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Small Room "Studio" - My Equipment Ideas

Member for

14 years 8 months
Hey everyone, I want to turn my room into a mini studio since making and recording music is pretty much my passion. Right now here is what I have...

Presonus Firepod
Shure Sm58
Shure Sm57

Fruity Loops
Adobe Audition 1.5

I don't plan on selling my music or recording other people, I just want something for me, and I am not totally pleased with my sound. Here are a few things I am doing, and I would like you opinions on some new hardware.

In my room:

Taking out the rug
Taking out some furniture

What I want for hardware:

Matched pair Rhode NT1-A's
Refurbished Mackie 1620 ~ $550

That would put me a little over 1g. Would I sell or keep the firepod if I got the Mackie mixer? What are some decent monitors for fairly cheap (anythings better than computer speakers I'm sure)

Just want to know what you guys think. Thanks


Member for

14 years 8 months

EricIndecisive Fri, 04/04/2008 - 08:03
Hey Remy, I looked at those KRK Rp5's, not only do they look pretty badass, but that's a perfect price range too.

As far as the mixers go, maybe it won't be worth the money (for me), so I guess I will just stick to the firepod! (It DOES give a damn clear signal compared to my little $50 Behringer mixer haha).

I'm sure my technique does need some work. For my 'rock and roll' stuff it is much easier to record than my acoustic guitar. I'm actually quite pleased with the way a lot of my electric recordings come out. But when I mic the acoustic, I end up using a 57 and the AT2020, and a 58 for the singing. What happens on the guitar is that one channel is much more bright than the other, and even after EQing the crap out of the other one, it still doesn't sound right. Would a matched pair of small condensers give me an even stereo sound on both channels? That's what I'm looking for as far as acoustic goes.

Thanks for the help! As soon as I finish the drums for my new song I'll post it up here. It's about sex and the end of the world, woohoo!

Member for

15 years 5 months

BobRogers Fri, 04/04/2008 - 10:07
I felt my acoustic guitar recordings improved a lot when I moved from using a 57 to a Rode NT-5. The NT-5 is about the lowest priced small diaphragm condenser that I've heard a lot of positive things about. But there are several competitors in that price range, and of course there are better mics for more money. I have since gotten good results with lots of other mics, e.g. large diaphragm condensers. But my pair of NT-5 was a good investment and I still use them for acoustic guitars and drum overheads. So I'd recommend a pair of SDCs. (There's no rush here. I still use a 57 to mic acoustic guitar all the time in live situations. A well placed 57 sounds better that a badly placed SDC.)

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Fri, 04/04/2008 - 11:37
Because I love SM 56/57/58's I would say, unscrew the metal ball off of your 58. Voila'! Your 58 is now a 57. Now use your 57 & 58, to mic your acoustic guitar, as that is a better stereo pair match. Use the large capsule condenser microphone for your vocal. Don't forget the low-cut/high pass filter for the vocal microphone.

Now things will sound right. Boing.
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

14 years 8 months

EricIndecisive Fri, 04/04/2008 - 13:03
Thanks Remy, I'll definitely try that out next time I'm home. But if I am still totally unhappy with it what should I upgrade to? Hopefully having my room have some actual 'room' in it will help a little too. I'll give it a try next time I'm home. Great plan so far though, as it costs zero money and I'll have more for buying a mustang, haha.

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 04/20/2008 - 19:35
AnomalyAlecB wrote: People with recording habits probably shouldn't have car habits too. It just doesn't seem to mix well, as both are very expensive.

Oh, tell me about it! I have to say though, I love my Subaru and I love my home studio! Spending and attention seem to oscillate between the two.

To the OP: Have you though about room treatment at all? Your set up sounds a bit like mine and I've found that the aspect of my modest home studio that is most lacking besides skill is acoustic treatment! Take a look at the studio construction forum for some acoustics advice, then maybe spend some of the money you would have spent on the Mackie board and spend it on some broadband absorbers or bass traps. If you don't know what those are then definitely take a look at that forum!

Good Luck!

Member for

14 years 8 months

EricIndecisive Thu, 04/03/2008 - 12:16
Alright, maybe I will stick with that then! Is the only advantage to having a mixer the fact that you can EQ it on the way in? If that's it, it's definitely not worth it cus I'll just EQ in the program. Also, as you can tell, I'm not going to be recording any professional quality songs. I want something that would be good enough to give people though!

What brand names of monitors should I look for?

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Fri, 04/04/2008 - 01:28
Dude! You've already got what you need. Of course you can deliver a professional product. I still primarily use Adobe Audition 1.5. Even though I have version 2.0. I like version 1.5 better. It all depends on what kind of hardware and computer I'm using at the time. With my cheap ProToolsLE notebook system I'll use Audition2.0. On my other laptop & desktop machines I run Audition 1.5. Those are my mainstays.

New monitors? I love my cheap KRK RP5's. They sound remarkably like my big JBL's. I like them a lot for rock-and-roll. This will change your whole perspective on what your sound sounds like, especially after listening to some classic rock-and-roll. Personally, I like transformered microphone preamps. As opposed to the cold, neutered quality of transformer less preamps. Give me warmth. Not Rice Krispies. But hey! I've made plenty of good recordings with Mackie mixers.

Now if it's your technique you feel needs a change? Most solutions come down to microphone placement more than selection. But having a nice pair of small capsule condensers can't be denied. But I'm always happy with a bag full of SM57/58's. I actually prefer those frequently over condensers. I'm talking rock-and-roll here, not fine arts recording. When recording orchestras & operas, you'll usually never see me use a dynamic. That is, except for ribbon microphones. Which are dynamic microphones but not with diaphragms and voice coils. Those are better at capturing transients than condenser microphones. I can hardly believe the people that use condenser microphones on percussion? You can get some brutal high frequency overload that way.

Brutal broad. NOW SUBMIT!
Ms. Remy Ann David