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Acoustic Music channel strip Help?

New to the list (been lurking for a while, and learning TONS from all the great info), and finally summoned the guts to post.

I have a home studio with a mix of various prosumer gear (see below) primarily used for recording acoustic based music -- folk, country, bluegrass, etc. I use primarily acoustic and electric (and lap steel) guitars, mandolin, dobro, and lots of vocals. I am thinking that a good next step is for me to retire a couple of my mediocre (at best) pre's and get a good channel strip piece in the $600-1000 range. I want it to be versatile, and a good front end for ProTools, as well as possibly a mastering device (so stero coupling capability would be nice). I understand that the more I want a piece to do, the less good it will likely be for one or more of those uses, but I'm looking for a first good piece that can be versatile. Future purchases will definitely be more focused use pieces.

Two potential options I have looked at both the toft atc2 and ec1 (maybe 2 ec1's if i can afford it), and the meek twinQ (and perhaps one of the less featured ISA pak's, although my budget may not support it). From what I gather, the Meek, while slightly more feature rich (and with a bonus free mic), is a much more colored piece, while the toft is likely to be a little more transparent. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure which one is better for my music! Any additional help in identifying other factors I should consider when identifying other options, comparisons between the ones I've mentioned (and or against others you might suggest), etc. will all be much appreciated.

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to clearly articulate my both my situation and my desire, in order to get the best benefit of all the great knowledge in the group.

ProTools Digi002R (to a G4 Mac w/OSX, not a lot of plugins), Yamaha MSP5 monitors

- Shure KSM32, SM81, SM57 (4), SM58 (4)
- GrooveTubes GT55
- AKG C3000, C1000 (2)
- AT 4051, Pro37r
- Oktava MK012 (2)
- Nady RSM-2 Ribbon
- Sennheiser E609
- Beyer M101

Mic Pre's:
(the digi's 4 focusrites)
- Presonus BlueTube
- Behringer UltraGain Pro
- ART TubeMP
- Event EMP-1

- DBX 118 (old wood sided box)
- Behringer MultiCom
- ART Levelar

- Alesis PEQ-450
- Presonus EQ3B
- Ibanez stereo 16 band grapic EQ;

- Lexicon MPX 100
- Alesis Nanoverb (2)

p.s. a sample if you're interested



Profile picture for user Kurt Foster
Member for
18 years 11 months

Kurt Foster Sat, 03/12/2005 - 14:17

They are both from the same distributor, PMI.

In the budget gear arena, my feeling is price and features are king. I don't hear enough of a difference between many of these pieces to warrent recommending one over the other.

Member for
51 years 5 months

johnmcg Sat, 03/12/2005 - 15:58

i do know that PMI distributes both brands -- how does that affect the comparison or decision?

It sounds to me like you're suggesting that the toft and meek products are still not high enough quality to warrant replacing what I have. If that's the case, what's the price point at which I could get something that would really make a noticeable difference? Do you have a couple suggestions at the lower end of the spectrum that might fit the bill for me?

Finally, are there particular suggestions you'd make about how to make the most of what I currently have? combinations that are particularly flattering for acoustic guitar and or vocals?

again, any and all input is GREATLY appreciated!