This is funny stuff. : )
Crap, I don't know how to make it bold.
Why are we writing in bold and italics?
It was just so funny. I had to post again. Mr. me, you are the funniest.....
Nice to know Mr. me has such
Nice to know Mr. Alex finally found out what the "knob" was for.......
Thought I'd mention that the MP20 has these IDSS knobs that distort the harmonics or something for a tube-like sound. I've been using the thing since I first started recording and I just now found out what they've for. Go figure. That's what I get for not reading the manual.
Another one that hasn't been mentioned yet is FMR's RNP (really nice preamp). In my opinion it's just as good (and quiet) as the presonus mp-20, and super small, which is nice for me because I need portable gear to record the pianos here at school since I don't own one. The only downside is the construction, gain knobs really stick out, so they have the potential to get caught on things. But if you're not too mobile with it and don't have a month's rent to spare, RNP is super.
Another nice one is ART's mpa solid gold preamp, really quiet nice and warm, good for quiet instruments. And whatever you do don't get presonus's blue tube, that thing is so noisy.
i love these threads. i always copy them and put them in my archive. the day i need to find myself a new pre-amp i know where to find the information.
Really? my god - I've been signed before and I never even knew it.
When an old band of mine recorded, I remember the engineer used Neve preamps often and he used some tube preamp I'd never heard of on the vocals. That bit of useless info is all I know. And I don't think you have to actually sign a contract to be "signed" as people say. If someone's releasing you're CD, you're signed.
You can't discredit your achievements like that guys. Come on!!!!! I think you both have great futures ahead of you. mplaster's great future is already here. But here's to more sonic achievements for him too!
That was my thought.
Are we "signed" if we haven't signed anything? Hmmmm...
Hey buddy, I ain't no signed artiste.
Matt, as far as experience, they're all signed artists. Mplaster is Soul Whirling Somewhere, Alex Niedt is Alex Niedt, and Seth Howard is in Fey Ray. As for me, I have no idea what you're all talking about.
As far as "how many" goes, I think the more the merrier, but I wouldn't blow the whole budget on mic preamps. As far as how many you "need" it totally depends on what and how you are recording. Most (but not all) modern tube preamps are one or two channels.
Plugins are convenient and cost effective, but honestly I don't think most sound as good as the real deal, and mixing with a mouse is no fun at all.
So, is the case that it's not necessary to have a large number of quality mic pre-amps, perhaps 8 at most, maybe even 4? And the majority of mic-pres are not tube, usually only the 1 and 2 channel units?
Sorry for all the follow up ?'s but this is all great stuff to know. May I ask where all of you fall as far as experience and your own personal set-ups? I'm just curious as how to others do it and have problems invisioning things unless I can really understand sonically and physically what the equiptment is doing and how to utilize it.
I guess I would have figured the capabilities pro-tools has for mixing would be the more advantageous medium for the final mix process. Record to tape for the sound and dump into pro-tools for editing and whatnot. I guessed wrong I guess. I myself hate mixing on a computer but enjoy the convenience of having all of your "outboard gear" all in onje package... I still prefer to push a fader though
I have become a bit of a gear snob myself, but here goes.
I have a Great River MP-2NV and an Oram MWS. The Great River is based on the preamp design for the Neve 1272/1073 and the Oram is supposedly loosely based on the old Trident channel strips.
The Great River is fantastic. It's smooth and clear and a little less hazy than the Neve stuff. If you have the bucks I highly recommend it. The Oram I picked up used for pretty cheap. The preamps in it are a bit on the brittle side with certain mics and sources, but the eq sounds great.
If you're doing drums and you have two good preamps, use them for overheads. If you have two more, use them for kick and snare.
If you want quality stuff but don't want to spend a ton of money, the Presonus Alex mentioned would be good. The Sytek preamps are also excellent (four channels for about $800), and Vintech makes a two channel Neve 1272 copy that's supposedly pretty damn close for about $1100 retail. Old School Audio makes a cool modular setup that would be worth looking into as well. You can get an API rack (a little cheaper than OSI's version) and buy preamp modules as you have the money.
You have to spend pretty good money to get good tube preamps in my opinion. Manley and Universal Audio stuff is cool though.
I don't know if this has changed recently, but I do remember Jeff talking about dumping his Pro Tools tracks to tape and mixing through a board rather than "in the box". With or without a tape machine involved, this is how most pro engineers prefer to mix (through a good board rather than within Pro Tools).
Ok. Enough from me. Hopefully Jeff will enlighten us a little on his process.
Quick follow up, items like these make a lot of sense for simple sources like a single guitar, especially vocals. What solutions do you have when recording things like drums that could take anywhere from 5-8 mics? Each would need it's own mic pre. I interned at a small studio that had an 8-channel mic pre rack unit by presonus that seemed to do the trick. But they also had several other units, tube tech and drawmer, to choose from.
First off, pick up the April 2004 issue of EQ Magazine. The cover says it all: "Preamps!" I actually just finished reading it five minutes ago.
on my last album i used a DBX 376, with SPDIF. a fairly nice, mid/low-priced Preamp (around $550) with a tube. decent enough to get the job done. the converters are crap, but what do you expect for low price like that. the tubes on this unit color the sound aLOT, which often can give some great tones to vocals (Alex -or anyone else familiar with my tunes- the tube drive is really cranked up on "Nani" off PSH)... give it a nice, gritty, rubbery mid-range bump. also has a built in compressor (basic but decent and very NON-digital sounding) and 3-band EQ. a very attractive coloring as far as that aspect goes. but some people prefer more a transparent mic-pre, so this unit might not be the one if you want super clean.
fortunately though, my pal in my other band got a Manley SLAM last year, and just last month got the Digital Output upgrade for it. not to get snotty, but Manley is pretty much the RollsRoyce/Lamborghini of high-end processing gear. just the digital upgrade card alone is $2,500. you dont wanna know the rest.
but if you do....
so, i am very lucky to get to use this on my upcoming CD. thank God for wealthy friends! but anyhow, i would stay seriously far away from anything that is under $500. i know presonus makes a ton of pre's specifically geared towards the digitally recording musician,but seriously, you get what you pay for. i know it sounds lame.....
Jeff told me he used some NEVE's on levitate, but im not sure if that was the pre-amp or just an EQ. neve makes great gear.
i guess it all really depends on how much you have to spend. if you're just going real basic, a nice DBX will do the trick.
drawmer makes a decent channel strip for around a grand, or you could pick up a Langevin (MANLEY's solid-state line) for probably around 1500-2000??
Focusrite has seemed to really hit the budget studio market over the last few years... they've previously made some seriously High end gear, but have made some cheap models (the TrakMaster or something like that) but again: you get what you pay for.
you may also look into Summit Audio. i know theyve dones some middle of the line units, and theyre really tube/analog oriented, but dont know their quality as far as converters go....
seriously, though if you are recording onto digital, you really need to consider getting a digital output (which many models these days come with.) but then again, the quality of those converters are pretty important.
and if money is no object, consider MANLEY, API or one of the Neve-designed Focusrites.
and understand so much more is also dependent upon the mic you use, which is a whole other thread itself....
okay, sorry for sounding like a gear snob.....
Hey, kind of a geeky question, sorry to you none techers... If jeff is fielding questions right now, I was curious what kind of mic pre-amps you use and how you finally come to the product you produce in protools (signal chain, etc...) Just more curious about your studio set-up and the production process you run.
Anyone else too who is dealing with the world of digital recording and/or mixing. I'm curious about solutions and techniques to integrating music and signal through tube and analog gear into a digital medium. A lengthy topic I'm sure!
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