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Old 04-07-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
RGallagherFan
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What Should I Be Looking At To Make My Setup Better?

Hey all,

I was just wondering what type of gear I should focus on getting to have a "better" setup for recording a band. I've looked at tons of preamps and mics and am still unsure which direction I should head in. I'd have about $2500 to spend.

Right now I have:

Tascam US-1800 interface (8 XLR inputs, multitracking, USB)
A Shure SM57 and an Audio Technica AT2050
Shure SRH440 headphones for monitoring (but I borrow the other guitar player's monitors which are KRK Rokit 6's)
Nuendo 4 DAW

Would it be more beneficial to me to get a great preamp(s), or a mic (or two)?

I've been eyeing the Universal Audio LA-610 and the Great River MP-2NV for pres and the Audio Technica AT4040/4050 mics.

Any tips/advice/opinions?
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:46 PM   #2
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When you say band I automatically think off recording drums. Maybe some extra mics for that?
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:47 PM   #3
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Also I'll be using the mic/preamp for vocals, possibly drum overheads, and electric/acoustic guitars.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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@darren yeah I was even thinking of getting an AKG D-112 kick mic as well, but it depends if people say I should focus more on the preamp than the mics.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:57 PM   #5
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I don't want to stray off, but how about a simple drumkit? I don't know if you want to make it your job, but it would help save time to have drumkit ready, d as such you can also experiment with micing it.
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:18 PM   #6
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I'd say better mics are more important than better preamps.

That said, I'd also think about getting acoustic treatment for your room and a proper set of monitors.

What is your budget? From the gear you listed, you must have a few bucks you're willing to spend.

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Old 04-08-2013, 12:33 AM   #7
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@Darren it would be pretty useful to have a kit to experiment with mic placement and such, but right now I've got a drummer who I record with and his kit is great.

@axemanchris yeah I'm looking at a bunch of other forums and everyone's saying the mic is more important.

Acoustic treatment is certainly something to consider but I don't exactly have a proper room for it. I recorded my band's EP in the bass player's low ceiling/brick floor basement with a behringer xenyx x1204 mixer, 2 sm57's, my AT2050, and Nuendo 4 and it doesn't really sound like a basement recording:http://soundcloud.com/servoband

I'd say about $2500 would be my max budget (if I were to totally go all in). Considering that the preamp wouldn't make as dramatic a difference as some good mics I probably wouldn't need to spend so much.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axemanchris
I'd say better mics are more important than better preamps.

That said, I'd also think about getting acoustic treatment for your room and a proper set of monitors.

What is your budget? From the gear you listed, you must have a few bucks you're willing to spend.

CT

Those KRK's have a great sound, man. Plus, let's remember that a lot of engineers use crappier speakers in an effort to get a good sound. Most people that listen to a final mix are not going to be listening to it through a $2000 set of speakers. That being said, it's nice to have great monitors but, I would go with better mics and preamps before attacking the monitor issue. That's the way I'd go about it at least...
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:53 PM   #9
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My personal opinion regarding kick mic is an audix D6 over the D112. It has a nicer more natural sound i find (depends on how you mic).
Check out akg 414s. There hella expensive but if you have a pair thats literally all you will need to record a drum kit with, i did it the other day and it was surprisingly awesome!
that uad la610 is a beef machine you should get that. And brag to us all.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimarzio45
Those KRK's have a great sound, man. Plus, let's remember that a lot of engineers use crappier speakers in an effort to get a good sound. Most people that listen to a final mix are not going to be listening to it through a $2000 set of speakers. That being said, it's nice to have great monitors but, I would go with better mics and preamps before attacking the monitor issue. That's the way I'd go about it at least...

Good point made!
It's a question of accuracy Vs Translation isn't it? You want to hear the frequencies but you also want to know it'll sound good on "crap" speakers. Krks are a pretty good middle ground. On top of that having the best monitors (some would argue Barefoots) in a not so good room would be counter intuitive.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:12 PM   #11
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No offense, but why in the hell would you want to spend $1600-$2300 on a preamp, when you're plugging into an interface with sub-par converters (of which I also doubt can actually bypass its own preamps), a cheap pair of headphones, and equally as poor monitors?

First off, I'd be very surprised if you could even hear a difference between the nice mic preamp and the ones in your interface at this point. Second, it'd be hard to believe even an experienced engineer could through the monitoring section you're running.

With $2300, you could get a pretty awesome setup. First and foremost, you should spend your money on treating your room and buying a quality pair of monitors that don't color everything you send through them.

Others might disagree with me, but I think second you should focus on getting rid of that Tascam and buying something with cleaner preamps built into it and better conversion. The mics you have now are fine, and I'm not really sure you'd see a huge difference between them and an expensive mic through the noisy preamps in the Tascam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimarzio45
Those KRK's have a great sound, man. Plus, let's remember that a lot of engineers use crappier speakers in an effort to get a good sound. Most people that listen to a final mix are not going to be listening to it through a $2000 set of speakers. That being said, it's nice to have great monitors but, I would go with better mics and preamps before attacking the monitor issue. That's the way I'd go about it at least...

Yuck. Rokits are gross.

I used to own a pair and I thought they were great, until I started listening to my mixes on other systems and kept wondering why everything just fell apart in the translation. Upgrade to a proper set of monitors and you'll quickly find out that the midrange is a hell of a lot clearer and your lowend is actually accurate to what it'll sound like through a decent listening system.

The point of mixing on an expensive monitoring system is so that you can hear every frequency so that it translates accurately to multiple listening sources. If you mix entirely only one crappy set of desktop speakers, it might sound good on those speakers, but sound like utter crap in your car stereo or through headphones, because your cheap speakers mask certain frequencies (mids), while overhyping others (lows and sometimes highs).
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:39 PM   #12
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What interface(s) would you recommend to replace the Tascam?

I've only got a Lenovo laptop so it would probably have to be a USB type of some sort...
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimarzio45
Those KRK's have a great sound, man. Plus, let's remember that a lot of engineers use crappier speakers in an effort to get a good sound. Most people that listen to a final mix are not going to be listening to it through a $2000 set of speakers. That being said, it's nice to have great monitors but, I would go with better mics and preamps before attacking the monitor issue. That's the way I'd go about it at least...


Two things, though:

1. They're not his.

2. If something sounds great through a great set of speakers, it will sound great on anything. Like a magnifying glass, they will show you everything that is there - "warts and all" as they say - rather than smear over what you wish you heard.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MatrixClaw
No offense, but why in the hell would you want to spend $1600-$2300 on a preamp, when you're plugging into an interface with sub-par converters (of which I also doubt can actually bypass its own preamps)


That was the first thing I thought of too, but with the direct inputs, you do bypass the preamps. The converters, no, not apparently.

To the OP:

With a budget of $2500, and a desire to upgrade your preamps, I think the best interface under $1000 is the Steinberg MR816 units. They're firewire, but the newer series the UR816 seems to be the exact same thing only on USB. The pres and converters are both very excellent. It will also integrate beautifully with Nuendo. It's literally designed with Cubase and Nuendo in mind.

That'll leave you over $1500 for some quality monitors, some room treatment, and maybe another mic or two, depending on what you buy.

CT
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Last edited by axemanchris : 04-09-2013 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:07 AM   #14
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Guys. remember, if your not bouning out at 256kbs 44.1khz 16 bit.. they will be put into that format eventually and listened to on 3 dollar ear buds.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:52 AM   #15
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Guys. remember, if your not bouning out at 256kbs 44.1khz 16 bit.. they will be put into that format eventually and listened to on 3 dollar ear buds.

That was pretty much my point. Obviously it's good to have great monitors. I wasn't really debating that. I was saying in the whole spectrum of equipment listed, I would have gone with new monitors later on down the road.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:56 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by axemanchris


2. If something sounds great through a great set of speakers, it will sound great on anything. Like a magnifying glass, they will show you everything that is there - "warts and all" as they say - rather than smear over what you wish you heard.

That can work both ways. But, I see what you're saying.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:00 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dimarzio45
That was pretty much my point. Obviously it's good to have great monitors. I wasn't really debating that. I was saying in the whole spectrum of equipment listed, I would have gone with new monitors later on down the road.


By saying that you are of course assuming that the entire world is using $3 earbuds.


Which is nothing but lies and smelly horsepoop. I refuse to use any earbuds that'll cost me anything less than 20. That seems to be the cut off point for decent to crap earbuds.

Don't mix for the lowest common denominator. Mainly because they don't care that music sounds bad because they're the ones that have put it in that format in the first place.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
By saying that you are of course assuming that the entire world is using $3 earbuds.


Which is nothing but lies and smelly horsepoop. I refuse to use any earbuds that'll cost me anything less than 20. That seems to be the cut off point for decent to crap earbuds.

Don't mix for the lowest common denominator. Mainly because they don't care that music sounds bad because they're the ones that have put it in that format in the first place.

Hey, don't argue with me over the fact many people choose to listen to music with crappy devices.

PS- I've never used earbuds that have EVER sounded good.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:05 PM   #19
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I'm not saying your wrong, it's just that I don't think you should specifically cater for that xD It's their fault if the music sounds bad on bad equipment, not yours.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:03 PM   #20
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Thank you very much CT. While I can't seem to find the UR816 model on musiciansfriend or the long & mcquade website, there is the UR824 which I'm guessing is just a bigger version.

Knowing that it's as compatible as can be with Nuendo is very nice to hear.
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