What would you spend $3,000 on?

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What would you spend $3,000 on?

Post by freddiefreeloader » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:34 am

I'm not an avid message boarder so I'm not sure if this is a totally played out and tired thing to do, but I've got a budget of 3 grand to spend and am curious if anyone has any good suggestions. I'm mostly looking for a better front end, pre's, mics and maybe eq's/compressors in that order. I've currently got only 5 channels of pre's I'm psyched on...Chandler TG2, LA610, and an ADL600. My mic selection is pretty poor, with really the only notable mics being a pair of Royer 121's.

I'm thinking of maybe investing in a summing unit, maybe the Dangerous D-box, since I'm monitoring through a Mackie Big Knob and I figure the D-box will be better. Also thinking of going the lunchbox route, and would love to get some Neve type pre's. Maybe the Great River MP 500? Chameleon labs? I'm also seriously considering the Josephson e22s as far as mics. I've heard really good things about the Chandler germanium stuff as well. I know I can't get all this with my budget, just trying to balance bang for buck. Any suggestions would be sweet. Thanks.

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Post by RefD » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:40 am


paying down my friggin' debt.
?What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.? -- Seneca

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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:46 am

Buy something that will retain its resale value. Not just because it'll retain its resale value, but because that's generally the good shit.

If I had that dough (and someone forced me to spend it on gear) I'd get either an API 3124, an API A2D (or whatever that thing is called), something[s] u47ish or a pair of Distressors.

Or I'd get a good start on a wicked lunchbox. I'd want 4 API pres and 2 API compressors when I was done.

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Post by kayagum » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:03 am

RefD wrote:honestly?

paying down my friggin' debt.
+1. In this environment (and I analyze financial crap for my day job), that's the smartest thing.

So what are you not happy with, besides the fact you have a lot of nice equipment and you still lust for gear? Sonically, what's not working?

I'd look into acoustic treatments (e.g. http://realtraps.com ), large diaphragm dynamic mics, or good cabling/routing/patchbay setups (like at http://redco.com

Better yet, pick a random year at http://www.villagevoice.com/pazznjop/, buy or download every record, and listen and learn from them. At $15 per album, you can either buy 2 years worth of the top 100, or the top 10 for the last 20 years (or any 20 years range).

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Post by Sean Sullivan » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:04 am

A Chandler TG1...that's on my expensive gear wish list. Or a really fancy LDC.
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Post by Nate Dort » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:25 am

Set aside about $1K for some common utility mics: RE20, 421, etc. Maybe some SDCs like modded Oktava MK-012s.
Put another $500 towards room treatments. DIY some bass traps for your corners and built a reflection free zone in your mix position. Isolate your monitors on some stands and/or with those auralex pads.
Another $500 towards the boring shit like a couple decent mic stands & cabling. Any mic will capture sound, but nothing ruins a creative moment like a stand that won't lock or an intermittent cable.
Spend the last $1K on a really nice LDC, or one really nice pre.

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Post by Recycled_Brains » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:45 am

If your mic selection is 'poor', then I'd say that's where to start.

The utility mic suggestion is a good one. Having mics like Beyer M160's, Sennheiser 441's, SM7's, Josephson C42's, M88's, 451's, etc. is always a good thing. And they're mics you'll never want to get rid of, because they're so freaking useful on so many things.

If your acoustics aren't up to snuff, then definitely spend some loot on bass traps, wall panels, diffusers, etc. That shit really makes all the difference in the world. Took me a while to figure that out, but I'm glad I did.

What's do you use for monitors? That was another upgrade that I made, that improved my mixes noticeably.

Having said all that, if I had $3,000 to blow on gear today, I'd get a Daking pre/EQ and a Josephson E22s mic, and hopefully used, so that I could afford a second Beyer M160. :wink:
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Post by Corey Y » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:59 am

I'd get a pair of Distressors with the British mod (EL8X).

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Post by b3groover » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:19 am

Recycled_Brains wrote: If your acoustics aren't up to snuff, then definitely spend some loot on bass traps, wall panels, diffusers, etc. That shit really makes all the difference in the world. Took me a while to figure that out, but I'm glad I did.

Folks always want to buy better gear, not realizing that if your room sucks, all the great gear in the world isn't going to make your recordings better. Treat the room first, then worry about gear.
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"This shitty room is making your next hit record, bitch!"

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Post by freddiefreeloader » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:58 am

Yup, got the room treatment already, but I agree that's arguably more important than any piece of gear. As for monitors I'm using mackie HR824's and I'm fairly happy with them/used to them. I wouldn't mind a pair of NS10's though. I guess my "poor" mic selection was a bit of an overstatement. I do have some common utility mics. 57's, 421, KSM32 (I don't know what common opinion is on those but I really dig mine), etc. I probably could use some more though. My friend had a pair of those Octavas and I liked them, and just from reading about them I've been curious about those Cad M179s. But that's the thing though, I figure I could dish out a couple hundred bucks every once in a while to build up more things like that, but I won't ever have a budget to buy some of the pricier things that I could afford with 3k. How about something like an API 3124 and a Josephson e22s? I feel like I can find them used and come in around 3k. Still would love to get a lunchbox started though, and those Great River MP500NV's are a pretty sweet deal at under $800 a channel...But I do need a decent pair of SDC as well...choices!

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Post by antoniosolo » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:00 am

1 channel BAE Neve and a Brauner or Soundelux/Bock mic. With that you could capture anything in pristine condition. I got a pair of Neve and every mic sounds completely different now. Mic Pre is so so important.

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Post by rwc » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:22 am

FAZ stock
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Post by calaverasgrandes » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:44 am

I'd pop for a lunchbox with a nice pair of pres, you can fill the rest out in the future. Lets say $2000-ish. Spend the rest on acoustics and one good mic like a 160, SM7, RE20, 421 etc.
Or get the API A2D, a mic and some acoustic stuff.
If you are digital what is your conversion like?
If you are analog how old is your headstack, maybe get that relapped.

I am also one of those assholes that think summing is vaporware. Best spend your money on more tangible assets like great mics and pres. Or upgrading conversion. Lavry DA?
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

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Post by losthighway » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:20 am

Oh man I could really spend that kind of dough (I'm sure we all could):

New Pres: API, Great River, Chandler

New compressors: Empirical Labs, Drawmer, Manley

New mics: Royer, Telefunken, some more AT and Sennheiser work horses

Or how about spending it all on a nice tape machine?

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Post by DrummerMan » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:10 pm

I've seen the API A2D mentioned here a couple times, which I don't doubt is a great piece, but in terms of long term investments, does anybody else think that permanently attaching a classic design like an API pre to a converter, whose technology is still evolving and will most likely be out of date in a few years, isn't necessarily the best "investment"? I can see that if you really had everything else you needed and you had way more than enough money to spend on one, that it could be worthwhile, if even just for your current needs.

I dunno, am I crazy to think this way?
Geoff Mann
composer | drummer | Los Angeles, CA

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