2 very good channels of recording for 1500?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Mickey_C, Jan 15, 2007.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. Mickey_C

    Mickey_C Guest

    Hi all, newbie here, and I'm looking to record up to two microphones at a time, but that's it. I build guitar amplifiers (http://www.soultoneamps.com) and I need to make high-quality demo clips of the guitar amps.

    I've been using a TASCAM DP-01FX/CD, Sure SM-57, Rode NT1A, and Fostex PM .5 powered monitors.

    I'm scrapping my TASCAM DP-01FX/CD in the interest of improving the quality of the recordings. 1500.00 is my budget.

    I went to guitar center and they sent me home with a ProjectMix IO and Pro Tools M Powered. Well, I haven't opened it, because I had a sinking feeling as I left the store that I am always a sucker, and when I walked in the door I thought I wanted a Fireface 400 and ??? software (or an Mbox 2 pro factory pack, with the Pro Tools LE and plugins, with the remainder of the money picking up a Rode K2 tube mic). They pretty easily steered me towards this, telling me I would have better results. But then again, they didn't have a Fireface 400 in stock either.

    So - with a clean slate, how would you upgrade my recording for 1500.00?

  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I would keep the mics. If you have to be on PT I would just go with Mbox Pro. Unless you need to record more than 2 channels at once. Then I would use the rest of the $ on some quality mic pre's. If you need 2 channels maybe a pair of Chameleon Labs 7602's. If you can get buy with one pre amp maybe a Focusrite ISA220 used would be in budget.
  3. Mickey_C

    Mickey_C Guest

    I don't have to go the PT route. In fact I would prefer to go a route that gets me HQ sound with as little heartache and hassle as possible - I figure that's not as much of an oxymoron considering I need only two channels.

    So, my signal chain would be:

    SM-57 and Rode NT1A - Chameleon Labs 7602 -(connection not specified)- Mbox Pro - (firewire)- Mac OSX (intel) - Pro Tools LE

    What I am taking away from this, and please correct me if I am mistaken, is that indeed the ProjectMix I/O converters are not as good as the Mbox, or at least as good, and the preamplifiers are worthless for what I am trying to achieve; is this a correct assumption?
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I LIKE the Chameleon Labs thingy. Really. Its a little bit colored for what you're seeking. Making demos for your guitar amps sound would seem to require something as clean and pristine as possible to 'hear' exactly what these amps are reproducing......??

    Langevin DVC.

    Two channels of John Hardy M1.

    ADK MicPre

    The MBox Pro 2 is right as is working into ProTools LE.Actually the PreSonus Firewire unit has decent pres for what you want..

    A lot of options for you. The ISA is also a good choice.

    Will be looking at those amps.....I have a couple of amp snobs in the band....( they use Carr Hammerhead and Bogner Metropolitan as well as 1976 Marshall 100watt SuperLead and early JCM800 and Fender HotRod Deville with YellowJackets)

    snobs I tell ya....snobs.
  5. Mickey_C

    Mickey_C Guest

    I hate GC.

    The sales rep, when pointedly asked, told me the presonus firebox did not have as good of preamps as the ProjectMix I/O. And now I am hearing they are on par, for this purpose with the Hardy?

    So then why wouldn't I just go the firebox route, which has the preamps and ADC all in one unit?

    Maybe I am not understanding.
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Yeah to the EvilEmpire hatred....

    Dont misunderstand me...The Firewire box's micpres are NOT to be compared to the Hardys' or the Langevins or the ISA's or any number of micpres in the $600+ per channel range.
    What I'm saying is they are a very neutral and clean pre and for your purpose, probably more than enough in clarity to get the sound of the amps out to potential customers.

    NOT to be compared to the Grace or the like, just simply very adequate for YOUR purpose. You are going to require proper gain staging and mic placement and your mics are going to have to deliver rather precise representations of your products.

    For recording purposes bent on a guitar sound that has clarity and depth in a dense mix of drums,bass,keys,other instruments, you would need something along the lines of the API,Neve, etc... But for a single instrument being played to demonstarte the amps abilities, I would think that something neutral and clean with enough gain to get the job done would suffice.

    As for mics, unless you really feel the need for a tube condenser, I would limit my choices to high-end dynamic mics such as EV RE20, Sennheiser MD421, Heil PR40, or perhaps a Royer Ribbon mic. They're all accurate as heck and dont have the drawbacks of a condenser such as needing phantom power and will, for the most part, take a LOT more dbs before cracking. They also dont have those extra bright bumps in the EQ curve that most condensers these days do.

    I checked out your site and those are nice looking amps. Right up the alley of my guitar wankers in my band. (you could tell by their choices in amps no doubt)...I'll turn em on to your site.

    Besides....if youre putting up samples as MP3 conversions, youre gonna lose something in the translations......
  7. Mickey_C

    Mickey_C Guest

    First, thanks for the kind words about the amps!

    Okay, just to clarify, which firewire box?

    1. M-Audio ProjectMix
    2. Digidesign Mbox 2 pro
    3. Presonus Firebox/Firestudio

    Or, are they all about the same? If they're not, would you mind ranking them?

    I have the Rode NT1A and a Shure SM57. Are you saying a better dynamic would be more important first, or the ribbon? I am indeed considering a Royer ribbon mic, and the RE20 is already on my radar too.

    I think there's one obvious advantage to the ProjectMix - the control surface should make using this stuff easier. But it's added fluff when I am thinking my money is better spent on improving the signal chain. Am I on the right track there?

    I am loathe to admit I am eyeing my guitar collection again, wondering which beauty will go away... because it sounds like I really need to spend more money than I planned.
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I would say these are all about the same quality.

    My goto guitar mics are 57 and 421. I have used the Royer 121 a ton and I like it. The one thing with the Royer is you need a pretty nice preamp to make that mic shine.

    As far as pre's go mine are out of your price league but I almost always use API, Great River or Pacifica.

    But if I was looking for a nice clean pre it would be a Hardy. I have not used the Grace stuff but I hear good things about them.

    I also did some guitar tracks with the PreSonus MP20 and it was pretty damn clean. what I heard in the room was comin through the speakers.

    Your amps look awsome. I may be contacting you to add one to my studio.
  9. Mickey_C

    Mickey_C Guest

    So these are all very neutral and clean preamps?

    I was asking the original poster to clarify his statement, as he was saying that of the Firewire box's preamps.

    BTW - the Presonus Firestudio is supposed to have 8 class A microphone preamps. I was leaning that way, which would give me more money for another microphone (I was considering the RE20 for now).
  10. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
    Home Page:
    I know it's like 4 days later but couldn't help and chime in about the m-audio pre's. I've been really digging my fw1814 pre's lately. Just an at3035 stright in to the m-audio 1814 pre's and the signal is super clean and super quiet with really decent gain. Nice open sound but not too open (which I don't like). Usually I stick with my outboard pre's but lately the m-audio stuff has had the clean sound I need.
  11. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    Aug 9, 2005
    From LV but Army brought me to TN
    See I dont know if the pres are different for the firestudio. They have on the first two channels Mic/Instrument the same as the firepod. When on the Presonus website I didnt see anything sugesting they were different when they were comparing (I believe the inspire), firepod, and firestudio.

    Hey dont forget to include the Mackie Onyx 400f in this debate as well. I have owned a firepod, and the thing is great, but the 400f is better....better pres, and better converters.

    As for a guitar mic I have fallen i love with the AT2020.
  12. Mickey_C

    Mickey_C Guest

    Well, I spent the money.

    I purchased:

    Cubase 4 (the full package one)
    MOTU traveler
    Sen. MD421

    I figure I'll see what I can do with this for a bit. It was frustrating, knowing nothing about any of this, to figure out what would be the best use of money. So, I figured I'll get my feet wet recording, and learn the way I usally do (by throwing money away at junk, and learning my lessons through my wallet).

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