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Finally going digital and rebuilding a home studio

Discussion in 'Recording' started by hamidlmt, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. hamidlmt

    hamidlmt Guest

    Well, I've finally taken the plunge into the digital world of recording. I've been happy using a Yamaha MT8X-II cassette based 8-track for years and hit the wall. After I recorded a beautiful performance of my improv band (me on sitar, 2 guitars and a hand-percussionist) with 2 Rode NT-1's in an X/Y pattern into a Blue Tube into a BlueMax into a TDK consumer audio cd-recorder) I've been wanting to do digital. By the way, I forgot my headphones that show, and set levels by eyeing the meters... best recording I've ever done! haha!). I came into a bit of money after my parent's both passed on, so I'm taking the leap.

    I'm looking for gaps in my equipment list... I've always gone for the best of the low-end. Here's what I have:

    I'm using Logic Express 7.1 on a 15" 1.67Ghz Powerbook G4. For converters, I'm using a Tascam FW-1082 going into a LaCie pcmcia firewire card. I have an external OWC 7200rpm firewire 800 hard drive going into the built-in firewire 800 jack.

    Mics:
    MXL V69 Mogami Edition (1) - dig this mic!
    Rode NT-1 (2)
    CAD Equitek E-100 (1)
    Joemeek JM27 (matched pair)
    Audio-Technica ATM25 (1) - has a bit of history... it was used in the Grammy's, according to a well-known distributor.
    Shure SM57 (1)
    Prologue electret-condensor (my first mic which I never use, but can't seem to let go of)

    Preamps/compressors
    Groove Tubes The Brick (said I wanted it for $325 at GC and they said, ok!)
    FMR RNP and RNC
    Presonus BlueTube and BlueMax
    M-Audio DMP3
    Joemeek VC3Q

    Monitors:
    Edirol MA-10A
    Samson C-que headphone amp
    More Me Studio Deluxe headphones (2)
    Sony MDR V-600 headphones

    I figure I could record just about anything thrown at me reasonably well. I'm mostly going to be recording acoustic instruments and vocals, including hand percussion and ethnic instruments (sitar, etc). But, an occasional drum kit may find it's way here.

    I haven't even begun to think about midi instruments... maybe adding a cheap keyboard controller might be in the future. Any suggestions? Something small would be good (running out of desk space!)

    But, as far as mics and outboard gear... is there anything you might suggest in the sub-$200 range? How about the sub-$500 range? I may go beyond that one day, when this beloved hobby starts bringing in some $$$!

    Oh, btw... I'm a licensed massage therapist... so all of this equipment is for making relaxation cd's for clients and is a lovely business deduction (er... at least as far as The Man is concerned!)

    Many thanks for your time and input!
     
  2. roguescout

    roguescout Guest

    I noticed you have not included any acoustical treatment for the room.

    Time for you to head over to the RO Acoustic Forum and start reading!!

    Since you will be recording and producing relatively quiet music, noise control is essential since you won't be able to hide it in a busy mix.

    All the gear in the world can't fix a bad room. Even if you can control the noise somewhat, your mixes will not translate well if you do not treat the room correctly.

    You may even want to hire a professional acoustic consultant to handle this end of the job for you. I bet they would take a few massage sessions as payment!!!
     
  3. hamidlmt

    hamidlmt Guest

    Acoustic treatment is one area where I've really not given much thought. You're absolutely right! Time to start devouring through some posts... many thanks!
     
  4. swanmusic

    swanmusic Guest

    So the center of your studio a Powerbook? I'm just curious to find out since I am thinking of getting one for myself. How many tracks can you do and how has been your experience with it?

    I got a Korg Kontrol49 (midi controller keyboard) for 300 bucks on ebay. It's an awesome controller with good full size keys, nice faders and knobs. You should look at it, if you haven't already.
     
  5. hamidlmt

    hamidlmt Guest

    I'm working on a project right now... 18 tracks so far without a hitch. Processor and disk performance aren't even close to max. We're laying down harmonies tomorrow... I'll let ya know what the track count gets up to.

    I've heard of peeps running 24 tracks with plenty of plugins on lesser machines without a problem.
     
  6. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    I have a 1GHz Powerbook (time to upgrade?) most of my sessions are 32-48 tracks, using Logic7, and DP4.

    Using soft synths exclusively, and the freeze function from time to time.

    All audio is on a 7200rpm firewire drive.

    8)
     
  7. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    To add to your short list, a good AD 2 ch converter for critical tracks (vox, lead instruments, overdubs) is very nice. i could not see me recording without my rosetta AD, it just adds so much more detail and definition. A 2 ch rosetta would pair up nicely with 2 bricks.
    On the mics I've noticed you have a couple of nt1's- My Nt1's have not gotten much use since I bought a couple of K2's- On the budget side of things, I understand the NT2 has the same capsule as the K2 at about half the price- certainly something to consider.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  8. hamidlmt

    hamidlmt Guest

    just got up to 22 tracks... I really haven't pushed the machine yet. 32+ tracks on a 1ghz g4 is great! A 7200rpm harddrive is a must for any powerbook setup
     
  9. hamidlmt

    hamidlmt Guest

    I'm still using the NT1's for instruments, though the V69 has taken over as my main vocal mic. I've been reading good things about the K2's.
     
  10. Brock

    Brock Guest

    I myself don"t have top of the line equip. BUT!!!! Get rid of the MA10As. I use to have these and I had trouble with my mixes, I then up-graded to the M-audio BX-8s and it made a world of differance in my final mix.


    Brock
     

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