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first "nice" preamp groove tubes "brick"

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by josh_hates_you, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. So i got the brick the other day and i only had a chance to work with it at a friends studio since all my gear is on location where I am doing recording for a band. We ran an akg c1000 thru the brick on acoustic guitar and on vocals. We ran the signal straight from the brick into his aardvark and also thru the board into the aardvaark for additional gain. We also ran the mic off of the behringer board and the aardvark pre's for a/b comparison.

    The results: wow. The vocals came out silky smooth with much detail across the highs and lows. It sounded like it was mastered already compared to the other takes. Also the response seemed much smoother overall. There where less spikes and peaks in the EQ and the tone was alot richer. On the vox there was NO comparison really.
    On the acoustic, there was less of a noticable difference but it was definately different. The board pres seems to have and odd character in the high end that stands right out and captures my attention at first but begins to drain on the ears after a few minutes. the brick was much smother overall had more depth and warmth to the low end.

    After one day of tracking i must say the brick sounds awesome, but there are several things i dont like: 1 no pad. 2 no output gain just tube gain. 3 55 dbu of tube gain and i was still recording at -12 or so( i like to record hotter) 4 with limited features and only one knob it sounds the way it sounds and thats it. good thing it sounds awesome.

    for the record this is my second outboard pre along with my cheapo presonus tube pre and the pres on my mackie board. im also wondering if this pre made a $200 condensor sound like gold i wonder what it would sound like with a BLUE or AT 4040 or better yet a Neumann (which i cant afford).
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Wait until you hear it with a decent microphone!
  3. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    with all of the great reviews this thing is getting i wander fi there are any desint mods to this thing i havent opened one up but i expect a pretie blank canvas inside.

    though i might be in the wronge forum.
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I haven't hraed the brick yet ... (working on it) but the design certianly has the right stuff to make a great mic pre ... I'm glad to hear you like it. Now we have something at the affordable end to offer to people when they ask that question, "what's a good mic pre for under $500?"
  5. just got home from the first tracking session with a band. we re-did some guitar tracks we did the other nite with the same oktava mc012 and the results where favored by everyone.

    used it on an sm57 and also an oktava mkl 2500 tube mic for heavy distorted guitar. every take no matter wich mic i used the brick on, it was the track the guitar player wanted to use(i double miced every take and kept switching the pres).

    vocals: as much as it made a difference in the guitar tracks it made an even bigger difference in the vox. yesterday we did a quiet folk singer and it sounded great. today an aggressive gutteral low end cookie monster growling maniac and the vox came out with extra body and life to the low end and a much much smothed out high end, cleared up alot of the raspiness that peirced thru the deep voice.

    now im just sad that i dont have 6 more of these for when i want to record drums. the only downside of a sweet single channel pre.

    where do you all think i would benefit the most from using the brick in a drum recording?

    d112 on the kick
    sm57 on snare
    oktava mkl 2500 room

    didnt mention toms or overheads cause of the single channel.

    i am mostly posting my results due to the fact that i am sure there are many people in my position with the el cheapo pres that consider saving up for something better but dont know if it is worth it.

    now i cant wait for my tax returns so i can get a blue baby bottle or something along those lines to really compliment this new toy.
  6. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    the kick or the snare... try them both and see which one improves the track the most.
  7. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Careful with the snare, with no pad and the gain all the way down my Brick was getting me REAL close to overshoot. In fact, some of the hits were showing up as overs on the Hammerfall DSP mixer, but it didn't sound like any digital clipping occurred on the take. I think it is great on either drum, but you might see more improvement on snare. Or at least I did. Fidgetwiddit.

    It would be cool to have 6 or so channels of Brick, but if I wanted to put out that kind of money I would just get a strip of API. Maybe GT should make a 2 or 4-channel brick to save costs? Call it "The Block" or something. They should send me money for that idea. :D

    BTW: I personally prefer sound over features.
  8. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    no "the Wall" get it just another brick in the Wall.
  9. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Ahaaaa. Now we're talking; "The Wall" could be their 48-channel version hee hee.
  10. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    or posably a modular version like api's lunch box
  11. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking I want to buy the Brick tomorrow. It sounds like it is a huge step up over the Mackie pres.....should I do it? The only pres I use are in my FW1884.....they sound ok, but zero detail. You think I'll like it?

    I'm recording a repeat client who is a great vocalist and I'd like to have a tube pre.
  12. DaveG

    DaveG Guest

    I have a brick and I love the thing to bits. Much nicer than the Mackie pres and a deal at twice the price.
  13. Skeetch

    Skeetch Guest

    Been using a Brick for a couple of months now on various things. It's great for a guitar or bass DI. Not bad on vocals with the right mic. My experience with it seems to run opposite from some other folks. I found it somewhat lacking in the gain department, especially with dynamic mics. Still, it's a very handy box for the studio and I could see adding a couple more of them over time.
  14. DaveG

    DaveG Guest

    You are right about it lacking a bit of gain compared to some other pres i've used but I havn't had to push it past 75% (stays clean even at full throttle) to get a hot enough signal.
  15. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    I just had a buddy come over and we mic'd his Ovation with an Oktava MC012 at the 12th fret. Then we tracked a couple vocal takes......huge HUGE difference over my on board pres! I can't wait until I can afford my API Lunchbox!
  16. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Just think about the day when you get to use the API with a decent mic...
  17. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Good mics are next. The only mics I have that are respected are:

    D112/SM57/Senn E609/Beta 52 (which are still cheap mics, but good ones)

    I'm going to rent a few high end microphones to use with the Brick to see what I like best.
  18. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    I just bought the Brick yesterday and it is already broken. The phantom power stopped working. I checked my mic and the mic is fine. What the hell!
  19. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Well as much as you have already used it and the way you slobbered and drooled all over it after you first got it, it's no wonder the dam thing broke...
  20. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    hahaha I just got home with a replacement Brick. I'm all better!

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