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View Full Version : Help on starting my mobile Pro tools setup




Grimmlock
Apr 10, 2008, 04:54 AM
Hi this is my first post here hope its in the right place. I will hopefully be buying my first mac to get my own pro tools setup. The main use of the equipment is to record bands live and in a home studio enviroment, this means it must also be semi-mobile. My initial Ideas are to buy:

M-audio Project Mix desk with Pro tools M Powered
2.4ghz Mac Pro
DI box
Creative Giga works T20
A couple of Shure SM58's and SM57's and maybe a set of Shure PGDMK6
Guitar Pod
500gb External hard drive

The reason for the Project Mix desk is it has 8 xlr channels so should be able to setup 8 mics for recording live. Eg Kick drum, Snare and 2 overheads aswel as Vocals, Guitar and Bass. It also isn't limited to working with pro tools as it works with other software too. I will also use this setup for recording new tracks and ideas with a number if bands aswel as my own in a kind of home studio enviroment. The main thing i'd like to know is would the set up be ok for what I want to do? Will pro tools run in leopard? or will I need to get a copy of tiger? Any other usefull ideas on recording on the move? I have only used pro tools HD through a mac pro before after looking around I thought this might be the best option to go mobile.

Thanks for any help anyone can provide



junior
Apr 10, 2008, 05:43 AM
Are you planning on recording these bands in one take? If you're going to record tracks separately, I'd suggest you don't need the 58's. Get an extra 57 and see if you've got enough money to invest in a condenser mic. For people with tight budgets, the Rhode NT series seem to get good reviews, though I can't comment on them as I've never tried them out.
Are the bands going to be rock orientated? Or will you have acoustic styles in session as well? Acoustic/gut guitars will sound fine with a dynamic mic but I'd personally recommend AKG 451. Depending on the track, I tend to use a mixture of neumann (which would probably be out of your budget at the moment), 57, or a 451. You won't go far wrong with a 451 but it's up to your personal preference, so see if you can test it out.
When you talk about this Guitar Pod, is that the Line6 one? If so, again, this is all about your personal preferences, but I'd suggest the simple usage of the DI box and then to invest in a software simulator, like Gtr Rig3, Eleven LE, ampfarm, amplitube, etc. There will be far more freedom later to change the sound on your mix, and I personally don't particularly care for the sound of the DI in the pod (I have a pod pro that I don't use anymore).

Shure PGDMK6, or a set like that from AKG, will be great I think. You should definitely go for that, particularly if you're going to record drums a lot. The condenser mic(s) that you get for other applications could also be used there as overheads.

Grimmlock
Apr 10, 2008, 06:01 AM
Recording will be one take when recording live gigs and such. I will also be recording tracks separately. The vocalist in my band already owns and SM58 so will have access to that but am also considering buying a second mic for vocals i'll have a look into the other mics you mentioned.

I will be recording rock bands and acoustic and anything else that comes along. Will the mics in the Shure PGDMK6 be enough to record acoustic guitar or should I look into something else? Yes it is a line 6 pod but i wasn't sure on that myself but seems the cheapest option to start out with I shall have to think about that some more.

My idea for recording at home is to get the guitarist and drums to record with just a few mics to get a backing track. Then I can use all 8 channels to the record the drums over the top, then the guitar, bass and vocals in turn then delete the backing track.

junior
Apr 10, 2008, 11:42 AM
Recording will be one take when recording live gigs and such. I will also be recording tracks separately. The vocalist in my band already owns and SM58 so will have access to that but am also considering buying a second mic for vocals i'll have a look into the other mics you mentioned.

I will be recording rock bands and acoustic and anything else that comes along. Will the mics in the Shure PGDMK6 be enough to record acoustic guitar or should I look into something else? Yes it is a line 6 pod but i wasn't sure on that myself but seems the cheapest option to start out with I shall have to think about that some more.

My idea for recording at home is to get the guitarist and drums to record with just a few mics to get a backing track. Then I can use all 8 channels to the record the drums over the top, then the guitar, bass and vocals in turn then delete the backing track.

I think getting a decent DI will cost you less than a pod, though I'm not sure how much pods are sold for these days. Plus I guess you have to think about the cost of a plugin.
A very widely used one, and one I quite like is made by countryman. They're quite affordable too.
I've never tested the PG81's (condenser) that come with the Shure PGDMK6 package, so get that, see how your guitar sounds and if you like it, great. If not, maybe purchase a mic later on.
As for recording vocals. Quite a few engineers and arrangers that I know often use the SM57's (not 58) for strong vocalists in rock (I don't).
Anything else is done with condenser mics. You really should get one to maintain some flexibility in your recording process, and as I've said before, I've never tried the Rhode mics but by all accounts they're great budget mics. It's fair enough if you're really into the sound the dynamic mics from Shure gives you, but see if any of your friends have a decent condenser and
test it out.
The advantage of getting one for vocals is that you can use it for all sorts of applications, like acoustic guitar tracking or cymbals or brass, etc. If you end up recording something other than rock, maybe the guitarist will insist on the usage of a vintage amp, in which case the use of that mic, together with a couple of other dynamic mics may give you your perfect sound. Experiment like hell.
Have fun!

zimv20
Apr 10, 2008, 12:06 PM
pods? DI's? why not mic the amps?

i'm not a fan of that shure drum mic kit, fwiw. and i prefer the cheaper and better AT2020 to the rode NT1a. as someone mentioned, go for the 57 over the 58; you'll probably want a condenser instead of the 58 for vox, anyway.

have you thought about power? monitoring? rack cases? isolation? cabling? mic stands? lots of gear needed for any kind of rig, and packing it all into a remote one is an added complication.

Grimmlock
Apr 11, 2008, 03:30 AM
Cheers for the help. I'll have a look at those Rhode mics I think i'll change one of the 58's to a condenser mic of some sort then seeing as the other sm58 I have is for free. I've never tried vocals through a SM57 I will try that out. One of the other reasons for me getting all this kit is to experiment because I never get much time to experiment in the studio my band uses as its cost per day.

The pod and DI's are there for when I can't mic the amps. I would usually mic the amps when possible. Sometimes it's not possible writing in the middle of the night with some headphones in recording into pro tools playing with amps. I've got 4 mic stands already which can be put in the car. Monitoring on the move I will most likely use a pair of headphones, at home I have a set of Videologic Sirocco speakers. Whats an alternative setup to using the 5 mics in the shure kit? Or is it me worth starting with the shure kit and upgrading over time?

Thanks for the ideas.