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Hardware VS Software

Member for

14 years 7 months
Hi. I'm near completion of remodeling my basement studio and my mindset is turning more towards what kind of gear I want to end up with at this point rather than what drapes to pick out. I've already had Auralex do the room analysis thing and the treatment will be in soon. I will have a Tascam DM-4800 as the front end of my DAW running Cubase SX3. I currently have only two mics which are both AT2020s. I plan on picking up some 57s, a 58, a 421 and some sort of LDC, I havent decided which one yet. What I'm really hung up on right now is whether or not to buy one or two decent pres like the LA-610, 6176, Vintech something, or should I just get something like the UAD PCI card loaded with plugins that represent all of these pres and so much more. I havent had the liberty to audition any of the pres or thier plugin counterparts. For those of you that have, what do you think? I dont doubt that the plugs might lack some of the sonic character of the originals but to what degree? If hardware really is the best way to go by a large margin, I'll just do it. It's just that my budget is limited and I could get maybe one good signal chain with hardware on my current budget. Any opinions? By the way, I've already done a decent amount of recording and I'm good with Cubase and plugins already, just so you dont think I'm starting from scratch here. I'm just trying to improve the studios abilities. Thanks.



Member for

17 years 1 month

johnthemiracle Sat, 02/16/2008 - 19:04
first of all there are no plugins that emulate mic pre's afaik, except one hardware device by focusrite thats quality is the issue of heated debates.

i can tell you my take to the whole analog vs digital thing:

i'm trying to get the best out of the analog world by using the best microphones, preamps and converters that i can afford. i'm usually not compressing nor am i eqing in the analog domain if i don't really have to (although i own one pretty good analog eq). after conversion i stay digital. no sense messing with the signal again by deterioriating it by usage of additional conversion cycles. i try to keep it as it is and eq and compress it to taste (other effects as well depending on the signal).

for me that's the way to go nowadays. i don't need a console, i just need a couple of hi end mic pre's, the best mic pre's my money can buy and decent converters. that's it. i'm pretty overwhelmed by the quality of digital eq's and compressors that you can buy now. i'm now using stuff by waves, sonalksis, sound toys, audio ease and others. my mic pres are by Neumann, sebatron (very nice) and millennia media. different stuff for different applications. i can get by...

if i were you i'd start out with at least one channel of hi quality mic, mic pre and conversion. then build it up from there...