Definitive Listing: Signal Chain for making R&B/Pop

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by affuman, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. affuman

    affuman Guest


    I've spent hours going through these posts the last couple of days...just stumbled in on the forum. There is a lot of great things written here and I'm trying to digest them all.

    Like many people who read this forum and ask questions, I'm looking to set up a small semi-to-pro level project studio capable of 16 channel recording and delivering a product to dedicated mixing and mastering professionals to finish. Also, like many people, I've finally learned not to go "budget" but to save up for better gear.

    In another post, you wrote, "You would be better off spending your cash on things that are in the signal path that really do make a difference like preamps, mics, eq's, quality compressors and converters (in that order)." Many topics in this forum have focused on pre-amps, and I have to say there are a lot of recommendations that I have never heard of, and then some things I expected to see but didn't (like one here recommends them).

    So, taking your quote above, exactly WHICH brands would YOU recommend for the proposed 16-channel studio signal chain? I'm not saying that cost is not an object...but am prepared to hold off on spending until I have enough loot to spend on something good, the "best bang for the buck." I'm trying to enter this with open eyes, having been burned before...I don't want to lay down $2K on a piece of equipment only to find out I need $3K more to make it sound right.

    By the way, style of music is mostly RnB, contemp jazz, gospel, all with horns (as it should be). I need to focus primarily on male and female vocals, and saxes of all sizes.

    Also by the way, would love to get opinions from the rest of you masters as well...Thanks in advance!

  2. affuman

    affuman Guest

    I realized after the first post that I should probably clarify a couple of things...after about 10 years of gigging I started dabbling into recording. I have a small, cheap setup (mixer and/or preamp to Audiophile 2496 to computer to SONAR) and can do o.k. things with it, but am looking to do it right. My requirements are recording an RnB rhythm section and then overdubbing vocals, horns, etc. I'd like to get a good idea of what a quality solution would be (i.e. complete signal chain), then save up/get a loan/wait for an inheritance/whatever, and go from there.

    As far as SONAR vs PT vs Whatever...I still have not heard any convincing arguments to switch...I'm comfortable with SONAR and would like to stay there, but of course would switch over if that gives me better quality.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  3. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    I would suggest that you come up with a realistic budget. It's hard to answer a general question like yours without knowing what kinda scratch you willing to throw down.

    If you said I have 2k to work with or 7k, the answers would most likely be quite different. I know mine would be.

    More info about $$$, please.

    btw. if you are comfortable with Sonar, stick with it. PT will not make your recordings sound better.

  4. affuman

    affuman Guest

    Thanks, Chris, for the response.

    I was hoping the answers to the question would help me generate a realistic budget...we all know that it is hard to get that "professional" sound (even with room treatments, good monitors, etc) with budget gear.

    For the sake of discussion, lets say $7 to $10K, again, assuming room accoustics and instruments are taken care of. I'm going with these figures based on what I've gleaned over several hundred other posts.

    Is that to much, too little, or about right for a QUALITY 16 channel recording signal chain?
  5. yes budget gear is budget gear but....Put a pro in a budget studio and magic could happen and put an amature in a pro studio and garbage can happen
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