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more mic pre questions
Old 7th June 2006
  #1
Gear Head
 
knorr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
more mic pre questions

Hi all,

I'm new to the forum but I have been reading up for a few weeks now and I have definitely become a huge gearslutz fan and I have learned a ton in just a short time. But now I'm onto some specific questions so I figured I would throw them out there and see what suggestions I can get.

Here goes:
I'm a student studying music production but I'm also thinking about buying some of my own gear soon and I have some specific questions about mic pre's. I have access to a 8-channel pre when I need that many inputs but I am looking to get a either a single or dual channel pre in the lower price range for Vox and probably some guitar and bass. I like the idea of a pre that possibly would have compression built in so that I don't have to buy another outboard compressor, so what are some suggestions on a pre with compression built in???

I am also not opposed to an outboard compressor to go with a pre if it isn't going to be too spendy like $400 for the pre and compressor together.

Next question is that I also have seen a lot of digital outputs on pre's and I use ADAT out on the 8-channel focusrite that I have access to, but what I want to know is if I can trust a lower end A/D converter in a mic pre even over the coverter in the 002 rack if I had went analog. So basically should I even consider going digital out if possible to an 002 rather than going analog and using the 002 converters?

Thats all for now
Thanks in advance!!!
Old 7th June 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well recording vox, guitar and bass wouldnt benefit from a/d conversion in a preamp, because they are going to have to hit a/d at some point, whether in the interface or the preamp( or separate ad da).... and you might as well use the a/d in the 002. Digital outs in a pre are only beneficial if you are going in with a digital source, right? At 400 bux to cover a pre/comp, or a pre- AND- comp, possibly with conversion built in, its not going to take you far, I dont think.

You might start by looking at a Joemeek SixQ British Channel....it even has digital outs, but you may not use them... thats in your price range, but one channel. Pre-Comp-EQ .

I have one in my rack, it pretty nice at the mid price as far as feature- performance is concerned.
Old 7th June 2006
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Rascal Audio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Okay, this might not be the answer you're anticipating:

How good are you with a soldering iron?

I ask, because if I was beginning my own gear collection and had only $400 to spend on a good preamp and compressor, then I'd build two of these (http://www.jensentransformers.com/as/as017.pdf) and buy and FMR Audio RNC.

This would be a good start, and that simple mic preamp will outperform anything commercially available in the under $500 range and perhaps even in the under $1000 range.

Jensens are nice transformers, but if you want to save a little money while not skimping on quality, then contact Tom or David over at www.cinemag.biz. They make models essentially identical to many of the Jensen models (and I believe Tom's dad actually designed much of Jensen's product line decades ago).

You can get a simple PSU kit to power these from www.jlmaudio.com that will provide the bi-polar voltage needed for the opamp plus +48-volt for phantom power.

DIY is great fun, it's educational, and you can get much better gear for you money. That Jensen schematic is a very simple build too. A great first project for the DIY newbie, and a preamp you're not likely to outgrow anytime soon.

As for commercially available preamps...... I mixed a record that a buddy of mine tracked mostly through his Aphex 107 that sounded fantastic. I was very surprised. I've also heard great tracks done with the 207 (the 107's replacement). You can find 107's in excellent condition on ebay for like $150 or even less. It's a two-channel unit.

Still.... if you can solder........



Joel
Old 7th June 2006 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Head
 
knorr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acoustic Cloud
Digital outs in a pre are only beneficial if you are going in with a digital source, right?
Ok...great info there but I'm not getting this part completely. I understand about what you are saying being able to come in with a digital input and then out again with a digital output but I am talking about whether or not the actual A/D converters in these lower end preamps compare to those of the 002 which I know receive mixed reviews but are useable at least for low end studios.

Any clarification on the digital out part and converters in pre's?
Old 7th June 2006 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
gsilbers's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
there are a lot of mic pre w comporessors around. as for the digital output it depends to what u get. some micpres have good a/d converters others dont. the best thing is to try out for yourlsef if you r studying music production. record something with the a/d from the 002 and then from the pres, do some critical listening.

you could try the toneport from line6. you can choose from diferent , micpres,compresion , EQ, gate algorithms at around $150 that for me sounds like midlevel gear around $400.
plus its also a A/d converter and has digital outs to conneect to your 002.
Old 7th June 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Honestly, You may be overconcerned about the D/A being the deciding factor of "useable good sound" in your projects, especially when just starting out with basic gear, ...just a thought.

I cant really comment on which would be better, the conversion on a few models of more affordable pres (if they have them) versus the 002 a/d's..There may not be a definitive "yes or no" in other words.

If you dont really have much gear yet, just chill, and purchase a thing or 2 and slowly learn it!


Its funny, I inquired about the release of a certain interface coming up, specifically about the chips used for conversion.... one of the guys got back to me and said, "We are using the "blah blah" chip, which are very good"...

Then I resarched the chip mentioned, thru a thread I found.

These chips are available at a rate of 4 dollars apiece (if you buy 5000-6000 of them) and the d/a chips were at 4.50 or something (same amount ^^^^)
This kinda turned me off, as far as the "chip" meaning everything...I think there is more important stuff goin on in the designs of things, especially when you are first buying gear!

Another interesting thing Warhead told me a few years back, is the most expensive component in ANY piece of outboard gear, is the CHASSIS!!! LOL!! Not the power supply, not the tranny, no cb's...

I was talkin to Dave Sitz today, our AT rep, who has been in the biz for 35 years, he concurred the same thing.


Hope this helps abit...

Peace
Old 7th June 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Head
 
knorr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
AcousticCloud:

I agree with you completely. I think I might be getting ahead of myself on the whole A/D D/A craze that seems to be going on. I think from reading a ton of stuff on this forum I may have read so much about people saying how much A/D converters matter like using an Apogee over the 002 converters that I forgot about this being low end beginner stuff i'm wanting. So I will chill on that a bit and wait until I get into the high end stuff....someday

So converters aside are there any other examples of some pre's with built in compressors that you guys would recommend? Or does anyone feel I would be at a better advantage to buy them separately?


Thanks guys!
Old 7th June 2006 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
nathanvacha's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
In your budget? If you're not handy with a soldering iron, I think you're looking at an m-audio dmp 3 and an fmr rnc. Or you could grab a pair of Studio Projects VTB-1's and an rnc and stay under budget... I just noticed you said "one or two channel", so there's also the A.R.T. prochannel, the M-audio Tampa, or the GT Brick that come in under budget too, though those are all single channel and the brick doesn't have a comp. at all.

As long as you're pushing that range though, what 8-channel pre are you using? You may not get anything much better than what you have in your price range. Depends. Also, I just thought of joemeek and checked back and someone already mentioned the sixq. That may be a good choice too, I've heard good sounding tracks done with low-end joe meek pieces and they can sound good. I hear they're hit-or-miss on different sources though.
Old 7th June 2006 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yep, everything he said there is spot-on!
Old 7th June 2006 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Head
 
knorr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
For the 8-channel I am using a Focusrite Octopre with the digital out going into an 002. So what you're saying is maybe this might even be better than the lower end pre's and I should stick with this for single instruments or vox as well?
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