500 Series Project Help/Advice

Help Support GroupDIY:


New member
Sep 1, 2016
Howdy Y'all!
    I'm new here and this is my first post, so go easy! Loving this forum, learning a lot and getting some great ideas. I've totally got the DIY bug now and wanted to ask for some advice, suggestions, etc on a project I'm thinking about.
    I'm running a PT/TDM ver 10 system with a C24. After reading up on J. Steiger's philosophy behind the VC528 (audio bacon), it got me thinking that's exactly what my sound has been missing. My thought is to use 4 Capi 11 space racks and build a "modular sidecar" in 500 format for the front end of my system, primarily for my drums and guitars. The thought is to have 11 channels of pre>comp>eq before I go into "the box," slightly processing on the way in so I don't have to do as much later in mix, using 3-5 db gain reduction on the comps with slightly slower attack times to preserve transients and 3-5 db boosts on the eqs (and maybe some mid-cut). I believe this idea will be very versatile and greatly expand my sonic palate. Considering how many units there will be to build, I'm looking at getting 2-4 units a month and the project will take me a year or 2 (keeps me out of my wife's hair!)
The following is what I've drawn up to help plan out the idea:

Chan/Inst.          Pre                                        Comp                                                EQ                                          Misc
1 Kick 1                API 512                                HairballFET/500 D                  API Graphic                      Capi Bacon
2 Kick 2                Skulptor MP5.99            FET/500 D                                    Capi LC53A Eq
3 Snare 1            API 512                                Skulptor FET                              API 550a                              Capi Bacon
4 Snare 2            Skulptor MP5.99            Skulptor FET                              API 550b
5 OVH L              Skulptor MP5.99            JLM LA 500 (EL8)                    Capi LC53A Eq
6 OVH R            Skulptor MP5.99              JLMLA 500 (EL8)                      Capi LC53A Eq
7 HH                    API 512                                  (3630?)                                            Capi 553 Eq                        Capi Bacon
8 Rack 8            Capi vp28                              Capi FC526 (3630?)                Capi 553/ EZ500
9 Rack 10        Capi vp28                              Capi FC526 (3630?)                Capi 553/ EZ500
10 Rack 12      Capi vp28                              Capi FC526 (3630?)                Capi 553/ EZ500
11 Floor 14    Capi vp28                              Capi FC526 (3630?)                Capi 553/ EZ500
12 Floor 16    Capi vp28                              Capi FC526 (3630?)                Capi 553/ EZ500

    Units in BOLD I already have. Also in my normal rack I have (3) EL8's, an La2a, UA6176, (2) Avalon 737's and a 2022.
The 3630? is the DIYRE Alesis mod, thinking about doing that but not sure. Also looking at building 2-4 Skulptor neve style Pre/Eq for guitars a couple Fet/500 rev A for vocals, and later down the road a Drip Sta Level, stereo La3a, and maybe the Drip 670 (after I get A LOT more experience!).

Here's My Questions:
1- Am I crazy to even be thinking about doing something like this???
2- What would be a good stereo channel for drum overheads? (i.e.-pre>comp>eq) Looking for versatility and flexibility here, pristine to vintage grit is the goal. I recently used a pair of Focusrite Red1's on overheads and I really like them, I just don't want to pay that much! Also the LA500 sound great but I haven't had a chance to use them on drums yet and looking for other suggestions.
3- The toms channels- lowest on the priority list at the moment. Don't really want to break the bank here. Any good suggestions for comps and eqs? I'm thinking pultec style might work here.
4- EQ's are really what I'm unsure about in the 500 series DIY market. I see a few out there, but have no experience working with them or how they sound. The ones that have caught my eye are the S800, the Analog Allstars, and the EQP500. But let me know if I'm overlooking anything!

Any advice is welcome!
-John K

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