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What hardware for your studio?


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Right now, if you could have one cool hardware item to enhance your studio/recording world, what would that be?

 

For me, I would love to have a good hi-hat setup, a smooth working stand and a pair of quality cymbals. Real stuff, not ITB.

 

Yours?

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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A box of hand percussion toys - tambourine, shaker, maracas, egg, clave, etc.

 

Great choice! Over the years, I've accumulated all the fun noisy stuff!

 

Two places at thrift stores have been gold mines for that - the spot where they put stuff made of wood and the children's toys. I suspect the theory is that percussion is annoying, therefore children will love it.

Or something. I've found tunable bongos, a few tamborines, some sleigh bells, shakers, a couple of frogs with sticks (one is a Meinl), some bells, eggs, claves, castenets (2 sets from Brazil, look like rosewood), maracas and my most favorite thingie - a tiny drum with a piece of fishing line attached to the center of the head (about an 1 1/4" sized head). The other end of the line has a loop that goes loosely around a notch in a small stick.

If you pull the string taut and turn the stick, the drum head "speaks" and sounds way more like a frog than the other frogs. It is a beautiful thing!

 

Plus rubber drum mallets, a really nice xylophone etc. The bongos were almost $14, most stuff is more like $3-4.

 

Typically you will find drum stands and hardware in the tools or the furniture. I have an amazing Premier snare drum stand made in England that goes high enough that I can stand and play my Wavedrum, it's the best thing ever and it cost $15.

 

If, when the thrift stores open in Nashville, do the tour and you will find some great goodies.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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I could use a high-quality MIDI keyboard with the latest, best action. I use an old Fatar SL88 - was very good in its day, but there have been great improvements in action and piano sound sets.

 

So I can just sit down and play with no computer involved, no latency, simple and direct. Like a real piano as much as possible, but MIDI.

 

nat

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I could use a high-quality MIDI keyboard with the latest, best action. I use an old Fatar SL88 - was very good in its day, but there have been great improvements in action and piano sound sets.

 

So I can just sit down and play with no computer involved, no latency, simple and direct. Like a real piano as much as possible, but MIDI.

 

nat

 

Let us know when you get one!!!! I will bumble along with my X-Key 25 and Akai MPK-25, I am not good enough on keys to deserve either of them but they do come in handy.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Great question, KP -

 

Hands down, the weak element in my setup is my NFMs. They are Event PS8s (powered two-ways) and I bought them in ~2001. I've treated my room quite heavily with low-frequency absorbers (nearly twenty units in a 14' x 12' x 7.5' room), but judging the bottom end is still a major challenge. It's the element of mixing and mastering that I always struggle with, and I wind up having to do a lot of trial and error. I had *terrible* standing waves in Sundown Sound #1 (a 15' x 12' x 8' room with an additional walk in closet at the rear), and once you've experienced that, you become sensitive to it. Sundown Sound #2 was a 14'x12'x~7.5' room with over 20 absorbers. Sundown Sound #3 (current setup) is workable, but it's not ideal. I've taken the room as far as it can go, but I'm thinking a sealed pair of heavy, powered monitors is the next action (e.g. Unity Audio "The Rock", etc). In a couple of years I'll make Sundown Sound #4 which will be a basement studio with better dimensions and far more isolation.

 

A new DAW/PC might be second in line. Mine dates back to 2012 (PC Audio Labs RokBox MC7), and while it still works, some instruments start to hit the meter. I would use that opportunity to update all of my software to the latest levels.

 

I'm not short on sounds, but it would be great to have a real analog synthesizer (OB-6 or Prophet 6 come to mind). A Moog One is gorgeous, but I would *have* to have 16 voices and that's eight large. Not happening...

 

I always try to prioritize what is weakest, and right now it's speakers.

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; They Live, We Groove

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

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Since that's probably not what you meant, probably something that consolidates all the general crap, including my very large rack-mount system, into something considerably smaller. If you know of anyone in the Los Angeles area who can help me out with this sort of thing, please let me know.
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I hear ya, Sundown! Your setup is only as good as your weakest link, speakers are the best choice.

 

Speakers are an essential and you could have the best speakers in a bad sounding room and be worse off than having lesser speakers in a good sounding room.

As with all gear, it's "Buy Nice or Buy Twice." We are lucky, speaker technolgy has made great improvements, so has manufacturing tech. We can get some amazing speakers for reasonable prices.

For the studio, take your time and buy for the long game. I think you know that drill very well!

 

I am somewhere in the middle on both counts. My room would be a disaster without "treatment". Being on a limited budget I improvise, using what the world offers.

Photo backdrop stands, mic stands, curtain rods and heavy quilts have eliminated the flutter echo among other anomalies. The room is not dead, nor is it live.

I am certain it is not perfect, but it seems reasonable and I am used to it. Mixes translate well elsewhere.

 

I bought a used pair of Mackie HR824 monitors in 2008 or so, they've been very reliable and I've gotten good use of them. These are the USA version. I think people expect too much of them, they are not at their best turned up loud. At moderate volumes they sound reasonably "honest" to me. New and improved is not currently in my future, these are fine for now.

 

I also have Extreme Isolation EX-25, Sennheiser HD280 Pro and vintage AKG K240 headphones. In addtion, I listen on my laptop speakers,the ones in my LG monitor, a "Sound Bullet" made for amplifying a cell phone and recently found a pair of JBL P40 9" 3-way speakers at Starvation Army for $30. I power those with a cheap Tascam CD player with no EQ and preset Loudness. I LOVE having 4" midrange cones, I hear things there that don't represent the same on the other speakers. That setup plays into my kitchen area, an untreated room that has enough dispersion angles to somehow sound pretty OK.

 

My external CD burner died though, gotta get another one so I can play mixes on those JBLs.

 

I think using a variety of sources like that improves your chances of getting songs to translate well. People listen on all kinds of things now, mostly smaller, more portable systems but also vehicle stereos with subwooders that really push air.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Since that's probably not what you meant, probably something that consolidates all the general crap, including my very large rack-mount system, into something considerably smaller. If you know of anyone in the Los Angeles area who can help me out with this sort of thing, please let me know.

 

 

Consolidate? You mean like those crushers they have at the junkyard that turn a car into a cube about 3' on a side? :laugh:

 

I posted a thread about putting a simple but effective rack together in Dr Mike's forum. https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3041939/the-rack-thread-who-what-why#Post3041939

 

It is official, I don't like cords. Cords are bad.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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If I was just going to throw some money around I'd probably get a UAD Apollo 8 or 16 interface so I could get rid of this older gadget and hardware and still have my UAD plugins. For real though I'm trying to figure out how to upgrade our live sound output in the most efficient and cost effective way since our shows will likely be outdoors for the foreseeable future.
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If I had a lot of money to throw around, I'd seriously consider the new SSL Orion console. It's more than I'll ever use, but the price is right.

 

or

 

On a more practical level, get a used, in perfect condition, Allen & Heath GS-R24 console. I call this one "the one that got away." I was expecting a fire sale when I was sure that it would be discontinued, but apparently all the distributors bought them up and they're pretty rare on the used market now.

 

or

 

Maybe fund UA R&D to come up with a USB version of the Apollo 16 interface that I can use with the Windows software that I know.

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Maybe fund UA R&D to come up with a USB version of the Apollo 16 interface that I can use with the Windows software that I know.

 

 

I bought an Apollo Twin X at the first of the year. Thunderbolt 3. And I run it on my Win10 PC that I put together. Works perfectly.

 

So it can be done, but for some reason UA has not exactly smoothed the path for PC users trying to use their Thunderbolt gear. The T3 add-in card was hard to find - and I was not 100% sure it was going to work with my motherboard, etc. But it did to my great relief.

 

nat

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If I had a lot of money to throw around, I'd seriously consider the new SSL Orion console. It's more than I'll ever use, but the price is right.

 

or

 

On a more practical level, get a used, in perfect condition, Allen & Heath GS-R24 console. I call this one "the one that got away." I was expecting a fire sale when I was sure that it would be discontinued, but apparently all the distributors bought them up and they're pretty rare on the used market now.

 

or

 

Maybe fund UA R&D to come up with a USB version of the Apollo 16 interface that I can use with the Windows software that I know.

 

The latest issue of TapeOp reviews the new Daking console and it looks amazing.

 

Analog signal chain hardware is going to have a much longer shelf life than hardware that is configured to interface with modern computers systems. With the possible exception of systems that are using Ethernet connections, any system that contains A/D and D/A conversions is subject to being "left behind" as the connection protocol is updated along with the system software.

We see Thunderbolt heading for version 4 - which reports indicate will be fully compatible with USB (D?) - and while there will be adapters back to USB B and C and Thunderbolt 1, 2, 3 those connectors will eventually disappear, like SCSI, Firewire, etc.

 

I think it's Antelope? that is now offering interfaces with interchangeable modules for connectablity. This is a smart move, it implies a longevity in the inevitable upgrade/obselence grind that interfaces are subject to, instead of getting a new interface you should be able to swap a more current module in so it works with the new computer that the new system forced you to buy if you want to stay current.

 

There is no "learning curve" anymore, it is a constant upward slope to infinity!!!!! So it goes, I LOVE so much of what the new tech can provide in terms of sound and versatility.

The Beatles would have been gobsmacked by what is possible with my humble home studio rig. Cheers, Kuru

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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