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Channel Strip or Just Pre-amp?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by casey, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. casey

    casey Guest

    I'm looking for my first really nice mic pre and wondering if I should go with a channel strip with compressor and EQ, or just get the best stand-alone preamp I can afford. I don't have outboard EQ's or compressors to use, but generally don't record with much EQ or compression anyway. If I bought something like a 737, I might end up never using the EQ.

    Also trying to decide between solid state and tubes. 90% of the recording will be rock/pop vocals and guitar with a dual rectifier.

    Thanks for the guidance!!!!

    Los Angeles
  2. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    well i hope you re-think using compression when you lay down tracks.And since you don't have any good outboard gear i would go for a nice channel strip.And the one i have has an insert that you can plugs another preamps into to access the compressor and EQ without going thru the preamp stage.I'd look into the new Sebatron Thorax tube channel that has just come out.
    Why dont you use compression while recording?
  3. Blueberry

    Blueberry Active Member

    It is nice to have a outboard compressor as I have yet to find a plug in that does the same thing. Check out the Langevin DVC as it gives two mic pre's two optic compressors, and shelf eq. It is one of the best things I bought for my studio. It was my first high end channel strip. I was going to buy the Focusrite ISA 220, but for a couple hunded bucks, the Langevin gives you two mic pre's. That is a nice option if you ever record someting in stereo.
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    I for one prefer the channel strip (assuming we are talking top notch hi-end stuff) as it offers great value and flexability in a small space even if it's just a mic pre and one other function such as comp or eq.
  5. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    yes but can you name a few you like audio gaff
  6. casey

    casey Guest

    ok the channel strip idea is appealing, especially if I could use the EQ and comp with other preamps. I think I would use compression more in the recording stage if I had something that sounded good.

    What are some good choices?

    BTW, how much is the Thorax?

  7. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    Well on the Sebatron I would email Mr Sebatron and tell him of your plea,and I'm sure he will answer all your questions on the Thorax.
    Yes i think if you have a nice compressor your gunna want to use it all the time almost.I think if you compress when you track you get more signal to tape.With the kind of stuff your doing some tube action in your sound wont hurt,Do you have any tube mics?
  8. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    I don't know if all channel stips have inserts like my Joe Meek Vc1q wher you can bypass the pre and use the compressor and th eq.
  9. casey

    casey Guest

    yeah I've got some tube mics. To what degree does your mic collection influence your preamp choices? If you have a favorite tube mic, do you generally put it thru the tube preamp? Or just mix and match till it sounds right?

    I'm assuming if I put $1500 into a mic pre, i'll be getting good sounds from all kinds of mics, but not necessarily the other way around.
  10. casey

    casey Guest

    BTW - my brother jumps in the pole vault finals in the Olympics tonite (Toby Stevenson, USA). If he wins a medal, I'm getting something nice. If he doesn't, I'm just keeping my dbx.

    Wish him luck.

  11. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    I can't belive this!!!!

    That's your brother who's jumped fo the pole vault final? :shock:

    Congratulations you're getting something really nice then, since he went the highest (and nice crash helmet BTW) :cool: :D

    I'd get a nice channelstrip too, but if you need to do some double miking on GTR cabs for example you'll need to have something else.


  12. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Ya, I like and/or have either used units such as the old time Neve 1073/1081/1066, Focusrite ISA110, ISA420 & ISA430 or even the older RED-6 & RED-7. The UA6176, The new SSL channel strip, API 7600, Manley VoxBox and SLAM, those made by Vintech, Chandler, Daking, AMEK/Neve 9098 & CIB and even the Joe Meek VC1Q/VC1Qcs. I'm sure there are a few others that I like or used that are slipping my mind right now.
  13. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    John Hardy....mic pre.....Langevin DVC...My next purchase..
  14. casey

    casey Guest

    thanks for the recommendations guys.

    what do think about the Avalon 737 ?
    my music partner is begging me to get one of those.

  15. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    The Avalon 737 is ok. It's a good unit but I'm not a fan of it. I always thought it was way over rated. It is the only thing Avalon makes that I don't care for.
  16. mcguin

    mcguin Guest

    hi there
    check out the Millennia origin - just got mine after demoing for a couple of weeks - great pre - wonderful eq, (can be) transparent comp - you can choose whether tube or solid state at the pre, eq or comp - all are simultaneously changeable - also has the option of switching a transformer in or not - certainly my best vocal pre - have not even tried it on anything else yet, but i hear it's great on other than vocals too.
  17. casey

    casey Guest

    I need something fairly uncolored. I will be using the pre on EVERYTHING, until I can get another nice one. How is the Focusrite 220 for an all-around pre? How does it compare with the Langevin DVC in terms of "color"?

  18. mcguin

    mcguin Guest

    The origin can be as uncolored as you want - according to Millennia - there are over 130 combination settings on this pre with the punchin/outs for solid state, tube, transformer at all stages - with/without: eq, compression, deesing
    a great "only going to have one" (we all say this) preamp
    While I have lots of other great pres to use - I could realistically see getting by on this alone

  19. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Re; the Avalon ... I've used these things before and while I liked the mic pre, the compressor left a bit to be desired ... also the EQ, I love the low and mid bands but the hi freq band does something weird to the sound ... makes it sound plastic like ... ugggh!

    Re: the Millennia STT-1 Origin. I own one of these and it is just about as uncolored as things get, in the solid state mode with the transformers out of the path.

    When you kick in the tube and the transformer things get a bit more interesting but not much .. Even in tube / transformer modes, the pre section is relatively neutral. Where things get interesting is when you switch the compressor and EQ section into tube modes also. Then things start to thicken up rapidly. Speaking of the EQ it is wonderful. Four bands with all the bells and whistles.

    The OPTO comp in the STT-1 is killer! (To die for ...) I have UREI LA4's, an 1178 and a Manley EL OP as well as having previously owned a LA 2a and LA3's ... all were / are great ... but the comp in the Millennia is better IMO .... the compressor in the Origin is worth the price of the box alone. You can use the pre on one thing while using the eq and comp on something else. Lots of balanced and unbalanced in and out options on this unit and built like a tank. This ain't no RNP. Last it is a great investment that seems to be holding value well in the market. Used ones on E Bay are selling for almost as much as new ones. Millennia made me promise to offer mine back to them if I ever decided to sell it.

    This channel strip is like the perfect mate. If your looking for somthing that is very clean but that can get a little dirty when you want, look at the STT-1.
  20. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Not to get to far off topic, but UA will be announcing soon and showing at AES S.F. a new product that is a re-release of the LA3A. It may or may not include the 610 preamp as well.

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