The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
A cost effective studio upgrade.... Condenser Microphones
Old 5th September 2011
  #1
Lives for gear
 
jimcroisdale's Avatar
 

A cost effective studio upgrade....

Hi all,

I'm looking at buying a few things to help me with the recording of an upcoming EP for my band. Male singer, rock type stuff I guess.

I currently have the Steiny MR816, some nice plugins, decent monitoring and room treatment and a basic collection of mics. I use EZ drummer for demos, but we will probably be tracking live drums.

Firstly, I want a new vocal mic. We've been using a '57 and it's ok, but obviously it's hard to ignore the love for the SM7b, so that was my first consideration.

Secondly, I'm looking at a tracking compressor. Partly for a bit of character, and partly just to level things up a bit on the way in so I'm not using the plugs as hard during mix.

I have looked at the FMR RNC and PBC-6a for this task. Compressors seem to fetch crazy amounts on eBay in the UK - anything vaguely vintage (whether it was any good in the first place or not!) so something new might be best here, I dunno.

Thirdly, if i'm tracking live drums I'm going to need better overheads I think. I have a pair of NT1's (the original ones) but have been told they are a little on the bright side for this application, although I am yet to find this out for myself. D112 on kick, '57 on snare and toms, and an NT2 or Audio Technica stereo mic for room, if required.

I don't want to spend a fortune - I know that most of the improvements in my recordings are going to be because of my progressing mix abilites and I know there's no quick fix solution to this.

Any thought guys?

Cheers,

Jim
Old 5th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimcroisdale View Post
Hi all,

I'm looking at buying a few things to help me with the recording of an upcoming EP for my band. Male singer, rock type stuff I guess.

I currently have the Steiny MR816, some nice plugins, decent monitoring and room treatment and a basic collection of mics. I use EZ drummer for demos, but we will probably be tracking live drums.

Firstly, I want a new vocal mic. We've been using a '57 and it's ok, but obviously it's hard to ignore the love for the SM7b, so that was my first consideration.

Secondly, I'm looking at a tracking compressor. Partly for a bit of character, and partly just to level things up a bit on the way in so I'm not using the plugs as hard during mix.

I have looked at the FMR RNC and PBC-6a for this task. Compressors seem to fetch crazy amounts on eBay in the UK - anything vaguely vintage (whether it was any good in the first place or not!) so something new might be best here, I dunno.

Thirdly, if i'm tracking live drums I'm going to need better overheads I think. I have a pair of NT1's (the original ones) but have been told they are a little on the bright side for this application, although I am yet to find this out for myself. D112 on kick, '57 on snare and toms, and an NT2 or Audio Technica stereo mic for room, if required.

I don't want to spend a fortune - I know that most of the improvements in my recordings are going to be because of my progressing mix abilites and I know there's no quick fix solution to this.

Any thought guys?

Cheers,

Jim
Hi Jim,

Not sure what your budget is so...

Also, I have used lots of cool gear but not everything so, I`m giving you what I have had best success with.

Vocal Mic: I`m a really big fan of the AT4050s. I use them for vocals, acoustic guitars and yes, drum OHs. I love the openness of this mic and its versatile. Definitely worth a listen. (I even use them to record symphonic works so...)

Compressor: The Distressor is also the most versatile unit I can think of. Again, I don`t know your budget but I love the sound of the UREI 1178 as an overhead for drums. If I had the $$$, I would get both.

OHs: Again, 4050s are great for this app.

I suggested the most flexible pieces I could think of. I think the 4050 and the Distressor will be used time and time again for years to come. Whereas the 1178 is more of a flavor piece. Much success.

EB
Old 5th September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 
jimcroisdale's Avatar
 

Budget is limited, as ever!

The AT mic looks good - I could sell the NT1's and the NT2 and put that towards a pair of those and an SM7b - that could work.

I know that there are other AT condensers that people rave about as well so I might look at that as well.

The FMR pieces are more my range. I've never even considered a Distressor really - too much money for me.....

Cheers,

Jim
Old 5th September 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimcroisdale View Post
Budget is limited, as ever!

The AT mic looks good - I could sell the NT1's and the NT2 and put that towards a pair of those and an SM7b - that could work.

I know that there are other AT condensers that people rave about as well so I might look at that as well.

The FMR pieces are more my range. I've never even considered a Distressor really - too much money for me.....

Cheers,

Jim
The ART Pro VLA is also something to consider... also on sale at Sweetwater.
Old 5th September 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 

For AT mics I have a 3035 and I like it. It's not really my go to mic but the only mics I pretty much use every song are 30 dollar gls es 57s and 58s.

For compressors try a dbx 163x and look up the mod on tape op forums it's great for the price. Actually knowing your budget might help.
Old 5th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
jimcroisdale's Avatar
 

The problem with things like the 163 is that they seem to go for a lot of money in the UK - £100 is not uncommon.

....and then I hear about you guys in the States picking them up for $20.....

That said, it's still cheap if they are as good as people make them out to be!
Old 5th September 2011
  #7
Gear Head
 

If you are well rehearsed could you rent the gear for a week get the ep done and save for the gear you really want instead of buyIng in a panic and then have to sell later?
Old 5th September 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Probably one of the better bang for the buck CLEAN / TRANSPARENT type of tracking compressors is the Aphex 651, $150 used U.S. Ebay prices. Plenty of threads here on them for your research. They can hang with the $2k units. If you want a color comp check the Low End Gold threads for the usual list of canidates. For a decent cheap Vocal Mic if you could snag a CAD E300 (the original US made, looks way different from the current E300 Chinese version) or a CAD VSM-1 for a good price you'd be a happy camper. If you had a larger budget or for in the future keep an eye open for ADR comps since they were made there you might be able to get one fairly cheap.
Old 5th September 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 
jimcroisdale's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illinoise View Post
If you are well rehearsed could you rent the gear for a week get the ep done and save for the gear you really want instead of buyIng in a panic and then have to sell later?
Not really an option unfortunately - I think we'll be doing over a period of several weekends.
Old 5th September 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 
KevWind's Avatar
Depending on budget you could also look into a pair of Shure KSM 32's have heard them used as OH on drums quite good. Can also be used as alternate vocal
and acoustic instrument .
Old 5th September 2011
  #11
Gear Nut
 

If you have a rode you might wanna check out the michael jolly mods. He mods mics for 200+/- and makes a 200 dollar mic sound like a 2000 dollar neumann, and thats not just talk from his side, ive heard the difference myself.

Sent from my LT15i using Gearslutz.com App
Old 5th September 2011
  #12
Gear Addict
 

I have about the same setup and...

Nix the Shure SM7b -- the MR816 doesn't play well with it (gain too low -->noise too high). Triton Fethead helps, but still not great and still noisy with the Steinberg/Yamaha unit. Might want to check on the Rode NT1a.

On the master bus: Slate Fx-G or ProAudio DSP. Either are wonderful.

Very fond of UA Fairchild plugin. Need UAD card.
Old 5th September 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 
toneguru's Avatar
If you are on a tight budget buy used. Even deep pockets take advantage of the used mkt.

Also, consider buying one truly useful and great sounding device instead of a few that get you half way there.

Or, get one very cheap used device to hold you over until you can get the real deal. Like buying a 2 ch dbx compressor for $70 used to hold you over until you can afford a used TLA100 or Destresser or 1176.

As for mics, the 57 can hold you over until you can afford a great mic. Lots of great recordings were made with 57's and 58's.

A lot of the mid level stuff is the worst value when it comes to mics. Especially new.

Consider sticking with the 57 and keep your eyes open for a used TLM170. Great all around mic seen in 100's of world class studios. Find em used for under a grand sometimes.

Best to save up cash and wait for a used deal to pop up. In the long run you will have great gear that does not destroy the signal as much as the lesser stuff.

Good luck.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump