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Question for you, Kurt

Discussion in 'Recording' started by downflow, May 1, 2003.

  1. downflow

    downflow Guest

    I have read a lot of your posts on here as well as many others'. I have read how you feel about "prosumer" gear being 80% as good as pro, therefore good enough for "demo quality". I have also read your opinion on spending the money where it makes the most difference. My question to you is two-pronged: What is the least amount of gear *you* would *need* to record a four piece rock group, and the end product still sound pro enough for you to be proud of it? Also, what would change if anything, if I had said radio quality (keeping up with the Jones') instead of pro? Let's say someone else is mastering it, and the musicians are above average.
  2. downflow

    downflow Guest

    By the way, I hope I didn't come off as being sarcastic above, I am merely curious as to what gear you feel you would need, because I see that as my shortest path to having pro gear :tu:
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I will approximate what I feel would be good as you didn't specify what instruments were in the "4 piece rock band" you are asking about. Not knowing what the drum kit is like , I will assume it has 2 rack toms and a floor tom.. So I would say a nice dynamic mic for the kick like a Shure 52, a EV RE 20, an AKG D112 or D12, or the ATM 25, SM57 on the snare, 57s or Sennheiser 421's on the rack toms. On the floor tom the 57, 421 or a D112 is nice. A good pair of overheads, like AKG 460's or 451's and another pencil condenser for the hat like a 451 or a 460. Shure SM 81's are nice too but many say the sound too "brassy".. it's all in what your preferences are. In terms of the overheads, there are many choices, Studio Projects and Rode make nice mics too as does ADK etc... just too many to mention them all. For guitar amps SM57’s are a standard.. 421’s too. Bass is usually recorded through a direct box as well as with a 421, RE 20 D112, D12 .etc.. Vocal mics can be as simple as an SM57, a SM7A or as expensive as a Manley Gold, a Lawson, Neumann AKG C12, it all depends on the voice. No one vocal mic suits all singers.

    Now comes the expensive part.. mic pres, eq’s and compressors. You just can’t spend enough on these puppies in my opinion.. The Sebatrons are an excellent value, JLM is making some good pres for a decent price also. I am waiting to get a Presonus Digimax to check out, but in the past I have spoke with people who didn’t feel they were up to snuff … I need to hear them myself before I discount them however. But they do seem to be a bit too inexpensive to be of serious consideration. I could be wrong. Kevin M is trying to hook me up with some so I can check them out. I don’t recommend any of the cheap compressors. Manley, Summit. United Audio all make great comps. Sebatron is making comps also but I haven’t had one here yet. I should be getting a “Thorax” channel strip from them soon and I will let you know what I think ASAP. With comps the more expensive, the better. You should probably have enough channels of compressors to use on vocals, guitars and bass. If you are working in DAW you will probably need compressors for the kick and snare drums also. If you aren’t tracking “keeper” vocals when your cutting rhythm tracks, you can get dual use from your compressors reducing the number of channels you need.

    Finally you have to have something to record on and something to mix through. It is very difficult to say what this should be.. it has so much to do with personal taste .. very subjective. I prefer a DAW because the cost of keeping a good analog console and tape machine in good condition is prohibitive. And cheap consoles just don’t get it in my opinion. Once again I have hopes of getting a chance to check out a Midas Venice console.. I have heard good things about them and they may be the answer to the small console question. Other than that, I would say a Sony DMX R 100 is about the cheapest small format console that sounds good. Now these are just my opinions and by no means are the only answers to your questions. I would recommend that you use your ears when getting gear and don’t listen to any one person. Opinions are like assholes, we all have them and they all stink! Kurt
  4. downflow

    downflow Guest

    Why is the SM-57 such a great mic, and still so inexpensive? Is it because distorted guitars aren't very dynamic, and mic that can handle the dB will do? Why does it work so well for vocals? I really like it for vocals. I like it better than the '58 for my vocals anyway. Is this mic just a fluke, or are these things less critical to record?
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Actually, when Shure first released the SM57 & 58's they weren't that inexpensive. 100 bucks in the 60's was a lot of dough. Good wages in the USA at that time, was $5 an hour! These mic have been around for probably 40 years now and all the R&D and tooling costs have been recouped. Also Shure doesn't need to advertize much to keep them moving out the doors. It is now possible for Shure to sell them at a low price and still make a profit. I am sure that if these mics were released today they would be sold at a much higher price point. I too love the 57. It's a standard! Kurt
  6. mgraffeo

    mgraffeo Guest


    does your above post imply that you're not a fan of the FMR stuff? I've never heard them, but see a lot of compliments for the RNC and RNP...


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