Hello all. I'm a musician/teacher/videographer/engineer that recently took over running a local shop/recording studio. I've been apart of some really great recording teams on some large projects, but I've always entered the studio as just an engineer, I've never set any studios up. It's also been about 3 years since I've done any studio work. Anyway, I landed a gig as as the manager of a local guitar shop/studio. The last guy didn't work out and some of the equipment in the studio was his. Basically I'm trying to figure out which road I should go down on completing this studio to have it for functional use and be able to pull a great return on investment.

Right now this is the equipment we have in the studio...

Digidesign 003+ Mic Pre
Focusrite ISA 828 Mic Pre
(2) Digidesign 192 I/O ($750 e/a)
(3) Pro Tools HD PCI-X Card ($300 e/a)
Digidesign Sync ($250)
Line 6 POD PRO
Digitech Control 24 ($3,000)

Alright, the two options I'm looking at are

A: Upgrade to Protools HD 10
B: Switch to Logic Pro X

I also have a MacBook Pro which is my own personal computer that I can use. I bought it to run a DAW (8 gigs RAM etc) but never made the investment for a home studio, working on other gigs.

I just wanted to run this by someone and see if I'm thinking this right, because I'm not a hardware guy. Basically I'm thinking I could go option A, in which case it would cost $1,500 to upgrade from ProTools HD 8 to 10. Or maybe I could just buy Pro Tools HD 10 outright for cheaper and install on MacBook Pro?

Or, option B, I could sell all of the ProTools HD related items on Ebay (no problem doing this). The Control 24 ($3,000), The HD PCI-X Cards ($900 total), the 192s ($1450 total), and the Sync ($250) and have a total of $5,600 give or take that I could invest in microphones and compressors. Minus $200 for Logic Pro X.

We have no mics right now, so those also need to be bought. Also need monitors, but that's not a big thing. I don't even think I really need a Control Console, I'm thinking what's the point? Why don't I just take that $3,000 I would spend and put it into great sounding mics/gear.

Am I thinking through this correctly?
Quote by reelbigfish2020
We have no mics right now, so those also need to be bought. Also need monitors, but that's not a big thing. I don't even think I really need a Control Console, I'm thinking what's the point? Why don't I just take that $3,000 I would spend and put it into great sounding mics/gear.

Am I thinking through this correctly?

Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong! Good monitors are about the most important part!

Pro Tools upgrade vs Logic vs any other DAW will be up to you. Whether you like Pro Tools layout, whether you think it's worth the money to get, or whether you think it's worth the effort selling off all the old gear.

I agree though that the control console is non-essential. Sure it's probably nice to use and will wow customers, but it's unlikely to have a particularly large effect. You could also get a small MIDI control surface and map that to your main busses, and then control the others via mouse/keyboard (gives you most of the money, but still allows for some of the ease of a surface).
Only reason to buy/use old desks, is for a built in compressor or w/e.

Also what is the focus of your studio?

Recording bands? If this the case then..

..Extra mics, cables, monitors for the band.

Perhaps basic drum kit?


A small selection of popular amps perhaps?

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Aug 1, 2013,
As far as I'm concerned you would be better off selling the PT HD gear and investing in any DAW you like using (for me, that would be Pro Tools and Logic) as you aren't just limited to PT HD if you want PT... in the last few years, the normal/non-HD versions of PT have come a long way towards being fully-functional and not deliberately limited by the company.

If I felt the need to spend more cash, I'd track and edit in PT and mix in Logic, I think, but I feel Logic is working towards a much better editing system and in Logic Pro X it would appear they've turned the arrange window into something quite similar to Pro Tools' which I would like, though I'm still on Logic 9 until I've finished my current project (rule of thumb: never change your DAW etc. mid-project, for obvious reasons).

I'd only advise sticking with the HD gear if you feel you're likely to be making much profit from this - a friend of mine only recently fitted his studio with HD stuff and a Control24 after years working in the native Pro Tools, and it was because he felt he was getting enough clients in to justify the steep price.

On the flipside, if you do ditch HD you'll have all that money to invest in mics and monitors - don't need really expensive monitors, but just something accurate and beyond the entry level (I know a few who use the KRK VXT series for this purpose, or Adam SVT or whatever the product code is, at a little more money). As for mics, it depends on what you intend to record and what is the most necessary... I'd say as a a minimum you'll need a decent set of overheads, a kick/bass mic, some good dynamics (for the toms), and some general purpose mics ('57, e906 etc.) that can work well on snare, guitar cabs, backing/group vocals etc.
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Well, I don't think I'd ditch the whole thing just to buy a newer system like HD 10. Really, what would you gain? What else could you gain instead by spending that money elsewhere, like mics and monitors and room treatment?

Are you more experienced in Logic than ProTools? If not, why the hell would you want to make that switch?

I'd suggest either:
1. Start with what you have, and figure out what you don't really need. Maybe the control surface? Ditch what you don't need, and build on what you have.
2. Nuke almost the whole thing. Liquidate everything except for the most precious items and start from scratch. You really have a mish-mash of I/O devices - the Digi003, The pair of 192's, and the ISA. Do they play well together, or is it a pain in the neck? Maybe pick one format for I/O - something that will play well with whatever software you want to use (read: most experienced and comfortable with) - and build on it.

From there, whichever way you go, you have some non-negotiables that you will NEED to spend money on:
- mics
- monitors
- acoustic treatment

I would prioritize those things, and see how you can best use the money you have and the gear you have to support that.

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

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