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help for a friend

Discussion in 'Recording' started by g7muzik, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. g7muzik

    g7muzik Active Member

    hello everyone, I am new here. I hate to impose on my first start out of the gate, but I am in the middle of a studio build and a couple of projects and I need a bit of help. I have a young friend who has 5 grand and wants to put together gear for recording with 8 ins. he has some sm 57's but needs a cheap condenser. other than that he has no equipment. He writes music for sale and doesnt need anything grandiose, but also needs the ability to record multiple ins. he plays keyboards so i suggested a DAW or a pc based recording package. The reason I am asking is that I deal more with physical construction and not putting together home studio packages. I use ProTools 10 native 16 in/out with Thunderbolt and a toft 24 track board, but thats out of his price range I'd really like to help him, but I just don't have the time. Would also be more than happy to share my experiences with this current build as it is for a college that is expanding its recording program. The suite will have two control rooms, a mastering suite, and a midi lab in an existing structure that is underground so its an interesting experience. thank you for your help. Be blessed.

  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    There are a large number of prepackaged and complete up to number of points, recording solutions offered by most of the gear stores. My personal inclination would be to look into a bundle with a PreSonus 1624, a set of monitors, some cables and a few mics and a stand or two. The Presonus comes with a program called Studio One and it is a pretty good program to get acclimated to the recording process with. These bundles can run up to about 4K but that would be a pretty elaborate setup. For under 2K you can get started and still have enough money for a nice i7 PC or a Macbook Pro. The trick is get a computer with enough speed and ram. These days thats not hard to do and at a reasonable price. Lots of computers out there and a judicious study of what is needed will get you something that isnt built for doing the bills and surfing the net or gaming.

    One reason I would like the Presonus is that it is actually a board and can double as a pretty nice live sound console. Plus, being rather old school, I think theres something in achieving a mix thats more in tune with the music if you have a tactile surface to use.....ie: knobs and sliders. Mouses just dont cut it for me....but thats just me....But someone whos just starting might learn more from this experience by approaching it in this manner. Plus at its price point it makes more sense to already have the ability to do 16 tracks at a time for possible future expansion.

    The fact that this gear is really quite okay is also a good thing. There are several members here who base their rooms around this mixer and may chime in to testify as to its ease of use and its quality.

    For your friend, a bundle that has a commonality to it and has been put together by a competent staff at a pro retailer can be an easy start to this. They have (more than likely) already spent the time assessing the interfacing so the parts do associate with each other whereas simply putting things on a list and then getting them home and finding out they dont play well together can certainly put a damper on the process.
  3. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    +1 on the PreSonus.

    And have him resist the urge for a cheap condenser. Generally speaking, anything in an LDC below a certain price point is a money wasted. You can get a number of good SDCs like an SM81 for $350, or a matched pair of Rode NT5s for $429. Both possess all the better qualities of a condenser mic for just about any purpose with minimal down-side. Not a thing wrong with his SM57s and a popular studio dynamic mic these days is the SM7B - which is just a duded up transformer-less 57. As you well know, unless he's got a sweet sounding room, the added sensitivity of the condenser mic (especially a cheap one) can work against him.

    If you're in the western half of PA send me a message. I can help, and would like to talk to you about my build-project.
  4. g7muzik

    g7muzik Active Member

    this is a good idea. i checked out the Presonus and I like it. I also do FOH for some equipmentless local bands and i'm looking into it for live apps. thanks a lot.

  5. g7muzik

    g7muzik Active Member

    i used to work in Indiana PA for the state before waaayy too many back surgeries took me out. Am in Wilkes Barre close to Scranton, but am not opposed to a little road trip every now and again. Would love to talk about your build. I looked at a dvd today of one of my colleagues build he did in an old firehouse close to Scranton. He has some amazing stuff and the transformation was stunning. He has a couple of nice old Studors too. I will be tracking some new stuff there in a few weeks just to give it a test run.
    Stay in touch.

  6. g7muzik

    g7muzik Active Member

    amen to the old school. I've had a bit of difficulty adjusting to ProTools and computer format...guess i just like the feel of knobs under my fingers and a real rheostat. i went to the conservatory of recording arts and sciences in mesa az good ways back and i like to mix analog before going to hard disk. you keep a lot of the overtones and texture that snapshots lose and makes for a warmer more full body mix. And if you have somethin like a manley stereo tube compressor and just run vocals over it with no compression it sounds sweet.
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    i've heard alot of happy people talk about the studio live console. My only gripe w/ it in a hybrid studio sense, is the lack of motorized faders. This in my eyes renders it the same as any other analog mixer, but with some useful dsp built in. If i were to use a mixer like that, i'd still want to have some sort of a control surface, minimal, an alpha track single fader device, or something like mackie control universal, or a digi command 8 if using pt. i've used all of them and they work fine.

    If it were me on a 5k budget, here's likely what i'd go w/ for all-aroundness. used mac quad/or pc/laptop. 1k. Motu 828mk3. 1k, 8 usable built in pre's, built in dsp for monitoring, decent converters. Very easy setup, hard disc recorder system simple, easy, affordable done. Now the fun, the outboard stuff.

    Monitors from Alesis, KRK, JBL, Mackie, Yamaha, are all decently regarded, and range between $300-1200. lets call it another 1k.

    okay, since i'd wanna keep it versatile, figure a mackie universal control, which is 1200 new, but 800 used, so call it another 1k. I like this unit because it works w/ all major DAWS and just as importantly, is expandable in 8 fader increments.

    so now there's 1k left for cables, stands, and a mic, which won't be a cheap condenser, cuz this setup is realitively 'pro' and we should keep it that way. so $500 goes to a few mogami or similar cables, for mics/lines/and monitors, and a couple generic boom stands from musicians feind.

    500 bucks left and a mic to buy. The sm7 is awesome. as well as the nt 5's. an akg 214, is a cardioid condenser, very respectable in the price range. i've heard it, it sounds good. (i own a 414) the 214 has a similar capsule, but is cardioid only. they are able to save money by not having to match 2 diaphragms like they do for the 414's multiple patterns.

    I think this setup covers all bases, leaves room to grow, and compromises little in terms of quality. You get clean sound in/out, get a cpu that won't fart out easily, get your hands on the mix (the way i like it), while maintaining the modern expectations of instant recall, and automation editing from the board (not the mouse), some fine cables to keep that signal path pristine, and a damn fine mic(s) of your choice! No bum cheapo peices of crap that your friend will wanna sell as soon as he/she hears 'the real thing', nothing complicated. all thats missing is some room treatment...

    lol i should apply at a music retailer... Best of luck!

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