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How important is your preamp?

 
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andrewpeters



Joined: 05 Oct 2021
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:37 pm    Post subject: How important is your preamp? Reply with quote

https://www.theproaudiosuite.com/podcast/episode/1ac06205/matching-a-mic-and-pre
We spend so much time when it comes to making a decision on the right mic we are about to spend a large chunk of cash on for our studio. But when it comes to the mic pre, we sometimes don't spend as much time procrastinating. Truth is, a pre can colour the sound of your audio more than the mic. In this episode, we check out a few pre's and the way they taint the mics 'clean' sound. We talk about how to set one up, and what you should be listening for when shopping for your next one.
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FinMac
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Joined: 14 Jan 2013
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Location: In a really cool place...Finland!

PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 9:51 am    Post subject: Thanks for the interesting podcast Reply with quote

Enjoyed the Podcast, thanks !

Good to know that I am not the only one who was ďsatisfied ď with a microphone and then about 8 weeks later gets tempted by some newcomer on the block.

Back in April I picked up the Focusrite Red 7 Smile Best micpre Iíve ever used.

Love how it sounds with the 416, and every other mic. I am satisfied, and I really mean it !
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andrewpeters



Joined: 05 Oct 2021
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Red 7ís are really nice.
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Bruce
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
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Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just like microphones, spending huge sums on a preamp (i.e. $2,300) is really unnecessary for anyone other than the wealthiest voice actors who have money to burn. Can we get some recommendations for under $300 here?

Thanks!

Bruce
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andrewpeters



Joined: 05 Oct 2021
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Under $300, SSL2. I have one of these and they are great. The 4K button gives the pre a vintage SSL sound from their 4000 series of consoles, it also has plenty of gain. The only thing I wish it had is an on off switch.
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BruceG
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Joined: 01 Jun 2012
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Location: just south of Boston, MA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In answer to Bruce's question above - this just in from Sweetwater:

Universal Audio-Volt

Even the "low-end" models look promising, but I'm waiting to see how they prove themselves before even thinking about trying one out. Wink cool
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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i like the vintage construction!

since i will soon be re-working my entire studio around a mac mini m1, i will be watching this space. i'm looking to replace a rack the size of a steamer trunk with something along the lines of a handbag.
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Nik S



Joined: 11 Apr 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce wrote:
Just like microphones, spending huge sums on a preamp (i.e. $2,300) is really unnecessary for anyone other than the wealthiest voice actors who have money to burn. Can we get some recommendations for under $300 here?

Thanks!

Bruce


Under $300? What do you have now, just the ones in your interface? I've heard some of the ART stuff can be reasonably good for the money but if you want something that actually sounds properly good then keep your eyes out for a used SCA N72 ready-built 'one shot', they occasionally come up on Reverb. Other than that I'd probably look at upgrading interface. What do you use now?
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a MOTU Audio Express, a preamp and digital interface all in one for $395. Their Audio Desk software comes free with it. Iíve been using that software and other MOTU devices for 20+ years now and done just about every kind of work we do without a negative issue on either side of the mic.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/755766-REG/MOTU_8456_Audio_Express_6x6_Firewire_USB.html/?ap=y&ap=y&smp=y&smp=y&lsft=BI%3A514&gclid=Cj0KCQjw5JSLBhCxARIsAHgO2SdZdg8LUKLnpsTVKks_NT0t-qx17A34pLCF0qmAIhVdoparg4UxgTcaAtbwEALw_wcB

B
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jim edgar
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Joined: 27 Jul 2015
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Location: SF Bay Area, CA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrewpeters wrote:
Under $300, SSL2. I have one of these and they are great. The 4K button gives the pre a vintage SSL sound from their 4000 series of consoles, it also has plenty of gain. The only thing I wish it had is an on off switch.

Yeah... that glowing green LED always makes me want to have it sleep.
But, honestly why in the name of all that is holy did they not put a 48V status light onto each channel?
Though you can see the button, it would just be so much simpler for them to have added that...
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Nik S



Joined: 11 Apr 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce wrote:
I use a MOTU Audio Express, a preamp and digital interface all in one for $395. Their Audio Desk software comes free with it. Iíve been using that software and other MOTU devices for 20+ years now and done just about every kind of work we do without a negative issue on either side of the mic.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/755766-REG/MOTU_8456_Audio_Express_6x6_Firewire_USB.html/?ap=y&ap=y&smp=y&smp=y&lsft=BI%3A514&gclid=Cj0KCQjw5JSLBhCxARIsAHgO2SdZdg8LUKLnpsTVKks_NT0t-qx17A34pLCF0qmAIhVdoparg4UxgTcaAtbwEALw_wcB

B


I've had motu here over the years too, very solid.
After your last sentence I suppose the next question is, "then why?"
Particularly with external pres the point seems to be their particular character so starting with what you think you want and what is known to suit your mic is the way to go.
More ideas here too https://www.themusickitchen.com/mic-pre/best-mic-preamps-under-300/

You could also demo some plugin emulations to get a feel for the different styles and even end up just thinking you might as well save your money. All fine options.
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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my ancient motu just sits in the rack & works.


downside - i gotta buy firewire cables at yard sales.
upside - they're only a quarter
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