Seeking Advice RE: Equipment Purchase

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Fingers, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. Fingers

    Fingers Guest

    Hi All -- I am a new member to RO. This is a great site -- very helpful.

    I am a singer/songwriter/kbd & gtr player in the adult contemporary/progressive genre. My home studio goal is twofold: (1) produce demos of my original material to pitch songs to other artists, and (2) produce final pre-mastered versions of my original matierial. All mastering would be outsourced to pro's.

    Already purchased: keyboard and guitar rigs, Gigastudio, 2 PCs, midi interfaces, midi control, audio interface, mixer, Ref Monitors (HHb Circle 5A), Channel Strip (SPL Channel One), Reverbs (Lexicon MPX-1, Roland SRV-2000), Logic Audio Platinum 5.5 (PC), and many software items (e.g. Auto-Tune, Recylcle, Acid, etc).

    Until now, all instruments have been recorded direct and one at a time. Drums are presently being covered with samples and midi loops. Acoustic Drums and Drum mics will be purchased at a later date. For now ...

    I have been using an old AT-100 dynamic mic for vocals. My next planned purchase is for a high quality microphone for recording vocals, acoustic & electric guitar, and acoustic violin.

    My dilemma is this: should I spend $4000 on something like a Soundelux 251? Or should I purchase something like an AT4033/4040/4050 (all recommended in this forum) and use the remaining funds for purchasing WAVES Platinum and IR-1 Convolver? My songs are vocal focussed.

    Thanks for enduring this long post. I would be grateful for any advice.[/b]
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    I can't answer your question but I can tell you that the Soundelux 251 is a really great sounding mic that will serve you well. But as great as it is, it may still not be the best mic for your voice. I would highly agree that you need and deserve a great sounding mic for vocals. The waves plugs are top notch for plugs but that doesn't guarentee they will do all that you may want or need them to do. A great but less expensive mic might be better served with a few great sounding preamps andor channel strips that can also be used for other chores as well.
  3. Fingers

    Fingers Guest

    Thanks for the good advice. I do realize that the mic needs to be suited to my voice, but I am not sure how to best accomplish this. I could purchase a couple of mics and A/B them and return the one that is least desireable. However, in this price range, it would be difficult for me to purchase more than two or three -- so I would be limited.

    My voice timbre is a cross between Freddy Mercury / Steve Walsh. I wish I could claim the same regarding quality. Could someone suggest a good mic based on the timbre described or is it more complicated than that?

    As a last resort ($$$) I guess I could go to a high-end commercial studio using an experienced engineer and record some scratch tracks -- and let the engineer experiment and make a recommendation.

    You mentioned going with a less expensive mic and adding a few more preamps/channel strips. I had previously discounted that option because I am very pleased with the Channel One -- although it doesn't get much press in the States. However, maybe I need to revisit that option. Are you familiar with the SPL Channel One -- and if so, could you suggest a second pre-amp/channel strip in the $1000 to $2000 range that would differ (in a good way)?

    I know this is so highly subjective -- but I am very interested in your opinions.
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    I have not spent any time with the SPL stuff but have heard good things about it. I was just suggesting that you could get a few flavors of preamp that could be used with voice and your MIDI gear but still have a very good mic for your money as a way to have more tone options at the source instead of relying on plugs that often fall short.

    Buying time in a studio that has the items you are interested in to listen to and record is an excellent idea and one that I mention all the time.

    For clean and musical I really like the John Hardy or the Great River MP. For real flavor I just love the API and either a real Neve or a Neve clone like any made by Vintech.
  5. MistaG

    MistaG Guest

    The closest thing I have come across that could be considered a universal mic would be the AT4060. The Great River or John Hardy are good recommendations as is the Vintech.
  6. OlympicPhil

    OlympicPhil Guest


    Sounds like you want a nice large-diaphragm condenser or valve mic. If you want to splash out, try a Neumann U-series (U47,U67,U87), or for a bit less there's the Blue Baby Bottle, or you could do a lot worse than getting an AKG Solid Tube (a cracker of a mic for the price) and spending the rest on more outboard.

    Phil Plumpton
    Technical Engineer
    Olympic Studios, EMI Studios Group
  7. Fingers

    Fingers Guest

    Thanks guys -- You've given me some good things to investigate. I'm going to hold off on purchasing a high-end mic until I first look into the mic pres. I think I may be able to stay under $1000 on a mic and with the right mic pre be able to achieve the quality that I want -- and yet have more versatility.
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