Discussion in 'Budget Gear' started by ejb, Aug 11, 2010.
This would be used for recording.
Think of how much it costs for R&D, casing, design, wall wort and plastic and lead, packaging, shipping, dealer and manufacturer profit and then... think of what a $100 preamp would actually have in it of any value after you add it all up. It might be $5 lol. All you are buying is noise. Go to ebay and pray someone has died and the estate is clueless.
I'll move this to the budget gear section. Good luck.
Related question: what is wrong with the cheap solution of using a guitar amp and running the out into my recording device? Is there traditionally, too much noise associated with this approach?
Neve & API & other similar ones. But you still shouldn't discount the possible use of $5 microphone preamps if that's all you can afford. Of course we would like you to purchase better equipment from many of the commercial manufacturers here at Recording.org. High quality preamps are definitely worth their weight in gold records. Once you've used some of those it's quite hard to go back to the five dollar variety. But nonetheless, you are also here not just to find out what the best or cheapest equipment you should purchase but you will also obtain quality information from highly experienced folks such as myself that will teach you how to deliver a professional product regardless of the equipment you are using. Most of it comes down to technique & experience. There's just no way around that you are either a good engineer or you are a lousy engineer. And that has nothing to do with your equipment at hand. It has everything to do how you have learned to use the equipment you have or can afford. You see, Chris, (big tree) is building himself a nice studio right now and he is not doing it on the cheap. He's been behind those splendid, vintage quality NEVE consoles. Of course he might be going for some of the more state of the ART stuff? I'm not interested in that stuff myself. I am really not into high-end esoteric equipment. Of course, that is basically a lie. I been lucky enough to be able to have some of the world's best recording gear. But I've also owned the 5 dollar microphone preamp. I still enjoy listening to those recordings I made 25 years ago on those 5 dollar preamps. It's not horrible. It's not noisy. Okay, so I also have some of those API American-made preamps but nevertheless, one can make a fine recording with crappy equipment. Although I must say, I really don't know any really good recordings that used such cheap equipment. Not something you typically find in a commercial release. But hey, it's only rock 'n roll and I love it, love it, yes I dew.
I'm cheap & easy
Mx. Remy Ann David
Tascam US-122 to USB into my computer. From there, I am using software to record with. I am mostly doing Rock 'n roll so a little noise I think is acceptable. I'm just starting to record again. I don't expect to have a professional sound...not from my current equipment. However, I don't want it to sound so bad that the noise interferes with the ability to listen to it. Right now, my mic is in my small amp and I'm doing a line-out to the TASCAM. It is a bit noisy, but that may be the mic not the amp. Perhaps, I should set my thoughts on the mic first.
thanks for the help.
There are plenty of preamps in your price range. Although, most are tube pres, so you'll have the sound of a vacuum tube in the signal. Go to the store and test the ART line. Se what you think of the tube sound. If you would prefer something solid state, you will probably need to up the budget a bit.
Tascam US-122 has two preamps in it, correct? Are you looking for a third or are you under the impression that < $100 preamp is going to be better than what you already own?
Recording a solo flute from 90 paces?
Mixing 100 tracks and can't stand the cumulative noise?
Using mics with very low output signals?
For < $100 not much to gloat about IMO. ART Tube MP was $30-ish, but I doubt it'd be better than what you already have. The most hideous thing I've ever used, but it came in a bundle with a decent mic. A used DMP3 might be had for $100-ish. A used sound devices MP-1 or MM-1 for $200-ish. About the only decent < $500 ones to even look at IMO. But it really depends on how good is good enough. And whether you want to risk used, or go new? Also bear in mind that the preamp isn't the ONLY source of noise.
Those "tube" preamps are in effect solid state with a feed to the tube for distortion. They're not true tube pres. At any rate, they will be fine but as Bob Rogers pointed out, there are already two preamps in the US-122. I doubt any pre under one hundred dollars will be noticeably better. In fact considering that the US-122 probably has attenuated mic inputs posing as line inputs, they will probably add more noise than desired.
ejb: There is no mic in your amp, it's a direct feed. Probably with speaker emulation. I would guess that it's actually the amp that's adding noise if anything.
Have you considered going direct? I know that it's not the same but my guess is that you are using a modelling amp of some sort anyway. There are some good FREE amp emulator plugins. Yes. It's true. Check here. Freeamp is a great FREE VST amp. It doesn't sound like a Marshall or a Boogie but it's "close enough for jazz"(who said that?) and the price is right. This is a VST so you need a VST host. Hopefully you are using Cubase LE or AI so that shouldn't be a problem.
Yes I realize that the Tascam has preamps in it. The TASCAM took a tumble recently and some functionality is not working anymore. I can still use it to record, though. Thanks for your help.
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