What to buy next??

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Twood, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. Twood

    Twood Active Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    Home Page:
    About two years ago I bought Cubase and an RME DIGI96 soundcard. I`ve spent countless hours in my little studio and I just love it. Since my first recording I`ve upgraded my equipment several times and my current setup is as follows:

    2 x TL Audio 5001 Quad Valve Preamp
    Eventide Eclipse
    Motu 828mkII
    TC Electronic Powercore Firewire
    Behringer Powerplay Pro XL (4 ch headphone amp)
    Alesis M1 Active monitors

    Studio Projects T3
    4 x Sm57
    4 x Sm58
    Shure sm91
    3 x Milab Wm-44

    I`m running Cubase SX / Win XP...

    I have not yet done any professional recording, just my own music/band and free stuff for my friends. In the future I would really like to have a pro studio. Of course, I need a lot more equipment so here is my question:

    Equipment-wise.. What should be my next step?
  2. Twood

    Twood Active Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    Home Page:
    I forgot to mention my budget.... about 2000$ (maybe 2500)..

    So... What would naturally be my next step considering equipment?? A dedicated compressor? A dedicated vocal-mic? Preamp?....?? channel strip of some kind??

    Remember that I`m trying to transform my studio from being a amateur-studio to being a professional studio.
  3. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    To get pro results, first you need a pro room. I would be spending that money on a professional acoustician coming in and treating your room/s.
    You'll be amazed at how much better your existing gear will sound.

    ...... but most people in your position (me included) aren't happy unless they end up with some nice new piece of gear in their rack or mic closet (or maybe your room has already been treated), so if you are hell-bent of gear, then maybe a nice ribbon mic, or a solid state like a Soundelux U196 or Neumann U87, or a large diaphram dynamic like an EV RE20....... or maybe a solid state preamp like a Neve clone, or clean like a Grace or a Buzz Audio etc...... or maybe even a Distressor or 2.

    But honestly, if it hasn't been already, you should be treating your room first.

    Good luck.
  4. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Problem with seriously upgrading one(Or two) things, is that now the rest of what you have may be two steps behind!

    I agree with Mark on the room upgrade first. The room is the only thing you can upgrade that will make everything else you already have sound better(Win/Win!).

    Other than that, a "serious" upgrade gets seriously expensive - fast! Just one example from your equipment list - your speakers. To get a truly worthwhile upgrade(What you have are pretty nice), you may have to go 3-6 times the price! A "serious", rather studio-grade dynamic mic(Say an EV RE-20, or a Sennheiser) will cost 4 to 6 times the SM57. And for an excellent condenser, to say nothing of tube mics? Sky's the limit, just for one. But then, you still have the "same old" mic pres, etc.

    Yes. Room first. Then, for instance, A John Hardy mic pre(1000) and an AKG C414(800) and a nice dynamic(600 with it's good shockmount) and your 2500 is gone! One - reallly good - set of nearfield monitors(2500 all by themselves). Yeesh!

    How about your computer and sound card/interface? For me, maybe a LynxTwo with Lynx Aurora 8 channel D/A(2500) - though uping to some better RME would be just fine.

    Where to spend it first? A tough, yet fun - enviable even - question.

    Teddy G.
  5. I am in the same boat as you I have a MOTU unit and a headphone amp, and decent mics and such. I would echo the first comment and say "it is all about the room". I have heard recordings off of a live board in a well treated room, sound much better than multitracked "engineered" recording in a bedroom.

    But I would then go with this theory I heard on a previous post. It is pretty much Performer->Microphone->Pre-Amp->A/D Converter->PC Sound Engine on the way in. Then PC Sound Engine->Software Bus->D/A converters->Monitors->Engineer/Producers on the way out. On the way in the closer to the beginning of the chain you are, the more important the role of the device is. And vice-versa on the way out, with the ears of the enginner being most important of all!
    Then all of the most critical moments (tracking/monitoring) are all conducted in a room. So the room and the people seem the most crucial part to me. After that I would go with mics, monitors, then pre-amps in that order.

    Just my onion,


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