Quantcast
Most important piece of the puzzle... - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Most important piece of the puzzle...
Old 13th September 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 
jesusfwrl's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Most important piece of the puzzle...

Say you've got an existing working setup of low end gear. Now say you want to start upgrading to proper high end, but you can only afford to do so one piece at a time.

Where do you start?

High end microphones?

High end preamps/compressors/eq?

High end recording machine?

High end monitors?

They are all linked in ways which make it hard to decide if it is worth investing in one without having the other. Where would you start upgrading?
Old 13th September 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
16 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Assuming all your low end gear is decent and working properly, I would start nearest to the source (i.e., the microphone) to achieve the biggest improvements.

That said, another reasonable philosophy is to upgrade the weakest piece in the chain, if you know (or can determine) what that is.
Old 13th September 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
hard to say without knowing the particulars, and where you are recording will always be a big piece of the puzzle, but:

monitors (too a certain degree, meaning upgrading from a $300 pair to a $3000 pair isn't absolutely necessary, but making the jump to a $1500 pair will make a difference)
mics
recording medium
hardware
Old 13th September 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Silent Sound's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Upgrade whatever you feel is your weakest link. If you don't know what that is, then save your money. Keep using what you have until you've got enough experience to know where your money will best be spent.
Old 13th September 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
In my opinion, the monitoring system is the key, because through it you will HEAR all the future upgrades you might make. How can you know what good a new mic or any other piece brings to your system, if your monitoring system is not accurately reproducing it?
Old 13th September 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I have a write in...high end talent. When you've got bands coming that are so on it and great that you feel like your equipment (not you yourself) is letting them down, then you know its time to pick out your weak points and invest.

Also, a nice room to record and mix in. You can make a pretty decent sounding record with some fairly cheap/mediocre gear if you know how to work a space. I'd venture to say that none of the potential money pits you have listed will make as big a difference on the quality of your recordings as a good room.
Old 13th September 2012
  #7
Gear Addict
 
RoadToNever's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
source>room>monitoring>mics>the rest
Old 13th September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadToNever ➑️
source>room>monitoring>mics>the rest
I'd pretty much agree with this always start at the source and work your way down the signal chain.

A lot can boil down to personal needs. For example if you don't really use your setup for mixing/mastering/monitoring and more for tracking than focus on the elements that yield the best tracking before you upgrade monitoring.

I think it'd be helpful to know what you are using currently and what you are trying to do with it.
Old 14th September 2012
  #9
Gear Addict
 
RoadToNever's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
True, no point in shelling out on the Adam A7X if it will make you settle on less effective room treatment and lesser mics. Just don't skimp on it to the point where it clouds the effects of mic placement and what not.
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadToNever ➑️
True, no point in shelling out on the Adam A7X if it will make you settle on less effective room treatment and lesser mics. Just don't skimp on it to the point where it clouds the effects of mic placement and what not.
yep I guess I assumed a certain amount there lol

and vice versa if you really mix/master/monitor more invest in that before you invest in the tracking side.
Old 14th September 2012
  #11
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
High end musicians > High end ears > High end music theory, and aplied in practice.
Then...
Good cables > Mic > Monitor placement > monitors > room > pre amp > DAW > software plugins > Hardware
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciperlone ➑️
High end musicians > High end ears > High end music theory, and aplied in practice.
Then...
Good cables > Mic > Monitor placement > monitors > room > pre amp > DAW > software plugins > Hardware
lol pretty much sums it up

I mean there are some things money simply can't buy (talent, cough cough) and you can technically consider a lot of "low end" gear high end when put into capable hands with capable engineers/artists.

There is also the matter of being able to hear the differences, some people have the discriminating tastes where that last 5% makes a huge/noticeable difference while other people are just like meh it sounds like an acoustic guitar to me.

I don't know that I'd emphasize cables as making that much of a difference. I can build my own Mogami quad cables for next to nothing and to be honest I don't really think a high end 1000 series monster, evidence, etc are really any better.
Old 14th September 2012
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Slik dA Relic's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
a good high end computer (High end recording machine)... i think everything else comes in 2nd.

da relic
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slik dA Relic ➑️
a good high end computer (High end recording machine)... i think everything else comes in 2nd.

da relic
I guess we are assuming he's using digital at that point.

You could easily get into an analog vs digital argument if you are trying to go high end.

And I still think that regardless if you are talking about high end the computer you use will impart the least to your recordings.

The talent of the performer(s)/artists and engineers (ie the SOURCE) will trump any gear. From the source you go to the mic (the first thing that colors/captures the performance) to the cable to the preamp (insert outboard gear here if applicable) to the ad converter (if applicable) to the computer/recording medium (analog would be tape though you could even be using a Hard Disk recorder)

idk maybe I'm alone but the computer is probably the last thing I'd look at. Despite popular belief just about any modern computer can be made into a good quality recording machine technically surpassing generations of great recordings (like the 2 track, 4 track, 8 track, etc). I'd say a more important high end investment if you record via computer would be the interface and the DAW software get a fully licensed professional edition of whatever you find works best for you (I use Presonus Studio One because it's what I find simplest and most powerful).
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight ➑️
I have a write in...high end talent. ....
One of those pointless distractions to the main question. The quality of the talent or lack thereof has nothing to do with how well the system performs. If your car won't run, it won't matter who's sitting behind the wheel.
Old 14th September 2012
  #16
Gear Head
 
jesusfwrl's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I don't have any issues with the room or the musicians, and my current setup works perfectly well for what I normally do, which often asks for color in the recording stage. But I realized there are certain types of music and certain instruments that I just don't dare touch with my setup. A prime example being classical music orchestras. I just don't have the microphones to capture the sound, or the preamp, or the tape machine, to do it justice, and keep it as faithful to the source as possible.

Although I don't normally get asked to record orchestras, I often wonder how it would change the way I work to be able to work with really high-end gear. I do tracking, mixing and mastering, for most of the albums I make. It is all well suited to a certain style of music (dark sludge/doom rock/metal) and creates a very interesting sound for this. But I would really like to start upgrading, so I could branch out to other things, and also to try different approaches for my usual stuff.

Problem is, I really have to do it piece by piece. I often feel the need for better monitors so I can hear what I'm doing better, but then I start thinking that without the right mic, there would be nothing worth hearing. At least with the right mic, you can capture a great sound, even if you can't fully hear it (yet)..!

For the record, I mostly record on analog tape. I also have a DAW setup, but it doesn't see as much use. I would not upgrade the DAW as it is good enough, but I could use some better tape machines. But this would be mostly for the functionality, not so much for the sound. I have no issues with the sound quality on the tape machines.
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by indie folk guy ➑️
I don't know that I'd emphasize cables as making that much of a difference. I can build my own Mogami quad cables for next to nothing and to be honest I don't really think a high end 1000 series monster, evidence, etc are really any better.
I just said "good cables", not "high-mega-ultra-end monster expensive cables".
Good cables are not expensive, and are a main thing, because they make the connections of your system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] ➑️
The quality of the talent or lack thereof has nothing to do with how well the system performs. If your car won't run, it won't matter who's sitting behind the wheel.
The system does not perform by itself. The system is there to be performed by you. If you are tallented, you can make great things in low-cost (or even free) systems, if you are not tallented, you will never make average things in mega-awesome systems.

By the way, your comparison can be pointless... If there is a mechanic behind the wheel, it does matter. A lot.
Old 15th September 2012
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Monitors. Full. Stop.
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 1258 views: 310366
Avatar for Brakka
Brakka 21st December 2019
replies: 76 views: 39002
Avatar for Jomox
Jomox 21st June 2011
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump