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Questions On How To Setup Vocal Recording Studio?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Jark89, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. Jark89

    Jark89 Guest

    Hello everyone! Newbie here! :D

    OK, so I've recently been getting more involved with my music, and currently thinking of setting up a small "vocal recording studio" of my own. I think in the long run, this will save me a lot of money as I can record all my vocals at home, instead of at the studio ($$$). Unfortunately, I'm pretty retarded when it comes to hooking up gear...

    I'll be recording digitally into my computer, and would like to keep it as simple as possible, as I'll only be recording ONE VOCAL track at a time, so no full blown out mixers needed.

    So, the most important piece of gear would be the interface right? One with nice A/D converters? What's good? Would something like the MOTU 828 MKII be fine? Or is something like the M-Audio Firewire SOLO ok also? What would the quality difference be compared to its price difference?

    After that, I'd be looking at a nice PreAmp and/or Signal Processor (compressor, etc.).

    This is where I get confused on how to hook it up. How do I hook up the signal processor to the audio interface? If it has phone jack (TRS??) outs, do I just connect it to the line inputs on the audio interface? If it has XLR outs, do I hook it up to the audio interface's preamp?? :? :|

    Ok, thanks in advance for anyone who can "unconfuse" me. :lol:
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Will you have given us little information as to what your budget may be??

    For an efficient, good sounding and relatively modestly priced vocal input, I might suggest a Rode NT1a large capsule condenser microphone. An inexpensive microphone preamplifier such as one of the ART tube preamps. I would also recommend a compressor/limiter such as the DBX 166. This is a nice reasonably priced system for vocals. You may also want to get some kind of equalizer as well otherwise, just use the software's equalization.

    As for your input device, either one that you have mentioned would be more than adequate and give you similar performance. All these companies use the same integrated circuit chip manufacturers, analog-to-digital converters. If you want something slightly better try an Apogee.

    There are of course much more esoteric pieces of equipment that you could assemble that would set you back quite a bit more $$$. I myself do a lot of vocal recording have equipment like the venerable Neumann U87s, AKG 414, KM86S along with Neve and API microphone preamplifiers and equalizer's, and UREI 1176 and LA 3 compressor limiters, to name a few. That makes a sizable investment. Either system should do quite well and sound great.

    Ms. Remy Ann Emmy Grammy Soul Train nominated David
  3. Jark89

    Jark89 Guest

    Thanks for the input!

    Well, I'm probably looking to spend around $10,000 in total, with the pieces of gear accumulated one at a time over the next couple of years.

    The preamp/processor I have my eyes on at the moment is the Manley Voxbox, which I've had previous experience with in the studio. As for mics, I don't think I can go wrong w/ a Neumann U87. I've used that w/ the Manley, and it was a great match for my voice. I've also heard great stuff about the Groove Tubes Vipre preamp, so that might also be a possible choice, but then I'd have to couple it w/ a seperate compressor.

    The reason I want to make sure I get a good interface is because of the other high-end stuff. So are you saying I would get the same quality A/D converters between the $199 M-Audio and the $795 MOTU? What interface would you recommend from Apogee?

    Also, is what I said about hooking up the preamp/processor to the audio interface correct? Thanks again! :D
  4. huub

    huub Guest

    I must say, i have a rode nt1 myself, but from work i can borrough just about any mic..
    But usually i dont even bother getting a Neumann or whatever...I'm perfectly happy with the rode..(I do use my company's urei 1178 though...actualy i'm not really planning on ever giving it back.:)..)

  5. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2003
    huub - nice!
  6. jcnoernberg

    jcnoernberg Guest

    If you're only recording mono or maybe two tracks, why would you buy the motu which does 8+ tracks and costs 5 times as much? I've used a lot of m-audio stuff and always liked it... but I've also never had a $10,000 budget either. My whole setup is probably $500 not including my laptop... it pleases me and thats all im going for.

    They weren't lying when they said "you get what you pay for". I had one of those ART v3 tube preamps. Used it a half dozen times, stored it for 6months, pulled it out... it don't work! oh well, im out $100.00 if I can't fix it (i can fix anything though :twisted: )... Some of the best advice I've learned with the advent of ebay is... if you buy quality gear, it will maintain its value for years, then if you want to upgrade later, you can sell it off and if youre lucky, it didnt cost you much, if anything. for instance, I bought a used motu 828 off ebay for like $400, used if for a year, sold it back and actually made a few dollars off of the deal! i've dont that at least 2 or 3 times with guitars.... CHA CHING
  7. jayjames

    jayjames Guest

    A $10,000 budget for only one or two channels will get you some fantastic gear. I wouldn't even bother with semi-pro level gear such as MOTU or M-Audio. Try the Apogee Rosetta 200, or Benchmark ADC1 and DAC1 combo. Much better converters in a two-channel box. If you're looking a front end such as the Manley Voxbox and U87, definitely don't skimp on the converters. And while you're at it, look into some of the "classic" vocal chains... 2-channel Neve-ish pres, such as the Great River or Vintech, with an 1176 or LA2A for compression. Heck, with that budget, get a couple vintage Neve channel strips! And make sure you save a good chunk of cash for your vocal booth. A kickass front end in a bad sounding room with do a wonderful job of recording a bad sounding room, catch my drift. Check out the acoustics design forum and you will quickly be overwhelmed with info on this oft overlooked factor. In fact, you might want to work on this area before anything else.
    Good luck.
  8. Jark89

    Jark89 Guest

    Hi Jay:

    I'm not much of a gear head heheh, so if possible, I'd like to purchase an "all-in-1" interface...as I don't really understand how to chain up dedicated A/D D/A converters... :oops: :cry: I'm just a musician looking to save some $$$ in the long run by going w/ my own gear... :)

    I've done some more research, and it seems for these "all-in-1" interfaces (firewire), the RME Fireface is the best, in terms of its A/D/A converters.

    Would its converters do justice with a Manley Voxbox + U87 hooked up to it?

    Also, I guess I wasn't clear in my original post, but I only need 2 channels as far as mic pres go...heheh. I'll multiple inputs to record midi stuff, so the RME Fireface would fit perfectly.

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