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choices, monitors, mics, preamps

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by drumist69, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    Hi! I've just gotten into recording recently. I'm running a 2.53 Ghz Celeron, 256 megs RAM (need more, but it works!), using a Creative Soundblaster external USB device to get audio into my PC. Actually, I've got my old Tascam 424 mkIII as a pre-amp (lol), going from the RCA line outs on that into the SB device. I'm using Kristal Audio Engine, which is a freeware 16 track recording environment. Its great, as far as I can tell. Check it out sometime! I have a bunch of free VST plugins (getting most mileage out of the Kjaerhus stuff). ANyway! I'm looking at three purchases. A good all around mic, close-field monitors (self-powered), and a preamp. I've been using a borrowed Groove Tube GT-1 tube mic, and having great results on drums especially, but am not liking it for my voice. Mics I have in mind are the AT 4040, and the CAD M-9 (which is a tube mic). The main question here is, if I go with the AT4040, which is NOT a tube mic, what would be a decent tube preamp to pair this with. Bear in mind, I'm not going for pro, just good home demos. I was looking at the ART Pro Channel. Any thoughts on this piece of gear? As for monitors, I've about settled on the Event TR-5. Any info on these items, or practical alternatives would be great. I'm looking at spending about $300 on each piece of gear right now. Thanks bunches! ANDY
     
  2. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Here is my opinion......

    Monitors-

    I use Event TR8's which aren't great, but they are cheap and are a lot easier on the ears than my Samson Resolv monitors I had. I need a bigger speaker (8 inch) because I have a nasty habit of mixing in way too much bass and end up burning a lot of reference discs when I use small monitors. I've heard that the M-Audio BX8's are a good low cost monitor as well.

    Preamps-

    A few people here say the ART Pro Channel is a good unit. A lot of people that I respect the opinion of swear by the compressors in the ART units. My experience with ART products wasn't great....I was shipped three defective MPA Gold preamps...all with the same problem, but that was probably bad luck. I just bought the Groove Tubes Brick today and I really like it. Not a bad way to spend money when you are on a budget. Or you can get a Studio Projects VTB-1 for $129. I hear this unit does it's job, but wont make your jaw hit the floor. It appears to be a "bang for the buck" item.

    Mics-

    This is a tough call because I don't know if you are only going to record vocals, acoustic guitar, etc....

    You could always pick up a couple Kel mics and have money left over to put it toward better monitors or a better pre. I hear the Kel mics are actually really nice. A commercial place by me just bought three of them and use them on everything ranging from drums to vocals. This place doesn't have cheap mics either...but they like how the Kel mics sound. Right now I'm thinking once this mic gets popular....you won't see them as inexpensive as they are for long.
     
  3. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    about those mics!

    Thanks for the reply. As for monitors, I'm just in a bedroom right now, so I'm thinking I don't need to go with 8" speakers just yet. Maybe if I move to a more "dedicated" room at some point.
    As for mics, what I'm recording is my own music, one track at a time. I start with drums, then overdub guitars (mostly electric run direct with amp simulations at this point), bass, and vocals. So the main uses for a quality mic would be drums and vocals. I've had some great results thus far just using the GT-1, placed BEHIND the drums, about 4 feet off the floor on the floor tom side of the kit, but aiming the capsule angled slightly downward and toward the snare area. Then I put a cheap dynamic mic ( an SM58 clone) on the top of the snare, and mix a bit of this in to get good "snap". This is working out great so far, but the Groove Tube is a borrowed mic, and I'll have to come up with my own mic at some point. I really need one that can do double duty for drums (in a setup like I described above) and vocals. I'm really liking the AT4040 at this point! I think that mic through the Brick might be a good way to go!
     
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Bedroom or not, an 8" speaker is really required to give you full range. If you have a lot of recording and mixing experience, you can often get away with a 6", but I find most people have a very hard time with the low end in general yet alone using cheap and small speakers.
     

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