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Simple need to know question

Discussion in 'Recording' started by XTREEMMAK, Apr 11, 2006.


    XTREEMMAK Active Member

    I currently have a nice DAW setup and we get a preaty good sound for mixing and recording. As far as out gear goes, we only have the Onix 1220 with Firewire, a 5 channel MIDI interface, MBOX2 (mainly used for monitoring), and some instruments. I look at some of these other studios and I see more outgear; mic preamps, reverb, limiters, compression, ect. As far as effects go, i'm not too concerned about having an out gear reverb box, chorus, phaser, ect. Nuendo and WAVES does that fine. Why do some of these guys have these outgear units? What is the signal flow through the chain?

  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    outBOARD gear

    The main reason so many people have outboard gear is probably because it was what was needed before everything could be done ITB (in the box).

    A good reason for keeping the outboard gear even after going to a DAW is because some outboard gear just sounds better than many of the plugins.

    As for hooking this gear up into the signal path, well, you simply route an output from the DAW to the desired piece of outboard gear and route it's output back into the DAW. It could be setup as a bus output where you can route a few different channels through it. There are literally dozens (if not hundreds) of different ways of doing this.
  3. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    As far as reverb and other effects, yes, plug-ins can do them as good as most any outboard processor. For things like dynamics (comps, limiters, gates), a good rack-mount piece will blow the ass out of any plug-ins. Especially when looking for a particular sound. The same applies for mic pres, you can get seperate channels of mic pres that your Onyx can't come close to.

    Routing is another story, depending on your goals and gear.

    XTREEMMAK Active Member


    What would you recommend as far as "dollar saving but not really"? I want to see what units I can find for under $1000 each. Mabe like one compressor, limitor, and mic preamp. I meen I know right now we cant afford an Avolon preamp but there must be something suitable or even (if possible) better for lower. Like the Studio Projects SP828 8-Channel Microphone Preamp and Mixer looks preaty nice (zzounds.com).
  5. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Now you have to make the call...a channel strip can provide the pre, eq, and compressor, but only one channel. If you go with a multi-channel pre, you only get the pre but up to eight channels.

    XTREEMMAK Active Member


    Like I was reading a bit through the price saving post and I saw something interesting:
    "If not bought used, buy it to last".

    Makes sense right? So I found these:



    I believe these will last me till we dog up the funds for better processors huh? No I just need to find where I can buy these used >:D
  7. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    For compression and limiting on a budget it is hard to beat the RNC and RNLA. Even at higher price points...its all around good gear.

    I built an SSL bus compressor for under $300.
  8. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you feel you're doing OK, now, be careful of intermediate "upgrades" or sideways moves...

    I truly feel that with what you have now, it would be difficult to make a worthwhile improvment for the price you ask in mic pre's or effects. "Different", maybe? Better? Not likely - or not likely to make enough difference to justify the cost AND the added complexity...

    I have a little Mackie mixer with it's own pre's - they're fine - usable... I also have a 500 dollar, 1 channel, mic pre/strip, which I normally use(I do voiceover), and there is "more to it" - More flexible EQ, compression, dee-essing, AES/EBU digital out, etc. , and since there is "only me", I can often set the thing and forget it for weeks at a time... However, to improve on IT(And I'd like to), I'll, someday, go to a single channel pre(Or strip) that costs around 3 grand! For ONE CHANNEL! Of course I'll need the 3 G mic to go with it and the 3 G speakers to hear it! Yeah, I'll be "happy", but, even there, I already know that, in the end, I won't hear any "real" difference, most of the time(I do VO for radio and TV - not exactly primo mediums for sound quality...). And, truth to tell, when it DOES count(For the big money) I always end-up at a "real" studio, with the fancy gear, real engineers, etc., already in place, at their expense...

    If your purpose is to do "nice little recordings"(A good thing!), add some outboard stuff, as you can, if you like, but don't expect to start using your new mic pre or outboard reverb box and say - Wow! This is s-o-o-o-o much better! Ain't gonna' happen... And, as stated, the complexity expands greatly, really fast... If you feel you need such things, you've already "checked 'em out", whatever, and can afford them(By that I mean you can afford to pay alot for a very, very little more and be happy.), have at it, but outboard gear is no direct route to greatness......

    If the option is there, I'd buy stuff to compliment what you have now -- maybe better mics, speakers, better room treatment, better computer, better software, better plug-ins, maybe a bigger Mackie, so you can handle larger sessions? Or maybe some other, pricier, digital board, that would just "fit in the place" of the Onyx?

    Fact? Most "outboard" gear(Effects anyway) are just the computer plug-ins "in a box"... sad but true... Some of the "kilobuck" boxes? Maybe they are "special"...(Even there I'm not too sure..?)?

    Finally, if you really want to try the outboard thing, I'd suggest an excellent 1 channel mic pre and an excellent mic(Or two of different capablities?) to go with it. For your "main" vocal, whatever. MAKE SURE you know how it's going to fit into your system BEFORE you buy it! Last thing you want to do is run it through the Mackie circuitry!(Not that the Mackie is "bad", but if you're trying to improve on it, you must then, avoid it.). And, again, make sure you know that a 500 buck pre and a 500 buck mic may not make a whole lot of difference over what you have now.....(Fun to have though!)...


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