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Mobile studio setup. Some opinions please

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Matty_MTEC, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. Matty_MTEC

    Matty_MTEC Guest

    Hi all,

    I am in the process of setting up a mobile recording studio/control room in the back of a van to record live rock bands. This will be primarily used as a tracking studio. Control room in back of van has been sealed and soundproofed (as best as can be) and leaves me with dimensions of 7'6" (l)x 5' (w) x 4'3"(h). Yes, I'll probably use a low chair!

    I have a Mac G5 to use for now, but will probably upgrade in about 12 months.

    Total budget for gear is about $15k.

    I have sourced a Whirlwind 24 channel splitter stagebox and snake to run out to the van on the street. I have decided on an Audix DP-Elite 8 mic pack plus a few SM57s and 58/Beta58s, but when it comes to the software, interface, studio setup, etc I am still undecided.

    Pro Tools is my preferred software, but I can't afford an HD setup. LE may be an option as I am essentially just tracking with this studio. I was wanting a 24 channel control surface, but I have been googling for about a week and not really found anything in my price range. Maybe two 12 channel or three 8 channel control surfaces are more likely.

    If anyone has any suggestions for software, interface/s, control surface/s, any other outboard gear and near-field monitors to the value of about $8k it would be appreciated. An API 3124 is of interest, but I don't think I'll have the funds. Also, I have not worked in such a confined space of a control room before so I have no idea which monitors will work best. I have used Tascam VL-X5s before, but might take a set up if unless you think money is better spent elsewhere.

    I know it is a big ask and have not really given much specific info. I have a recording opportunity coming up in a few weeks and am trying to see if I can get this set up for then.

    Any thought would be appreciated!

  2. MadMax

    MadMax Distinguished Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    I'm old, and thus, old school...

    My rig is HD24 based - fed from an analog console.

    It's rugged, dependable and IMHO, very cost effective.

    I then transfer from the HD24's to my file server... from there, I pull the session into HD.

    Add two UPS's (more if you have external pre's, comps, gates, etc.) and you're good to go.
  3. Matty_MTEC

    Matty_MTEC Guest

    Thanks MadMax,

    I really appreciate the suggestion. I'll do a cost analysis on this and see how it fits in with my budget.

    Any other suggestions would be appreciated!

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.

  4. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    You don't need to spend major cash on the live monitoring side of things. It's sufficient to be able to solo any selection of tracks plus listen to a rough 2-track mixdown.

    My suggestion for the main items in your recording truck would be:

    24 channels of quality pre-amplifiers (API, DAV, Grace, Millennia etc)
    Alesis HD24XR
    Yamaha 01V96V2 with MY16-AT expansion
    Powered monitors (KRK VXT8, ADAM A5 etc)

    Run the pre-amps directly into the HD24XR and then 3 ADAT lightpipes from the HD24XR outputs into the 01V96. These carry the digitized audio data during both recording and replay. In this way you use the 01V96 as the monitoring mixer (and also talkback) without it being in the recording path. Use the second drive in the HD24XR to make a copy backup of the first drive immediately after the gig while you are stowing away the snake.

    Back in the studio, transfer your HD24XR data to your DAW for mixdown.
  5. Matty_MTEC

    Matty_MTEC Guest

    Thanks Boswell,

    This sounds like a good option. I think I like the idea of using a standalone hard disk recorder rather than trying to incorporate a computer and DAW for tracking.

    I'll price it and see how I go.

    Thanks for your suggestion!


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