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Best/Most Effective Upgrade to Home Studio
Old 15th March 2014
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
Best/Most Effective Upgrade to Home Studio

How's it going slutz?

I am currently looking to upgrade my homestudio, but I'm not sure which part of it to upgrade/what will make the biggest difference to the quality of my recordings.

I work mainly with punk, indie and rock bands. Here's my current setup:

Interface: Mackie Onyx 1620i
Mics: Rode Nt1a, Sm7b and AT2020
Monitors: Fostex PM 0.3
The room and the booth are treated.

Should I purchase a new interface with better pre's and converters? Or should I look into a more high end LDC? Or upgrade the monitors?

Thanks a lot in advance!
Old 15th March 2014
Gear Maniac
Tirmu's Avatar
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Based on your gear I'd definitely upgrade the monitors to get decent monitoring. But what do you feel like? Is there something in your setup that's bothering you?

- Tiko
Old 15th March 2014 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
I feel I spent too much on the Mackie (although I got it for almost half the selling price), some of the price includes the onboard eq and faders which I dont need. I I'd rather put that money into an interface with better pre's/converters.

Also my mic's. I don't have one great versatile mic. The Sm7 sounds awesome on rock vocals. But when I get a ballady singer the Rode is lacking something.

And I agree with you about the monitors, thanks! (I'm looking into some JBL Lsr 305's)
Old 15th March 2014
Here for the gear
SoundandVision's Avatar
🎧 5 years
It's always hard to know, but I wouldn't count on hearing a significant difference in a new mic pre or converter that will blow your mind. That kind of stuff is discussed a lot here, but you might be disappointed if you invest all your cash there. It is hard to argue with monitors and mics. Don't be afraid to use the eq you have either. You mentioned you don't need it, but little bits here and there can do wonders. Good monitors will help with that too. Good luck!
Old 15th March 2014
Lives for gear
Unclenny's Avatar
🎧 10 years
If you are doing ballady stuff then you'll notice the biggest difference with a nice LDC mic.

My stuff is all pretty much on the ballad side and when I was in your shoes I spent on a microphone. It is, after all, the first thing in the capture chain.
Old 15th March 2014
Lives for gear
🎧 5 years
I'd say upgrade your pres or the LDC. I had a similar setup and upgraded to a Pacifica as my first great pre. Just that simple step improved my recordings so much!
Old 17th March 2014
Lives for gear
Fast_Fingers's Avatar
🎧 10 years
I'd look into NT1A mods, monitors (Avantones for second opinions, or simply bigger ones for better low-end accuracy like HS80s), and double check the room, to be safe.
Old 17th March 2014
Lives for gear
tkaitkai's Avatar
🎧 5 years
I second upgrading your monitors. There are several other great monitor choices in the same price range as the JBLs you're looking at - I'd recommend demoing a few out and seeing which ones you like most.

After that, you could look at adding another mic.
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