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Time to help me purchase the rest of my gear for my Studio

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Ripper, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. Ripper

    Ripper Guest

    Hey guys, and gals...
    First let me introduce myself. My name is Brian, I am co-owner of a company called Thunder3 music in toronto (http://www.thunder3music.com), and soon to be T3M studios, also in Toronto. We now have taken over the building, a nice 3 story house, same layout as the famous Grant Avenue in Hamilton. What I need help with is buying the remainder of my gear. First I will tell you all what gear is now sitting in storage, waiting to go into the new place.

    -PC based DAW, nuendo 3.0, 3.4 ghz, 4 gigs DDR2 ram, 336 gb of Sata 10K rpm hard drive space, Dual monitor support, UAD-1 studio pack and Powercore element.

    -Tascam DM24 Digital mixer, equipped with the extra 8 in/out analog card, and the IF-FW firewire card, to be used as my interface.

    -KRK V8 monitors, self powered

    -full patchbay system, tt bantam, system that most people looked at on ebay, the SSL pull.

    -Shure Beta 57, leftover from my last project studio

    -EPEK 7 piece custom drum set

    I know it isn't a lot of gear as of yet, for a semi-pro establishment, but the funding is here and availible. The main things I am looking for suggestions on are...

    -Microphones, drum mics, all around mics, good vocal mic and so on.
    -External pre's, Will the DM24 pre's be good enough for the drums, or should I invest in a nice 8-ch and a nice 4-ch for the drums, or a couple of both? any suggestions? Also, should I some two ch pres as well for more concentrated recordings, like vocals, stereo instrument miking and so on.
    -Wordclock, Is there a reason to get an appogee clock or something else, or will I be ok with the internal clocks of the Mixer .
    -External gear, I have gotten used to using mostly only plug ins, is there a reason to get some external gear, effects, dynamics, so on? When and Why would I use it over plug ins, and what gear is recomended.
    -Anythign else I may be forgetting.

    Like I said earlier, I used to run a small project studio out of my house, but now I am taking the leap into a pro studio. I have a good amount of money availible right now, about $13000 canadian, to spend on gear before opening. Please take the time, those who are knowledgable and patient enough to have read this, and throw out any suggestions you may have. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks very much

    PS If anyone has any good gear for sale, feel free to email me at brian@thunder3music.com .
  2. heyman

    heyman Guest

    Brian, I wish you luck in the building of your studio. I would like to make a few suggestions. If you want to make the leap to a semi pro/pro studio you are gonna need to bulk up your mics, your pre's and your recorder. You may need to spend more than 13,000 canadien to get everything up to semi pro/pro level.

    These are just suggestions but....

    I would dump the Tascam Digital mixer and sell it. You can mix inside your PC with NUendo, Sonar, or pro tools.

    Recorder- IZ corp. Radar 24 - Nyquist version. I use one, I am partial to it. They are rock solid and have some of the best converters in them.

    Outboard mic pre's - maybe 4 to 8 channels of pre's ?
    All pre's out there sound unique in their own way.

    For rock stuff - API 3124 - 4channels
    Also other people praise the Great river stuff- the list goes on and on -Vintech, Sebratron, etc...

    Mic's -

    get at least 1 high end mic for vocals.

    couple of sm57's
    couple of 421' s
    Akg d112 for kick drums.
    Pair of nice mics for overheads for drums? I like the Royer stuff 121, -122's
  3. Ripper

    Ripper Guest

    I am unpretty much using the DM24 only as AD/DA through the firewire option, and as a control surface for nuendo, is this a bad set-up?
  4. heyman

    heyman Guest

    Good or bad, I dont know, but I would have to think that the AD DA converters in the unit are probibly not what you would call Pro quality.

    Again, I dont know. I would ask around the forum about that one.

    Converters are pretty much the most important point in any Daw setup. Nuendo, pro tools , etc... They all have great front end features as far as the software, but at the end of the day when you are left with a subpar mix, this may be a limitation of Converters.

    As far as pro tools users go. Most of the higher end "pro" shops dont use the hardware AD DA converters that come stock with 001, 002 etc ... They use an external Clock source ( Prism, Apogee)

    Heck, you even see Big studios going out and buying a full blown pro tools rig and then going out and getting a RADAR 24, whcih is not cheap BTW, just for External Clock!!
  5. Ripper

    Ripper Guest

    Anyone, I am kind of looking for someone to help point out the necessities or a good studio, mic and pre amp wise. I have the pre amps in the DM24, but I would much rather use external pres, with a better sound. And mics, I am looking for a full set-up for everything from drums to piano.
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    First, I have to respectfully disagree that converters are the most important part of a DAW set up .... I think good mic pres have a lot more to do with getting great sound ... first, front end (eq's, compressors, mics, pres) then converters .... without great front end, all you have is well converted garbage .... so I would stick with the Tascam and forget the RADAR. Without some type of mixer, how will you monitor inputs without latency while tracking? The RADAR is killer but expensive and you need a mixer to use it. How would you monitor the RADAR while you record without some type of mixer? You gotta have some type of mixer IMO.

    In your case I would recommend the TMP8 from JLM Audio .. a transformer balanced preamp type 8 channel mic pre very similar to API / Focusrite Red pres .... then depending on how many channels you will need to be able to record at once (for pop production 16 is usually common) I would say perhaps a couple of Sebatron VMP-4000e's, a 4 channel transformer balanced tube pre. If you would like to hear either of these pres in action, you can check out the audio snips I posted in the Reviews section here at RO.

    I would pick up a Manley ELOP compressor and perhaps that new stereo version of the UA1176 ... at least 3 channels or more of compression is needed in my opinion ... a couple channels of nice EQs would be good too! I recommend the Amek system 9098s if you can still get them .... a bonus is the the 9098s have very decent pres in them as well ...

    I started a thread here called KF's mic closet recommendations, check it out for what mics you will need ... .... this one is exactly what you're asking about.

    That should spend just about all of your budget..
  7. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    i'm with kurt!!!

    talent and performance, mic, pre, inserts and then a/d...

    list mics
    kick - D112
    snare - SM57
    toms - MD421
    overheads and hi-hats - C414 and C451B
    at least one more sm57, maybe take a look at a d2 and d4...

    pres kurt gave you some good ones
    i'd buy something like a sebatron for tube pre...
    and for a/d you could take a look at the rme fireface 800

    and other thing i think may be worth the money is the new focusrite liquid channel pre...
    it's getting people excited...

    but mainly don't forget your rooms... do they have good acoustics??? you can spend a lot of money just on that...
  8. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    Good luck with your new venture.

    Instead of answering specific gear needs, I would have to caution you about accruing too much/if any debt-load.

    The "pro" studio business is a very difficult game to play, so you'll need to run lean and mean. I'm not trying to give you an economics lesson, just some sage advice from someone who has owned 4 large studios over 21 years.

    I (personally) would never buy a piece of gear unless I absolutely needed it for a specific project or if I thought that it would increase my quality instantly. You obviously need some more "start-up" gear. Just something to keep in mind down the road.

    That being said, here's your priorities in order of importance.

    1. Acoustics- No matter how many good mics you buy, if the rooms suck, so will the recordings. Get some pro advice on this before you start diy'ing it.

    2. Mic pres- If you invest in the best,(whetever you feel that is) they will make most "modest" mics sound better then buying high-end mics and using poor pre's.

    3. Mics- Simply get the best you can afford. I would go with quality over quantity. It's usually better to use less (better quality) mics on a drum-set, then to slap a boat-load of (lower quality) mics on it. Try to get a killer/versatlie vocal mic (LDC), one that can be used on many, many sources. Also buy a good pair of matched stereo condenser mics. Many things will require a good stereo set.

    Sorry to sound overly general, but I've seen many people take the leap you about to take and fail miserably.

    If you are a talented and hard-working engineer and above all an honest business-man, your chances are pretty good that you'll make a good run at the business. Always remember that Karma counts in business.

    Hope this helps.

  9. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    Mar 31, 2002
    How do you pay for a 3 story house with 1 room worth of recording gear?

    Are you guys planning to do all commercial work or will this be a music production studio catering musicians?

    All the other opinions are rock solid so far.

    MY view is Monitoring path is most important (after talent etc) because without it you cannot tell what you are getting from the rest of the gear. The DAC is part of the monitoring path and guys like Bob Katz and Bob Ohlsson will tell you it is critical.

    So based on all the other input so far I think it would be best to have a simple but rock solid path from Mic-to-speakers. Variety can take a second seat IMO.

    Good luck!
  10. baboon

    baboon Guest

    We run a pro studio in the UK. We run Tascam DM24's as our main mixer. I have used this desk for about 3 years and you can do alot more with it than you think. We clocked ours to an apogee bigben and this has made the desk sound substancially better. As far as pre's go our drum sound improved alot when we got our API pre's. Our main improvement though was when we moved to our new place with superb acoustics. Better than any piece of kit. Hope this helps

  11. Ripper

    Ripper Guest

    Hey where did you get the desk built for your mixers?

    this is what I think I am going to do in the ways of pre amps

    1 x API 3124 4 ch pre
    1 x Sebatron 4000vu
    1 x JLM 8 ch pre ( anyone know a canadian/us dealer)
    1 x Drawmer 1960
    1 x Focusrite Liquid Channel

    Outboard compressor I will get the Vari mu from manley, and I have the UAD-1 and the powercore internally.

    Let me know your thoughts on my choises.

  12. baboon

    baboon Guest

    I built it myself
  13. Ripper

    Ripper Guest

    Wow, that turned out very nice for a DIY project. Let me ask you this, what is the advantage of having two mixing boards? I am unsing the firewire option, and I don't believe that you can use multiple.
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    The 1960, I do not care for at all ... I owned one for about a month or two and I ended up trading it in on a Manley ELOP. The pre in the 1960 is noisy and compressor is heavy handed ... it has a sound all its own so I guess it's a matter of taste ... I love Drawmers gates but I don't care a lot for their dynamics processors.

    Much talk regarding the Liquid Channel, some good, some bad. Negatives are that it is pretty flat and lifeless sounding, no depth of sound field ..

    In place of these two, I would get a pair of Millennia STT-1's instead, probably at a price savings .... a better pre amp and a killer eq and compressor section ... the mic pre can be run in solid state or tube mode with or without a transformer in the audio path, and you can select tube or solid state mode for the the eq / compressor section as well .. The mic pre and eq comp sections may be used separately and this will satisfy the need for a couple of channels of nice EQ I was referring to earlier ... I am deep in love with the compressor on the STT-1 ... I think it's worth the price of the unit alone ... The STT-1's will complement the Sebatrons and the JLMs nicely, this is the set up I am shooting for (still waiting for the JLM) ...
  15. baboon

    baboon Guest

    The advantage of two boards is double everything, double channels, double effects sends and my main channels go straight accross both boards so I don't have to use the layers so often.
  16. Hey, Im Kevin from Oshawa. Im a fan of Thunder3Music, I met Paul Lau at the TMX a year ago... very cool guy.

    I've had a lot of luck in many situations with the Presonus Eureka. Especailly for tracking Bass Guitar and Piano. It's a versatile little box that also offers spdif digital out, and world clock in. the ADL 600 is amazing aswell. Impedance matching is a must for any preamp.

    Good luck with your studio!

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