DAW or Digi 002?

Discussion in 'Computing' started by TheAngryFedora, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. The situation: $2000 budget to do one of three things

    a) Expand my current setup, which is Logic Express 7 (on an IMac G5) with an MAudio MobilePre USB interface. For this I'd probably look into a MOTU 896, but suggestions are welcome. $1000

    b) Forget about Logic and go with a Pro Tools Digi 002 rack setup. $1200

    c) Tascam 24 track workstation, package with monitors, three mics (one large diaphragm, two cardoid), signal processor, etc. Stands, cables, all of that. This is quite attractive at the moment, because it would allow me to keep my current setup in order to master what I've recorded on the tascam, and since I don't have mics yet (I'm really just beginning to set the studio up) this seems like a good deal. not the best mics, but they'll do. $1900

    I made the mistake of getting logic over pro tools at the same price (pro tools a bit more, about $100 more) because of some negative reviews about the mbox setup, but I think it would have been a better choice. However, Logic is made for mac, so it works very well with the computer.

    Any suggestions are welcomed and greatly appreciated.
  2. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    I run the 002r and it works great. The question you need to ask yourself is are you happy with Logic. If you like it and can get around in it well then I wouldn't switch to a different software. I'd go with your first option, keep logic spend a grand on the motu 896 and get a couple of mics. Pro Tools LE is pretty limited with track counts and other things.
  3. What about the Tascam 2488? There's a great package that seems to be the best bet, since I haven't got mics or monitors yet. But, if the 896 seems like the best option, any recommendations for mics, monitors, etc?
  4. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    what kind of music are you doing? that'll be the best indicator for what kind of mics and monitors you need.
  5. It'll range from jazz to blues to rock to ska to punk to indie (or, what is currently defined as "indie rock"), anything really. Maybe even a bit of funk. I play a lot of ska and punk, as well as jazz/blues stuff, and a lot of the bands around that want to record tend to play indie-ish stuff.

    I've begun to lean more toward the Tascam system, just because of how portable it is. The computer I've got now could probably be moved, with some effort, but it's by no means as portable as a laptop. With the tascam I could find the best places around to record, the rooms with the best acoustics for different sounds, that sort of thing. I'm also going to set up a decent sized room in the basement specifically for recording, but if I were to stick with the software and just upgrade to the 896 it would severely limit my mobility. I'd pretty much be stuck in my room (which is not at all the ideal recording location. In fact, the acoustics suck). But this is where the computer is and shall remain. It's fine for mastering, with a pair of decent monitors, and if I needed to mess with the acoustics I could, but I wonder whether the quality of either pro tools or the 896 is so much more than that of the Tascam that it completely negates the mobility/convenience factor, as well as the fact that it comes with everything that I'd need to start recording. I'll also be helping out in a studio with a system very similar to this, but with pro tools used for mastering rather than Logic.
  6. JBsound

    JBsound Guest

    I'm pretty happy with the 002r.
  7. The decision to get the 002r would depend on how much I'd need to spend on mics/monitors, as well as stands, cables, etc. Just like the 869.
  8. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    I didn't notice do you have a computer? You'll need one of those, and are you going to record a full kit. I've spent around 2 grand on mics alone. You can get a cheap fusion drum mic kit for around 300 bucks pick up a couple sm57 for like 200 get a decent vocal mic for 300 to 600 hundred.
  9. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    If you have the logic chops already why not stick with it? I think either the motu 896 or the 828 mkii will fit nicely in your existing set up- you may also want to upgrade to logic pro- it has a lot more than express- way more You could probably upgrade to logic pro, get a 828 mkii and get a couple of nice pres (to augment the two in the 828) and still stay within budget
  10. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    by the way, i have DP (which is comparable to logic pro) and would not even dream of switching to PT- lot better programs for the mac, DP & Logic, than PT
  11. vividsonics

    vividsonics Guest

    I think if you've already invested in the mac & Logic it would be a good idea to stick with that. With the Logic setup you could improve things as your budget increased by adding preamps and better converters and even outboard compressors and the like. If you get one of the "all in ones" you would have a difficult time upgrading the sound quality as your needs grow. Also, editing is a lot more suave on a computer than an "all in one". PLUS you would have tons of cool midi and virtual instrument options with the Logic setup (even if you stuck with express). You'll need those mics and monitors no matter what you decide to go with. I'm sure if you're getting a package deal with one, your dealer could come up with another similar package. Good Luck!
  12. You're doing a good job of convincing me to stick with logic. Pro Tools is good, but I don't want to spend that much money when, from what I've been told/what I've read over the past couple of days around here is telling me that mics/monitors and such are going to cost more than I expected.

    The jump to pro was something that I hadn't even considered. Kind of stupid of me... but oh well, just wasn't thinking about it. Now that I am thinking about it, I think it might be a very cool idea. I've got the summer to get a much better grasp on express, which I've been working with a lot lately (though I haven't had much time, what with this being the last three weeks of school, right before finals). This summer, I'm basically just going to be doing all sorts of sound-related things. Sound design, recording, live sound, etc. Should be a great time, great experiences.

    Edit: I'm a bit worried about what will happen in a couple of years when I head off to college, though. If I had a laptop I'd be set, but I don't and I don't know if I'm going to be around here enough to really use all of the equipment. I've got another two years before that, though, so I guess it doesn't matter all that much. Oh well, I guess I could always keep it here until I move into an apartment or something that I can really set up in.

    I'm wondering, maintiger, about your suggestion; what would you suggest after the mkii, as a pre to, as you so aptly put it, augment the two pres in the 828? And would it be better to do that than to just go with the 896 and get 8 pres for about $200 more?

    Any mic/monitor suggestions? If I upgrade to pro and get either the 828 or the 896, I'll end up with about... oh, I'd say $1700? $700 upgrade, $995 for the 896 or about 750 for the 828 mkii plus however much it would be for the other pre's.

    My computer can handle just about anything I throw at it. IMac G5, about 111 gigs left (I've got an 80 gig. external hard drive that I'm going to start using more often) and 512 mb of memory (which will be upgraded to a gig. soon, I hope).

    That really only leaves me with about $300 to $400 left for everything. Not too much... Of course, if I held off on pro for a little while, that would allow me to get some better gear first. Suggestions? Upgrade logic to pro or get some good quality mics, monitors, etc. to go with those nice, shiny new pre's? And again, if so, any suggestions for monitors, mics, and of course pre's? And to answer the question about whether or not I'll be miking the whole set, no, I don't think I will be right away. Probably just a stereo pair, something for the kick (either an actual kick drum mic or just a dynamic with extended low range) and a 57 for the snare. Maybe some stuff for the toms later.

    I'd also need to mic the guitar.

    And get a good large diaphragm for vox.

    Thank you all so much for you advice, it's really extremely helpful. It's really great to see people taking time out of their day to help "noobs" like myself as well as fellow pro's.
  13. vividsonics

    vividsonics Guest

    Mr. Fedora,
    You've already got Logic Express. It's a good program. Logic Pro has a lot more features, but as a beginner you'll probably be tackling a lot to just get used to a new system. If you had not purchased Logic Pro I would say go for that, but what you have will most likely work very nicely to get you started.

    As far as interface choices... Well you only have 2 preamps on the 828 MkII. It actually might be a good idea to go with that and a small Makie mixer. You could put the money you save on the interface towards that. The nice thing about the mixer is you'll be able to have easier monitoring control and cue mix (the MOTU Cuemix software works well though). Plus you'll have the mixers preamps (you could go out of the insert sends into the MOTU). You could do well using the 896HD too it's just your style of working. I really like having a mixer.

    Mics? Well there's a lot of choices hear. I would go with a 57 on snare for sure and use that for my guitar amps etc. A good large diaphragm dynamic can be great for kick and also guitar amps and bass amps. I like the AKG D112 but the Audio Technica ATM25 is a good deal too. Then just pick up a couple of condesors mics for over heads. Whatever you use here you can use for vocals, acoustic guitar etc. There are SO many choices here... it really comes down to personal taste.

    Monitors? There a TONS of choices here. It depends a lot on the type of music you do and what your environment is like. Also you may need to pick up some headphones for tracking.
  14. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    Use the tools that you are comfortable with.

    I use PT and DP, love them both. Some experience with Logic, also very nice.

    It's how you get everything into your DAW that matters; and, of course, your monitors and the listening environment. Once everything is ones and zeros it really doesn't matter what program you use.
  15. So I suppose the quesion now becomes this: how do I manage to get the mics I need, the MOTU pre's, the monitors I'm checking out (Event TR5 active's) and manage to get the mic stands/cables that I need, as well as a rack of some sort.

    In other words, the mics I'm look at are: sm57, KSM27, and two KSM137/SL's. But I don't know if I'll be able to get these microphones with the budget I've got. Any advice/comprable mics for a bit less?
  16. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    all the mics you mentioned are good mics, and will help alot with getting a good sound however if you have good ears you can get away with some cheapo mics. I actually like the mxl brand of mics. I've recorded a couple of punk bands thru my 990 which is about the cheapest decent condensor you can buy. Anyway if you really wanna do this you need all the pieces of the puzzle so get what you can even if you have to get some cheap stuff and upgrade later.
  17. Thanks for the advice. I've been checking out/reading up on the MXL's. There was a pretty in-depth review in the "Mid-Spring 2005" musicians friend catalog. Interesting stuff.

    What's your (general, all-encompassing "you") opinion on the 960 tube condenser? Good, bad, unneccesary? I'm thinking that if I want the tube sound it'd be a better idea to stick with a good condenser and just get a tube pre or something, so that I won't be stuck with the 960 when I want a different sound...

    I think I'll stick with the KSM27... but, rather than get the Shure condensers, I'll go with an MXL 993 stereo pair. A lot cheaper, seems to have a nice range. Definately a 57, though.

    What I'm wondering now is whether or not to get the 896. I've been looking at all sorts of Mackie mixers, as was suggested, but they seem a bit too steep. I found a Behringer board that is cheap and might be what I'm looking for... Supposed to be pretty quiet, got built in effects (which I don't really want/don't feel that I need) and XLR main outs. UB1222FX-PRO. Unless you'd suggest a Mackie DFX-12 instead. About $80 more, might be worth it, but I don't know if I should get the Mackie for $80 more or step up to a more versatile Behringer for about that much more.

    Or I could get a $300 Mackie 1202-VLZ. Seems like a better choice, but if I can get a Behringer that's extremely close in terms of quality for much less, I think I'd have to go with that. But, I don't know enough yet. I have experience with both the Eurorack series as well as the 1604-VLZ PRO. Great board, I think. Do a lot of sound for theatre with it. Would the difference between the two boards that I mentioned above be great enough to make it worth getting a Mackie now? Or could I get a Behringer and hold off on the Mackie til I have enough for a better board a bit later on?

    Opinions on the Firepod? Certainly isn't the 896, but if I were to get that, it would allow me to spend a bit more on mics... but, pre's are more important, I believe. So I don't know if I should stick with MOTU and cut back on the other gear or go for the Firepod (8 pre's/ins/outs, etc.) This would also probably eliminate the need for a mixer although I too feel a bit more comfortable with a board in front of me. I feel a bit more in control I guess. Inferiority complex? Maybe. But it's better than getting a Hummer (grr... good idea someone had, let's kill the freaking planet by making a car with between 10 and 15 miles per gallon). So, MOTU 896, MOTU 828 mkII w/ [Behringer or Mackie] mixer, or Presonus Firepod w/ better mics?

    Totals for each:
    896: $1905

    828: -W/Mackie DFX-12 $1908
    -W/Mackie 1202-VLZ $1958
    -W/Behringer 1222FX $1839
    -W/Behringer 2222FX $1909

    Firepod: -I can do one of a few things; I could get a better stereo pair, probably Shure's again, I could get better monitors, or I could get another mic (probably a D112 kick mic/bass cab mic). I could even go for a decent Mackie.

    -W/MXL 993's $1510
    -W/KSM137/SL's $1938
    -W/993's and D112 $1710
    I won't try to estimate with the mixer, because I don't know if I'd need it with 8 pre's.

    I'm still leaning toward MOTU over Presonus, though. So, unless the benefits of the firepod setup really outweigh those of the MOTU setup, I'll probably just end up disregarding it entirely. But I don't know.

    As has become the case, advice is more than welcome. Thanks again!

    Sorry, long post...
  18. So, it's final. I'm going with the 896, and also the D112 as an addition. However I am quite screwed with space. Oh well. that's on another part of the site.

    Thanks so much for all of your help!
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