mic pre home mastering solution under $2000

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by theassfathasescaped, May 8, 2004.

  1. I'm trying to start a project/club at the high school where I work and am looking for your advice on an all in one solution for our recording and mastering needs. Basically a stereo (bypassable) mic pre and compressor/limiter for under $2000. My students are mostly into hip hop and rnb.

    I know people feel that mastering is best done by a third party, and we 'll try to see if we can't get someone to 'donate' their time, but realistically we have to be ready to go it on our own.

    I've thought about TL Audio gear. I've also considered and then ruled out the Langevin DVC because I hear the compressor isn't really designed for mastering purposes.

    Also, ideally I'd like the preamp to be strong enough to drive a SM7b Shure dynamic mic. (Suitably rugged for high school students.)

    Thanks so much!
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    You will pretty much get what you pay for in terms of the gear you buy, and the skills of who you pay to do the task. For $2K, you could likely get a few projects professionally mastered.
  3. I've thought of that but a) it would be nice but we can have a whole lot of satisfaction with a home mastered demo/ ep and b) having the equipment means you can use it year after year instead of just once. Which is the plan.

    I'm looking at the Mindprint DTC. I think this might be what I'm looking for.
  4. sserendipity

    sserendipity Member

    Jul 3, 2001
    For $2000, and assuming you are using a DAW laready, I would invest in software. A fat compressor alone does not a mastering studio make.
  5. Hmmm, thanks for the feedback. I'm no expert (or even novice) on mastering but from what I understand you need the monitors, the eq, and the compression.

    The mindprint would do it and add a nice amount of analog noise.

    Currently I'm thinking of going with the Great River MV1, Shure SM7 and either the Focusrite Compounder or Dominator II as my compressor/limiter. I know how most people feel about lower end focusrite on this board but everything has to placed in the right context.

    Anyfeedback, including what software you'd recommend would be helpful.
  6. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    I don't think you're going to find a true "all in one" solution that has both a mic pre and a compressor designed for mastering in it...they're two different processes, and there's probably not a huge market for one box that does both.

    If you don't really want to go the software route, though, you may want to consider the Focusrite MixMaster and a stereo preamp. The MixMaster is under $1500 and is one of the more underrated boxes on the market it my opinion. It's true that most mastering is done in the computer...I do most of my mastering in the computer myself because it's so convenient, and I have a MixMaster...but sometimes there's nothing like getting your hands on some knobs and twisting them. The EQ and compressors do sound very good, and although the box is designed mainly for mastering it can certainly be used while tracking as well. I'll often run MIDI sources through it to add some character to the sound. And the converter sounds pretty good as well.

    That should leave you with enough money for at least a decent stereo preamp...something along the lines of an RNP or an MP20...won't be quite on the level of the preamps in the Langevin box you were looking at, but there are a few nice preamps in that price range.

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