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How good is this set-up for a project studio?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by BigTrey, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. BigTrey

    BigTrey Active Member

    Hello RO'ers, I was wondering if you all would mind taking the time to critique my project studio set-up. This is the second time around that I have purchased studio equipment, the first time I discovered that I actually wasted money on things that I didn't need at the time (impulsive buys, I guess). This time around I just went for the basics. Here's my current set-up:

    Toshiba Satellite P25-s509 Laptop or;
    HP Pavilion G70 Laptop
    Mbox Mini
    Avid Command 8 CS
    Roland DS-50A Nearfield Studio Monitors
    Panasonic 5.1 Surround Sound Receiver w/all 5 speakers and subwoofer (currently not connected to setup, and I know that I will not be able to do 5.1 surround mixing with the Mbox)
    Korg Microkey37 midi controller
    Sennheiser HD201 Headphones
    Behringer B-1 Condenser Microphone
    Shure 57 Microphone

    The reason for the two laptops is because I am currently transitioning from the HP to the Toshiba, because the Toshiba offers firewire connectivity, which the HP does not....

    Please keep in mind that this is a project studio, not anything super professional...just something that I can use to help out local artists who want to record their music....

    Is there anything that I should really be concerned about? Or will this setup do? Thanks for any replies.
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    The most important thing is to know what you intent to record. Voice over : good setup! Complete Bands; missing some stuff!

    4 things :
    1- having other choices of mic is a good idea, cause no mic fit all voices and all instruments.
    2- having a pair of identical mics is nice to have if you want to track acoustic instruments (guitars, flutes, brass etc) to record them stereo
    3- Laptops are limited in regards of internal drives. having the OS and Project files on seperate HDD and an external drive for backup is a good way to go.
    4- what is missing ? The room, any treatment ?
  3. BigTrey

    BigTrey Active Member

    Thanks for the reply pcrecord. I don't really plan on tracking complete bands as of yet, mainly this setup is for hip-hop/R&B production. Interesting about having a pair of identical mics for tracking acoustic instruments, I will keep that in mind for future reference. Yes, I learned years ago to have different mics available for just that reason (some of the guys would always ask why I have so many mics and that's pretty much the explanation that I gave to them, and they still looked at me funny, lol. I do have two external HDD's just for music, as I know that the internal drive on a laptop isn't good for all of the music files, plus processing, etc. In the past I used a spare (unfinished room) in my basement, where I didn't have any treatment on the walls (they were pretty sound, and the slight reverb provided sounded good), but I did eventually construct a vocal booth, which I did place 1" sound proofing foam on all of the interior walls. I'm not too much of an expert in room treatment, but will put that as a priority to learn more about. For what I want to accomplish and the types of artists that I plan on working with, I'm hoping this setup will do. Thanks again....Trey
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Treating a room can damage or help your recordings. You need to tune it so the frequency response is flat otherwise it's gonna color your recordings. I mean if you absorb only 5k frequencies with your foam, you could end up with worse than without... Having treatment is good to remove some of the natural reverb too, cause it can't be removed once on the tracks.

    For the external HDD, be aware that a 10k speed hdd won't make any difference if plugged in usb. The way to go is esata that has the same speed as an internal HDD.

    Good luck to you !
  5. BigTrey

    BigTrey Active Member

    I only put the 1" soundproofing foam around the inside walls of the vocal booth.....and left the walls of the basement room untreated. It seems to work pretty good....if I can locate a photo I will attach it somehow so you have a better idea of what I'm talking about. As for the HDD goes, that's why I will be switching from the HP over to the Toshiba, because the Toshiba has a fire wire input which I could use, and have a better speed overall.
  6. BigTrey

    BigTrey Active Member

    This is the vocal booth I built into my basement....its a little crude, but it gets the job done for the most part. Studio View_1.jpg

    Here's another to get a semi-close view of the inside of the booth. tredueceus.jpg
  7. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    What are you connecting via firewire?

    Most audio interfaces want to see a Texas Instruments firewire chipset, it's a crapshoot with PC laptops.

    Do your research carefully, your best bet is to get a made for laptop audio workstation.
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    i bought a esata cardbus card fo like 30 bucks online, you may want to use something like that to both maximize your hd transfer rate, and free up the firewire port for something else.
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Get some Owens Corning 703 . foam really doesn't do much for low end issues. since you are dong hip hop and R& B i will assume the bass content of your music is going to be pretty heavy. you need to do something to address low frequency nodes and nulls and low end build up in the room over all.

    get some 703 or even some 705 and cover it with Gulliford fabric and put it on the wall of the iso booth in front of your mixing position. this will really help. that OSB board is very reflective and is going to create havoc with your mixs.

    if you get more 703 you can place it around the room on the sides (use a small mirror and where you can see a reflection of the speakers place absorption) and across the corners to tame first reflections and as bass trapping .. pay particular
    attention to your trihedral corners.

    703 is more efficient if you stand it off the wall an inch or two. the rear wall should have traps in the corners too and be diffuse in the center. you can make ply wood polys or purchase diffusers. do some research on the net diffusers can be pricy but you should be able to build something at a reasonable cost.

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