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Front end assistance
Old 12th November 2002
  #1
no ssl yet πŸŽ™οΈ
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Front end assistance

THIS IS FOR Charles and others who make extensive use of plug ins

What do you recommend as a front end for a studio (mine) Cutting mainly HIpHop/RnB

I'm considering the following

Neve 1272 (brent Averill)
API pre (Brent Averill)
a single DBX 160xt (To pair with the single that I already have)
Lawson Tube Mic or Neumann 149 (To complement the TLM 103 I already have)


Do you guys think this will do it as a starter kit (of course I'll ad more later. I do this audio drug also

Should I get the 1272 or a single 1073???/

What comps do u reccomend (on a budget)
I usually track with enough headroom to handle peaks since I cant compress going in. Would I be better compressing on the way in?
Old 12th November 2002
  #2
no ssl yet πŸŽ™οΈ
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come on folk i'm sure someone has an opinion

My shopping list is beginning to look like this

HD3
192 Interface
Dangerous 2busLT (please chime in if you think I need the big brother)
Neve 1272
API Pre
Lawson L47
All McDSP plugs
Waves Bundle
Duy Global (maybe)
Bombfactory Pultec, Fairchild, Moog bundle and Meek Bundle (only ones I used and maybe comps and sansamp)
Digi Sound Replacer, DPP-1
Sony INflator and EQ w GML
Waves Mechanics Sound Blender

Yamaha Motiff
Chronic Brass (Sample Library)
EMU mophatt (maybe I may just sample a friends unit)
Akai z4
Firewire Drives and Back ups
1Gig more Ram for My G4 466

Is there anything else you guys recommend as a must have for doing RnB, Hip Hop and some Pop stuff?
I know my list is lite in the Keyboard Dept but as of lately I've been sampling Keyboards by recording tones into ptools and using strip silence to separate notes, then Exporting into SSC for play back. Along with my MPC 2000 This usually gets me by. It's just a Bytch going through sounds when starting a new track. However one great benefit is that when I cut the samples to protools via good Pre Amps then all of my modules (virtual modulesrollz ) will have the sound of that pre amped sound during my production.
Old 12th November 2002
  #3
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Wow. That's a pretty intense shopping list.

I'd recommend a couple of things.

1. Get an 1176 to track vox through. Use that in front of your dbx on rap sessions.

2. Add (1) SM57/58 and a SM7 or RE20 or 421 to your vox mic list.

The preamps you mention are known 'colored' (in a good way) units... You may want something a little cleaner/more transparent (Great River, Grace, etc.) to contrast.

Good Luck!
Old 13th November 2002
  #4
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groundcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'll second Casey's recommendations. I'd also consider (especially in the genre you're doing) adding a distressor or two for the amount of "good" dirtying up it's capable of. I also think BEFORE hitting the AD is the best place to exercise those outboard compressors, especially if you don't have many or you're doing extreme compression. Also, for my money, a 1272 doesn't sound like a 1066/1064/1073/1083 (although some don't sound bad at all) so if what you want is THE sound of a Neve input module there is no substitute for the genuine article. On a budget, I'd probably consider getting a GR-NV instead of a 1272. It might be more useful in the long run and a better overall value. (Altough you won't be able to boast the N-word to prospective clients...)
Old 13th November 2002
  #5
no ssl yet πŸŽ™οΈ
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Ok I thought I was off the fence but I'm still thinking it out

For the price of HD and all new Plugins I could get

3 More mix farms to add to my core 4500
A used AD8K 3000
Dangerous 2Bus LT 1500
Fatso 2450
Pair of Distressors used 2200
Cranesong HEDD 3150

For a total of $16,800

Hopefully you guys can see why I'm on the fence stillrollz

What do you recommend???
Old 13th November 2002
  #6
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Jules's Avatar
Tough call,

Old 13th November 2002
  #7
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groundcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
At this point in time, unless you have a kinda-huge investment in PT-Mix technology with expensive 3rd party converters, I don't see a good reason not to go HD. I don't feel the AD8K is clearly superior to the 192 i/o and warrants the trouble to go that way. If you must have Apogee's why not get a 192 digital-i/o and an AD16 and a DA16? Consider what each of these options will still be worth money-wise in 3-4 year-time, it should help you with your choices. Hope that helps!
Old 13th November 2002
  #8
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm totally with groundcontrol on this one: Go with HD.

It's a whole new platform. The math is different. Pre-HD systems are obsolete. HD systems are 48-bit processing...no more mix buss issues. Clean audio. Solid A/D conversion.

Any investment in pre-HD hardware is a waste of $$$, IMNSHO.

YMMV.
Old 13th November 2002
  #9
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
I'm totally with groundcontrol on this one: Go with HD.

It's a whole new platform. The math is different. Pre-HD systems are obsolete. HD systems are 48-bit processing...no more mix buss issues. Clean audio. Solid A/D conversion.

Any investment in pre-HD hardware is a waste of $$$, IMNSHO.

YMMV.
Geez, Eric...

I'm trying not to keep arguing with you but...

Seems like every other post you make has some bull**** agenda. I agree that this person should go ahead and upgrade given his current situation, but to make these sweeping, absolute statements is irresponsible. You're as entitled to express your opinions as anyone else, but I would respectfully ask that you tender your opinions as such, not stating them as factual.

And now I refute your 'facts':

According to Digi, the "math" in the TDMII mix bus utilizes the same 'perfect' accumulator as the old mix systems... If they changed it, they ain't telling. They DID change the 'point to point' truncation issues in the TDM architecture, but that ain't what you're saying.

Somebody better tell all the thousands of studios out there cutting records that their systems are "obsolete". After I type this up I'm gonna head down to the studio and drag all that Mix trash out to the dumpster...

Mix systems 'math' are double-precision, 24 bit (hey, that's 48 bit!) + 8 bits headroom for a total of 56 (relative) bit accumulation. Hey wait, that's better than HD, or the same? NIKA!!!

As for the investment being a waste of money, I'll leave that to accountants. But I will say that I have not had one client ask anything about HD. Zero, zip, zilch, nada. Its a non-issue. Everybody asks about PT, but nobody knows about the different versions. HD, Mix, LE, Free, they don't give a ****. PT!!!

As for the IMNSHO part, I concur. Again, nothing personal!

Cheers!
Old 13th November 2002
  #10
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Ok let's calm down and count to 10

I only ask these questions because I want opinions. I know that whatever is offered is only one's opinion. However I think when people think about yesterday's technology being obsolete they are speaking of resale value only because 9600's are alot cheaper than G4's but they still work.

I'm asking if HD without outboard will rival a mix system with outboard. My thinking is that the investment in the Mix (not counting outboard that would be desired with my future HD rig) will be minimal. If it saves me a few G's and keeps me working for the next 2 years.

Provided the future affords me a chance to upgrade to HD, I could always keep my mix system for a B Room and make more money from it (obsolete I say not)

That said
I think I am leaning toward an HD
But as Jules said It's a tough call
Old 13th November 2002
  #11
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My line of thinking whenever someone complains about the sound of a Mix system (which we just learned was obsolete LOL)

Take your favorite CD and record it to a mix system through good converters
It will come out (if played through quality DA) sounding like your favorite CD

That being said my thinking has been "get it right before you go to the box"
and treat a bit.

If working on an HD rig is more of the same treatment or a bit better then I'd prefer to stay on a mix system and wait for the next wave of protools

If the improvements in SOUND @ 44.1/48 are enough to warrant getting an entire new system Then I will go HD

When I ask these questions I'm not thinking about the value of the studio for commearcial use. I only want to get my own projects the best sound that I can on a budget. (Why else would I be willing to trk 2 sounds at a time

So guys I'm kinda at your mercy because I don't know of a place in New Orleans with all the plugs where I could go and play one of my old mixes on an HD system

So opinions please ??
Old 13th November 2002
  #12
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by no ssl yet

If the improvements in SOUND @ 44.1/48 are enough to warrant getting an entire new system Then I will go HD
And therein lies the crux. Get up here on the fence with the rest of us 'wait and seer's and take a seat...

I've yet to hear of ANYONE doing a direct, side-by-side comparison of a session on both platforms... Perhaps I've missed that thread.

Mix system, clocked to Aardsync, using highend outboard convertors @ 44.1 or 48k
<VS.>
HD @ same sample rate using Digi's new convertors.

That is the way these systems are used, apples to apples.

Lots of folks say the new system sounds "much better, even at 44.1/48," and that may be absolutely correct, but how much better? Twice as good? Ten percent better? Slightly better? Can anyone qualify this?

Reality is a perception. I like tangibles. The money involved in upgrading a large system is substantial, and could be used for a lot of other VERY tangible upgrades and purchases...

Obseletion doesn't scare me. As long as it still works and does what its supposed to do, it ain't obsolete. Spending a ton of money on intangibles to make what is essentially a sideways or slightly forward move does scare me.

Charles likely has access to the scenario outlined above and the opportunity to weigh in with an informed opinion...

I'd love to hear his thoughts on this.

Sincerely,
Old 13th November 2002
  #13
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by no ssl yet
Ok let's calm down and count to 10

I'm asking if HD without outboard will rival a mix system with outboard. My thinking is that the investment in the Mix (not counting outboard that would be desired with my future HD rig) will be minimal. If it saves me a few G's and keeps me working for the next 2 years.

Provided the future affords me a chance to upgrade to HD, I could always keep my mix system for a B Room and make more money from it (obsolete I say not)

That said
I think I am leaning toward an HD
But as Jules said It's a tough call

Honestly its not a tough call at all. HD(with the 48bit mixer) sounds way better than a Mixplus system at 48K. Its dramatic enough where I am confident enough to be mixing in ProTools and not be second guessing myself after.

If you are producing R&B, you are going to need the extra tracks(vocals alone on an R&B track can take up 48 tracks). If you want to have seperate control over your individual instruments, than you are going to need the extra tracks.

Now to your question about mixing with and without outboard, I can give you one of (2) answers the truth or what you may want to hear.


If you want to hear that it can be done(with plugs alone) and it will sound just like Dexter Simmons or Tony Maserati mixed it then I will say...Good Luck!!! Anything is possible...NOT!!!!

Look there is a reason people use outboard gear. It gives you a certain quality(a by chance sort of thing) that just can't be duplicated in math. Have you seen Dexter Simmons racks alone or Maserati's, that's besides the stuff they use in the studio. And these guys mix on 9000J's. I mix a lot of R&B in ProTools and my outboard always gets a workout(and I have tons of it too). I think the crucial areas when mixing R&B are the vocals and the drums. To get them agressive, present and clear takes outboard units, no matter how you track it(this is my opinion of course).

If you get a mic get something excellent.

I like the Boutique Audio box better than the Dangerous Box, for a couple of reasons, the sound being one of them. It sounds much bigger(the dimension you get is huge), closer to a large mixing console then the Dangerous Box which sounds too neutral. Also its class A through out not IC's like the Dangerous Box(John Hall actually designed the opamps, the same John Hall that designed the Opamps in the Langevin stuff. They also use his stuff in API consoles). Its the hottest unit out there right now, everyone who mixes on ProTools in LA(especially the R&B/Pop guys love them. ie Dave Way bought two units). I think there are only 4 left(well I guess 3 I'm about to order mine). Its $3500 and its designed by Steve Firlotte, the same guy who designed all of the VAC RAC stuff.
Old 13th November 2002
  #14
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bassmac's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Actually, the Mix mixer is only 48bit up to a certain number of tracks - which I forgot...48? As the track count spills over to the next chip, they get dithered to 24 bit. HD's mixer is considered a "true 48 bit mixer" and stays at 48bit all the way up to the max track limit. HD also has 48db of headroom on the mix buss, vs. 30db on Mix systems.

Correct me if that's wrong...I can't remember everything.
Old 13th November 2002
  #15
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
posted by Casey:
Geez, Eric...

I'm trying not to keep arguing with you but...

Seems like every other post you make has some bull**** agenda.
Casey,

Nothing "bull****" about my agenda, good brother. My agenda is very clear: Simplify my work environment. I'm here on this forum to learn how to do that.

If it CAN be done all "in the box," I want to know, and learn how. Sound quality is an issue, which needs to be addressed objectively. If someone says something unflattering about gear you happen to use, it wasn't meant as a personal attack. I for one am trying to get to the bottom of the matter, the truth about just how good it can sound "in the box," and what needs to be done or used to achieve that.

OK, now back to this issue of "the math." Some peeps say, "Math doesn't tell you everything." That is correct. But it tells you something, and it can guide our perceptions of what we hear and help us put what we hear into context, so it IS important.

Lemme call Nika and see if he has time to chime in on this, because I'm getting a little bit out of my depth (no pun intended).
Old 13th November 2002
  #16
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant


Casey,

Nothing "bull****" about my agenda, good brother. My agenda is very clear: Simplify my work environment. I'm here on this forum to learn how to do that.
Cool. My bad. (I just get a bit of 'sales vibe' from some of your posts.)

Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
If it CAN be done all "in the box," I want to know, and learn how. Sound quality is an issue, which needs to be addressed objectively.
Me too.

Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
If someone says something unflattering about gear you happen to use, it wasn't meant as a personal attack.
I haven't perceived any negative comments on any gear. Other than the mix vs. hd topic. I love gear, but in the end, its just tools... They either facilitate or aggravate the process.

Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
I for one am trying to get to the bottom of the matter, the truth about just how good it can sound "in the box," and what needs to be done or used to achieve that.
A common goal we share.

Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
OK, now back to this issue of "the math." Some peeps say, "Math doesn't tell you everything." That is correct. But it tells you something, and it can guide our perceptions of what we hear and help us put what we hear into context, so it IS important.
Absolutely. (PLEASE) Correct me on anything I'm wrong about. I make no claim of expertise... Just reasonably informed! Math does matter. A lot.

IE, the math (we were debating): Unless I am wrong on this issue, according to DIGI, "the mix bus is the same." Perhaps they tweaked behind the curtain. Perhaps they do not want to confirm that their 'perfect' summing could be improved. Perhaps this has changed since the original HD s/w release. Please advise.

Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
Lemme call Nika and see if he has time to chime in on this, because I'm getting a little bit out of my depth (no pun intended).
Me too. I'm no rocket scientist. I would be very interested to hear Nika's thoughts.

Eric,
Again, just to be crystal clear on this, I have no interest in 'flaming' you or anyone. We both are seeking the truth. I have however, disagreed with a couple of your postings and refuted them with what are (to the best of my knowledge) facts. Nothing personal. You've mentioned elsewhere that others may be lurking and you want to post reliable information for their benefit. I'm doing the same. There's nothing wrong with posting opinions here. Almost everything on this site is an opinion. But opinions really should be noted as such, and facts should be verifiable.

BTW, Thank you very much for your most polite response!
Very refreshing...

Sincerely,
Old 14th November 2002
  #17
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
posted by Casey:
Cool. My bad. (I just get a bit of 'sales vibe' from some of your posts.)
Casey,

I do not work for Digidesign, am not a Digidesign dealer or endorser in any fashion or capacity.

However, perhaps you've touched on something.

I'm currently producing a CD of original music in PT, and I'm somewhat determined to attempt to do so all "in the box." The sales vibe you detect is quite possibly the sound of The Curve selling The Curve on this idea.

Others have done it, so why can't I? How is it done? Where does it get f*cked up, and how do I work around those conditions?

I'm a composer, lyricist and guitarist, and really quite new to this engineering thing. My experiences working in "pro" studios as an artist and musician over the years (going on decades actually) have left me cold. Imagine being an artist, recording through a $.25million Neve automated console in one of the premier recording studios in the USA, and being supremely unsatisfied with the results. Maybe I'm insatiable, or maybe the engineering staff had a bad day. But it pissed me off enough to compell me to take control of the process.

I hate recording studios.

You were right, Casey, you were just wrong about why: I DO have a "bull****" agenda. I'm an artist who wants to change the paradigm of recording arts to suit my needs and desires as an artist. I want command of the process, and I see the possibility of realizing that objective in Pro Tools, all "in the box." I see the possibility of working here in my downtown trinity, facing a little 17th-century cobblestone sidestreet, never needing to set foot in a recording studio unless I'm recording a drummer, horn section, string quartet...that sort of thing for which we wll ALWAYS need "pro" commercial studios for.

Hopefully that explains where I'm coming from, Casey, so you and others can put my posts in context from now on.
Old 14th November 2002
  #18
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant


Hopefully that explains where I'm coming from, Casey, so you and others can put my posts in context from now on.
Alrighty then. NO WONDER we keep butting heads!

Good luck with your mission.
Old 14th November 2002
  #19
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Front end assistance

Quote:
Originally posted by no ssl yet
THIS IS FOR Charles and others who make extensive use of plug ins

What do you recommend as a front end for a studio (mine) Cutting mainly HIpHop/RnB

I'm considering the following

Neve 1272 (brent Averill)
API pre (Brent Averill)
a single DBX 160xt (To pair with the single that I already have)
Lawson Tube Mic or Neumann 149 (To complement the TLM 103 I already have)


Do you guys think this will do it as a starter kit (of course I'll ad more later. I do this audio drug also

Should I get the 1272 or a single 1073???/

What comps do u reccomend (on a budget)
I usually track with enough headroom to handle peaks since I cant compress going in. Would I be better compressing on the way in?

Well, getting back to the original post, I think that would be a great starter kit. As far as the 1272 or 1073 question, a lot of people have recommedned the 1176 instead. I have not tried it yet.

We mainly Focusrite Red and Avalon Pre's and compression on the way in and are VERY pleased. Focusrite are solid state, and Avalon are Tube. We compress as "lightly" as possible on the way in. You can always add more if you need it. (plug or rack gear) We do the same with EQ. The EQ on these units sound great. Thus getting closer to the "ideal" sound right from the start. If you want to save money get a red 7 or a 737sp, which are pre/comp/eq. All are excallant.

We also use the M-149 a lot. I have never tried the Lawson although I hear it's nice.
Old 16th November 2002
  #20
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bjornson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
As i go from studio to studio using PT rigs other than my own I see a HUGE reason people aren't upgrading that nobody talks about....... KRACKED PLUGS :eek: With $25,000 of stolen software on their computer the thought of spending $15,000
on a new rig with less options turns them off. I've threatened to turn people in (having a degree in CS) it pisses me off.
Old 16th November 2002
  #21
no ssl yet πŸŽ™οΈ
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When you call the police would you have them bring the wagon for CD Bootleggers. I once caught a guy selling my CD bootlegged in New Orleans. The police told me it was outside of their jurisdiction. So I politely flattened the tires on the van that the guy was selling stuff from. I figured he could use the money from the sale of my material to buy some firestones
Old 16th November 2002
  #22
no ssl yet πŸŽ™οΈ
Guest
I know that cracked software is a serious issue but it made me think "Shouldnt plugin manufacturers (some) be locked up for selling products as replacements for outboard gear

This has to be a crime on some level

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