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Studio Equipment Question
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Studio Equipment Question
Keram
Hi friends for some this might be very basic but i would like to know what other
equipment i need to have a good result mix wise and master wise.
So the equipment i have so far is
1) PC (DAW)
2) Synths/Drum Machine/Effects
3) Mixer/Console

So far i am sending MIDI signals from my DAW to the synths mixed in my console and record back to my DAW.

I guess it would be necessary to have something like a limiter/ compressor
And where do i connect them are they going after the mixer and before the
DAW?

Thank you in advance.
maxl0rd
Yes, many people put a compressor there, but you can also get perfectly good results without.
Koekepan
I think that you're in good shape. You could do any necessary compression in most DAWs, so you wouldn't need a hardware compressor at all.

On the other hand, if you just want to use your DAW as a multitrack recorder and do everything outside the box, why not get a cheap compressor from someone like Behringer, and then experiment with different placements? You could use it as an insert effect on a single channel, or put it over your master bus, or on a sub-bus ... there are many possibilities.

The real question is what you want to achieve.
Muzone
If you're going to use s/w I can recommend these free plug ins, you will get a good feel of how compression works and it's various flavours, then you can decide if you need/want a h/w solution.

https://klanghelm.com/contents/products/DC1A/DC1A.php
https://klanghelm.com/contents/products/MJUCjr/MJUCjr.php
https://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-kotelnikov/
PrimateSynthesis
This thread has the most helpful title in the history of General Gear hihi
mritenburg
In terms of getting good mixes, I'd focus 90% of your effort on your monitor placement, room treatment, and calibrating all of your gain stages so what goes into your system comes out sounding the same.

A master bus compressor on your mixer is nice, but if you track all of your synths into your DAW, your DAW should have good 1176 or LA2A type compressor plugins to place on your DAW's master bus. I think almost all DAW's have LA2A and 1176 type compressor plugins these days.
Keram
thank you everyone for your valuable support,i am guessing that if i produce something at home i could use a compressor from my DAW but if i play live i would need a hardware compressor/limiter.

I see all these studios all around the internet with massive racks
like a box in a corner and i wonder what are all these.

FX's?Compressors?

I normaly use guitar pedals as FX's...
kyleigh
Muzone wrote:
If you're going to use s/w I can recommend these free plug ins, you will get a good feel of how compression works and it's various flavours, then you can decide if you need/want a h/w solution.

https://klanghelm.com/contents/products/DC1A/DC1A.php
https://klanghelm.com/contents/products/MJUCjr/MJUCjr.php
https://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-kotelnikov/


Thanks for the links!
Koekepan
Keram wrote:
thank you everyone for your valuable support,i am guessing that if i produce something at home i could use a compressor from my DAW but if i play live i would need a hardware compressor/limiter.

I see all these studios all around the internet with massive racks
like a box in a corner and i wonder what are all these.

FX's?Compressors?

I normaly use guitar pedals as FX's...


There aren't many guitar pedals that will do what you want, if any. A rackmount compressor is probably the way to go. You can get rolling racks for effect units, so try looking for those.
mousegarden
Keram wrote:
thank you everyone for your valuable support,i am guessing that if i produce something at home i could use a compressor from my DAW but if i play live i would need a hardware compressor/limiter.

I see all these studios all around the internet with massive racks
like a box in a corner and i wonder what are all these.

FX's?Compressors?

I normaly use guitar pedals as FX's...


The people that own all those massive racks often wonder what they are too! hihi
Yes, sounds like a hardware compressor might help in some situations, but it's not absolutely necessary. A lot of people don't like using compression, there are no hard and fast rules here.
If you do get one, be careful, some will actually make your music sound worse, this is personal, but a Behringer will do that IMO, avoid at all costs.
It's worth spending a bit of money here, and try before you buy.
If cost isn't too much of an issue, I'd look at Summit, and Avalon, Avalon are good for music with a lot of energy, EDM, Rap, they are in-your-face without being harsh. Summit are just great on anything, very natural. These are what I would call mastering grade compressors, and folks choose them for the particular colour they put on their music, or not, as the case may be. Colour is another name for distortion, but some compressors in contrast are very transparent.
If budget is a concern, you could get get a secondhand BSS DPR402, I have one of these and whatever you put through it just sounds nice, even if it's hardly working. These go from about £200-300 GBP.
As with all compressors, it's how you set them up, put some time into this if you haven't already done so.
Chevron87
I can say in getting started get to know your DAW inside and out so you're very proficient and can use all of the associated synths and samplers. Then as someone already mentioned, get the best speakers and monitoring setup you can afford. As this is your window in to the world of music and audio - learn a much as you can about speaker placement and some acoustics to treat your studio so it is close to being accurate. This will reduce your frustrations when mixing smile
BailyDread
Keram wrote:
Hi friends for some this might be very basic but i would like to know what other
equipment i need to have a good result mix wise and master wise.
So the equipment i have so far is
1) PC (DAW)
2) Synths/Drum Machine/Effects
3) Mixer/Console

So far i am sending MIDI signals from my DAW to the synths mixed in my console and record back to my DAW.

I guess it would be necessary to have something like a limiter/ compressor
And where do i connect them are they going after the mixer and before the
DAW?

Thank you in advance.


Hello razz

If you are looking for a quality compressor, or maybe two or three, check out the company FMR. They have excellent sounding hardware compressor units at very affordable prices. You would normally connect something like a compressor via the insert on your console. If your master LR has an insert, putting a compressor there will apply the compression to the whole mix bus. If your console doesn't have that, you will indeed put the compressor between the output of the mixer and the inputs of your DAW.

As far as general tips about achieving a good mix and master... I would suggest you watch some youtube videos, like Produce Like a Pro and/or Pensado's place to pick up some techniques. I can't point you in the direction of any videos in specific, but casually watching some of their content, you are bound to pick up helpful tricks for mixing.


A lot of the advice anyone could give is really dependent on your workflow/equipment. What mixer? What DAW? How many inputs? What kind of AD/DA converters/interface do you have?

For me, one of the biggest, most obvious upgrades came when I got a UAD satellite. Using UAD/Waves/etc plugins just gives much better results than stock plugins IMO. A -6 db scoop @ 700 hz in Waves Renaissance EQ sounds way better to my ears than the exact same EQ move made in one of the stock Logic plugins. The Logic EQ has this horribly boxy midrange I can't figure out how to work with at all. Sure, stock plugins are usable, but perhaps upgrading some of your plugins would help you get to that next level in your mixes. But if you like to mix on your console and only use the DAW as a tape machine, this might not be an option.

Good luck my friend!
heckadecimal69
You don't need a compressor to play live, but many rigs run through a compressor before the main mix hits the speakers (downstrem from your mix out, the DJ mix out, etc). I've been playing live for 20 years on some massive Midwestern rigs and never fux with compressors. Then again, it may depend what you're using. If I brought out a Sherman filterbank or something super unruly that could potentially damage speakers/ears, it probably worth considering.

As for studio use, just make good tracks, get the mix decent while you're recording, and let the mastering engineer take things from there.
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