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New member with many-a-question (002r/ad8000/pm700/3124/more)

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New member with many-a-question (002r/ad8000/pm700/3124/more)

Postby Terriblecj » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:03 pm

So, I am not a pro-engineer or producer but have done my fair share of recording, mixing and even some mastering. I own a bunch of random equipment already and i'm always on the lookout for bargains on analog gear. I've never followed through with actually setting anything up but I am finally in a position to set up a small studio on the bottom floor of my home.

I was hoping on some advice as to what things I already have that could be useful and what things I would certainly need to acquire before getting started. I want to keep my expenses around the 3k mark if at all possible but I think buying used and buying smart could get me where I need to be and say on budget.

To begin with, I have a cool computer setup down there with a big 48" touchscreen and a couple smaller monitors but it is a PC and Windows system and I'm already thinking its not going to cut it and I'll need to get into a mac. I see the old G5's on craigslist all the time for next-to-nothing. Would that be a viable option or should I go with something newer or will the PC hold up?

As far as interfacing goes, I do have a BLA Digi 002r down there that I used to use with an old m-audio c-400 through spdf to record drum demos and the c-400 would give me an extra 2 channels. It worked ok and I was using Reaper at the time but not sure I would stick to Reaper or switch to Logic or ProTools or whatever makes the most sense with my setup, I'm open to suggestions. I have an old berhinger? 16 or maybe even 24 channel board. I think its a xynynx or something but I dont know how useful that could even be.

I was hoping to use an old Yamaha PM-700 that I have that I always thought was cool and its in really nice condition but I'm not 100% on how I would integrate it into this system? Since it's 12 channels, would I need to buy a 12 channel a/d converter or something? I also have access to an apogee AD8000 and I believe the same guy (my uncle) has a clone of an API 3124. He would probably give it to me but I might have to fork over some $$$...and again, I wouldnt know how to integrate them into the system.

I assume I would need to get a patch-bay for all this mess? Am I overthinking all of this or am I on a decent path? Please let me know before I waste too terribly much money....
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Re: New member with many-a-question (002r/ad8000/pm700/3124/more)

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:35 am

Hi Terriblecj, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

I hope you don't mind, but I've taken the liberty of splitting the one huge paragraph of your first ever post into several smaller ones, because many people will find them easier to digest, and then in turn you're rather more likely to get more answers :thumbup:


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Re: New member with many-a-question (002r/ad8000/pm700/3124/more)

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:06 am

Welcome!

What should you do next/first? Ensure the room acoustics are as good as you can realistically get them. Without that you're not getting the full benefits of any of the gear you already own...
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Re: New member with many-a-question (002r/ad8000/pm700/3124/more)

Postby Wonks » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:11 am

Old G5 Macs were capable machines in their day, but certainly don't have as much computing power as a modern PC. A high-end one could certainly happily run 32 channel studios with a hardware pro-tools set-up for tracking, but you then might have needed a separate G5 system using Logic with UAD and TC cards in for more processor hungry mixing and plug-in facilities (this was the situation with a friend's studio) .

And old G5s can't run above 10.5 Leopard and you are stuck with logic 9.0.x due to the PowerPC processors not being supported in Logic 9.1 and above, which have Intel-only code.

Technically a Mac and PC are the same thing now, so it's down to your preferences as to which evil empire you go with. If you've got a good PC, then run with it and stick with Reaper. You can up RAM levels and install SSDs to replace conventional HDs if you haven't already got them fitted for some worthwhile performance increases.

Room - what Mike said. You will need acoustic treatment to get a good recording environment, so that's where you need to start spending money. Without it, anything else new will be wasted.

Hardware - how many channels do you actually need to record at once? Do you expect to record a complete band in there all at once (and how many members in the band)? Be realistic. If you don't plan on doing fully live band recordings, or are only ever going to record yourself playing an instrument at a time. then you don't need more recording channels than you have mics for your drums.

There really is no need for a mixing desk these days, unless you really insist on having one because you can't work any other way. And then you want a good sounding one, so avoid old Behringers. The Yamaha PM-700 is a PA mixer, and doesn't have the facilities you need to incorporate it into a recording system so I really would forget about it. To start with, it's only got a stereo output, so you can't record individual channels.
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Re: New member with many-a-question (002r/ad8000/pm700/3124/more)

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:11 am

I agree with Wonks and Mike, room treatment first and above all else (been there and done it, the difference is night and day).

I'd forget the G5, if you want a Mac and go for a 2010 Mac Pro 3.1 (I have two running El Capitan) or later. They come up for very little money these days. Reaper is fine, if you already use it stick with it as the learning curve for a new DAW would probably be an unnecessary frustration.

Then buy a single, simple audio interface with, as Wonks says, enough inputs to cover your future needs. I have a Berry X32 Compact I already used live but an 8 input AI would just about do the job as I sometimes record a three piece rock band 'live'.
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Re: New member with many-a-question (002r/ad8000/pm700/3124/more)

Postby Terriblecj » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:16 pm

Yes! Thank you for the replies! It's already helping carve away the excess. I have enough treatment to do two rooms which I have a small room I already use to contain large tube amps at high volume and then I have a large room that would serve as a space for drums and anything I would need the space for. My control area is going to take up 1 wall of the large room unless I move stuff around and jam the desk into my guitar room. Either way, I have enough treatment to do both rooms including nice bass traps and some fancy foam from australia. I bought the 002r and the acoustic treatment from a guy locally that was moving and closing up shop. Paid exactly $100 for the whole shebang. I'm considering this area covered for now...

On the Yamaha PM-700, It is very easy to mod the channel strips to provide for outputs on each channel and I was planning on cracking it open to recap the first few channels anyway. They have a good reputation, especially on drums but this would probably require the most expense to integrate into my setup....a/d/a converters are pricey but I'm trying not to let cost hinder my goal. On he other hand, it would be cool to have an analog work surface and 12 decent preamps.

For the computer, my PC might just be able to handle the job with a ram upgrade. What version of Windows is most stable these days? I believe mine has an old version on it. Maybe 7 or 8? Is Reaper still a donation-based program?

Lastly, the type of stuff I would be recording will likely be a full band at once. I've almost always done it like that in the past with up to a 5 member band. If I break it up, I usually at least try to get the drums and a scratch guitar and maybe bass done right out of the gate and then add guitar and vocals as needed. Definitely heavy music a'la Melvins/Motorhead/Stooges/Sabbath. The heaviness of the music I tend to be around is what made me think the PM-700 would be a good choice for gritty stuff like this but I do understand the value of having headroom in your tracks and that might not be available on the yamaha, IDK.

I am wondering about you all's opinions on the 002r as the hub of my system, I'm wondering if the Ad8000 is still a competitive piece of gear and I'm also wondering if there are any hidden gems I should be on the lookout for locally/craigslist/offerup/ebay/reverb (such as interfaces, compressors, preamps, converters). There is a guy with a set of NS10's and matching poweramp here local for around $400. I tend to buy stuff based on value/deals and after accumulating around 40 guitars and about half as many tube amps/cabinets, I think its time to move into recording/mixing/mastering gear. That stuff seems to hold it's value pretty good. I was surprised at home expensive some of the older stuff is getting to be. Even stuff from the 90's and early 00's is climbing prety high.

Thanks again, I know this is the ultimate noob overkill thread but I appreciate the help!
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Re: New member with many-a-question (002r/ad8000/pm700/3124/more)

Postby James Perrett » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:24 pm

Terriblecj wrote:There is a guy with a set of NS10's and matching poweramp here local for around $400.

I wouldn't bother with NS10's unless you already know how to use them - they are best used in conjunction with a pair of real monitors rather than as your only monitors.
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Re: New member with many-a-question (002r/ad8000/pm700/3124/more)

Postby CS70 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:12 pm

The 002r is 20+ years old, but it was pretty good back then so, so long your gain structure is sensible, it won't break your recordings. No matter what you use it for, an interface is always relatively easy to replace unless you talk of very high channel counts.

Same for the AD8000... no longer state of the art, but was good stuff then and still is... if you manage to connect it. Didn't it came with separate add-on cards for various types of digital I/O? The 002r has ADAT if I am not mistaken, so you need a AD8000 with ADAT card.. if yours doesnt have it, it may cost a pretty penny and quite the effort to get one. But I am not sure, it was a long time ago and I came across them only when I was looking for my own converters and decided it was more hassle than joy.

If you want to connect an analog mixer with more channels than whatever interface you use, yes you need external converters and a way to link them to your interface (nowadays AES/EBU is common as ADAT has usually too little bandwidth for higher sampling rates... which is not necessarily a big issue in most cases).

Don't know the specific mixer so can't say if its preamps are special enough to warrant all that effort, and how much you need to drive them to get the goods. If you have to buy it, most likely quality-wise you'd better of with a good digital mixer (Beringher X series or QSC) whose preamps and converters will be probably be superior to the 2000s kit.. recording clean and getting the color in post. But on the other side, if you already have 002 and the converter can be connected, and all you need are a bunch of preamps, you can do worse that get a good old analog mixer (assuming that you know how to maintain, but it looks like you do). After all, right after room treatment, money is usually better spent on better microphones (and time to learn how to use them in your nice-sounding room), so if you have to choose, it's well worth using old kit in that preamp/AD section and use your budget to get superior mics instead.
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Re: New member with many-a-question (002r/ad8000/pm700/3124/more)

Postby Terriblecj » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:28 am

See, cleaving a little off each time! I'm a sucker for a deal but I have a set of monitors already that are fine and I have a good set of phones so I think I'm ok there. If I buy anything in this department it will be a small set of powered monitors like bx5a's or krk's or whatever I come across. I'm liking your thoughts CS70. I'll get to work on figuring out the room for the moment and start setting something up right after. Thanks again. I'm getting a much better picture of whats going on..
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