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Author Topic: Considering a new Converter  (Read 2123 times)


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Considering a new Converter
« on: December 25, 2015, 11:25:31 am »

I'm presently recording guitars/bass/vocals-anything microphone, with a apogee duet. 

I'm wondering however if an upgrade on converter quality would be sonically advantageous.

Music is mainly 70's Rock vibe or perhaps just better said classic Rock.   Drums are software at this point.

I had brought to the floor the matter of purchasing a Radar Studio, having heard it has some sonic mojo imparted by it's electrical chemistry.   It's a substantial price relative to other considerations.  Those being a prism lyra 2, or perhaps a UAD Duo, or Quad, or a Crane song Hedd (maybe with a CS Spider???)

I'm wondering if there is a significant benefit to upgrade on a converter? What could one expect going from the Apogee to any of the other options in terms of sonic character imparted?

I've had someone mention once, I would be far better off upgrading on Microphones (presently using sm57 for cabs, AKG 414 for vocals and cab), than I would be upgrading on conversion.

To that end, I wonder also what the pre-amps will bring me.  I have considered a AMS neve 1073 (I also have access to a newly built 1081 with the marinar (sp) transformers for about 1500 US each). Perhaps an API?   I've used none of these so I have no experience yet.

Essentially I am trying to improve my signal chain, while keeping things strategically smart for quality recording/capture of mainly acoustics/electric guitars, vocals, and DI bass.   

One of the things that the more expensive Radar option brings, is simplicity of use relative to the sometimes quirky logic pro x on my macbook pro, where sometimes things just get glitchy.   But again, Radar is an expensive option-but perhaps worth it.   I would, btw, need to buy an interface for that Radar and I had in mind the Great River Mixmaster 20.   Some would say that would be quite a Rig.  Others might say Prism got fantastic converters  and for what I need being only 2 inputs at any given time, makes a lot more practical sense.

So, is it worth upgrade on the converters? Sonically? practically? Work flow better with Radar and Mixmaster?

Merry Xmas all

(ps)  oh yes I'm using CMS 50 Focal Monitors.   I have considered the Barefoot 27 Gen 2;  Something I can use, I hope, as not only great mixing monitors (assuming too I treat the room acoustically not only for listening/mixing, but for tracking as well), but to use as speakers for vinyl records, CD, something I think the Prism Lyra 2 would work well for.   The idea of having a robust set of speakers playing while I record along with my guitars might be, ...emotionally charging. 

Are the Barefoots a great option for listening to CD's and vinyl or is one better to choose something like a Focal Aria 948?
Weekend Warrior

Tim Halligan

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Re: Considering a new Converter
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2015, 10:14:39 pm »

I've had someone mention once, I would be far better off upgrading on Microphones (presently using sm57 for cabs, AKG 414 for vocals and cab), than I would be upgrading on conversion.

Listen to that person.

An analogue brain in a digital world.


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Re: Considering a new Converter
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2015, 04:02:34 pm »

It really all comes down to budget and requirements.  What is your goal?  Do you need to see a "return on investment"?  Are you making songwriting demos? ...are you making albums you hope to sell?  ...are you making demos in the interest of possibly getting signed?  Do you have an endless mountain of cash burning a hole in your pocket?

Questions abound on all sides of this discussion -- as you've never played with a 1073, I'm going to guess you're pretty new at this game [BTW - if you can pick up a 1081 for $1500 -- do it!!... even if you don't like it, you can sell it for a profit... but I digress].

Every part of the chain is of equal importance... from microphones to microphone amplifiers to compressors to equalizers to converters to clocks, etc., etc., etc.  The two things that are more important than any of the hardware discussions are:  is the song worth a shit?  is the playing worth a shit?  Without a song and solid performance of that song, all the microphones in the world can't help is sound like anything but shit... could be "polished shit", but it will be shit none the less.

For the sake of argument... let's say its some of the most brilliant songwriting ever... and let's say that the performances are absolutely killer... the question still remains -- what is the purpose of making the recording?  Is it a "vanity project" for you to play in your car / for your friends?  Are you trying to shop your songs to other performers?  Are you trying to shop your songs for uses in movies / TV shows / etc.?  ...are you going to try to "self promote" and sell the stuff over iTunes?  ...are you planning on pressing vinyl?

Once you start to answer those kinds of questions [and questions from the first group] chances are the answers to your questions will appear for you.  If its a commercial endeavor and you feel like having killer gear will make your JOB [remember... we call it "playing"... but if you're earning from it -- its "work"] easier -- go for it.  The RADAR / Great River combination will absolutely make your work flow process easier... the question is whether or not you'll A) get a return on that investment; B) will that easier workflow help your end product come out better?  C) will the result of "B" affect the result of "A"?

Figure out your goals, once that is done then the hardware will fall into place as you gain more experience [BTW - "experience" is what you get immediately after you actually needed the initial knowledge].

CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid

"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm


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Re: Considering a new Converter
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2016, 08:14:14 pm »

  thee art brilliant. plain and simple.
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