Equipment for Studio? £5000 budget

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by tildred99, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. tildred99

    tildred99 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2012
    Hi there guys! I'm looking to start to build a studio in a large space that I am renting. The budget I have to start with is £5000. I've worked in a few studios both independently and alongside professionally producers. Iv'e got experience in using studio equipment but not a lot of knowledge as too what is good equipment and what is the best gear to buy for a budget £5000?

    I've got a pc and a mac, using pro tools 9. I'm looking to record and put together all types of music from rock to dance, needing to record live instruments (drums, guitar, vocals, sax, violin etc.), needing to mix and master.

    Do I buy an Audio interface that combines mic pre's and converters? or separate mic pre's and converters?
    What studio monitors are good?
    And anything else you could suggest would be great

    any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated!


  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
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    Hi James, and welcome!

    I hope you have a separate budget to spend on acoustic treatment for the room so the £5K does not have to include that as well as audio gear. If you don't, you won't have much left to spend on the gear.

    You don't say how many input channels you think you may need, or what ways of working you hope to cover. By this I mean, for example, do you aim to record bands playing all at once, or would you only record one or two performers at a time ("tracking")? Your studio experience to date will tell you how some bands can work this way and some can't.

    Is the venue set up so you have a separate control room acoustically isolated from the recording space? You need to be able to listen to the performance on loudspeaker monitors so you can hear properly whether you have the right type of microphone set up in the right position for each instrument. One of the hardest instruments to record is a drum kit, as it needs a really good acoustic space, a set of good microphones, multiple pre-amps and a multi-channel interface.

    My advice would be to take this in stages. You could start off by suggesting that bands track their drums and bass in a pro studio and then bring the tracks to you for adding all the other instruments. This minimizes the band's time in an expensive studio and allows you to gain experience of your own in tracking these other parts. In addition, it means you can spend your budget incrementally, only buying the mics and other gear needed for these additional parts until the business, the acoustic space and your expertise have built up enough to track the rhythm sections as well.

    That said, I would not advise aiming to master the recordings yourself, at least not for quite a while. Mastering needs different gear from that used for recording, a different pair of ears from those of the recording engineer and a different set of skills. The thing to do would be to go and sit in at the mastering sessions of your mixes in a mastering house so you can see and hear where your mixes are making life easy for the ME and where the problems are. This will improve your recording techniques.

    There are lots of mics and interfaces we could recommend for the tracking work, but we first need to know how much you aim to cover with your budget.

    Good luck!
  3. tildred99

    tildred99 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2012
    Hi there Boswell! Thanks a lot for the reply, very sorry that I've taken so long to reply im in the middle of moving at the moment.
    I'm looking to recording bands, acoustic artists, music for film, quite a broad range really. The space I'm renting has 2 large rooms which I am looking into acoustically treating and isolating them in the future on a seperate budget. I was thinking of spending the £5000 on a console/interface, speakers and microphones, anything else you think I might need. It seems everytime I research I see something else that I need that I didnt even know about. I'm looking for something with 8+ inpust. I have loads of leads, mic stands a mac and pro tools 9. I think by the time I've decided what to buy budget will be higher. Theres so many different things to think about I could do with some training in that area of recording products. I'm going to Uni to study music prodction in a year or so and I wanted to get experience with a decent producer for a good period of time but I've found it really hard to find although I've got good recorded examples of my own productions and experience. If you could help me or advice me in finding some experience too that would be great.

    Thanks for your time I really appreciate it.

  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I think your best bet would be to spend the bulk of your money on equipment. Acoustical treatment for the room can be considerably helped out by the use of simple household items such as bookcases, sofas, easy chairs. Pieces of plywood with acoustic fiber glass ceiling tiles glued to one side and made to stand vertically with a couple of simple 2 x 4's to act as feet. A mattress suspended upright on its side, etc..

    Most modern studios today need/want some kind of fully integrated digital console. And the digital console should have FireWire outputs for multitrack recording directly into a computer of 8-16 simultaneous channels of record capability. Otherwise, an analog console with channel inserts to a standalone multitrack recorder like a ALESIS HD 24 (or equivalent) may be also a suitable way to go.

    Most external FireWire computer audio interfaces generally only allow for 8 simultaneous inputs. That generally falls a little short for tracking an entire band at once. So you might require 2 of those types of interfaces for 16 simultaneous tracks of recording to a computer. And those devices already have their microphone preamps built-in. So an additional console is more for monitoring purposes than anything else in that application. And you can get away with a simple Mackie 1604 with that, for that purpose. Thankfully, ProTools 9-10 will now work with anybody's computer capable equipment. That's a godsend if you are a ProTools centrist. Just don't expect any earlier versions of ProTools to work with anything other than what Avid/Digi/M-Audio authorizes for use with their particular versions of ProTools. I.e. ProTools designed for Avid/Digi products will not work with M-Audio products. ProTools M Powered won't work with any Avid/Digi products. Don't you love it? You've got to love this type of thinking from a single company. I think by the time they got around to listening to the Beatles White Album they finally realized... number 9, number 9, number 9 had to be a better answer for their business plan? They were only 40 years late in getting there.

    When I'm late, I'll be dead.
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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