The $10,000 Studio

Discussion in 'Music Business Forum' started by maintiger, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. maintiger

    maintiger

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    In another thread Ilovesound was considering spending $10,000 to start a home project studio- How could that money be best spent, assuming you have the room in your house already. Also assume you already own your instruments- so recording studio only- please spend your $10,00 we might all learn a lot by your choices and also help Ilovesound spend his money...

    My vote would be

    1- Computer 1 to 3K (I would get the latest dual 2 gb processor mac for 3K)
    2- interface - 500 to 1 K - (I would get the motu828 mk2 for 750)
    3- Audio program - 500 to 1K (Digital performer for me, $550)
    4- Mics, 1 AKG c414 for vocals, 4 57's and a kick drum mic (AKG d112 for me) 2 small condensers - Studio Projects C4 or Oktava 112- or maybe go for broke and get a couple 451's)
    5-preamps- the 828 has 2 that are ok- will need 8 more for drums, etc so a 4 ch Sebatron for $1550 and perhaps 4 ch of rane ms1 for about $600

    Boy I already spent over $7500- lets see what else we need...

    6- monitors- I'll get a couple of M audio bx8's for $450- but that's only because I like them...(and they are 450)

    7- will $1000 buy me enough wall treatment? probably not but it will have to do...

    8- the last $1000 I will spend on extra stuff, hard drives, mike stands, cables- no outboard gear for this studio, will just have to use the plug ins in DP- Now if I had an extra $10,000.... :D :D :D :
     
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Respected Past Moderator

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    $10K Huh? That is barely enough for one decent mic and preamp!

    Ok, You didn't mention any specific requirements or goals so I am going to make a few assumptions.

    1) That I would focus on getting upper quality and performance items now and continue to add and grow from that base instead of choosing half ass crap items just to have more of them.

    2) That this is for a one man band home setup that does not at this time usually need more than one or two inputs at a time.

    3) That he/she already has some sort of computer.

    4) That the computer has a firewire interface or will be getting one in the near future to accept data from the mixer and the recorder.

    5) That the CD-R is already in the computer or will be in the near future as this is what the final mixed product will be deleiverd on.

    6)Accessary items such as cables, power strips, adapters, patchbays, mic stands, monitor stands, racks and furniture, ect not included but could easily chew up $1000+.

    For *about* $10K this is what I would likely get based on the assummptions above. Any gear that can be bought used would save even more money.


    $2000 Alesis HD24
    $2500 Tascam DM24 with 2-ADAT I/O cards.
    $2000 Genelec 1030 monitors
    1500 Focusrite ISA 220 or ISA 428
    $1000 AT4060 Tube Mic
    $0575 AT4050 LD Mic
    $0425 AKG 451 SD Mic
    -------------------------------------
    $10,000 Total

    Notes: This setup is intended to get one going into recording right off the bat with a great deal of flexability and connectivity but still allow easy future upgrading and interfacing of additional gear. The DM24 mixer has eq & dynamics on every channel and 2-effects units with TC reverb and other goodies, 16-mic pres that are likely as decent as anything else in their class so the choice of either the ISA 220 or ISA 428 is a choice of one great channel or 4-very good preamps or swap the Focusrite for more mics and use the mixer preamps for a while. For the one man band thing, I would rather have the ISA 220. The DM24 can also be used as a DAW controller and has a firewire I/O option for the computer interface that would cost more and need recording/editing software that is an additional cost but is not a must have or showstopper as you can still record and do basic cut/copy/paste edits on the HD24 unit.
     
  3. ILOVESOUND

    ILOVESOUND Guest

    Hey, great thread :)

    This is what my original plan was until my last post under "future of the recording engineer". Basically, I'm going to give it a lot of thought first and consider cutting a few tunes entirely in a studio. Anyway, the original plan was:

    1 - Dedicated custom PC (found one at Sweetwater for $1,500)

    2 - LynxTwoA card ($1,000)

    3 - Great River 2NV ($2,200)

    4 - Pair of Km184s ($1,600) for acoustic guitar

    5 - Soundelux U195 or U99 (so, up to $2,400)

    6 - Samplitude or Sonar ($500)

    7 - Room treatment - bass traps, foam, ($2,000)

    8 - Midi interface ($500)

    That's about it. I have monitors, a firewire drive, studio furniture, and a midi keyboard controller. I also have a G4 933, but the thing is insanely loud and I'd rather spend the $ money on a quiet newer computer than an iso case for it.

    I know this is very bare bones and not as versatile as I could get with $10,000. However, my thinking was to start with the most simple set up and put the most money in fewer high end items (pre, mics) and settle for the converters in the card (which I hear are supposed to be very very good in the Lynx anyway). I don't need more than two tracks at a time and since my goal was to just track vocals and guitar at home and then bring it to the studio for everything else I wouldn't need outboard gear for mixing right away nor would I need drum mics and what not. Any mixing I would do would be roughs in order to burn it and play it in various environments. So for now, I'd mix in the box.

    The one thing missing from above is an outboard mixer. However, with a fast dedicated computer and a nice soundcard, I'm not sure latency would be that big of an issue. And if I'm mixing in the box, would I need a mixer? Here's a naive question - Can I plug my monitors into the outs of the sound card? I may also need something like a headphone amp.

    So, let me have it... :)

    Derek
     
  4. ILOVESOUND

    ILOVESOUND Guest

    Oh yeah, I also have a C1, a Taylor 514, Extreme Isolation headphones, and an SM58
     
  5. mjones4th

    mjones4th Guest

    G5 dual 1.8 - $2500
    2 19" or 21" CRTs - around 500
    Logic Pro - 1000
    Lynx Two - 1000
    VMP2000e - 1000
    VEQC2000 - 1940
    Yamaha MSP5 - 500
    C1 Mic - 200
    Samson C Control and CQue8 - 200
    Waves NPP - 375

    The other $ would buy:

    some nice cabling.
    some rigid fiberglass and burlap.
    all the little stuff you find you need but didn't budget for.
     
  6. mjones4th

    mjones4th Guest

    Check the Samson C Control and CQue8. The C Control offers monitor matrix control, attenuation, headphone feeds, etc. the sort of stuff you need a mixer for. And I think its passive, which means it doesn't change the sound as much. The CQue8 is a 4 channel headphone amp, Both $99.
     
  7. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue

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    I think that Mark's suggestions are excellent.

    I would however, leave out the VEQC2000 and the Waves NPP and buy a couple of higher quality mics instead.
    I would also consider a TC Powercore and a Mackie UAD-1 card. The combination of plug-ins goes a long way.

    Oh, and get LCD panels (17" is probably good enough) instead of the CRT monitors. They can be had for $300 each these days and you will quickly appreciate the reduced amount of "radiation noise", especially if you are working with electric guitars.

    Just my opinion,

    MisterBlue.
     
  8. maintiger

    maintiger

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    ...and Digital Performer is $550 vs 1000 for Logic pro... :D
     
  9. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue

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    ... but you are getting soooo much more :D .

    Seriously, the new Logic Pro package has all the Emagic VST Synths (incl. B3, D6, EXS24 sampler, EVP88 and so on...), a nice range of solid plug-ins (including their new Convolution Reverb) and then some more stuff included. It seems totally worth the extra clams.

    To be sure, I am not argueing that DP3 is not a good program. I have not used it.

    MisterBlue.
     
  10. maintiger

    maintiger

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    when you put it that way, I guess when you add mach five (350) to DP 4 the price already becomes 900... I do looove DP but haven't used Logic so I can't make an informed judgement.
     
  11. Aziel

    Aziel Guest

    What about Protools LE? it`s a good deal and great soft...leave the Maudios, go with the Yamaha`s MSP5... :tu:
     
  12. mjones4th

    mjones4th Guest

    The reason I avoided the DSP cards, is because they just have too many issues right now. And that's exactly why they don't currently reside in my Mac....
     
  13. studio

    THIS IS A GOOD ONE. I COULD HAVE COME UP WITH MANY DIFFERENT STUDIO'S. HERE IT WAS ONE THAT WOULD CATER TO MANY DIFFERENT GENRE'S OF MUSIC.

    Roland Fantom-X6 61-Key Expandable Sampling Synthesizer Workstation
    with Dynamic Pad Bank. $1,995.97
    Tascam us122 interface $200
    Shure SM57 $90
    2 mogami cables for microphones $100
    Audio Technica 4040 $300
    Fl4 STUDIO $150
    Cubase sx 2.0 $600
    Mackie HRS120 $1,249.97
    Mackie HR624 $449.97
    Crown D-75A (40W Stereo Power Amplifier) $530
    ART Digital MPA (mic pre amp) $600
    monitor isolation pads $30
    portable sound proof both $595.00 - www.markertek.com
    Carillon Core 1
    PC Audio Computer w/2.6 GHz Pentium 4 Processor
    Intel Motherboard, 80GB hard drive & Windows XP.. $1,499.97 - www.sweetwater.com
    Nady Pop Filter $19.99
    on stage (microphone stand with fixed boom arm) $20
    Sennheiser HD 280 PRO $100
    adobe audition $300
    propellerhead reason $400
    Producer’s Station (holds computer, monitor plus has a table with racks
    for racked equipment, also holds keyboard as well as monitors) $499.99
    HEADPHONE EXTENTION CABLE $8

    TOTAL = $9243

    and that leaves enough for a computer monitor and blank cd's and some sound
    proofing blankets from markertek, if needed

    and with the wealth of free software out there since this is a computer based'
    studio, forget about it!

    chamillion@popstar.com
     
  14. whoops, i forgot one thing

    make it $9343

    dont forget the sonic bbe maximizer plug in, software version
    it really brings out the clarity in audio! I use in Fruity Loops 4
     
  15. Karyn

    Karyn Guest

    I think this would be close to world class. A studio like this 15 yrs ago would have cost 100,000 plus.

    1,000 Masterlink
    3,400 Roland 2480
    1,000 Apogee rosetta200 A/D D/A converter
    1,100 Mackie monitors
    2,200 Millennia Origen mic pre
    200 RODE nt 1
    600 Shure KSM 44
    450 2 Crown cm 700s

    WWW.karynwhittemore.com
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2014
  16. Jaylaca

    Jaylaca Guest

    Gear envy leads astray

    :roll: I remember the excitement of trying to do our first record in dad's attic. The ante was a bit smaller. Borrowed mics from the college A/V dept. 4track cassette and 8-track reel-to-reel. midiverb II's, roland chorus, furniture pads, and a cheap mixer.

    The results were pretty good for the day.

    There's a glaring omission in most of what I read. Engineering & return on investment.

    You're going to spend $10K on gear recommendations, most of which will be worth nill within 18 months. (digital gear does not hold value)

    Learning curves and potential tech problems will take away from the artist's/band's creative flow. Time recording great takes will be spent troubleshooting. If you've got a technical/computer wiz with you, then great, but it's not plug&play.

    Learning your speakers will take time, lot's of bass heavy mixes at first.

    I see this time & again at the local music store, a band spending the load on a bunch of gear to make a record on 'their own time'.

    For demo or self-release I would go for it, but not with $10K. You can accomplish more for less. I know of two bands that opted to 'save money' by buying something 'portastudio-ish' like a Korg D16X. It USB's to the computer, drag in the files to your favorite program and mix in the box.

    I suggested to them (since budget was a concern) that with the condition of "you've got all the time you want" there are bang-for-the-buck options that will give great results with good Engineering.

    XDR pres (ala vlz-pro mixer) to Tascam DAxx. Easy to Link for more tracks. The items are cheap now, great front end, and before flaming starts, those are good converters for the $$. Do not be fooled - good 16-bit converters cost more than cheap (most of the current crop of) 24bit/96K budget converters that you won't need. Why? Mix in the box - track at 44.1KHz so SRC doesn't become a factor and file size stays manageable.

    Why tape? - you want to track until it's right on your 'own time'. No learning curve, dependable, affordable, and no real loss on investment. Invest your time..

    Dump the tracks in your computer just the same (just more "time - consuming') but you've got the time right? But this was just a suggestion based on their expressed needs & goals.

    My other$10K alternative - there are good studios for your budget that have spent the mother's load on gear, acoustics, cables, computers, tweaking, learning, and have a lot of engineer experience.

    Spend your time getting your arrangements and performance nailed, rehearse, work with your producer (if you've got one), then do it right. Let someone else worry about why the driver crashes Nuendo, or where did my 20th guitar solo go? Plus it'll all be tracked/mixed within 2 weeks. Send it to mastering, then slap on your artwork, off to duplication. Don't spend all $10K on the recording since you've still got to print the CD's.

    If any of this 'different' thinking tickles you, email me back. jaylaca@yahoo.com

    Cheers,

    Jason
     
  17. Apple G5 1.8 DP RAM $2000
    2 of 512MB from Crucial $150
    2 of 19" LG 1920P LCD monitors $1000*
    Extra WD Caviar 200GB SATA drive $150 (not from Apple!)
    Yamaha 01X interface/mixer/control surface.$1000
    Logic Pro (even though I'm a Cubase SX user) $700
    A couple of RODE NT1A's $300
    Samson C-Control $100
    Monitors $500-1000 - your ears must decide, obviously. But I like Genelec's, but I also like my cheap JBL's.. I also like my Mission hi-fi speakers . . .
    A selection of mic's - your choice $800-1000
    Some quality mic pre-amps and analogue compression $1000

    Acoustic treatment, 'atmostphere, lighting' and all those little extra we somehow overlooked. $1000.

    *LCD monitors aren't an unnecessary luxury. They're better for your eyes, use less power, and most importantly give out far less EM. You can sit in close proximity with your guitar and not pick up terrible hum fields.

    So I'd either go for the above, or look for an old Otari 24 track and big analogue console . . . ;-)

    My prices may be a little off - I'm in the UK, so they're gue$timate$ . . .

    And having written all this - I think it's a good $10000 studio, but I don't think it's necessarily the best thing for a band to do. I whole-heartedly endorse Jason's views (above.)
     
  18. 10k isnt too bad, i have one worth about 20k and its pretty decent for what i want to do with it.
     
  19. Well, im usually on the DUC boards... but I thought id post in here for a while.

    10k...

    $1000 Genelec 1029A Monitors
    $1100 Digi002R + PTLE 6.4
    $500 Producers Station from Guitar Center(cant work without a desk)
    $1500 AMD Athlon 64 3500+ cpu with ASUS board, 2 x 80gig hd's, Matrox dual video display, 17-inch LCD flat screen monitors, and a gig of Micron Ram, and a DVD+RW.
    $500 Pod Pro For basic outbaord fx, its not JUST for guitars.
    $150 dbx 266xl compressor
    $500 RODE NTK
    $500 Good cabling for monitors, guitars, mics, midi, etc..
    $200 2 x Furman RP-8L power conditioner units
    $500 Korg KLC1 Legacy synth.
    $500 Gibson Melody Maker
    $350 Shure 57' Drum Mic Package.
    $300 Boss Dr. Rhythm Drum Machine
    $1000 Sound Traps
    $50 Picks, gorilla snot, stuff...
    $80 Ebow...
    $100 Fire Wire Card.
    ....

    Thats around $8500.... hmm...
     
  20. digitmstr

    digitmstr Guest

    >>I don't need more than two tracks at a time and since my goal was to just track vocals and guitar at home and then bring it to the studio for everything else<<


    (Great forum guys!)

    In that case I think you are on the right track by wanting to concentrate on a "few high end" items.

    A lot (if not all) of this has to dowith personal taste and preferences so, I can tell you what I use in my small studio and you can take it from there. Keep in mind some of my stuff was purchased over a year ago so...by now, it's outdated...:

    MIC PRES:

    Millennia STT-1
    UA 6176
    TLA C-1

    you could skip one (or two) of the above but, if you get the C-1 (cheap but very good sounding) it would allow you to go stereo with your guitar mics.

    The STT-1 is "cleaner" and more versatile than the UA but the 6176 has a punchier sound and faster compressor. I often use the Solid State mic pre of the Millennia wired straight into the Compressor of the 6176 - it's my favorite combination for vocals.

    A/D/A

    Apogee PSX-100 SE

    I like my Apogee however, Mytek makes excellent A/D converters and they are quite affordable (about $800.00 street price...) and they are HIGHLY regarded.

    DAW

    Mac G4 (dual 1g) "old" by today's standard :)

    Logic PRO - I have been using Logic for a long, long time (since the time I had an ATARI!!!). The cool thing about it is that you can use ProTools with it, if and when you decide to do it, in which case you WILL have the BEST of MIDI and AUDIO, bar none. Logic will also allow you to save/export your session for mixing in ProTools.

    DAW INTERFACE

    I use the MOTU 2408 (x2) also "old" - they give me 48 ch of TDIF to/from Logic @ 24 bit. Good enough for me.

    You should/could also consider buying a used ProTool TDM rig - they are all over the place for cheap since people are upgrading to the 192 system. Just a thought.

    CONSOLE

    Tascam DM-24 (x2) "old" but good. I helped BETA test as well as consulted on additional features of the firmware for that board so, I know it well. In its price range I don't think there's anything even close. They sounds very good and the built-in EQ and compressors are very warm and smooth sounding and will save CPU power for other, specialized PULGINs (I use Waves).

    Another cool thing of the DM-24 is that it becomes an extension of Logic in that by using MMC/HUI I can control all the transport and arming of tracks from it. I also save the Sysex of the mix into each Logic song file so, when I load a song everything is up and running EXACTLY as it was saved.

    You can find these boards used for a decent price. Also, if you decide to go with it and are in the Los Angeles area I might be able to hook you up.

    MONITORS

    I have a pair of old NS10s and old JBL three ways (I forget the model number) - There are others to be sure: I like Dynaudio, ADAM and Genelec, all of which I have used in other studios and... All of which are very pricey! I do NOT like KRKs :)

    There are many mics and they are a personal choice so, it's hard to rec. one. If you do mostly steel string check out Earthworks mics. you can get a matches pair and get one of the best sounding stereo recording out of your steel string.

    If you want to save some money you could get a multi-pattern large diaphragm set it to figure 8 in conjunction with a good hypercardiod for MS recordings. You could then use your DM-24 for decoding the signal.

    MIDI

    I use three UNITORS MKII (since I use Logic). They work quite well, very tight and offer some old style functions too (such as analog BEAT input - you can use a KIK track to set & sync the tempo).

    For sound I have sold MOST of my gear and am using virtual synths almost exclusively. You could start with Reason and go from there.
    I track them thru the ANALOG mic pres so they soung very warm and fat.

    That's what I use and it has been working very well for me. You can find a lot of those items in the used market and it will serve you well.

    Peace,

    GP
     
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