Recording setup opinions

Discussion in 'Recording' started by aaronr64, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. aaronr64

    aaronr64 Guest

    Hi all,

    I'm looking to buy some gear for recording. We have about $6000 to spend. We will be recording drums, bass, guitar, and vocals in the alternative rock/pop vein. We have a mackie onyx 1640, computer (dual G4 Tower), three SM57s, two AKG C1000s, an Audix D4, a Rode S1, and an AT 4033. I'd like you opinions on the following choices and/or whether I should spend less money on preamps and more on mics.

    Preamps (in addition to the 16 onyx pres):
    Focusrite 4Pre
    Focusrite ISA 428

    Oktava MK011 Mod (mainly drum overheads) - these sound like AKG 451s to me (which I like), with a bit more tom pickup
    ATM 25 (kick, tom, bass)
    Studio Projects T3
    Audix i5
    Heil 40

    I'm also leaning toward Digital Performer 5.

    Any and all comments are welcome.

    Many thanks,
  2. tifftunes

    tifftunes Active Member

    Will you be recording the whole band simultaneously? If so, yo'll need more mics, an I'd suggest more SM57s to start. You can make some amazing recordings with your mackie and the mics you already have. It has more to do with capturing a good performance than equipment. A great song, a great performance, and mic positioning (to get the best sound from the source) will do the job better than great equipment recording mediocre songs and/or mediocre performances. This has been said many thousands of time before.

    I'd suggest picking up the software you and your immediate group of friends and cohorts will agree on using (for sharing purposes), and just enough extra mics to accomplish you near term goals (full band, for example), and have at it. Practice changing the placement of mics to hear the differences...

    My favorite example of recording is still George Martin and The Beatles @ Abbey Road. With a very limited number of mics, pres, comp/limiters, and a severely limited # of tracks, they made consistently good to great records.

    Following that example is the best you can do!! I've heard some great records over the years made with less expensive equipment than you possess. Don;'t get to obsessed with the equipment. Instead, focus on the songs and performances... And most importantly, keep it simple, and FUN!! That will translate well to an audience. :D
  3. aaronr64

    aaronr64 Guest


    thanks for the advice, and i know i'm a new member here, but i'm not so new to recording. we're trying to make the move from recording in a studio to recording in a project studio (but still mixing in a studio).

    we'll be recording drums and bass together (with scratch gtr and vocals), to get the right feel and then moving to overdubs.

    i am hoping to get anyone's experience with the above equipment. our budget is limited right now, so i want to start out right.

  4. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Although ISA pres are fine, I would take a look on something with different color like Great River (clean to dark and between) or Pacifica (cream) as a „main“ pre for overdubs. Buying four identical channels will limit your input colors.

    I'm old fashioned and strongly believe in sound of iron and tubes so the Liquid has ... no chance.

    I haven't found C1000 very useful in the studio, no experience with Octava's, but Shure SM81 or KSM141 are also very good studio workhorses and not just as overheads.

    6000 $ ....khm ...khm ... well is not tiny budget whay then Heil and SP?

    Why not to invest in „better“ main LDC mic?
  5. aaronr64

    aaronr64 Guest


    thanks for the input. i had chosen the ISA since i like the way it records drums, but i am starting to second guess that. perhaps a good pre on the kick and snare with other through the onyx will produce a nice sound. also, i have no idea about the liquid 4pre other than it got good reviews.

    it sounds like you think the money should be spent on better mics and i think that is valid. i don't have a whole lot of experience with different mics in the price range i can afford.

    also, i don't get the khm reference (i know the sennheiser mkh and the shure ksm). what would be your first choice for main LDC mic (that would fit my budget)?

  6. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    I didn't say Liquid is bad. My choice will always be – damn good one trick classic „pony“ than the 100 000 emulated ponies. Classic are classic, can't go wrong with them, hold price better and I doubt you will ever sell it. Maybe I'm wrong, Liquid looks like highly overpriced POD or Variax guitars to me. But that's just me.

    If you like ISA a lot, go get it. They are good, but brings just one color. Nothing less nothing more.

    For the first 4 pro channels I would vote for:

    Lunchbox (probably 10 slots)
    Two channels of (dead link removed)
    Two channels of (dead link removed)

    With those and the Onyx you would be able to cover many things and to expand colors with other 500 style pres in the future.

    As with the pres, the mic is also personal choice. It's hard to tell, harder than for the pres. The timber of your voice should be the main factor. I've got 4050 (very good on any source) and Classic II (more aggressive with bite) but I would like to have some Sondelux or Telefunken too. I like U87 on acoustic guitar more than on the voice, I like ... I don't like ... it never ends.

    I'm not native English user, therefore some lung/throat sounds I write differently :mrgreen:
  7. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    This is also very true. :cool:

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