Serious help...

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Joeytpg, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. Joeytpg macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    I have about 1,500 Dollars to spend in Music Production Gear, and i really have to choose wisely..... what do you guys think is me build a little recording gear (i'm a Newbie)

    Interfaces Options:

    A) M-Audio 410
    B) M-Audio 1814

    Mackie DFX-6

    A) Pro Tools M-Powered

    A)Shure SM-58
    B)Shure SM-57
    C) Rode NT1

    as you know i can't afford any of this together...for example if i buy the m-audio 410 i can buy the mackie dfx-6, pro tools and a shure sm-58, but if i get an m-audio 1814 i won't be able to buy the mixer. So could you help me?

  2. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    If you are going to trak more than 2 inputs at the same time, you'll need more than the F/W 410 can offer.

    Given your budget, you might consider getting the M-Audio ProjectMix I/O
    which covers your mixer, your interface and gives you the built in F/W 1814
    for $999.99 at or Guitar Center.
    Add ProTools M-Powered for $299.00 for Total $1300.00

    Spend the remainder getting one good workhorse mike and add more when your budget permits.
  3. Joeytpg thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    FFTT thanks for the advice....the M-Audio ProjectMix I/O looks like a great peace of equipment.... which mic do you suggest? i'm thinking about an SM58 which is great, i'll be doing a lot of singing, plus some guitar too.

    is the M-Audio ProjectMix I/O same as the Digi 002?
  4. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero

    The ProjectMix is very close the the Digi 2 with the built in F/W 1814 interface. The maindifference is that the Project mix is far more versitile
    because it allows you to run ProTools M-Powered and Logic and several other
    DAW applications.

    The Digi 02 with the Digi 02 rack interface and control 8 interface runs $2500
    including ProTools LE

    As I stated above, the ProjectMix runs $999.99 and you buy ProTools M-Powered for $299.00 and you have enough left over to buy an SM58.

    SM-58's are a good solid performance mike for vocals.
    SM-57's are better for miking guitar amps and that sort of thing both will do an O.K. job until you can afford some better studio condenser mikes.

    You should also consider getting Logic 7 Express so you have all the bases covered in you DAW work.

    You'll be spending plenty more on cables and other hardware so just
    build your system slowly as your budget allows.
  5. Joeytpg thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    Jesus, i was forgetting about Cables......would you help me a little bit.

    For example, lets assume i buy the 1814 or de 410 (which i think will be the one) because i checked my account again, and i need to buy a alot of stuff and i don't think i might be able to spend 1,500 :( so lets assume that i get an M-Audio Firewire 410 (which i think is OK for my needs, since i won't be recording more than two instruments at the same time, at least for now, Vocals and guitar at the same time, or maybe two mics to record drums) and i get a Shure SM58 mic, which i think will hold me better as a Vocal/guitar mic (right?) i know the SM 57 is a better mic for instruments BUT i need a better quality for Vocal recording plus a GOOD guitar quality mic at the same time BUT giving vocals a SM 58 i think is better.

    ...with that in mind, (M-audio 410, one sm58 mic, a midi keyboard m-audio 49e, and my powerbook, how many cables do you think i'll need? :S for starters

    and how much you think they'll cost me?

    in maybe a couple of months o so i'll buy a Line 6 Pod, and a Condenser mic (the Audio Technica AT2020 or the Rode NT1 look ok, what you think?) and within a years o so i'll try to get the ProjectMix and maybe sell the 410, and buy the iMac.

    A lot of questions hehehehe but read carefully and you'll understand :p thanks for being so supportive, i'll be spending a lot of money (for my budget) and i want to start with something good quality. :)
  6. LaoTzu macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2005

    OK, you wont be recording more than 2 instruments (for now) In Stereo or in mono ( stereo x 2 = 4 channels ) which I believe 410 can do, and even USB interfaces can do...

    Oh, I was wondering what Mac you had... a PB G4 - Thankfully has Audio IN with 24/96 ( 24 bit 96KHz sample rate ) and also works as analog @ 24/96 - see Apple system profiler for details....
    If you record in mono ( which is standard in mixing - you pan - and make stereo After multiple tracks are adjusted ) then a simple 1/8th inch stereo adapter & run it to a small mixer ( whatever u use for a preamp XLR on SM58 - &/or 1/4" Guitar cable....
    Adapter $4
    Y Cable $6
    Recording multitrack = Priceless ;-)

    Also, the built in Mic on a PB is really not a bad vocal Mic - I was at a friends - he was making up 1st ever song in GB ( I was curious- his talent, ear, taste, and how easy was GB for a newbie? ) So, I just used the built in Mic - of course we could change pitch, auto-tune, EQ, reverb....vocode... I was amazed - it's CD quality - better than charging studios offer...

    -I am a Pro Engineer, Musician, and know more about the science of audio/ acoustics, DSP, Sample rate/ bit depth, than anyone of the teaching staff at schools - Pro's in the field.... And, my friend works in Core Audio @ Apple - so I know how that works as well...
    ( Just so you know, not a newbie, not telling you opinion, just objective data - for real - even apart from marketing... )

    Um, I keep hearing people "Say" SM-58 ( #1 vocal Mic ) but condenser is bette for "Instruments". ( Without going into science & Math for this too much, <but will if u like > )
    Roughly, SM58 has something like 60Hz - 16KHz response ( It cannot record a Low E Bass which is 40Hz in A=440 standard tuning 4 example ) and it has a presence boost at like 2.5-3KHz ( many like this, especially female singers - boosts falsetto high notes - mostly used as a Live Mic - can be run over by a truck & still used! )

    The things which make it a "great vocal mic", for many, actually can be a problem recording.... a male voice may never get near that range - but it's a screwed up EQ you may not want, may introduce noise, etc.

    All that said - you may like the built in mic better....

    While you lose editing ability - recording both tracks at once, on one track, can be fine as well..... and via Mic in PB G4 - not bad at all.... ( Most problems are from volume, positioning, etc. not a Mic quality issue )
    or via the 24/96 stereo I/O in your PB G4 ( it has line in, right?)

    - Drums are a nightmare to record in a quality studio acoustically built for such a purpose - in most Pro recordings - you buy & hear- we record them, then later, use the beat matching in most software - and replace the actual hits with a sample of drums/ cymbals/ high-hat - say a Ludwig, w/ Zildian cymbals recorded in a church in Rome @ 24 bit - on Nueman Mic's - the feel would be the drummer - but the sound would never be....

    I'd recommend you have no preference to any brand mic, Sure SM58 or 57 - both do similar things - the 57 would have greater frequency response ( drums & Bass to guitar, vocals, high hats ) most likely - see spec's from seller/ company.

    A friend wanted to record in stereo - I suggested a Pair of condenser mics @ $100 ( 5Hz - 22KHz freq response - fine for ANY use ) but then he mentioned mic stands... I suggested the many dual stereo condenser mics shaped as a Y - only 1 stand - ot hang from ceiling - stereo image is already done....but that was 4 a specific purpose...

    You too, I strongly suggest a condenser as your 1 mic - vocals will be fine, but also ability to capture LOW frequency & extreme high is cool - live vocal mics limit bass ( Rumble roll off - bass & bass drums seep into a vocal ) but you can either turn on Low Cut < Kill everything under 80Hz > or whatever YOU like, in various situations, and presence rise at a frequency - also something to EQ if YOU want - also, really do NOT waste $$ on a great Mic Brand! In this generation we have CD's, MP3's, the cost of mic parts is almost zero - all are made in China cheaper labor - and capturing the sound is all you want.....
    Some will debate quality, but in real life, no one can tell a $12 Radio shack, from a $50,000 Nueman Mic in a full band pop, rock, etc. CD - with compression Mix, EQ & FX - again, built in should be amazingly good....

    ( also we recording people, need a flat reference monitor, speakers with a flat EQ to hear what we record, not what "Makes it sound better" - so it will be OK on almost any stereo - not great on yours, and **** everywhere else! On the cheap?? Yamaha MSP5's are a few hundred each.... but a cool option today is K240DF ( the DF indicates a digital reference monitor - other without DF are NOT for mastering! Then about $100 < maybe $150 > makes that possible, and cooler still, portable!!! not sure but samson has some 20Hz-20KHz +/- 3db which list @ 44.99 - but double check reference specification - almost perfectly flat EQ!)

    If u have a couple mics u need XLR jacks - if condenser Mic u need phantom power ( no big deal- standard on almost ANY Mixer! )

    I own Mackie mixers - model you mention is for live use & has FX built in - not a recording mixer - and Mackie costs a lot more than your budget seems to allow.... like a 1202VLZ Pro will be more like 400 without FX, or power.... ( are u playing live??? ) If you need Live stuff - maybe get the amp built-in too?? CFX ???
    Behringer mixers offer great quality for a LOT LESS!!! I'm talking 24 track mixer for $500 - unreal!!! -but the quality is still PRO all the way...

    Hey, what are you thinking anyway?? Project studio? Maybe someday more??? You play guitar & sing??? yes???
  7. LaoTzu macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2005

    Interface: Use 1/8" 24/96KHz built into PB G4 - Under $10

    Mixer: Again you note a Live Mixer with FX - not studio VLZ - Mackie charges at least 4 times what anyone else does - I LIKE THEM, A LOT... but compared to a Behringer say 16 track mixer for $129 - with more I/O vs. 12 channels with knobs not faders for $399 - I think you're budget is not Mackie ;-)

    M Audio is fine... They offer a LOT for the money - but for example, you say u don't need more than 2 channels now, why consider 18 then???

    Pro Tools is crap! It does nothing more than record audio.... MIDI? Minimal support coming in 2040 - GB is actually about the same - also any PT session can be exported to AIFF files for use on whatever - Free pro tools is better....but if you want soft synths/ samplers - more FX for 1/3 the cost... Logic, DP, Logic express is fine ( just limited to 12 tracks at once? When you need 100 tracks recorded at a time - upgrade? )
    If u must use something like that use Bias Deck - SE ( = to PT LE ) & everyone uses Peak to edit - all VST/AU plug ins will work....

    Mics - any Sure Mic using parts from 25 years ago ( & still $100 !! ) Beta is less expensive - Vocal mic's u want a 100Hz bottom - but that even kills a low E guitar @ 80Hz - instead get a full range mic or pair....
    ( Musicians friend is a great place to get technical info on products, prices might be higher, so maybe not to shop... check the website )
    Musicians fiend lists 4 drum mics & here is a pair
    Nady SCM 900-CM 90 Studio Mic Package
    ( ) <--- see link

    BOTH will record Bass, drums, vocal guitar... different sizes will sound different... sometimes a good option - as many mic's as u can find..... even a high hat mic can be great on vocals - listen to them.... Live vocals - use the mixer to cut low, and high ( feedback etc. )

    Cables: Do NOT BUY MONSTER!!!! Get shielded cables 4 guitars - buy no name, hosa @ Guitar center will work - XLR & Balanced cables reject noise by design.... so already like all under $20

    Unless you elaborate on your goals - my best advice is start learning.... Recording, monitoring, mixing, mastering, FX, how to avoid adding noise... even on the budget I just laid out, you'll have WAY more than most legendary recordings... or Beatles with 2 4 tracks....

    If the music is good, it will sound good - if you learn how to do it..... No $100,000 guitar can improve a persons playing.... same for all gear/ gadgets....

    Your Mac shipped ready to record. Even offering a cable to go direct from guitar ( again, not ****, 24/96 !) It has Amp simulations, and FX 4 guitar... and vocal....and simple ways to orchestrate a symphony or throw loops in....export 2 iTunes & Burn to CD.
    ( The important thing is ability, work, skill, effort, learning, - where u put a mic is not explainable - but you'll knoe when you try some places = some suck, some rule - this applies to any mic, mix, pan, compress, how much, or little = hard to say - also as you do... some suck, some rule....YMMV

    I suggest a lean budget, until & unless you have an actual reason - like need to record 6 people at once ( and u already know you can mix - and record in stereo - but for some reasons rather not, etc. then just buy another USB or FW I/O - Headphones or some reference speakers will help u hear what u actually are doing... a must if serious... but again I think $150 headphones < or less> work fine....

    Good luck,

    PS Where R U, & what is it u want to do exactly???
  8. Joeytpg thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    wow Loatzu hehehe thanks for all the help! :)

    well i'm in Dominican Republic, next year i'm off to Spain to get a Master's Degree in Audio Production, and i wanted to start learning all the softwares and learning how this whole Audio Production/engineering works. I'm a Musician also, i Sing and play guitar (some Drum and some bass too)

    anyways i'm just looking fwd to buy a few things that will help me get started. Like i said to FFTT, i'd love a ProjectMix but my budget is a little bit low, so after thinking about it for quite a while, i'll be getting this:

    -Powerbook 1.67 rev E (maxed ram 1.5 gb) i would have loved to get the 20" imac, but i REALLY need portability, because i'll be using my computer on the go a lot, and specially since i'll be moving to spain, it's A LOT easier to cary. in a year or so i can buy the Intel iMac :D (Plus my Gfriend is getting a 20" imac herself for Video Production, and i can always use that if i need the extra horsepowers :p

    -External Drive (Maxtor OneTouch II 200 gb Firewire/USB 7200rpm)

    -M-Audio Firewire 1814 (or 410) still not sure, probably 1814.

    -Pro Tools M-Powered (it's the industry standard and if i'm LEARNING i NEED to learn to use and manage this software)

    -Logic Express (i've been told i could get along fine with Logic Express 7 until my budget grows a little bit and then upgrade to Logic Pro 7)

    -M-Audio Black Box (i play guitar and and the reviews seem to point this little box as a GREAT FX interface, so i can compose and arrange music more varied

    -As Mics options i'll be getting a Shure SM57 for Intruments and some Vocal work, and an Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser mic for Vocals. 200 for both of them, seem like a pretty good deal. I'd love to buy the Rode NT1 but it's 200 for that one alone.

    -I already have an M-audio 49e midi keyboard, but it's part of the gear :p

    what do you guys think?

    thanks a lot again. ;)

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