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Tips & Advice about new recording studio gear.

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Vitalie Andries, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

    Hi, everyone.
    He started a new year and I decided to upgrade to the studio. :)
    If you have time and you could give me some tips about this gear I would be very thankful.

    I now equipped. (Neumann M147tube, Avalon VT-737SP, Apogee Rosetta 800, RME Digiface, Yamaha DM1000 with Digital I/O ADAT Card, Quested v2108, Cubase 8Pro, UAD & other soft...)

    But already, want to have something else to voice equipment. (working only with pop and folk music)
    And of course I want to go from processing software (plug-ins) to combination soft with analog.
    So here is the list that I want..

    Microphone - Neumann U87 Ai
    Pre-amp - Vintech Audio X73i
    Compressor - Warm Audio WA76

    Passive EQ:
    Warm Audio EQP-WA

    500 Series chassis empty;
    Radial WR8
    Bento Fredenstein 10D
    Here I am not decided ...

    500 series processors;
    IGS Audio One 500.

    Maag Audio EQ2 2-Band Equalizer 500 seires Band; 2 units
    Elysia Xpressor 500 Stereo Compressor
    IGS Audio S-Type 500 - Stereo Mix Bus VCA Compressor

    I would like to know your opinion about the gear, of course if you have time for me.
    Thank you and I wish everyone a nice new year.

    thanks for advice
    Vitalie Andries
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Vitalie, good to have you with us, welcome!

    I've owned the new U87 ai and although I liked it, after a comparison to the Mojave MA 300 , I sold the U87 and had extra money in my pocket. But the U87 has a high reputation that may give you business so that is to be considered as well.
    If you are able to demo the Mojave's, you might be pleasantly happy.

    What ever you choose, a really top end mic pre to go alone with any mic is the answer. I've heard good things about the Vintech Audio X73i.

    The rest, I have no experience with. I did have a WA12 that came through here which seemed pretty budget. Never even tried it. That new Warm Audio Pultec clone "looks" cool!

    Hope that helps a bit. others will chime in with more. ;)
    Vitalie Andries likes this.
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't grab the warms until you've tried them. They're made to meet a price point significantly lower than the rest of your stuff. Other than that your list looks very nice. Rane PE 15s will run you about a hundred bucks or so, and is a decent eq. Probably as good or better sonically and QC wise as the warm. Don't let the price fool you they are decent good eqs the re 15s.

    Also, I would say that instead of the 87, unless your matching specifically to a voice you regualrly record, you'll get far more mileage out of a 414 and tlm 102. For half the price you get a far more versatile useable mics, and you get two of them. These mics are all real mics and similar in build quality.

    I find w the 87 that the "hit"s they refer to are from an era of tape and neves and SSLs. The tendency to have very bright vocal mics worked when 'cut' was an issue as an engineer. Not the case anymore. And while a great preamp is almost a necessity to maximize the performance of these mics, it's not going to have the footprint sonically that a large console and bunch of OB will have. Not that this is a bad thing, it's just mic is voiced to cut like that.

    I have had an 87 around the studio for 5 years and it was my holy grail 'gotta have' mic. Ives used it about 10 times, and never on lead. Kik, acoustic gtrs, I've found a place for the 87. I will say I was dissapointed in the hype, and find it doesn't match to singers very often compared to a 441, 102. I just think it's overpriced. And since you already have an arguable better nueman, there are better. It's out there IMHO.
    Vitalie Andries likes this.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Nice one Kyle. Words that should be included in a lot more than just the U87 too.
    Why many old school vintage engineers can't get onto digital today. They are hyping and twisting everything out of control when a simple, less is more would suffice. Been there myself.
    After using a lot of analog goodies over the last few years and doing A/B comparisons ITB vs OTB, , I get 100% of it done ITB when I hardly touch the mouse turns. Less is more.
    Vitalie Andries likes this.
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    U87's aren't that bright. i think they sound fairly neutral above 10k with a little cut in the 2 to 4k region. pretty smoth in fact. that's what i like about them. nothing like AKG's which are very bright, which is what i like about them.
    Vitalie Andries likes this.
  6. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    The vintech x73i is an amazing preamp but I'm not sure I'd combine it with the warm without testing the combination. (as others said)
    If you are looking at a preamp and a compressor, you could go for a combo like the UA 610 or the 6176 or ISA 220, Millenia STT-1 or Great River MEQ-1NV.
    I also recommend the AKG414 and the Mojave M300 unless you realy aim for the reputation to grab your customers interest.
    You don't say if you are gonna recording only 1 vocal or instrument at the time but, if it's more than vocals, I suggest having at least 1 two channels unit
    Vintech x273 or others.
    Vitalie Andries likes this.
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I own a vintage U87 thats isn't bright at all. It's really kinda flat...but sounds like a Neumann...The AI is kinda bright compared to it. Not unusable at all. But why would you want another Neumann? I'm being facetious.

    Okay, lets go down your list.....

    I own a Warm Audio WA76. Don't let the price tag fool you. Its a very good compressor and is in the range of the unit it's styled after. I have a friend who builds his own 1176 and LA2A clones. His sound better and he's basing his on a couple of kits available. He upgrades the wire and thats it. These kits have ALL the exact parts of the originals. These are old circuits and there's no mystery to them. So, he can build an exact 1176 for a few hundred dollars thats sounds as good or better than a UA version for 2K+.

    I'm using this as an example of price points. Some budget gear is "you get what you pay for" other stuff is actually a bargain for the quality and function.

    The Radial 500 chassis is a no brainer. Better power supplies than all the rest. Built like tanks. I have one.

    I own an IGS Alter 500 comp. Its a good comp. Sorta like an 1176 in what it does. A little more versatile but you can get the 'all-buttons-in' thing with it. Well built stuff, IGS.
    The Elysia Xpressor is a seriously great comp. I wish I had bought one. I probably will sometime soon. I use all their software all the time. Incredible company.
    I also have a Grace M502 in my 500 rack. Excellent optical comp. You want one. Seriously.
    I also have a Retro Double Wide in the 500 rack. Recommended.
    The Vintech is as close to a Neve 1073 as you can get without spending the large cash to get a real one. Good choice as another flavor with the Avalon.

    As for the mic. A 87 gives you patterns your M147 doesnt have. This can be helpful at times. I'm not really sure if you will need different patterns for your work. I would suggest the Mojave MA300 as has been suggested. I would also look at Peluso's and Cathedral Pipes mics. If you're going to spend the type of cash a U87ai pulls, then you owe it to yourself to really shop for something great. I own two Cathedral Pipes mics. There hasn't been anything I have heard in the last 10 years that gets any better than these at their price point or price points twice as much. The ribbon mic is extremely excellent. The other one I have was built as a 'one-off' for a mic shoot-out several years ago and is the only one of its kind. I can't say enough good things about these. Another company with great high-end mics is ADK. They have a lot of models that are standard off the shelf and are all quite good for what they are designed to do. But the Custom Shop stuff is equal to any high-end stuff made. Just something to think about.
    kmetal and Vitalie Andries like this.
  8. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

    Thanks all for receptivity and advice.
    Regarding the microphone, we analyze and Brauner Valvet version ... but someone from friends saying, do not buy another tube microphone ... especially as I now equipped with M147tube ...
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Having a nice tube mic in your cabinet can be very useful - it's a great addition to any mic locker, but, if I had to pick just one mic to have, it probably wouldn't be a tube mic - because the sound is what it is, and while tube mics can add a very nice, rich and warm color/character to whatever you use it on - especially vocals - you are "printing" that sound. Once it's there, it's there. You can't unbake the cake, so to speak.

    If it were me, I'd rather have a very nice condenser mic (or even a nice dynamic) and a selection of different pre amps - one of which might be a nice tube model. That way, I can pick and choose my color choices as I need them.

    I can choose total transparency by putting the mic through an ultra clean transparent pre, or, I can put the mic through a tube pre and dial in the amount of color /saturation that I want.

    You have the Vintech, which is, as Dave has already mentioned, a Neve 1073 clone. 1073's can be very nice preamps, they have a certain character to them that is classic, well known, and sought after by many... but I wouldn't consider them to be transparent.

    So... you already have several character-adding links in your chain: the Vintech, the tube mic, etc. If you already have a fairly transparent solid state condenser mic, you might want to consider looking into a nice, ultra -transparent pre amp, for times when you don't necessarily want "that" color that you'll get with a 1073 clone and a tube mic.

    It's all relative to the choices of sounds you want available to you. If you are happy with the tube sound, or the Neve pre, then that's your thing, and that's fine. But personally, I'd rather have choices. ;)

    IMHO of course.
    Vitalie Andries and pcrecord like this.
  10. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

    By counsel, a friend, I decided to remove from shopping list Maag Audio EQ2 (he says as Maag in the plug-in version is very good ... especially if I choose only to strip air ..)
    IGS Audio S-Type 500.
    And adds, Shadow Hills Industries Dual Vandergraph 500 series.
    How do you think I did right? ...

    It also proposes to replace the Vintech Audio X73i on something 500 series, but still remain colors 1073
    can you advise me ...?
    Vintech Audio Vintech X73i + Power Supply = $ 1,600, it can take something the 500 series at the same price (or cheaper) but still so good? ...
    Thanks so much.
  11. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I would keep the X73i as a full rack with separate power supply and concentrate my 500 rack on variety. The proposed vocal chain you have put forward, U87>Vintech>WA76 is going to be a very good one. It would be hard to get something that is better overall. Different? sure.... better?...not so much.

    If you are looking at stereo bus compressors for the 500 rack, going with the Elysia will get you everything you could ever want in a bus compressor. If you need more than one in a hardware application then I would look more at some of the offerings in the UAD software. I don't know what UAD card you have, but if its a quad then the processors you would have available through this means are close to the hardware versions. At a fraction of the price.

    Adding hardware to your system is all about your workflow. Do you primarily round-trip tracks through the hardware to add that certain sound?? Or are you adding these things as enhancements going in at capture? There's a lot of thoughts about the round-trip here on this site but it depends on your individual needs as to whether this would be something to strive for or whether its a waste of time and money for you when MANY software emulations do a splendid job of achieving comparable results. And often with less noise and a higher headroom.

    I used my 500 rack as a variety of compressors. I didn't go after outboard EQ as many of the software EQ's are simply better and easier to use for what I use EQ for in my needs as a producer. I use EQ liberally but often as the ONLY enhancement in a session. EQ and placement in the panorama can get you a lot of finished sounds. So, for me, buying hardware EQ's would be giving up most of my rack space and to achieve what I can get with software EQ's, MOST of my budget. In my studio I have two hardware stereo bus comps. And 14 channels of single comps. All different in some way. Some VCA, some optical, some FET....they all do different things to the source. Do I use em all every session? No. But they are always ready.
    This is just what I did. Your results may vary.
    pcrecord and Vitalie Andries like this.
  12. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

    Thanks a lot, Davedog!!!
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Check out Vitalie website! Pretty cool. (y)
    pcrecord and Vitalie Andries like this.
  14. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Indeed. Who did the web design for you? Did you produce the music?
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Very Star Trek sounding. Good background music for TV shows. I looked at you link a few day ago, it wasn't this. I bet you are thrilled, happy to see your business advancing.
  17. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Is this your current room? Looks cozy, whats on the walls? Looks like fiber?

  18. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

    Yes Chris, we are a team of two people in our studio, me and wife :) I manage orchestration, recording, mixing, post production. And his wife is a composer and lyricist. Together realize music projects for the local market with artists in our country, and of course we made for television projects. Of course we want to broaden the spectrum of collaborations but currently only work with local projects.
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Ah, this is a beautiful thing, having your love of life along side with you. Wonderful to have you here with us.
    Vitalie Andries likes this.
  20. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

    Yes, the current control room. On the wall is a kind of carpet all too thin.

    Attached Files:

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