New Studio help--noob needing to know what to buy on budget

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by KingVidalia, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. KingVidalia

    KingVidalia Guest

    Hey guys, I'm new to this forum, but after reading 3 or 4 recording boards, this one seems to be the most knowledgable :D

    So basically here's my deal, I am tired of my band and other artists having to pay high prices for studios in our area that do half-baked projects. I have had some experience with recording on an 8 track DAW (tascam) and have had some time spent in some protools studios that had high dollar stuff but morons running it.

    So my question is, with a budget of roughly $2000 and the following items and knowledge in mind, what would be my best options. I'm not picky of brands, mainly best stuff for the price. I will eventually get better stuff as I gain money, but what do I need right now. (IE--if I get a beta 58 as vocal mic for now, i can upgrade later. Or cheap mixer for now, upgrade later) Again, I know what I want to do and a lot about tone, I just don't know what to everything from mics to monitors.

    I need to have drum tracks seperate from each other (snare on one, toms on their individual tracks and so on)

    I have built over 40 PCs and plan to build one specifically for factor that in. I also have 2 SM-57s and 2 SM58s, an 8 channel analog peavey mixer (not good, i know...but can it suffice with other things?) a OC Drums, Marshall and H & K amps, Rickenbacker & ESP guitars and Ampeg bass equipment w/ a fender p bass.
  2. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    Re: New Studio help--noob needing to know what to buy on bud

    Do you live near Phoenix?
  3. KingVidalia

    KingVidalia Guest

    Nope, nowhere near...Greensboro, NC.
  4. KingVidalia

    KingVidalia Guest

    But if you want to see what I'm talking about, go to

    That was done with an incredible studio setup with a full protools (with a few hundred plugins) and bomb factory rack systems with expensive compressors and a patch bay larger than i've ever seen. Not to mention some $1500 vocal mic and a dual G4 system. (Plus a hundred other things)

    And the result? I could do a better job witha $2000 system.
  5. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Unfortunately $2000 is not a lot to begin with, even if you have the pC- Do you have the daw program (protools, nuendo, etc?) if you don't that will set you back at least $500- Then you will need a decent sort of interface, at least 8 tracks if you are planning on recording live drums- for example, the motu 828mkii allow you to record up to 20 tracks (about $750)- 2 w/ built in pres, 8 more analog (you will need 8 pres) the rest of the input are adat optical and spdif and you will need more hardware to use those-

    8 ch of quality pres can run $2000 or more easily- the only ones I can think of that is decent for little money is 8 ch yamaha mla7 and you can find those used on ebay (only, as they don't make 'em no more) sometimes for about $250+ I've recorded a great many drums using those pres with decent results-

    Talking about recording drums, you should have at least a kick drum mic- an AKG D112 will run you about $150 on e-bay- there are other brands available for that price as well- you can always record drums with good results using 57's and you know what those go for- about $80 ea, a lotta value for little moola! you will need at least 4 if as you say you want to record the snare and the toms into separate tracks.
    A pair of small condensers such as the Studio projects C4's will give you decent overheads- those run about $300.

    It would also be nice to have a large condenser for vocals-, such as a Studio projects C1 or Rode NT1- That will cost you $200, take your pick- no, they aint a newmann but you can get decent results with them.

    So, if you don't need a program or a computer you are talking about $1000 for decent mics to record drums and lead vocal- add another grand for an interface and 8 ch preamp and there goes your budget- You still have to get decent monitors to mix your tracks, cables, headphones, etc, etc, etc- the list goes on and on! Don't get discouraged though, its only money and it is a lotta fun! Once you get your studio set up you'll never look back (unless you think of all the money you are still in the hole!) I sold my commercial studio in '03, paid off a lotta bills and by the time I got a home studio put together was in the hole about 15 K... And that was only because I had a lotta equipment already that I didn't include in my studio sale- otherwise forget it-, at least 20 to 25 K-But I couldn't live without my studio- I don't have a new car but my studio is a lot better than having a new car!

    Cheers and Peace
  6. KingVidalia

    KingVidalia Guest

    thanks for the reply. well, i have a PC with S/PDIF ins and outs (both optical and RCA) and was wondering if that would serve as a multitrack interface, though i doubt it. I was looking at the mboxes from protools and they seem ok, but only appear to allow 2 tracks at a time.

    either way, i do have both ecasound and ardour for linux and could start with those until i got some more money for something like protools le or something.

    What are some good, cheap sound cards that allow 8 tracks and how would i interface with them? Just plug mics straight to them or would a digital mixer work out?

    My starting budget is $2000...over the next few months i could have more, but i was just wanting a solution that will simply serve as a good starting point where i could start recording immediately and learn some tricks.
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I have one of those things and it is not that great when compared to other good pres. Some people think that because they are not as brittle and harsh as a Mackie pre that they are better but the real reason the mla-7 is not as bright / harsh as a Mackie is because the slew rate is very slow.. Jim Williams at audio upgrades does a make over of these pres for about $150 per channel.

    I did a side by side comparison of the mla-7 to MCI 600 series mic pres once ... and when I switched from the Yamahas to the MCI's, it was as if a blanket was being lifted off the speakers ... btw, I would be very happy to sell my mla-7 for $250 ...

    To answer the original question ... if you want to record drums to their own individual tracks, you will need more than 8 channels ... I use 9 tracks all the time just for drums (kick, snare, 4 toms, hat 2 overheads) ... then you need a couple of tracks for bass and another couple for rhythem guitar ... 16 in and out is a good set up for live tracking ..

    MOTU is an okay solution if your on Mac but is essentially unuseable on PC ...

    The chreapest route I have found is Alesis ADAT AI3's they run about $400 for 8 channels ... A lot of people think these converters are not as good as the RME and others but anything that has an ADAT lightpipe in and out, uses the exact same chip from ALESIS...

    I chose the Frontier Dakota card into the 'puter ... this gives me 16 channels of 24 bit inz-an-outz on the AI3's plus a spdif in and out that I use to monitor and record to the CDR burner.. I am about $1100 into the card and the 2 interfaces ...
  8. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    well, the mics, interface and pres I mentioned do add up to $2000 and will do the job- If you don't have a nearfield monitor pair though, you will have to get a pair- an M audio Bx8 will run you about $500 and it is decent- there are others as well in this price range- I don't know about 8 ch soundcards for PC as I have a mac but perhaps someone will chime in and recommend something that will work instead of the 828 mkii for $750- If you can get (and I don't know this!) a soundcard for $250 you would still be within your $2000 budget-

    Good luck! :mrgreen:
  9. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Hey Kurt, you should be able to easily sell your mla7 on ebay for $250-
  10. KingVidalia

    KingVidalia Guest

    I was looking into the aardvark q10. It bypasses the need for a mixer/preamp deal seeing as it directly inputs 8 channels into the PC using it's PCI card and own analog preamps. (10 outs too.) A/D-->D/A

    Plus it comes with a Cubase LE....

    What do you guys think? For $750 roughly on a computer (i build them, so I can get it for 300) that leaves 950 for mics, cables, stands and monitors.

    What do you guys think?
  11. onelastriot

    onelastriot Guest

    I love the aardvark Q10. I say go with that, get Sonar 3 XL, Mesa Boogie Recto-Recording Preamp for guitar, a decent vocal mic, and a nice set up of drum mics, and you're ready to go.

    After that, it's all the quality of the engineer. There are so many plugins for compressors and such that if you know how to use them, then you're set.
  12. Hooly

    Hooly Guest

    you could buy a delta1010 off of ebay for around 350. the sound quaility is really good, but you still need a preamp, like an alesis 12r.
  13. KingVidalia

    KingVidalia Guest

    Well, i just bid on a q10 that i think i'm going to get that comes with a couple computers and such. Looks like I am going to get out with my $2000 limit!! I just need to get the mics (which i have a couple already) and stands/cables and two monitors.

    Now here's a question for you guys, thanks again for all the help, i have 2 SM58s that my band used for live shows. Are they useful for anything in the studio? I am going to get a real vocal recording mic. But can you use them for recording something else or are they pretty worthless in the studio?

  14. Bhennies

    Bhennies Guest

    In a pinch, I've been told that an sm58 is very similar to the Sm57 and thus can be used with some success on toms and such- anything you might use an sm57 on. could probably get away using those two sm58's on toms or even snare if you needed to. Someone else will have to validate that though: I don't personally own any sm58's.

    I second maintigers suggestion of the studio projects c1 for your vox mic. Also, check out the studio projects c4's for overheads on drums- only 315 for the pair and I think they are worth far more than that. Or you could go the Rode or Oktava route, but I've heard mixed messages about them.
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