on that offer and MSG sometime in the future. I always like to learn.
Old 19th August 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 
kooz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mario_c View Post
I wonder how much of an improvement the mytek converters are compared to the ones stock in the babyface.
I wondered a similar thing when I cautiously bought a used 8x96 AD for extra inputs to my digi oo2. Over time, I started using those 8 ins exclusively. now i've upgraded to PTHD and 3 8x192s for 24 in and out. We have a 16tr 2" recorder, we also have a 1" 8tr, but the myteks get the Lion's share of the work.
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