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Thread: minimum gear requirements for rec radio ready vocals? +upgrade question

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    minimum gear requirements for rec radio ready vocals? +upgrade question

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    hi guys
    firstoff thx for replying
    #1 - A general question
    In regards to rec vocals only (as all i rec are vocals), i currently have a $400 usb interface (audient id14) paired with a similar priced mics (akg c214). In this budget calibre is it possible to record the raw vocals to a pro standard? (i know the importance of room treatment and skill of actually mixing/master plays a heavy role, so lets assume the room and mixing is utmost professionally done and the singer is awesome) Is the GEAR i mentioned going to cut it? or would i have to invest more to be able to get the raw vocal good enough ?

    #2 which leads to question 2:
    (im quite new to audiogear so pls forgive me if this is a dumb question) ive got $800 to spend and my goal is to be able to record a raw vocal good enough for commercial level song , should i upgrade the interface to a higher end one (RME Fireface UC or SPL Crimson etc used prices)

    or should i buy a preamp such as ISA One, Grace m101 and add it to my chain

    would upgrading from a 400$ tier to 1000$ tier interface make a difference? or would adding a external pre help more? or should i even upgrade at all?
    #needing some pro advice thx
    Last edited by nsta555; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:08.

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    Your interface is perfectly capable of providing excellent quality results. The mic is OK for most things, but perhaps a bit bright oil some sources. EQ can sort that. Broadcasters are very straightforward technical requirements. If it doesn't hiss or hum, but contains what their listeners want to hear - they'll play it. most broadcasters, and the BBC here certainly do, play live sessions where a few people come into the studio sing and strum guitars. The biggest radio station here - Radio 2 - will drag an old mixer out of the store, connect whatever mics they have to it, patch a bit of reverb, hand out some headphones and then the red light comes on. No clever preamps, no expensive mics, no complex processing - just a rough mix and some mics and out it goes! Some of the best sessions were real bodge ups.

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    Your current audio interface should work fine for what you want to do. Assuming you don't think your future needs will change.....keep the one you have. If....and this is a BIG IF.....you are bent on spending more money you MIGHT consider a new mic. Your current mic should be fine but that's not to say that you might not find one that benefits your voice (assuming you only record yourself) more than most. That.....however......is very subjective and unless you post a sample of what your current vocal sounds like......and what you don't and do like about it.......it will be difficult for us to make mic or EQ suggestions if needed. you did mention room treatment so maybe you can elaborate on what your current recording environment is like? You might be far better off spending some money on treatment. In any case......post some sample when you can and give us more details on what you do.
    Just A Song Writer..........

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    Those two bits should work fine. Getting the treatment done right in a good space would be more important than an upgrade. The word ďassumeĒ never imparts a warm-fuzzy feeling and since you did not describe it the conclusion I have to make is itís not done. Whatís the space like and budget for treatment?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickster View Post
    Your current audio interface should work fine for what you want to do. Assuming you don't think your future needs will change.....keep the one you have. If....and this is a BIG IF.....you are bent on spending more money you MIGHT consider a new mic. Your current mic should be fine but that's not to say that you might not find one that benefits your voice (assuming you only record yourself) more than most. That.....however......is very subjective and unless you post a sample of what your current vocal sounds like......and what you don't and do like about it.......it will be difficult for us to make mic or EQ suggestions if needed. you did mention room treatment so maybe you can elaborate on what your current recording environment is like? You might be far better off spending some money on treatment. In any case......post some sample when you can and give us more details on what you do.
    Quote Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
    Those two bits should work fine. Getting the treatment done right in a good space would be more important than an upgrade. The word ďassumeĒ never imparts a warm-fuzzy feeling and since you did not describe it the conclusion I have to make is itís not done. Whatís the space like and budget for treatment?
    i guess another way to put it is, if i were to take my c214 and audient id14 into a pro studio vocal booth and track some raw vocals is my gear good enough so that the raw vocal i get can be mixed into a commercially level song, i guess thats what i mean ... or is my gear too "budget" ... if the latter ive got $800 to spend so what should i do>?

    thanks for replies btw

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    It's fine - you're a bit hung up on quality. As I said - it's not a mellow mic, but a perfectly usable one. Keep in mind that commercial studios can have very, very basic kit and excellent acoustics so practically anything they record sounds good, on every mic they have. Equally, if you bought a mega expensive mic and interface and used it at home in a room with 4 hard walls, it would sound bad. The real skill is in mic placement in the room and placement of the person in front of the mic, then making physical adjustments and then making some EQ decisions.

    Gear is NOT everything. I worked with an ex BBC man who had bought some equipment in the 1950s and refused to update it. He had prolific output from his ancient recording studio and nobody ever commented about quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsta555 View Post
    i guess another way to put it is, if i were to take my c214 and audient id14 into a pro studio vocal booth and track some raw vocals is my gear good enough so that the raw vocal i get can be mixed into a commercially level song, i guess thats what i mean ... or is my gear too "budget" ... if the latter ive got $800 to spend so what should i do>?

    thanks for replies btw
    It's still a bit UNclear as to what your plans are. Everyone has said your gear is fine. If you are going to a studio, I'd be surprised if they used your gear, but of course you should try your mic and some of theirs to hear the differences.

    $800 is going to be enough to build panels and treat for your average home recording room I'd guess (I probably spent that much), but would be stretched if you have to buy acoustic panels. Which is not to say you couldn't find and configure a space at home that would sound fine for what you want to do, depending on what you have available. (I had a small, hard, square room.)

    I only have two LDCs and the C214 is one of them. It was my first and only LDC for a while, and I used it for a lot of my own vocals and a few friends. I still use it all the time for my guitar, but have a Miktek that I think suits my voice slightly better, i.e., it makes mixing a little less work for me, but in the end, my mixing skills are where I need to spend my time, and don't need to spend any more money because Adele is not knocking on my door anytime soon...
    Last edited by keith.rogers; 4 Weeks Ago at 13:38. Reason: wrong word
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsta555 View Post
    i guess another way to put it is, if i were to take my c214 and audient id14 into a pro studio vocal booth and track some raw vocals is my gear good enough so that the raw vocal i get can be mixed into a commercially level song, i guess thats what i mean ... or is my gear too "budget" ... if the latter ive got $800 to spend so what should i do>?

    thanks for replies btw
    Invariably....the answer is yes......your stuff will work fine......as we have been trying to tell you.

    We've all fallen for the "better gear.....more money....must make my stuff sound better" thing. And yes.....cheap stuff can be a problem. That's not what you have. Honestly it sounds more like you WANT to spend the money and just need some people to tell you it's a good idea. I think we're still not sure, in detail, what you're trying to produce. As soon as you can.....post something and ask us about it and whether your equipment might be an issue. We certainly can help.
    Just A Song Writer..........

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    I have put out eight albums using a vocal booth with two walls made from used office cube panels and a back wall with two layers of moving quilts attached to the wall. Album download below.

    TmXC-uwFd,Catapult - Gimme,,

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