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5k budget, what to do?

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Re: 5k budget, what to do?

Postby Dave Rowles » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:16 pm

Of course we could spend ages on the Mac vs PC debate.

I bought a mac about 3 years ago and it's still going strong and I've only had to do a re-install when upgrading the OS. Otherwise maintenance hasn't been anywhere near as time consuming as it was back when I used a PC. So in all I'm happy with the slightly higher price I paid for it over an equivalent PC.

That said, unless you already use a Mac you might find the switch over time consuming, as things don't quite work the same way as a PC, although the differences are disappearing lately.

As has been said, as far as buying stuff, my check list would be:
Computer
Recording software
Interface with microphone inputs.
Speakers or Headphones
Microphones
Stands
Cables

Getting anything else would not help you right now, and while I agree to a point of "don't buy it all now" I'd steer away from cheap gear if you're buying new. obviously hunt around ebay and similar sites as you can pick up some real bargins.

And also as has been said...make sure you leave a good portion of your cash to put some acoustic treatment

Out of 5-6k, I'd probably spend 3-4k upfront on the above list and treatment, then save the rest for a bit until I knew exactly what I wanted.
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Re: 5k budget, what to do?

Postby Ed_J90 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:21 pm

Heres what I think..... :lol:

Dont buy cheap

Buy over time as you will find what you need and not what you think you needed :)

dont be afraid of used gear

The End
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Re: 5k budget, what to do?

Postby TB1 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:28 pm

The problem with this thread is
a) Everyone makes very good points, and...
b) You know what, they're all correct!!

I think the point that is splitting us all is the superb budget you've set for yourself. I'm turning green with envy!

Without knowing your laptop specs I would take your word for it and say go for it. Buy yourself a decent USB interface, avoiding the problems with firewire, from someone who guarantees good drivers and solid support. People like MOTU, who offer the Ultralite Mk3 and RME from whom you can purchase the breathtaking Fireface UC.
Either will give plenty of ins and outs and both offer S/PDIF in/out for a further two channel expansion. And both units offer good AD/DA conversion.
This will give you a focal point in your studio that everything will go through. Plug your mics, monitors, guitars into them and you'll be laughing all the way to....your Veyron!!

I think the points that everyone agrees on are getting quality monitors and doing acoustic work to your studio.

Spend time reading through the Studio SOS articles on the Sound on Sound site and you'll find some pretty common details like recording vocals close to a corner of a room with quilts (or better yet, treatment) hung behind the singer with an sE Reflexion Filter behind the mic to 'flatten' or 'deaden' the room reflections, or reverb to you and me.
Hopefully this way you should find yourself with a good-sounding recording before you get into the 'box' ready for tweaks if needed.

The point about the SM57 is spot on. It'll never get old or become useless, you'll always want it.

Software is another can of worms. Drum software these days is spell-binding. Personally, I use Superior Drummer which is flexable and expandable, but the same goes for its competitiors like BFD. The thing I like about Toontrack products (the makers of Superior Drummer) is it has 'beginner' kits called EZDrummer which can be added to Superior Drummer if you wanted to expand in the future. But just because they're beginner doesn't mean they're short on quality. Easy to use and they sound phenominal, hence the constant 5 Star awards in SOS.

Good luck, and don't forget to treat yourelf to another guitar. If that's your main hobby you should treat yourself.
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Re: 5k budget, what to do?

Postby I Am Tall » Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:06 am

thanks again everyone for the advice i've printed out this thread and begun doing my homework.
interesting thoughts on the vocal set up, from a newbie the idea of singing in the closet sounded great, however i kinda see that was a touch stupid.
I think I'll def get an SM57, i've used them before and like people say it's always good to a have a solid mic about.
my laptop
the specs are pretty good, tho it was bought as a games machine and not a music maker I'm thinking it should be ok and if not it will at least guide me in the direction of what it cant do.

I'm also going to buy ableton live and i've got my hands on a copy of Sonar cakewalk 8 studio.

Getting copies of Sound on Sound in Aus is pretty tricky so I'll get an online sub i think.
Is there anything you wouldn't recommend music wise buying from ebay, or is everything pretty safe to get second hand as long as it's in good nick?


thanks again for all the tips. the spending wont really start for a couple of months anyways as the house is still being built so hopefully i wont rush into anything too major.
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Re: 5k budget, what to do?

Postby Aftertouch » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:30 am

A few people have reccommended an Emu AI. I'm not sure that the Emu range is compatible with Macs and this is something you are considering.

My advice for what it's worth is simple.

By a Mac, any Mac that suits, even a Mac mini.

Why?

You get the best of both worlds, you can start off with GarageBand, which is included and is a really good tool for instant results.

If you want more, upgrade to Logic or another DAW.

Now, as the Mac will also run Windows as good as any premium quality PC, you can run PC only applications too.

This isn't Mac vs PC, this is about you being able to make your own choice without burning bridges.
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Re: 5k budget, what to do?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:35 am

I Am Tall wrote:Is there anything you wouldn't recommend music wise buying from ebay, or is everything pretty safe to get second hand as long as it's in good nick?


I've never had more than minor problems when buying through ebay (and I've bought and sold quite a lot of studio gear). I do do as much research as I can, though. I always check a seller's feedback and take account of the presentation of the ad (are the photos taken by the seller or just copied from the maker's web site, does the seller write in a way that sounds if they've actually handled the item, that sort of thing). Be cautious, but don't let that stop you. There are rogues on ebay but the bulk of people are honourable.

Readers classified ads here are very good as well, though that probably won't be so much use to you in Oz.

Best of luck and keep on the forum.

Cheers,

Chris

PS
Aftertouch wrote:A few people have reccommended an Emu AI. I'm not sure that the Emu range is compatible with Macs and this is something you are considering.


FWIW I've had an Emu 0202 on a Mac, no probs.
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Re: 5k budget, what to do?

Postby Ian Savage » Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:21 am

I Am Tall wrote:
Is there anything you wouldn't recommend music wise buying from ebay, or is everything pretty safe to get second hand as long as it's in good nick?

Don't buy any Shure mics through eBay, there's more fakes than genuine ones on there seemingly.
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Re: 5k budget, what to do?

Postby Dave Rowles » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:21 pm

TB1 wrote:The problem with this thread is
a) Everyone makes very good points, and...
b) You know what, they're all correct!!

Good point!
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Re: 5k budget, what to do?

Postby ef37a » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:30 pm

I would never buy "tranducers" second hand anyway.

Electronics is pretty much..works/don't work but an abused speaker/mic is hard to detect.

I see the odd duff drive unit in 2x12 and 4x12 cabs but hardly ever in combos with the same drive units. Make you wonder "where they've been"!

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