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I need to add warmth to my vocals.....would a preamp help?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by crucified, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. crucified

    crucified Guest

    I have my mic. goin througha mixer nad it sounds pretty damn good but I was wondering....woiuld a mic. preamp help it sound better? Or would a mic. preamp be pointless since I ahve a mixer?
  2. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    A pre-amp is whats in your mixer. However just like mics, not all preamps are created equal.

    What is your current set up?

    Can I asume you are not happy with the sound since took the time to start this thread?

    But you also say "it sounds pretty damm good" ??? So which is it? If you are happy with the sound then why change it? If your not you have to figure out your budget and post some clips of your current sound and give ideas as to where you want to take it.

    IMHO a preamp will not improve your sound in a drastic way, it can certainly help it, but in a much more subtle fashion.
    Give us some info, and best of luck!
  3. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    Well, assuming your mixer is a piece o junk like mine, I'd assume that it doesn't have phantom power and that you're recording with a dynamic mic. If that's the case, upgrading to an interface with phantom power and a condenser will surely get the sound you are looking for. I just recently tried it yesterday and wow does it sound better!
  4. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    really? I think condensor's have their place, as do dyanmics but I don't think either sound better than the other. Just depends on the application, source, room and mic postion.
  5. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    Thats very true Link. With my experience (which keep in mind is very limited and low budget) the dynamic mic left vocals feeling a bit hollow or flat. What I tried yesterday is using a condenser and an SM57 side by side for recording. It seems that condensers give it a bright and 'true' sound while the dynamic does a good job of picking up bassier notes, but leaves the mid and high lacking. So combining both I think left me with a pretty warm sound.

    (Again, I don't really know what I'm doing, but experimentation is the best way to learn!)
  6. UberPro

    UberPro Guest

    A condesor mic (espeically of the tube variety) will help warm things up. A tube preamp will also help with this. If you are recording on a computer, you could try some plugins too before buying new equipment.
  7. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Ok I have ask, what does WARM mean to you?
    I know everyone loves that word, but really what does it mean to you?

    To me it implies 2nd and 3rd order harmonic distortions being added to a signal. There are many ways to do this. Tubes have some natural characteristics that can provide this, but then so do JFETs. I have also seen tube amp designs that do not have this type of distortion.

    Really what I am saying is TUBE does NOT equal Warm.

    But that’s just my view.
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member


    I HATE this misconception!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Who was the first person in history to declare a tube mic and a tube preamp as "WARM?" (!)

    I would hardly classify a C12 as warm. I would hardly classify an M50 as warm...

    I wouldn't think of the Aphex 1100 or the Avalon 737 as warm!!!!

    Compound that with the fact that most current tube designs (preamp specifically) are not actually utilizing the correct voltage at the plate (tube) to get the "better" variety of distortion.

    Instead, by starving the plate, the tube is operating outside its ideal and is working at a distortion level at all times rather than dependent upon the input voltage.

    "Warm" gear is actually usually associated with a hefty (hand wound) transformer. Langevin (old - pre Manley buy-out), API, Neve, Quad 8, etc are considered to be the warm ones.

    This perpetuation of "Tube=Warm" is one of the most frustrating loads of crap to be created by audio tabloidism in the past 30 years! (Right along side with "Digital=Cold".)

    Sorry for the frustration, but geez....cut it out!

  9. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    LOL- I like the way you cut to the point. Nice job.
  10. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    nice rant!

  11. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Furthermore, if you want "warm" just add a little distortion and roll off some high end. Is that not what "warm" sounds like?
  12. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Listen to Art and Cucco. It's amazing how many misconceptions and how much misinformation floats around on these boards. Here's a tip, if you're fairly new and don't have much experience, don't tell someone that getting a condenser will "surely get the sound you're looking for." You have no clue what kind of sound they're looking for nor how their voice sounds. I've had singers that sounded fantastic thru an sm57 into an maudio dmp3, I've also had singers sound great with a ksm44 into a universal audio m610. Bono recorded all but one song on the Joshua Tree album with an sm58 and that's a fact(if you don't believe it ask Kevin Killen over at gearslutz or search it, he confirms it there). Also, some of the "warmest" preamps and mics I've ever used were solid state.
  13. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    I wonder if everyone defines warm the same way? It doesn't seem like it.
  14. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    SAT question -

    Warm is to ears as _________ is to taste buds:
    A- Paprika
    B- Chicken
    C- Garlic
    D- Poo

    Always answer 'B'
  15. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    LOL I thought it was always pick C, that explains my test scores...
  16. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    To me warm would be defined low end, good punch, solid midrange and hi's that aren't harsh. So basically stuff that doesn't suck.

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