#1
anyone want to recommend me a good pre-amp to get for my sm57 dynamic mic?
i have no idea where to start
no budget, just looking for a 'good' one

thanks
#3
Avalon make some really nice stuff, but if you're looking for something a little more budget have a look at the golden age pre 73 - reviews of it were sh!t hot when it came out. Focusrite also make some really nice preamps, take a look at the ISA 1, or ISA 1 digital if you're using a higher end interface with ADAT or S/PDIF capability.
Quote by griffRG7321
become a circumsizer, you get like £60,000 a year + tips.

Quote by Flying Couch
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LIKE PORTISHEAD?
Last edited by Sonny_sam at Jun 3, 2011,
#4
Are you sure you're not looking for an interface?
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#5
You really need to specify a budget, man. Also, "good" is relative. Do you want "good" as in "hey, I can hear myself! That sounds like me!" Or do you want good as in, "Mutt Lange just called and wants to know how you got that sound?"

Money being no object, look at offerings from: (typically over $1000 per channel)
-Avalon
-Neve
-SSL
-Universal Audio
-API

Mid-range: (about $500 per channel)
-Grace
-Joe Meek
-Great River
-FMR Audio

Pro-sumer (about $1000 for a unit containing 8 of them)
-Yamaha
-Focusrite, Presonus (their higher end ones)
-TC Electronics
-M-Audio (their higher end ones)

Entry-Level (about $100/channel or $400 for a unit containing a few of them)
-Mackie
-Behringer
-Focusrite, Presonus and M-Audio (their budget ones)
-ART

CT

-
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#6
Quote by axemanchris
You really need to specify a budget, man. Also, "good" is relative. Do you want "good" as in "hey, I can hear myself! That sounds like me!" Or do you want good as in, "Mutt Lange just called and wants to know how you got that sound?"

Money being no object, look at offerings from: (typically over $1000 per channel)
-Avalon
-Neve
-SSL
-Universal Audio
-API

Mid-range: (about $500 per channel)
-Grace
-Joe Meek
-Great River
-FMR Audio

Pro-sumer (about $1000 for a unit containing 8 of them)
-Yamaha
-Focusrite, Presonus (their higher end ones)
-TC Electronics
-M-Audio (their higher end ones)

Entry-Level (about $100/channel or $400 for a unit containing a few of them)
-Mackie
-Behringer
-Focusrite, Presonus and M-Audio (their budget ones)
-ART

CT

-



hey man thanks for the information, much appreciated

when i say 'good' it means i want my recording to sound exactly what is coming out of the amp, nothing muddy etc.

also i should mention it has to be user friendly, just started recording so should probably stick to the basic ones
#7
Interestingly, the most expensive preamps are typically less accurate.

The entry-level ones are true enough for pretty much anything, but lack a little bit of the clarity and detail of the more expensive ones. This lack of clarity and detail might not be all that noticeable on one channel, but once you've recorded twelve tracks - with each of them just a little bit blurry - the effect starts to compound itself and your recording starts to take on a bit of a "smeared" sound. It won't be obvious until you put it side-by-side with a recording where everything is crystal clear, and then you'll be like, "Ah! I get it now!"

The prosumer and mid-range ones tend to be very very clean, and will deliver varying amounts of detail, but all of them will be good in this department. They are also typically very, very true. So, what's the problem? That sounds great, right? Isn't that ideal?

Well... no.

The expensive ones will be surgically clean and detailed, but less true. "Wha? Less true? In a better preamp for more money? WTF?" Yes. What you pay for in an expensive preamp is the character that they add to your sound. It's what makes that whole "pro studio sound" ideal. As guitarists, we pay for the "character" that a Strat or a Les Paul delivers. They just have "that sound." Same with amps like Marshall or Mesa Boogie or whatever. They just have "that sound" that gives the character we are looking for in our sound. Same with mic preamps.

... and the same with mics!! A Behringer ECM8000 (at about $40 a mic) is probably the most accurate mic on the market under $2000. The problem is, most of the things you will record with it will just sound.... "boring." Looking at the frequency plot between a $40 ECM8000 and a $3000 Neumann U87, the Behringer delivers WAY flatter frequency response across a WAY wider spectrum. It MUST be a better mic. Why in the world would *anyone* pay $3000 on a U87 whose frequency response graph suggests that it's not really all that accurate? Because it sounds so... warm... so personal.... so.... "pro studio."

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#8
Quote by axemanchris
You really need to specify a budget, man. Also, "good" is relative. Do you want "good" as in "hey, I can hear myself! That sounds like me!" Or do you want good as in, "Mutt Lange just called and wants to know how you got that sound?"

If I knew you in real life, I think I'd invent the 'Chris loves Mutt Lange' drinking game - everyone gets hammered, by drinking every time you mention Mr Lange
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
#9


Some guitar nerds get excited about Hendrix. As a recording nerd, I get excited about Mutt.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#10
Quote by axemanchris
[Some interesting Pre-Amp Info]

CT


CT once again providing some good information...I knew who to refer to when I start upgrading a lot of my hardware in the next year or two lol
#11
ok so axemanchris, what to do recommend for a starting recordist like me?
done a bit of researching and im sorta leaning towards ART tube mp
good choice?
#12
Always get the best you can afford. Figure, why buy something at all four levels I listed above if you can just buy once and buy one at the top?

However, if the best you can afford is the Mackie/Behringer/ART stuff.... so be it. Do it. They're perfectly usable, and you can do a lot of learning with them. My band recorded our album with basically two of those:
-a Behringer mixer with about 8 Behringer preamps - almost everything was recorded through those.
-a Peavey (would fit somewhere between the pro-sumer and mid-range ones I listed) TMP-1 preamp which I used for all vocals and a couple of other things.

The results were decent enough. Cool Like You, Unsaid, Like This, Crazy Dream in my profile were all on that album.

Hell, I was recording stuff for ten years with Behringer preamps before I moved up to the unit I have now (which falls into the pro-sumer category I listed). It's the Yamaha MR816, and the difference in the preamps is really night and day.

I recorded a demo for a Green Day tribute at www.21stcenturybreakdown.ca and the songs are still up, though I don't know if the band exists anymore. That was done with the new unit. It took me six months to mix our album using the Behringer pres to get those results, whereas it took me about three weeks to get the Green Day results.

As far as which to get... I'm not sure it makes that much difference. There's lots of rhetoric out there against Behringer stuff, but it's pretty much all unfounded, and just that - rhetoric. Mackie pres are no better. I don't know about the ART ones, but I doubt they're any better either. All three are probably better than the ones from companies like Tapco and such, who are trying to undercut even Behringer. At that point, I start getting suspicious, but I've not heard nor used those other brands either.

I guess it's kinda like asking to compare a Honda Civic to a Toyota Matrix to a Mazda 3. There's not much difference between any of them. They're all fine. It's just that none of them are Ferraris. But that new upstart Kia... the jury might still be out on those.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#13
ok.. changed my mind again, dont want the ARTS anymore (their noisey?)
grace design m101 - apparently these are super clean but dont add any 'colour' (wat that hell is this) to the sound

any thoughts
#14
Quote by SandmaN211
ok.. changed my mind again, dont want the ARTS anymore (their noisey?)
grace design m101 - apparently these are super clean but dont add any 'colour' (wat that hell is this) to the sound

any thoughts


Colour is that little extra something that a Pre gives to make it what it is. If you listen to a lot of the high end preamps (and actually a lot of things including mics and compressors for that matter) versus the lower end preamps, you'll hear a difference even without any extra effects added on. Thats why if you listen to a lot of the lower end preamps, you'll notice its pretty much nothing more than an extra gain switch with a tube to give it very minimal colouration.
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#15
That's what I was talking about here \/

CT


Quote by axemanchris

The expensive ones will be surgically clean and detailed, but less true. "Wha? Less true? In a better preamp for more money? WTF?" Yes. What you pay for in an expensive preamp is the character that they add to your sound. It's what makes that whole "pro studio sound" ideal. As guitarists, we pay for the "character" that a Strat or a Les Paul delivers. They just have "that sound." Same with amps like Marshall or Mesa Boogie or whatever. They just have "that sound" that gives the character we are looking for in our sound. Same with mic preamps.

... and the same with mics!! A Behringer ECM8000 (at about $40 a mic) is probably the most accurate mic on the market under $2000. The problem is, most of the things you will record with it will just sound.... "boring." Looking at the frequency plot between a $40 ECM8000 and a $3000 Neumann U87, the Behringer delivers WAY flatter frequency response across a WAY wider spectrum. It MUST be a better mic. Why in the world would *anyone* pay $3000 on a U87 whose frequency response graph suggests that it's not really all that accurate? Because it sounds so... warm... so personal.... so.... "pro studio."

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#16
CT can I ask you this? What if you are doing a type of music where the signal goes through extreme amounts of modulation? Then would it be better to have a more "accurate" sound than a "colored" sound.

I am talking in terms of some of the sounds like on Nine Inch Nails "The Downward Spiral". Obviously a lot of that sound is digitalized, but even looking at the vocals for the most part, aside from a few tracks would the "color" matter much when its being so heavily effected?
#17
Interesting question....

Probably wouldn't matter so much, I guess. To continue with the guitar analogy... would it matter if you had a Les Paul going into a Marshall if all you were going to do is run it through a ring modulator? Probably not.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#18
Quote by lockwolf
Colour is that little extra something that a Pre gives to make it what it is. If you listen to a lot of the high end preamps (and actually a lot of things including mics and compressors for that matter) versus the lower end preamps, you'll hear a difference even without any extra effects added on. Thats why if you listen to a lot of the lower end preamps, you'll notice its pretty much nothing more than an extra gain switch with a tube to give it very minimal colouration.


but is a bad thing to not want any addition 'colour' added to the signal?
i may be wrong but im sure your able to mimic that preamp sound with the correct guitar/amp settings no?

anyways back to the topic, is the grace m101 a good choice?
or something great rivers

thinking of spending $300-$600
#19
Quote by SandmaN211
but is a bad thing to not want any addition 'colour' added to the signal?
i may be wrong but im sure your able to mimic that preamp sound with the correct guitar/amp settings no?


Its not a bad thing, its just different. Like I said, the reason people spend money on the high end preamps is for the sound it gives. Most of the low end ones (like the ART Tube Preamps) don't really do much to the sound but provide extra gain control and a little tube warmth that with the average home studio setup seen here (Low end interface, cheap monitors, ect), you won't see much difference. You could mimic it through setting the amp the right way but its a lot more work than its worth
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#20
Quote by SandmaN211

i may be wrong but im sure your able to mimic that preamp sound with the correct guitar/amp settings no?


Again, let's bounce it back to the guitar analogy. Can you make an Ibanez sound like a Les Paul with the correct guitar/amp settings? Not really, no.

Quote by SandmaN211

anyways back to the topic, is the grace m101 a good choice?
or something great rivers

thinking of spending $300-$600


Both of those would be excellent.

The Grace preamps are renowned for their clarity, transparency, and accuracy. They are probably the best in the market for these traits. However, that which they excel at is also what they are criticized for. They are said to have "no character" and to be "bland." Well, if it has no colour, how CAN it have character or be anything other than bland? That's what it does!!

The Great River ones are described as very clean, detailed, focused, and warm. Of course, "warm" means a little less accurate.

Between the two, it comes down to which characteristic you are looking for. It's like comparing a Strat to a Gibson. It's not that one is better than the other. They just appeal to users looking for two different sounds.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#21
Quote by griffRG7321
become a circumsizer, you get like £60,000 a year + tips.

Quote by Flying Couch
Because I'm not aerodynamic. All the other airborne furniture laugh at me.

LIKE PORTISHEAD?
#22
^ Hahaha

By the way (warning, imminent yet brief thread-hijack) I forgot the thread you replied to me about Cov music scene in (read it on my phone and hate typing replies on a tiny touchscreen!) but I guess that makes sense. I played the Golden Cross twice in the last few years, we had a bit of trouble there last time in fact! Kinda gave me the whole 'Coventry is a scary place' idea Most of the gigs I remember fondly from Cov were at the Rising Sun though (on Medieval Spon Street)... only a pretty small pub, but a great atmosphere and for some reason quite a few people used to go see us there (especially on the Thrashcan-promoted nights).
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Jun 8, 2011,
#23
Quote by Sonny_sam


Warned for being a smart-@ss.

j/k... that was a good one. I'll have to modify my schtick and start going off about Bob Rock for a while instead. The difference, though, is that some knowledgeable person will remind us all that "Isn't he the guy who produced St. Anger?" And I'll be like, "Uhm... yeah.... " That album aside, pretty well everything he does sounds nothing short of glorious.

Mutt has a decidedly spotless track record. I like that.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#26
^ Bang-for-the-buck, you really can't beat them. However, they're not as if they're amazing or anything.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#27
Quote by SandmaN211
last question before i let this thread die, can anyone tell me the difference between the m101
http://www.gracedesign.com/products/m101/m101.htm

and m501?
http://www.gracedesign.com/products/m501/m501.html

i believe their the same preamp, only difference is that the 501 is made so they fit into those cabinet thingys??

which one should i get


thanks for all the suggestions, anyways i've decided to go with the grace so can someone help me with the above question?
im thinking of getting the 501 just cause it stands vertically instead of horizontally
#28
The 501 is a module that plugs into a board inside a case, sort of like plugging in a PCI card... or plugging in an old console game. The 101 is a standalone unit, and can be used vertically or horizontally, so long as you don't mind the text and labels being sideways.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.