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> Buying New Recording Gear, Spend lots of money
Tank
post Apr 11 2007, 04:02 PM
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After a long time getting other people to worry about the recording side of things, its about time I started producing some music myself. To that end, I'm trying to get enough equipment to do some decent quality recordings (jingles, music for TV etc). So here's what I've thought of, and I'd like anyones advice on it:

Keyboard - Yamaha Clavinova (The missus is a piano player as well, so this should get decent usage).
Recording - Macbook Pro 2.33 running Logic 7.2
Interface - MOTU Ultralite (or an 828 MkII)
Monitors - Tannoy Reveal 8D

My Engl amp has got a DI in, and I've got a Godin Multiac with access to a Roland GR 33 for midi, so I think amping guitar (for those tracks that will use guitar) should be fine. I'm not intending to do vocals (I have access to a studio that has a good vocal booth for anything like that), so I don't really need mics or anything of that nature.

So does anyone have any experience with this type of gear?
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Andrew Cockburn
post Apr 11 2007, 05:52 PM
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QUOTE (Tank @ Apr 11 2007, 11:02 AM) *
After a long time getting other people to worry about the recording side of things, its about time I started producing some music myself. To that end, I'm trying to get enough equipment to do some decent quality recordings (jingles, music for TV etc). So here's what I've thought of, and I'd like anyones advice on it:

Keyboard - Yamaha Clavinova (The missus is a piano player as well, so this should get decent usage).
Recording - Macbook Pro 2.33 running Logic 7.2
Interface - MOTU Ultralite (or an 828 MkII)
Monitors - Tannoy Reveal 8D

My Engl amp has got a DI in, and I've got a Godin Multiac with access to a Roland GR 33 for midi, so I think amping guitar (for those tracks that will use guitar) should be fine. I'm not intending to do vocals (I have access to a studio that has a good vocal booth for anything like that), so I don't really need mics or anything of that nature.

So does anyone have any experience with this type of gear?


Hi Tank,

I'll share a few ramblings with you - I record a lot smile.gif

My first recomendation is subscribe to Sound on Sound magazine if you don't already - its an amazing resource, and when you subscribe you get access to all of their back issues through the website - essential for reviews etc.

>Keyboard - Yamaha Clavinova (The missus is a piano player as well, so this should get decent usage).

These days, VSTs are soooo good that you don't really need to a real keyboard, and I use a midi controller keyboard with just a few sounds. OTOH, if you like to just play there is no harm in it, and its easier than setting up the instrument on the PC every time you just want a quick tinkle. To get the most out of some of the more advanced VSTs (things like Garritan's Stradivari Violin and Gorfriller Cello both of which are amazing) you need good control with your keyboard, so whatever one you get needs to be:
  • Velocity Sensitive
  • Have polyphonic aftertouch
  • Play like the real thing if you are a keyboardist
  • Have an expression pedal or a plug in for one
  • Ditto sustain and soft
  • Have a modulation control
  • Have a pitchbend control
With all of this, in the hands of a talented player, you can play either of the 2 instruments I mentioned above in real time and add such expressiveness that it starts to get very difficult to tell it apart from a real instrument. I know the Yamanha Clavinovas are great intruments, and will probably do great, I don;t know all the specs for it though.

For a keyboard, I use an M-Audio mProkeys 88 - it does all of the above with the exception of aftertouch, which was a dissapointment when I bought it sad.gif

>Recording - Macbook Pro 2.33 running Logic 7.2

There are many very capable recording programs out there, and logic is one of them. I use Cubase but they are broadly similar in their capabilities. Logic comes with a lot fo built in effects and synths, bt to do this really well be prepared to budget for extras such as additional soft instruments, synths, effects such as compressors, reverbs etc. This is the sort of stuff you can grow into though, you will likely have enough to start with with what Logic gives you, but over time yo umay want to improve on that. Drop me a PM or post if you need recomendations for any particular VSTs or Effects

The MAC is also a great choice for music, although these days PCs are just as good - personal preference really.

Another thing to think of - in the new world of DAWs, processor power is king - you usually run out of that first, so get the best CPU spec you can afford. Second is RAM - if you are running a lot of sample based instruments you will hit limits here too. I wouldn;t start with less than 1Gb, I am currently running 4Gb in my recording machine (which is the absolute limit for XP, I don't think MacOS has that limit so you are ahead of me there!

>Interface - MOTU Ultralite (or an 828 MkII)

I like the MOTU stuff and it gets great reviews generally, and firewire is a great way to go. The key to this is the quality of the AD converters, the rest is gravy.

>Monitors - Tannoy Reveal 8D

They get good reviews, and in that price range you should be getting quality stuff. One thing that is just as important however is the setup of your room, and audio treatment. SOS has articles on it all the time. With no audio treatment, the chances are that your monitoring will be out of whack and any mixes you do will sound bad on other equipment. Just a modicum of effort to reduce audio reflections etc will pay huge dividends, and would be especially worthwhle for a decent pair of monitors like the ones you are porposing.

I see that they have a function to shape their response to the room - that is ok as far as it goes, but is really more of a band-aid to fix specific problems, than a magic bullet, so don;t be tempted to skip the audio treatment expecting the monitors to work around it.

Ok, enough rambling from me - hope that helps!


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Tank
post Apr 30 2007, 01:01 PM
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Thanks for the info Andrew. Quick update. I've got the Macbook pro, it's a dual core processor, so it's effectively 2.33x2 chips. It's got 2Gb of RAM which should be good to get going.

For the sound interface, I managed to pick up a second hand Tascam FW1884, which also gives me a control surface, with automated faders.

Still shopping for monitors, and keyboard. Space is going to be an issue, (I've annexed part of our front room), but I can treat the reflective wall with baffles, and the side wall is curtained, so hopefully no standing waves.

Will keep you posted in this thread, and hopefully some recordings should ensue soon!
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Andrew Cockburn
post Apr 30 2007, 02:28 PM
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QUOTE (Tank @ Apr 30 2007, 08:01 AM) *
Thanks for the info Andrew. Quick update. I've got the Macbook pro, it's a dual core processor, so it's effectively 2.33x2 chips. It's got 2Gb of RAM which should be good to get going.

For the sound interface, I managed to pick up a second hand Tascam FW1884, which also gives me a control surface, with automated faders.

Still shopping for monitors, and keyboard. Space is going to be an issue, (I've annexed part of our front room), but I can treat the reflective wall with baffles, and the side wall is curtained, so hopefully no standing waves.

Will keep you posted in this thread, and hopefully some recordings should ensue soon!


Sounds like a great start - I'm envious of the FW1884 - I'm still deciding which control surface to go for and don't yet have the space smile.gif

Happy recording, looking forward to hearing some stuff from you!


--------------------
Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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