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Studio Upgrade?
Old 28th November 2014
Gear Addict

Studio Upgrade?

I need some gearslutty advice. I record bands at home in a small, but reasonably treated room. Tracking is usually drums/bass/guitar/keys and then horns and vocals are overdubbed later. I usually DI the bass & keys, put a pair of mics on the guitar amp, and then mic up the drum kit as much as possible. I usually do end up with only 3-4 drum mics being used, but I throw up hi hat and tom mics and a room mic just for good measure.

I have a solid mic collection--great dynamics, good ribbons, and a few okay condensers.

I generally track on a Tascam M312B "console" but also will use some Rane, Symetrix, and Art mic pres. Pre upgrade would focus on my Shure 300 ribbon mic, guitar mics, and pull double duty on horns & vocals later.

My converters are a lowly (but very functional) Tascam 1800. I also have a MOTU 2048 MK II and M-Audio Profire 610 at my disposal.

Keys go through a Radial Passive DI, and the bass usually goes through an Avalon U5.

So, do I throw money at a few channels of better pres (BLA, ISA One, Warm) or do I upgrade the converters (looking at Echo Audiofire 12)? Or do I stick it out & save for a few 500 pres (API, etc.) or an Apollo 16?

Why? Because I feel like my tracking is:
- missing some clarity (muddy is hard to make punchy)
- gets a bit brittle at 7kHz and up (hi hats are an issue)
- is a little too noisy (but sufferable)

I'm looking for clarity and smoothness in order to make the tracks more enjoyable to listen to, and so that I don't have to work as hard while mixing.

GearSlut me up!
Old 28th November 2014
didn't you just post this?
Old 3rd December 2014
Gear Addict

I did. The thread got hijacked by guys talking about soldering. Still seeking advice, tho.
Old 3rd December 2014
Yeah that was us.

Consensus around the site though seems to be preamps before converters. That's what I'm doing. I'm going to make sure I have at least 8 channels of quality preamps before I even touch my converters, which are quite mediocre.
Old 3rd December 2014
Gear Maniac
Tommyswami's Avatar
Well for clarity and smoothness I found as far as a mic pre if that's your choice it would be the Pacifica by a designs great unit I've been using it a bunch in the last couple months
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