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Am I screwing up bigtime?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by ldbishop, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. ldbishop

    ldbishop Guest

    I am getting ready to drop close to $10K on a small project studio to record one or two performers at once. (All I have already is a Kurzweil 2000, Ibanez John Scofield, other acoustic, classical, and electrics, a Marshall amp, a Line6 AxSys212 amp, Mackie 1604 & 1202 mixers, Furman headphone distribution amp, Marantz cassette multitracker and some cheap mikes.)

    My intended purchase is the following:
    Carillon Audio System'w SONAR EMUX STUDIO (Sonar Producer 4 and E-Mu 1820M) - AC-2 3.2 Ghz, 10248 DDR, 80 GB IDE, 400 GB SATA -- to upgrad later this year to RAID 0 (800 GB), Firewire 800 interface, Carillon MIDI Knobs Controller and transport Controller (set up for SONAR & EMUX ). Wireless Keyboard and Mouse (with labels for SONAR & EMUX ), upgraded dual-/triple- or quad-dvi video card and monitors.

    Reason 3.0
    Universal Audio UAD-1 Ultra Pak
    TC Electronic Powercore Element
    Groove Tubes The Brick - Preamp
    Studio Projects C3 MICROPHONE
    M-Audio KEYSTATION PRO 88 USB Master Controller
    Mackie Big Knob Studio Command System
    Event Studio Precision 8 Active Studio Monitor
    (2) Sony 7506 Headphones
    Balanced cabling wherever possile.

    I compose and play mostly Steely Dan, Pat Methaney types of music -mostly instrumental, with no live drums. I have to often record in the same room, in order to have better acoustics and isolation.

    I want to get away from using the Mackie mixers and do all mixing (including the occasional inserts for outboard effects) within the DAW. I have thought of adding a Soundscape Mixtreme or Mixpander card and i/o box later this year, if needed, in order to accomplish this.

    What are the weakest links in this setup? Are there any obvious incompatibilities?

    I would guess that I will need to add some more microphones and pre's fairly soon. Are the Studio Projects C4 (pair) really a good general choice. What about two more pre's? More "bricks"? A Eureka?

    What is the best software or approach for me (as a non-drummer) to supply a basic rhythm section?

    I have just joined the forums today, but have been trying to read as many as I can to learn -- I appreciate also if any of you can point me to the right spot, if my questions do not belong here. THANKS!
     
  2. huub

    huub Guest

    To potentially save money: Any 2 ghz or more pc, will happily mix 32 tracks with 2 reverbs and tons of compression with native plugins..

    a bunch of waves plugins and your daw's own plugins will do fine, without having to buy a uad, element or soundscape system..
    I think...
     
  3. ldbishop

    ldbishop Guest

    Thank you for the quick reply.

    So, you do not think I will miss the outboard UAD or PowerCore DSP's? Are software plug-ins's now as good? I was very impressed with what I heard through the UAD and PowerCore units.

    (Obviiously, I have been away from the technology for too long, during the six years I have been in Sweden.)

    Eliminating those cards would indeed save me a bundle!

    Should I be thinking Dual-CPU or more RAM, instead (to handle more plug-in EQ and compressors, etc., rather than the dedicated DSP solution)?
     
  4. huub

    huub Guest

    I personally think, having lots of experience with superhighend for my work, the waves renaissance eq and compressor are up there with the best hardware..
    the waves ir reverb is totally awesome too..
    My 2 ghz pc runs 2 ir reverbs, some waves compression and eq for my vocal tracks and drum compression no problem..
    for the other tracks I use logic's eq and comp.( nothing wrong with those)
    I'm not sure what exactly the price difference between waves plugs and a uad bundle is though..
    cheers.
     
  5. UAD is cheaper than Waves, sounds better, (to my humble ears) and doesn't tax the processor. YMMV. You probably don't need both a UAD and a PoCo, though. Haven't tried the PoCo but people seem to like them as well.
    ... ? Det finns välutrustade studior här också! :D
     
  6. ldbishop

    ldbishop Guest

    Thank you both! Clearly, software solutions are to be found at the heart of both Waves and UAD/PowerCore approaches. As I interpret it, the Waves approach probably offers me greater flexibility and upgrading potential, while the (software effects running on) DSP hardware leave me more computing power for other software tasks.

    As a matter of principle, for bread-and-butter processing needs, I would generally prefer to offload these numer-crunching chores to dedicated DSP's if the quality of the effects is sufficiently high. (If I had a real Pultec-equipped studio, I would not be considering either solution right now!)

    So, I guess I am going to try to see if I can do some critical listening to make a call on the quality issue. If anyone else would care to weigh in with opinions regarding this dilemma, I would be grateful for your observations.

    Also, I am beginning to question what I had heard was a great, affordable basic interface for my system: the E-MU 1820M Emulator X Studio. I was enticed by good hardware features and specs and the prospect of gaining access to an Emulator, but now I getting the impression that driver issues might prevent that interface from ever working well at the heart of my system...

    If I imagine adding Gigastudio (or equivalent) software, Live, and other goodies, to my Sonar and Reason software, should I be looking at different interfaces? For 4-8 ins and 4-8 outs, what interfaces should I be looking at? (With two MIDI keyboards, one MIDI amp, and various MIDI controllers, I guess I should not forget the MIDI interface, either.)

    Keeping in mind a desire for basic quality and reliability, perhaps I should not bother with any mic pre's on the interface and just add a second "Brick"?

    Finally, is a Eureka really a good quality channel-strip? If so, I could use both the pre's and the compressor/eq's separately (because of the separate sends and returns).

    Again, since I have the luxury of basically starting from a clean slate, I am grateful if I can incorporate your current thinking in my studio.

    Finally, I did not mean to slight Sweden or its musically over-represented audio artisans in any way-- I love it so much here, that I am applying for citizenship and have bought my first house here.

    I meant to communicate that I have put MY audio education on hold for the past six years, as I concentrated on being an educator, marketing director, student, single dad, and politician during that time. Only recently have I been reunited with a few of my musical toys and decided the time is right to build a "workshop" for myself to play in. :D

    If anyone in Göteborg, for example, wanted to show me a thing or two about Swedish high-quality studios, I imagine I could leave (Alfred Nobel's exciting metropolis of) Karlskoga and venture west. hint-hint :D

    Skål!
     

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