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Which MAJOR Upgrade for studio??

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by proaudio101, Mar 7, 2001.

  1. proaudio101

    proaudio101 Guest

    I have partially asked this question in another forum sometime ago, but here are my thoughts in more detail.

    First off, I and the studio are ready for some pretty sizeable general upgrades. I am outgrowing the small facility I am in not just from a functional standpoint, but from a psychological standpoint for me and the clients/rates I want to attract (we are getting about $400/day now).

    I have really been concentrating on the front end of the studio outboard (mic pres,mics,compressors,and eqs) so we are set in that area but because most of the capital has been spent in that area the rest is lacking.

    Here are some options, and you guys rate them in order of what you think is important.

    #1) New analog console, specifically a Trident 80B/C. (By the way 2" 24 track is out of the question, its to much money for a good machine, and everybody is accepting digital as a recording medium now so I am not worried about it).

    #2)Pro Tools 24/Mix Plus. Obviously Protools is good all around for just about any studio-music or post production. PLUS it is automated, so it will eliviate the need for board auto. It WILL be combined with the analog board, just like I am doing with my Mackie/ADAT XT-20/Cubase-DAW combo now. I am not worried about the D/A VS the staying digital debate for music. IMO it sounds better to go into an analog console out of digital, plus if I insert into something digital (ie sony mini-oxford) I will still be making multiple A/D/A conversion, so in my eyes its the same.

    #3) Larger room. Should I just keep what I have and add another 1000 or more square feet and make it into a really nice pro facility? If I do this, its Mackie/ADAT for another 3-5 years.

    #4) lots of really nice instruments. DW drums, les Pauls, Ampeg Bass Rig, American Fenders, Kurzweil K2600 keyboard, + lots, lots more. Keep what I am using for now but the kick ass instruments are there just making the music sound so much better, and hopefully drawing the clientel.


    What I am wondering about is which decision is the best 1st decision, 2nd, 3rd and so on. Which in your experience is what the clients will enjoy the most, and will "legitamize" the facility more or less than the others? Specifically this is a music facility. Thanks
     
  2. brad

    brad Guest

    ....
     
  3. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    Originally posted by proaudio101:


    #2)Pro Tools 24/Mix Plus. Obviously Protools is good all around for just about any studio-music or post production. PLUS it is automated, so it will eliviate the need for board auto. It WILL be combined with the analog board, just like I am doing with my Mackie/ADAT XT-20/Cubase-DAW combo now. I am not worried about the D/A VS the staying digital debate for music. IMO it sounds better to go into an analog console out of digital, plus if I insert into something digital (ie sony mini-oxford) I will still be making multiple A/D/A conversion, so in my eyes its the same.


    I believe you've answered your own question. I've never heard of anyone saying "oh no, I'm not going to work on a Trident 80 Series", overall, I think it would be a positive move.

    If you get a chance, shoot a private e-mail or give a call. I have a couple of clients going through a similar thing [I'm not at liberty to talk about it publicly, when their 'rebuilds' are complete I can talk about it].
     
  4. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2000
    Ok, there's a little more info than your first post, but it's still not a full description.

    What are you tracking to right now?
     
  5. proaudio101

    proaudio101 Guest

    Angelo-your "redundant" speech in the other forum came off as very snobbish. And there is very detailed desciption in my original new post. I state twice that I am using XT-20 ADATs (32 tracks) right now with a combination of Apogee Rosetta A/D and soon the 2x16 ch Apogee D/A IntelliDAC. Please don't suggest to buy better recorders. You would be very suprised at how many albums are being done on XT20s these days, especially in the Indie label area. Soon Alesis will release the HD24 with an ethernet port and Word Clock, this will be a very powerful Tool for any DAW user. But basically, I don't want to open a whole new can of worms on the debate over project gear vs Pro gear. To a certain extent it is a name game (I said to an extent) Each of us are where we where gear wise and stive for improvement.
     
  6. Dave McNair

    Dave McNair Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Get the console. I agree with everything Brad said. And later when the smoke clears on the whole HD/DAW mess, you will be in a better place to make a decision on a new storage medium.
     
  7. Southwind

    Southwind Guest

    My vote would be
    1. Console
    2. Room (This is a looong second choice because of the cost. But if you work mostly in your own space.....)


    Charles
     
  8. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2000
    Originally posted by proaudio101:
    Angelo-your "redundant" speech in the other forum came off as very snobbish. Sorry you feel that way. If you think my time here is spent just so I can act like a snob, that's your problem. I did you and RO a favor by closing that thread. And that statement probably comes off as snobbish too, but there are several reasons for it. If you really care to know what they are, just ask.

    And there is very detailed desciption in my original new post. Which one was that? "...just like I am doing with my Mackie/ADAT XT-20/Cubase-DAW combo now."? Am I supposed to guess that you're just using ADAT to track, not Cubase, and that you have no other formats available?

    Please don't suggest to buy better recorders. Why would I do that? Do you presume to know what I'm going to suggest before I even have enough information to make a suggestion?

    I asked a simple question with sincere intentions of helping out a fellow musician. Sorry it didn't work out.
     
  9. proaudio101

    proaudio101 Guest

    I apologize, I suppose I was being overly defensive. Anyway, thanks everybody for the responses (on Rec.Audio.Pro also). Seems the overall majority consensus is to do the board first, then the room (although they seemed to be neck and neck), then PT and then specialized high-end instruments way last.

    What I have decided to do though is go for the bigger room with the lounge. There is one local studio that has a big room, lounge, etc..., but the gear investment is about half of what I have and I know they are slammed with business. The strange thing about it is that their product is really average quality also, not horrible just average. So I really think that certain customers are looking for two things first: a high comfort level and glittery extras (cable TV, Playstation, lounge/kitchen). A certain level of quality is acceptable, anything above that I guess is icing on the cake. If their productions are a 6 and mine are a 9, the 6 is good enough for most people it seems, because they are so beat up with the 3-4 quality from most of the rooms out there (dont get me wrong, we are busy but I think almost all of it rides on the quality factor and not much else, which is a great thing especially in the long run).
     
  10. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    Originally posted by proaudio101:
    What I have decided to do though is go for the bigger room with the lounge. There is one local studio that has a big room, lounge, etc..., but the gear investment is about half of what I have and I know they are slammed with business. The strange thing about it is that their product is really average quality also, not horrible just average.
    So are most of the 'big time famous joints'. Client comfort leads directly to two things, one a client that enjoys the entire 'experience' of recording. They call this 'slobiz' for a reason, it's time consuming and very often boring as hell for anyone that isn't a direct participant. I know from hanging out on other sessions that not being a direct participant is right up there with watching grass grow, or paint dry.

    Yes, it should be about the quality of the product that hits the street, but a "happy singer" (usually the one with the greatest amount of 'downtime') is most often the best performing singer...so creature comforts are indeed part of the program.

    So I really think that certain customers are looking for two things first: a high comfort level and glittery extras (cable TV, Playstation, lounge/kitchen). A certain level of quality is acceptable, anything above that I guess is icing on the cake.

    The route you have chosen to persue is going to be a good one if you're doing the bulk of the work. Remember, you've asked this question, which is essentially a 'business question' to a pack of mostly engineers. From an engineer's perspective, we'd almost all rather sit behind a Trident 80 series than a Mackie. However, if the bulk of your trade isn't 'outside engineers', then "client comfort" is of maximum importance.

    One serious key to 'client comfort'...a pool table. Playstation, fridge, microwave, beer machine...all well and good. Nothing says "pro studio" like a pool table. Nothing says "serious attention to detail" like good pool cues to go along with that pool table.

    So many studios will get a table, then have these warped cues lying around rendering the table damn near useless. 4 good cues [8 if you want to be really classy], 19, 20, 21, 22 ounces [2 of each if you want to be really classy] a good 'bridge' and plenty of chalk will bring, and keep a good and steady clientele.

    BTW, when you get the pool table, you can often specify a custom felt color. Look into this, if the studio has any kind of 'constant color theme' you can really accentuate it with the felt on a pool table. Don't underestimate the 'visual aspect' of your audio production facility. It's what has brought John Storyk to the pinnacle of 'studio design services'. His rooms invariably sound like total leech piss, but they "rook mahverous".

    One other piece of 'studio management advice', kick your "Published rate" to $800/day, charge $650. If you're up around 70+% occupancy rate now...see if you can drop it down to about 40% with the rate jump. This will allow you to build up a new and more affluent clientele. Whenever you find yourself at 70% occupancy for 6 months, do another "improvement" and 'rate bump'...eventually, you'll be into the "serious penile equipment wars" [I have an SSL 9000j...oh yeah, well I have a 9098i, well ^#$% you, I have an "Oxford"...] all from buying a pool table!!! :D :D :D


    Best of luck.
     
  11. John Sayers

    John Sayers Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2001
    I'm going to take a different slant here.

    Give me a mackie and a good conrol room over a trident and a shithouse room any day.

    So what is your control room like - are your monitors top quality, is the imaging correct, can you hear down to 40Hz evenly, can you mix and take it away and it's still OK??

    To me that is more important than whether you have a Mackie or a Trident. :)
     

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