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Art Pro Channel - purchase advice needed

Discussion in 'Recording' started by JoeJoeMan, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. JoeJoeMan

    JoeJoeMan Guest

    Hi All,
    I'm new here I did a search but didn't find much so I'll ask.

    What do you think of the Art Pro Channel for recording vocals ?

    I'm thinking of buying one. Will have to mail order so I won't get a chance to try it. It's in my price range and seems to have a pretty good reputation.
    I like to know if the unit is more suited to certain styles, like say rock vocals for instance, is it versatile, does it have a reputation for doing something good, others not so good.
    I just record my own music doing all parts with a 16 track, I'd like to use the unit for vocals on acoustic and blue/rock. I’ll also use it for acoustic instruments, direct electric bass, but mostly want it for vocals. Presenting I'm using a cheap-o Samson condenser mic, will upgrade soon, not sure what yet. I’m thinking a decent pre will help with mic choice later.
    My impression is that the unit in quality/sound is a step up from the bottom of the line stuff out there, but not up there with the real good stuff. How much of a step up do you think it is from the bottom of the line stuff ?
    If you use/used the Art Pro, I'd like to hear what you think, feel free to elaborate.
    I'm a seasoned musician, just getting started in home recording, thanks
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Let's see? You have a 16 track. You have a lousy condenser microphone. You want a better tracking preamp but you have not indicated what kind of " cheapo" mixer you are currently using, that you are effectively using with a 16 track recorder???

    Because the old adage " garbage in, garbage out" is applicable here, I would recommend starting with a better microphone. A crappy microphone into a "Neve" preamp will still sound crappy. So why not just by yourself something like a Rode or AKG, etc. and then move up to a better input device?

    Which way did he go? Which way did he go?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. JoeJoeMan

    JoeJoeMan Guest

    I'm hip

    Remy, that goes without saying that I need a better mic............let me explain........... If could run down to a music store and try a 1/2 dozen mics I'd have a decent mic by now, unfortunately I can't do that, so what to do...I don't really know which mic would work for my voice, and as I've heard everywhere is you matching a voice with a particular mics, is well..what it's all about......so I thinking I'll have to rely on what I come across to audtion locally, via local used, friends, etc... then I can hone in on a mic...and I will at least have a somewhat good pre to use, and if I upgrade to better computer based gear at some point I'll have a pre.
    OK then, so everything I've heard is that a preamp is as important as a mic, people even debate what is more importand, I'm sure you know all this, so without a local music store available to audtion pres....I gotta go with mail order, or wait for something used locally and perhaps wait forever...so...with the Art Pro... I get a pre, comp and parm EG, which I thinking should come in handy no matter what mic I get and even should help out some with what I have now...even my Shure 57s (beta and reg) whew............how am I doing, but I wanna explain my situation (didn't think I'd have to do all this just to get some advice) I know I'm on the bottom of the food chain and ripe for and ass ripping 'cause I use a Zoom 16 track and cheap mic, but a guy has to start some where, didn't we all start at the bottom. Besides, my deal is I'm a musician not a recording type person (now don't tell me so why don't I go to a studio or seek pro help, I like doing my home thing,song writting etc) When it comes to musical instruments, with my gear I'd be looking down my nose with what other folks around here use, As far as i'm concerned if one isn't using a top line acoustic guitar, (3000 bucks minimum) you are probaby doing "garbage in garbage out"..........but I've digresed.
    Back to the Art Pro..........I'm still hoping to get some advice. I purposely posted the question here in the 'Budget' not the 'Pro' well, cause when it come to recording I'm admittedly no pro.......just me starting out, asking, learning.........so back the the orginal topic....Advice on the Art Pro Channel......help, advice please..anyone thanks all
  4. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    The ART Pro is a great little channel strip. It's got all the right ingredients you'll probably still use it years from now when you've moved on to higher-end gear. The Pro MPA is actually a nice sounding pre with decent focus and dimension. I wouldn't part with my Pro VLA and that also seems to be a popular opinion with alot of other engineers as well (pro and amateur). The EQ is definitely useable when you need it and the overall price is fantastic.

    If you don't need the compression check out the EHX 12AY7 for less than $200 but if you want a great channel strip at a great price the ART unit is an awesome bargain. Other tubes you may want to roll in later may be the NOS Philips 12AT7WC, Tesla/JJ 12AX7, and GE, RCA or Westinghouse 12Au7's; all in various combinations in the different components of the strip.

    When you get around to it, consider the AT30xx and 40xx series mics. My 3035 seems to really like the ART tube gear. Or is it vice versa????
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    JoJoMan, check this out, maybe it will help you in some way?? Better is not necessarily better. Although it sounds like that Art might be just the toy you're looking for?


    I don't get it? (Perhaps enough of it?)
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. JoeJoeMan

    JoeJoeMan Guest

    Very Interesting

    RemyRad, that is quite a revealing test. It says a few things, tell me if my assumptions are correct, mic A was obviously the better one, the quailty of the pres was much harder to detect. So then a good mic will sound good even with a cheap pre, and none of the pres seem to help the cheap mic in any significant amount. So why do people have this big thing for good/expensive pres, sounds like a cheap one will do the job if you use good mics.
    Aside from that, so I'm all ears now, to your advice that is, not that I'm dismissing the case for buying the Art Pro, after all it has use and the comp and EQ and tube warm (for what that is worth) But.....then RemyRad what do you suggest in the way of a mic, I mean how far up do I have to go for a decent mic, that was a 3500 one in the test, how far do I have to reach to get a noticeable difference, I tried an AT4040 and noticed some diff from my $100 Samson, but to tell the truth it didn't seem all that much better, I also tried a low end Nueman, and it had an edge over the AT4040, but once again, a diff, but not a significant diff, but did sound better. What are your thoughts.....
    Thanks for the link, that was an eye, I mean ear opener
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Yer standing at the edge of learnin something. Be happy that you got this far.

    Ya need a better everything. Period.

    The ART will serve you for a long time as was said. Unlike a lot of other less expensive gear, it wont age as quickly simply because your ears and techniques get better. As for 'matching' your voice to the mic, its good that you are aware of this. HOWEVER....a few spins with the mic in the store will NEVER tell you the whole story, or even a part of a chapter for that matter. You have to try it in context.....With your music...in your room...with your gear...and your skill level at recording.

    The ART is fairly neutral in its effect on a sound, so whatever mic you stick in it, will determine the 'attitude' of the sound. The AT4040 is kinda on the neutral/clear side of things..A 4050,however, is not. Nor is the 4047 or the 4060. They're all clear sounding, they just have aspects to their sound.

    Try the ADK Hamburg/Vienna mic. Its cheap, well built,sounds good and has a classic kinda sheen to it I dont hear very often at this price. It will like your ART pre.

    By the same token, the Studio Projects are good cheap mics.

    As are some of the Rodes'.

    good luck and good hunting.
  8. axel

    axel Guest

    it's a simple chain... crap input (starting with the artist / performing) dragged through a crap cable, dragged through a crap pe-amp, dragged through a crap mixer, dragged through a crap outboard, dragged through a crap amp, dragged through a crap monitor (in a crap room) listenend and tweaked through a pair of crap ears... equals utterly crap!!!

    got it???

    so not being mean, just listen to the advise given to you!
  9. JoeJoeMan

    JoeJoeMan Guest

    Axel your a genius

    What a revelation, Axel....next you are going to tell us that water is wet..."Crap in Crap out..dah..dah..dah"...Did you have to get an advanced degree to figure that out or did you pick it up on your own.
    Axel if you were even minutely as intelligent as you'd like me to believe you are, surely you'd realize I/we are not that stupid. "Crap in Crap out", isn't Recording 101, like the first day, first hour, first minute. In fact I think they even state that in the Class Catelog, so you don't even have to take the class to learn it.
    Then again I really don't have that much experience with crap, I only have two pieces ( a cheap mic and a silly recorder ), i'm sure you must haved owned and worked with much more than that during your apprentice to genius.
    But alas, thank you for your vision.....And for as long as I've been involved with music I still find your type a refreshing breath of humor.
  10. axel

    axel Guest

    i am really sorry, and i mean it! really mean it!! that i catched you on the wrong foot...

    not meaning to be intelligent nor great either...

    sorry again, just having some time of work and cruising the RO whilest having a glass of red vino...

    i wanted to refer to... RemyRad wrote:

    you see??? sorry again that i have not made myself clear, but this chain just applies... no matter what!

    sorry, once again...

    you know that she knows her $*^t! (doing the job, young man)

  11. JoeJoeMan

    JoeJoeMan Guest

    Silly me then.....

    Thanks axel, excuse me then for jump to conclusions......I guess it was just that I saw your statement and took it the wrong way because you offered no further adivice.....like "get a good mic, etc"
    I'm sorry, hoping you accept my appology

    Back to the topic at hand, Davedog, I've been reading some online reviews on the ADK, they sing their praise ! I also noticed they aren't sold at all the ususal places (Sweetwater, AMS, etc) and don't seem to be as popular as the Rode, Studio Projs, etc, not to say they aren't as good/better....just an observation..........DaveDog what is your personal experience with those ADK mics....I think the review said go with the Vienna
  12. axel

    axel Guest

    yeah i am a bit one the happy side of life right now, so sorry for not being very much constructive... however a rodes like the NT1 are a solid investment, i think... hopefully davedog (or someone else) will chime in again about the ADK mics as they are not much around / avialable in europe so i am not much of a help there...

  13. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Axel, you should try to find the ADK distributor in your region. ADK is a Belgian-based company, I got the impression that they were big in Europe, no? The Vienna is a very sweet mic for vocals. Almost as good as my AT4047. I have always thought of them both as a "poor man's Neumann", but WTF do I know...
    All of the mics cited so far are good products. Coyote has many times recommended the ART. My personal experiences with ART have been mixed, due more to reliability issues than sound quality, but maybe it was just bad luck. The Kurtman was fond of telling us that a good pre was better than a good mic (if presented a choice of having 1 or the other). I tend to disagree, but WTF do I know...
    You will hear the term, "garbage in, garbage out" a LOT in this business, especially when the conversation is about mics. Respect it.
  14. JoeJoeMan

    JoeJoeMan Guest

    what now ?

    Moonbaby, so you like the Vienna....cool. I must say I've gotten turned around with the advice of all persons above, this is a good thing :lol: , thanks. My current thinking is, "get a good mic, now!" and I"m researching the Vienna/Hamburg, Hamburg seenms to be the way to go for 'guy' vocals and also good on acoustic guitar.

    Yup "Garbage in garbage out", my focus point for the last year using my 'cheap' equiptment has been improving the first part of the chain..."Me"....my thinking is "Me" represents 90 percent of the chain.

    Anyway now it's time to start improving my recording gear, bit by bit......so any more insight about the Art Pro or Vienna/Hamburg is appreciated.

    PS where is a good place to get the ADK mics ?
  15. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Atlas Pro Audio in Florida. He's a sponsor of this website, and has a nice studio in Tampa area. Kinda snooty, but worth getting to know...
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Actuall, Joe, the ADK Custom Shoppe is in Europe...I think its still run by J.P.Gerard....But the main ADK factory is here in the Great Northwest. Vancouver Washington to be precise. There are a couple of dealers around here, Super Digital in Portland is one and they are very knowledgeable about ALL things recording. PLUS being super nice guys and all. The Vienna and the Hamburg are both mics that as you increase your abilities and your gear, you'll still want to keep them and they will have a place amoungst much higher end pieces. I like them both. As a 'starter' mic they offer value for the dollar, excellent build quality, excellent sound and ADK firmly backs all their products. They dont have to shill their products to the big discount houses because they really do care about how their stuff sounds. Good luck and give Super Digital a call. They have a website.
  17. axel

    axel Guest

    great info for me as well, getting curious checking 'em out. will hunt down a europe distributor i can accsess from the nowwhere land. (slovakia) this is only on the map part of europe :cry:
  18. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    You know, I have always believed in LESS IS MORE. In a blind listening test on record-producer.com an SM58 came out as a true winner over the Neumann U87! I found that also to be true! Really! You don't need to spend a lot to sound good. Hey, if you like spending a lot of money, go for it.

    Ms. Remy Ann David
  19. JoeJoeMan

    JoeJoeMan Guest

    and the winner is ...........

    Are the results in on the blind test at the producer site Remyrad ? I couldn't find them.

    Hey if less is more, don't get me turned around again, I've got my heart set on the ADK :lol:

    Hey on those ADK Vienna and Hamburg mics, they talk about the classic sound of the German and Vienna mics. What do they mean.... can someone point out a good example of each, like of some classic song that I can listen to and get an idea of what they are meaning by the German and Vienna sound. They describe the German as smooth warm, the Vienna sparkle classic shen, if a pictures is worth a 1000 words, maybe a quick listen will be worth 2000 words. Any suggestions ?

    PS: davedog, I found their number on the web, thanks, I'm in the northwest, so as soon as I decide on the Vienna sausage or the German hamburger I'll give'm a call................can't wait to sink my teeth into one of those little puppies
  20. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    OK, you will find the results of the listening test on record-producer.com at this URL and this is a total shocker! It just proves that you can truly "pull the wool over our ears"! This will blow your mind! It also proves, it's not what you have but what you do with it that counts.


    crashed and burned
    Ms. Remy Ann David

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