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Starting home studio. Pro tools? Logic?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by wildsponge, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. wildsponge


    Oct 21, 2004
    Novato, CA
    Hey guys, here's the deal. I just got an apple G4 emac 1.25 ghz and 1gb of ram. I want to start a decent home studio that can crank out cds. My friend has a yamaha deck-based studio which is ok but limiting. I'm looking to get something computer based for more flexibility. I need to be able to record 8 xlr or 1/4" inputs live and have a fair amount of total tracks. Those are pretty much my only requirements. I need to be able to make a cd start to finish.

    I looked at pro tools but they only use proprietary format so I'd have to get the digi 002 which only has 4 xlr live inputs. I then looked at logic but it looks a little daunting.

    So my question to you is, what mixer and program can I get for at the absolute most $2000 that will let me record 8 xlr tracks at once and make a cd start to finish? THX
  2. i have a studio that uses both cubase sx2 and protools, and if you want the best for your money go with the cubase sx. i have two delta 1010lts that lets me record up to 16 audio tracks at once( this set up is a fraction of the cost and performs better)protools is over rated. a delta 1010lt has 8 audio ins and 2 midi ins. only two on board pre's so you would need 6 more preamps. try looking for an inexpensive yamaha mixer on ebay, they are pretty reliable.you can get a mackie 1604 for pretty cheap and there are hundreds of used ones out there. dont get suckered into the digi thing. our protools is run with a g4 and seems to be limited compared to the pc with sx2.
  3. rusmannx


    Jul 16, 2001
    i have a question about your 1010lt. why rca jacks? what are they good for? do you have a dozen rca-1/4" connectors or what?

    an the xlr with preamp... does that give phantom power too?
  4. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    If you are looking at the M-audio stuff, you may just want to get the standard 1010. Not the LT. That way you get your 8 ins and outs on TRS 1/4". Its a nice interface.

    I would not dismiss a Digi 002. Yes ProTools is overrated and kind of a pain because you have to use there hardware, but it is a turn key system. If you know all you need is to be able to record 8 tracks simultaneously you should be in good shape. It makes sense for guys like me, because everyone has ProTools. I can work and something at work and take it home, as well as vice verse, and when I want to go into the studio its all right there, nice and convinient like.

    Yeah, don't think I would recomend Logic to a first timer.
  5. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    2 PMs sent today.


    Not yet, mayby later today...
  6. wildsponge


    Oct 21, 2004
    Novato, CA
    After much research, here's what I'm thinking about:

    Digi 002 with Pro Tools LE - $2100

    Drum Mics:
    Shure DMK57-52 - $450 (3 sm 57's, 1 beta 52, mounting hw)
    2 Shure SM94 - $300 or Rode NT5’s (set of 2) – $300

    On Stage Sound mic stands (6 qty) - $100

    Sure SM58 vocal mic - $100

    10-pack 20’ mic cables - $40

    SM pro audio 4-channel mic preamp - $80

    Grand Total - $3170

    I have a couple questions:
    For drum overheads, would the shures or the rodes be better for the money?

    Is this a pretty good value for the money?

    Can the Digi 002 (with the mic preamp) record 8 XLRs at a time?

    Will I be able to (with enough patience, skill, and practice) be able to make professional sounding recordings?

    What are the main differnces between protools LE and HD and will LE be enough?

    Will an apple emac 1.25ghz with 1gb of ram run protools well?

    Anything else I should know?

    Sorry for the long post and the basic questions. I have more experience than it sounds. I've recorded on my friends yamaha deck for several years, but the quality isn't that good and I'm looking for something that will be pretty professional (granted not perfect). I want to stay as budget as possible but I know I need to spend a fair amount to begin with. I don't want to have to upgrade everything in a couple of years. THX for the help
  7. Jean Baudin

    Jean Baudin

    Aug 27, 2003
    redwood city, ca
    Endorsing Artist: See Profile
    I had Protools, but I've been using Logic for awhile and find it's much better for composing/writing than Protools... also I didn't like Protools because I was tied to their hardware. Although, for straight recording, Protools may be better for you and less of a learning curve.

    As for your other questions, I'm sure some audiophiles more experienced with that end can help you. You might want to take a look at osxaudio.com. One thing I see right away is that you may want to look into spending a little more for your mics (at least the main mic you'll be recording vocals for) and your preamp if you are concerned about having "pro" sounding recordings. Also check www.craigslist.org if you are on a budget you can find a lot of stuff your looking for used.
  8. wildsponge


    Oct 21, 2004
    Novato, CA
    THX man... for now I think I'm going to stick with pro tools since I have a good friend who's a wizard with it. I just wanted to make sure that it has stuff like good compression, eq, etc. Good thought on spending more on the vocal mic. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do yet. I was thinking SM58 for now just becasue there aren't many other things that touch it in the price range. Good chops and good engineering should shine through even if the mic isn't top notch. That's what I'm mostly focusing on but I'll think about getting a better condenser vocal mic. Anything else I should know?
  9. Jean Baudin

    Jean Baudin

    Aug 27, 2003
    redwood city, ca
    Endorsing Artist: See Profile
  10. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Looks like you got a good starting place. One thing you might think about, is going with the Digi 002 Rack instead of the one with the control surface, the money you save you could put into a better vocal mic. I definately agree that a better vocal mic than a 58 is highly recomendable. Unless of coarse you are planing on tracking everything all at once, then you may want a dynamic mic for vox, but if you are going to over dub the vocals save yourself a lot of head ache and get decent large diaphram condensor (or an SM7, I lov that mic).

    No the 002 will not do 8 XLR's. Only 4, as it only has four mic pre-amps. You will need some other sourse for the other 4 mics.

    I would not be as conserned with your OH mics as much as the space in which you plan on recording the drums. My experiance is that with a crappy room, you can really only do so much, not that its an excuse for bad engineering, but it does limit you. If you could spring for SM81's you would be definately be in good shape.

    Are you going to make Professional recordings? Thats a tough question. I am going to say no, but with an explanation. Most "Pro" recordings are done at multi-million dollar facilities, with experianced and taltented engineers. You have neither. It also really depends on the music and your talent as musicians. A lot of great soudning records have been done with similiar setups. The difference in gear is good mics and preams, and plug ins once its digital. Do the best you can with what you got, concentrate on good performances. Bad recordings are excusable, sloppy playing is not.

    Your computer should be adaquate for what you want to do. The problem with the emac is that upgrading the hardware is limitting, but if you do everything firewire you will be in good shape.

    There is quite abit of difference between LE and HD, for one HD is HD. Also the processing is set up differently. LE rely's on the host computers recourses, while HD has its own, Farm cards, excell cards or whatever. You are not limited by any track count with HD, also Time Code is better supported, and the TDM plug ins (which are too spendy) tend to be better in my opinion.

    What kind of music are you doing and what do you expect to do with the recordings you make? What is your plan of attack when it comes to recording/producing a song?
  11. keb


    Mar 30, 2004