I’m buying my first studio equipment need advice before making purchase

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Electronic Repair Modifications DIY' started by Michael Gomez, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    Assuming that where you say "male" and "female" you are talking about XLR connectors, you need the XLR M-F cable for connecting the microphone into the Audiobox.

    What you don't say is whether the jack leads have TS or TRS plugs. TS (unbalanced) plugs are no good in this application, so the next bit assumes all the jack plugs are TRS (balanced).

    Use a pair of TRS - XLR(M) leads to connect the Audiobox line outputs 1,2 to the sub XLR inputs, then two XLR(F) - TRS leads to go from the sub XLR outputs to the TRS inputs on the main speakers.

    Further things you didn't say include which model of Audiobox you have, and how you had intended to use the RN compressor. The RNC1773 is designed for use as an unbalanced insert device, with each of its channels connecting via a TRS lead to insert jacks on a mixer or other device. Some audio interfaces have insert jacks in their signal chain between the output of the pre-amp section and the A-D converters, but I don't believe any of the Audiobox range does. We'll need some clarification from you as to your intentions regarding the RNC before we can suggest appropriate connections there.
     
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  2. Michael Gomez

    Michael Gomez Active Member

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    It’s a presonus audiobox usb 2x2

    I want the Rnc just to go compressing while I make the beats and mixing and I can play with the knobs. Idk if that’s how it works lol

    All the wires I got are balanced
     
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    Thanks for the additional information - that helps to narrow the options down.

    While both the Audiobox 2x2 and the RNC1773 are well-respected pieces of gear at their price level, they are unfortunately not well matched to one another. Taking the input and output connector usage to start with, we have the following:

    Audiobox input: two channels of XLR balanced, max input level -3dBu, or TS jack unbalanced, unspecified level
    Audiobox output: separate left and right TRS jacks, balanced, unspecified level, or both channels unbalanced on TRS headphone jack.

    RNC inputs: two channels of TRS insert jacks, unbalanced input and output on same connector, +22.5 dBu max level; each output also available on separate unbalanced TS jack.

    So you have the three common incompatible usages of TRS jack signals: balanced mono, unbalanced stereo, unbalanced mono insert (input and output on same connector). Using the right sort of cabling, you could get some sort of connectivity, but the levels would be grossly wrong.

    My recommendation is to return the RNC1773 to the shop, and get familiar with using the Audiobox and the DAW. The DAW has some compression facilities, and, although maybe not as good as the RNC box, are more flexible about how and where in the signal chain they can be applied. After a while, you will have a better idea of whether you need an external compressor. You should then look at getting a channel strip that has a pre-amp and compressor in the same unit.
     
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  4. Michael Gomez

    Michael Gomez Active Member

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    Well I haven’t purchased the compressor yet. I just saw videos on it and it looks pretty cool lol.

    I like the idea of the channel strip.

    Any recommendations?
     
  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    I have 2 UA LA-610 and like it very much. There isn't many controls on it but it means less ways to screw up. The preamp and compressor combinaison in the LA-610 are very forgiving. If a signal goes overboard for a part of the recording, even the saturated result is often ok to use as it is a pleasing one.

    I'm thinking about changing one of them for a ISA 220 or 430 eventually. I already have 8 ISA preamps and love them. I'm just guessing that having them with EQ and Comp would certainly be a nice addition to my setup ! (there is many used ones out there and since they are built like tanks, I wouldn't mind having an old one)

    But given unlimitted budget, I would certainly go for a Millennia or Manley ;)
     
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  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    On the budget side ive had good experience with the presonus eureka channel. I havent used the ART channel strips, but have owned their mpa tube pre and liked it, and their vla compressor is well liked by an engineer i trust. I wasnt impressed with the joemeek budget channel strip from joemeek, which does make some great products.
     
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  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    I also heard good things about the ART.. You don't buy them for the typical tube sound character but they are giving a good sound nonetheless.
    Actually many tube units are very clear sounding, I guess thinking of tubes in guitar amps always make us think tube preamps give a lot of saturation... ;)
     
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  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Yeah man, i totally incorrectly presumed what tubes do in a pre amp/compressor vs a high gain guitar amp. When i first used a manley i was shocked how clear ir was. My mentor explained tubes arent just for marshall half stacks lol, and they can be very clear and big. It took me a bit to appreciate just how great that unit was. In the case of the summit tla compressor it was just this dark smooth silk, perfect with a bright mic like a 414xls on vocals.

    When you look at hybrid amps, it becomes clear how much a role tubes play in the power amp section.

    The ART sat surprisingly well vs the Manley with the difference being the solidity and desnity of the mid range. The art was 4x cheaper but definitely not 4x worse, although the manley was better. Like most things in audio you pay alot for that last 10% of elegance.

    I speculate not knowing enough about gear design, that alot of the lower priced stuff is a tube in the pre section and a mosfet or ic gain stage. Thats probably horrendously worded.

    I noticed that UA split or omitted one tube sections on the LA610 vs the units individually. If i recall correctly it was the output tube section on the pre amp, that they omitted/combined into the LA compressor section. The LA 610 based recording i heard sounded great.
     
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  9. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    I've been recording for a very long time, and only really started to use compression as a tool in the past 5 years or so when I started making music that needed it. I get quite cross with people who always start projects with a template that adds a compressor into every track as if it's some kind of rule. In my live PA work, for the life of the last big format 32 input desk I had a rack of compressors, which tom be honest, I bought because everyone had them - but for my non-rock and roll, lighter styles of music, I just didn't need.

    Indeed, when I was having time out as a college lecturer, I discovered that very few students could actually hear compression at work, but insisted on using it. Now, I use it on bass - and the real reason is that the guitar simply gets lost in the mix. It's sound (it's. Fender American Standard Jazz if it helps) just doesn't work in the mixes like my old bass did - so it needs a bit of compression to be heard. I've been working with a female singer new to me, and she benefits from it, while my old female collaborator simply didn't need it.

    Compressors can be great tools, but like EQ, it's a mix choice, not absolute requirement. I've got quite a choice in Cubase dynamics and feel little need to go outside the DAW.
     
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  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Ive never used external processing during a mix. Tracking i often use eq and compression, but ive yet to even try it when mixing.
     
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  11. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    That's really interesting - I never, ever eq or tweak dynamics on what I record. It's always totally raw and unprocessed. That just wouldn't work for me. It's good to see different ways of working. While tracking I only care about no peaking, but using the dynamic range available. Treatment I can decide later. I doubt I'll change now.
     
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  12. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    I find outboard compressors to be quite useful tonally speaking, even with very little compression. I seem to notice a much more significant tonal difference between compressors than pre amps in general. Although i think the eureka compressor is among the most transparent out there.

    Definitely there is no absolutely correct method to record.
     
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  13. Michael Gomez

    Michael Gomez Active Member

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    Ok so am I right in thinking all these external hardwares will speed up the music making process and make it more stream lined or manual or hands on? Is it easier to learn this way as well maybe?

    Idk I’ve been a plumber since I was 16 and working with the computer is difficult for me so I prefer a hands on experience

    I don’t want to use it on every song or anything like that. I actually want to make different genres of music. So for certain songs I won’t need it like you said.

    My gf could possibly do some vocals for me. How do I know if she would need a compressor Paul?

    I do notice more of a difference myself with a compressor versus the pre amp.

    Should I choose a better audio interface you guys think?
     
  14. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    It's hard to say if it will speed up the recording or learning process. I guess it's goes with your preferences of what's easier (turning a knob or moving a mouse).
    On thing that will definetly change with outboard gear used in the way in (while recording) is that you need to commit to what your are doing.
    This can speed things up cause what you do outboard can't be undone. So you won't fidle the settings of your compressor for hours at mix time if it's burned into the track..
    But in the end you learn to use less when it comes to hardware. When you hear the effect it is often too much. Subtle changes goes a long way !
     
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  15. Michael Gomez

    Michael Gomez Active Member

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    Tight. Ok so I had an idea I wanted to run by you guys too see if it works.

    I was looking at indoor vertical grow walls. And I found these

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076J79DSV/?tag=r06fa-20

    Can these be used in the center of the walls to sound treat the room? Obviously w/ bass traps and any other type of sound treatment there is

    They are 3’x 3’
     
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    When you get the hang of it, compressing on the way in can speed things up. It csn also inspire better performances from the artist since they sound better. That saud compression is arguably the most fickle part of audio and can take a while to learn.

    If your using external devices as effects you want a goid interface since your coneverting the audio from analog to digital twice. You should always get the best interface possible, it will send better signal to your speakers, and recieve better signal from your mics. The UA arrow, or apollo twin are good interfaces when comparing quality speakers and pruce.

    An advantage to using a channel strip is you can bypass the eq or comp with tbe press of a button and audition on a case by case basis. (Depending on the model) You can also patch into the eq and compressor sections separately so you can use them during the mix.

    As marco mentioned compression cant be undone in the mix, so its generally good to go easy with it during tracking when in doubt.

    You can always get a plugin control surface to have knobs for your software. Since your not already used to hardware you should adapt to software/mousing just fine, without feeling like your missing something.

    As far as the grow wall, it wont help acoustically, but depending on what you grow in there music may sound better to you, maaaaan. For acoustic treatment youll want rigid fiberglass panels that you either diy, or purchase from a reliable company. ATS acoustics sells diy materials and pre made treatments.
     
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