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Any suggestions for a sweet kick and/or snare mic preamp

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by funkychiro, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. funkychiro

    funkychiro Member

    My board only has 4 mic pres. Any suggestions for a nice pre for kick drums and/or snares? I'm not really looking in the high end range of $4,000...Something reasonably priced around $300-400 that is crisp and punchy. I'd welcome any suggetstions even out of my price range; I could always make it part of my "wish list." This is for a live submix to our main mixer during gigs.
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Put this on your wish list: API. THE standard in snare/kick, studio or stage.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I second what moonbaby suggests. Maybe a couple of old Neve modules, like the 1073/1081/3115/34115/1272 modified/1345 modified?

    If not that, then just something like a Mackie of any variety, followed by a DBX 166 and it's downward expander, would do the job. My favorite microphones on bass drum are the Sennheiser md421, Crown PZM, Shure SM57/58, Electro-Voice RE20, AKG D12/112. Some people like the Audix D6 but it doesn't thrill me.

    Another effective trick when working with the bass drum is to invert the phase of just the bass drum microphone when it is inside the shell. That actually puts the bass drum microphone in phase with the other microphones since the other microphones are recording the sound of the drums off the top of the heads instead of underneath or inside as in the bass drum. Few people realize this and as a result, are frequently unhappy with their flabby bass drum sound. Inverting the phase will cut the fat and build DB muscles!

    Inverting bass drum's for over 30 years!
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I think that this guy has been misled by sales people to believe that a Mackie will be inferior to a seperate preamp, and the truth is, you have to spend a LOT more $$$ to get better quality than that. The Neves and APIs are great-sounding classics for drums, but the price is more than your present budget will allow. Frankly, the pre's at the $300-400 price point are really not any better than an Onyx, many are inferior. The cheapest outboard pre's that I've run into that are any good are the Grace 101 (very clean, $565 list), and the Groove Tubes The Brick (very tubey,$495 list). Total opposites in sound texture.
  5. funkychiro

    funkychiro Member

    I don't know if this is a common reaction, but I'm almost afraid to go forward now. I feel like maybe i should get 2 API 512's or something and then build slowly as $ permits. Maybe just start with kick and snare. I also checked out this API 2500 compressor that sounds really incredible for drums. I mean, that's down the line though. Any thoughts on the Germanium mic pre?
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Germanium transistors sound different from silicon transistors. They are not interchangeable within circuits designed for silicon transistors. They have a different voltage drop from the silicon variety.

    You just might want to try and find an old used Scully 280 analog tape recorder with the Silver colored electronics. Why? Because the old original versions (silver colored) first utilized germanium transistors and with their lovely old UTC and Triad Transformers, one of the few professional tape recorders to include a decent microphone preamp! The newer 280 series, later manufactured by Dictaphone, were "upgraded" to silicon transistors and change the color of electronics to a cream white, which can be identified on the circuit boards with their little black epoxy pack transistors as opposed to the older germanium transistors which are easily identified because they utilized a shiny metal can (TO3 form factor or was that TO5?) Make no mistake. The 280B machine with the blackface electronics, have no microphone preamp and are completely different from the original Larry Scully's 280 from Bridgeport Connecticut. Those microphone preamp's were not only lovely, no pad nor phantom power was made available. The single volume control on the front panel was a dual ganged potentiometer that not only adjusted the microphone volume level but also simultaneously adjusted the preamp gain. Quite novel. Quite lovely. You can always throw the transport out but keep the power supply for the electronics.

    I still have a few of those old machines a 260 with mechanical lifters. A stereo 280 silver face, from Bridgeport, a mono Dictaphone 280B and the one I built which technically should have been called the 280"C", since it was quite a redesign from the 280B, when I was quality-control manager for "AMPRO/Scully" in Newtown Pennsylvania. I know, TMI.

    I loved the old Scully but whatever happened to Fox?
    Ms. Remy Ann David

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