ok...getting a studio this summer

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by XcaseyjonesX, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. XcaseyjonesX

    XcaseyjonesX Guest

    alright I'm pretty new to this recording stuff but... This summer I'm setting a little home studio-esque type thing and I need some input on what to get.

    First of all I plan on getting pro tools (the edition you can get at guitar center or musiciansfriend) I'd rather not get cubase since I've used it before, and I've only seen professional studios use pro tools.

    Also, I need a mixer that will allow each mic to appear as a seperate track within pro tools.

    Alsoooo I need to get a good set of monitors (and maybe a sub) (Ive used rockets or w/e there called before and i liked them, so I'll probably go with them) unless anyone has a better suggestion

    as for mics I'm not in the market for Neumann or anything, but I want a nice, instrumental tone on the drums (something like explosions on the sky) so i need some mics that would give the drums that sound...

  2. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Lowell MA
    Home Page:
    Whats your budget?
  3. XcaseyjonesX

    XcaseyjonesX Guest

    no more than 300 on pro tools, prefferably no more than 300 on the mixer, no more than 300 on the monitors, and up to 500 on the mics
  4. XcaseyjonesX

    XcaseyjonesX Guest

    ok... 600 on the mics, but i only want to get three, prefferably 3 that can do all that for the drums, and couple for recording bass/guitar
  5. A D112 and two MXL LDC's comes to about $600 depending on which models you get. The MBOX2 is about $500, and that comes with Pro Tools LE. You can only do 2 mics at a time, though...
  6. XcaseyjonesX

    XcaseyjonesX Guest

    sounds good

    is there anything like the firepod tho for pro tools? ive used the one for cubase but ..idk you may have already asnwered that ideally something with 8 xlr inputs
  7. I'm not sure- I think the firepod will be the cheapest 8 channel solution for you, but that plus the mics = about 1,200, so you won't be able to afford pro tools, and I'm not sure if pro tools can use something other than digi design products. I've never used pro tools.
  8. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    You are "right" on the Protools "pro" usage --- sort've... Almost all the pro studios I go to DO use Protools, but none I know of use the inexpensive boxed version from the GC? They use an incredibly costly version, which generally includes alot of proprietary hardware. We're talking, maybe, dozens of thousand of bucks, here..?

    That said, don't completely discount Steinbergs's Cubase(Or any number of other boxes at the music store, from lots of different companies). They may be "better"(Actual features might be more what you need), and possibly more "pro" than "this version" of Protools that you're talking about???

    Porsche made the ubiquitous -- oh, now, what was it? 411? 419? Something or other, that had a Porsche "name", to try to attract "the masses", but, 'scuse the rest of the car...

    There may be some advantage to starting with Cubase(Sort've a "Chevy" - does everything pretty well, price "reasonable".) then, at some point stepping up to Nuendo(Sort've a "Corvette/Suburban" - thing)? Then, maybe, down the road(If ever) taking the "true" Protools "plunge"...

    You're right on one thing though - PICK YOUR SOFTWARE FIRST! That will tell you what kind of computer you need, what soundcard/interface, what mixer, etc., that will work well with it. Speakers and mics are --- ??? start with anything that's "well-reviewed" and in a realistic price range(For you!)... You have absolutely no need to go even 2nd., maybe 3rd. or 4th. class, at this point. You need to "get started", then as you progress, you'll naturally gravitate, with more experience, to things that need upgrades...

    While your deciding, I SEE NO MENTION OF "THE RECORDING SPACE"?????? Start on your recording space, to at least some degree. Reading-up, designing, then building "the room", so that whatever software and gear you get works as well as possible... It's astounding how "minimalist" the gear can be and sound great in the right space... Equally astounding how many folks just go out and spend money on gear and nothing ever sounds good at all, because they've neglected the space... It's more fun buying speakers than pounding nails, but....? If you want to, someday, BE a "pro"(No matter what tools), start with the studio itself - like they do...

  9. In all fairness, TeddyG, not everyone has the thousands of dollars (at least) to re-vamp a room into a "qualified" recording space. Especially a beginner that wouldn't know a treated room from an untreated room. I think at his stage in the game, he should at least learn the basics of recording before he goes dropping all sorts of cash on a room that might be obsolete lest he decide recording is not for him.
  10. JWL

    JWL Active Member

    Feb 12, 2006
    Portland, Maine
    Home Page:
    First off, I think you are missing 2 crucial parts of the recording chain: 1. high quality analog mic preamps, and 2. acoustic room treatments. You say your total budget is $1500. On that budget, and assuming you already have a computer suitable for digital audio production, I'd recommend the following:

    $250 Pro Tools M-Powered
    $200 M-Audio Delta 1010LT
    (Dead Link Removed)
    $200 Rode NT-1a
    $280 Behringer Truth 8" monitors
    $230 Behringer ADA8000 8-channel mic preamp

    This totals $1340, not including all the cables you'll need, or a way to drive headphones (maybe you have an old stereo receiver you can use in the short term?). I'd spend the rest on some acoustic treatments. Read up on "broadband absorbers" and spend as much as you can on rigid fiberglass, rockwool, or acoustic cotton and make some absorbers, or buy them from one of the companies that sell them (this will cost more than DIY). Proper acoustic treatment will improve your sound tremendously both when using mics and when mixing.

    With this setup, you will have 7 versatile microphones (the CAD dynamics are good for drums and guitar amps, the CAD small diaphragm condensers are good for drum overheads and acoustic instruments, the Rode is you vocal mic and general high-quality mic), 8 channels of preamplification. You'll be able to record all 8 channels at once.

    The first upgrade will definitely have to be the mic preamps. Even cheapies like ART or the Presonus Blue Tube will sound much better than the Behringer. The RNP, Grace 101, or the Presonus Eureka would be better still. Not to mention Neve, Avalon, API, Universal Audio etc.

    But that setup will get you started; with this equipment you'll really have to learn good engineering techniques to approach good sound. But it's a start....
  11. Allow me to translate this:

    "Dear Sirs,
    I want to put a rekording stoodeo in my house. I don't have allot of munney, but i figger on buying the most expensive rekording platform available becuz I've seen it in stoodios where Matchbox20 rekords and stuff. Thassok, rite?"

    No, it ain't ok.

    Now, lemme expand on what JWL has told you, because a good bit of it is right on, power brother. But first, Behringer truth monitors are utter $*^t, just FYI.

    Now, drop the ProTools idea and drop the Behringer micpre setup. They're utter $*^t too. Instead, go with the Firepod idea and Cubase. I don't care what you've seen in studios. Seriously, get THAT ^#$%ing idea out of your little pea brain RIGHT now. You've seen ProTools in studios? Yeah, you've also fuckin seen Trident A-range desks and $10,000 mics too. ProTools is nothing but JUST ANOTHER SOFTWARE package that follows the Apple model of using proprietary hardware, forced and frequent upgrades and releasing Beta software to users. It's a ^#$%ing moneypit.

    However, by buying the Firepod and Cubase you spend $600 to replace the $680 in JWL's list for the ProTools, M-Audio Delta and 8 channel preamp. In either case, you don't need a mixer at all. And quite frankly, Cubase it awesome software.

    If you wanted to save even a little more money you could drop the Rode NT-1a (which IS a great mic) and replace it with an MXL 990. The price difference is about $130 and the MXL is an adequate vocal/whatever LDC mic. In fact, it can be quite good with a good source.

    And if you DO save all that money, you can also drop those ass-tastic Behringer nearfields in lieu of a set of KRK V6's or V8's which will sound a good deal better.

    So your revised suggestion list goes like this:

    Presonus Firepod w/8 mic ins,
    & Cubase SE: 599.99
    KRK V6II active nearfields: 349.99
    $180 CAD 6 piece drum mics: 180.00
    MXL 990 LDC: 69.99
    TOTAL: 1,197.99

    Now then, also remember that you're going to need to budget about $100 for mic cables, $40 for a good set of headphones, and somewhere to PUT all of this $*^t, plus a couple spiral notebooks, some pens, oh and don't forget to make sure your PC has a CD burner and a stack of CDs close by. If you got a DVD burner even better, because you're going to want to archive a lot of data at some point.

    Which puts you at $1,339.97 assuming you got a stack of CDs already.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of the heartbreak of recording. Don't be a dumass. Let us know how we can be of assistance.

    Love ya,
  12. JWL

    JWL Active Member

    Feb 12, 2006
    Portland, Maine
    Home Page:
    I absolutely agree, the firepod with cubase will probably give better results than the behringer preamp with pro tools, all else being equal (though one variable is what plugins come with both software packages, that will certainly affect sound quality).

    However, don't be so quick to condemn the Truths. I'm not generally a fan of Behringer, there is certainly better stuff to be had out there, but there aren't many active monitors in that price range with 8" woofers, and personally I don't like mixing on smaller woofers (though the 7" woofs on my Dynaudios sound good). As Behringer products go, these are actually one of the better models they make. Yes, I know that this is somewhat akin to saying "for sh!t, it doesn't stink too bad." I have a set of the Truths (along with my DynAudios) and they are fine for their price. If you can mix on NS10s (bleah) then you can mix on Truths, imho.

    Far more important, imho, than which monitors you choose is the acoustic condition of the room. I can't stress enough that you need acoustic treatment, and I'm not talking about foam. I'd rather mix with Truths in a good sounding room than with Westlakes, Genelecs, DynAudios, whatever high end monitor you want in an untreated room.

    But with all Behringer products, make sure you get a pair that works out of the box. Their out of box failure rate is high, but usually if you get one that works you'll be OK.
  13. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    In all fairness, I think I've put about 150 bucks into my room treatment and it's fine... Yes, the bass response would be poor, but, as I don't "do" bass, I'm OK.

    Putting any amount of money into an untreated/unknown space is just plain wrong.

    ALL of you guys get really boring and possibly dangerous when someone asks questions like these and you just "list" what he needs to run to the store and buy... Throwing around your great knowledge of Behringiner and M-Audio really is no help to the poor person. Suggesting what books he might read, or magazines he might buy, or web sites and catalogs he might peruse, sure, but -- if you don't watch it, you're going to have this person talked into the absolute lie that he can "buy a studio" in the store. You BUILD a studio, then BUY equipment for it, based on YOUR OWN knowledge of what should work well, based on research, maybe including but not limited to some "list" from some poster on some forum.

    There is no other way... If he can spend 1500 dollars on gear, he can spend 150 on at least simple damping insulation and another 75 on a book or two -- before he ever "buys" a single mic...

    If you can't afford the greens fees on the golf course and a lesson or two as to which end to hold onto, neither the best clubs(Or any clubs!) will be of the slightest value...

  14. JWL

    JWL Active Member

    Feb 12, 2006
    Portland, Maine
    Home Page:
    Hey TeddyG, I agree with you. That's why I was careful to emphasize the acoustic condition of the room in both my posts.

    However, the guy was asking for specific recommendations in terms of gear. Having said that, I tried to be careful to recommend acoustic treatments (which can certainly be portable) and that he work on his engineering chops. To me, that goes without saying. The best gear in the world doesn't do an uneducated idiot any good.

    Call me an optimist, but I assumed this guy isn't an idiot and that he would do his homework. I could be wrong....
  15. Well, Teddy, I'm gonna have to completely and wholeheartedly disagree with you here.

    Please note that I'm not saying that room acoustics is in any way unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Quite the opposite, room acoustics are the MOST important part of building a real studio. That's why acoustic designers and architects (and, to a lesser degree, interior designers) are more expensive than mixing desks.

    However, our fine friend CaseyJones is not building a real studio. Hell, he's not building ANY kind of studio, even a fake one. He's building a "studio-esque type thing" even by his own admission. If the guy had a $250,000 budget for a build-out on a large-ish building behind his house, oh hell yeah, there's a few guys I could send him to to make that place sound like the Mormon Tabernacle. But he doesn't and he ain't. So what's up?

    The guy is going to put some gear into a spare room or basement or garage corner in order to learn and experiment with. His feet are currently dry and he wishes for them to be wet, as it were.

    One of the MOST GARGANTUAN mistakes somebody can make when they get a little knowlege under their belt is to forget what steps it took to get from "ignorant jackass" to "slightly less dumb".

    Sure, we can assume that if the guy can drop fifteen benjamins on some gear he should be able to swing another 150 clams for some room treatments and a few more shells for a couple good books. However, what good has he done himself? First of all, $150 is going to buy you a box of Auralex and a bass trap set. The Auralex will come with a couple tubes of glue. Now whattaya do? Oh, yeah, you read your books to learn what to do with that stuff.

    Eh, ^#$% that.

    First of all, this fella, and I'm sure he'll agree with me, ain't got the ears to know the difference between having his bass traps in the RIGHT spot or the WRONG spot. No clue whatsoever. That $150 he just spent on foam coulda been that many more books, or some more RAM for his PC, or that Rode mic--all of which WILL make a noticable difference to him at his (percieved) skill level.

    See, the best way to learn stuff is to jump in as fast as you can and DO the $*^t. You can sit around and read books and websites and (for crissakes) catalogs all the hell you want to and all you're going to get from it is a vocabulary of words you don't completely understand and probably don't know how to pronounce. Why do you think noobs come in here asking the same ^#$%ing question about ProTools and Compressors all the time? Because all the ^#$% they do is read $*^t and don't ever spend the time DOING stuff to advance their way up the learning curve.

    To use your golf analogy, you can hold out until you've read all the books and saved up for a set of Pings, but you still don't have the muscle memory to perform that perfect inside-out swing that you've read so much about on day 1. So all you did was waste two years reading books and saving money just to start out at square one anyway.

    So what help can we offer this guy? We can use our experience and knowlege to steer him towards purchasing enough gear with his budget to get to a point where he can at least begin to crawl. By all means his room will sound like ass. Consequently, everything he records will probably also sound like ass. However, there will be a vast amount of knowlege he will gain and an even larger amount of rewarding fun he will have in improving his level of ass while he learns and refines his ears to the point that he can take that next major leap into room treatments and so forth.

    Let me relay a short narrative about my very first sound-on-sound recording experience.

    I was quite young, mind you, and, well, let's just say my room wasn't properly treated either.

    I used to plug a set of headphones into the mic input of my "boom box" style radio and hang one speaker inside the sound hole of an acoustic guitar. I'd record myself playing some chord progression I just made up.

    Then, I'd take that radio and tape into another room of the house and play it really loud while I played a little trap set of drums, recording the whole shebang on a different radio--one of those with the built-in electret mic. If I wanted to sing or add another instrument I could just move the 2nd tape over to radio #1 and put a fresh tape into radio #2.

    Now, was ANY of that even CLOSE to right, correct, cool, or done in a properly treated room? ^#$% hell $*^t no. So if I had $3.95 to drop on a set of headphones to use as a dynamic mic/guitar pickup, why didn't I at least put $1.80 into some burlap to hang on the wall? Because I didn't give a ^#$%. I just wanted to record something and learn. And boy was it ever fun.

    So then, putting any amount of money into an untreated space isn't WRONG, it's just not THE MOST RIGHT. What it boils down to is are you going to shut up and hit the red button or are you going to jack yourself off reading esoteric $*^t about room treatments when all the ^#$% you've got to work with is a 10x11x8 foot box ANY damn way? (hint: that box ain't going to sound like Ocean Way "A" regardless of how much Auralex you stick to the ceiling).

    So as far as being dangerous to the guy, pfft. No, we're not. If we were trying to tell him that compressors could excite your dynamics...THAT is dangerous information. I don't think, at least I hope, nobody here is deluded into thinking you can just "buy a studio" in the store. I mean, you gotta buy the fucker SOMEwhere, but we all know it involves Home Depot as much as Banjo Depot. CaseyJones, if you didn't know that before, you do now.

    All we're doing is trying to get a guy with the itch the fastest and cheapest way to scratch it that will still do him some good. We can assume that he already knows how to do research since he showed up here. We can further assume that once he gets all this plugged in and gets ass back outta the monitors that he'll be back to ask a few questions. Or maybe not. If not, he's on his own and he STILL got what he paid for here. Plus he's got some reasonably useful $*^t that SOMEbody could make some useful sounds on.

    If our "great knowledge of Behringiner and M-Audio" bores you, then go the ^#$% outside and play in the street, asshole. Would you feel better if I discussed the relative benefits of the AKG C12 vs. the RCA 77DX? Cuz I can cuz I've used 'em both. However, if you wanna talk about something that ain't going to help a guy with a $1,500 budget, I think talking about $2,000 mics might just fit that bill.

    Your Pal,
  16. JWL

    JWL Active Member

    Feb 12, 2006
    Portland, Maine
    Home Page:
    LOL Shotgun, your posts are always informative and highly entertaining to read. Ya prick. (y)
  17. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I just love reading your posts TheRealShotgun ! LOLHA!! You really tell it like it is without any euphemisms! So tell me what you really think? Should I scratch my ass while trying to make a left turn on my motorcycle in heavy traffic? Or should I buy a Neumann? My budget is $25. I think my artificial flavoring is keeping me from delivering quality cupcakes? Should I inject dog food for better flavoring?

    Off flavor
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  18. XcaseyjonesX

    XcaseyjonesX Guest

    listen, the real shotgun... before you try to act like a condescending ^#$%, how bout you NOT refernece matchbox twenty, since that's probably what you were listening to when you decided to stop masturbating and post on my thread. As I said before, I was ^#$%ing new to it, like you were at one time, before you, somewhere along the line, became jesus christ. Anyway, thanks for your input you ^#$%ing prick
  19. saemskin

    saemskin Active Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    Shotguns right there. I've been reading posts about $*^t that's way over my head for 4 years now. Only in the last 12-18 months have I realized that.....
    Room treatment, great mics, great mic pre's, monitors, etc, ... are all pointless until you get to the point where you can hear well enough to ask the question to yourself that -maybe- you can do better. Then, notice (and appreciate) the difference, after you have saved your grasscutting money all summer.
    One has to start somewhere, and the original poster isnt going to understand, and therefore wont care, about anything else you tell him. IE room treatment.

  20. So out of the whole forty minutes I spent trying to help you out, and then the 20 minutes I spent trying to defend you against the "treat your room" police all you got was "matchbox20"?

    Well, at least you got the right attitude, anyhow.

    Good luck.


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