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MUSIC, AMBIENCE AND SOUND ART => Music Gearheads Tech Talk => Topic started by: Horizon 1982 on January 19, 2014, 09:06:03 PM

Title: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on January 19, 2014, 09:06:03 PM
Hello, first time user, great forum!

I'm building a setup for ambient music creation.

I've decided to go hardware, my goal is to layer all the synths at same time for some long and lush ambient pads and drones, the sound is to be relaxing, meditative...

So after a year of researching in my free time I got this setup:

Synths:

Roland V-Synth v 2.0
Korg Z1
Novation Supernova II keyboard
Korg MS 2000 BR
Access Virus B desktop
Yamaha TG-33

Midi:

Edirol UM-880
Novation SL 25 MKII

FX:

Lexicon PCM 70

So any tips regarding more tools to complement/finish my setup would be appreciated!

I'm looking for:

.Good synths for ambient pads/drones to complement existing ones without too much crossing with my current material.

.Field capture recorder and mic

.Mixer with audio interface

I've been looking at this one:

01V96i | Mixers | Products | Yamaha

But other options would be appreciated

.Good microphone to capture singing bowls and other instruments (gongs, sitars etc)

.Intuitive DAW software, the yamaha 01v96i seems optimized for cubase AI not sure if this is the most intuitive DAW?

. Good speakers, been looking at these genelecs:

Genelec M040 - Dream big. Then make it happen

. Headphones, currently I have a shure SE 215 in ear phones, but I'm looking for a more practical ones easier to put on/off the head like:

ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones || Audio-Technica US

Thanks!
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Seren on January 20, 2014, 01:47:12 AM
Welcome -

Nice set of synths.

If you are looking at running them all at the same time I'd suggest you could pause on getting more at the present - but maybe invest in some more effects units - so you can link the different synths to different effects in real time.

You could also consider hardware daw - either recording the different synths onto different tracks to bounce down at your leisure later (allowing you to manually mix the relative volumes to create different shifting textures) or using the mixer to get a stereo mix into the daw and then add stuff later if you want.

Headphones - good thread here - http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=3711.0 (http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=3711.0)

Singing bowls and microphone thread - http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=6017.0 (http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=6017.0)

field recorders - http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=2093.0 (http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=2093.0)

just dig through the pages of the gear threads and you'll likely find answers to many of your questions - and maybe even more questions as well.....
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: phobos on January 20, 2014, 05:34:20 AM
Welcome to the forum Crossing The Threshold.
I would agree with what Seren has said, but I would look to add a dedicated sampler, either hardware or software.
Hardware samplers I would recommend are Akai S5000 or S6000 or the Akai Z4/Z8, all of these are no longer in production but I feel these are more suited to the freeform music creation of ambient music.
Software sampler would be Native Instruments Kontakt.
Samplers are great for making and manipulating your own sounds with.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on January 20, 2014, 09:16:52 AM
Thanks so much for the replies.

@ Seren

I'm a big fan of your work especially with Oöphoi collab (rip) Martian Chronicles, I was looking the other day for your email for some advice, so this is quite a surprise to get some advice from you here!

What hardware recording daw do you suggest?

@ Phobos

The V-Synth is a sampler/sample mangler, but yeah some software sampling might be useful too.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Seren on January 20, 2014, 10:08:49 AM
Hardware daws seem to be going out of fashion.....


.....but that in mind - mine are old tech - Korg D16 and Roland VS2480. The roland is the biggie with motorized faders and more facilities than you can shake a gourd at....I'm sure there are loads of things i just don't use on it.

But it is 16 tracks at 24 bit or 24 at 16bit.

You can find them on Ebay- if you do go for it get an external monitor as the on board screen is tiny......

But I think there are newer versions such as the Korg D32 (not sure of the exact number) if you are looking for soemthing still being made. I was only expressing my preference - so hopefully the guys with computer DAWS can also chip in.

Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on January 20, 2014, 11:34:55 AM
Yeah, an audio engineer here in my country was suggesting the same roland recorder, but he's a bit old school, so I had reservations, I mean I can buy a cheap 27 inch monitor for my daw tracks and add another one if needed for more controls :) So for me hardware only daw was a bit out of the equation, unless it was magic, hehe.

Any turn off with that yamaha mixer?

http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/global/en/products/mixers/01v96i/features.jsp (http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/global/en/products/mixers/01v96i/features.jsp)

"To meet the increasing demand for multi-track recording and playback in live sound applications, the 01V96i now features USB 2.0 connectivity—allowing you to effectively take your studio on the road with you. With 16 in/16 out live audio streaming at 96kHz and seamless DAW integration requiring just a single connection, it has never been easier to capture, edit and produce high quality, professional level recordings. USB connectivity also provides extensive two-way communication of MIDI data allowing you to seamlessly combine the precise physical control of your console with all the capability of the latest Cubase AI software that comes bundled with the 01V96i.''
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Seren on January 20, 2014, 12:13:06 PM
You have to do what you think is best re DAW. I have no experience re software DAWs so unfortunately can't comment or compare. I have cakewalk - but use it more for effects and morphing sounds than as a DAW.

The mixer looks good and links straight in to daw software so sounds nice - but again, you'll need advice on this from people more experienced than myself.

don't be afraid to ask any other questions.

Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: phobos on January 20, 2014, 01:49:24 PM
Software Daw - I can only recommend Cubase, it is the only one I have tried, it went as a natural progression from Pro 24 and Cubase on the Atari to Cubase on the PC. So not too much of a learning curve. I suppose they can be quite daunting if you have not used one before. Lots of companies make DAWs so look for free demo versions to try, to see what best might suit you.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on January 20, 2014, 02:09:28 PM
Thanks phobos, I think I might use as well cubase, yamaha, like I said in the previous posts has that turnkey solution with their mixer+cubase AI, so I think I will purchase this kit.

About speakers, I'm thinking about genelecs M040, they sell for 1200 euros a pair. Anyone tried these or other genelec models?

http://www.dv247.com/assets/products/106472_l.jpg (http://www.dv247.com/assets/products/106472_l.jpg)

Other recommendations in this price range it would be appreciated!
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: jkn on January 20, 2014, 02:17:49 PM
Wow, for just "jumping in" you've got quite the array of synths and gear!

Honestly -  you should be able to get just about every sound you can imagine out of what you have either by layering, or different combinations - you have a wealth of awesome sitting there.

DAW - you can do so much more in a computer than you can in hardware for recording audio or sequencing... I definitely encourage you to take previous advice and read up on the various ones for your platform (mac or win) - and try them out.  We all like different ones for different reasons.  Also how yuo like to work can be a big difference - you have a ton of hardware so I'm betting you want to record audio more than sequencing or more sample based. 

Soundcards / Mixers - tons of options - again - since so much hardware you likely want more inputs / outputs than a simple stereo unit. 

Monitors... it's all in the ears and learning how they sound in your room.  You can get almost any pair - and make them work and work well for you.  You just have to dive in and make a decision.  I bought a pair of Mackie 824's well over a decade ago and love them.  I have friends with just about every different brand name and they all love theirs.  If you like the Genelecs - get 'em. 

Seren said a good thing...  instead of more synths - look into effects.  You can process what you have and really change... everything about the sound.   

Welcome to ambient - the options are limitless - and this is a good forum to ask your questions and get good feedback. 

My best advice is to start recording!


Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on January 20, 2014, 05:43:04 PM
Thanks so much jkn, indeed effects seems to be the missing part here, I got similar feedback into another forum :)

 
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: APK on January 20, 2014, 05:57:47 PM
A couple of things.
- Agree with John that you are done with synths. You have what you need. The trick is to learn to program and play what you have, not get more at this point.
- Certainly a good mixer is needed. And if you plan to record into a computer with a DAW then a number of mixer companies have mixers with a built in audio interface and can record something like 16 tracks independently/simultaneously. Starting at the bottom of the price spectrum with Behringer. In fact you might look at their newer range of digital mixers if you want to spend some money. Excellent bang for the buck:
http://www.behringer.com/EN/Category/Mixers.aspx?s=A400 (http://www.behringer.com/EN/Category/Mixers.aspx?s=A400)
- Effects: well, most of the synths you are using already have effects to shape the sound. Once recorded you might find that software effects are an effective way to go. Whatever DAW you get will come with some effects, and you buy more as needed. There are amazing things out there and they are very convenient to use "in the box".
- DAW: there are of course a number of good ones, and they share a lot of similarities. I ended up using Reaper after trying a few others. But it had what I wanted in a way the others lacked. The moral is that you have to start using something before you learn what you like and don't like, what you want and don't want. Reaper is inexpensive and versatile and a good starting place for those reasons.

APK
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Castleview on January 20, 2014, 08:21:20 PM
Your synth collection is fantastic and so is your other stuff. Just get a DAW and figure out whichever way you want to hook up your synths to your computer, and you'll be set.

Honestly, your setup is already better than mine. I don't even have a hardware synth.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on January 24, 2014, 03:20:07 PM
A couple of things.
- Agree with John that you are done with synths. You have what you need. The trick is to learn to program and play what you have, not get more at this point.
- Certainly a good mixer is needed. And if you plan to record into a computer with a DAW then a number of mixer companies have mixers with a built in audio interface and can record something like 16 tracks independently/simultaneously. Starting at the bottom of the price spectrum with Behringer. In fact you might look at their newer range of digital mixers if you want to spend some money. Excellent bang for the buck:
http://www.behringer.com/EN/Category/Mixers.aspx?s=A400 (http://www.behringer.com/EN/Category/Mixers.aspx?s=A400)
- Effects: well, most of the synths you are using already have effects to shape the sound. Once recorded you might find that software effects are an effective way to go. Whatever DAW you get will come with some effects, and you buy more as needed. There are amazing things out there and they are very convenient to use "in the box".
- DAW: there are of course a number of good ones, and they share a lot of similarities. I ended up using Reaper after trying a few others. But it had what I wanted in a way the others lacked. The moral is that you have to start using something before you learn what you like and don't like, what you want and don't want. Reaper is inexpensive and versatile and a good starting place for those reasons.

APK

Hi! First I love your work, I've been listening to circular ruins lately, it's an honor to have your advice.

I forgot to mention that I listen to ambient music for about 20 years and I'm a successful artist in another art field, very obsessed when I have a passion.

I do agree, I have to program them, I don't feel connected to most patches, so I will definitely tweak those and create my own.

I think I will go with that yamaha mixer, seems the best for it's price. I don't want to start with behringer, my research makes me think their material is a bit weak? I don't want to start high end, but ''mid end'' seems cool.

So I'm looking for a mixer/audio interface/Daw control surface in the 2000 euros price tag, but I don't see a better option so far.

Speakers

I have these 3 candidates:

http://www.neumann-kh-line.com/klein-hummel/globals.nsf/resources/neumann_kh120_front_rgb_3.jpg/ (http://www.neumann-kh-line.com/klein-hummel/globals.nsf/resources/neumann_kh120_front_rgb_3.jpg/)$File/neumann_kh120_front_rgb_3.jpg

http://www.genelec.com/products/m040/ (http://www.genelec.com/products/m040/)

http://www.adam-audio.com/en/pro-audio/products/a77x/description (http://www.adam-audio.com/en/pro-audio/products/a77x/description)

I've been recommended in another forum a very good reverb unit, Eventide Eclipse, but reading the specs seems it doesn't process a lot of inputs at once with different presets...

So I think I will investigate first daw reverb plugins.

I've used reaper, it's very intuitive, but I think I will use cubase or protools in the end.

Thanks
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on January 24, 2014, 03:26:12 PM
Your synth collection is fantastic and so is your other stuff. Just get a DAW and figure out whichever way you want to hook up your synths to your computer, and you'll be set.

Honestly, your setup is already better than mine. I don't even have a hardware synth.

I'm just starting, but I'm serious about this :) I will post some progress here when I have something to show, more than just a array of gear.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: El culto on January 24, 2014, 04:17:16 PM
For speakers:

Neumann KH 120

I have 2 pairs of them…in the range up to 6-inch (even would say 8-inch) speakers there is nothing beating them if you have the money to invest in it. Both, Genelec and the Adams can´t go as low as the Neumann´s….their captured bass range (for it´s size) is insane plus they have the bass-refection-port at the front making them suitable for placement close a wall….in most cases (if you are not into dub step genre) you won´t even need a sub.

Greetings,
Tomas
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: jkn on January 30, 2014, 06:45:19 AM
My best advice I can give is to just sit down and record with what you have...  start making the ambient music you're wanting to make.  You have the drive and the passion and the obsessiveness that drives me.  Once you dig in and start doing it you'll find those tools and processes that you're having the most struggles with and then it'll be easy to pinpoint what type of gear you need.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: El culto on January 30, 2014, 01:07:33 PM
My best advice I can give is to just sit down and record with what you have...  start making the ambient music you're wanting to make.  You have the drive and the passion and the obsessiveness that drives me.  Once you dig in and start doing it you'll find those tools and processes that you're having the most struggles with and then it'll be easy to pinpoint what type of gear you need.

I really don´t get it how your advice can work for hardware recommendations he particular is asking for  ???

Greetings,
Tomas
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: LNerell on January 30, 2014, 01:35:56 PM
Speakers

I have these 3 candidates:

http://www.neumann-kh-line.com/klein-hummel/globals.nsf/resources/neumann_kh120_front_rgb_3.jpg/ (http://www.neumann-kh-line.com/klein-hummel/globals.nsf/resources/neumann_kh120_front_rgb_3.jpg/)$File/neumann_kh120_front_rgb_3.jpg

http://www.genelec.com/products/m040/ (http://www.genelec.com/products/m040/)

http://www.adam-audio.com/en/pro-audio/products/a77x/description (http://www.adam-audio.com/en/pro-audio/products/a77x/description)
You really need to sit down with your favorite music and listen to them, to see which pair works the best for you. Even better would be to try them out in your work space if you can.

I've been recommended in another forum a very good reverb unit, Eventide Eclipse, but reading the specs seems it doesn't process a lot of inputs at once with different presets...
That's what the aux sends on a mixer are for, you can send audio from each channel/instrument to an effect via the aux send, then send the output of the effect back into the mixer and mix everything together. The more aux sends your mixer has the more effects you can use.

So I think I will investigate first daw reverb plugins.

I've used reaper, it's very intuitive, but I think I will use cubase or protools in the end.
You can use your DAW as a mixer provided it has enough inputs and outputs, that's how I work these days. I use logic and all my synths and effects are connected to my computer directly via my audio interface.

But all of this stuff is really secondary to what you really need, inspiration. The tools won't be any good unless you have something to say.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: ffcal on January 30, 2014, 03:14:45 PM
But all of this stuff is really secondary to what you really need, inspiration. The tools won't be any good unless you have something to say.

I agree.  I would think it would be easier logistically and economically to start with a more basic setup and makes additions to it incrementally.  Otherwise, it may not always be clear what each component can add to the mix and in what order in the chain.  Of course, it helps greatly to have some music training to begin with and know some basics about synthesis, too.  The less prior training you have, the harder it might be for you to carry out what you are hearing in your head.

Forrest
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on January 31, 2014, 07:23:05 AM
Often people put together their signal chain starting at the instrument which of course is very important and work back to the monitors, which are imho the most important and you have mention 3 excellent monitors......so thats a great start.  These monitors are expensive but will outlast your other gear so in one sense they are a good investment which is something rare in audio gear.  Then with monitors of choice in place do your best to acoustically treat your room so you can really hear your sound. 

Enjoy the fun of creating.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on January 31, 2014, 07:46:49 PM
Thanks everyone for the excellent tips!
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on January 31, 2014, 08:52:25 PM
But all of this stuff is really secondary to what you really need, inspiration. The tools won't be any good unless you have something to say.

I agree.  I would think it would be easier logistically and economically to start with a more basic setup and makes additions to it incrementally.  Otherwise, it may not always be clear what each component can add to the mix and in what order in the chain.  Of course, it helps greatly to have some music training to begin with and know some basics about synthesis, too.  The less prior training you have, the harder it might be for you to carry out what you are hearing in your head.

Forrest

I want to start differently. When I started in digital arts, I was always frustrated because I didn't had the money and I couldn't afford the tech tools I wanted. It would be easier to start with the right tools and just be creative instead of fighting with faulty hardware...

I never wanted to try to mimic something that was in my head, I prefer to be surprised and be like a driver, I use that method in other areas and honestly I prefer it that way.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: ffcal on January 31, 2014, 10:57:04 PM
But all of this stuff is really secondary to what you really need, inspiration. The tools won't be any good unless you have something to say.

I agree.  I would think it would be easier logistically and economically to start with a more basic setup and makes additions to it incrementally.  Otherwise, it may not always be clear what each component can add to the mix and in what order in the chain.  Of course, it helps greatly to have some music training to begin with and know some basics about synthesis, too.  The less prior training you have, the harder it might be for you to carry out what you are hearing in your head.

Forrest

I want to start differently. When I started in digital arts, I was always frustrated because I didn't had the money and I couldn't afford the tech tools I wanted. It would be easier to start with the right tools and just be creative instead of fighting with faulty hardware...

I never wanted to try to mimic something that was in my head, I prefer to be surprised and be like a driver, I use that method in other areas and honestly I prefer it that way.

There's no "right" way to create ambient music, so there's nothing wrong with starting big, if that works for you.  If by "right tools" you mean to include synthesizers and other tone generators, there are plenty of potential "right" choices.  But I would resist the temptation to discard your old "tools" for sake of acquiring new ones if you haven't exhausted the possibilities of what you already have.

By referring to what you hear on your head, I didn't mean to suggest that you should try to hear the piece in your head first.  I haven't worked that way in a long time.  I am referring more the tendency to assume that music training doesn't matter in creating ambient.  It really does matter in most cases. At a minimum, it should help you in structuring your pieces and in identifying different relationships within a piece.

Forrest
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on February 01, 2014, 09:08:33 AM
@ Forrest

I didn't started using them yet! All these synths and gear was acquired during the last year in the second hand market.

I asked for advice, because first I need a recording and monitoring system, second a good reverb unit, third an analog and wavetable synth.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: jkn on February 03, 2014, 07:38:54 AM
Thomas - I'm just trying to say - wow you've got fantastic gear - sit down and use it for a bit... get to know what you have better - and then start shelling out more hard earned dollars...   that's all. 
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: El culto on February 03, 2014, 06:09:43 PM
Thomas - I'm just trying to say - wow you've got fantastic gear - sit down and use it for a bit... get to know what you have better - and then start shelling out more hard earned dollars...   that's all.

Yeah, but thats a kind of "standard advice"…if you read his post and particularly the last one it´s clear what is he asking for:

"I asked for advice, because first I need a recording and monitoring system, second a good reverb unit, third an analog and wavetable synth."

Greetings,
Tomas

Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on February 03, 2014, 08:53:11 PM
Thanks Tomas.

Indeed I came here for professional advice, not parenting, sorry it had to be said.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on February 03, 2014, 09:03:14 PM
Oh btw, I decided to purchase the Neumann monitors, seems to be a great asset. Unfortunately I don't have an option to listen to them here in my country, but based in a ton of reviews I only see positive things about them, they are also small and discrete which is really nice.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: ffcal on February 03, 2014, 10:02:11 PM
Thanks Tomas.

Indeed I came here for professional advice, not parenting, sorry it had to be said.

Pretty dumb thing for you to say when you came here for advice.  It had to be said.

Forrest
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on February 04, 2014, 07:33:17 AM
Thanks Tomas.

Indeed I came here for professional advice, not parenting, sorry it had to be said.

Pretty dumb thing for you to say when you came here for advice.  It had to be said.

Forrest

Not a problem I got better advice in another forum, I really enjoy your work, thanks!
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: petekelly on February 04, 2014, 09:15:50 AM
Would you care to share the 'better' advice here ?, it may be of some use to someone else.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: jkn on February 07, 2014, 06:57:18 AM
Hey, no problem - I'm glad you found what you were looking for. 

Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on February 08, 2014, 09:48:00 AM
Would you care to share the 'better' advice here ?, it may be of some use to someone else.

Sure:

Synths to complement existing ones:

Wavetable:

Waldorf Q
Waldorf XT

Analog:

Moog Sub 37
Oberheim Xpander

Recording:

Yamaha 01v96i digital mixer/audio interface/daw control

Monitors:

Neumann KH 120

Headphones:

Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 32 Ohm

FX:

Eventide Eclipse or Valhalla Plugins

Studio Microphone:

Shure SM57

Field Recording:

Roland R-26

Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3

Daw:

Cubase AI (free license with yamaha 01v96i) or Protools
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: El culto on February 08, 2014, 11:32:08 AM
Would you care to share the 'better' advice here ?, it may be of some use to someone else.

Sure:

Synths to complement existing ones:

Wavetable:

Waldorf Q
Waldorf XT

Analog:

Moog Sub 37
Oberheim Xpander

Recording:

Yamaha 01v96i digital mixer/audio interface/daw control

Monitors:

Neumann KH 120

Headphones:

Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 32 Ohm

FX:

Eventide Eclipse or Valhalla Plugins

Studio Microphone:

Shure SM57

Field Recording:

Roland R-26

Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3

Daw:

Cubase AI (free license with yamaha 01v96i) or Protools

Excellent Choice!

Especially for those I own too…the 2 Waldorf Synths, Headphones (good you selected the 32 Ohm Version), Monitors and Mixer

You may want to look around if you can get a Yamaha FS1R - it´s like a extended FM7 but much more powerful with excellent sound…downside: it´s a rack expander and possibly very hard to find.

Greetings,
Tomas
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on February 08, 2014, 01:00:57 PM
Are the 2 Waldorfs necessary as both use the same wavetables and the Q has the virtual analog.....I had a micro Q a while back and loved the wavetables.  Maybe a Virus TI instead of the XT.  A different flavour of waves.  Just a thought.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: LNerell on February 08, 2014, 01:07:41 PM

Synths to complement existing ones:

Wavetable:

Waldorf Q
Waldorf XT
Personally I would hesitate to get either of these today. Those encoders are hard to replace and are starting to fail at this point in time. My personal favorite wavetable/wavesequencing synth is the Korg Wavestation, and they are really cheap right now. Get an EX or AD version.

Analog:

Moog Sub 37
Oberheim Xpander

Weird combo for ambient. I haven't heard the Sub 37 yet but I wasn't that impressed with the Sub Phatty which was what it is based on. Xpander is a classic but again make sure the encoders are all working well and that the displays are functioning, they don't make those displays anymore. And skip the Japanese version, when I worked at Oberheim we had lots of trouble with them.

Recording:

Yamaha 01v96i digital mixer/audio interface/daw control

Yamaha has made some nice digital boards, this is one of their low end ones and is getting a bit long in the tooth. It will work but their are better options out there that do the same thing. Take a look at the presonus studio/live boards.

Monitors:

Neumann KH 120

Neumann doesn't make monitors, those are Klein + Hummel monitors re-branded when Sennheiser bought them out. On the positive side they are still highly regarded monitors. I've never used them but they get very good reviews.

Headphones:

Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 32 Ohm

Their was another thread here recently about headphones, you might want to take a look at that one to see what others have said.

FX:

Eventide Eclipse or Valhalla Plugins

Lots of choices here, I don't have any Eventide stuff but I do like them. Valhalla a lot of people love but I've never used them. I already have tons of hardware reverb choices. Yeah I know, not much help here.

Studio Microphone:

Shure SM57

Is this your only microphone? And what do you plan to record with it? The SM57 has two things going for it, it's cheap and its built like a tank. They sound ok, not great. I would not get this as my one studio mic. If I had to use it in the studio recording you could get away using it on a snare drum or maybe a nasty Fender Twinreverb amp. The only other thing I would use it for is a live concert setting on something not critically important. If you want a cheap mic for the studio that sounds decent I'd go with a Rhode NT2 or something similar. If you have the money an AKG 414 is a pretty good all around mic with multiple patterns.

Field Recording:

Roland R-26

Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3

We have one of those Roland recorders at work and the internal mics in that thing suck. And the Sennheiser, do you really need  a super-cardioid mic for something specific? If you are interested in doing field recording I wouldn't get this, the field is too narrow in my opinion.

Daw:

Cubase AI (free license with yamaha 01v96i) or Protools

Free Cubase, well you get what you pay for.  ;D And I don't like Protools, I'm more of a Logic fan, but you have to be mac based then.

There, is that helpful?  :D
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on February 08, 2014, 01:08:39 PM
Thanks Tomas and Julio.

Yeah the FS1R was recommended to me too, I have to check some youtube videos.

Indeed the Q seems a great option, the TI is a beast I was considering this bad boy:

http://www.perfectcircuitaudio.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/v/i/virus-ti-polar-whiteout-special-edition-1_1.jpg (http://www.perfectcircuitaudio.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/v/i/virus-ti-polar-whiteout-special-edition-1_1.jpg)
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on February 08, 2014, 01:44:12 PM
Waldorf Q
Waldorf XT

Personally I would hesitate to get either of these today. Those encoders are hard to replace and are starting to fail at this point in time. My personal favorite wavetable/wavesequencing synth is the Korg Wavestation, and they are really cheap right now. Get an EX or AD version.

The wavestation is one of the most used synths, hard to program with few hands-on controls...
I have a good technician with good connections :) Shouldn't be a problem fixing those encoders if I get into trouble.


Moog Sub 37
Oberheim Xpander

Weird combo for ambient. I haven't heard the Sub 37 yet but I wasn't that impressed with the Sub Phatty which was what it is based on. Xpander is a classic but again make sure the encoders are all working well and that the displays are functioning, they don't make those displays anymore. And skip the Japanese version, when I worked at Oberheim we had lots of trouble with them.

Yeah, the american version is the best I'm aware. I can make more combinations, I have 6 synths so far, for even weirder combos. Is there a book of ambient rules? :)


Yamaha 01v96i digital mixer/audio interface/daw control

Yamaha has made some nice digital boards, this is one of their low end ones and is getting a bit long in the tooth. It will work but their are better options out there that do the same thing. Take a look at the presonus studio/live boards.

No the presonus is not a better option, it records @ 48 Khz and doesn't have motorized faders, not sure if the daw connection is any good, besides, this is the latest incarnation of their 01v line, a mature product, not a new one

Yeah it's a cut down version of 02r96 that Robert Rich uses, it uses same components but less features, still, it's the best digital entry mixer I've looked so far, I would consider the presonus a cheap mixer not the yamaha.

Neumann KH 120

Neumann doesn't make monitors, those are Klein + Hummel monitors re-branded when Sennheiser bought them out. On the positive side they are still highly regarded monitors. I've never used them but they get very good reviews.

Thanks for the history lesson.

Headphones:

Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 32 Ohm

Their was another thread here recently about headphones, you might want to take a look at that one to see what others have said.

These are good for me, I don't want to spend more on headphones, I'm not mixing with headphones.

FX:

Eventide Eclipse or Valhalla Plugins

Lots of choices here, I don't have any Eventide stuff but I do like them. Valhalla a lot of people love but I've never used them. I already have tons of hardware reverb choices. Yeah I know, not much help here.

Right.


Studio Microphone:

Shure SM57

Is this your only microphone? And what do you plan to record with it? The SM57 has two things going for it, it's cheap and its built like a tank. They sound ok, not great. I would not get this as my one studio mic. If I had to use it in the studio recording you could get away using it on a snare drum or maybe a nasty Fender Twinreverb amp. The only other thing I would use it for is a live concert setting on something not critically important. If you want a cheap mic for the studio that sounds decent I'd go with a Rhode NT2 or something similar. If you have the money an AKG 414 is a pretty good all around mic with multiple patterns.


I'm planning to record singing bowls, sitars and improvised sound sources, like stones, brushes etc, not vocals.


Field Recording:

Roland R-26

Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3

We have one of those Roland recorders at work and the internal mics in that thing suck. And the Sennheiser, do you really need  a super-cardioid mic for something specific? If you are interested in doing field recording I wouldn't get this, the field is too narrow in my opinion.

Cool and the alternative is?


Daw:

Cubase AI (free license with yamaha 01v96i) or Protools

Free Cubase, well you get what you pay for.  ;D And I don't like Protools, I'm more of a Logic fan, but you have to be mac based then.


I'm pc based, so I will stick with the industry standard protools or cubase for starting.


There, is that helpful?  :D

Meh... :)



Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: El culto on February 08, 2014, 01:49:41 PM
Quote from: LNerell

Personally I would hesitate to get either of these today. Those encoders are hard to replace and are starting to fail at this point in time.

This encoders fail? The first time  ever I´ve read this - what´s your source?…just to be sure: you are talking about the endless encoders?


Quote from: LNerell
Neumann doesn't make monitors, those are Klein + Hummel monitors re-branded when Sennheiser bought them out.

That is not completely correct. True is, that Sennheiser bought them (Neumann is part of Sennheiser group) - the new models are not just re-branded but completely technically rebuild, even they look similar.

Quote from: LNerell
Is this your only microphone? And what do you plan to record with it? The SM57 has two things going for it, it's cheap and its built like a tank. They sound ok, not great. I would not get this as my one studio mic. If I had to use it in the studio recording you could get away using it on a snare drum or maybe a nasty Fender Twinreverb amp. The only other thing I would use it for is a live concert setting on something not critically important. If you want a cheap mic for the studio that sounds decent I'd go with a Rhode NT2 or something similar. If you have the money an AKG 414 is a pretty good all around mic with multiple patterns.

Agreed…Sm57 isn´t an good all-round mic…great alternative for voice and most acoustic instruments:

http://www.microtechgefell.de/index.php/en/microphones/studio-a-recording/large-membrane-transistor-mics/211-m930 (http://www.microtechgefell.de/index.php/en/microphones/studio-a-recording/large-membrane-transistor-mics/211-m930)


Quote from: LNerell
Free Cubase, well you get what you pay for.  ;D And I don't like Protools, I'm more of a Logic fan, but you have to be mac based then.

I also think the free Cubase version isn´t a good choice….but for Midi (controlling your hardware synths) IMO Cubase is still the best option on the market - talking about the full version….Logic really sucks when it comes to Midi when you don´t want to go into the stupid environment (not talking about the 1 window GUI). Also, even the new Logic version still includes the old audio engine.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on February 08, 2014, 04:32:46 PM
Thanks Tomas.

Any good recommendation in the 500 euros price range? 1000 it's a bit steep for a mic.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on February 09, 2014, 09:05:35 AM
Thanks for your input Immersion.

I don't have high end sources, so that ssl piece of gear, is out of my budget :)

If you check my synth list, you won't see an andromeda, matrix 12 or a JB solaris.

I would pay 3k for a mixer if it was better than the yamaha 01v96i... But I didn't found one, any tips?

People mention the presonus, but IMO it's not comparable to the yamaha...



Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on February 09, 2014, 09:13:21 AM
also, what kind of pre amps are you planing to use both your mics and the xpander needs a pre amp.
Also are you sure about the xpander have you try it or do you own it already ?
sorry if I have not been reading the whole thread...I had the Xpander for a while  I decided to sell it.
It is not the the first thing I would spend the money.. in a new studio.

That mixer have preamps based on some reviews they seem pretty good, again, in that price range.

Well I don't have any analog gear so far, so my first option is the moog sub 37, I want to check the differences against digital VA equipment, i'm making it part of my studies.

Purchasing an Xpander depends on a lot of factors, luck, budget and overall shape of the gear. So let's see if I get an opportunity in the future.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: El culto on February 10, 2014, 04:36:24 AM
Quote from: Immersion


…. Behringer……. a better second hand value

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on February 10, 2014, 08:37:13 AM
Thanks again Immersion.

Yes, I have a lot of sources, 6 synths, some with multiple outputs, the scenario is live layered recording.

I live in europe, a second hand andromeda can cost around 3000 euros (USD 4000), here technology is expensive.
So I don't need high end ssl gear, the best output I have is from my Roland V-Synth.

That yamaha costs here around 1980 euros (USD 2700) and yes, for the features it can't be beaten... the only thing that would piss me, is if they release a new product soon.
Yes I want all that functionality, for me it doesn't make sense, to buy 3 pieces of hardware, If I can can buy one that sum the 3 and it's integrated.

And the yamaha DM-1000? a better choice?
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on February 10, 2014, 12:38:23 PM
I live in Sweden but I buy a lot from Germany cause it is cheaper.

Alright I understand now, but the price difference for the yamaha and the x32 compact is only 200 dollars, considering your threshold  for me the choice would had been easy.

http://www.thomann.de/de/behringer_x_32_compact.htm (http://www.thomann.de/de/behringer_x_32_compact.htm)

well, it exist good solutions with all in one units,  Prism audio have some good products..for instance..but they are expensive... I myself have the Antelope Eclipse, which is basically 3 products in one too..

hmm the DM 1000 doesn't that cost like 6000 EUR ? your budget suddenly changed ?

Behringer is a shit, sorry, I hate that shitty company, please don't recommend me their crap, because I had bad experiences with them in the past.

No, the budget is the same, considering second hand DM 1000 from a studio selling it here.

Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on February 10, 2014, 12:43:45 PM
My main concern with second hand audio gear, is excessive wear, especially when it comes to motorized faders. I don't want to make you feel I'm a nuisance but it's an important investment for years to come, and prefer to make questions now, than to be sorry at a later time.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: El culto on February 10, 2014, 02:50:50 PM
Thanks Tomas.

Any good recommendation in the 500 euros price range? 1000 it's a bit steep for a mic.

Really depends what you are looking for!

I assume a stereo mic makes a lot of sense when it comes for what you are planing to do. Also it´s about you "sound preference"…for instance, i don´t like at all mic´s which have a boost in the top end (like Neumann and many others do, especially to give the signal more "shining") but prefer more a "warm/round" sound. If you are into this as well, then Oktava is a very good recommendation:

http://www.thomann.de/de/oktava_mk_102_msp2_silver_stereo_pair.htm (http://www.thomann.de/de/oktava_mk_102_msp2_silver_stereo_pair.htm)

or

http://www.thomann.de/de/oktava_mk_012_20_black.htm (http://www.thomann.de/de/oktava_mk_012_20_black.htm)

or

http://www.thomann.de/de/oktava_mk_102_stereo_pair_msp2_black.htm (http://www.thomann.de/de/oktava_mk_102_stereo_pair_msp2_black.htm)

Greetings,
Tomas

Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: Horizon 1982 on February 11, 2014, 04:25:55 PM
Thanks guys, yeah that midas mixer look sick!
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: LNerell on February 12, 2014, 01:18:10 PM
Behringer is a shit, sorry, I hate that shitty company, please don't recommend me their crap, because I had bad experiences with them in the past.

Normally I would agree with you, I for the most part hate Behringer and think most of their product is crap. But the X32 is pretty good for what it is. We have one here at work for use in our theater and its been going strong for over a year now. Does a great job and sounds good. We are probably going to get a second one for recording. Having said that I would probably not get one for a synth studio. I don't think it has any line level inputs, like what a synth puts out.  It's really a live board, we will use it in our recording studio for recording concerts and recitals because we can easily connect the two together even though they will be in different parts of the building. And from what I have read it was designed by Midas, Behringer took it and dumbed down the specs of it so they could make a cheaper version. It looks like the M32 is basically the same board but with higher quality components.
Title: Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
Post by: mbr on October 22, 2015, 06:41:22 PM

Cubase 8 > Learn it well. > long hours > worth it !

UAD 2