Can I get some advice?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by backinthelab, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Hello everyone, after frequenting these forums for some time now, I've finally decided to register and throw some posts up. I've read a ton of posts in this forum and have seen how helpful you guys have been.....I was wondering if you could give me some advice.

    I started out in the hip-hop realm making beats and recording local artists. I never really expanded/upgraded my equipment as there wasn't enough revenue to support it. I left the studio and for the past two years I've been running live. This has given me the oppurtunity to market myself and I'm currently rebuilding/upograding my current facilities. To make a long story short, I was wondering if the following list is a good start for a mulit-track setup and if you'd recommend changing any of these peices. Here's the breakdown of what I'm adding on to my G4 setup (running a Soundcraft 328XD as well)...

    Upgrade to Logic Pro 7
    Upgrade AI to an RME Fireface
    TC Powercore
    Focusrite ISA 428
    Soundelux iFet7
    Presonus Digimax

    Seeing as I can fully run an live 8-piece band with no problems, I have plenty of NT's, 57's, e304's, etc to use. My main concern is a good front end. I was just wondering if the above list could be modified in any way in your opinion. (ie, should I scrap the Digimax and use the pre's on the Soundcraft?)

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
  2. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    why do you need the rme fireface and the presonus digimax?
  3. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    The Fireface would replace the Delta 10/10 that I'm currently running. It has a ton more I/O options, including 16 channels of ADAT plus 192 Khz and a dynamic range of 119dBA. The Presonus Digimax would serve as eight more mic pres so I could get away from using the 328 XD's pres. The Digimax has compression, eq, and optical out.
  4. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    look at the octamic from rme or the one from the presonus but... isn't the digimax a converter too?
    why two converters? you couldn't use them at the same time i think...
    aren't you confusing the digimax with other thing?
  5. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    No, the Digimax is just a preamp with an optical out, not a full-blown interface like to Fireface. I was just wondering if the gear I've decided on is a good start, or if other peices would be recommended above and beyond what I've planned.
  6. amg1

    amg1 Guest

    Messed Up :roll:
  7. amg1

    amg1 Guest

    Whats good? I do the Urban, Hip-Hop thing too. I use the ISA428 for everything right now, and has never let me down. Don't know much about the digimax.
    I'd go for the UAD-1. Juz something about those vintage emulations. May not be the real deal, but by the time it's mixed in with everything else, only the most discerning ear will maybe be able to tell.
    Now for ifet7, for the cheese I'd do two mics, the Soundelux U195 and the Rode K2; on my list of mics to get. More flava's to work with. Always good.
    I record into Pro Logic Platinum 5.5 PC, through a MOTU 2408mk3.
    Solid and clean! I'm looking at moving to MAC just for the Logic 7 upgrade; lot of new features I'd like to get a grip on. Messed up bout the whole Apple thing. Still a little salty? Maybe I am:)

    Peace :cool:
  8. amg1

    amg1 Guest

    1 question for ya, do you do a lot of full band recording? I mean is the digimax a neccessity? Don't know much about the board your using.
    I was just thinking you might be able to get you another really good pre. Great River or something like that.
  9. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Yeah, I've been getting into more full bands than anything else. That's why the 8-channel pre is in my list. I don't mind the Soundcraft 328XD's pres when I'm running live, I'm just not too sure of them for the studio. I really like to idea of getting two different mics, I'll have to look into it. Thanks for your help!!!!
  10. Tagger

    Tagger Guest

    The Focusrite ISA428 is a great choice for the front end. It's not as colored as something like a Great River, but just as pristine, and it's got 4 channels with an 8-channel adat option for around the same price. It won't be the best choice for everything, but it's not a bad choice for anything.

    The mic pre's in the Presonus Digimax are not going to be much different than the ones in the RME Octamic, but the fact that the Digimax has digital outs does make a difference. The Fireface card can handle an additional 16 ADAT channels, but only has 10 analog channels, meaning you'd need extra channels of AD conversion to make use of the extra mic pre's. If you went with the Octamic, or anything similar, you would need to get more channels of AD conversion, which isn't the case with the Digimax. Of course, if you get the ADAT option with the ISA428, then that solves your problem of where to get the additional AD conversion. This brings you back to amg1's question of whether you will need the extra channels for full band recording. If you're recording live bands, you'll definitely need them. Otherwise, getting another top-notch mic pre might be a good choice. The Avalon 737 is an industry standard for rap/hip-hop, and gives you a useable outboard compressor.

    I'd agree with amg1 and say go with the UAD-1 plugin card rather than the Powercore. It's generally considered that the uad has better compressor and eq plugs, and the Powercore has better reverbs. I'd say the UAD's compressors are shoulders above what the Powercore offers, and their reverbs (especially Dreamverb) aren't very far behind Powercore. Ideally, get both. But start with UAD.

  11. amg1

    amg1 Guest

    Joe, your right about the Avalon, I haven't had the chance to work with it YET, but in this genre, everyone is hip to it. Whether they've used it or just heard the buzz. I get asked about it all the time.
    But I can say once they hear themselves thru the ISA their sold. I know it's not the answer to all but it handles, and well.

    *Suggestion* UA has that new joint out the LA-610 sounds HOT! the 610 pre, and EQ and an Opto compressor, reminescent of LA-2A. Hmmm, I'm interested. Plus with the money saved, you could add a Grace 101, also a good clean pre for R&b, Hip-Hop vocals when needed. More flava's. I've had the oppurtunity to experience the 610 pre, HUGE sound. Hot! Also, with the Avalon I've heard of the weard compressor phaser thing. Having never used it can't comment. Just a thought.

    I second Joe on having both the UAD-1 and the Powercore. Start with the UAD-1.

  12. amg1

    amg1 Guest

    That's cool doing the full band thing. I'm getting some requests for that kind of service, so I may be doing some similar upgrades. Just have never heard the Presonus pres. Hopefully someone will pop in with some experience with them.
  13. johnny16

    johnny16 Guest

    I have used the Presonus Digimax 96, and Digimax LT and they aren't that good. There is plenty of gain but the preamps are noisy. Much more noisier than the preamps on the Mackies 8 bus board. For live band recording, I suggest you use the preamps on your board for some of the drums and other non-essential sounds and put your nice preamps on the instruments that counts. I would get the Motu 2408 MK2 $350 used on ebay compared to the RME digiface combo ($800) since I would assume that the RME is really no better than the 2408. I own the 2408 and it has been very reliable and for the price, nothing can touch it. Also drop the Presonus Digimax, and get the Digital card for the Focusrite ISA 428. If you need more than A/D converter, get any different offerigns from Focusrite Platnium range or from other similar brand. The Digimax isn't that good and most of the users who own it agrees that it is a bit noisy.

    Note, the Digimax doesn't have compression and EQ. Their so call limiter really sucks and their enhancement feature also suck. You are better off leaving those settings off.

    One problem that you might have is if you plug the stage mics directly into the mic pre and have them connected to your FOH board, you will have feed back issues. In most cases, I have seen multitracks of live shows using the tape outs on the console and sending it to the multitrack recorder ( Computer or ADAT, etc). So not sure if you are going to hook it up and avoid feedbacks.

    ~ Johnny
  14. amg1

    amg1 Guest

    Backinthelab, do you have a budget set for this at all? May help with furtuer suggestions. :)
  15. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Johnny16: Thanks for the input on the Digimax, it's good to hear it from your peers instead of a salesman (nothing against Sweetwater)! The only thing that sways me towards the RME is the I/O. (By the way, it's the Fireface, not the Digiface) :cool: I haven't seen an AI that compares. I'll definately go for a higher-end preamp, maybe even a nice outboard compressor.

    I've actually been using an HD24 with my Spirit 328XD. There are 16 channels of optical I/O to use. I'm not using the ISA or actually any of the above gear for live recording, this is strictly for my studio.

    Amg1: My budget is around $4000. Possibly $5000 depending on how this construction goes.
  16. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Well, I'm back with an update and I spent a little more than anticipated. Thanks to all who helped me decide on the right gear. Here's what I ended up with:

    Logic 7
    RME Fireface
    Soundelux ifet7 (incredible!)
    BLUE Kiwi
    Fosusrite ISA 428 w/AD card
    Universal Audio 4110 (will be here in Feb.)
    TC Powercore Element
    Presonus Central Station
    Furman HDS-6 Headphone Distribution
    Yamaha NS-10M's

    This gear has not been set-up in the studio as I'm still awaiting construction to get done. But, I planned this around mobility, also. The Fireface and Powercore can easily come with me to my live shows or on the road! All in all, I think it's a good start to a great front-end. Anyone have any other ideas that I could shoot for the future?
  17. amg1

    amg1 Guest

    Nice selection!


    Your gear selection looks good. Let me know how the Kiwi and the ifet7 work through the ISA 428. Really interested in the Kiwi. Also give us your impression of the UA 4110. I'm looking at adding a couple of the new vintech X81's. What made you go with the powercore instead of the UAD-1?
  18. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Yeah, will do. I went with the Powercore just for portability sake. I do a lot of live recordings and it'll be nice to mix them down at the shows with some good processing. I'll keep you posted on the UA 4110. As far as the 428 with the iFet, it sounds amazing. I haven't yet done anything with the Kiwi.

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