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Question for you guys... I'm going to scrape together enough dough to build a top of the range vocal/instrument stereo channel. I've got about $15,000 to spend. I've researched a little, and here's what I'm thinking:

CRane Song Flamingo Pre

Avalon AD2055 EQ

2 CRane Song Trakkers

CRane Song HEDD

These pieces seem to be fairly big and stable players with the big boys. Anyone have any other suggestions or directions I should look in?

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Guest Sat, 05/18/2002 - 09:35

It's impressive, not to mention expensive. Of course, most of the pieces in the chain have dozens of alternatives that are different sounding but not necessarily inferior.

Assuming that money is an object, before going that route I might at least check and see if I would be happy with some of the "all-in-one" channel strip designs. That might save you half your current estimated cost or more. Options would include the Manley Voxbox, the Millennia Origin, the Focusrite ISA 430, Avalon 737, and there are quite a few others. Or there are options for combining just a couple of those functions (Pre+EQ, Pre+Compressor). Would also be a lot more portable if you do any remote work.

Mercuri Sat, 05/18/2002 - 14:17

Hey Littledog... If there are other options, I'd like to know. Particularly in the the EQ and compressor chain.

I'm working with female vocals mostly. I need to get that Mariah Carey high-end air boost when I need it and *without* the harshness. That's why I chose the AD2055... I've read posts where people have heralded it for that.

I was interested in the Trakkers because of the versatility and transparency.

Are there any EQ/stereo compressor combos that aren't exactly sold on the main market that can measure up? (Even with the built in A/D function?) Even if it costs, $10,000, I'd be saving money. ;)

Guest Sat, 05/18/2002 - 20:42

Why don't you try giving Fletcher a call at Mercenary. He'd probably not only give you a number of possible options/scenarios, but maybe even lend you a few of the units so you could A-B them. I take it from your response that you've already tried/rejected the various channel strip possibilities, which would definitely be a less expensive option.

Mercuri Sat, 05/18/2002 - 22:37

Well, I've never been able to actually try any of the channel strips. Equipment that does everything as well as equipment that simply does one thing is difficult to find. The 2055 has a kick-ass EQ compared to, say, Avalon's 737 channel.

I'm concerned that maybe there are other EQ's that sound better, like the Massive Passive and GML's stuff. Ditto on the compressors.

I'll give Mercenary a call. If he does let me A/B, I couldn't imagine a better decision-maker.

Guest Sun, 05/19/2002 - 11:46

Jam & Lewis are supposed to have used the 9098 pre / eq on Janet Jackson...

GML have an all in one unit - Horendusly expencive but amazing I bet.

Cranesong are working on an EQ - if you held out for one - you would have an all Cranesong input channel, how cool is that!


IMHO - with whispy / breathy vocals, one needs a de-esser close to hand.... I haven't yet heard a software de- esser i liked... you might want to throw in a second hand DBX 902.. They are relativly inexpencive..


Mercuri Sun, 05/19/2002 - 17:04

Jules - Hyuk, I've actually emailed Crane Song about that. :(
GML has the 2020, which is basically a single channel pre, EQ, and compressor minus the A/D for about $5,750. If I do that, I'll still need a HEDD, and I'll about smack the $15,000 right on the nose. :D However, I'd like to be able to use the units on an individual basis as well. An EQ/compressor combo unit would be peachy, because chances are I will be running both at once.
My qualm with the 9098 is the $1,800 price tag for a channel of pre and EQ. That's a total of $3,600 for two channels. With the Flamingo and 2055, it's about $6,000 for two channels. The diffence in quality has to be somewhat noticable for $2,400 difference.

Mercuri Tue, 05/21/2002 - 19:22

I'll be recording a variety of genres... Country, rock, pop, R&B: Male & female vocals, acoustic & electric guitar, piano, drums, etc. The standard acoustic variety. Versatility, pure tone, and the ability to color when it comes up is important. I don't want the world, I just want to record some stuff in it. ;) Mikes will range from Rode NT series, to Studio Projects mics, all the way to the Elux 251 and VM1 KHE. (When funds permit such exotic nicities. ;) )