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If you had $2200 to Upgrade Sugar Daddy's Studio...
Old 22nd January 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
If you had $2200 to Upgrade Sugar Daddy's Studio...

I am in the process of upgrading my bass practice studio into more of a sound design studio focusing on bass guitar. Loops, samples, songs, you name it. In about 3-6 months I would like to be selling pro recordings to producers looking for a pro bass track. I plan on putting more money than just the 2200 in by then, keep in mind.

Right now I have $2200 that will be spent at Sam Ash. I've got a few gift cards to burn.

I will be getting a decent PC from a friend for free...It's about 3 years old. quad core, 8 gigs ram, OS is Windows 7 I believe.

My Current Rig:
Fender Precision Bass MIM / Rotosound Flats / Lindy Fralin Pickup / Sprague
Fender Jazz Bass MIA / Assorted Roundwound Strings / Stock Electronics
George L's Master Series Instrument Cable
Trace Elliot V-Type Valve Bass Preamp with Gold Pin JJ's
SWR Interstellar Overdrive with Gold Pin JJ's
Monster 3ft Speaker Cable
Aguilar GS212 Bass Cabinet
25' ProCo mic cable
6' samson mic cable
Shure SRH440 headphones no headphone amp
Tascam US122 USB Interface
Toshiba Satellite Laptop
Ableton Live 8
Nebula 3 Acustica Audio Mixing Plugin
(3 Year Old Windows 7 PC Tower Coming Soon)

My Strengths
Been playing for 16 years/many styles/much stage and home studio time.
Good Basses and Outboard Tube Preamps
Love to research gear

My Weaknesses
Very Few pro studio hours under my belt
Both Room and closet are too Small to Treat, and I need an accurate monitor solution
I do not wish to use Microphones, Room treatment, mic preamps, monitors at this time due to the constraints of the small room. But I plan on moving to a new location in the next 6-9 months with the space needed to track cabinets and upright basses with mics and room treatment.
I have made about 25 lists of possible gear permutations, and I'm about to go crazy.

Help Gearslutz!

Thanks!
Old 22nd January 2013
  #2
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
There are a lot of samples of my playing and current recording quality on my website. Links are in my signature. So is a soundcloud player with some demos using royalty free loops and my own bass loops.

I've decided I want to upgrade my headphones to a better pair, and possibly get a headphone amplifier. I'm playing around with the idea of:

Shure SRH1840 Headphones
Presonus Central Station Plus
AND/OR
Focusrite VRM Box

To take care of all my current monitoring needs (because its not worth treating the room)

Would I be better off getting a less expensive or different headphone amplifier or routing device?
Old 22nd January 2013
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Ward Boss's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I would suggest upgrading that interface to something higher performance with better converters and preamps. I don't have a lot of experience with specific higher end interfaces, but that Tascam looks like a weak link from your list. If you'll be using mics soon, then definitely some good quality mics for bass cabs and upright. I like the Shure Beta 52 for bass amp duties, but I'm sure others will have favorites they'll suggest.
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #4
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward Boss ➑️
I would suggest upgrading that interface to something higher performance with better converters and preamps. I don't have a lot of experience with specific higher end interfaces, but that Tascam looks like a weak link from your list. If you'll be using mics soon, then definitely some good quality mics for bass cabs and upright. I like the Shure Beta 52 for bass amp duties, but I'm sure others will have favorites they'll suggest.
I definitely agree that it's the weak link. I have intermittent problems with crackling and track bleed with this tascam.

I am thinking so far:

Your cart contains:
M-Audio Delta 1010 PCI Audio Interface $599.99
Shure SRH1840 Professional Open Back Headphones $699.99
Presonus Central Station Plus Monitor Controller with Remote Control $599.95
Focusrite VRM Box Virtual Reference Headphone Monitor Box $99.99
SUBTOTAL: $1,999.92

Another route would be to put all the money into the interface and use my current headphones.
RME Fireface UFX USB and Firewire Audio Interface
And maybe a Mogami Platinum Instrument Cable to top it off?
About 2200...and makes me drool.
Old 22nd January 2013
  #5
Gear Addict
 
jmik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I don't understand the point of the Central Station/Delta/VRM, when you could get something like an Apogee Duet or RME Babyface for under 1k, that would do everything those three combined units do, plus have way better conversion. $700 seems pretty frivolous for a pair of cans... Have you tried these? You can get cans in the $200 range that are fine for tracking. If your goal is to provide bass tracks, you're not going to bet the one mixing anything, so I wouldn't see the point.
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmik ➑️
I don't understand the point of the Central Station/Delta/VRM, when you could get something like an Apogee Duet or RME Babyface for under 1k, that would do everything those three combined units do, plus have way better conversion. $700 seems pretty frivolous for a pair of cans... Have you tried these? You can get cans in the $200 range that are fine for tracking. If your goal is to provide bass tracks, you're not going to bet the one mixing anything, so I wouldn't see the point.
Awesome feedback. I was hoping someone would say that.

I wonder if in 6 months I would outgrow the babyface though? I doubt it.

What would you put the last 1300 in?
Old 22nd January 2013
  #7
Gear Addict
 
jmik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
You might find yourself wanting to upgrade, and that's fine (we're all guilty of it!) RME also makes the Multiface, which is pretty damn flexible if you want to add anything in the future. That's just under 1k.

For the leftover: maybe a good DI box? Outboard compressor? You mentioned samples/loops, perhaps a midi keyboard/controller?

Aside from audio gear, are either of those basses you have active? Might be good to have one around if you're going the session route.
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmik ➑️
You might find yourself wanting to upgrade, and that's fine (we're all guilty of it!) RME also makes the Multiface, which is pretty damn flexible if you want to add anything in the future. That's just under 1k.

For the leftover: maybe a good DI box? Outboard compressor? You mentioned samples/loops, perhaps a midi keyboard/controller?

Aside from audio gear, are either of those basses you have active? Might be good to have one around if you're going the session route.
The Babyface seems great for my current needs.
I love the idea of a good DI and outboard comp.

A good preamp'd passive bass will be as good or better than an active to my ears. I understand some clients will specify they want an active sound. That will have to wait, I want an Avalon U5 as my "active preamp."

I'm thinking:

Fender Custom Shop '60s Jazz Bass Pickup Set - 160
Avalon U5 Mono Instrument DI Preamp - 585
Ashly CLX52S 2 Channel Peak Compressor/Limiter - 330
RME Babyface Silver USB 2.0 Audio Interface - 750
Shure SRH840 Professional Headphones - 200
Subtotal 2025
with tax $2,171.81

Feeling good about this purchase!

Any other suggestions?

Thanks for all your help!
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Addict
 
jmik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar Daddy ➑️
The Babyface seems great for my current needs.
I love the idea of a good DI and outboard comp.

A good preamp'd passive bass will be as good or better than an active to my ears. I understand some clients will specify they want an active sound. That will have to wait, I want an Avalon U5 as my "active preamp."

I'm thinking:

Fender Custom Shop '60s Jazz Bass Pickup Set - 160
Avalon U5 Mono Instrument DI Preamp - 585
Ashly CLX52S 2 Channel Peak Compressor/Limiter - 330
RME Babyface Silver USB 2.0 Audio Interface - 750
Shure SRH840 Professional Headphones - 200
Subtotal 2025
with tax $2,171.81

Feeling good about this purchase!

Any other suggestions?

Thanks for all your help!
Not too sure about the Ashly; I've never used it... my suggestion might be to look for a dbx 160X on the used market. At around $250 you'll save a few bucks and have a compressor that nearly every major studio has. Great for bass guitar.

Glad to help a bit, but remember to take this with a grain of salt! Hopefully someone else can chime in and offer some different options as well... it's good to have options when making a big purchase like that.
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #10
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmik ➑️
Not too sure about the Ashly; I've never used it... my suggestion might be to look for a dbx 160X on the used market. At around $250 you'll save a few bucks and have a compressor that nearly every major studio has. Great for bass guitar.

Glad to help a bit, but remember to take this with a grain of salt! Hopefully someone else can chime in and offer some different options as well... it's good to have options when making a big purchase like that.
I'm going by this review

This guy has reviewed TONS of compressors and he reviews them from a bass perspective, the Ashly is one of his top rackmount picks.

But I've never heard it or played through one so I'm kind of buying blind here.

You're right about the options. and I've got lots!
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Addict
 
jmik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar Daddy ➑️
I'm going by this review

This guy has reviewed TONS of compressors and he reviews them from a bass perspective, the Ashly is one of his top rackmount picks.

But I've never heard it or played through one so I'm kind of buying blind here.

You're right about the options. and I've got lots!
I wonder if Sam Ash will give you one to try out? Or at least let you return it if you don't dig it

I like that site by the way, some interesting angles on comps
Old 23rd January 2013 | Show parent
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmik ➑️
I wonder if Sam Ash will give you one to try out? Or at least let you return it if you don't dig it

I like that site by the way, some interesting angles on comps
I've always had good experiences buying from Sam Ash here in Charlotte. They are very accommodating when I need to exchange the occasional item.

Ovnilab is great. I've learned so much there.
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