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Upgrading audio recording gear

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by gianlu5080, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. gianlu5080

    gianlu5080 Active Member

    Hello,

    I mainly record classical solo piano music (recitals in theatres and auditorium with very good acoustics) and I'm very proud of the results: by now I used a km183 spaced pair in A-B recording technique through an M-audio usb Duo (preamp, AD converter and audio card all in a box) connected to an Apple powerbook.

    I need to upgrade some of my gear to get even better results, and i'm focusing on the following options (but feel free to add new ones):

    1- RME fireface 800: 4 good preamps and very good converters (very good value for money, but really a step up from my actual configuration?)

    2- A Mackie 1202 vlz pro or onyx (for preamps) and a quality AD standalone converter (benchmark, Apogee, ....)

    3- A great sounding standalone preamp: Millennia is not an option (too expensive and perhaps too "standard") but someone suggested to me the SPL Goldmike mark II tube preamp or Universal Audio 2108: what do you think? How will they blend with my mics?

    4- A combination of Apogee Mini-Mp (preamp) and Mini-Me (AD converter with usb)

    Really it's not very simple choosing something without testing it, but you guys are so experienced and talented that i feel you'll help me clarify things.

    Many thanks

    Gianluca
     
  2. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Hi

    I record lots of classical and acoustic music, and I recentely had the opportunity to try a few pieces of gear that really made a difference in the recording.

    To me, since you have some good mics (even though an additional pair of different flavored ones wouldn't hurt) the thing that would kick the sound to the next level would be a good preamp. I really liked the Focusrite ISA 428, as it's a compact (2RU) and verastile multichannel pre, clean enough to record classical music, but with a bit of life in it, so that it doesn't sound "boring". Being a 4 channel pre you could experiment with stereo pair and spot mics, or use it on larger ensembles. Plus, you can equip it with its own AD converter and go straight into your sound card (if it's got lightpipe inputs), providing a better conversion quality too.

    If you have the chance try it out, I'm ordering mine next month (in the UK store I saw on the web you can find it for as low as €1250 plus shipping, but without AD card).

    Hope this helps

    L.G.
     
  3. sunflute

    sunflute Guest

    Where are you placing the km183 exactly? Thank you
     
  4. gianlu5080

    gianlu5080 Active Member

    Many thanks Lorenzo,
    I'll chek out the ISA 428, the verstility of the 4 channels is very important as you suggested, my only doubt is how much "coloration" this preamp introduces in my chain, and in which frequencies...........
    I definitely must try it.

    Gianluca
     
  5. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Gianluca

    I had the chance to try it out in a recording session last week in a friend of mine's studio, and although it was used on drums the sound I got was big but not colored or hyped in any sense. You just have a warm musical tone that can be used for a serie of applications. Plus, it has an impedance switch that allows you to mate it with the mics you are using and have a perfect coupling of the voltages, it changes the tone as well for added versatility.
    I guess it would be a perfect tool for classical or acoustic recordings, in that you could set a spaced pair (or coincident or near coincident pair, I favor ORTF) for the whole picture and a pair of spot mics colser in on the source to give more focus when needed; recording that in multitrack gives you the ability to manage the mix later and have the tone you want, this has been my approach for the majority of the records I did.

    Hope this helps

    L.G.
     
  6. gianlu5080

    gianlu5080 Active Member

    The 2 microphones are spaced about 40-60 cm from each other, placed in front of the piano (in standard A-B technique but not always exactly centered depending on particular acoustics reflections) at a distance of 1.5/3m from the piano (depending on acoustics and reverberation) and at 2m of height.
    But then I experiment with sublte position changes and I stop only when I'm satisfied with the result.

    Gianluca
     
  7. sunflute

    sunflute Guest

    Thank you, I would recommend that you take a look at the Sytek 4 channel preamp and connect it to the RME fireface 800.

    I record classical flute and that's the gear I just ordered to upgrade my whole setup.
     

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