Need Advice on Building my Pro Tools studio

Member for

15 years 4 months
Submitted by rocker73 on Sat, 11/26/2005 - 02:45

I have started designing my pro tools studio around a Digidesign 002 rack, so far I have an Alesis SR16 midi'd to a Korg Trton which is then connected via Midi out to the 002 rack. I have a marshall amp and an old digital RP3 digitech unit for my guitars plus a shure SM57 and SM58.

I have been reading sound on sound, Music Tech and various other magazines which have had articles on Mastering and Compression etc, In a few weeks I am going to get myself a pair of Tannoy reveal 5a's for monitoring. I have read that there are 3 things you really nees in terms of hardware: 1) A decent set of monitors for a good mix reference, 2) Decent preamps, 3) Some decent mastering kit.

I am currently looking at buying a Focusrite Twin Trak Pro(connected to the 002 rack via the optional SDIF out) to do the guitars/Bass using one channel for my shure instrument mic (micing my Marshall AVT150) and the other for the D.I. Signal and then routing both signals through effects processors i.e. Pod XT Pro and TC MoneXL. A focusrite Octo Pre (connected to the rack via the optional optical out) for the Vocals and D.I. my Korg Triton and adding looping a Digitech Quad for on for of its remaining channels.

On channels 5 to 8 I am considering putting a Pod XT Pro, Pod Bass XT Pro, TC Finalizer and TC Helicon Voice Works creating four different effects loops. One channel on the MoneXL will cable to the Pod XT Pro on one of its effects loops and the other channel to one of the effects loops on the Pod XT bass.

I have decided to use hardware processors rather than use loads of plugins and software, is this the best route or could I leave out the Finalizer and just use the plugins available to me in pro tools for mastering? i.e. Compression, Tracks Eq, limiter and dithering on the master stereo channel?

If using the TC finalizer is the better option can I route all the instruments to this without having to bus each instrument channel to the master steroe channel? i.e. is there some way I can put the finalizer on the master channel or bus the master signal through it from the master channel?

Any help or comments on the above would be really appreciated.

Member for

15 years 11 months


Sat, 11/26/2005 - 09:26

I'm not here to try to tell you what to do but unless you're already a trained ME you shouldn't really be too worried about trying to "master" your music. You really just need to concentrate on tracking and mixing and if need be in the future you could send it to a real ME and have it done right. Monitors are extremely important in mastering and the room is almost equally as important and the combo of the tannoy's and probably not an excellent room acoustically won't do a "mastering job" any justice. Otherwise everything else you mentioned is good, your on the right track, just a note about the focusrite pre's. You're probably not going to notice a huge difference between the twintraks pre's and the pre's in the digi. I'd recommend the maudio dmp3 over the twintrak, it isn't a digital piece but it is very clean and would give you a different pre option, with 8 tracks of focusrites coming from the octopre I can't really see the need for two more of basically the same thing. You'll want a little variety. I would also skip the finalizer, you can certainly make quality recordings without that thing. pro tools le comes with some really decent plugs, the eq3 and dyn3 are wonderful plugs and I use them everyday, much nicer the the eq2 and dyn2, I even prefer the sound of eq3 over waves eq's. Just my two cents.

Member for

15 years 4 months


Sun, 11/27/2005 - 10:15

help with my Pro tools studio setup

Thanks for your reply Jonny C, I have had a look at the Maudio DMP3, it looks a cool little unit. I see what you mean about the Twin Track as it has more or less the same kit on it as the Octo Pre.

Could you give me any advice on improving the acoustics of a room, I am shortly going to move all my studio kit into my spare room from my office which is the smallest room in the house!!

I have been looking at getting a roll of some sound insalation foam to improve the acoustics and also so I dont annoy the neighbours as I live in a semi detchached house that has walls as thin as cardboard (in terms of sound coming through them that is!).