Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Studio Equipment
eaglesnh4
post Feb 15 2011, 03:33 PM
Post #1


Learning Roadie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 91
Joined: 8-January 10
From: UK
Member No.: 9.072



Hi, i am looking on spending a couple of thousand on studio equipment, now ive been looking at the allen and heath zed 22fx, getting a mac, and a great vocal mic, i already have 3 sm57's, 1 shure beta52a and 2x rode NT2's. now ive been investing a lot of money into this gear, however you can have the best studio equipment however im not the most experienced and dont feel im good enough to record my band. i currently use a presonus fp10 and get decent results however i feel spending all this money, and i dont have a clue how to mix and master, whats the point? however im 18 and would like to become a studio engineer or producer, advice please.


--------------------
Mexican Fender Stractocaster
Vox VT100
Line 6 Flextone iii
Vox VFS5 Footswitch
Boss Tu-3
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Saoirse O'Shea
post Feb 15 2011, 04:19 PM
Post #2


Moderator - low level high stakes
Group Icon

Group: GMC Senior
Posts: 6.173
Joined: 27-June 07
From: Espania - Cadiz province
Member No.: 2.194



TBH a few thousand US dollars will not be enough even for a monitoring chain for mastering at a pro level. Even if you increase the budget 1/ mastering requires considerable experience 2/pro end mastering uses expensive software and hardware in custom sound treated rooms.

The point of mastering - quality control to ensure that the CD meets red book standards and that the audio doesn´t contain issues plus processing the audio to translate and sound as good as possible.

If you´re looking to spend money for recording mixing...

Divide it between sound treatment, a good set of monitors, a good AD/DA, the pc/mac and suitable software.

I´ll add more later - got to go out.




--------------------
Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

Be friends on facebook with us here.

We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Saoirse O'Shea
post Feb 15 2011, 06:08 PM
Post #3


Moderator - low level high stakes
Group Icon

Group: GMC Senior
Posts: 6.173
Joined: 27-June 07
From: Espania - Cadiz province
Member No.: 2.194



Back now...

If you are interested in mastering though the more important area along with room acoustics is the monitoring chain. Basically if you can´t hear the mix accurately you can not deal with it. An entry level monitoring chain for mastering is more than your budget though and would set you back @5k (ours cost over 25k). Once you have that sorted then you should look at software and hardware processing and the ADC.

With software you can learn some aspects, mainly effect processing by getting a vst plug-in suite like Izotope. Izotope costs I think about 400USD. That will have some mastering tools like a LP EQ, wide band compressor, multi-band copmpressor, dither, SRC and limiter. Note however that the presets in any suite are a basic starting pòint and are unlikely to be correct for any mix you have. Also be aware that some of the effects in suites like Izotope are called ´mastering´ but are things that would be used rarely in a pro mastering set up. I´d also have to say that whilst thingfs like Izotope are fine for home use they are not generally of high enough quality for proper work.

If you don´t want to look at an all in 1 suite like this you can get get pro quality software vsts like EQ, broadband compressors and limiters from companies like Flux/Sonoris/Sonnox. Generally a pro quality vst will cost a few hundred dollars each. So budget at least 600USD for 1 EQ, 1 comp and 1 limiter. Learn how to use a software EQ and compressor before you try to do it with hardware.

A DAW suitable for full mastering is expensive. Sadie here costs about 5000 USD (yes that is 5 thousand), Pyramiz is about the same. On a mac I think you´ll be more limited in your options - Sequoia under bootcamp pc emulation or Soundblade or the latest version 7 of Wavelab (which isn´t a full mastering dw though). Otherwise you´d have to use one of the more pro end mixing DAWs like PTHD (not LE) or maybe Logic although I´m not sure that these can do a full Red Book PQ and PMCD burn.

Other hardware apart from the monitoring chain. You would build it up from the ADC. A good ADC, followed by a mastering grade transparent/surgical EQ and then a transparent compressor. If you can you should then add extra hardware EQs and compressor to provide colour. At this stage you would probably want to get some form of mastering grade router to allow you to switch the chain.

If you master you have to be able to produce a Red Book Compliant DDP or PMCD. That means you need software/hardware that can do this. For both your DAW must be able to set PQ start and end flag times accurately and also be able to produce these as a PQ list. DDP should be v2 if you want to include CD Text and so your DAW has to support DDP2. For a PMCD it needs to be burnt as a DAO and meet Red Book requirements for C1, C2 and CU errors. If you are not able to verify these then you are guessing that your CD is ok to replicate/duplicate.

For mastering what you probably won´t need is a mixing console.
-------------------

If you want to stay with tracking and/or mixing...

Tracking - get a good console with good, clean preamps and ADC to compliment your mics. The AH Zed is ok as a starting console. Invest in some more mics and get some high quality ones if you can from, for instance, Neumann. Sort out the room acoustics. At tracking you need to get a good, clean, undistorted signal to the DAW so keep thi in mind whilst you look at the chain.

Mixing - good monitors and a pro end DAW. As you´re looking at a Mac look towards PT - if you can HD- or Logic. Most mixing daws come with lots of VST effects so learn how to use these before you look at investing in hardware.

---------------------
Putting it all together

Ideally try and work in a studio that specialises in what you want to do. It's not always easy or practical to do this though as places are limited and often not well paid initially. If you do get a place don't expect to be let loose recording/mixing/mastering straight away. Our interns usually spend 6 months doing routine stuff like answering the phone etc first. You need to impress the studio and make them want to keep and train you.

If you can't intern you may want to look at doing a course. Note that this won't automatically lead to a job though. TBH I know very few pros who have ever done a course as most of us learnt by interning.

Also read and practice as much as you can. You can learn what a compressor does by reading about it but actually using it will help you understand how it works and how to use it.

An alternative route in is through live sound. Maybe work as road crew for local bands and build up experience of live sound and then move from that in to tracking or mixing.

Listen to as much music as you can and think about how the different instruments and vocals may have been mixed and why.


--------------------
Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

Be friends on facebook with us here.

We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
eaglesnh4
post Feb 15 2011, 08:14 PM
Post #4


Learning Roadie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 91
Joined: 8-January 10
From: UK
Member No.: 9.072



QUOTE (tonymiro @ Feb 15 2011, 06:08 PM) *
Back now...

If you are interested in mastering though the more important area along with room acoustics is the monitoring chain. Basically if you can´t hear the mix accurately you can not deal with it. An entry level monitoring chain for mastering is more than your budget though and would set you back @5k (ours cost over 25k). Once you have that sorted then you should look at software and hardware processing and the ADC.

With software you can learn some aspects, mainly effect processing by getting a vst plug-in suite like Izotope. Izotope costs I think about 400USD. That will have some mastering tools like a LP EQ, wide band compressor, multi-band copmpressor, dither, SRC and limiter. Note however that the presets in any suite are a basic starting pòint and are unlikely to be correct for any mix you have. Also be aware that some of the effects in suites like Izotope are called ´mastering´ but are things that would be used rarely in a pro mastering set up. I´d also have to say that whilst thingfs like Izotope are fine for home use they are not generally of high enough quality for proper work.

If you don´t want to look at an all in 1 suite like this you can get get pro quality software vsts like EQ, broadband compressors and limiters from companies like Flux/Sonoris/Sonnox. Generally a pro quality vst will cost a few hundred dollars each. So budget at least 600USD for 1 EQ, 1 comp and 1 limiter. Learn how to use a software EQ and compressor before you try to do it with hardware.

A DAW suitable for full mastering is expensive. Sadie here costs about 5000 USD (yes that is 5 thousand), Pyramiz is about the same. On a mac I think you´ll be more limited in your options - Sequoia under bootcamp pc emulation or Soundblade or the latest version 7 of Wavelab (which isn´t a full mastering dw though). Otherwise you´d have to use one of the more pro end mixing DAWs like PTHD (not LE) or maybe Logic although I´m not sure that these can do a full Red Book PQ and PMCD burn.

Other hardware apart from the monitoring chain. You would build it up from the ADC. A good ADC, followed by a mastering grade transparent/surgical EQ and then a transparent compressor. If you can you should then add extra hardware EQs and compressor to provide colour. At this stage you would probably want to get some form of mastering grade router to allow you to switch the chain.

If you master you have to be able to produce a Red Book Compliant DDP or PMCD. That means you need software/hardware that can do this. For both your DAW must be able to set PQ start and end flag times accurately and also be able to produce these as a PQ list. DDP should be v2 if you want to include CD Text and so your DAW has to support DDP2. For a PMCD it needs to be burnt as a DAO and meet Red Book requirements for C1, C2 and CU errors. If you are not able to verify these then you are guessing that your CD is ok to replicate/duplicate.

For mastering what you probably won´t need is a mixing console.
-------------------

If you want to stay with tracking and/or mixing...

Tracking - get a good console with good, clean preamps and ADC to compliment your mics. The AH Zed is ok as a starting console. Invest in some more mics and get some high quality ones if you can from, for instance, Neumann. Sort out the room acoustics. At tracking you need to get a good, clean, undistorted signal to the DAW so keep thi in mind whilst you look at the chain.

Mixing - good monitors and a pro end DAW. As you´re looking at a Mac look towards PT - if you can HD- or Logic. Most mixing daws come with lots of VST effects so learn how to use these before you look at investing in hardware.

---------------------
Putting it all together

Ideally try and work in a studio that specialises in what you want to do. It's not always easy or practical to do this though as places are limited and often not well paid initially. If you do get a place don't expect to be let loose recording/mixing/mastering straight away. Our interns usually spend 6 months doing routine stuff like answering the phone etc first. You need to impress the studio and make them want to keep and train you.

If you can't intern you may want to look at doing a course. Note that this won't automatically lead to a job though. TBH I know very few pros who have ever done a course as most of us learnt by interning.

Also read and practice as much as you can. You can learn what a compressor does by reading about it but actually using it will help you understand how it works and how to use it.

An alternative route in is through live sound. Maybe work as road crew for local bands and build up experience of live sound and then move from that in to tracking or mixing.

Listen to as much music as you can and think about how the different instruments and vocals may have been mixed and why.



wow thanks for that, alot of money involved i see, not too sure what to do now, how could i get into someone elses studio though, the first problem is tryin to find a recording studio that will take on a young 18 year old, even making tea, would you suggest phoning up local studios?
i forgot to mention i also have a pair of mackie mr5's

here is a picture of the place i posted a while ago which has damp problems, you may remember it, to the left its the control room, straight ahead is the vocal booth and were the pic is being taken from, is the live room;



This post has been edited by eaglesnh4: Feb 15 2011, 08:14 PM


--------------------
Mexican Fender Stractocaster
Vox VT100
Line 6 Flextone iii
Vox VFS5 Footswitch
Boss Tu-3
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Saoirse O'Shea
post Feb 16 2011, 11:54 AM
Post #5


Moderator - low level high stakes
Group Icon

Group: GMC Senior
Posts: 6.173
Joined: 27-June 07
From: Espania - Cadiz province
Member No.: 2.194



QUOTE (eaglesnh4 @ Feb 15 2011, 08:14 PM) *
... how could i get into someone elses studio though, the first problem is tryin to find a recording studio that will take on a young 18 year old, even making tea, would you suggest phoning up local studios?
...


Yes phone them and try and get an appointment. Make sure you turn up on time and view it as an interview so dress and behave appropriately. (We´ve had people turn up here who hadn´t washed that day - they don´t get the job.) If you can take a portfolio of your work with you - recordings/mixes that you´ve done - along with a proper cv.

Be polite and professional - remember you want them to like you. We often don´t have a spot available at the time so put details on file. So be persistent and follow things up.

If it helps here´s a copy of some advice that I give on our work facebook page:
------------------------

Hi,
As others have already said we have different backgrounds but most of us have worked in some sort of capacity as audio engineers, whether live, tracking, mixing or broadcast. Many of us are, or were, also musicians.

AFAIK few of us threw ourselves in at the deep end and became an ME overnight. Most of us did some form of training/apprenticeship/internship with an established professional engineer/studio. A minority may have done some form of technical course/qualification. I say a minority as courses like these are relatively recent and many of us pre-date their popularity. I think most professional engineers see audio engineering/technology qualifications as an entry point rather than a sign of an experienced ME. To be honest it generally takes years of work to develop sufficient experience as a ME.

It is a recent phenomena, perhaps because of the Internet, that some people have started to promote themselves as mastering engineers without prior experience. Some work for free initially to gain experience and build up a portfolio. Some charge from the offset.

TBH at least initially (and this may be months and years rather than weeks) a new ME may well struggle financially to make a living. Most of your income is likely to be swallowed up covering running costs and equipment purchases. Even if you decide to do all your work 'in the box' you will still need to invest in appropriate sound treatment and monitoring chain if you want to master properly. It's very likely that at least initially you may well have to have a 'day job' and master in the evenings or at week-ends. Even once you're established and are able to master full time you may find that some months you have a glut of work and other months are quiet. Mastering may not be a standard 9-5, 5 day week job, nor is it financially lucrative or glamorous for many. Most of us do it because it's what we love.

If that doesn't put you off I'd suggest that you try and get an apprenticeship/internship with a professional ME/studio. Be aware that these positions are generally poorly paid so you may have to dig in to your own savings to cover your day-to-day expenses. IME, you'll probably find that you do very little, if any, actual audio processing at first. We expect an intern to demonstrate that they can communicate with clients effectively, maintain a clean and well ordered work space and behave professionally before we let them do anything else. Once they've demonstrated this then it's listening critically and setting up and maintaining equipment. Only after those do we start to consider issues such as sequencing, processing and so on.

So what do you get as a benefit from long hours and low wages as an intern? IMO you get to work with and talk to an experienced engineer/s on a routine basis; you use and learn to set up and maintain professional mastering equipment; you build up a portfolio of audio examples and industry contacts; you learn how to deal with clients appropriately; you experience first hand all aspects of the profession; you get to find out if you love the work and can and are happy to do it 24/7 as your career.

How do you get an internship? Most professional MEs are happy for you to contact them about a placement. Make an appointment and meet it; don't just turn up as we may be too busy to see you and might not like the interruption. If you have to cancel an appointment tell them and re-arrange. When you see the ME try to look and act professionally. (Personally I don't care if an intern has body adornments/dyed hair and wears jeans and a t-shirt to work. I do however expect them to be polite, friendly and have a reasonable level of personal hygene.) Have a CV and portfolio ready to give to the ME. Most (all) of us regard good written communication as a prerequisite for the role so make sure that your CV, and any other written documentation, is grammar and spell checked.

It's unlikely that an internship will be available immediately so be persistent but be polite and friendly rather than pushy, rude or arrogant. Consider asking if you can sit in on [a] session/s and if you do listen and be helpful. Ask why and how the ME does something but don't tell them how to do it. IME try and keep the questions for the downtime after the session - I find it breaks up my work flow to have to answer detailed questions during a session. What you want to do is demonstrate to the ME that they will enjoy mentoring you.

Best of luck,
Tony


--------------------
Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

Be friends on facebook with us here.

We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 


RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 19th October 2017 - 07:21 PM