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Utilising what you already have, what was your latest success ?

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by pcrecord, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. pcrecord

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

    Hi gang,

    I thought it would be fun and instructive to share our latest optimisations in all aspect of our studio.

    Here's my latest realisation :
    For years, I've been using a behringer headphones amps and with the limited outputs of my audio outputs interface, it was a fair match but those 4 mono AUX inputs always bugged me. For years I had mono headphone mixes, not a big deal since I can't remember one customer who complained about it.

    Last night I had free time in the studio and was checking up my setup and I realised I wasn't using digital outputs much. I use a FF800 that has a headphone output with a Saffire 56 in standalone mode that has 2 headphone outputs. So get this, to make use of the 56's outputs, I used the Adat out from the FF800 to the input of the 56 and created 2 mixes in Totalmix and in Mixcontrol. So I now have a routing that puts to use those 2 headphone jacks of the 56.. I then redone the soldering in my pannel to have a pair of stereo headphones for the musician. Also, I just realise I could use my spdif output to send to my home theater amp and have another headphone mix.. So I now have 4 mono and 4 stereo headphone mixes. All that without spending a dime !!! I just needed to re-think my signal flow !!

    Now what's your latest optimisations ?
    kmetal likes this.
  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I've made a pile of old gear I won't need or want and am investing in new. The berringer power amp and patch bay are in the 'going out' pile. Along with some compressors, an ampeg bass amp, Mesa cab, possibly a tascam reel to reel, and a rode mic. Somewhere around 3k worth of metal just sitting there, some of it barely used. Old cables are in a bin as extra. I'm actually keeping very little. Just some 57s and the 414 and some stands and my guitars, a radial re amp, and a power conditioner and tuner. I will also be keeping my beloved tascam 424mk3 portastudio, which was my first recording device.

    I'll be using that money for a new Marshall dsl combo amp, my new computer I speced out a few months ago, and a bicycle (which I'll need after I buy the burl mothership) because I will have no gas money lol. I'm hoping to squeeze a DBx 160x out of the consolidation. And say farewell to my dbx166xl which I surely got my $50 worth out of. I purposefully took a few years off from gear purchases to see what holes I could fill at the studios, and got them built.

    As I evolved into a professional I had less need for some of this stuff, and I don't record clients at home, so my needs are minimal. No more prosumer stuff for me. Gonna get a couple high end mic stands and eventually a neve pre or two. When my interface takes a ride out D has dibs on it.

    I'll be purchasing my first home in the next year or two and my main focus will be mixing and mastering remotely, as well as some overdubs/songwriter stuff.

    I've yet to ever regret spending 4K on my full stack, the triple rectifier head, which I traded for a years worth of booze and fast food (that part I do regret somewhat but se la vi). The money even at premium prices has never outweighed the enjoyment I've gotten from the gear, and the satisfaction of 'best it really good'.

    My skills have developed to the point where the gear has become a limiting factor. I've been lucky in that most of the stuff I've bought has held or (sometimes greatly) exceeded what I paid. I tended to lean toward tried and true on mics, and just got lucky with a few boxes.

    I'm minimizing wasted space, and gear I don't need, and jumping forward into the higher end only stuff. The trade off being I will only have a few select prices to start with.

    After the basics are covered my next purchase will be big 'mains' style speakers and/or a pair of B&w speakers. Sterling sound has a 5.1 set. Eddie Kramer either endorses or used the burl converters on some Hendrix re-mixes and they sound true to both the classic sound and modern standards. I'm trimming the fat, and looking forward to the next phase in my career as a hybrid staff guy (at triad/Normandy) and freelance as owner of 'boundless entertainment'.

    I'm using what I have as an asset or equity to make my rig much smaller and much much more powerful.
    pcrecord likes this.
  3. pcrecord

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

    I also need to skin up some unused gear. Have some live gear that I don't need anymore, Wireless mics and in-ears monitors...
    It's hard to seperate from gear that were and still are top of the line.. but I guess we all need to move foward ! ;)
    kmetal likes this.
  4. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I had an AT4050 and a UA Solo 610 in the same room for months before I thought to try them together. Now it's my habitual setup though I'm now liking the AKG C535 into the 610 as well.
    pcrecord likes this.
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Never heard of a c535. What are you finding you like it for ??@bouldersound

    The good thing about the higher end gear is it holds or grows in value quite well. It's almost an investment of sorts.
    pcrecord likes this.
  6. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    It's a cardioid SDC in a handheld vocal mic format with a four position switch for low cut and pad. I like it for vocals. I even recorded a singer using it handheld so she could work the mic, which she couldn't do as easily with a 4050. I think people also use it for group vocals, snare and various other instruments.
    kmetal likes this.
  7. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    What type and how much $ Kyle???
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    It's a rode Nt-1a. Has less than 5 hours on it. I'm looking for $175, which is slightly higher than some on eBay which Have completed any from 80-180 in general. Mine has the shock mount but didn't include the pop filter. I might have an extra laying around I could toss in if your interested in buying a bunch of my clients spit.

    I paid $230+tax so taking much more than a 55$/25% hit, is just going to keep it as a soldering project for me. Pm me if your interested and we can probably work something out, I'd rather see someone get some enjoyment out of it than have it go into guitar centers vault.

    I bought it along w an audio technica 3035 on the same day, and they have a no-return policy on mics cuz of contact w the mouth/germs. Lol if they only knew where guitars have been...

    Within a few months I bought a 414, and just haven't found much use for the rode other than on a handdrum a few years back. 'Nuff said.
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Sweet, I'll keep my eyes open for one. I don't see a lot of SDC handhelds, sounds interesting. I'm a huge Akg fan, although less and less as Harmon slowly turns everything into mackie.
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I don't think there's anything wrong with using a Rode NT1, I've seen them in just as many "real" studios as I have in home setups; the difference there is that the pro rooms also have a slew of higher end mics to choose from as well, while most home studios are relying on the NT1 as their main - and sometimes their only - LDC.

    Guys I know who bought them when they first came out - the black models - aren't letting them go all that easily; according to them, the "original" NT1's are smoother on the top end and warmer sounding in the lower mids, ( although we all know that this also depends greatly on what pre you're using with it, too) while more than a few who have used the "newer" NT1 versions claim that they aren't even the same mic as those first-years models, that they don't sound the same, when compared apples to apples and using the same pre's as they do with the older NT's... Having recorded with both, my personal opinion is that the differences between them were actually very subtle, and not nearly as noticeable as those who've claimed it to be.

    Ear of the beholder, I guess.
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I've always found the nt1a a bit too nasally or sharp in the 1-5k range. I've used it once or twice on djembe with good results, and as part of an array on acoustic gtr. I think it could
    Be a lot better. I think replacing the ic chip(s) and wateve else mod heads would do, could make it reach its potential.

    I thought rode was just a junk company based on hype, but after a dissapointing experience with nt-1a, the nt5, and nt2, were impressive. Sean mentioned in a pm he got the nt2a, I'm curious if the differences are subtle, between the 2 and 2a, as with the 1 and 1a.

    I don't know what it is with mics but it seems they get progressively worse as models change. From 87s to 414s it seems to hold true across the board. Look out for the sm57a!!! Lol. One of my co workers says even 57s have cheapened the transformer or some part, over the years. I've heard differences in other mics, but all 57s sound the same to me.
  12. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    That would be a good comparison to test, If only I had an NT2 floating around....:(

    - I have used 57's for a while for live stuff, I did have an older model that when compared to a newer one did seem to have more punch, so much so that I used to take it to rehersals where the studio we practiced in had rooms full of them, newer, shinier models and I always swapped them over and used mine...

    - And, you guessed it, thats where I left it by mistake one night, on our last rehersal before a christmas break, not realising until we got back together after everybody came back from their respective holidays in the new year...

    - And, you guessed it, the owner of the studio denied any knowledge of finding an extra 57 and one of his left next to the mixing desk after our rehersal.

    Now I have a distinctive, hard to remove red dot I place on all my mics when they leave the home studio...damn I miss that Franken57 !!!:mad:
    pcrecord and kmetal like this.
  13. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    I don't know if its also the case with the 58s' too, but I have one from the 80s' that sounds heaps better than later model 58s'
    kmetal likes this.
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Interesting you describe the older one as having more punch. Usually the older mics err on the side of duller. I'm wondering if it has to do w dynamic vs condenser.

    That's a total bummer tho Sean. I once left a whole pedalboard at a gig, and actually got it back, cables too.

    it's a shame to have to mark up gear, but it's a necessary evil I guess.
  15. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

  16. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I'm sorry to say I don't rate the Rode NT1 particularly highly, at least in its ex-factory form. On the other hand, the pair of NT2-As that I have are real quality, and perform excellently on a wide range of sources from acoustic guitar to vocals. I've mentioned in these forums previously that using the pair to record a top acoustic guitar player was one of my career highlights.
    kmetal and Sean G like this.
  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    No, but I do work with one of the former investor/partner/cohort of mercenary. Fletcher who owned the company is from my area.

    In reality it's probably a $2 part they upgraded. Fletcher whom I've never spoke to personally, and Phil (Greene) his buddy/partner who I work with, are all about fidelity. Fidelity. Fidelity. I've heard many a no-expense-spared stories from Phil about the mercenary days and prior. Those guys didn't leave anything in the factory condition. From ssl console mods, to revamping la 3's, to McIntosh power amps, it's all about clarity and power whith those cats. Nothing but expensive boutique gear modded to be 'better' which is always subjective.

    In particular (with Phil at least) you'll tend to hear a lot about chips and caps being replaced and a keyword being headroom, and power. This guy took a razor knife to a uerie coaxial tweeter to cut the little screen dust screen off of it. $*^t, he'll tell you exactly what brand bob clearmountain used over his tweeters on his ns-10s, and why it's superior. (Truth is its whatever brand they had in the bathroom that the assistant grabbed in the powestation)

    Anyways enough rambling, I've been meaning to do a documentary on Phil while he's still with us, as he's an eccentric, and Important part of New England recording history, and a part of the top tier club in the 85'-95' era of recording.
    DonnyThompson and Sean G like this.
  18. Guelph_Guy

    Guelph_Guy Active Member

    Well.. not necessarily a re-skin but more of a studio b... My youngest wanted to produce some Eurobeat, club music ( where drums are 4 on the floor) and didn't want the complexity of using the home studio .... well I hit the "gear storage " in the house ... I have come to the conclusion I am a horder when it comes to audio and production equipment and don't give up anything ... (it really is a sickness)

    I managed to set her up with:
    an old Art Pro audio vocal strip
    An Apex 460 tube mic
    A tc helicon voiceworks Plus
    A Moto 2408 for audio interface
    A motu midi express pro for midi interface
    A set of Yamaha HS 80's for mixing and an old set of senheiser headphones
    An Emu Orbit "dance planet" rack synth
    A novation bassstation rack
    An alesis d4 drum rack
    A novation 61 key midi keyboard controller

    I had an old copy of abelton live and updated her to the latest revision as a Christmas gift.

    Also picked up an Ableton push controller used of f the music boards ...

    So she is good to go ,

    Personally this exercise pointed out to me that I need to thin out ... I have some soul searching to do LOL.
    I think I keep the stuff as a result of some intrinsic value in the gear. Some quirk or oddity that makes me want to keep it as it offers some uniqueness. And has more value as gear then to let it go..

    I told her to go nuts with it...
    kmetal and pcrecord like this.
  19. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    I think what you have done above is one of the very reasons we keep gear as opposed to parting with it when its not part of our primary setup anymore...

    Who knows, you may just have started something big(y)
    kmetal likes this.
  20. Guelph_Guy

    Guelph_Guy Active Member

    I'm ashamed to say I, had a ton of gear scattered all over the house, when I started rack mounting gear in the studio,, my wife finally commented "how much money did you spend on this gear"...

    I guess if you have it scattered around enough it doesn't look as expensive lol
    kmetal and pcrecord like this.

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