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How I get the most out of my TubePre & Mbox? (Rap Vocals

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by furyus, Apr 7, 2004.

  1. furyus

    furyus Guest

    I am still a beginner with ProTools and recording in general. I have an Mbox, and have make some decent recordings, but I just picked up a PRESONUS TubePre and now I'm having a very tough time getting my vocals to sound right. : (

    I have an Audio Technica AT3035 Condenser mic going into the TubePre via XLR and then another XLR connecting the TubePre to Source 1 of my Mbox. I am using the Phantom power on the TubePre (and not on the Mbox), along with the "80Hz option" which I believe eliminates unwanted backround noise. The source on the Mbox is set to LINE.

    I have played with the GAIN and DRIVE on the TubePre, as well as the GAIN on the Mbox, as well as the ProTools standard Compressor Plug-in on a Bus track, (which is sending the compressed signal to a record-enabled track.) It seems like I can either get a compressed signal with too little dynamic range, or too much range with consequent distortion at peaks. It's very frustrating, because I feel like my vocals sounded better with the original set-up using just the Mbox and its Focusrites.

    Also, I am recording rap vocals in a foam-padded closet.

    Any tips? Ideas? They are badly needed! Thanks.
  2. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    I think this may be a case of a pre having too much personality for the material. Most people i've talked to like to use a quick, uncolored pre for rap vocals; unless you're Ja Rule, the harmonic distortion of a vacuum tube probably doesnt belong in the signal chain. I think you should go back to the Focusrites. Just my guess.
  3. furyus

    furyus Guest

    That is disappointing... Are you sure there's no way I can adjust the Gains and/or Drive in a way that will not create distortion? What about the distance from the Mic? Or the volume at which the artist is rapping? I really like the warmth of the Pre, and would be a shame to waste $100.

    Also, I will be recording R&B vocals, would I not encounter this problem with singing as opposed to rapping? Thanks again for the help.
  4. nuclearmoon

    nuclearmoon Guest

    I'm with David....the warm, smooth tone of tube is just too slow and unresponsive for rap. I would suggest looking into a PreSonus DigiMax LT. Awesome limiters and great tone.

    Now as far as your R&B vocals go, the Pre should make you cream. YMMV as always......

    Happy Recording!
  5. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Theoretically, the best tone for you should be when you have the drive knob set to zero. This will minimize distortion from the unit. I just don't think this pre is for you. You could return it, sell it, or keep it around in case you ever want to record something besides rap. I don't even think you need an outboard pre. For what you're doing, your focustites sould suit you just find. IMO, you'd have to spend at leat $500 for one channel af better pre. If you're ever ready, take a look at the Sytek MPX4A - four channels of nice clean quick pre for about $650 used. Either that or ask Kurt, Gaff or somebody to reccommend you a real killer one channel unit.

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