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Help. looking for a mic pre < $500 new to this! im lost !

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by dj_skimo, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. dj_skimo

    dj_skimo Guest


    I am looking into buying a single channel mic pre. I have $500 to spend. I have been trying to research mic pres for a long time, but got tired as I have little experice with pres, dont know whats good whats bad.

    Its going to be used for a female vocalist, I am trying to create vocals like "enya", basically soft voice, and slightly bright (also evanesence - my imortal). New Age / Electronic music.

    can someone please give me top 5 that I an research? What to look for in a pre etc.. Thanks you very much. I am sorry I am clueless, I just play the piano :)

  2. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    I can only think of three in that price range, there are a a lot of pre's more expensive and less, and the lesser ones usually aren't worth $*^t. Groove Tubes the brick is highly regarded on this site, FMR's RNP(real nice preamp) some guys will say these are bad, but I've heard many recordings from some serious pro's with these and they all swear by them. Last is summit audios 2ba-221, I honestly don't know much about this unit, summit audio is pretty good so I'd think its ok, but like I said I'm not sure about it. Anyway check those out.
  3. dj_skimo

    dj_skimo Guest

    Thanks ! I will look into them...

  4. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    GT the brick about $00- $500 highly recommended
    grace 101- 1 channel, real clean
  5. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Another vote for the Brick. EXCELLENT preamp!
  6. blaumph2cool

    blaumph2cool Active Member

    third vote for the Brick, it makes just about any mic i have (including the cheaper ones) sound good.

  7. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    for that kind of cash the brick would be your best bet.
  8. If you'll look to the left on your screen, check out the sidebar equipment reviews on this page for a very good review of the StudioProjects VTB-1 which is *well* inside your budget. Just a "heads-up"...

    Best regards,

    Tio Ed
    Austin, TX
    Land O' 10,000 Guitar Players With Day Gigs
  9. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Don't dismiss the Rane MS1b...$150 a pop...and a lot of what you hear on Steely Dan records were made with them....
  10. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    yeah, the ms1 is not bad, for what it is. you could certainly do worse! and you can find them for under $100 on ebay (sometimes)
  11. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    another one that is similar to the ms1 in sound is the yamaha mla7- mind you, this is an 8 ch pre and you can find them (if you can find them) used on ebay for under $200- I have one and use it all the times for extra channels when I am doing multiple tracks- both the ms1 and the mla7 are very useable, just that I like something a bit better for the main tracks, like the vocals
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Did you know that Jim Williams does an upgrade of the MLA7? It's a pretty slow pre ... it doesn't transilate transients very well IMO, which in some instances is a good thing. It's pretty dark sounding but I know a lot of Rap / Hip Hop / R&B producers that choose the MLA7 when they come to my studio over the JLM TMP8, Millennia, Sebatrons, Neves or GRMP2NV.

    The Brick is kind of thick with a bit of "grunt" in its mids and though I love it myself, I wonder if Skimo would feel the same?

    The vocals that Skimo mentions are pretty airy and uncolored. Aren't those records produced in Europe? They seem to have a preference for transparent / uncolored pres and consoles like the DDA's and Neoteks in France, Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium etc.

    Although it's not a favorite of mine, a Sytek (which is a lot like Neoteks pres),would probably suit Skimos needs perfectly.

    The Grace or RNP (I really hate to say) would more likely be the best of the choices anyone has mentioned so far. Although they aren't very dimensional, they are clear, uncolored and neutral. Of course the 101 is not one of my pres of choice, I would prefer to have the Grace 201 but considering the budget I see no other choices.

    I would save up a little more dough and buy a pre amp with a real power supply like the Syteks instead one with a of a low volt wall wart. When you have a budget of $800 and above, the options open up a bit more.
  13. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Hi Kurt
    did you get your mla7 modded? If so, how does it sound? I just use mine for extra pres when needed-

    the grace 101 is really uncolored, clean and airy. you are probably right, it might be the best choice for that type of sound. I have a sytek as well and it does sound a bit similar to the grace- but the grace is way cleaner- i have not heard the 201, so I don't know if its indeed much better than the 101 or not. I do have the 101 and its really too clean for most of the recording I do, so it desn't get too much use. I do have the high gain version and it does work great with my RCA D77 ribbon, that as you know its a dark sounding mic. the grace complements it real good but I don't use it much other than that. it also gives a good sound as a Di for bass (clean bass sound, again) or for a guitar cab when you want a clean sound. i used to also run distorted guitar with the 101 in conjunction with the RCa about 6 inches away from the cab for a great sound, but I started getting paranoid about blowing out my ribbon and I quit doing that.
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    No I haven't. I did talk to Jim Williams about it on the phone ... he looked at the schematic and said it would cost about $350 :shock:... I'm not sure if that's per channel or for the whole thing. I was considering it but I decided it wasn't worth it to upgrade a pre I paid $100 for! :lol: I still use it to record my bands rehearsals to an ADAT .... it works fine for that. I can bring the ADAT tape home and transfer it to my DAW to add tracks and mix, if needed. Otherwise, I would probably sell it ... seeing as I have 18 channels of great pres now..
  15. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    yeah, I paid $100+ for mine... good enough for that kinda change. I only have 7 ch of good pres, so I'll be keeping it for awhile...
  16. roguescout

    roguescout Guest

    Crap... You regulars already know everything here! I'll never win Final Jeopardy at this rate!

    FMR, Grace, or GT Brick.

    There... 3 cents. You guys owe me a penny!

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