Time to upgrade....

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Member Since: Sep 18, 2007

Hi all,

hope you're all good! Its time to upgrade some of my home studio bits and pieces and thought id drop a line on here to get any advice!

My MacBook Pro is slowly starting to die and I'm biting the bullet this weekend to purchase a new 27" top spec iMac Pro with the 1tb SSD and plan to max it out with RAM (not via apple's pricing though!!)

My current setup is small, but has done the trick for many a year and I'm more than happy with it but I do believe its time to upgrade a few bits and pieces here and there!

- M1 Alesis 520 MK1 Monitors (possible upgrade? had them for years, love the sound and have gotten used to the response I get from them, only downside is they lack slightly in low end but I guess thats to be expected with 5" drivers)
- M Audio Fast Track Pro (definitely needs changing as drivers not correctly supported with IOS 10.13.3+)
- Sennheiser HD 280 pro Headphones
- M Audio Axiom 61 (mark 1) - potentially interested in purchasing an 88 key for reasonable money
- Audio Technica AT4040 microphone

I mainly produce and create hip hop tracks and the odd pop style song recording other female vocalists;

the things I'm looking to potentially purchase are;
- New interface, something with 2 inputs as occasionally I like to jam on the guitar whilst singing via the microphone so I think 2 inputs are a must
- New Monitors (these babies have been good to me, but I think its about time I go up a gear, I'm not overly fond of the sound I heard from the Rokit G5's but I must admit, last time I listened to them was at least 5 years ago)
- New microphone for recording rap vocals, and potentially a second mic for female singing vocals? unless I can get a versatile 'all rounder' if there even is such a thing?

Price wise I'm looking to do things as cost effective as possible (isn't everyone?) but I appreciate that bottom of the line stuff will give a bottom of the line product so perhaps I'm open to spending a bit more if it means ill get the right thing!

Anybody got any pointers? anything that they could recommend me investigating?

Thanks very much in advance!

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Since: Apr 03, 2002

Aug 25, 2019 08:35 am

Sounds like a nice MacBook you are getting, cool.

The monitors, if you like them and know them and they still work, why change? Sometimes with monitors it's more valuable to know the ones you have then spend more money to upgrade only to spend a good while getting to know they new ones.

Other than that, youy=r goals seem pretty logical...but no small expense!

Since: Dec 04, 2007

Dec 17, 2019 05:17 pm

For small 2-ch interfaces, any of the smaller PreSonus or Focusrite interfaces should do you well for 2-channel input.

Lack of low end in the monitors might be a problem as you do hip-hop. But as you said, you know your responses, and if your mixes are good, balanced, and translate to other systems well, I see no reason to change.

I've moved twice in the last 10 years, but I still have my Tannoy Reveals (the 6" passives). The only change are the rooms (for the better), and getting better acoustic treatments into place to tighten response and decay times.

If your room is treated with soffit bass traps/columns in corners and broadband panels at the usual places (back wall, behind monitors, first reflection points, etc.) then you should be good to go.

I can't really make a vocal mic recommendation because everyone's voices respond differently to different mics (which is one reason studios carry so many different types of LDC mics so they can match the mic to the voice for optimal quality) Personally, in general I do like the sound the SE Electronics mics, and have a pair of the SE2200 Mk 2's. You could also try Rode NT1A or 2A, or you could try going with an AKG C-214 or 414. The AT condenser mics tend to be a bit "bright" particularly the 2020 and 4040, but they're good usable mics. Our singer has one of the "cheaper" Neuman TLM's but she sings more pop and prog rock with our band. (and also show tunes on her own time as she comes from a theater background) She's got a youtube page up, Lena Vardy (She's Georgian).

But yeah, vocal mics are a pretty personal thing, so you might need to shop around and see if you can try some in different places.

FWIW, the AMROC acoustics calculator is a good tool for showing distribution of modes across the low end, as well as showing the positive and negative pressures of the wave in the room. They now also have a tool that will give you a ray trace of reflections based on the position of the sound source. All online. amcoustics.com/tools/amroc Granted this is for typical simple rectangular rooms, not more complex rooms.

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