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Building a Home Studo and have a few question about my recording gear

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Dan Theman, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Dan Theman

    Dan Theman Active Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Long Island, New York, USA
    Hey everyone, I have been recording on a computer and in my room for a while and will now be starting construction on an actual home studio soon and would like to go over my gear and fill in any gaps i might have. Once construction is done I want to set up and get it up and running as fast as possible. I’m going to try and be as detailed as I can and give as much information as I can hopefully this will show you exactly where I am at. I put star next to the ones I’m looking for advice on but any suggestions, input, ideas or anything else to anything listed to help would be great! Thanks. I will be recording but not limited to Rock, Hard Rock and Metal type music and or bands.

    2 Western Digital 250gig Harddrives (set up for RAID)
    8gig G.Skill RAM 2 x 4gig
    AMD Athlon II x4 640 3.0GHz AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor
    ASUS M4a79XTD EVO ATX AMD Motherboard
    Standard dvd/cd drive
    Standard 500W powersupply
    Standard Mouse and Keyboard (Microsoft wireless)
    I will probably go dual monitor if I can grab a decent cheap video card later.
    * Could you tell me if this is good enough or even if it is too much? I would like to optimize my situation not over spend or under spend.

    External Harddrive:
    Western Digital 2TB

    Recording Programs:
    Cubase 5
    Fruity Loops (use it for some of the synths and effects)

    * Windows 7 HOME 64bit (might go for PRO looking in to see if it’s worth it)

    Recording Interface:
    * M-Audio Fast Track Pro

    2 SM57 mics
    * I am not sure which direction to go with this, will my sm57 suffice or should I be upgrading? This topic has driven me crazy so some sound advice would be great! I will be recording mostly Male vocals again in Rock, Hard Rock and some Metal styles.

    * Currently I have more or less ‘hand me down’ monitors which are fairly good but I will be upgrading these, any thoughts?

    * I have a $50 pair which seems pretty good but I am told I should look more at $150 and up, would it be worth the upgrade?

    Guitar Gear:
    Mesa Dual Rectifier
    Line 6 Spider Valve
    Line 6 Pod XT Pro
    Marshall 1960A
    Ibanez RG570
    Ibanez RG1570
    Epiphone Les Paul Custom (upgraded pick ups)
    Line 6 Spider III 15watt
    ESP Bass guitar
    Ampeg Bass Amp w/ matching Cabinet

    5-7 5foot Instrument Cables
    2 12foot Instrument Cables
    1 25foot Instrument Cable
    5 10foot XLR mic cables
    * None of these are special mostly just monster cables or some other less know company, should I be getting better cables?
    Several Guitar pedal effects, chorus, tuner, gate, wah ect…
    2 vocal mic stands

    Mini Refrigerator:
    36 12oz Budweiser Cans (cans are easier on the clean up)
    12 12oz Yoohoo’s Cans
    12 12oz Poland Spring bottles of water

    I want to thank you for taking the time to look over my personal recording situation and trying to help steer me win the right direction. I really appreciate it.

  2. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    SM57's are great at getting that signature SM57 sound, but there are other mics out there. Two SM57's is great if all you are going to be doing is learning the ropes of electric guitar miking, but even once you master that there are other mics to use and learn as well. The 57 has a low end roll off at about 150Hz which can tend to make things sound cold or 'nasal'. Couple that with the fact that it has a huge upper mid spike and it has tons of clarity, but is a little lacking in body. Quality control of SM57's seems to be lacking as of late because you can pick up one mic that is nothing but fizz and another mic which is warmer and rounder sounding. Rode makes a few great intermediate level mics for vocals and acoustic guitar.

    I'm not sure your budget, but your interface is cause for concern if you are going to be charging people for your services. The preamps on the Fast Track are terrible. They don't do anything positive for the sound and introduce tons of noise. To make matters worse, it's USB based, so throughput is severely limited. This means you can't do neat things like reamping and recording multiple tracks simultaneously without accruing latency. I'm aware that the unit only has two inputs, but I'm speaking in generalities.

    Guitar Gear: Dual Rec good, Spider Valve and Spider III junk, POD usable, Marshall cab good if you are after that sound, but if the cab has T75's in it then those are not really the best compliment to a wide range amp like the Dual Rec. They pair nicely with a mid focused amp like a Marshall or Marshall clone though.

    P.S. I've found Poland Spring to be a bit washy in the lows, Aquafina is a little pricy but well worth it IMO.
  3. Dan Theman

    Dan Theman Active Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Long Island, New York, USA
    I have not recorded Vocals with the SM57s just guitars thats why i ask. i read so much and there seems to be an army of sm57 lovers saying 'SM57 can do anything!!!!! don't waste your money on a more expensive mic' and then seeing $500 for mics with people saying its terrible. For me i'm in a hard place because i don't wanna make a $500+ investment to find out the mic is terrible and the $99 mic i have is better. I will def be looking into RODE. i do have a bit of a budget somewhere between $1,000 to $2,000 at this point and it is increasing by the month. so I'm trying to optimize my spending and not be wasteful (as are most people).

    This Home Studio will initially be used for my band, a few friends bands and myself not for money purposes or any kind of business, at least at this point. Just looking to get studio quality recordings in my home studio.

    I know the interface is lacking but i wont be needeing any multi track recording in the near future being there is no drum set yet, although i will be looking in to something later (about 2-3 months) but the real question is will the Fast Track Pro be enough to handle a good vocal recording? that's my main concern at this point. Im not sure what reamping is but I will research that now.

    The Dual Rec I use mainly for recording purposes only (its real b*tchy like a bad GF live it only works when it wants too, and it eats through tubes like cookie monster eats through chip ahoy) and IMO it sounds amazing with the cab i have, the spider valve is more or less for an easy live set up and the 15watt is a practice amp that i use when i teach guitar (i drive to my clients) but i had people say they wanted to record with it... dont ask me why you can only convince them out of it so much (but like i said i'm telling you every detail of my studio! still i'm glad you gave your opinion on it) at a certain point i had to let them. I like the POD XT direct for my lead tone sometimes though i bought it to replace my spider valve in my live set up to keep the easy pedal situation with lots of effects and easy change to a customized tone for each song. It also sounds Effing sick with the boogie Stereo 2:Fifty power amp. I did however end up using it a lot to record with ease (direct)... the effects and tones are so customizable, however when it comes to a CD or a studio quality recording i don't use it for my main tones.
    P.S. The Poland Spring is more or less not for quality and or drinkability purposes. It is more or less to weaken the effect of the dreaded hangover after the 36 Budweiser's are gone. (Hahah thanks for the comment on that one! got me chuckling over here)

    EDIT: Just want to add a thanks for your insight.
  4. Spratty59

    Spratty59 Active Member

    Jan 19, 2011
    A mic that is AMAZING for both guitar cabs and especially male Vocals is the Shure SM7B. I prefer them to 57s on guitars but they are however 4 times the price of a 57. A 57 isn't (in my opinion) good enough for vocals in the studio. End of.
    An extremely well priced condenser mic which works nicely as a room mic for any situation, not bad on cabs and great on all round vocals is the Rode NT2A. For what you pay I personally believe there isn't better.
  5. Dan Theman

    Dan Theman Active Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Long Island, New York, USA
    So i have been looking at RODE mics and the NT2A seems to have amazing reviews as well as it is less than i expect to pay in my budget... Looks and seems perfect! thanks again guys.

    Well 1 down Any suggestions or comments on the other items?

    * PC quality?
    * Windows 7 home or pro?
    * FastTrackPro good enough for a good vocal recording... If not, a possible solution? If i do upgrade i will be looking to be able to hook up some drums.
    * Monitors?
    * Headphones?
    * cable quality/

    My budget is approx. $2000, minus the $400 mic and its at about $1600 give or take. If i have exceed my budget and put something on credit i will, pending how important it is to the quality of recording.
  6. Spratty59

    Spratty59 Active Member

    Jan 19, 2011
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    The Profire 2626 does have phantom power.
  8. Dan Theman

    Dan Theman Active Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Long Island, New York, USA
    Interface: What do you think of the, PreSonus Firestudio vs M-audio 2626?

    Headphones: What do you think of the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro? $99.00

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