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Audio Interface + Monitor Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by Calvin, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Calvin

    Calvin Active Member

    Hi there! I'm pretty new to audio recording...So new that I have no gear. I currently have a great fast iMac with Logic Pro 9 installed. I will be recording a lot of bass guitar and most likely using two monitors to practice lightly on in my bedroom. I would like some recommendations. My needs are not drastic as I will most likely just record electric guitars, basses, my double bass (mic'd) and some synth/moog keyboards. I will record one instrument at a time.

    My budget for the Audio Interface is $500 dollars. I have been recommended the MOTU 4pre and Presonus Firestudio Mobile. Any thoughts between these two or are there better options? I like the LOOK of the Motu better, it's more expensive but the Presonus seems more functional. It has midi in/out (I have no idea what that would be useful for) and it also has the inputs through the front. I however cannot find out what the signal to noise ratio is for either unit.

    In terms of monitors, I think that two 8" should be okay to record a double bass and bass guitars on with the possibility of using them as practice/reference monitors? My budget for 2 monitors is 1200 inclusive. Any advice?

    Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. Calvin

    Calvin Active Member

    It says that over 200 people are viewing this forum, yet there are 0 replies? I don't think that my thread is very complicated for people that are used to recording....
     
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Of those two interface units you identify, go for the PreSonus over the MOTU for what you want to do.

    It's unlikely you will get a good capture of the double bass in your bedroom using just a mic (which mic do you have?), so use an acoustic pickup as well and blend at mixdown.

    As for active minotors, don't choose 8" units unless you have a monitoring space of above-average size. You would be better with 6" units, adding a 10" sub if necessary. The KRK VXT6 monitors would be a good starting point.

    The other 199 may have different views.
     
  4. Calvin

    Calvin Active Member

    Thank you kindly for taking the time to respond. I sincerely appreciate your advise. Much appreciated.

    One question: Would 6" monitors be able to playback the low notes of a double bass and bass guitar clearly? I will also want these monitors to be suitable at playing back real time audio at a decent volume (practicing bass guitar through)
     
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    One thing you have to get really clear: the monitors we have been talking about are for listening to mixes and are NOT for playing an instrument through. They will likely be destroyed in short order if you treat them as a guitar amplifier at typical levels ("decent volume" in your phrase).
     
  6. Calvin

    Calvin Active Member

    What would be the difference between listening back to a recorded track of bass guitar playing via your monitors vs. practicing bass guitar through your monitors....You seem to say that it can handle playback but not to be played through. Doesn't make much sense. A lot of big-league players use monitors instead of amps for practice as they want to hear exactly what they'll sound like recorded as to when they're practicing.
     
  7. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly Active Member

    If you have a good Mac and Logic, you should have a look at the Apogee Duet 2 or Quartet though its pretty expensive. I love my Duet 2; especially compared to what I was using before. It is supposed to integrate with Logic extremely well too! As for monitors, I'm happy with my Tannoy Reveal 601a's ($515 or so) but for $1200 you could get something much better! :) I'm the brand Adam will be suggested.
     
  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    No they don't. A lot of big name players have quite small amps for practice and even for studio recording but they are not full range playback monitors. Some may use stage monitors with their amp head but that again is not a recording studio monitor. They may all be labeled "monitor" in some catalog but they are designed and function differently. The amp speaker and stage monitor are closer to each other than they are to a recording engineer's control monitor.
     
  9. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Even to this day, the transients ( combined with the low frequency information ) of electric bass will KILL a little woofer in those compact monitors.
    Yes, bass guitar is played back regularly through them...that's because the recording medium "compresses" the dynamics of the program material in a way that small speakers can handle it. Even if a compressor is not part of the picture (please note that I am not suggesting that you go out and buy an LA-4 to process your bass...). Trust us, you want to avoid playing back bass guitar directly through playback monitors like that. The low notes can and will rip the cone/spider assembly from the voicecoil. Strangely enough, the manufacturers of said monitors consider this to be " abuse" and do not warranty such treatment. I should know...the glue from years of reconing speakers due to that has definitely eaten up a few braincells belonging to yours truly.
    And, no, the low frequency information from a double bass will not be well represented on smaller speakers without the addition of a good subwoofer.
    You did not answer Bos's question as to how you were going to capture that instrument...what mic do you have that will do it justice?

    "After years and years of slaving over a mixing desk, Reginald finally realized why it was said that it is never good to have the bass player or the drummer make mixing decisions. Alas, it was too late, the damage was done."

    Sorry, Davedog and Bob Rogers, you are an exception to that rule...:)
     

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