#1
Is a preamp redundant in front of a USB interface?

I always liked the idea of purchasing an inexpensive valve mic pre to add colouration to recordings but ultimately have thought it better to make adjustments in the DAW instead (largely for 'sticking with what I have' purposes). I'm sure it's redundant from a power point of view: additional phantom power and generally being a way of sending a signal to the DAW doesn't need to be duplicated that I know of.

Still, I would be interested to get a consensus from the forum on using preamps in addition to a USB interface. Do any of you do this?
"If you want beef, then bring the ruckus." - Marilyn Monroe
#2
No.

Each preamp has it's sound... that's why you can still buy them, and a lot are coming with A/D converters built into them. Nothing will change your mic's sound like a preamp; I just spent dollars on two 1073s because the sound they have.

The biggest thing here is what interface style? Would you be plugging mic preamps into the preamps on the interface? If so, that may not be optimal. I use line inputs into mine, so I don;t get the mic preamp stage doubling.
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#3
Yes and no...I have a $1500 (price new) two channel preamp that adds some cool things to the sound. Can I get around without it? Yes. Do I want to? No.
Mine has opto compression, eq, gain crunch and transformer/transformerless option that I can add to my tracks. For the most part I am tracking everything with a little opto compression, little eq lift for bass tracks, and sometimes a little extra hair from the gain for my vocal and guitar parts when I want an edgier sound.
This all goes into two clean "line in" inputs on my interface, bypassing the pres.
I bought mine for $400 but it needed a little repair from a local tech that set me back about $100 but ended up working out great at the end.

Depending on the budget, you might not be able to find anything worthwhile to add. There are some cool Art modules on the cheap end that could do a few cool analog tube tracks, etc.
I see a lot of producers now coming in the studio with lunchbox modules that are basically these little modular designs where you can packs several circuits. That seems really interesting as you can do your own as you go, say you want a Neve pre, Chandler limiter, and say Daking EQ - you can make your own.

http://www.lunchboxaudio.com/lunchbox-modules/
You can also get some really interesting results overdriving tube pres and compressors, so it is something that is usually desirable. Depends on your budget really and what you think you might be missing from your production.
#4
Nothing quite like the sound of an API 500 series preamp. That punch, that bottom.
Quote by Watterboy
Do you have any dilithium crystals or fresh warm dumps for sale