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Just got the AKG C414B XL11 should i update my signal chain?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by pest1320, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. pest1320

    pest1320 Active Member

    So basically since i purchased this mic (in shipping) it's had me thinking about my signal chain and if
    my other components will hold back quality? Signal chain right now is Shure KSM27 mic,Custom made XLR
    with starquad sheilded cable with neutric XLR connectors,into Motu 828mk2 then recorded into Logic Pro 8.0.2
    So I've been doing some research on the motu828mk2 converters and i've read that their
    good for the price.Then i came across the http://www.blacklionaudio.com/ and read how they change
    out the entire analog section with much higher quality components.I read some reviews online and they
    were all good ones,that would be one of my options.Total BLA MOD+clock would be around $650 shipped
    there and back.
    Or i could get a good 2channel Mic-Pre and a a/d d/a converter,I really don't know which ones i would get yet
    but my max budget is $1200.00
    I dont really want to get a new Audio interface cause i have 2 Motu828mk2's and 1 8pre daisy chained to a aggregated
    device,i picked them up for a great price.
    I would just like some good advice cause i would hate to introduce this new mic and not get the quality out
    of it that it deserves.
    Oh yeah I have good monitors and the room is treated.
    Thanks for any advice -J
  2. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    The link does not work. I think that the word "and" should be edited so as not to be part of the link.
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    You are exhibiting classic gas (gear acquisition syndrome) symptoms here. First piece of advice is to keep a clamp on your wallet. Wait for your new mic and work with it on equipment you are familiar with. Sure you can improve your signal chain, but you can also make good recordings with what you have.

    One thing I like about the Black Lion page is that most of the samples seem pretty honest. The "before" samples are well recorded and sound good. Yours can do the same. Of course, the "after" samples are chosen to show off their mods to best advantage, but the differences are not artificially huge. On the other hand they usually do several mods and it's hard to identify any change in sound with a single source.

    Once you are ready to upgrade, I'd go with a new preamp. It's pretty to set up A/B tests of preamps and hear audible differences. It's even easier to experience the operational differences - how much easier it is to dial in a good sound on a top notch preamp with a lot of headroom. Another factor here: preamps are stable technology. There are a lot of great preamps that have been around for decades and will hold value for decades to come. You probably don't want to buy a 15 year old A/D/A converter. Like the mic you just bought, a pre is a good long term investment.
  4. pest1320

    pest1320 Active Member

    as for now this is just for vox.I've been looking at mic-pre's but there are just so many i don't want a cheap one and i don't want a $2k one either im just searching on a good one round 400-600 single or dual channel any recommendations in this price range also i seen the... http://www.artproaudio.com.au/products/products/pro-channel.html
    and the http://www.artproaudio.com.au/products/products/digital-mpa.html with a/d conversion but i can't find that many reviews on these products or this company.
    Also was looking at the BLA mic-pre @ http://www.blacklionaudio.com/auteur.html anyone heard reviews on this?

    I've been researching the mike pres and from reviews its the
    Auteur Mic Pre
    Grace m101
    I've gathered all specs from Grace and Auteur still searching for spec list on FMR RNP.
    any of you have personal experiences with these units?
    thanks in advance i just wanna get this as good as possible for my price range.I know im going to go
    over tho cause the BLA MOD itself is around 650 shipped.
    As for the ad/da conversion Do i have to go AD and DA?

    Thanks for any responses-J
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I think you're choosing equipment based upon specifications? DON'T! This is an all too common mistake for newbies. After all, you really don't have anything else to base your decision upon. You've just gotten one of the most classic sounding microphones ever built. And you want some kind of fancy shmancy preamp? Why not go with a matching classic? API 312 or in a four pack known as the 3124. Now THAT'S going to complement your signal chain. Not something else that already sounds like what you have which is what your looking at, mentioning. Of course a Neve in any variety would be just as nice as the API in character. Those others you're looking at? Bah humbug. You might as well be considering a Mackie/Beringer. Specifications mean nothing. Nothing at all. All specifications are the same in the 21st-century. Manufacturing tolerance differences is all you're looking at. Like I said. That means nothing. I'll record with anything. But my API & Neve stuff is the bees Neves.

    Specifications on API & Neve stuff ain't great. What does that mean?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. pest1320

    pest1320 Active Member

    A2D Dual 312 Mic Preamps with Digital Output Correct?I could not just find a API 312, so basically with this unit i can scratch the BLA MOD,mic pre and A/d converter and use this one unit which is kinda out of budget but......
    Im going to check out there website for further details.If this is a 1 shot solution to my needs i might just have to go for it.
    I appreciate the honesty Remy!
  7. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    I am not certain but I think this was the 4 pack Remy was writing about
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The API A2D is a pair of their 312 pre-amps with an A-D converter on the back end. It has both analog and S/PDIF digital outputs. The 3124+ is 4 of the 312 pre-amps with analog output in a rack chassis.

    They are exceptional products. Highly recommended.
  9. pest1320

    pest1320 Active Member

    I can't really afford the 3124+ but i might be able to save for 2weeks more and afford the A2D.http://www.apiaudio.com/a2d.html
    Now this unit should take care of all my needs correct as in Mic-pre,AD conversion and better clock?If i were to go this route i would not get the BLA MOD or the mic pre.
    PLEASE bare with me as i have never done this before.
    If i were to get this i know i would go from the mic-->A2D input 1,
    then out A2D into mic 1 on motu 828mk2.Now im guessing i would turn off phantom power and turn trim/gain to zero and let the A2D do all that work?What i really don't understand is how to bypass the motu AD conversion,or even hook up the A2D to the motu to do the ad conversion.Also the clock i don't know how i would sync to the A2d clock.
    Thanks for any help or suggestions-J
  10. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    You would hook the unit up with the s/pdif input. This is a digital input, bypassing the interface's converters. I'm not sure how clocking information gets passed.

    Again, you are months if not years away from the point where converters and clocks will be the most important audible difference in your recordings. Of course, it's nice to start out with good quality stuff. Good preamps especially make it much easier to learn. So just get the AD2 and you can stop worrying about equipment. I think it's safe to say that no one in the history of recording was ever held back by an API 312 preamp and a C414 mic.
  11. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Sorry - double post. Got some sort of Debug errorcode.
  12. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Bob's said it all really. Just use an RCA - RCA 75 Ohm cable to connect the S/PDIF output of the A2D to the S/PDIF input on your 828.

    The sampling clock is embedded in the S/PDIF bitstream, so set the 828 clock source to be "S/PDIF", and there you have it: 2 channels of top-quality mic pre-amps and converters plus another 8 on your 828 that are perfectly serviceable. You don't even need to think about running the A2D analog outputs into the 828 analog inputs.

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