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Mic channel strips around $500.00

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Logic, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. Logic

    Logic Guest

    I have been looking for quite some time, reading forums etc. and can't make up my mind I need some help please.
    For vocals primarily - what are the best& quietest Mic pre/ compressor combos to front a good DAW .
    I have been seriously looking at ART pro channel,Presonus Eureka, and focusrite voicemaster to name a few. I know there are many more that do this and I heare so many different things I was hoping for some navagation to the right thing. Thanks so much- Cool forum! :cool:
  2. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    I believe it will be difficult to beat the Safe Sound P1 in that range. Check out Front End Audio who carries it. Built by former Neve employee yadda yadda. But it sounds good and has a LOT of good features. Sometimes I run signals through it just for the expander or limiter. I use it for my headphone amp too, because the headphone out on the Multiface is WEAK.

  3. imagineaudio

    imagineaudio Active Member

    not trying to hyjack the thread, but how do you like the multiface......im looking between that, the fireface, the motu 896hd and the 828mkII, I think i would prefer PCI to firewire after some stories ive read about firewire, but the jury is still out.....
  4. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    There's a horrifying thread on one of the forums about the Fireface. I was going to buy it for my less important channels, but I think the Multiface might be safer. At least it has its own interface card.

    John Stafford
  5. Logic

    Logic Guest

    Thanks for the help after continuing research I have chosen the Prosonus Eureka. I was told by all studios that had one that 95% of people could not notice anything better intill you reached the 2000.00 range. Many also said in shootouts they stood well up against 2,000.00 Pre's ! I'm In!
    (if you have already bought a 2,000.00 pre you are not going to listen to this I belive)
  6. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Yeah the Eureka probably would have been my second choice for you. But wow, you checked ALL studios that had one?

    imagine - I dig the Multiface. I definitely don't think it is holding me back any. Although it is smaller than it looks in the pictures. I suppose there are better converters for more money, but I didn't feel like spending $3000 on Apogee or whatever. If the Fireface is compatible with your computer, it is probably better; but it is around twice as much moolah.
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Of course they will say that! What do you expect them to say? That the Eureka runs at a nomilal 0dB level, doesn't reach +4db without breaking up and that it sounds flat and dimensionless? That it pretty much sounds the same as a Mackie Pre? Of course they won't say that! They are already invested in the PreSonus so they want people to think it is as good as a Neve or an API, (which it ain't) .... so they can sell studio time ...

    A large difference can be noticed in mic pres that cost a lot less than $2000 btw, Sebatrons are very nice and can be had for under $1000, and some of the Langvins from Manley are under 2K as well .... there's a few "real pres" out there for under $2k ... I think you can get a Hardey for less than $2K! A lunchbox and a single API pre can be had for less than $2K and you have room to expand!
  8. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Check the price range dawg.

    BTW, are you sure about that +4db headroom thing? That sounds rediculous.
  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I've recorded a few tracks with a Eureka. I did NOT find it to be lifeless or flat...its generally true with 'iron' in the input that this will be the case.I suggest you get one to try and look over the specs carefully as it does in fact get up to +4...The reviews in Tape Op, Mix,and others have been favorable. I would say it sounds at least as good as some intermediate sized consoles...Its very flexible...The compressor is very good...I thought the EQ was a bit lacking...as in 'not surgical' but a nice tone control... but I never really needed it. I recorded several accordian tracks and used it as a DI on a Martin acoustic bass.So I did spend some time with it. My bassist partner uses it as his front-end in his live rig and it sounds very good...even aggressive depending on the settings.In its price range there are few pieces that can compare.Just my opinion...based on actual usage.FWIW....Logic's statementabout his contact with 'studios' using one was a reach, but in the long run it does what it says it does and does so without hype bring it to the the level of the next GreatWhiteHope.....BTW....I believe that some PreSonus pieces are fitted with chip-sets that plug in...And there are several upgrades that can be had the change the way they sound. Much like the Sytecs.
  10. Logic

    Logic Guest

  11. Logic

    Logic Guest

    Also I'll bet 99% of normal ears would favor the "sound" of Faith Hill
    through an ART than a bad singer through an API.
    It takes a good engineer to get great sounds from midline gear & it can be done.
    Some people buy more and more expensive things to get better sounds (sometimes to try to make up for lack of engineering ability) when all the would have to do is use what they had correctly /better.
    Money doesn't buy great recordings but helps to get them I think.
  12. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    It also takes a good engineer to get great sounds from great gear.

    Sadly 99% of 'normal' ears probably couldn't tell the difference either way; hence the rise of MP3.

    John Stafford
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    All I'm saying is if your going the cheap route ... fine .. Get what you need that has the features you want ... but don't think that by spending two or three or even four times as much, you're going to realize any significant improvement ... because you're not. You may think you gained improvement (I just spent $400, it has to be better) but if you do a blind test like I did with the Mackie and the RNP, you may be surprised at which one you pick ... I'll bet that at least 50% will pick the cheap pre.

    I'm just trying to save you guys some money ... why the hostility? There's good pres (usually very expensive) and there's the affordable pres ...(cheap) and they have nothing to do with each other for the most part. So don't shoot me ... I'm only the messenger.

    I recorded with PreSonus pres too and I did not hear one ounce of dimension or depth using them. If someone has a recording of a PreSonus doing this, I would love to hear it ... perhaps someone will send me a CD demonstrating this? I would be more than happy to reciprocate with some recordings done with top flight pres.

    To me PreSonus pres have more in common with Mackie pres than with a API or Neve types ... and I think it would be difficult for anyone to argue that. In this respect I think the Mackie pres get a bum rap ... No they aren't as good as a Trident, Manley, United Audio, Neve, API pres but they are not really any worse than some of the pres like the PreSonus, RNP and Focusrite Platinum's, being pushed as a "improvement" at a price premium. I'm not saying these pres don't sound waaaaay better than the cheap pres of 25 years ago did but they still do not even approach the quality of the time tested standards.

    If you look at the designs of all these cheaper and mid priced pres, you will find that they all have more in common with the Mackie than differences. I suspect that the $100 PreSonus pres are almost the same thing as the M80s, which sell for +$2200. It's all marketing and packaging with no added substance. A few more features and some new packaging same guts ...

    ... The nominal levels of the PreSonus pres do run at the lower 0dB, just like a Mackie mixer .... and an email from PreSonus confirmed this, while acknowledging that a lot of pro gear needs to see +4 to record at average levels.

    Saying that one cheap pre sounds any better than another is IMO, ridiculous ... they may sound different but not better. It's like saying a cat sh*t sandwich tastes better than a dog sh*t sandwich. I'll take a roast beef and swiss please...

    "Better" comes from large power supplies to provide the voltage swings needed to handle transient peaks without choking.

    "Better" comes from discreet designs that will be repairable 20 years from now.

    "Better" IMO, often from comes expensive transformers and tubes. These things cannot be had in a design that takes as it's first criteria, the price point. All the great designs were done without regard to costs. The second you place a limit on what you can do due to expense, you've compromised the design process.

    A lot of people will say they think that cheap gear sounds great when used with experience and great engineering chops ... but how much better would that experience and those engineering chops sound with good gear? That's why you won't see the pros messing around with cheap gear for the most part.

    Anyone who can hear ... (remember ear training for audio comes only with time, just as it does with music) will be able to hear the depth and 3D effect a great mic pre can provide ... and many who obviously cannot hear, will assert that their table top mixer or budget tube pres can compete with the best. Now really, think about it for just a minute. Why do the pros always insist on the best gear?

    Oh! Free lunch in the bar! (just kidding).
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    What hostility??!!............I detect none in anyones posts.If someone disagrees with a concept or an opinion does that mean its hostile?I personally could care less what you think about any piece of equipment.As I'm certain no one really gives a crap about my opinion.I was simply giving my personal experience with the piece in question and wasnt aware that this was being hostile to anyone. BTW the topology of the Eureka is somewhat different than the M80 as is the price point. I too feel the M80 was never as good as was advertised and as such did not buy one when I could have. But thats just my opinion.Based on my experience.Which in no way reflects on anyone else in the universe that I know of. Oh yeah...isnt this the 'Budget Gear' forum?
  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Dave, your post was not what I was replying to when I asked about the hostility. That comment was more general as to all the replies I have got over the years when I say something that seems to be unpopular. Some people do not want to be told there is no such thing as Santa Claus.

    But when you make comments like ....
    .... then, I do sense hostility ... and you know Dave, all I have ever done was to extend generosity towards you. You have not been very gracious in return ... so in the long run, the best I can come up with .. no big loss.

    Yes, this is the "Budget Gear Forum" and as such I feel we should do our best to insure that people don't get the wrong idea regarding what makes for an improvement and what doesn't. The last thing I want is for this forum or any part of RO to become part of the lie that manufacturers spread in order to cash in on the ignorance of people who do not know the difference, have never heard the difference and as such are incapable of hearing the differences in good pres vs. not so good ones.

    I will see if I can find some additional info on the mic pre section of the Eureka ... however what I have learned from exchanges with the reps at PreSonus, I believe the pre is the same as in the M80 with the inclusion of the eq circuits and the compressor.
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    OK .... here's what I was able to find ... According to PreSonus, the Eureka is the same twin topology pre as used in the VXP with a modification they claim increases the S/N and headroom, and the addition of impedance switching. I found these remarks on the PreSonus site .... please note the underlined sentences ..

    There was also this, in regards to the topology of the VXP .... please note the underlined sentences ..

    So it seems the Eureka is an updated version of the M20 M80 pre circuit, as my previous comments related ... how updated it is is anybody's guess but I suspect that if someone were to compare the two, there would be more similarities than not ... I think they just put some fresh lipstick on the pig and sent it back out to turn a few more tricks.
  17. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    OHH JEEZUS!...youre right Kurt forgive me for ever using anything that you say might be a piece of crap or suggesting to anyone that it might possibly be okay to use in their home or budget studio. We all know that you are without a doubt the GURU of the recording world and we should all submit to your opinion and never ever think to have one ourselves.

    All of that underlined phraseology that you are pinning your opinion on is sales hype 100%....What ???No one else can read?Do I need your interpretation to see what has been written? $*^t.

    "Design Parameters"....this could mean anything....and in AD-Speak it usually does. "Updated version".....so? What parts?Every manufacturer puts out these blurbs on their sites.All of them.Not one word written by an AE or a tech.Its the Ad department that writes that stuff.And it says the same thing on Millinias site as well as Fostex,Grace,SSL,RNP,etc etc.adnauseum...And you want to call me a liar with it....

    I'm sick of it.Theres no disguising how little respect you have for anyone who isnt doing things like you suggest.Theres a lot of very talented people out there without your version of gear who are making recordings that merit listening to. Its not up to you to call them out on their choices they sometimes HAVE to make due to restrictions of budget and or lifestyle choices.At least they're still willing to put an effort into doing the best they can with what they have.They come here asking for help and support and they get you telling them how all they're doing is perpetuating some ungodly manufacturers secret effort to sell them gear. Most folks are adults and they can spend their money anyway they like.Its their choice and in your continuosly boring rant about some personal vendetta you have, you continue to berate instead of encourage and fortify their desire to learn and improve.Sure, everyone would love to have better gear....the best and most elegant that money can buy.Some folks simply cant wait with recording the music that drives them to this in the first place.It takes too long to save a couple grand just for a piece of interface that will give them ....what? A better sound? Sure, but at what cost to the creative urge?

    None of this matters a bit. Theres no way that there'll ever be something that touches you to see how it sounds.You're just NOT WRONG.....EVER. So while you sit in your little converted dining room full of nice gear with your decent set of skills and rant over the internet at people who'll never see you but think your some kind of god, you and I will both know the truth.And you wonder why I'm no longer your friend.

    Now kick me off of RO like you did Steve.Big time arent you.

    And yeah, I'm breaking one of my own rules....I'm doing you in public. :twisted:
  18. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Dave, you and everyone else who wants to can do and use anything you all want ... I really don't care. I'm not a GURU and I don't say I am ... I offer advice based on my expierence ... on the records I have made for well known artists, the operation of a real studio in San Francisco for almost ten years, and doing almost nothing except music almost all my life, that's all.

    I don't kiss gear dealers and manufacturers asses by telling people that the crappy gear they make and sell is any good ... all I can do is say it like I see it. If I think somthing sounds good I say so ... if I don't I will comment if asked ... I'm trying to keep some people from buying a bunch of useless crap that they don't really need. If I were trying to convince them to go out and buy stupid sh*t, I could understand your animosity ... but this? Dude you must be ready to blow a tube or somthing ... you used to be pretty nice.

    You said I had said somthing that wasn't correct and I went to the website and found evidence to support my comments and now you are complaining? Where should I look for the info? PSW? I don't think so ....

    But I am not pining my opinion on just that info I found at the PreSonus site .., I had the M80 here for quite a while and I really did not care for the pres. That's what I base my comments on, that and the communications I had with PreSonus reps during the review process ...
  19. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    First off....I'm not complaining...I would have to give a rats ass to complain about something that most high-school english students could read for them selves.Secondly, that same set of statements you are now swearing by are the ADMAN hype that goes along with any website that any manufacturer puts up. I agree with your assessment of the M80.I've used that unit also and it was less than the quality of the pres in my console.I have said so in many posts before. I LIKE the Eureka because it works well enogh to warrant its price point.Thats all I said and you went out of your way to call me a liar and also to discourage anyone from ever wanting to try(those that might believe you)...I dont give a ^#$% about your track record or anyone elses for that matter.Or whether you owned a studio in Pahdukah or Alaska..Theres a lot of people who have done what you've done and that doesnt make them some kind of expert.Its true that you do have recording skills.Its true you have some nice gear.You have a LOT more of it since you became a reviewer.More power to you.That doesnt make you right about everything and it doesnt mean because someone else has had a good experience with what you deem to be an inferior product that it cant be true.

    Heres the crux......This opinion is pure conjecture. You've never tried a Eureka preamp.Never. When we were friends, we got one here and I was going to loan it to you but was never able to due to the Doc using it in his live rig.I wish I had but chances are you would have poo-poo'd it anyway.because youre a snob.

    As for doing music your whole life....so what. Lots of others can claim that too.maybe they should be administrators on RO since they have the juice too....and isnt that what this is all about.

    Its about your juice.Not helping people or giving them something to look forward too but whether you are right or not.

    Well fine.You're right.Remember people...Kurts the only one here that is allowed to be right.
  20. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    But seriously dude, trolling around the budget gear forum to spread your message of truth about high dollar pres isn't going to help much when a guy has a stated budget of $500. In many cases, waiting to save up $2000 for whatever will in many of these cases mean not recording; which would be unacceptable.

    Or....you could just close the budget gear forum to posting, except for a giant disclaimer that says:

    "Don't waste your time/money"

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