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choosing mics for recording studio

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by SCARPYDOOOOO, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. SCARPYDOOOOO

    SCARPYDOOOOO Active Member

    Im want to build a good studio. A family has a band that has been successful. I would like to build a studio to help them as well as mess around in for my own pleasure. Problem is i have absolutely no experience AT ALL!
    I know a mic is very important and a sound board. I have pro tools 10 software already unopened.
    I have all instruments allready. I have no idea what sound board and monitors and all the hardware equipment i need.

    I would like to start with a sound board and a really good mic.

    Alos drums are going to have there separate area and would like to have multiple mics recording just the drums alone.

    Im not sure what mics are good for that and which mics are good for vocals, any ideas in the right direction would be awesome.

    I know this is annoying to people that cant afford to build there own studio, but im hoping my family members can create a business with it as well as use it for there own needs.

    thank you and sorry i don't know all the terminology of studio equipment.

    i was looking at the onyxs 4880 48 channel sound board. Is this a good starter? i would like to have way more channels than i most likely need just to be safe

    thanks
     
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the land of studio nightmares. LOL. Obviously, you have already spent some money to obtain ProTools. And that's an excellent start. It's also quite an involved and deep program to learn. It's not what we would call easy. Soon you will need some training tutorials to help you out with that alone. Local music stores in your area such as Guitar Center have everything you need. Of course you need to know what you need. And most of this is simple. Let's see... where should I start?

    Yeah, let's start with microphones. One of the best, one of the most prolific and one of the most used microphones you need to get will probably be at least 8 SHURE SM57's & 58's. These are $100 each. This microphone is one of the most popular you'll see with every rock band that has ever lived. It is also one of the most popular microphones for use in the studio. These microphones are built like tanks and hammers. They can build houses and they can be used as weapons. They are almost impossible to destroy. They are also the de facto standard microphone to utilize on guitar amplifiers, drums and vocals. Condenser microphones are a whole other animal. They do not necessarily mean better but simply, different and used when you specifically want that kind of sound. Because they do sound different from 57 & 58's. And you might think they sound better but they are not necessarily better to use on everything. Your local music store will also have books and magazines geared toward home recording studios. You should pick some up. Many of these magazines include a lot of advertising, reviews and a lot of hype. Believing all that you read will not necessarily make you a good engineer especially overnight. This is a process that actually takes years to become accomplished with.

    48 channels? You really must be kidding? You're joking right? Honestly, you're being completely unrealistic. Unless you need to record 48 channels simultaneously, there is no reason on this little earth why you would need anything like that. Especially since you have ProTools. What you will need is a mixer or a computer audio interface device that should allow for 8-16 simultaneous microphone inputs. This will allow you to record an entire band all at once. And that's the way real professionals like myself do it. Other folks, who are accomplished musicians and can play numerous instruments, only need to record one part/instrument and/or vocal at a time. And that only requires 1, 2, 3 or, 4 simultaneous inputs. You're really asking me to give you my +41 years in the business all that you need to know in a couple of paragraphs. And that too is unrealistic. There are schools you can go to from individual recording studios, to community colleges and up to the university level where you can obtain Bachelor's, Masters and even PhD degrees in the Recording Arts & Sciences. And that should only set you back a little more than $40,000 for a bachelors degree. So obviously you must be fairly well off financially? If not? You might need to set your sights slightly lower to start with. Real studios frequently cost somewhere around $150,000. Home studios can cost as little as $10,000. And that's because those really good microphones you're talking about can cost + $3000 each. I've got quite a few of those. I couldn't buy them all at once. Of course you can get those lovely Chinese knockoffs for $80 each. And they can still do quite an adequate job. You'll also need plenty of microphone stands with booms. Lots of microphone cables. Lots of headphone amplifiers. You'll need a power conditioner and uninterruptible power devices. You'll need a good pair of studio/control room speakers. Those can cost you as little as $300 per pair and up to about $5000 per pair. And you'll want both of those types. Because you cannot rely upon a single pair of speakers. None of us rely upon a single pair.

    PreSonus makes a fine computer audio interface that accepts up to 8 XLR phantom powered microphones. This device will only run you approximately $500. And it also comes bundled with its own fabulous multi-track software. So then you'll have to different multitrack software packages. Within the software, you have the equivalent of $850,000 worth of outboard studio processing equipment. So you really don't need any of that stuff unless you want that stuff. I love the hardware stuff so I have that and I spent a bundle for it. But I also have the software so I have both. Most professional studios all have both. And that stuff in and by itself you have to learn how to use it, what it does, why you need it. And that comes from use, experience and lots of reading. Then you also have to learn how to listen. You have to learn how to listen in to the mixes of all of the hits you love to listen to. Otherwise, how are you to know what your recordings should sound like?

    So there's some stuff to get you started. There will be plenty of other people that will respond to your post and make other suggestions. We all have our favorites and we have all agreed to disagree and to debate with each other. And that's why you're here and that's why you hear. The only thing easy about making a recording is the ability to screw it up, royally. And that's easy. Plenty of people like rotten recordings quite easily. But that's not what you want to do. That wouldn't be anything anybody would want to listen to. So along with your learning curve of your software, your hardware, you've got a long road to hoe before you get to the Golden gate Bridge.

    I'm really not trying to be a smartass. But I am a smartass because I'm good at what I do. Your question was sort of like saying you just bought an erector set and would like to build a spaceship to go to the moon and would like to know how to put it together to do that. And that's easy. You put it together and then you fill your tank with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen and you ignite it. But you should also make sure you are in the nosecone before you do that. Otherwise, they might get away from you. And then it will land on somebody's head and you will be sued.

    Ready? Set. Go.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  3. SCARPYDOOOOO

    SCARPYDOOOOO Active Member

    Thanks for the reply REMYRAD!

    Well here is what I have already, lets start there. Also i worked my ass off and do have a good amount of play money. I am planning on having this studio make money for us as well somehow. My cousin does have a very very good engineer that we will hire once studio is done and ready to be used. But i will learn as fast as i can as well for my own shits and giggles. I want the minimum stuff but the quality has to be at par with studios that have 300k in equipment. Hope that clarifies what i'm
    doing a little bit. Another aspect i was planning on doing was running 8 microphones just for the drums, isolating each one to its own trach. I can see us using 20 tracks at a time.....Sry my terminology is horrible...


    1. Pro Tools 10

    2. Onyx 2480 24 channel ( I HAVE AN OPPERTUNITY TO BUY A ONYX 4880 FOR 1800 USED ONCE) thats why i figured i would buy it even if i don't need it lol

    3. AKG C414B XL II

    4. I order 5 Shure U58 because i got them for 69.99 each if i bought 5. no brainer.

    I also have a brand new mac with 8 gigs which is plenty. i have every instrument you can get as well. Also have acoustic instruments as well.

    So with that stuff I would love to be able to use it all. And if possible i would love to maybe hook up the onyx 4880 with my 2480. I know i don't need them but they are there is someone does. Im sure thats possible right?

    Thanks again and sry i not very educated in this field)
     
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Well to me it sounds like you have this well thought out. You have most of what you need and, yeah, get that 4880. You're still going to want yet more microphones. So I would also recommend that you pick up some SM57's. They are identical to the 58's except for that big metal ball and a little extra foam. You want 57's more on the drums than 58's. You could also just unscrew the metal ball and then you have a 57. The 57 is easier to place on drums. You'll likely also want to get a dedicated bass drum microphone such as a Beta 53. The 414 is a great drum overhead microphone but you'll need two or instead, a pair of 214's which is the cardioid only version of the 414. It also saves you some bucks.

    You're still going to need to be able to record multiple simultaneous tracks. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. One can obtain computer audio interfaces that have 8 simultaneous inputs each. There are also other interfaces that will allow for more. You may also consider purchasing a standalone digital multi-track recorder such as one or more of the Alesis HD 24's, TASCAM, others. You may want to look into a used actual ProTools rig, Apogee and others.

    You indicate you want equality to be on par with the $300,000 studio. While the Mackie is decent, that's a live soundboard. It will work fine for recording but it's not on par with better professional consoles. You might want to look into an Avid Icon? Boards like that are the real deal. Or you might want to go more retro and find a restored API. But the Icon will interface directly with ProTools and your Mac. They were designed for each other. It's a slightly larger investment but if you're serious about being in business and trying to make money with this, you might as well go for the full Monte. That's a serious studio would have. A Mackie would indicate a beginner folderol. Good sounding but not able to interface with ProTools and not automatable. After all, you don't want people to think you're not for real. And to prove your for real you might want to go for Reel as in, 2 inch 24 track analog in addition to your ProTools. You might also want to look into an Ampex ATR 102? Make sure it has half-inch two track heads.

    And while were at it, you might want to invest in some actual outboard processing. Universal Audio 1176, LA-2, Lexicon Reverb plug-in bundle, Waves plug-ins, all that stuff. Some items are available as hardware other items are available as software. You want both.

    More microphones. Tube condensers. Ribbon microphones, passive and active. Sennheiser MD 421's, Neumann all sorts. Screw the cheap stuff. I'm serious and so should you be. You've already got the right idea. You're already heading in the right direction. Find out what that engineer you want wants to have and use. And then you get an even better product. Unfortunately in this line of business, you can never have too much of anything. I can guarantee you this, it is a money pit. And there's no guarantee you're going to make any money. Times are different. Times are bad. The industry has changed. Record labels and contracts are virtually nonexistent today. The web will play a big part in your success.

    It's after 5 AM and I'm ready to fall over
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  5. SCARPYDOOOOO

    SCARPYDOOOOO Active Member

    Yea its 2am here in cali. Thanks for responding again.

    I agree with the mackie, as in being lower end. 24 channels should be enough dont you think? I couldnt imagine really dealing with more than 24 tracks at a time, thats like a whole freakin band.

    Ill def get some 57's, you arent the first person to say that. I would like to have a really really really good vocal mic though. like a 3k one or even 4k. There are so many though. I figured i would get a really expensive one and 3 or 4 500 to 1500 dollar ones as well.
    I also want my interface and board to be the same manufacturer if possible. Im having a hard time finding a avid board though used. Im not against buying a new one, but 24 channels does kinda worry me because i dont know who is going to want to use the studio. my luck ill get someone the needs 27 channels. i just rather have 5 to ten extra just incase. lol
    Interface would be sweet if it had as many inputs as channels but thats next to impossible from what ive seen online/

    If you dont mind could you actually give me exact models you think would work for what i need.

    a board, an interface and some montors you reccomend? Also a 3k to 4K mic for vocals. If it does other stuff well thats great but its a bonus for what i need.

    That reminds me i found a pair of adams A77X monitors for 2200 new. normally they are 140 each i think. i really am thinking hard on trying them.

    Im going to look into the stuff you recommended just now i hope to hear from you asap! thanks so much! Sry im retarded im learning daily, Im only 2 days into this whole thing ha ha didnt know a single thing last weekend. not even what a monitor was. so stupid i know!!
    thanks
     
  6. SCARPYDOOOOO

    SCARPYDOOOOO Active Member

    I have a question thats killing me....

    Why would you pay 60k for an avid if your editing almost everything thru pro tools? I could in theary record ddirectly to pro tools if im not mistaken right?
    Sry i dont know if its that simple.
     
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    The Avid consoles are mostly what we would call a control surface. It's basically a gigantic remote control for the software. It has the tactile sensation of working with an actual audio console. And it's interface for ProTools. So it has inputs and outputs, microphone preamps, insert patching. It's much more effective and professional than playing with a stupid mouse. Personally, I'm not really hot on the Avid stuff. But plenty of other people are. I'm an old-school engineer and I prefer old-fashioned analog consoles. The best old-fashioned analog consoles. The old-fashioned analog consoles the only find in the finest studios in the world. Consoles from the 1970s made in the United States and Great Britain by companies such as API, Neve and a few others are highly coveted. Most of your favorite rock 'n roll hits, country hits, symphonies, operas, the whole 9 yards were recorded and are still recorded today on these vintage consoles that have been fully restored. My console was a $85,000 in 1974 dollars, custom built for NBC television. I practically consider myself the original owner since I began using it six years after it was installed and then for the following 15 years. You can't get better but you can get API. API originally from New York is another legendary console. A friend of mine used on that company for 13 years and it is gone through multiple ownerships. And I have 20 microphone preamps made by API but not a whole console. It gets utilized with my studio and is also used for remote recordings where my 25,000 pound diesel truck can't go. And I have others that are different and just as lovely all from that same era. I don't much care for the new junk. They'll all tell you it sounds better and they'll prove it by all of the specifications and advertising blah blah. Screw that you can't buy into all that nonsense. Detroit needs to stay in business and so do audio equipment manufacturers. So all of the newer things are better than the older things. NOT! But unless you know all about this stuff and how to maintain it, rebuild it, you don't want this stuff. You want the new stuff.

    There is so much stuff out there, its like a smorgasbord, a professional audio buffet and all you can eat. There are so many fine pieces by so many manufacturers, I can't keep up with all of it. All of the controls have just gotten out of control. There are certain pieces that I have, that I use, that I like that I believe are some of the best pieces. Everybody also have differing opinions and many people will agree with me. Some of the most popular and finest microphones made for studio applications come from Germany and are made by Neumann. One of their most current popular models is the U87 but then there is also the 67 and the 103, TLM 170, 149, 184, too many to list. I have a couple of original issue 87's from around 1970. I also have a couple of original issue 67's that utilize tubes and are not like the newer 67 that utilizes transistors. Mine are collectors items and they're worth approximately 3500-$4500 each. And they are the predecessor to the 87's which utilized a transistor. The new 67 is designed to try and emulate the old 67. And it's less expensive than the new and current 87. Are you confused enough now?

    Many of these digital consoles that have 24 faders are actually more than that. In that, they have what they call layers. So you're looking at 24 faders and you press a button and while you're still looking at the same 24 faders, you're actually looking at 25 through 48, 49 through 72. It makes the form factor so much more compact and provides for unbelievable power and complexity of productions. A friend of mine who actually has gold records on his wall purchased a Avid C-24. It's only $10,000. It has 24 faders. It has other controls you can grab at. And it has some rotten sounding microphone preamps. He never uses the microphone preamps he uses his outboard API's. And he doesn't play with the faders or the other knots. Instead, he plays with a mouse. Go figure? That's like playing with a gerbil or playing with a bunny, hamster, mole. But he's got that for other engineers to come in to use it. You see, choosing equipment, consoles, microphones, signal processing is like choosing your hairstyle, boxers or jockeys, nylon or cotton panties, blue jeans and T-shirts or suits and ties, dresses or skirts. You have to know what kind of sounding stuff you like. It's so subjective. There is no one right way. You are very excited and enthusiastic. But that's like never taking drivers education but instead, at 13 years of age your parents give you a Lamborghini, Maserati, Aston Martin. And you know what's going to happen to that? You're going to crash, guaranteed. There are companies and people that design studios and control rooms. Better system integrators that know how to properly wire a studio and control room. This equipment is not something you just plug in. So it's great that you're doing this but it's almost like deciding you're going to dissect your little brother because you want to. I'm not trying to be hard on you but you're talking about spending $300,000 all willy-nilly. That ain't the right way. Nobody can give you a lifetime of education in a few lines on a website. Your local music store like Guitar Center has all sorts of professional audio and musician Magazine. You need to go buy all of them!. And then you need to take everything that you read with a grain of salt. I could tell you that you also need a Universal Audio LA 2 optical dynamic range compressor. A single unit/channel was designed back in the 1960s and is back in production today. It only costs $4500 for a single one and you'll probably want two. Then you'll also want some of their other models of stuff. This can get crazy. This can bankrupt a millionaire. It's not like buying a car. It's like buying a whole freaking automobile factory. And all the dealers.

    What this all comes down to is professionals purchase what they can afford, what they like, what they think is best for their purposes. And if you don't know that, I could tell you to purchase a Chevrolet and not a Ford. And then someone will tell you " What!? Are you out of your mind? You know what I Chevrolet they aren't any good. " And then from that how do you extrapolate what you think is best for you? Buy the stuff you like the looks of. I do stuff with the biggest price ticket. Those Adam speakers, they sound great. I don't have a pair but I like what I've heard. Go for those. But you want others also. There is JBL, Meyer, Focal, KRK, Genlec and the list goes on. I'm Jewish so I could tell you purchase what's on sale. Don't purchase anything if it's not a bargain. Purchase audio items that utilize discrete transistorized circuitry and not IC circuit chips. Purchase items with tubes if you like tubes. I have a few items. Some people like gold others like platinum diamond to lead because that's what solder is made of. Some people use silver to solder with instead of lead. Silver is more conductive. How much heat is safe before you destroy a transistor? What kind of sink do you use? Do you like copper or cat 5? Do you want to connect everything with fiber optics? Can you answer any of those questions? How am I supposed to tell you what to get? Get smart. There is one. Get paid. There's another one. Get crazy. We're all that way. We all win and we all lose. Nelson Mandela sounds like Chips with Vanilla. Is that a monitoring problem or a blown tweeter? Bandwidth limitation? Actually it's probably just my brain damage speaking. Because I had brain surgery seven years ago. So should you believe anybody who had severe brain damage and brain surgery? The doctors said I should have been a vegetable. Instead, I have an over 150 IQ which is probably because I was too brain-damaged and too stupid to know I shouldn't have been functional. So I've been here now for about seven years bothering everybody with my idiotic blather. Some people think I know what I'm talking about it makes sense. What the heck do they know? I fancy myself an expert but really I'm a failure. It's the economy. The change in the record industry. Location location location. My age.

    So in answer to your query regarding that question that is killing you... if you think you need it you should get it. If you don't think you need it then you shouldn't. It's that kind of simple.

    Let me know if you find my brain?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  8. SCARPYDOOOOO

    SCARPYDOOOOO Active Member

    jeez i totally agree with you. I would like to have analog and digital. pre amps and all the other crap i need is the same as if i go all analog. But since im going to have other engineers in the studio possibly, i think its best if i have a wide variety of options. Im going to hook up the mackie 4880 just because i have it. I would like to mix both digital and analog together to get the best of both type situation. All in all everything goes thru pro tools in the end. I don't like the new crap at all either!!

    Another thing i hate is that there are no more real musicians and vocalists. Its all show time and computers........ But i refuse to make my studio into a studio that doesn't accommodate the old school rockers and true musicians that are so hard to find nowadays.
    Also like you said,,,,, everyone has there own opinion. Its unfortunate that i don't have hands on experience to create my own opinions lol.
    i have a few meeting everyday and ill keep ya posted on what i learn and decide to go with exactly. its so tough!!

    thanks again ill get back to you in a few days. Your posts have made me think a lot more as well as learn about how a studio runs. still have a long way to go though.
     
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Good and I'm glad you're now getting a feel for what is before you.

    Sure, the Mackie is a good place to start utilizing it as the front end device with which to record from and still have the option via a multitrack interface to be able to do some good old-fashioned analog mixing. We are have to start somewhere and we are have as we have continued to build up our own facilities. It's a great way to learn.

    So to get yourself started with your ProTools 10, you'll simply need a couple of multitrack interfaces that can accept 8 XLR microphone inputs and/or line inputs. PreSonus Fire Studio devices are good sounding units to consider. Only $500 each and you will probably want to pair. And it will also give you their software package of Studio One that is also a powerful software production package. So this will give your other perspective incoming engineers extra choices. It will expand your working knowledge of what software packages have to offer and can do.

    Then when you feel you may have outgrown the Mackie, you will probably start looking into digital consoles such as Avid's Icon, C-24 and their others along with, Yamaha, Midas, PreSonus, Alan & Heath, others, that can function both as control surfaces to ProTools and as complete independent production systems of their own. Today's technologies will provide for you all quality sound and incredible capabilities.

    Outboard equipment such as boutique microphone preamps, dynamic range processors, digital effects devices will also further enhance your control room and provide a variety of different sounding capabilities and processing potential. These are the steps that everyone else can and does do. So keep coming back here and keep us all posted and let us know of your progression and decisions. And then when you also need help in wiring and technique, we'll all be here to help you. That's why here at Recording.org this is a great community with which to participate and rely upon. Will be looking forward to hearing back from you again.

    One of the old-timers whose career is winding down
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  10. SCARPYDOOOOO

    SCARPYDOOOOO Active Member

    Thanks for response. I just met with a guy and i think i like the sound of the c24.

    im worried im paying to much because i dont think i would be using the preamps in it. right?
    And i keep hearing that pro tools 10 hd is a waste of money . Pro tools 9 with a tool add on totals 2300, i paid 11k for the 10 HD. Could save a lot right there and just get top of the line external pre amps. Right?

    feel like im only going to be using the c24 for mixing, but at the same time paying a crap load for the pre amps inside it and the pro tools 10.

    ALSo i bought a focusrite pro 40 interface to try, but i can return it if i need to. here is a pic of it. it seems to be well made..

    Can the c24 mix 100% analog if i wanted to use it for that?????

    thanks im sure ill have more questions soon lol.
     
  11. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    While I have and others have their issues with the sound of the Avid microphone preamps other folks have used them with great success. So I wouldn't rule those out completely. You may simply want to add to its capabilities with a couple of outboard and different boutique style preamps. You could have one or two or 24 others. All of which to be built up over time.

    One of the issues people have with ProTools is that you cannot have more than one version on the same computer. Which you are now quickly finding out. But does that mean you have made a mistake by having version 10? Not necessarily. What it does mean is that you might want a secondary computer to be running version 9 upon. And that's doable. It's just another piece of equipment in your control room roster. Most of us have more than one computer. I am currently running more than six different computers. I have each one configured with mostly the same software but not all have the same software for reasons such as I mentioned. I have ProTools 7.0 running on one machine and 7.4 running on another. And that's actually also doubled up on some of the numerous machines. Some of my machines are set up for more video work with audio. Where other machines are set up for audio work with video. Other machines are set up for just audio and other machines are set up for just video with a myriad of other software that can reside on those machines. Heck! Computers are cheap today. When I setup my first audio computer back in 1996, my 1 GB drive was $1000. My 2X CD SCSI cutter was over $500. And my first Digi Design Audio Media 3 card which only had 2 inputs was over $750. So I don't think you made any mistakes in your current purchases. Don't stress out on that. It's all part of being a studio owner. You can't fix an entire automobile with just one crescent wrench. You have a decent budget and you are utilizing it to make your dream a reality. Feel-good in what you have obtained so far and continue doing what you're doing.

    The Focusrite pro 40 was also a worthy investment and it's an excellent tool and interface. You'll be using all of this in your professional control room. Then as you go, you'll be trading out and swapping out other equipment. Like I said, that business we're in is like a sickness, a money pit, the passion of all passions. You know that Jay Leno has more than one car and one motorcycle. But how many of those can he drive at once? We all know the answer to that. And you're doing the same my friend. And that's cool. You need everything and everything. You need both everything's. There is no end to this though to little way it is like a Ponzi scheme. Just ask Bernie Made Off LOL. Of course he did not know when or how to stop. Jay Leno knows how to stop otherwise he would've crashed and died. You know, one can be too greedy. With anything in life. Moderation is the key and while you might be taking from others you have to also give back in some manner shape or form. Otherwise you end up like Bernie.

    I am not heavily ensconced on all what the C-24 may be capable of? So I really cannot answer that question. Other folks here can. Boswell and other folks here are very knowledgeable people and may be better able to answer that question for you. I could do research and take a lot more of my time to be able to answer that question for you but I do have other things to do. While I'm very knowledgeable and very experienced and extremely good at what I do, I cannot be all things to all people. Other folks are better at that than I am. My +41 years of experience and in the business is more highly centered around live broadcasting and live on location recordings. I've done lots and lots of studio work over the years that I too am falling a bit behind on much of the new stuff. Because it's more of the old stuff that's my thing. And I like being in that place. There is not necessarily a reason for me to progress further than that unless the opportunity presents itself. But that too may be coming as my career has always been a work in progress. And progress equates to progression when one feels the need or is faced with the necessity thereof. I know plenty of folks like myself who sticks strictly in the old world fashion. Not every violinist has an electric guitar. And not every rock 'n roll or who plays guitar knows how to play violin. And then there are those that do both. Being new at this yourself, you are discovering what realm best fits you. You certainly know whether you prefer jockeys or boxers. But how did you arrive at that? Don't answer that LOL.

    Tampons or sanitary pads? I'll never tell. And you don't want to know.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  12. SCARPYDOOOOO

    SCARPYDOOOOO Active Member

    So i have decided I will NOT use the HD model of PT 10. No reason because i'm not going to be using more than 20 tracks at a time. Im going to use 3 top notch interfaces for 24 tracks.

    C24 it is!!!!!! found a lightly used one for 5k. Returned my copy of pt 10 hd and bought pt10 full version. saved 1100 right there!!




    MONITORS!!


    NEAR FIELD
    Focal SM9


    MID FIELD
    equator audio Q12



    i've done a lot of research and i feel these monitors are about as good as you can get for all around mixing.

    For interfaces and pre amps i have some ideas but im not going to use the focusrite after trying it last night all night. I feel i can get a better one

    Now for the mics. i have a few, but i need to decide on one thats said to be an all around fantastic vocals mic. I wont use the mic for anything but vocals. Ill have other mics for other things.

    Its hard for me to do research on mics because every single person says different because nobody has tried all the mics themselves. So if you could shed some light on what mics are good and what each mic is designed to be used for would be great, it would be a great starter point for me to do research on.


    If you know anything about were to get the real sound proof glass i would love it!! I would like to use as much glass i could to keep the open feel in the studio. Im a general contractor, but ive never had to use soundproof glass. But i would love to use it if i can et away with keeping the rooms sound levels perfect.

    Thats all i have for you guys for ya now. ill have more stuff later tonight i bet. Im going to owe you a lot for responding so much and helping. Feel like i owe you something ha ha Wish other would shime in a little as well

    thanks again
     
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I think you should just go out and purchase one of those million dollars studios in foreclosure. Maybe you should just buy an entire music store like a Guitar Center. Your general contractor so you can make your studio look like a studio. Don't do anything stupid like hiring an actual studio designer who might be an accomplished acoustic engineer. Also don't bother picking up any books or magazines. That's too complicated to read. Better you should be spoon fed for free. Gimme gimme gimme, on y'all. Yet return that ProTools 10 and get ProTools 10. Now you're talking. Yeah get rid of that other audio interface. It's no good. You were going testing testing testing into a microphone all night long. You even put a microphone in front of the 3 inch speaker on your TV set and that audio interface doesn't sound any good at all. You've gone through three sets of monitors in 48 hours. You must be wasting a lot of gas. It's OK you've got plenty of money to waste. " Now gimme gimme gimme the information where to get soundproof glass?" Idiot! You get it at a soundproof glass shop. You can find them all over town. They say soundproof glass shop. As a general contractor you must've run across these in the past? Oh I see all you build is those solitary confinement cells for prisons and they don't have any windows. Stupid me. I should have already known that. I guess General contractors don't really need any brains? There was no need to learn how to read anything except blueprints. Why are you wasting everybody's time here? Just go to GC Pro and tell them you have $300,000 for a control room and tell them to send you one. See? Wasn't that simpleminded enough for you? I mean you might have to go down to the store in your Maserati, BMW, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Porsche, Aston Martin or maybe even one of those Chrysler Turbine Cars? After all Jay Leno has one. I think you need one?

    You know you're really turning into an ass. Just what the heck is with you? Are you bipolar are you manic-depressive or just plain retarded? Oh excuse me I meant learning disabled. Brain impaired. Pick up a freaking book and start to read! That's what you really need. Your money has made you stupid.

    Go read a dollar bill.

    Remy Ann David signing off, over and out, Roger dodger, Wilco, 73's, arrivederci, ciao, don't forget your slippers and galoshes, tie your shoelaces, clean up your room before you leave, take the trash out, feed the dog, buy stock in Apple, donate money to Mitt Romney election fund, get that other buffoon out of office, read my lips... no new speakers, purchase the Sennheiser/Neumann company, plug in Apogee converter into your hi-fi surround system, only purchase tube powered Royer's, and get some Lavery's, don't forget that rack full of LA-2's, and purchase a few more Mackie's to put in the closet, don't forget about those BMT plait reverbs, can't have too many of them, oh and you need a rack full of those Neve 1073's, 48 should do, also don't forget one of those F. 35 simulators but maybe you need more than one of those? Oh yeah and the black lights and lava lamps, I almost forgot about the wet bar and a fully stocked supply of Remy Martin. Only because you know that Remy is the best.
     
  14. SCARPYDOOOOO

    SCARPYDOOOOO Active Member

    Seriously?

    I've went thru a lot of stuff over the last week because i want to see whats best. Whats wrong with that?

    Also i obviously didnt word it right, but i was wondering if there was any "special" glass not just ordinary sound proof glass. And actually i have found a place, but they dont have it in big enough pieces.

    Also if you dont remember i know absolutely nothing bout studios, but ive learned a lot over the last few days. I am reading a lot and i am trying to get to were i need to be faster by being on this forum.

    I have decided to go with the things im going with because i heard them and they were amazing, and i found a q12 for 600 at guitar center. Too good a deal to pass up.

    And for mics i understand that they are impossible to say whats best, but you could give me an idea on what is best for the majority of folks that own studios.

    Also were im living currently its in the middle of knowhere. Humboldt county!!! Which is why i dont have a shop with soundproof glass.

    I dont see why you freaked out on me?????

    I cant change my mind on things when i get more information about them? Seems smart to change your mind according to the facts.

    I have spend 20 hours a day for a week on all this.

    Anyways, hope you can respond and explain why you got all hostile.....
     
  15. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I really do owe you an apology. This wouldn't be the first time I have artfully placed foot in mouth. Not sure how you were changing out equipment so quickly at your facility especially now that you've indicated you are in the middle of nowhere. But I'm sorry about my freak out rhetoric. I've been dealing with some other freaking things in my life. Again my apologies.

    You've obviously come quite far in just a few days, yes. Even your terminology is improving. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with changing one's mind on equipment selection. Each piece of equipment speaks differently to each and every one of us. Whatever is best to one is crap to another. It only makes a difference if it sounds good to you. And with you being here at Recording.org we want it to sound good for your clients as well. But I also know that any professional can make good recordings on equipment which is not broken. Meaning just about anything.

    Of course there are different types of glass. There is a heavy laminated bulletproof glass. Single pane and double pane. Some with special gases in the sealed pane. Laminated style auto. Which one's best? That would be answered better by an acoustic engineer. When you do the double windows between a control room & a studio, the two panes of glass are not of the same thickness either. And of course you must have special caulking on its installation. Many control room and studio windows glass are custom order.

    OK, regarding the microphone selection. Many of these suggestions are what I currently have and while you'll find variations you'll find similarities to everybody else's recommendations. World-class microphones: Neumann, pair of 87's, pair of KM 184's, pair of TLM 170's. Pair of AKG, 414's, 214's, C 452's, and a pair of both manufacturers large diaphragm tube condenser microphones. You should have a minimum of 8 Sennheiser MD-421's,. A minimum of 8 SHURE SM57 and 8 of the 58's. I'd also encourage you to get some or as many of their Beta 57's & 58's. They are similar but different even if they look virtually the same. You want both types. These are the world's best-known standards of the industry and what you heard most of your favorite rock 'n roll hits recorded with from today all the way back into the 1960s. And to supplement that suggestion you will also likely want to get at least a couple pairs of ribbon microphones from Royer. Go with their passive versions, Beyer M-160's/130's. I would call that very similar to my collection. What I did not include where my most highly coveted antique and working, highly desirable collection. When you can find these and if you have the budget for them, you should find something like these, Neumann Tube U-67's, KM 56's, Ribbon RCA 77 DX's. I have Sony and Sennheiser lavalier microphones. The ones you see on the newscasters, Sony and Sennheiser and Audio Technica Shotgun microphones. You don't need to know about the wireless ones for studio usage. I would call this all a good minimum for a professional studio to begin with. In addition to all of the above, you'll love collecting so many of the other notable new microphone manufacturers creations. And I'm serious not kidding. There are literally hundreds to choose from. Not just the microphones but that many manufacturers today also. We're all collectors.

    As you're quickly discovering, speakers are very different for everybody. Being in your situation, it makes a little more difficult for you to find what works best for you. And it's hard to pass up good bargains. My issue with speakers and good bargains and through personal experiences found... something can sound good, initially, and better than something else but the real pie hits the face when after a days worth of monitoring or just a couple of hours, you end up with a horrible case of ear fatigue. We've all experienced this with different brands of monitors. When one person loves another can't work with. And that's just as personal as underwear. We all have multiple different monitors in our control rooms because no one pair will ever really do. You must have other references in which to check your music upon. I personally have been utilizing passive JBL control room monitors since 1973. And these were primarily the 4310/11/12's, 4408/4411's. And for some smaller powered speakers I have become fond of the KRK line back when they were first introduced. I have two different pairs. Rock-it's passive, V6 active both of which are six-inch monitors. An even smaller powered pair of FOTEX 6301's which are 4 inch monitors. And all are in the control room and can be switched through during mixing sessions and recording sessions. This is a de facto necessity in anyone's professional control room. Of course this is what you find in most professional studios. Only you can decide what you want in your control room/studio.

    I also guess my freak out attitude came... From the fact that you are prepared to spend $300,000 on something that you willy-nilly and by self admission, know nothing about? Yes, you are on a fast learning curve. Most of us didn't do what you're trying to do in a weeks time. You certainly do emulate that drive-through mentality. For most professionals it took years before we got to professional studio status. Without first learning the ropes and paying some dues. Even independent recording schools and universities have to prepare their students from anywhere from 1 to 4 years of preparation before their first entry level jobs. I found it very enthusiastic but just as enthusiastic as Jethro Bodine was on the Beverly Hillbillies when he would make a decision about his life career to be a brain surgeon in a day. I mean enthusiasm fabulous and you must listen to and try out a lot of things. It's not accomplished in a weeks worth of time. No matter how bad you want something. So while I like offering up helpful advice and suggestions I was a bit put off by that lack of preparation to deliver a professional product that you know absolutely nothing about. Just having it doesn't mean you know anything about it. That's where we have all worked so hard most of our lives. I've been doing this professionally for over 41 years. I was excited at 15 but I was also quite aware of what would be professionally required of me to be a professional.

    There, you have my pics and suggestions. Everything I've mentioned and everything I suggested to you will find at 80% of the professional recording studios throughout the world. Anything else that you find and anything else that you get will just be icing on the cake. And believe you me, you're going to want lots of icing. And when you get superior collections...people look to you as a true professional. Not just another wanna be. Even though there are plenty of those also. There are plenty enough wealthy folks that want it for their own personal use. So it's not unusual to find beautiful elaborate and vintage setups. In a lot of folks mansions. And many of their studios are leased out by the owners to other notable producers and talent. But they're not open to the public. Not less appointments are first made. Larger commercial facilities, they'll have a receptionist and the lounge and anyone can walk in off the street. Out in the middle of nowhere I guess you won't have to worry about zoning?

    I hope you create the studio of your dreams.

    Again my apologies for my rude behavior.
    Remy Ann David
     
  16. SCARPYDOOOOO

    SCARPYDOOOOO Active Member

    No worries man, I wasn't mad. I just was caught off gaurd from what you wrote.

    ANyways...


    I live in Humboldt County and i've been going Sacramento a few days a week for work. While in Sacramento i have been going to gGuitar World and a few other smaller places. Ive learned more than I could of imagined in the last 2 weeks. From the types of equipment and the difference between analog and digital etc.. i could go all day.

    I should of made it clearer why im doing this whole thing. I have a cousin who has been in la for 6 years. He has turned down multiple offers with a great amount of money involed. Hes just loyal and wants it his way. HEs a fantastic vocalist that does back up for hundreds of people. Long story short im doing this so he can produce himself basically, and at the same time i can learn about something i enjoy doing a tom. He knows tons of engineers as well as people are great at mastering. We havnt got them involved yet because we arent close enough to getting the studio wrapped up, and were not sure exactly what are business approach is going to be. I just signed up to get certified in pro tools 10, which im sure is a joke. I bet they will teach basics and thats it. I also understand that its an art and even with the best equipment in the world it will all go to hell if you dont know what your doing like you said earlier. I AGREE 100%!

    Also my entire family is all into music. My older brother is friends with many high profile groups like Metallica, nickleback, creed, and a few others, point being he knows more people that most in the musical world. Only thing about our family is none of us have really went deep into the recording end of the music, just musicians. I have asked my brother as well as my cousnin about finding someone they know that would be willing to help me/us with this process. A few of there friends said sure, but arent willing to put much effort into it and dont understand why we want to put this much money into something that first off we dont know much about and that fact that the industry isn't very stable or strong at the moment.
    We know its going to be tuff but we feel it will be fun for all of us to have access to it. And maybe just maybe we can make enough money to cover its costs.

    With that being said, im the one spending the cash. I made money from an odd source and i didnt work very hard for it. So i dont mind throwing some towards this. Im hoping over the next 4 years i can master pro tools between the classes and hours and hours of fooling around with it. I havnt even begun to get into the mastering part of this whole thing, but i would like to be able to do it in same studio in a seperate area.

    WOW thats a lot of mics lol!!! jeez i do like the sound of collecting stuff, i could see that collecting mics would be fun as well as other cool equipment. As far as the 300k i have to spend i rather not spend that much, and since ive decided on the C24 controller ive saved a huge amount of money. I feel better about it because i can afford to get an accoustic engineer like you said earlier. Once he gives me plans or tells me what to build i can put up anything.
    I got to play around in a very nice studio today in sacramento. I was there for 5 hours just touching everything and seeing how mics react in different placesments. Especially the drums, i had 12 mics going on the drums and i got a chance to see how much control you can have when using pro tools and that many mics. its crazy, i mean you can really fine tune anything. it got me excited though and makes me want to do this is more.
    It was just fun seeing how things were wired and hidden from the eye, and everything is placed. To my suprise i understude so much allready, and even saw ways things could be better. Studio is called RIVER CITY RECORDING STUDIO SACRAMENTO CA. check it out, it seemed dirty and old wood smell but it was nice. lol

    I got to see and mess around with avalon pre amps i think they were called. How do you feel about those? ive been googling them all night. Oh, and i wanted to make sure i got this right........

    WAIT I JUST LEARNED SOMETHING ONLINE THEY HAVE PRE AMPS THAT DO MONO UP TO 8 CHANNELS AHHH THANKS GOOGLE. LOL

    With the C24 it obviously has pre amps inside it, but i hear nothing but bad things about them for some reason. So i am going to just buy 3 or 4 really really nice pre amps and then get some good solid ones to fill the other 20 tracks. I do need a pre amp per mic since im not going to use the ones in the c24 controller. RIGHT????

    I see how you can spend a lot of money on pre amps if im understanding this right...

    I only need 3 8x8 interfaces though which is 24 channels??? i just want to double check my thoughts here. I feel like i understand it now though.


    And here is what i have for sure and has been payed for allready...


    1. Mackie 4880 NOT USING NOW, but going to have it in studio ready to be hooked up if needed.
    2. Avid C24 controller
    3. Equator Q12 mid field monitors
    4. Yamaha hs80 near field monitors
    5. Focal Twin 6 near field monitors
    6. pro tools 10 NOT HD because im only running 24 channels at a time.
    7. 2 pairs of SHURE 840 headphones
    8. Sony MDR 7506 headphones
    9. akg c 414 xls mic
    10. Shure sm 57 and 58 2 of each

    Thats all i have right now paid 16k for all of it. Alot less than i thought i would be paying before i got started.

    thanks again and sorry im all over the place, im trying to do so much so fast and minimize mistakes.

    thanks for everything again..!!
     
  17. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    You have certainly gone well beyond most others in your understanding in a very short period of time. And you are certainly grasping the important concepts. The monitors you have chosen are certainly excellent. Though, again, I wouldn't completely discount the microphone preamps within the C-24. They are still quite usable. When you indicated that you need to obtain 3, XLR 8 channel interfaces, not sure if you are indicating 8 XLR microphone preamps or, actual FireWire interfaces, that include 8 XLR preamps to their respective analog to digital converters of which all comes out a single FireWire interface plug? You have the option of working both ways since the C-24 already has decent converters built in which will accept analog line level. So you are either talking about 2 separate ways in which to make your recordings into ProTools. So one could purchase, say, 8 higher-quality microphone preamps and plug those into the C-24 for routing to ProTools or, you could rely on groups of 8 channel microphone preamps that could digitally feed a computer directly. And you would still be able to utilize your basic version of ProTools 10 in that application. Again there, the analogy would be, having a large SUV vehicle and also having a large limousine vehicle.

    There is an advantage to taking ProTools certified courses. And they range from basics up through highly specialized and complex uses. One could also purchase tutorial materials to have and be utilized at your own location or, through specialized ProTools schools at another location. Of course one way is more costly than another way and both have their pros and cons. Such as being able to ask an instructor detailed questions on items that might confuse you where a DVD course does not have that ability to provide you with. And you might want to consider both? DVD course is to get you started and up and running. Certified ProTools courses later for more in-depth applications and actual certification.

    Starting with enough microphones is certainly necessary. Collecting microphones is a different aspect to the microphones that you will have and use for much of your production process. Where your specialty microphone collection will be utilized only for specific purposes and finishing applications of the production.

    Going to those other studios as you described, even booking sessions and bringing in a band of your own, can actually be a much better way to learn engineering techniques by utilizing various engineers at areas studios. And I feel in many ways that is much more productive and a more intelligent method in not only learning how to do this yourself but to be observing the different usage of different equipment and the different techniques that all engineers utilize. And that can actually be less expensive and less time-consuming than going to a stupid recording school. So you have numerous selections in how you want to go about learning the trade.

    ProTools 10 that you have is high definition. The ProTools 10 HD, is an integrated system that simply utilizes ProTools 10. In that respect, there is no difference between either ProTools 10's. What can be a variable is the third-party plug-ins from different software manufacturers that integrate into ProTools 10. And the high-definition aspect really only refers to the supporting hardware. And then another variability regarding ProTools 10, it, unlike other available software hitting the market, is still a 32-bit program being utilized on 64-bit computers. Whereas there are already other multitrack software packages that have already been written and are already 64-bit programs. Where even 32-bit plug-ins can still be utilized. It's a bunch of confusing mathematical juggling going on right now as the world slowly slews up to all native 64-bit programs and plug-ins. Nothing happens immediately overnight in that respect. I've even known very accomplished engineers who were ProTools maniacs and who stepped up to a newer high definition ProTools integrated system, only to sell their high definition system since their plug-ins but they most utilized in their standard definition versions and systems were not yet compatible with the high-definition system. And so, like yourself, they sold off their high definition system which does not mean that they were producing standard definition recordings but still producing high-definition recordings. And this has made for a great deal of confusion even amongst highly experienced and accomplished professionals.

    In my work, I am not out to try and impress other engineers. I only need to impress my clients with my quite capable skills and experience. So I can still create beautiful recordings that by today's standards and from a technical standpoint may be considered to be lower definition. But they are not. Higher definition recordings can be misconstrued that it requires high-definition equipment but that is not necessarily the case. The real difference between a high definition recording and mix really falls upon the engineers technique. A high definition recording with a low definition engineer is still a crappy recording. Where a lower definition recording with a high definition engineer still makes for a superior sounding recording and mix. And that's where a lot of the confusion comes in. A child with a Stradivarius violin does not sound like Itzhak Perlman utilizing a child's $200 school violin. And that's a perfect analogy. Because it's the performer utilizing that cheap violin that will produce a highly accomplished and enjoyable performance. Where the child with a Stradivarius will still produce a performance that sounds like a beginner child. And therefore producing a performance not really worthy of listening to. Though the audience might be impressed by the Child utilizing the Stradivarius violin, the child will not play with the expertise of Itzhak Perlman. And I actually recorded the Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers guitarist Skunk Baxter playing a inexpensive Taiwanese Fender Stratocaster. He sounded fabulous in spite of the cheap Stratocaster that was going to be auctioned off for charitable purposes. He certainly wasn't playing on his own personal instrument of choice. And yet the results, the sound and the performance were still most obviously quite impressive. And that's simply because the guitar worked. Did it provide the feel, action and performance he would have gleaned from his own personal instrument? Probably not. But it did not keep him from delivering an impressive sound and performance. And they use and purchase of equipment can be thought of in the same vernacular.

    So in going for those 24 much better XLR microphone preamps, you may not need actual interface devices. You may only need an assortment of higher quality preamps without any interface connected within their manufacture. And you would plug those preamps into the C-24's line level input capability which would bypass the C-24's microphone preamps. So don't spend money where you don't need to. Purchase a few Avalon's, API 512's, Neve 1073's or, 1081's or, 3115's, 33105's, Great River's, Millennium's. Where none of those actually have a computer interface for their output. They all have an analog output and must be plugged into someone's line level analog input that will have the analog to digital converters that will then send proper data to the computer. But even in that respect, you might want to have even better analog to digital converters with which to plug those preamps into other than the C-24 such as, Apogee, Prism and others that are considered to be higher quality boutique analog to digital converters. In which case you would plug goes directly into your computer for recording purposes. Then your C-24 becomes the analog style tactile control surface in which to control ProTools while having the feel of an analog console with its myriad of faders & independent equalizer controls and effects sends. Even though it's nothing but a gigantic remote control and not an analog console. It emulates the feel of an analog console. But even finally accomplished engineers such as my friend Bruce Kane and his C-24, while he is an old analog guy who previously owned an API , prefers to accomplish all of his automated mixing with a mouse. Yet his production and mixing still does not sound any different than when he was doing it all in analog on his API console. That's not only the mark of a good engineer, it's the mark of experience and the ability to adapt to using a myriad of different tools. Just like Skunk Baxter & Itzhak Perlman and myself included. My mixes don't sound much different whether I am doing it purely analog or purely in the box digitally. And that analogy can cross through to racecar drivers who only drove Indianapolis style cars to those of NASCAR style cars. The end result is the driver's capabilities regardless of the different types of cars utilized. And I drive a 500 pound motorcycle, a 6000 pound Chevy Van, a 16,000 pound Fleetwood RV and a 25,000 pound industrial Mercedes-Benz 1117. I can crash any of those as expertly as I can crash one of the others LOL. Thankfully none of them are too worse for wear since I'm not an actual professional driver. I'm much older and have been driving much longer than Danica Patrick but she could beat me in a race even if I was driving an identical car to hers. And of course, for a professional control room/studio, you want the best within your budget that you have allotted for.

    You are definitely going to cross the finish line soon. Sooner than most. So you win. Keep on winning. You're on a roll.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  18. SCARPYDOOOOO

    SCARPYDOOOOO Active Member

    thanks man.

    Pro tools courses are very slow as i now realize. I did however find a guy who knows everything there is to know about pt and teaches here locally at a guitar center. I talked to him and he is willing to help me out as far as doing 4 days a week classes at a much faster rate. Which i think is best. I kinda understand the difference between pt 10 and pt 10 HD, but not fully yet. The general consensus is that HD is not needed.

    Did you get a chance to look at the website for the studio i mentioned above. I heard some of the guys stuff he had engineered and it was just average and possibly had something to do with the style he likes idk....Im sure he is capable of creating any sound, but he likes the the really loud vocals were you cant hear the beat too well. anyways i learned some stuff though so it was worth the visit.

    I still am not sure exactly what the def is for a pre amp and an interface. I have a pro 40 interface which has 8 inputs for mics, but were exactly would that come into play with the pre amps...?

    mics should always go directly into a pre amp RIGHT?

    Then from there either the computer or an interface? or am i missing something?

    Ive looked online, but its such a simple thing there isn't an answer that relates to just the path which the sound goes from the mouth to the computer.... I know there are different options, but there has to be a basic standard way to run it all...

    i hope the last few sentences made sense! lol

    I have came to the realization that i wont be engineering other peoples music anytime soon, that wouldn't turn out so well. but hopefully over a few years i will be able to do it with a ton of practice with my hardware that will be at my disposal.
    for vacals and drums i feel like 2 really nice pre amps should be used, bypassing the c24. the others could be average to good ones or just go with the pres that are in the c24... im sure they are good pres since they are in a 10k piece of hardware.

    idk im plannin on reading crap online about pre amps and interfaces all night hoping i can gt a grasp on what exactly each one is capable of and what combos other people are doing out there and with good success.

    tty in a few.
     
  19. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Yes, all microphones must first be pre-amplified before it can move onto the next stage. That's because microphones put out extremely low voltages. And those voltages are generally referred to in decibels. The average microphone puts out a signal on the order of -70 to -40, below a normal operating level of +4. Most quality preamps will also either utilize a first stage transformer input. A microphone transformer is actually a passive amplifier. These Transformers are frequently referred to in ratios. A microphone transformer is typically 1:10 to 1:15 though there are a few to pending upon the preamplifier design that are as low as 1:6. What that means is is that it will amplify the microphone by a factor of 10 DB, 15 DB or by 6 DB. So that the next pre-amplification stage does not have to work to the extreme. But then there are also newer preamplifiers that have no Transformers. This then requires a couple of different concepts of design. Some concepts utilize a pair of Beta matched low noise transistors with a very low amplification level. Those are then routed into a secondary amplification stage to provide 30-50 DB of extra pre-amplification. Inexpensive transformer less microphone preamps frequently rely upon a single IC chip operating at its maximum gain potential. These typically cannot provide for more than 50 DB of amplification. But in certain scenarios such as recording a Symphony Orchestra where your microphones may be 30 feet away from the orchestra, 50 DB may not be adequate. Perfectly fine most of the time in the land of pop music where microphones are frequently placed near amplified guitars, keyboards and screaming vocalists who like to eat microphones. (I think they get most of their iron in their diet that way?)

    So that's what a basic microphone preamplifier does. And those microphone preamplifier's can then be fed at line level (which is generally from -10 to a nominal professional level of +4) into an analog to digital converter which then sends the digital signal out to another converter which then converts that digital signal into a USB, FireWire and most recently the new Thunderbolt. Original USB 1.1 is rather slow and cannot stand much more than 4 multiplexed signals simultaneously. FireWire and USB 2.0 can send 8-24 multiplexed channels simultaneously because of its greater speed. Thunderbolt is yet even faster and promises capabilities far beyond USB 2.0 or FireWire.

    Now when I tell you that these microphone preamps in the professional realm operate at a nominal value of +4 DB line level. That's known as a nominal line level specification. But in fact, those preamps are actually capable of feeding a signal up to +18 and some go as far as +30. This is necessary for short peak transient excursions we referred to as " Head Room ". Average equipment, entry-level equipment, consumer equipment can generally never go farther than +18. Whereas the true professional grade preamps and other line level drivers are typically capable of +24 to +30. And that's what separates the men from the toys. And I only utilize equipment of that type. It truly deserves the transients especially on percussive items such as drums. And that's what also gives you that extremely smooth and not squashed vocal recording as well. Two of the most important and two of the most wide dynamic range instruments you have to record. Guitars and keyboards generally do not produce those kinds of excessive dynamic range.

    Analog recording consoles differ. In those types of consoles, the pre-amplified microphone is then fed into the equalizer. When you boost frequencies you boost level. This is where a equalizer would crap out. Even the professional ones costing $1000 each. So in the analog console and out of the microphone preamp, level is purposefully reduced before it's fed to the equalizer. This gives the equalizer enough working dynamic range that you will generally not exceed, even with strong boosts, its own maximum output capability of +24 to +30. In devices such as Mackie's, lower internal levels are utilized because their electronics are not as sophisticated nor capable.

    After the equalizer, multiple channels then go through faders. Those faders are then fed into the summing amplifier. To prevent interaction between multiple channels and even if volume levels are lower on the faders, another gain reduction is performed so as to prevent overloading the input to the summing amplifier. Then the summing amplifier which has combined all of your channels, then feeds the output amplifier. Because the summing amplifier is also feeding a lower level. Then the output amplifier a.k.a. line driver then boosts the signal again to create a nominal working output at +4 again with head room to +18 (such as a Mackie is capable of) to +30 which an API, Neve, Millennia and others are capable of outputting. All is not lost however even with mixers like Mackie's. Proper tweaking of your gain trim and output levels can still yield a professional recording. And many people have learned how to operate within that lower realm of headroom. Less experienced entry-level people frequently complain of their sound being dull or lifeless. This is generally because they are trying to exceed the +18 DB output capability of a mixer or a microphone preamp that have cost considerably less than the true professional products. This is where the term gain staging becomes so important. And it's only the understanding of the equipment that you are using and utilizing that will prevent that from happening if you are a little more conservative on your gain settings, gain trim controls. So those in the know can make a professional recording with a Mackie. Whereas an entry-level beginner will blame their lackluster recordings on the equipment. It ain't the equipment. It's the user. It's due to their lack of understanding and knowledge of the equipment they are using. This doesn't happen to professionals.

    As for those items such as those 8 XLR computer audio interfaces, those also include what is known as XLR combo inputs. And that is have a big 1/4 inch hole in the middle of the XLR jack. That 1/4 inch hole accepts low-level line inputs to higher level line inputs. And since there are generally little switch contacts within those 1/4 inch inputs, it either switches out the microphone pre-amplification circuit or, it reduces the signal by up to 50 DB so as not to overload the microphone pre-amplification circuitry.

    When I say that not all consoles and preamps are created equally, I mean they are different concepts of design. For instance, a Mackie utilizes a non-adjustable microphone preamp. But if you look at your console, you'll see it has a gain trim control for the microphone preamp. Well it actually doesn't. The Mackie microphone preamp is at a fixed gain of 20 DB. This means, it's operating at a ideal compromise amplification that's not too low and not too high. So it's virtually impossible to overload it. It then goes onto a secondary buffer amplifier stage which can be adjusted. And that stage will provide from 0 to 30-40 DB of amplification. Together, the two stages allow for up to 60 total DB of microphone pre-amplification. This design is not restricted to just an expensive preamps. One of the world's best comes from the Neve 1073 module where the same concept of design was utilized but also includes a microphone input transformer along with a fixed gain first pre-amplification section. Then moving on to a secondary amplification section. And finding just a single one of those on the used market will generally cost you a cool + $3500 for a single 1073 channel. Of course that also includes the equalizer. And you can actually find newer clones of just that microphone preamplifier for as little as $750 since it won't be an actual Neve but a knockoff. And that's where one can actually save money and still get that higher quality. And you'll be learning a lot more about this and the myriad of other preamplifiers that are very capable devices and 100% top shelf fully professional. Avid may claim there is is just as good but we all know otherwise. Again that does not make it unusable but just different. You may even perceive better clarity. But it won't quite have the smooth, sweet, sparkle of an old-school design such as API & Neve just to name a couple. And it's the Neve and API that I virtually use exclusively. Sure, I have an Avid M-Box with similar preamps to the C-24. And I will only use that if I don't have access to any of my API or Neve preamps. It's certainly usable, not my favorite, not my first choice and not ones I like to use. But I'm a professional, so it doesn't stop me from making good recordings. It just makes me different sounding recordings. Part of my engineering " signature sound " comes from I use of the API & Neve's. And it's my engineering technique in mixing that still helps me to preserve some of my signature sound. I have a unique auditory memory and can frequently tell closely what kind of equipment I am listening to. From microphones to preamplifiers to equalizers to dynamic range processors and even reverberation devices.

    Software and its associated hardware gets better every day and because of that, the lines have become more blurred. Whereas in years gone by, inexpensive equipment was much more easily identified along with earlier software. And as I always say it's not the equipment that you have but what you do with it that counts. And that's the mark of a good professional.

    Quite frankly, you are picking this up quickly and you do seem to be rather intelligent and talented. So I don't think it will take you years before you become a competent engineer. I think you'll be making some damn fine recordings of your own before the end of the year. And I'm not big on complements. In fact I've been rather crass over the years. I've actually told a lot of people their recordings suck. Mostly because they did not understand how to properly set their levels or properly balance their mix or the proper use of equalization.

    You will quickly find out that if something doesn't sound right, you don't first grab an equalizer. The first thing you'll do is to reposition the microphone. If that doesn't work, you try a different microphone. If that doesn't work, you try a different microphone. If that doesn't work, you try a different microphone. When you get closer to what you want, then and only then do you grab at an equalizer for some corrective control or enhancement. And that's the mark of a good professional.

    I said nothing here about special effects. Special effects are just special effects. You use them for a special effect. Reverberation, time delays, flanging, phasing, doubling, distortion effects, tape and tube emulation. This is where you can get truly wacky and 100% imagination driven. There are as many effects as there are different insects in the world. Sometimes, I might flange a reverb. Sometimes I might reverberate a flange. Sometimes I might take a vocal and place it in the center of the mix. Then I'll take that same vocal and split it out two ways. One of those splits will get bent down in pitch ever so slightly and slightly time delayed and placed into the left channel. Then the other split will be bent up in pitch and delayed ever so slightly biased slightly different amount of delay to the right channel. So that single channel of vocal in the center is now 3 channels of vocal that spans left-center-right. And it will blow your mind! And then there is yet a ton of other things you could also do.

    When you record drums, even if they sound good, you're not done yet. You'll be utilizing all sorts of gobbledygook to change the texture, space and feel of those drums. Each drum may get all sorts of different processing. And when you combine it all together you get those unreal killer drum sounds that just make you go wow! And you do that even if they sounded really good in their raw state. Sometimes the raw state is what you want. Other times, it's boring.

    A guy picking and popping a bass guitar will require some type of dynamic range limiting. Otherwise, without doing that, it will exceed any pleasant listening experience for others.

    While those microphone preamps in the $10,000 C-24 are reasonable, I can assure you, they didn't cost more than 50-$100 each. Certainly not the cheapest and certainly not the best. But they'll tell you that they are a proprietary design. Proprietary my eye. More BS than proprietary. But if you're told they are proprietary, it will make you think they are something much more special. I can assure you they ain't. But hey... they work and you can use them. You can even make gold and platinum records with them. Plenty of people have. Again it's the user.

    When it comes to the conversion of analog to digital, the C-24 is above average. It's certainly not the low end and certainly not the high end. Apogee and Lavery typically have yielded better conversion. But you pay a premium for that. So you may even want a couple of those. Because with this newer generation of ProTools, you are no longer restricted to utilizing strictly and only Avid's own hardware. That was true just a couple of years ago. Thought they were losing business because of that monopoly mindset. Now they've changed. And you get to benefit from that change. For some years now, I've had a workaround to that. I and many others have utilized a hybrid type of workflow. So I would record through my good stuff to a dedicated and standalone Digital multi-track recorder. Then through another piece of computer equipment, I could transfer that digital recording into my computer. Once it was in my computer, I could run ProTools and import those audio tracks into ProTools. Then it could be mixed within ProTools but it wasn't recorded into ProTools through their crappy hardware. Even if their hardware was a 25-$50,000 ProTools HD 3 fully blown, DSP real-time driven system. And a lot of other professionals have done what I've done over the years. Other guys have just utilized their hardware and still make gold and platinum records. And that's another reason why you should not completely discount the use of the C-24 microphone preamps. They work and that's really all that's necessary that they do. It will only be you to decide whether you want that sound or the sound of some other piece of hardware such as a boutique preamp and someone else's analog to digital converter.

    There! Everything you needed to know without having to search the Internet for.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  20. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    And for my next number, the book and then... THE MOVIE... under 17 not admitted without a parent or guardian. Rated R, for Remy, with adult language, violence, violins, adult situations, S. E. X. (Sounds Extremely eXCITING).

    Not available in stores so call today within 20 minutes... because we can't be doing this all day. And it's not a Sham. Wow!
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     

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