1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Cheap mic pres

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by jeronimo, Sep 25, 2001.

  1. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    Has anyone tried any of those? Or can comment anything about those?
    dbx 386, HHB Radius10, Presonus MP20 or ART Tube Pre Amp System or DIO Tube Pre Amp System.
    Thanks
     
  2. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2001
    dbx 386, HHB Radius10, Presonus MP20 or ART Tube Pre Amp System or DIO Tube Pre Amp System

    Crap, haven't tried it, mediocre, crap, haven't tried it.

    You still have the Mackie board? I'd stay stick with it until you can afford a better level of gear. Wait for the RNMP to come out, get a Sytek, or save up for even better, like either flavor of Great River. There are some other things out there at reasonable costs, but the one's I can think of are problematic. The solid state TAB/Telefunken/Siemens modules are reportedly cool and seem reasonably priced, but are not fully featured and you have to do your own power supply and they probably need a recap. Peavey VMP-2 is well liked and has a good DI for bass, but it's a bit colored to be your main preamp.

    So what do you need that the Mackie doesn't give you (and are you using the direct outs? and avoiding use of the eq?)? You really do have to spend a chunk of dough to do significantly better, so it's best to know why you're spending it and that it is in fact well spent. I still don't own outboards because I don't often need them for my home recordings, but they can be borrowed or rented when I do. Instead of buying mediocre crap I'd only resell at a loss, I'm saving for pro gear I'll never grow out of. Works for me but YMMV. ("The waiting is the hardest part.")

    Bear
     
  3. planet red

    planet red Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2001
    Yeah thats my goal when it comes to putting together my little studio. I'd rather have 6 channels of mackie pres that I spent $400 on then spend a grand on a couple cheap pres that im going to outgrow at some point anyway. Same goes for mics. From now on if i need more mics or something I'm putting the small amount of money i have in more 57's, 421's and re20's. Even if a cheap chinese condensor might sound a little better, once i own a couple Neumanns and royers the chinese condensors would never be used but ill still keep coming back to those trusty dynamics. Oh well time to keep saving up for the spider.

    By the way if you do buy anything DONT get the lower line dbx pres.
     
  4. drumsound

    drumsound Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Bloomington, IL
    Originally posted by jeronimo:
    Has anyone tried any of those? Or can comment anything about those?
    dbx 386, HHB Radius10, Presonus MP20 or ART Tube Pre Amp System or DIO Tube Pre Amp System.
    Thanks


    Skip the dbx, run from the HHb, try the Presonus (I've heard good things), try the ART that was the first outboard pre we ever had. I still like for some things. It definitely sounds different than a Mackie (which I was mixing on when we got the ART), I like the low mid on the ART.

    My $.02
     
  5. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    Bear, I don't have the Mackie anymore, don't ask me why, but I sold it and got an old Tascam M-2524. Well, all I can say about the Tascam vs. Mackie: the 1st has better eqs and the second has quieter pres. But, I do like the Tascam, it's quieter than my MXL 603s :) .
    I understand about running away from the entry-level gear, but let me try to explain what's going on with me. I'm from Brazil, and I'm living here on the US for a year and a half now. I don't have a lot of money, I just deliver pizzas in the area here, but, I plan to go back home soon and make my own small studio, believe me, the prices hourly there are cheap compared with L.A. for example :) but is enought to make a living. And we need good "labor" over there in my city. There are very good studios and very bad studios (loaded with Alesis stuff i.e.) so I just want to sit between. I can't think about anyone that can lend me his "manley" EQ, or his 1176...
    But thanks for the input, I DO LOVE THIS FORUM! Ohh, and by the way, what is the MP model you have in your studio Tony?
     
  6. arneholm

    arneholm Guest

    Originally posted by jeronimo:
    I just want to sit between. I can't think about anyone that can lend me his "manley" EQ, or his 1176... Then shop around wisely. If you are going to sit between the 'real' and the 'Alesis' studios, you will mostly be doing overdubs. So get yourself one pair of 'good' mic preamps - if you can't get Great River, get a Sytek at least, and put all the 'important' sounds through it. Harvey does similar stuff in his studio and stuff that comes out of it sounds great.

    1176 is great, I bet (never seen one, there are zero of them in the country where I live), but you can do a lot with an RNC. So get one. Or two - at times (most) you want to track bass with both DI and amp micing, so two compressors with separate controls won't hurt...

    About Manley Massive - I've heard that it could evoke sensations similar to orgasm - hard not to be dreaming about that unit, it looks sexy aswell, but... yes, it ain't cheap. But you can check on Mercenary site for a pair of Speck equalizers. They aren't cheap either but they have racked about only praisals everywhere I read.

    You are on the States - a luxury I don't have, so you have all the best gear in the world literally over the corner. Shop around for discounts, shop around for used gear. Use what means you have in your disposal - I dwelled and dwelled on "should I buy an V67 or should I not, or maybe the cheap Behringer condenser (the only chinese condenser we have available over here), or should I save up for a TLM 103 (which I liked very much)", until I heard that a local studio owner, friend of mine, is looking for selling a couple of U87's. The price was about $800, it was $900 more I could spare at the time, but I still thought about it for only about 5 minutes ant told him I want it.

    Fletcher said the golden words - have patience. When buying stuff, have all the time in the world - and when you know that 'this is the deal' then act quickly. Don't just rummage around buying stuff that you won't be needing all that much later anyway, but try to build a cushion for yourself that you will need when this deal comes in front of you.
     
  7. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    Arnie, I don't plan to do mostly overs, but... I plan to track drums and everything else... so, I thought to have one of those 'cheap' mp to use as DI (most of them can) and to use for vocals, since the mps on my console aren't that good. I do understand about saving for the right time, but, if I go back home w/o some gear (that I can buy) I'll probably need to save money for the rest of my life :) . Right now 1 american dollar worth almos 3 of my currency and over that, the gear back there is 2 almost 3 times the price here (in dollars) :eek: !
     
  8. arneholm

    arneholm Guest

    Originally posted by jeronimo:
    Arnie, I don't plan to do mostly overs, but... I plan to track drums and everything else... so, I thought to have one of those 'cheap' mp to use as DI (most of them can) and to use for vocals, since the mps on my console aren't that good.My point is - have at least two good channels of mic pre's around, 4 is better but 2 is also OK, and console. Use good pres for kick, snare and overheads when possible, and the pre's on the console for toms and such. Also, maybe something like Meek Vc3/6 is worth looking at - great as a bass DI, rather clean preamp, surprisingly useful 3-band EQ and a weird compressor.

    I do understand about saving for the right time, but, if I go back home w/o some gear (that I can buy) I'll probably need to save money for the rest of my life :) . Right now 1 american dollar worth almos 3 of my currency and over that, the gear back there is 2 almost 3 times the price here (in dollars) :)
     
  9. planet red

    planet red Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2001
    If you arent going to spend much on mic pres theres really no point in buying them unless you just need more channels. Your sound would improve more by buying some decent mics then mic pres in the 300 to 500 dollar range (the joe meek is cool for what it does though). The cheapest thing that I've heard that sounds decent is the sytek 4 channel. Maybe get a used one and a couple rnc's. If you go get a bunch of dbx, hhb and art mic pres your sound wont be much better then all the guys with alesis stuff. You would imagine that if a $800 a channel pre sounded awesome and the pre in your console cost you about $50 a channel that something in the $300 a channel would sound somewhere between the two. But its not and it sucks when all you can afford is the cheap stuff. But the cheapest thing you can do in the long run is save your money and buy quality.
     
  10. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    Hey Planet Red, I really liked your theory man! It's the 1st one that really, really, opened my eyes. Thanks!
     
  11. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2001
    Okay, Jeronimo, my suggestion for your outboard gear shopping list, pending your financial realities:

    1) Sytek MPX-4, preferably with two channels of Burr-Brown IC's for a different flavor, ~$1000 or less, a good deal in cost per channel, and it is very hard to do better at less than twice the price per channel.

    2) RNC's at $180 a pop. As many as you can afford. Unless they're made of money back home, you're gonna be so far ahead of the game on compression with these.

    3) dbx 242 eq's. These were excellent and underpriced while dbx made them. They can easily go under $150 on ebay. Check used instrument stores or maybe pawn shops and see if you can get extremely lucky. Speck are better, but these are posibly a better bargain.

    4) gates, well, I dunno, I don't use them. But I believe you work digitally and you might need them. I hear Drawmer makese good ones for cheap.

    Also, keep http://www.musicians-gear.com in mind when you're back home, some of their prices are a lot better than US prices, and that might work out to at least a substantially better price than you'd find in Brazil.

    Happy hunting.

    Bear
     
  12. Juergen

    Juergen Guest

    I've found myself in a similar situation. I live in Asuncion, Paraguay (hey there, neighbor - when you go back to Brasil).

    I decided to stick with the Mackie pres I got (the new ones) until I can afford something worthy of purchase. I was thinking about the MP20 myself...It might take me busting my balls trying to earn money for a great river or some apis or even focusrites, etc etc..., but if that is what I need to do to improve the weakest links in my chain, then that is what I need to do.

    It might very well be the case that a lot of those Alesis studios, in a year or 2, will have purchased some sort of hi-quality gear that you will have to compete with. If you can manage saving the money you'd spend on either one of the units you were interested in (which means NOT touching the $$$) you might soon have a chance to somehow get something that will kick half of your competitors' asses in Brasil.

    I am working on that right here. :cool: Not there yet, but going for it, slow and steady.

    It makes me have to work around limitations and be inventive about what I am doing, sometimes I just need to develop new sounds so it becomes special to whoever I am recording...

    What format do you record to, by the way?

    Juergen
     
  13. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    The ART and dbx stuff doesn't sound better then a Mackie. It's just different. If your between the Alesis filled rooms and the high end places you might want to look into getting a few pres in the $1000-$1500 a pair range. I have a Presonus MP-20 and it's not too bad but I don't think I'd want to have it as my "big money" pre. The Peavey VMP-2 is pretty cool and not all that expensive. The Sytek would also be a good choice as would a Great River. If I could only have three flavors I'd probably want the Joe Meek, the VMP-2 and either the Sytek or Great River depending on what I can afford. In the long run, you'll just be throwing your money away on most of the other stuff.

    The only "cheap" preamp I've tried that I like is the Joe Meek stuff like the VC6. While it's not great on everything it can be fun on guitars, bass and sometimes vocals. Someone else mentioned the solid state Telefunken stuff. That might be a good route to go but it's not cheap. A single module will run about $350-500 and then you need to get a box, power supply, I/O connectors, and possibly recap which can add a few hundered to the price.
     
  14. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    Hello Juergen, man, is good to know that I have a neighbor around here!! Cool! Well, you guys really changed my mind! Thanks for all the inputs. I record on digital. The recordings I did here in the US where done thru a rented AD8K going digital into the 001, but I'll take an ADI 8 Pro back home. I'm trying to find out how the new Hammerfalls DSP sound with the Multiface interface :)
     
  15. drumsound

    drumsound Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Bloomington, IL
    We have the ART Pro MPA. The 2 channel 2 space VU meter guy (we have the comp too). They both still get used even though the console has been upgraded, and we've bought some high end pres (VoxBox and Great River) Like anything, they are a color.
     
  16. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    Thanks drum sound... this unit is the2u unit right? And guys, the VC 6 looks good for the price... thanx for the tip! What about the VC 3?
     
  17. drumsound

    drumsound Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Bloomington, IL
     
  18. Smartinuf

    Smartinuf Guest

    Hi Jeronimo, I would agree with the Peavey VMP 2, not a prestige name but sounds good and is relatively cheap. You might also find a Symetrix SX202 for around $200 used. They are a 2 channel unit (now discontinued) and I would rate them better than a mackie but perhaps not quite a sytek. There have also been rumors of "Real Nice Mic Preamp" by the same company that does the RNC though it may still be a while before it is available. As far as the Multiface goes, I dont think you will find an opinion on it as it wont be shipping for at least a few weeks. Spec-wise it does not look as good as the ADI-8 as supposedly the converter chips are of lesser quality. You can find more info on this by reading the RME newsgroup accessable from their web page.
     
  19. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    How do I access the bulletin board at RME? I tried but looks like I need some extra application...
     
  20. Rog

    Rog Guest

    Has anyone bought from http://www.musicians-gear.com?
    It seems almost too good to be true! Prices are literally half those of UK dealers.
     

Share This Page