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Helping my cousin upgrade studio overall.

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by kmetal, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Resource Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Hey all! well my cousin really took a liking to audio production, and after 6 years or so, it's time to upgrade, now that we know he's serious about it. we have probably as much as 10K. The goal is to make this less pro-sumer, and lean towards more pro stuff. Any ideas on any aspect of this upgrade are more than welcome. this is a personal project studio, recording vocals, and guitars w/ mics, most other sounds are direct, or synthesized.

    first up. studio acoustics. No major reconstruction. built right on the concrete foundation floor. the rooms both have single layer drywall ceilings, attached to strapping, w/ bays packed w/ 2 layers of 1/2 inch drywall, and pink insulation. walls have two layers of 1/2 inch (caulked), and the 5ft section of wall that the booth (7.5x6x11) that butts up against the CR has a double wall and like 8 layers of drywall between the two leafs. lol, we had some extra, so i put it there. Not exactly an example in home studio builds, but it has enough separation between rooms, for the amps to blaze, and not cause interference, and the ceiling just allows for maximum height, while sacrificing the separation from the world above. the rooms were built before, we (my uncle and i) new whether or not they were gonna end up storage space in two weeks or not, so while i'd love to tear it to the floor, i think it's gonna come down to building an entirely new facility down the road, so no new construction to the existing rooms, the shells are what they are.

    the CR is 7.5x11x14 rough (hxwxl) it's got some Helmholtz resonators in front, and a RFZ. w/ only 1 ATS acoustics, fiberglass panel where a typical cloud would go, i say add some foam, or 703, and make a true cloud. Then since bass response is so finicky, i'd love to put in some super chunks, wherever there are corners, and maybe one of those cool looking sono tube type bass resonators in alton everests book.

    the tracking booth is just odd, it's like 7.5x5.5x11ish, so it's small, narrow, and relatively long. it actually does sound decent for vocals, but since my cuz ended up not recording other people's projects, and using it as an amp closet (mesa triple rec, jcm 900, half stacks) there's just a ton of cancellations, causing what can only be described as a 'scratchy' guitar sound. since there are half a dozen 2x4 panels on the wall, and a couple on the ceiling already, i'm heavily leaning towards just a dead room, w/ a massive bass trap. maybe eat up like 2 or 3 feet w/ the bass trap somehow, and kill most if not all of the room sound, which sounds not very good, w/ a blaring amp. again, a bigger better designed room would be the ticket, and not out of the question completely, but just to get a reasonable guitar sound for now, i'm leaning this way. trying to just remove the room as much as possible.

    so about 1.5k down for absorption/reflection materials.

    mics. to add to the 57, and AT3035, i vote 421. cascade ribbon, or beyer 160.

    up to 3.5k so far.

    okay electronics. Current setup is dual core creation station, ptle 7.3 factory, digi 002. t-racks 3.

    thinking new 8ch converters. (lynx aurora so far). or just a new interface, like the symphony, or something the Orpheus. the connectivity is there w/ the digi 002, i think the converters will make a big diff, but then if the clocking isn't up to par, perhaps an interface upgrade would do... still pondering this move.
    +3k, up to 6.5k. would also require PT upgrade. doubtful that a DAW switch will happen at this point, tho i have stressed benefits, from a technical point of view as far as sound, reliability, and less extortion over the years.

    UAD2 card $1500, liquid mix ($300) keep the cpu for a bit more time, my thought is that w/ so much new connectivity like thunderbolt, or cat5, it might be best to tide over w/ dsp, and maybe a waves Renaissance, or cla, or ssl, or just basic sale item, for general purpose stuff. kinda not down w/ the prices on the old hat waves stuff, it could be good for cheap (if on sale), utilitarian uses, as opposed to the digiQ or something stock. A new platform is not completely out of the question, i would ver towards digita; performer, or give Sequoia a try. whatever my cuz wants to do, he's already used to the PT.

    okay around 8K now.

    I'm saying an api lunchbox, radial has the summing, and a couple other features, but i've been told (true or not..) that the api has the best power supply of the chasis choices, and i'm learning just how important proper power supply is.

    so lets go over budget just a bit, api chasis, retro tube pre, api 512, 550b, hmmm. need a compressor... portico? rackmount distressor? ssl 500 series unit?

    oh and a radial D.I w/ a jensen transformer.

    thats the gyst of the upgrade, and thoughts are welcome, or things i may have missed. things can be juggled around, and used gear will cut some costs, but really the goal is to have an improved room, and a 'professional' signal chain or two. no more that two channels are really required at a time. figure a tube based pre, and a transformer based pre, both colored, w/ clean sounding stuff done thru interface pre. cables are monster cables, so that's decent.

    while the room, processing, and input chain, are definitely going to be upgraded, it's at the complete brainstorm faze, alot is up in the air, and it's at the brainstorm faze. One thing not necessary is a high em condenser right now. w/ a rock voice, the only thing justifying one would be the martin acoustic, but my 414, or perhaps a new sm81, or 421, will cover that territory.

    the two goals are better mix position, and killer electric guitar sounds (gibson les paul+marshall tube stack, sound good in person, gotta get that to translate to disc). i think better ITB processing is important too. My cousins song got featured in 'recording mags' reader's tapes, and they told him his guitar sound was harsh. now he's at least in 24bit, but still in need of a serious room upgrade, and wants a high end signal path from mic to cpu. Thanks for any ideas!!! we both appreciate it!

    p.s i'm including a presonus eureka, for a channel strip for the secondary mic (i.e 57/414 combo, or 57/421) 300 bucks used, well spent.

    P.p.s. One of my concerns is the longevity of digtal equipment. 2 years max maybe for the converter's? while i love the idea of state of the art, this sort of 10k budget for an upgrade isn't gonna happen often, so i'd like to see 66-75% in room/hardware, w/ the other % towards state of the art, knowing, every few years, it's gonna cost a couple more. does this make sense to you guys?

    ugh, i meant tp post this in the daw forum, my bad, if one of the mods could move this i'd appreciate. thanks. -kyle

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