Getting serious about gear--could use some suggestions/help

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takin' a dinner break
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Getting serious about gear--could use some suggestions/help

Post by bassface » Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:24 am

Hi everybody--glad to see the board is back.

I've been laying down sketches of tunes for a few years and am now ready to start recording in earnest, making a CD that will be professionally mastered and distributed. I'd like to do at least the raw tracking myself and quite possibly the mixing as well. Very wide dynamic and tonal spectrum--ranging from very quiet bossa nova with classical guitar and acoustic piano to screaming punk w/distorted electric guitar and live drums.
I'd like to have equipment that sounds good and doesn't require an engineering degree to operate. I'm somewhat technically savvy, but would rather spend my time making music than learning fancy techniques or difficult gear--I want the process to be relatively simple and sound very good, as "natural" as possible on the acoustic stuff, and more "modern" on the other stuff.

Tracktion 2 running on a MAC G5 2.0 w/4 gigs RAM
Metric Halo 2882 w/DSP

1 SM57
Pair AKG C451B
Pair Stapes
1 Rode NTK
I Studio Projects C3
1 AEA R84 ribbon
1 ADK 51

Metric Halo (not very hi gain, but supposed to be very good)
Hamptone HVTP2 Tube Micpre

Things I'd like to add:

Reverb (planning on altiverb 5)
Outboard EQ
Outboard Compressor
Conrol Surface

The EQ and compression on the DSP of the metric halo are supposed to be really good, but I think I might like to be more hands-on with these and I also dont' want to overload my RAM.

Most songs will be 5-15 tracks at most I figure. I'm happy with the DAW, the IO, and the computer. But I'd love suggestions on mics, pres, and effects.

LIke I said, I'd like to keep it simple, but I also want to have everything I need to make it sound reallly good. Simple, but really good--they're not mutually exclusive, are they?

Budget is pretty flexible. I could spend $10K or even more (especially if the gear will hold it's value or even increase), but if it can be done 95% as well for half the money than that would be just fine. Another consideration: I'm a bit of a nomad these days, so the less boxes the better. I'd like to keep it as streamlined as possible.

Items I'm considering:

Control Surface: Mackie Control
EQ/Compressor: Toft atc-2
Pres: Great River, Mercury M76 or M72...many others
Mics: AKG 414 (mostly because Joao Gilberto uses them), Coles 4038, Royer 121...many others

I'd really appreciate all suggestions: suggestions on gear, suggestions on configuring a setup that would be easy to use and good-sounding...

It's nice to be nice to the nice.

--Major Frank Burns

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Post by honkyjonk » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:15 pm

I'd reccomend a Soundelux U195 in the LDC arena. I sure wish these did omni and figure 8 though. Oh well.

For screaming Punk rock vox, an SM7 would be pretty sweet, or an RE20.

A distressor of course is a really versatile compressor. So is a Purple 1176.

You'll probably get at least 95% as good as the Great Rivers with Seventh Circle N72's, and guess what, you can pop a couple API's in that same box and still cost less than the Great River. But you have to build them yourself.

takin' a dinner break
Posts: 165
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Post by bassface » Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:50 am

Thanks, honky.

Anybody else? I'd really appreciate some suggestions...
It's nice to be nice to the nice.

--Major Frank Burns

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Post by syrupcore » Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:09 am

I dunno much about nice gear.

use some of that cash to take some time off work to write and then arrange good songs.

spend some of it making your space a good space to create and record.

good instruments in good condition?

consider rentals.

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Post by dsw » Sat Nov 18, 2006 2:21 pm

New Cool Mic: Heil PR-40 $325
Its a dynamic large diaphragm end address good for vocals, electric guitars, kick drum...

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