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Probably the 50,000th Home Studio Setup Question.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Drumlea, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. Drumlea

    Drumlea Guest

    Hi all, I'm new to this forum so bear with me.

    I have a max budget of €6,000 to buy a relatively decent home recording set up.

    I'm a songwriter but want the option of recording live drums. You can check out my choons at http://www.myspace.com/briandunlea. These were recorded with a Boss BR900CD.

    I have been thinking a MacBook Pro would be my best option. I would like to buy a mixer maybe a Yamaha N12 or a Mackie 1640 both having firewire capability. I will be doing very little midi work if any. For my DAW I was told Pro Tools is excellent with audio but I'm not too pushed about the fact that you have to use their hardware. Maybe I'm being silly?

    My main goal is to record live instruments whether it be me or others such as string quartets etc. So quiet preamps are a must. I realise they won't be amazing with my budget.

    What I have:

    Microtech Gefell UMT800
    Rode NT5 Stereoset
    And a good old SM57

    I am good friends with a guy who owns a P.A. hire company so I have access to AKG 414s and some Neumann stuff and some shure condenser bug mics etc..

    Alesis M1 Active MKII

    Lexicon MPX100 Dual Channel Processor

    Roland MMP-2 Analog/Digital Mic Pre

    Boss BR900 CD Digital Recorder

    Maudio Keystation Pro 88
    Kurzweil ME-1 Module

    There's more but it's guitar related and not applicable I guess.

    I don't use any computer at the moment. That's my major investment. I would like a minimum of 8 mic pre's. I was looking at the RME fireface 800 but it only has 4 mic pres. I heard the MOTU stuff is good as well.

    Portability isn't really an issue but I wouldn't say no. But the majority of my recording will be done at home.

    I work in a music store so I will be able to get a good discount on some brands.

    Ok I've waffled enough. Just to let you know I'm relatively new to the recording world but I'm eager to learn as much as I can. If anyone thinks I'm on the right or wrong track I would appreciate any input.
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Your budget is good and you have some pretty good gear to start with.

    I would tend to agree with the con against the ProTools (requiring their hardware considering the pieces you're looking at won't work with ProTools.)

    I can personally vouch for the Onyx stuff - it's good. It's really good! (I wouldn't hesitate to use it over string quartets. The exception being, I wouldn't use them with Ribbons. The last little throw of gain is a tad noisy.)

    That being said, I think every studio should have at least one ribbon and thus a pre appropriate for it. This might be something to consider (Beyer, Royer or AEA - all good, all very different!)

    Cheers -
  3. Drumlea

    Drumlea Guest

    Thanks for the reply Cucco.

    I do like the Onyx especially as it has 16 inputs. I would probably never use all of them but it's would be nice to know they are there. The only thing is the firewire card sends the audio pre eq. I wish they had made it post to take advantage of it.

    I'm thinking of the Yamaha N12 as well. I know it's linked to Cubase and comes with the new Cubase AI but I think it can be linked to other DAWs as well as a controller. The Onyx has none of this functionality.

    I will buy the macbook pro on a friends recommendation. I am leaning towards Logic Pro even though I have heard Logic is hard to pick up at the start at least it is very stable on a mac. Plus I don't have experience with any DAW so they all will probably have the same learning curve for me.

    Have you any preferences / opinions on Logic or macs?
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    I don't know much about Logic. I know enough about Macs. I'm one to believe that a Mac or a PC can be a highly effective machine and either one can do justice.

    The few times I've seen Logic, I've been impressed.

    I must admit I'm not even slightly familiar with the Yamaha mixer, but it looks as though its only DAW control features are transport controls. Although it looks like a nice machine.

    Tough call.
  5. JoeH

    JoeH Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Drumlea, if you're going with the Mac, make sure you check out Digital Performer as well, before you spend the $ on Logic. There's a big price difference, and DP may be more than enough for what you need, plus a lot of music scorers and recordists use DP with their MACs.

    Don't forget either, that any new iMAC comes with GarageBand, and from what I've seen/heard about it, might be enough to keep you busy and get your chops up for quite a while, until you're ready to get the big-ticket software. just a thought!
  6. Drumlea

    Drumlea Guest

    To Cucco and JoeH:

    I'm looking at the Mackie Onyx 1200F as an option now even though it still hasn't been released but it looks like the perfect interface.

    12 combo inputs and sp/dif in which is handy because I have some hardware with sp/dif out (Lexicon MPX100, Roland MMP-2).

    I think my mixer idea is nice in theory but not very transportable. The more I think about I won't always be able to record live drums at home so will have to do some location work.

    The Onyx 1200F comes with Tracktion software which might be a good starting place for a DAW noobie to get his "chops up" as JoeH put it. But I will check out DP as well. At the end of the day I just need a DAW with good EQ, Compression, Reverb, and Delays. Anything else is a bonus.

    In the future when I get more cash I can get a mackie controller. They seem to have a good reputation and are expandable.

    Cucco if you think the Mackie Onyx preamps are good, going on the quality of the work on your site, I think that's the way to go. And you have a Microtech Mic. I have only experienced a few condenser mics but the Microtech stuff is so clear and honest they are great. Will check out the ribbon mics as well. I've read about them but don't know very much. The seem like a good tonal option from what I've seen.


    So at the moment I'm considering:
    - Mac Book Pro
    * 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    * 4GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    * 160GB Serial ATA drive(5400rpm)
    - Tracktion or Digital Performer (Maybe Logic in the future)
    - Mackie Onyx 1200F
    - Lacie 500GB or 1000GB 7200rpm external hard drive
    - Dynaudio or Adam Monitors.


    Do you guys think I should get the 7200 rpm hard drive. Does it really make that much of a difference with an external hard drive?

    Just to let you know I'm in Cork, Ireland so access to try gear out is a little limited so all this feedback is invaluable.

  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    I would definitely go with the 7200 RPM (or higher) where possible.

    Glad we could help!

  8. Drumlea

    Drumlea Guest

    7200 RPM it is. I'll be living on the streets but at least I'll be happy.

    Thanks again, I'm sure I'll be back to pick some brains again. The forum is great to just read and learn.

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