Need I buy more?!!?!?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by backinthelab, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Back again, and I have some more cheddar saved, about $2500. Any suggestions on what should be next? I think my front end is set and maybe should get a nice be the judge and help a brotha out!

    Here's my current list of gear:

    Should I even bother?!? You guys have been so helpful in the past. Problem is, I can't stop buying gear!!! A new piece brings a smile to my face every time!!! :-?
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Dude, you have way more than enough to do what needs to get done. (Of course I'm not one to preach too hard as I have more gear than most other pro studio's have just laying around in my house)

    Just use what you got until you master all of it, and then you'll know much better what exactly you need. Proper acoustic treatment might be a wise investment or real good cables and snakes through out.
  3. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Acoustic treatment is done, all my cabling is high-end, too. I'm very pleased with my current gear, don't get me wrong, but I've saved-up again to afford another piece to add to my arsenal. I was checking out the Liquid Mix just now. It looks like a pretty nice option, away from my Waves bundle.

    I don't know at this point, I'm missing the all-so-popular Neumann from my collection, and I've also have my eye on Schoepps, too. You can never have too many mics, right?

    I guess if you were in my position, what route would you go?
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    backinthelab, quite a nice arsenal and studio!

    Have you left anything out? Sure you have!

    Even though you may be missing that Neumann microphones sound, you also don't have any of the classic sounding API or Neve microphone preamplifiers/equalizer's! Although you do have a nice front end, you would be surprised by actually hearing either of the devices I've just mentioned. They don't sound like any of your other devices. They're both unique and virtually unmistakable in their tonal qualities. I've never stopped being amazed by just putting out a simple SM57 on a guitar cabinet going into one of my Neve 3115's. Go ahead and crank the midrange equalizer any which way you want, to the extreme and you will instantly recognize THAT SOUND! Ditto for the API 312 preamplifier/550 equalizer combination. I particularly like that on drums as it has a bit more of an edge to it, which makes the drums really rock! Of course I have no complaints doing the same on my Neve console. And I regularly track on API 312's and mix on the old custom Neve. I'm in heaven!

    As good as many of your other preamplifiers are, many of them sound even better than the equipment I've just mentioned. Does that make them better? Because, none of them sound like the equipment I've just mentioned. You got to hear it to believe it.

    So I know that you could find a good used API 3124 or 3124M (mixer version) on eBay. You could probably also find up to 2 Neve 3115's, 33114, 33115, 34114, 34115 microphone preamplifiers/equalizer's for close to your $2500 budget. You can probably only find a single 1073 with your budget? And 1 wouldn't really cut it, would it?

    Of course you do have that option with your budget, to purchase a pair of Neumann TLM103's? Today, that microphone is identical to the considerably more expensive U87ai, albeit only cardioid pattern. Now the TLM170 is a much more interesting animal since its capsule is slightly smaller and more similar to the "U47" but with multiple pattern selections like a U87 has. With your budget, you will only be able to afford a single-one of those also. Either way, both of those microphones are completely lovely sounding if you really want that Neumann sound? I use them regularly even though, those 2 microphones I don't personally own. I only own a couple of those older U67's/87's, KM56/86's. They're OK I guess??

    You can't go wrong with either of my suggestions.

    I win! Because when I die, I'll probably still have more equipment than most?
    Ms. Remy Ann David

    Maybe not?

    Anybody interested in a custom NBC 36 input all discrete Neve desk, serial number 3869, from 1974?? Right now I have the console frame, power supplies, patch bays and integral wiring harness, ready to plug in and record with? I'm ready to let this second unit go, short loaded with 4 complete channel strips for $9,000.00. I'll even consider delivering it virtually anywhere on the eastern seaboard of the United States since it's already sitting in the back of my remote truck.

    Let me know? Things are going on to eBay soon.
  5. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Thanks, Remy, always can count on you for your expertise! I can definately go to the vintage pre's (Vintage King is only a few miles away from my house). I had a couple of V672's but traded them in for the Germaniums for a couple of reasons. I've also considered API for a long time now, I think I would be best suited with a lunchbox so I can diversify a bit, your thoughts?

    My plan is not to "just get more gear", but to get more color combinations so that I can experiment beyond the realm and satisfy what seems to be a very diversified clientele lately. I've had everything from funk to punk, from church groups to hip-hopers contact me lately for bookings.

    I always have problems with deciding on gear, there's just too much out there and I want to most bang for my buck (hence all of my 4-channel pres). Anyone else have an opinion on this??
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    BraVO!.....Great collection and direction. Like our experts have said, you cant go wrong with vintage API. You havent ever really heard that Rhodes you have until you run it through an API preamp. Really, like Remy said, once you start tracking and didling with that gear you INSTANTLY get where all those classic and great sounds came from.

    I didnt see a ViPre on the list? Did I miss it? You might be missing it too if its not there. It'll do things to your mic collection you've never dreamed of.

    As far as a Neumann goes, I've heard great things about the new mic...TLM49 I do believe.Voiced like a 47 is what I've heard from others who have tried one and dead quiet. Of course you Do have that iFET.... Just a thought. They're relativly cheap for that namebrand. Neve Portico? Mercury Recording stuff?
  7. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Well, If your hell bent on buying gear than at least get all the great classic stuff, Neve 1073/1081/33609/2254, API mic pre/eq/comp, LA2A, El-OP/Vari-Mu/Massive Passive, DW Fearn mic pre/eq/comp, Avalon eq, GML eq, SSL comp, ViPre & Glory, Chandler EMI comp, Eventide H8000, Lexicon 960L, TC 6000.

    That ought to keep you busy for a while....
  8. chrispick

    chrispick Guest

    How about some amp heads and cabs?
  9. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    I think you should upgrade to a New Super-Duper Bad Ass Tamborine or at least get a second Bad Ass Tamborine. You can never have too many of those!

  10. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Yes, API sounds like the way to go. I can get a lunchbox and put a few different modules in. Quick question, are they easily swappable? For example, if I filled up the lunchbox and bought a couple, say OSA modules, could I easily change them out?

    I'm not really all that inspired to go the amp/cab route. I've found that the majority of clients want to use thier own, anyways.

    LOL, there's that all new space-aged tamborine made from titanium alloy. I heard it practically plays itself! :-?
  11. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    You got a cowbell?

    Every studio needs a cowbell!

    I GOT A FEVER!!!
  12. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    All true API 500 series compatible modules should work in a API lunchbox and are as easy to swap in and out as inserting a PCI soundcard in a PC PCI slot and two secure mounting screws. Yep, API is gonna rock your world...
  13. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    Marilyn Manson said it best:

    "I've got my lunchbox and I'm armed real well"

  14. JamHandy

    JamHandy Guest

    Well, I read through all that... and I had a bit of a different slant on your next investment...

    Maybe you should invest in some marketing and advertising and make a really good investment:

    Get some new clients...

    Investing in new clients will generate even more revenue so that you can buy even more gear and so on and so forth...

    As I'm reviewing your list... two "weak-link" brand names come to mind as I scan down the list of schtuff...

    The Rode mics could be sold off in order to afford some nicer stuff...

    These folks: make some really cool microphones... we were using several different Blue (brand) mics in a studio out west, and man... they really breathe... (I notice you have the Kiwi...)

    The other weak link I see is any of the Alesis gear... I don't like Alesis for a couple reasons... most importantly, their specs... (but the 12R's advertised specs in the manual look pretty good...)

    I judge audio gear by three main specs (among others)

    1) THD - Total Harmonic Distortion
    2) S/N ratio - Signal-to-Noise ratio
    3) Frequency Response

    Another reason I don't like Alesis gear is that most of their stuff comes readily equipped with a pain-in-the butt wal-wart... (but the 12R has a three-pin computer grade plug... FINALLY.. Alesis... jeesh...)

    I used to be a really big Lexicon fan... going all the way back to the 1970's... they always had the three-pin computer-grade power plugs... which meant they were built with a certain amount of quality... and Lexicon was, at one time, the "Rolls Royce" of reverbs... (and their upper-end stuff still is...) ... but like a lot of companies, they sold out to the "let's make it overseas" mentality... and along with that cheap philosophy came the advent of wal-warts with lexicon gear... yuck

    I have been through THREE different Lexicon LXP-5 machines... and they all turned to junk.. I would rather not invest in anymore Lexicon stuff after that... T.C. Electronics is clsoe on their heels to making some dang nice stuff, and in my road gear, I replaced the Lexicon reverbs we had with TC Electoronics models... and never looked back...

    That little bitty wal-wart plug is a potential problem on down the road... in ANYTHING that comes installed with that el-cheap-o power source...

    Years ago one of the Alesis mixers (a bigger one than the 12R) had one solid circuit board behind all of the pots on the front panel... meaning if one when down, the whole thing was trashed... that was a few years ago, and hopefully they have changed that design by now... but it kind of made an "ewwwwww" sound come out of me when I heard about it at the music store...

    Typical of their "cut-some-corners-to-save-some-money" philosophy...

    Now these are just my opinions, and I have been around Pro Audio since before Alesis was in existence... there is a lot of gear that is of the "it'll get the job done" variety... but sometimes it's not in the "it'll give awesome specs" vocabulary...

    Mackie made (at one time) a small mini-mixer like the Alesis Studio 12R... but it had Mackie's primo specs that came with it... plus Mackie quality, which I have come to count on for many years now... but I'm not sure the Mackie line mixer had XLR inputs...

    It was (sort of) intended to be used as a keyboard mixer... not exactly a "mic pre-amp" per se, but Mackie builds great mic pre-amps into their stuff... so the quality a reliability are there (for me...)

    Well, what I am writing is subject to understanding that it is opinion, and a little time-tested stuff on the side ... take it not as "gospel" but just as another viewpoint... you're doing great on your gear... your "front-end" list kicks tail...

    I suppose the upgrade of the Alesis 12R mixer/pre-amp thingy would maybe be some higher-end individual side-by-side pre-amps... same basic idea as the 12R... except that each channel would probably cost you $300 instead of $300 for the entire device...

    I can't place the brand name ... arrrgh... brain dud... but dbx also did a similar thing with a bank of compressors and/or a bank of dbx noise reduction at one time... same basic size... 3 or 4 rack spaces high... but the equipment was mounted from left to right... and each channel was individual... (it'll come to me...)

    well... you're doing good... but there's always room for improvement...

    I wish you the best... it is a blast just buying stuff... make it a challenege to buy something next time that is better than what you bought the last time... and the time after that, upgrade again... and so on and so forth... gaining more pieces is one thing... gaining the best in the business is another...

    go for the best their is... and don't settle for second-best...

    you could easily pay $2,500 (or more) for just one good mic...

    so have fun...

    Jam out....
  15. JamHandy

    JamHandy Guest

    here's a company to check out for their studio pre-amps... I haven't used their stuff, but have heard good reports from people who have:

    Check out the 801 8-channel mic pre-amp... then compare that to your Alesis 12R...

    Night and day, bro...

    There is always an upgrade...


    The Grace unit leaves off the tone controls... think specialization... when you build a home system... you would much rather buy a pre-amp, and a tuner, and a power amp... rather than buying one device that does all three... right?

    Same thing with audio... it appears to even have it's own remote power source (from reviewing the manual...)... and...

    1) on the front are knobs for attentuation...
    2) on the back are XLR ins and outs...

    that's it...

    pure pre-amp... no other circuits getting in the way, or need room inside the case...

    you can specialized tona modifications, too... get an 8-channel parametirc EQ... folks make them... and your can get a multi-band Parametric EQ, too... so one channel has a very wide usuability curve... or you could (I suppose) cascade one channel into another for even more gain/tone mod, etc...


    gear is fun as hell....

  16. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Mr. Handy, thanks for the advice. I've had my eye on Grace preamps for a while now, but have decided on more color. I think API will do it, but I'm alos looking towards the Millennia Media STT-1.

    Marketing is a good idea, I could ALWAYS use more work!

    On another note, I probably shouldn't even list that Alesis 12R in my gear selection. I don't use it for recording, only to route the audio of all of my individual keyboards and sound modules. So, in essence, I don't use Alesis at all in my recordings, except for my HD24, or course.

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