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Mic and Pre purchase... what should I get?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by jmpacheco, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. jmpacheco

    jmpacheco Active Member

    Hi. I am sort of a newbie to recording, though I have been playing music and writing for many years. I'm writing because I need advice on setting up my project studio. I have been currently working with the following (consumer, and from what I gather not ideal) gear:

    1) A/D and Preamps: M-Audio Profire
    2) Mics: Shure Betas (assorted 87A, 57A, etc.)

    This adds up to a very consumer project studio.

    I want to take things up a notch and buy some better gear that may yield professional or close to professional results. I would hope to be able make a purchase that would allow me to get a "near" studio recording. I am working in less than ideal conditions in terms of room treatment, but unfortunately, changing this is not an option. I am looking to make a purchase and think I can spend something in the $1500 - $2000 range that includes a Mic Pre, a Mic and some sort of substitute to room treatment. I mostly want to record acoustic guitars, electric guitars (amps) and male vocals. Drums will be midi until I win the lottery...

    As a substitute to room treatment (even though I know there is no substitute) I have been looking into purchasing an SE Electronics Reflection Filter Pro:

    Sampling Theory for Digital Audio
    ¿Does anyone know if this thing is any good? ¿Is it worth the money? ¿Are there any alternatives I am not considering?

    For Preamps I have been comparing these:

    UA Solo 610

    Sampling Theory for Digital Audio
    Focusrite ISA One Classic

    Sampling Theory for Digital Audio
    And the Blue Microphones Robbie (even though it looks like WALL-E)

    Sampling Theory for Digital Audio
    ¿Which of these preamps is better suited for the purposes I need? ¿Which is "better", if there is such a thing as better?

    For the Mic, I am nearly sold on the AKG C414 XLII

    Sampling Theory for Digital Audio
    Is this a good pick for my needs? I have been reading wonderful stuff about it.

    I would continue to use the m-audio profire for A/D purposes. Would this be the "weak link" in my signal chain?

    I know the ideal would be to just go out and try all the gear, but I live in Costa Rica and am ordering online... so its not really an option. I need good advice from people who know what they are talking about. ¿Am I going about this the right way?

    Thanks so much!!
     
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Here is the crux of this particular bisquit....If you have the experience and have your ear trained enough to take advantage of better gear then this purchase and direction will be odeal for your purpose. Without this, you may see better results but they will be marginal at best.

    Ant of the three mic pres you have listed will be fine with the mic you have also listed as well as your mics you already have. Dont discount the Shure mics as far as Pro results. They are quite capable of delivering a quality sound.

    The reflection filter may work for you. It also may not. I hear mixed views on these. The concept seems sound but I dont have the experience with one to tell tell one way or the other.

    As I said. Your abilities are the biggest factors in determining the level of quality you can achieve with any gear.
     
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Basically in agreement with Dave, but I think I'd focus on your interface first. You can buy interfaces that will upgrade both your preamps, A/D/A, connectors routing etc. The preamps won't be as good as the ones you have mentioned, but will be an upgrade. And the better interface will give you a platform to add other preamps. As Dave says, the preamps you are looking at have good reviews. The 610 and the Focusrite have different styles - the 610 more "color" the ISA One more "transparent." You have not said much about the style of music that youwant to record, but you should think about the style of preamp that you want to go for. I have not heard much about the Robbie, and I have not used and Blue preamps, so I can't even make second hand contributions. I also agree that the mics you have are the strongest part of your current signal chain, so I'd upgrade everything else first.

    With that said, the 610 pre and the the 414 mic are very "safe" purchases for someone forced to buy without trying them out first. They've been around and been popular forever. The ISA line doesn't have quite the history, but it has a good lineage and has been getting good reviews.
     
  4. jmpacheco

    jmpacheco Active Member

    Thanks allot for the input guys! Looks like I'm not as lost as I could be. Is the profire 2626 really that bad an interface?

    Really.. thanks for helping out a newbie.
     

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