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Back in '94 I owned a pretty good analog 8 track studio. I left the industry for a while and am now going to be building a new studio that I want to be as professional as possible, something to really build upon. By September, I will have about $10,000 to work with. I know what I want in mics and most other items, but I would like some advice on which direction to go with a console, outboard effects, and multitrack recorder.

Considering the console. I have $1800 to work with. Should I go analog or digital? If I go analog, I was thinking something like a used Mackie 8 bus or a new Behringer MX9000. I would like to eventually automate and I don't quite know what these units can do, so that is a consideration. If I go digital. ?

I have $1400 allotted for outboard, including all reverbs, gates, compressors and preamps. Not much I know, but its what I have.

So much has changed in the multitrack world since I was around. I have about $2000 to work with. I was thinking of going with something like Sonar,a couple of used ADATs and some sort of interface for Sonar. Am I headed down the right track, or should I go with a straight DAW system and forget the ADATs?

Any response will be appreciated as I am making myself sick over these decisions. I just don't want to make a big mistake in starting out.


Guest Wed, 03/13/2002 - 16:50

You didn't say if you already own a fast recent vintage computer. If you do, maybe you should forget the ADATs and go with a Native Pro Tools, Digital Performer, or the like. That way, since you really have almost no money budgeted for outboard, you can get by withplug-insfor reverb, gates, and compression for a while. Since you can mix internally, you might not even need an 8-bus mixer. A $1000 four-bus might do just fine. With what money you do have for outboard, you can focus on getting one or two good mic preamps instead.

Even if you need to buy a new computer, it may be cheaper in the long run. For under $2000 you can get amazing computers these days.

You also didn't specify about how many tracks you will be needing to record simultaneously. If you are doing a whole band at once, you probably will want 16 - that means more money in the interface department.

At any rate, I would avoid ADATs in favor of either a computer based DAW or a dedicated Hard Disk recorder. The editing advantage is obvious, but you will also benefit from the difference in maintenance costs, annoying lock-up lag time, and peace of mind about your tapes not getting eaten up by tempermental machines.

If at all possible, amidst the quantity you are buying, it's good to have one or two pieces of quality. Starting out, this typically might be in the microphone department. One decent large diaphragm condenser for your vocal tracks (with one nice preamp, if possible) will be money worth spent. When not doing vocals, of course, they can be used for lots of other stuff too. Gradually you can upgrade the weaker links of your chain with other quality purchases, as economics allow.

anonymous Wed, 03/13/2002 - 22:01


It sounds like maybe I should shift things around a bit to concentrate more on DAW.
As far as the console goes, I just don't want people coming in and laughing there butt's off when they see a dinky little thing sitting there. I know that the industry has changed, in fact it has passed me by, but the day I open the doors, I want to be taken somewhat seriosly (within reason), and a good large console can help. And yes I know, the size of the board means nothing. I used to have a Carvin 8 bus with a huge footprint. What a piece of crap.

As far as an interface, I would like to be able to input 12-16 tracks at a time. Have any idea what thats going to cost me?

I was thinking of going with an Octava MK319 for the large diaphragm. Cheap, I know, but I love the 012's and I've heard that it should work fairly well.

Bear's Gone Fission

Thank you for your response.

Both you and littledog have said that the mixer is not as important as what I am making it out to be. This is such new thinking to me. When I left the industry, Mackie 8 buses were huge and ADATs were just getting big and still had the harsh sounding stigma attached to them. I feel like I left the planet and came back in a new age because everything is so different.

Anyway, what would Logic or Nuendo cost me?

Thanks for your advice on the gear. I am constantly looking. My biggest problem is that I am having to learn so much as I go. But this forum is helping me a great deal.
The RNC compressor sounds really good. How much does the Gatso Jr run for?

Thanks for your responses guys.

kent powell Thu, 03/14/2002 - 10:14

Re: the digital side, I'm sure several of us can chime in with more helpful recommendations once you tell us about the computer specs around which you will build your DAW. If you have an existing rig you feel will be worthy of using as a tracking/mixing machine, telling us the CPU, motherboard etc. will help us make better suggestions.

PS-The RNC is the only clean compressor in the sub $1,000.00 group. Its bang-to-buck ratio is untouchable. The makers are planning to release a mic pre shortly from which we all expect similarly great things. I'm leaving my wallet in my pocket till then.

PPS-ADAT is over. Your limited funds will be better spent elsewhater.

PPPS-If you gotta have a console, I'd say go analog, unless...unless you find one with such good analog to digital conversion it allows you to save some $ on the interface.

Guest Thu, 03/14/2002 - 14:07

We're getting to the point in the discussion where it really becomes imperative to know at least what platform you have or might purchase (Mac vs. PC).

Here's the whole thing about mixing in DAW - get yourself the largest screen monitor you can afford, or in some systems you might opt for a dual monitor set-up, in which caser each one could be a little smaller. The point is, what you (and your clients) will be focusing on is a picture of a virtual mixer on your computer monitor. With all the cool real-time automation as well. Just explain to them that what they are seeing on the monitor IS your mixer, and you can even lie a little bit and mumble about how real mixers are somewhat obsolete, etc. Hopefully they'll believe you!

While I agree with almost everything Bear said, at least as one possible way to go, be warned that the FATSO is probably not in your budget at this time - and I would not recommend it as an option given that you need a lot of much more essential bases covered first. FATSO is more like icing for your cake. Good mics and preamps would be first, and a close second would be a decent near-field monitoring system. Then maybe a few choice software plugins next.

I haven't heard the large diaphragm Oktavas since they redesigned the grill, but the orignal design was the worst sounding mic I ever heard. Or at least mine was - maybe a function of that famous Russian quality control - mine made a C1000 sound like a C12 by comparison.

I would see if you could check out the Grooove Tubes line, or Rodes, or the Shure KSM-27, or Studio Projects, or almost anything else before buying the Oktava. The MC012 small diaphragms can be excellent mics, (if you get good ones) but I'm skeptical about their large diaphragms.

anonymous Thu, 03/14/2002 - 19:01

Well, if I am going to go exclusively DAW, which it looks like I am, I have to completely rethink my computer situation. Basically, from what I am hearing so far, I should shift some of the money I am going to allot for a board into a computer, and all of the money allotted for the ADATs into a DAW plus accessories.

So, I am hoping that you fine folks can lead me and guide me in building a computer system. Let me reiterate--I have little experience in the DAW world, and have no clue as to building the system, including the computer and all of its components. But I want to do it right, and I am in no particular hurry (I have six months to get this built).

My only real competitor in this area has a very, very nice studio and uses Pro Tools. I have been involved in business for a long time, and I am a real proponant building business relationships with competitors, so I would like to have a system that is somewhat compatable with his. I do not know whether I can save a file from various DAWs that could be recognized in Pro Tools, but that is what I would like to be able to do. So, although this is not the most important aspect of deciding on whether to go with Mac or PC, it is a consideration. This is a longwinded way of saying that I don't quite know which way to go with a computer. Help!

I actually do have a fairly new Compaq laptop 700 speed, but I don't think it will work. I would like to get a system that is dedicated just to recording.

Here is a list of what I currently have in mind to get this project going. After you get done laughing at my naivity, let me know what you would change.


  • Console $900.00 (Maybe an Alesis Studio 32. I know, I know, I'm stuck on this console thing. I think I need detox.)
  • Computer, DAW, Interface & Accessories $2300-$3200. I would like to stay closer to $2300 (Stop laughing).
  • Mics $1030.
    4ea 57s
    2ea Oktava 012
    1ea Large Diaphram ???????????
    2 ea AKG C1000S (Overheads)
  • Misc $1300 (Booms, Cables, DI Boxes, Patch Bay, Power Conditioners etc)
  • Mixdown $1200 (1 CD Burner, 1 DAT (do I need this? If not, I'll take $600 bucks and put it somewhere else.)
  • Monitors $500. I was thinking of the new Alesis Active Monitors, but I'm not sure. I believe that I would like to go with active though.
  • Headphones $475 I figure to need about 7 sets to start with + an amp (Rolls RA62HA 6 channel looks ok.
  • Outboard $1400. I have no idea what direction to go here, except for the RNC Compressor.
    class="xf-ul">Well, with that kind of setup, I'm looking at $9100-$10000. I'm sure that after you all see this that you will see a need for cutting and pasting the $ allotments that I have. I am open and anxious for this exact thing. Thank you for your time.
  • Guest Thu, 03/14/2002 - 21:29

    "Console $900.00 (Maybe an Alesis Studio 32. I know, I know, I'm stuck on this console thing. I think I need detox.)"

    Nothing wrong with that. Check out the Allen & Heath Mixmaster or the Studiomaster Trilogy as probably better alternatives in the same price range. Crest has an excellent mixer for about $500 more.


  • Computer, DAW, Interface & Accessories $2300-$3200. I would like to stay closer to $2300 (Stop laughing)."

    I'll let someone who knows more about this comment.


  • Mics $1030.
    4ea 57s
    2ea Oktava 012
    1ea Large Diaphram ???????????
    2 ea AKG C1000S (Overheads)"

    C1000's pretty much suck on everything. You'd be better off with 4 of the 012's, or maybe those Behringer Omnis everyone is always talking about that are super cheap.


  • Misc $1300 (Booms, Cables, DI Boxes, Patch Bay, Power Conditioners etc)
  • Mixdown $1200 (1 CD Burner, 1 DAT (do I need this? If not, I'll take $600 bucks and put it somewhere else.)"

    I can't imagine any real reason why you need a DAT machine. The few times you might find you really need one, you may be able to borrow or rent one. The CD burner is the way to go now-a-days.


  • Monitors $500. I was thinking of the new Alesis Active Monitors, but I'm not sure. I believe that I would like to go with active though."

    Event also makes some nice inexpensive actives.

  • anonymous Fri, 03/15/2002 - 10:59

    For a digital audio sequencer, I'd absolutely go with Nuendo. It's more expensive than Logic or Sonar, but it's very intuitive, and extremely powerful. Plus, it offers OMF import/export so that you're compatible with that Pro Tools guy.

    I'd use an [=""]RME[/]="http://www.macmidim…"]RME[/] Hammerfall 9652, or maybe the new DSP. The RME cards work wonderfully with Nuendo, and allow very low latency.

    For AD/DA conversion, I'd research Creamware's new interface, the A16 Ultra

    As far as mixers go, I'd look into that Allen & Heath, or maybe a Spirit, by Soundcraft. Since, you'll be using the mixer for preamps, avoid going too cheap.

    There's a company called [[url=http://="http://www.dasaudio…"]DAS Audio[/]="http://www.dasaudio…"]DAS Audio[/], which manufactures the "Monitor 8". It got great reviews in the Pebruary 2001 issue of Mix Magazine. They're not shielded, so you'd either have to use LCD computer monitors, or be careful with your placement. To read the review, go to: neid=141

    I have to agree with LittleDog about the C1000's. Don't bother. The money would be better spent on a matched set of MC012's from [=""]The Sound Room[/]="http://www.oktava.c…"]The Sound Room[/] or something like that. For a large-diaphragm condenser, I recommend the [[url=http://="http://www.studiopr…"]Studio Projects[/]="http://www.studiopr…"]Studio Projects[/] C1, or the C3, which is a multi-pattern version.

    Oh, and that $600 you wanted to put towards a DAT... Put that towards a 1/2" Stereo tape deck for mixdowns. It will make a difference.

    Luke Sun, 03/17/2002 - 16:19

    I think there would be much less of a learning curve if you went with an Alesis hd24 and something like a Mackie 24'8bus. The hd24 is compatable with adats and make it very easy to import and export tracks to and from other studios. You can get an hd24 for under $2000 and a Mackie 8 bus for $1500-$1800. This setup is as simple as analog, which you already have experience with.You can pick up an adat for dirt cheap if you look around. I do not think adat is dead, if for no other reason just because there are so many of them out there. It is so easy to give someone a rough mix on an adat tape and have them add there ideas and dump them back into the hd24. Lots of musicians own adats. With the $6500 or so you have left over you could get some 57s an RNC or two, a pair of small diaphram condencers,like used sm81s
    a large diaphram condenser or two,a nice pre like a Great River,Vintech,Grace Audio, there are lots of others, or the Drawmer 1969 which also has nice compression in it. I've heard that the 1969 works well as a 2-bus compressor also. I would check into a set of powered monitors the Mackies or the Event 20/20bas are nice, and don't forget to budget for cable and pathbays.You should still have enough for a few descent effects units. These are just ideas for equipment which I have used and had good luck with. If your into the computer thing that's cool too, I just thought I would give you an alternative. To me, walking into a studio and seeing a computer is like walking into an office.
    Everybody has a computer.
    Good Luck and have fun,

    anonymous Mon, 03/18/2002 - 14:03

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all of the input. I am seriously going to utilize something from what each of you have said, and if you have more to say, say it! This is awesome. I definitely have more information than what I started with. One thing that I have gleened from this conversation is that going with a DAW is not going to be a simple process, and that I may make some mistakes there. You know what is amazing, is how fast this industry is changing. Some of what seemed great and the industry savior a few years ago is now proven garbage. So, it will be interesting with what develops.

    With what I have heard, I am probably going to go somewhere in this direction:

    I think I can get a Mackie 8 bus or Studiomaster on ebay or something for around a 1000 bucks if I am patient enough. I like Mackie as little as the rest of you, but I have seen some pretty good deals out there, and I'm sure I can resell it for at least $1.50 when the time comes to upgrade (maybe to a Behringer hehehehehehwahhahaha).

    Question: Does the Mackie 8bus have ok enough preamps to get me by in that department? (When I had the studio in '94, I never used a preamp)
    If not, how many channels of preamps am I going to need?

    Nuendo for about 500 (if I am patient enough, I might have a line on a used one right now).
    A computer for about a 1000.
    Interface for around 600-900.

    Question: What else should I consider here to make sure my DAW gets up and running?

    Probably a Studio Projects C1, 6 57's and two MC012's. I am totally old school. I love 57's.

    I'll probably pick up some Mackie monitors or the Event 20/20s when I see a good enough deal. Does anyone have a preference with these?

    Although I think I am going to go with Nuendo, the comment about the hd24 has perked my interest. Is the learning curve the only reason that I would go with this, or are there other advantages.

    About my learning curve, it will be a huge curve, but I want to build this studio for the future as well as for the now (so if this is true, why the 8 bus?--I don't know, I just don't know).

    About the 1/2 2 track. I have a 1/2" Otari four track that has been used for about 20 total hours--premo condition. I asked an engineer last year if he knew where I could get rid of it, and his eyes lit up and he said, "Keep it! Turn it into a two track." Now, Angus, you are telling me somewhat of the same thing. Why, with the digital world we have today, would I need a 1/2" 2 track.

    Thanks again folks.

    anonymous Mon, 03/18/2002 - 18:15

    The HD24 IS very easy. It has 24 analog Ins and Outs, and behaves like a regular recording deck. However, it's no more compatible with ADAT than an RME card. You'll still need an ADAT deck to read the tapes.

    Personally, I went from Analog tape to a DAW about 8 months ago. I was already familiar with computers, so the transition was not too bad. I used cakewalk, which I thought was awful, and then was introduced to Nuendo by a friend of mine. I was floored by how simple and powerful it was! Plus it looked WORLDS better than Cakewalk.

    As far as the Mackie Pres go, Yes, they ARE good enough, however, they should be the newer VLZ version... You WILL want to get a couple outboard preamps to augment the Mackie. Perhaps the Peavey VMP-2, or the Universal Audio M610, for some seriously tubey sounds.

    Not bad mic choices, though you may want to get an RE20, or MD421, for something with better low end than a 57, in case you need it.

    Between the Mackies and the 20/20's, I'd DEFINITELY go Mackie.

    A LOT of people are mixing down to tape, To add the warmth and harminics it offers. And I think it's to add a little hiss. Hey, I like hiss. A few weeks ago, I listened to a blank reel of 456. It was heaven.

    anonymous Wed, 03/20/2002 - 05:04

    There is another part of RO called DAWworld that deals with building dedicated computers for workstations and the problems inherent with hardware compatability.
    The moderater of the computing forum Opus2000 is great and he has come up with a monster motherboard, processor, memory cofiguration that is affordable and kicks butt.
    Here is a link for ease:

    (Dead Link Removed)

    good luck!

    anonymous Thu, 03/21/2002 - 11:10

    G'day there. Well there's a lot of good advice up here.
    As ¿HuH? says, check out Opus's forum.

    Think an Art and desigm school called Bahaus i.e. the beauty and elegance of minimalism.

    A couple of points:

    1. littledog's tip about spending money on mic's is a good one. If you're happy with the ones you've got cool.

    2. "Native" systems are OK, but you are going to need a newer and fairly powerful computer, and budget to get as much RAM as you can (hmm sounds like an old Susie Quatro song). Nuendo has quite a good reputation..but for a Native software system it is relatively expensive, plus there's no way you can run a Native system like Nuendo without a Very good and powerful computer - seriously. If you decide on Nuendo..then yes, check out the RME stuff, particularly for your I/O interface - because we all probably assume you're gonna forget about ADAT.

    3. There are lower cost systems that provide additional DSP's on their PCI cards, much like ProTools. Somebody mentioned Creamware AD/DA converters. Convertors are like mic's - fairly critical in getting a good sound right from the start. Creamware also make a "Studio In A Box" system that operates like a ProTools system. It's called "Pulsar 11" and comes with a number of Sharc
    DSP chips, some good quality on board synths, and a fairly powerful and well thought out "virtual mixer". And it runs 96kHz. It also integrates seamlessly with Cubase VST32 - itself now quite a powerful little tool, which will also run at 96k's..
    This system, the Pulsar and Cubase also gives you the option of accessing quite a variety of plug ins
    both Creamwares own third party suppliers and Steinbergs VST format. (You may have gathered I think this is a system I think you should seriously check out - for one thing you can getaway with a less powerful and older computer..but if you go with Macs it would have to be at least a G4 and nuthin' under 500mHz.).

    4. Personally, and this is MHO, on your budget I would forget about any outboard mixer. What's the point? Unless you get a really good second hand deal not much out there can cut it for that price range, although some people do praise the quality of the newer Mackie mic pre's, so that might help save costs if you like the sound of these. All these systems, Nuendo, Pulsar 11, Cubase etc. come with their own virtual mixers, so you can getaway with using a keyboard and a mouse, plus later on you might like to look at a Midi controller.

    5. Which ever way you go, it sounds like learning curve territory. A good site to visit for info re
    Digital recording is Might save you some money on Valium scripts.

    6. Oh yes. Where are you gonna store all these 32 track wonders you're gonna create? Yup, additional
    hard drives for storage, and maybe a program like sNorton's utilities. Watch that fragmentation there!!!!

    Hmm. But don't visit Sweetwater's Forums...they think Creamware stuff is **** - unlike British mag Computer Music who think it's the bee knees. I had to work with the Pulsar 11 on a Mac for some months last year and never ever experienced the problems Sweetwater talk about, in fact the opposite. Very stable, very reliable. But then I like Jaguar cars.............. :cool:

    And Jaguars are very cool.

    On second thoughts maybe you should visit Sweetwaters site. I'm quite intersted. Oh yeah?
    So the Scope platform is garbage?

    lorenzo gerace Sat, 03/23/2002 - 02:57


    If you're leaning toward the DAW side, why don't go for a 001/Pro Tools LE system instead of Nuendo? This will give you: compatibility with the other guy in your area, since LE sessions are fully transferable to TDM systems, an industry standard format (Pro Tools), a system that's ready to go from day one, having a converter interface with 8 analog I/O at 24 bits, 8ADAT I/O and 2 SPdif I/O, which summed together and used in conjunction with an analog to ADAT converter like RME will give you 18 inputs for recording; zero Sw/Hw compatibility issues, since they're both from the same manufacturer; plenty of expanadability with the coming PT 5.2 release.
    This may seem like a commercial ad for Digidesign, but I based my project studio around such a system, and with a powerfull computer and a control surface (Radical Technologies SAC-2K) it has taken me a long way, leaving me able to spend other money in mics, preamps, outboard, and acoustic treatment of the studio. I nebver felt the need for a mixer, Pro Tools is my mixer and killer editing system as well.

    Hope this helps.

    anonymous Sat, 03/23/2002 - 19:06

    Hey Gerax,

    You know, I was just wondering the same thing. I think that the reason that everyone has talked about going with Nuendo is the 200 tracks, is that not correct? However, I have thought about the exact same issues: compatability, plug in and go, etc. in the LE package. I realize that LE has only 24 tracks, but you all must remember...I come from an analog 8 track studio where I did a lot of bouncing. 24 tracks would be HHHHHEEEEEEAAAAAVVVVVVAAAAANNNNNN! I honestly believe that I could live with 24 tracks for a year or two if I had to. And the price to get into LE would be far less than Nuendo from what I can tell. And the compatability issue with my competitor. What are some of the other considerations that I might want to look into when comparing the two? I do not want to short-change myself, and if Nuendo is just flat out better, that's what I'll do. Remember, I am still very naive when it comes to the ways of digital recording. If you guys told me that I could stick my finger up my nose and pull out an interface I'd just ask you, "How far up??" And then I'd start diggin'.

    lorenzo gerace Sun, 03/24/2002 - 01:28

    When choosing a DAW there's some factors that should be taken into account, in my opinion: first of all what kind of work will you be doing, or plan to? Recording has different issues that editing or mixing, and the sw/hw combo should be configured accordingly: if recording is your main goal you should look into a converter that allows you the most I/O flexibility and really good A/D converters, while on the sw side you may want to look at a healty track count. Yes, 001/LE systems are still stuck with 24 tracks for the moment, althought DIGI has been inundated so much by requests from customers in the Digi users forum (myself included) that maybe in the next sw release they're going to augment that number; anyway: 24 tracks is still like a 3 ADAT or DTRS setup, and I could easily record a full band with them, which I actually did; take this into account and consider if it's enough for you or not. I personally don't know Nuendo very well, I fiddled a bit with it, but it still reminds me of Cubase too much, and I'm not a big fan of Steinberg products, though I have a friend working in A/V post, and he swears by Nuendo, saying that it really is the alternative to Pro Tools; to me it's like this: they're both native systems, both work fine, Nuendo has more expandability and track count (but will your processor be able to run 200 tracks?, and if so will you really need them?), Pro Tools is an industry standard, and I've come to work my 001/LE system to the max and discovered its full potential; software wise I think Pro Tools is easier and really is the king of the hill as far as editing goes; Nuendo will give you access to the VST plug in platform and VSTi soft synths and the likes, while Digidesign has Direct Connect for synths for PC in the works. As far as Audio quality goes I A/Bed PT with various other software (SF Vegas audio, Cubase VST 5.0, Logic Audio Platinum 4.7 Digital Performer), and I've come to like PT best over the others (you bet it), with Logic as a close second. The downside in Pro Tools is that if you need lots of MIDI implementation PT has only the basics, and pales in comparision to Logic or Nuendo, so this could be another key factor in your decision (a workaround to this is using Logic with Digi Hardware thru Direct I/O). One of the best things I like about the 001 system is the in a well configured machine it really never crashes: I built a powerfull PC to be used exclusively with PTLE (enough with this Mac/PC flame war, choose what you like best because they both work great), and in 5 months of intensive (10 hour sessions a day) use it never crashed on me. I think the same can be said for Nuendo, but you have to spend a little more time choosing the right hardware for it. Hardware wise one really cool thing about 001 is its flexibility: I use to hook up analog outboard devices like EQs and Compressors to the 8 analog I/O, and I like to use the SPDif and ADAT I/O to hook up digital Effects units (like Lexicons ot TC) and use these to work in conjunction with DSP plug ins: to me this is a way to have the best of both worlds and a huge sonic palette.
    Excuse me if I got a bit long, I hope this will help. :p

    lorenzo gerace Sun, 03/24/2002 - 06:49


    I agree, a TDM setup would be better, but keep in mind is a project studio we're talking about, and even now that HD is out, TDM systems fall out of the budget range the guy is allowed to spend, even used ones, not to mention the cost of a G4 and converters; I'd wait for the next PTLE release, which should add new features like video support, increased track count, higher sample rate, and expandability with a new converter box (even though it's still words, since Digidesign has a particular policy of not talking about a product untill its release). To me this could be a good start, and an upgrade to TDM or HD could be a second step down the road. I took this decision awhile back, and I'm still comfortable with it.

    Cheers :)

    anonymous Tue, 03/26/2002 - 09:14

    I recommended Nuendo not because of the track count, but because it is flat out the best software currently on the market.

    Nuendo offers OMF import and export, so you're compatible with the local studio.

    The editing power is unrivaled. Anyone who disagrees with this has probably not spent much time with Nuendo.

    The EQ and bundled FX are of a good quality.

    And most-importantly... Unlike Logic Audio, Nuendo is very easy to learn and use.

    The Digi001 system has limited compatibility with hardware, has a limited selection of plugins, has a maximum sample rate of 48khz, and only 24 tracks.

    I too came from the analog 8-track world, and thought that 24 tracks would be more than enough... but now that I'm in digital, I find myself working differently. For instance. Rather than comping lead vocals, I'll simply spread the vocals over 10 or so tracks. With individual tracks for verse, prechorus, chorus, bridge, etc.

    I average around 30 to 40 tracks per song.

    If you decide to go with Digi001, I'm SURE you'll like it... As you can see, a lot of people already do.

    But for me, the extra cost of Nuendo is WELL worth it.

    Destron Wed, 03/27/2002 - 14:23

    I recommended Nuendo not because of the track count, but because it is flat out the best software currently on the market.

    Nuendo is a great piece of software for recording and it seems to fit you. However, beware! The MIDI features are limited, so if you plan on using this serious MIDI arranging I would suggest Logic Audio.

    But looking at your posts it seems you aim to record bands and not synths, so this should not be a problem.

    anonymous Wed, 03/27/2002 - 18:12

    Thanks guys,

    I am basically sure that I am going to go with Nuendo. I bid for it on ebay for $500. I was the only bidder until ten seconds before the bid ended, and then someone came in and beat my max which was 560. I should have went to 610. Anyway, another opportunity will come along.

    On another note, if you had a few good mics but no great ones, and you had $1000 to spend on one mic, what would it be?

    Guest Wed, 03/27/2002 - 19:02

    Originally posted by B. Randall Carter:

    On another note, if you had a few good mics but no great ones, and you had $1000 to spend on one mic, what would it be?

    It is arguable if there is a truly great mic for $1000, but given that price point, it would be useful to know what are the other "good" mics you already have. This way we would know how best to augment your collection with that extra $1000.

    For instance, if it turned out you were "weak" in the large diaphragm condenser department, I might recommend a TLM 103, which you can get for around $800. I don't happen to own any Rodes mics, but I know a lot of people here highly recommend when mics in this price range are discussed. But if inspection of your current collection reveals a weakness in the small diaphragm department, that $1000 might get you a pair of KM 184's.

    On the other hand, if you already have halfway decent large and small condensers, for under $1000 you can get a Royer 121 and add a ribbon component to your collection.

    It's hard to know without knowing what you already have, and what your primary recording useage will be (vocals? voiceovers? rock bands? classical? etc.)

    anonymous Thu, 03/28/2002 - 00:12

    My vote goes to digi001!

    I mean c'mon...PROTOOLS. People won't care that you don't have a mixer when they hear that name.

    You'll be compatible with so many can continue projects from somewhere else easily, just load the session and go. And you can start sessions that will end up somewhere else, which happens A LOT.

    You'll get help and advice from ANYONE who's been using protools for years. And you'll learn skills that will definitely be valuable for the forseeable future.

    I vote for a Macintosh G4 tower. As fast and as much RAM as you can afford. More expensive than a PC, but worth it.

    Macs are super user-friendly, and again, lots of advice from devotees everywhere.

    Microphones. Sounds like you need a good vocal mic. There are tons of options in the $1K range (Neumann, Audio Technica, Shure, AKG, etc, etc) so take a good long look/listen around.

    Not primarily a vocal mic, but AWESOME for digital recording--Royer R121.

    I think one of your main priorities should be a great 1 or 2 channel mic pre for vocals and overdubs. Or a nice channel strip. $2K to $3K can easily be spent in this department. This is super important when recording to digital. You won't need much outboard with a DAW.

    And as mentioned above, put money aside for a nice big hard drive.

    I've seen Nuendo in action, and it is really great. And you CAN import files to Nuendo from protools sessions. But protools is everywhere, from basement studios to penthouse studios. I want to be speaking the same language with as many folks as possible. Especially now, because most projects get tossed around from one place for basics, another for overdubs, and yet another for mixing. This seems to be how almost all project-level recording gets done these days.

    anonymous Thu, 03/28/2002 - 04:02

    Just a thought...

    You could get the RME hammerfall card, and hook it up the the Spirit 328 digital mixer, which is now going for 2 grand.

    That would give you a control surface, and that "Mixer effect" you're going for.

    As far as picking a good mic, there are a plethora of good, inexpensive mics on the market. Personally, I couldn't justify spending a large sum of money on a mic, unless it was a vintage tube mic, or a new ribbon.

    For the most part, your preamp will be the weak link in your audio chain. And a mic like the Studio Projects C3, or RODE NT2 would work quite well, given the right signal chain.

    planet red Fri, 03/29/2002 - 21:11

    Carillon computers sells a really fast rackmounted PC with transport controls that comes with a digi001 all setup and running perfectly on it (no troubleshooting or building your own stuff)for $2900. It also comes witha cd burner, so you wouldnt need to buy any kind of mixdown deck. Anyways this is what I'd go for...

    Carillon 001 system $2900
    1 RME 8 channel converter $1300

    Used soundcraft 600 console... which will KILL a mackie any day, and will also give you the 'studio' type look and feel. I've normally seen them going for around a grand... so

    Console $1000
    Vintech 2 channel neve 1272 $1200
    Event monitors $ 500
    2 GC octava 012's $ 300
    2 SP C1's $ 400
    4 57's $ 300
    1 ATM 25 (for kick drums) $ 175
    2 RNC's in the merc. rack $ 400
    Bomb factory 1176/la2a plugins $ 400

    Then save the rest for cables and getting a couple channels of your 600 modded by jim williams and audio upgrades.

    I think a system like this has everything you'd need..... a big pro looking console that sounds better then a mackie (especially with the AU mods... makes the pres and eq's very nice). 2 channels of super pres from the vintech... and the NEVE name. Decent converters and master clock from the RME. Pairs of both small and large diaphragm mics. Two good compressors to control stuff before it comes into the computer. Bomb factory classic compressor plugins once you're in.

    I think you could do really good work with this stuff, and has a few good names (pro tools, neve) for your clients, and the look of a big console.

    anonymous Fri, 04/12/2002 - 07:16

    Ok, here is what I did for my project studio... I bought a Used Soundcraft Ghost 24 ch with meter bridge and mute automation for $2200. Three new ADATs (1-XT and 2-LX) for about $3000. Traded some junk for a BRC. Bought a pair of Genelec 1031's for $2000. Masterlink for $900. Mics, 4050's, TLM 103,few 57's. Some outboard gear.M1, used DBX 160 xt's, some used DBX gates...really not too far from 10 grand but I did a bunch of shopping online. Its basic, it was as close to the old analog world that I could get.

    anonymous Sun, 04/14/2002 - 07:16

    OK, Here's what I think.
    1.Buy a mac. Better easier to learn, more stable. Also you can use Altiverb by audio ease. you can hear a demo MP3 of altiverb on their web site It's a sampleing reverb. check it out for a full explanation but you can rent a lexicon pcm91 and sample all of the presets with Altiverb. Check it out. you'll be amazed.
    2.Digital performer 3.0. Fantastic midi. You may not do it but more and more of your clients will. easy to learn, feature packed, 3.1 (due any day now) wil do OMF (thats protools) import/Export.
    3. Check out MXL mics. Great price, great sound. You can get a lot more mic for a lot less money.
    4. $1,000 mic-Royer R-121. You can hear samples on their website They have samples of everything voice, drums guitars, choruses etc. Also check out BLUE mics.They are amazing.
    5.RME adi8-ds was compared to an apogee ad8000 by a german magazine and came to be just as good for about $1600. check that out.also swissonic makes great converters that come highly recommended by a friend who does mastering. they make one that has 8 channels of mic pres built in. with 2 of those do you need a mixer?not sure on the price. MOTU 896 is supposed to be pretty sweet too.
    6. if you decide to get a 24 channel all in one type of recorder, get the mackie one not the alesis and make sure that you get the 24/96 ins and outs. Big selling point for clients, better sound. Remember, with 24/96 on both the alesis and the mackie, you only get 12 tracks at a time on these units, but If you dump into a DAW and synch it up, you'll have way more than that.
    7. Synch box of some kind. Better digital sound and a must for soundtrack work. Get one. why limit your income?
    8.Monitors. get the mackies or gelecs. they're the best for the buck.
    9.Listen to everything before you buy it. you've got the time do as much research as you possibly can.

    anonymous Wed, 04/17/2002 - 18:57

    Steinberg has been slow in the past, but to complicate your decision further you should be aware that a new version of Cubase is on the horizon (2 months) (OMF file support planned after initial release).

    Cubase is not thought highly of here, but the new version has the Nuendo audio engine and great midi, totally new interface (similar to Nuendo), etc. Take a look at the site above.

    Nuendo is going to get a new release shortly that will address midi short comings (already has OMF for export to PTOOLS).

    Good luck!

    anonymous Fri, 06/07/2002 - 20:59

    Even though I have a PT HD3 setup, a lot of outboard etc.
    I would try to minimize outlay for a while, DAW's seem to be a never ending upgrading cycle.

    I would look at adding a bit off the old and the new.

    1) I would look at going for an older bigger desk for client confidence. A little Alesis does not say big studio an old Tascam M3500 which you can pickup around US$1,200 does. It might be a little noiser, but has better EQ and most are 24 or 32 tracks. Sorry when I sold mine and had a rack or good pre's and a little Mackie 1604 I kept being asked where my desk is.

    2) I would go probably digi001 and another 8 A/D converters. Pro Tools is a selling name, a lot of people will not know the diff between all the Pro Tools systems and just think cool pro tools.
    This will give you 24 maybe 32 in the new Le tracks playback, PT is easy to learn and you can transfer sessions around easier. Sorry I know Steinberg is better these days with beta released full versions, although digi001 as it is hardware to software dependent does not crash as much. I have a few friends who have PC versions and say it runs fine. That new factory pack sounds cool. That will give you a lot of plugs to play with as well. Make sure you get a Mac as PC has limited plugins

    Personally I would go for the radar but the cost for outbaord FX makes teh digi001 a good starting point,

    3) Mics
    LDC Rode NTK or SP C1, do not pay over $1,000 to start with use this and then move it down the line later to a room mic etc.
    SDC (2)MC012, the New Rode NT4 or NT5.
    LDD AT25 for kick, or a D112, you really do need a real kick mic.
    (4) Sm57's for the rest.

    Speakers well I do not think either the Mackies or the 20/20 transfer to real word great they, I would get a pair of KRK V6's. I actually do have a pair, I had the 20/20 and double checking the low end is quite stupid all the time.

    Ok so
    Tascam or other older big desk $1,200
    Digi001 factory pack $1,200
    LD mic $500
    SDC $900 for all 4
    LDD $200
    SM57 x 4 $400
    KRK V6 $1,000

    That’s around $5,500.
    Now add a computer $1,000

    Now spend the rest on making the place look cool, couches, playstation, coffee perculator etc
    Clients do not know the difference between a Neumann and a no name mic.
    They might of heard the buzz names etc I know a studio around me that says they have Pro Tools. Pro tools FREE is what they have and they run samplitude.
    There is also a studio near me that had a VS2480 and that is basically it they get a lot of
    bands as they say digital and are in a rehearsal complex.

    Look latter on when you get the clients first I would Add a good mic pre, a Buzz audio dual or a great river NV $1,000- $2,000
    Then get a better vocal mic, a lawson or omething around the $1500-$2,000 mark
    Then trade the digi001 in a refirb mix system or something else.

    But just make sure that every purchase pays for itself with clients, I have a lot of cool gear and still compete with studios with less equipment. At the end of the day the band does not know teh diff.
    They might ask you who have you done, if your only done local bands then it makes no difference the gear you have.

    Do not get in a GAS cycle learn what you have well and move on.

    jdsdj98 Sat, 06/08/2002 - 22:08

    Here's the short version, from recent personal experience:

    Assuming you've already got a nice late model computer, digi001 (Pro Tools sells, even if it is a native based DAW) - $800-$1200

    Yamaha 01V with ADAT expansion card. This gives me 4 bus outs + 8 direct outs + if I want, 2 channels of S/PDIF, which, when combined with the digi001 interface, give full access to digi001's simultaneous 18 ch. of I/O. Obviously, these aren't all mic in's, but a combination of mic's and direct ins (a total of 14 mic pre's). - shop around, these things are available used everywhere you look. got mine w/ADAT card for $1150

    Having been in the industry at one time, you undoubtedly know your options on mic's. You didn't specify a budget for mic's, but you can get set up with a respectable startup collection for under $3k Rode is making some great stuff. Blue is becoming a strong force in the mic market. Check out the Baby Bottle, my new personal favorite, for $500.

    Between the plug in's that may come with your choice of a digi001 system, and the 01V's onboard effects (which are not stellar by any means, but we're on a tight budget, aren't we?), you can put together some pretty decent sounding projects without a huge outlay on any additional outboard.

    As for automation, you're already there (or almost) with this system. The 01V can be automated via MIDI out of Pro Tools, allowing access in mixing to both Pro Tools plug ins and the 01V's onboard effects in the audio mix path, or for a small outlay (roughly $800-900), you can throw in a dedicated control surface for digi001 (Motor Mix comes to mind) for access to virtually all of Pro Tools' mix parameters, and then depending on your mastering format, use the interface's 8 analog outs as aux sends to tap back into the 01V and use it as an outboard effects processor.

    The more I play around with this setup, the more I love it. I've spent only about $5k, and I could easily spend another 5. Lexicon reverbs.... Avalon, Focusrite pres.....

    KurtFoster Mon, 10/14/2002 - 10:12

    Wow, someone really dug deep to pull this one out of the hat. The only thing about Cubase I am disappointed with is the lack of compatibility with the control surface I want to use ("Baby HUI", Nuendo is compatible) and the latency problem with the UAD card issue....other than that it is a great program. Logic IMO is out of the picture because they only support the Mac platform now, which I believe will slowly become more a thing of the past, as PC continues to grow faster and cheaper. I constantly snivel about this but I refuse to drop a load of cash every 18 months or so on a new computer. With PC you can upgrade and when you finally have to make a new purchase the financial damage is much less....Fats

    themidiroom Thu, 10/24/2002 - 12:53

    Hey guys, some great dialog here. I would still suggest having a console of some sort. I have a Behringer MX2442 and it is vital to the studio. Even with the DAW, I still need a place to submix keyboards and other intstruments, CD players, DAT machine, cassette, etc. It also gives me a talkback mic, sends and returns for comprehensive monitoring and routing. I wouldn't overlook this kind of flexibility.

    anonymous Thu, 10/24/2002 - 17:41

    Originally posted by Cedar Flat Fats:
    Logic IMO is out of the picture because they only support the Mac platform now, which I believe will slowly become more a thing of the past, as PC continues to grow faster and cheaper.

    Accually fats, if were are speaking of the same thing, I currently have Logic Audio Platnum running on my IBM Thinkpad, and it runs quite well.
    I know what you mean about the mac dominated market though, who wants to drop 1500 for a mac when you can get a comparable pc for 600. Especially when people like digidesign are seeming to push the fact that with XP audio runs more stable. For goodness sake, on the le sys, they are starting to recommend pc's over macs


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