upgrating my studio with 3,000 budget and limited time.

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by amoretam, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. amoretam

    amoretam Active Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    Hi there you all. I am a dominican boy living in Dominican Republic. As many of you know this is a third world country where we don't have too much access to all of the many choices that exists today in terms of audio recording technology.
    We have to trust on what people say about the quality of equipment because we have no way of testing a lot of the latest and high end audio gear in the market.

    So, with the use of my faith, i will hopefully decide to buy what best suits me after considering all the information that you guys and girls share with me.

    To resume what I do:
    I am a producer, Mostly i want to compose music, using lots of virtual instruments plugins (all Spectrasonics line, Kontack 4, Addictive drums, Drummer Superior, Nexus, Reason, GtrRig 4, Sonik Synth 2, Miroslav Philharmonik, Arturia V collection, and many more instruments which I already have).

    I want to be able to record quality vocals and guitars, persussions, brass, etc, at my acoustically treated studio room. I also do Jingles, scoring and some video editing too.

    What I already have: I am into very fast 2.66GHz quad core, 8gb ram PC but I am planning on selling it to get an Imac dual-core 3.06GHz, 4gb memory cause i want to spend more time making and recording music and not troubleshooting.

    I Have an M-audio Fast track ultra,(which i am selling), Yamaha Hs80 powered monitors (which i am keeping), an Axiom 49 keyboard (keeping it), a mackie VLZ 16 (which i am selling).

    Budget: $3,000 - $1,500(Imac) = $1,500.
    When I sell the PC, M-Audio interface with Pro-Tools MP8 and Mackie mixer that would be at least like $1.000 more. Having a total of $2.500 left.

    Time: I have limited time too because I am taking advantage of someone who is traveling to Miami on July 17.

    What I probably need: I need to use protools because I was trained there and it is used on more profesional studios in this island.
    That would demand me to purchase the 003 rack interface.
    I need at least 2 good Mics.
    I have no idea what Micpreamps to buy, (Presonus, Focusrite,Chamaleon Labs,Grace Design,M-audio Octane, etc... Single, dual, multi channel....)
    Someone here is selling one Presonus Digimax D8, two Presonus Eureka, one Focusrite octopre, one ISA ONE and some more.

    I know I need good AD-DA Converters too, but i don't know if a can afford it.

    I think this is it.



  2. amoretam

    amoretam Active Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    nobody loves me??
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I don't think you are going to get $1000 for the FastTrack Ultra and Mackie mixer. I just don't know who would spend that kind of money on used when they could probably get something pretty close to the same brand new. You might get $700. I don't know. Maybe the prices over there are way higher than I think. But, if that is the case, $1500 might get you the 003 Rack and that's it. I would personally keep the Quad core i7. It'll be way faster than a dual core iMac. You don't NEED another A/D converter since the 003 is one already and so is the Fast Track ultra for that matter.

    Why exactly are you "upgrading"? Are you having problems with your current setup? Sure sell the mixer. You don't need that. Necessarily. Take your money and buy one [URL="(dead link removed) preamp[/URL]. Is a Digi 003 going to make a huge difference? Probably not. Not as much as you might think it will. I would bet that a good preamp would make more of a difference.....and maybe Complete Production Toolkit if only for the Automatic Plugin Delay Compensation.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    As hueseph says, you don't have to get any external A-D or D-A converters, as the 003 rack has 8 channels of input (4 have mic pre-amps) and 8 channels of output. BUT, not everyone likes the sound of the Digidesign pre-amps and converters, so external ADAT-equipped A-D and D-A is indeed something you should be considering.

    If you are going to be tracking drums as well as other instruments, you will need a kick mic (e.g. RE20), an SM57 for the snare and a pair of SDCs (e.g. Rode NT55) 1for overheads. The RE20 makes a good vocal mic for many types of music, the SM57 can double as a guitar cab mic, and the NT55s can double as instrument mics when you are tracking acoustic guitars.

    You can start with those 4 mics, your Yamaha powered monitors and get PTLE with the 003 rack and see how you get on. None of this is wasted when you add a better pre-amp and converters.

    Don't forget that ProTools LE needs a Digidesign interface (e.g. 003) in order to run. Also remember to assign some of your budget for room treatment.
  5. amoretam

    amoretam Active Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    As i said, when I sell mc PC (Windows), the Fast track ultra(interface) with PT MP 8, and mackie mixer i will get at least $1200 more.
    I already decided to get into the Mac world (Imac quad core i5 2.66GHz) because windows was giving to much trouble, i neeed the consistency of a mac (since i am a music designer an a video editor).
    Hopefully I am spending $3,100 on the Imac and the 003 (4 preamps) when my friend travel to Miami on July 17.

    With the $1200 i will get a decent dual preamp and 1 or two mics for starter since i want to be able to mic guitar amps, acoustics guitar in stereo, brass instruments, and of course vocals.

    This is at least I find a decent multichannel preamp (which I prefer because I'll have more channels) that will compete with the quality of a dual or single channel preamp.

    The reason i am going for the 003 is because of the I/O possibilities, (S/PDIF, TOSLINK (ADAT), BNC.) (I am thinking about the future). Plus i believe that the 003 preamps are better than those on the Fast track ultra,,

    any advices still welcomed
    thanks a lot for your response

  6. amoretam

    amoretam Active Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    Hey thanks for that, I believe that at first I will need to buy 2 multipurpose mics for starter (since my I believe my budget won't allow me to buy more than that). I am very much interested on recording guitar amps, vocals and stereo acoustics guitars. I now that it is better to buy a dedicated guitar amp mic, or a dedicated vocal mic like the shure SM27 but then I won't be able to record brass or acoustic guitars.
    So I guess that I need multipurpose mics here....
    Advices welcomed......thanks man
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Then just get a pair of SM57s. You can use these for almost everything from miking guitar amps, acoustic guitars, brass, and, if you get the windshields, vocals.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    This guy ain't playing with a full deck of microphones. Hey dude, there is nothing wrong with what you currently have. Nothing is going to improve what you what you don't know how to or, cannot do, due to lack of technique, experience or skills. You can have Pro tools with an M-Audio interface with ProTools M-Powered. PCs are just fine these days with ProTools. You don't need a ProTools HD interface. You don't need to pay top dollar for a proper Macintosh. ProTools in either flavor can be had for $300 US. Let's face it, M-Audio was purchased by Digidesign/Avid. And some of their gear actually sounds better than Digidesign gear. And since ProTools is ProTools on either platform, you're fine with PC's. Don't blame your equipment. It ain't your equipment. You need to learn your equipment capabilities before you move up. Because if you try to move up? You won't be any better off than you currently are. And this is typical for most younger enthusiasts wanting to make their mark on the sonic world. You need to learn learn and then learn more. I am quite pleased with my engineering regardless of the junkie or Rolls-Royce oriented equipment. That's because my engineering technique is responsible. When most of us professionals were younger, we didn't have this huge plethora of crappy equipment to choose from. We have a far more limited selection of either quality or total crap equipment. So we developed our technique first & foremost. If you need compatibility with Pro tools between yourself and other studios? By all means, acquire Pro tools in any of its flavors i.e. Macintosh or PC, LE or the full-blown HD systems costing upwards of $20,000 US. In fact, you might actually eat better off with a mortar state-of-the-art screening, faster, multicore PC. You get more bang for your buck which equates into more capabilities in the real-time world of ProTools.

    Does this make a little more sense I hope?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  9. amoretam

    amoretam Active Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    Hey thanks for your response, it totally makes sense what you are saying, knowledge, skills and good ear can take you very far. But let me picture this reality and keep it very simple. I am a guitar player, been playing for 17 years, it is not very inspiring for me to play through a crappy amplifier, or through a crappy multi effect. I doesn't matter how beautifull or clean you play, the sound quality is not going to support you.
    If i don't buy the 003rack, then i will not be able to buy a multichannel preamp to connect it via Adat. That will improve sound quality and give me more simultaneous channels.
    I am still thinking about keeping my pc with windows 7 and givin it a chance, it is just that almost every engineer that I know in this country have switched to mac after having so much trouble with pc.
    I use lot's of virtual instruments, I do compose inside the box and mix and everything, I need consistency and reliability.
    I don't know if I could dedicate and inspire myself to make music and not be forced to become a computer engineer, i am not up to it.
    Maybe i am not a complete recording engineer, i am a musician, a composer, a sound designer, and i am not new into this.
    That's why people who are not new on this need better equipment, because our skills ask for it.

    anyways, thanks a lot for your opinion, ...bye

  10. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    Remy went down the road I wasn't going to go, b/c so many others here can tell it better...

    If you're committed to PT, the 003 or any ADAT is not going to give you much better quality than you have.
    You have to go HD and pay the $10k+ price tag to suit.

    I've been using the Presonus Firestudio and ADAT from other Presonus units.
    They served me just fine, and like I have stated, they are your standard digital interface preamps and ADA conversion. The Digidesign stuff is pretty similar.
    Sufficient, but not special. And keep in mind that any boutique pres you add will suffer slightly from the AD conversion.
    Recently I purchased an RME FF800 - better preamps (though still pretty vanilla), and much better ADA.
    I can already *hear* the difference.
    We're also adding a new custom built machine that kicks ass.
    My old machine ran Vista32 and was buggy as all get-out.
    The upgrade to 7 has been positive - most of my issues seem to stem from the processor dealing w/ too much audio and graphics at once. I'd say I'm 95% error free.
    You don't have to be a computer engineer.
    Search here for threads about tweaking OS's and DAW machines.
    Never let your machine see the internet.
    Put nothing on there that isn't essential to basic operation and audio.
    And get an external HD for your audio files - let your computer be a single-minded machine focused only on recording and editing audio.

    So here's the crux:

    Microphone choice, placement, and practice will do you far more good than a new machine, interface, or preamp. For all the upgrades I've made, it's my tracking and mixing skills that have made the most difference, and still need the most work.
    If you're stuck w/ PT, then the key is # of channels - in which case the 003 is a good buy.
    Stick w/ your current machine, and invest in a few good mics mentioned above.
    Don't buy into the hype - Remy can make a fantastic recording w/ nothing but SM57s and a Mackie mixing board. Gene Kruppa could make a sh*t drum kit sound fantastic.
    While you're right in that better tools let pros make the most of their skills, any pro can use inferior tools and make the most of them.
    Or, Miles Davis can make a sh*tty trumpet sound better than a sh*tty trumpet player on $7k trumpet. Your example doesn't work both ways.
    Not saying you're sh*tty, but don't blame the gear first.

    Things like computers and interfaces quickly become outdated. Skills and quality analog gear do NOT.
  11. amoretam

    amoretam Active Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    niceeeeee! no more discusssions about gear quality and skills, ....
    I just want gear to do their thing and forget about my skills.
    Anyways, i think that other advantage of getting the 003 is that near in the future i could do the Black Lion modification for about $1000.

    thanks, I think I will definetely stay with windows 7 and learn hard on troubleshooting.
  12. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    Didn't mean to add to the bustin' of your chops - just wanted to make sure you understand that more/better gear does not necessarily equal better results.

    If my recollection serves me, the BLA mod should bring your 003 to another level.

    Looks like you're on the right track now

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