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Author Topic: $15k to blow on gear...  (Read 4035 times)

holm

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$15k to blow on gear...
« on: October 14, 2004, 06:54:00 am »

Hello all!

Our studio had an opportunity to get an investment of roughly the equivalent of 15000 dollars worth. So, I have some gear lined out I want to buy and I am sorta sitting on the fence with some other. I thought that perhaps some people would have opinions on the shit I am going for and how does it all look to them…
I guess good idea is first to list the gear I have now so I can paint a picture of where I am going with these purchases.

I have a custom made Finnish console made to Finland State owned radio specs back in the eighties to be used as a mobile recording console. It has 24 good channels, 4 semi good and 4 not working channels, with Valley People preamp chips and Valley People three band parametric equalizers. It has Lundahl transformers thrown everywhere in the console - inputs, sum amplifiers, basically everything is going through Lundahls all the time. So I use it for preamps and summing. The eq-s are nice aswell. No automation whatsoever though.

Mics.
U87 (the old silver one, with capsule change made approx 5 years ago)
TLM103
AKG 414 TL II
AKG C4000B (stays mostly in the box now)
DPA 4041 Large diaphragm omni condenser
Shoeps CMC5 with omni and cardioid capsules, stereo pair
AKG C451EB with omni and cardioid capsules, 2 pairs
Sennheiser MD441, 3 pcs
Shure SM57, 2 pcs + 1 SM58
EV ND868
AKG D112
Gefell PM70 handheld condenser microphone (back from the DDR days, still has a very good sound, but is 12V powered, so in some sense kinda pain in the ass)

Comps: - RNC, 4 Valley People Gain Brains, Drawmer M500
Monitors: Event 20/20Bas (only good for impressing dumb clients), JBL 4208 - better for mixing but I still can't trust them.
PC, Samplitude, TC Powercore, RME HDSP 9652 and ADI Pro 8 converters.

I work ITB, with occasional external summing, planning to do more of it.

So. What I want to get.

-  Drawmer 1968 Vacuum Tube compressor. -  This would be used both at tracking and as a master buss compressor as it is pretty much the only "big money" stereo compressor we can afford right now. Don't think we have  many options besides it.

-  Distressor.  -  Now there are many mods to it, which one is the most versatile?

-  Royer R121

-  pair of DPA 4003 small diaphragm 130V omnis. I am not wild about this idea - they are good mics, but they eat up quarter of the budget with a pop, but my partner insists on them and he negotiated the budget, so that's there. What’s the general opinion on them?
My guess right now would be to get the DPA-s and put the Shoeps pair on sale - they are good mics but a bit overpriced for what they do IMO. And get a matched pair of Josephsons instead. Does that sound like a good or a dumb idea?

-  RME Fireface - we are using RME converters and interface card and partner is planning to do allot of remote work so we kinda need a firewire option

Now the things I am on the fence with:

-  Soundelux U195. I need a good "main vocal mic" (Otek pointed that out the minute that he saw my list and I know it aswell) but I cannot afford a "real" one right now. So I am kinda on the fence with cheap Soundelux vs cheap Brauner (the Phantom C) I do allot of rock, mostly male vocals, some female (female are mostly classical/musical types), I can get the job done but something that instantly pops out as "wow" would be nice. What is the general opinion of pro's and cons of Soundelux vs Brauner? Also, I actually don't like 'cardioid' at all with most vocals, I don't like what cardioid does to high end. Anything multipattern out there that really rocks and doesn't cost an arm and a leg?

-  ElectroVoice RE20 or Shure SM7. I have never used SM7, though I like RE20 very much... This is not an easy pic. What's people's opinion on both of them?

-  ADAM SA2A monitors. I definitely want ADAMs, tho I kinda don't know the active vs passive thing... Active would be a safer choice, but would passive be also a viable one provided that I do not have a totally shit amp?

-  A good second hand guitar amp, probably a Marshall JMP or JCM800. Don’t have one yet and this is half criminal… Embarassed

Shit that got dropped off the list:
-  TC M3000 as my partner thought that we need DPA mics more...
-  Millenia 8 channel mic preamp - I managed to get this one dropped as getting a microphone with no sound coupled with a preamp with no sound is like, well, perhaps not the smartest of the ideas out there...

So, if anyone wants to comment this list, feel free, shoot!  Smile
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James Perrett

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Re: $15k to blow on gear...
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2004, 08:15:11 am »

If you're unhappy with your monitoring have you thought about having the room acoustics checked out? It certainly looks like monitoring is your main priority.

Cheers.

James.
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holm

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Re: $15k to blow on gear...
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2004, 10:35:52 am »

Room acoustics indeed IS a problem, unfortunately fixing this cannot go into THAT particular budget. This budget is for gear and gear solely.

Finding money to fix the room is also high in my priority list, unfortunately not for that particular scenario.
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djui5

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Re: $15k to blow on gear...
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2004, 11:08:48 am »

holm wrote on Thu, 14 October 2004 08:35

Room acoustics indeed IS a problem, unfortunately fixing this cannot go into THAT particular budget. This budget is for gear and gear solely.

Finding money to fix the room is also high in my priority list, unfortunately not for that particular scenario.





Honestly....all that new gear is worthless if your control room and monitoring set-up are shit......fix that first...

I know your all excited about buying new gear......but how much more excited would you be about providing a better service to your clients? I would hope you'd be more excited about that....if not then send me the money.....I sure could use it.

Spend the cash on a good set or 2 of monitors that YOU LIKE......keep the "event's" for your clients..but get something you can mix on...

And if the acoustics in your control room are lacking..then fix it.....

Use what's left over to play with....get some good pre's and compressors....
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holm

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Re: $15k to blow on gear...
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2004, 11:45:16 am »

djui5 wrote on Thu, 14 October 2004 18:08


And if the acoustics in your control room are lacking..then fix it.....

Use what's left over to play with....get some good pre's and compressors....


I have good pre's. Pre's are not a problem.

I WILL fix my control room. Just not within THAT particular budget. That budget is NOT meant to be used to fix the room. The room also ain't total shite, just not great. It's not that I work in a basement or a bedroom, it is acoustically treated (and not with foam or anything that stupid), it is just not great.

I will tell again. THIS particular budget is NOT for room and no matter how much people keep harping on it it will not change. If it would be my call then things would be different. But it is not, so telling the same thing over and over won't change anything. This is a 'set' budget and this is for gear. Also, construction work in Estonia doesn't cost what it does in the States and I am able to fix this within my own funds. And I will. So let's drop it.
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ted nightshade

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Re: $15k to blow on gear...
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2004, 02:01:31 pm »

I'd lose those Schoeps cardioid caps and get some of the hypercardioid- man those MK41's are DIVINE! Whereas the MK4's ain't much. It would be hasty to lose the CMC5's when with just some nice new MK41's you will have some beautiful, musical mics indeed...

Agreed, I would make monitoring a real big priority. If this is the gear budget, get the best monitors you can manage. Maybe step up into some bigger ADAMs? I haven't used the ADAMs so that's just an educated guess on my part,  but I have used the Schoeps omnis, MK4, and MK41, and let me tell you the MK41 is the HONEY!
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Ted Nightshade aka Cowan

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ted nightshade

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Re: $15k to blow on gear...
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2004, 02:13:50 pm »

holm wrote on Thu, 14 October 2004 03:54


My guess right now would be to get the DPA-s and put the Shoeps pair on sale - they are good mics but a bit overpriced for what they do IMO. And get a matched pair of Josephsons instead. Does that sound like a good or a dumb idea?  


I haven't used the DPA 130 v mics, but I have inquired with David Josephson and he recommended the Microtech Gefell MK221 1/2" measurement capsules with the Josephson 606B bodies as their best omnis. Only now, the 606B's are being replaced with the new Josephson 617 bodies that use 48v phantom to supply the MK221 caps with the 200v they need. 617's will be debuted at AES.

The off axis on those MK221 looks really impressive, and off-axis response is the hard part for omnis in my opinion. I can't wait to see how they sound.

These mics cost about the same as the DPA 4003's, but you don't need to buy the DPA HMA4000 power supply.

If at all possible, I would try the 617/MK221's head to head with the DPA 4003's and see what's what for yourself. Compare them to your Schoeps omnis while you're at it, and maybe lose the Schoeps omni caps if they don't stand up to the winner- or maybe find out you're doing fine with the Schoeps omnis and don't need any of these other spendy mics. But definitely lose the MK4's and get yourself some MK41's, and hang on to those CMC5's for the MK41's!
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holm

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Re: $15k to blow on gear...
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2004, 02:35:24 pm »

ted nightshade wrote on Thu, 14 October 2004 21:13


If at all possible, I would try the 617/MK221's head to head with the DPA 4003's and see what's what for yourself. Compare them to your Schoeps omnis while you're at it, and maybe lose the Schoeps omni caps if they don't stand up to the winner- or maybe find out you're doing fine with the Schoeps omnis and don't need any of these other spendy mics. But definitely lose the MK4's and get yourself some MK41's, and hang on to those CMC5's for the MK41's!



Comparing Josephsons to DPA-s will unfortunately be not possible. Simply nobody carries them over here and everything would be on the basis of blind ordering.

Also, we had the DPA 4006 omnis before and based on that Shoeps omnis are on the way out...

But thanks for the suggestions - this is the thing that really helps! Smile

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moogus

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Re: $15k to blow on gear...
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2004, 09:52:12 am »

On compressors, sounds like you really need a good valve opto comp (LA2a alike) and or a good mu comp like the Pendulum.  Preferably 'and'. Smile  Im having fun with my CBS AudimaxII at the moment, but its not really something youd put over a mix.  Not YET at least.  Few more mods to do first...

So many people love the Distressor but I dont get it.  But hey...when in Rome...

I would also grab a pultec like EQ, at least one channel of, preferabely two.

These are a things I could not do without at my place, of course YMMV.

If I may make an observation about your pres.. theyre all Lundahl input > IC style, and as nice as that is, you might benefit from one or two channels of some A class Neve a like stuff, or even a really soundy valve pre.  Specially when youre doing drums and guitars.  Just a bit of contrast.  Does wonders.

And on the valve mic topic, again, many may disagree with me, but you really should try and borrow a Rode Classic 2 for a listen.  Maybe mine is a particlarly good one, but I just love it and it holds up (on vocals and acc guitars) to the first run C24 I have here at the moment.  IMO its the only decent mic Rode make, so dont judge it based on the other shit they produce.

Oh, have you considered grabbing a ribbon mic?  Another flavour I love to have available.  

All just my personal thoughts and taste of course.  Could be way off the mark.  Hope you have fun spending the cash anyhow!


M
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Fletcher

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Re: $15k to blow on gear...
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2004, 10:19:06 am »

moogus wrote on Fri, 15 October 2004 09:52

On compressors, sounds like you really need a good valve opto comp (LA2a alike) and or a good mu comp like the Pendulum.  

[snip happens]

I would also grab a pultec like EQ, at least one channel of, preferabely two.


It didn't strike me until I saw the Pultec thing and the Delta Mu thing next to each other that you're half [and I do mean half!!!] describing the Pendulum "Quartet II"... which can be used as individual units as well as in a strip!!
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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"
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ted nightshade

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Re: $15k to blow on gear...
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2004, 11:31:58 am »

holm wrote on Thu, 14 October 2004 11:35

ted nightshade wrote on Thu, 14 October 2004 21:13


If at all possible, I would try the 617/MK221's head to head with the DPA 4003's and see what's what for yourself. Compare them to your Schoeps omnis while you're at it, and maybe lose the Schoeps omni caps if they don't stand up to the winner- or maybe find out you're doing fine with the Schoeps omnis and don't need any of these other spendy mics. But definitely lose the MK4's and get yourself some MK41's, and hang on to those CMC5's for the MK41's!



Comparing Josephsons to DPA-s will unfortunately be not possible. Simply nobody carries them over here and everything would be on the basis of blind ordering.

Also, we had the DPA 4006 omnis before and based on that Shoeps omnis are on the way out...

But thanks for the suggestions - this is the thing that really helps! Smile




I see- well still keep those CMC5's and get yourself some MK41's from the proceeds of the omni and cardioid cap sales. FWIW I sold my 4011's to find something better and after a lot of tries it was the MK41's that filled that role in real style.
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bloodstone

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Re: $15k to blow on gear...
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2004, 11:41:22 am »

I'd factor in a world class large diaphragm multi-pattern tube mic into my shopping spree, and definitely get some better compressors.  I agree with the monitor upgrade.  I like to Opto mod best for Distressor.  British is ok, but I don't use it as much (but glad I have it).  Sounds like you need "mo' money".  Also, what about patch bays, my friend.  
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holm

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Re: $15k to blow on gear...
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2004, 12:02:18 pm »

moogus wrote on Fri, 15 October 2004 16:52

On compressors, sounds like you really need a good valve opto comp (LA2a alike) and or a good mu comp like the Pendulum.  Preferably 'and'.

Price is an issue... 15kUSD only goes so far... I want (as I will not be able to do any testing and so basically am ordering all the shit blind) to get the things that is usually loved by the people who's opinions I trust - and Distressor seems to be the one everyone is raving about.

Quote:

I would also grab a pultec like EQ, at least one channel of, preferabely two.


Probably I don't know what I am missing here but I honestly do not feel a craving urge to get more EQ-s now...

Quote:

If I may make an observation about your pres.. theyre all Lundahl input > IC style, and as nice as that is, you might benefit from one or two channels of some A class Neve a like stuff, or even a really soundy valve pre.  Specially when youre doing drums and guitars.  Just a bit of contrast.  Does wonders.


Same thing like with EQ-s. This is not where the holes are in my equipment now and I want to fill the holes first. Different pres and eq-s will come into play with the second upgrade.

Quote:

but you really should try and borrow a Rode Classic 2 for a listen.  


There probably ain't one up for grabs here in Estonia...

Quote:

Oh, have you considered grabbing a ribbon mic?  Another flavour I love to have available.  


Royer is on the list.

Quote:

All just my personal thoughts and taste of course.  Could be way off the mark.  Hope you have fun spending the cash anyhow!


Has been everything but fun, painful negotiations and lots of compromises, but everything will hopefully work out well, thanks! Smile

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holm

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Re: $15k to blow on gear...
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2004, 12:05:09 pm »

bloodstone wrote on Fri, 15 October 2004 18:41

Sounds like you need "mo' money".  Also, what about patch bays, my friend.  


Patchbays I actually have. And there ain't "mo' money"
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