can i get a pro sounding cd with cheaper compression and

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by scottmcclure777, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. i own a rnc compressor and a behringer autocom, i also record on a roland vs 890. is it possible for me to get that professional sounding cd with what i've got? if not what affordable compressors and eq's can i get to get the job done? :D
  2. BennisHahn

    BennisHahn Guest

    In short, no. Sorry but the truth is that professional cd's are, well, professional for a reason. With out a good room, great monitoring, and experience, you will probably never reach that quality with that equipment. Remember that cd's also go through mastering so they will be louder and have a certain cohesiveness.

    But don't let this discourage you! The only way to get there is to mix, mix, and mix. Experience is the greatest tool for just about anything.
  3. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    Troll alert
  4. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    (Dead Link Removed)
  5. Albert

    Albert Guest

    scottmcclure777, that's a really really big question. The answer is not just gear, it's a combination of gear, talent, ears, experience, among other factors. Not necessarily in that order.

    The short answer is, the commercial albums you are hearing that you like quite possibly use a lot of expensive gear to get the sound. However, that doesn't mean you can't try to approximate that sound as closely as possible with your own gear. And the journey begins...

    What I would suggest is take several tracks from commercially produced albums, tracks that sound incredible to you and also sound like what you want yours to sound like. Then work your mix until you get as close as you can. This will take a lot of work: listening, headscratching, thinking, experimenting, etc.

    Try to get your instrument balances the same as on the commercial recordings, the eq similar, reverb, use of delay, everything that you can hear.

    As part of this process you may discover that you need certain pieces of studio equipment to get the job done, to emulate what you are hearing. At that point, get the gear that you need. It doesn't need to be top dollar premium, just very good quality. Avoid the bottom feeders like Behringer, Alesis, and all the super low end stuff. In my opinion, you will be much better off picking up older pro gear on eBay, pawn shops, or ads.

    The point is, by studying the recordings of others and then emulating them, your studio equipment collection will evolve from a real need, rather than what someone told you, or what is being advertised that you need.

    I don't know if any of this is helpful, but hopefully it is!
  6. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    New Milford, CT USA
    Home Page:

    > is it possible for me to get that professional sounding cd with what i've got? <

    I agree with Albert that talent and experience are key. I'll go further and say that the gear you have is surely not the limiting factor. These days even budget gear has specs and sound quality that exceeds the expensive stuff pros used not that long ago. I'm sure a pro could get excellent results with the gear you have now.

    I'll also add that accurate monitoring is crucial for getting good results. If your monitors are inadequate, or you're working in a control room that has no acoustic treatment, those are your biggest problems. Not the quality of electronics.

  7. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    Sorry Scott for jumping the gun . Just that the 2 brands you mentioned have created a lot of heated discussion in these forums. As you hang around here you'll likely get some great advise - much has been given to others already. Try searching the archives for answers to the questions that you (and many others) are having. There's a wealth of reading contained in the archives and the suggested books.

    Welcom to RO

  8. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Feb 16, 2001
    Home Page:
    My father was a cabinet maker. He had a huge tool box filled with manual tools -- screw drivers, hammers, saws, files, even a hand operated drill.

    He was skilled with them -- skilled enough to build all kinds of incredibly beautiful furniture.

    Could he build a professional, modern looking house with them? Maybe, but it would be EXTREMELY hard work and would take an EXTREMELY long time.

    Look at audio gear like tools. The better ones help you to do professional sounding work faster. The cheaper ones can do it, sort of, but it will be much harder and way longer to get near the same results.
  9. Tre

    Tre Guest

    Get a life, like you really have somthing worth while to offer.
  10. All I can say is thankx to everyone...this site is going to be very helpful as I can see. Once again thankx for the advice...I already feel better and motivated :)
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Well that is a matter of opinion. I don't know of any cheap modern compressors or EQ's that sound as good as my vintage Urei units which are 40 year old designs... but of course, as we all know, there are many ways to skew test data and specifications. Many manufacturers take advantage of this and do not disclose how measurements are made. There is a real lack of standards for gear comparison. The only thing you can really do is a side by side listen and decide which you like best. This is why I post audio snips for people to listen to.

    I submit that each is important. To suggest that any electronics will do and great room treatments is the only way to get a great recording is completely wrong. It takes both. Personally I can get better work from great gear and bad acoustics than vice versa.. Great material and performances are really the most important thing ...
  12. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    scottmcclure777, don't worry about it too much. While it's true that the equipment you own would not really be featured in a $2500/day lockout type studio that big name commercial CD's would be recorded in, it doesn't mean that you can't record something that sounds good on it.

    It's really mostly about what's in front of the mics, arrangement, talent as a producer, etc. Get your feet wet, learn a few tricks, and then suplement your gear selection buy buying one item of ultra-high-quality at a time (I mean save your pennies and buy something that the 'big-boys' use). Then, use that item (whatever it is) on everything, and get to know it inside and out...then it'll be time to buy something else. Before long, you'll have a room full of toys that you know how to get the most out of.

    This approach is far better than the common approach of upgrading one step at a time (like moving from a $100 compressor to a $300 compressor, and then to a $700 compressor, and then finally to a $1500 comp) me!

    If you really know your stuff, and have a few choice bits of gear, good ears, good talent in front of the mics, and have a decent tracking/mixing environment then you can definitely make a pro sounding CD.


  13. Thankx for the great advice this site rules! I guess it is kinda like buying a great sports can buy cheap cars but none will really satisfy the high dollar cars..although you will still get experience by driving with the cheap car. So I think your right kris...I should be patient and save up to get the great gear the pro's use and then work my tale off on learning how to use them on everything. hehehe Ok...ok sorry for the lame analogy hehehehe...all I can say is I am glad I discovered this site. :D
  14. Todzilla

    Todzilla Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    Neuse River Watershed
    Home Page:
    Gear Lust is a dangerous seduction. "If I only bought unit X, my stuff would sound great." Certainly great gear is a component in making well produced material. But so is a good sounding room, great performers and production know-how.

    I think in the long run, there's a lot to be said for getting as much from low-end equipment as possible. This can force you to be disciplined in ways that top-notch equipment won't.

    Once you really hone your craft on the low-end gear, you have a better idea of how to apply those principles to the Neve and Studer stuff.

    BTW, the RNC is a really nice piece of gear.

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