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Mic pres....are they needed?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Nirvalica, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. Nirvalica

    Nirvalica Guest

    ive got the fostex mr-8, which comes with two built in mic preamps. i run a shure sm-57 and some other cheap audiotechnica mic through a behringer eq and then right into the recorder. recently ive noticed that when i record clean guitars, mostly acoustics, i cannot get enough volume. i turn the eq all the way up and turn the preamp up as much as i can before the noise takes over. i found that the eq amplifys the signal w/o as much noise as the preamp, so i use that for volume more. anyways, my questions are

    1. would a preamp be beneficial? (im guessing yes)

    2. are the mic inputs on my recorder even preamps or are they just inputs with gain knobs?

    3. do my mics (both dynamic) require phantom power or something to work properly? (im pretty sure the recorder doesn't have phantom power...)

    thanx for the help
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Distinguished Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    OK. please, PLEASE, do not use the EQ as a gain device.

    1. would a preamp be beneficial?
    Think about the word...pre-amp. AMP probably stands for amplification and PRE stands for before. In other words, amplification before the signal gets to other processing/recording devices. So YES, a preamp would be beneficial and actually a requirement.

    You have two right there at your disposal. Didn't you ever think to try them? I mean just for the heck of it? Just to see what they could do?

    2. are the mic inputs on my recorder even preamps or are they just inputs with gain knobs?
    That is what a preamp is essentially, an input with a gain knob. Mic signals are very quiet. You need to pass them through a preamp to get the level loud enough so that you can work with it.

    3. do my mics (both dynamic) require phantom power or something to work properly?
    No. Dynamic mics do not require phantom power. The something they require are preamps. So get you some proper mic cables and plug them puppies in to the pre's and get to recording.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Repeat after me, "put the lime in Coconut, not into the equalizer".

    Run your microphone directly into your fostex mr-8, microphone input. Do your equalization in software.

    If you want/must use your hardware equalizer, you will have to go out and buy yourself an outboard microphone preamp. Take the output of that microphone preamp and plug that into your equalizer. Then plug your equalizer into your fostex mr-8, line input.


    Also, please don't try to mix gasoline and Jell-O to serve as a desert, it gives everybody gas.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  4. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Try a large diaphragm (sp?) condenser instead of a dynamic.
    Studio Projects B1 or a Rode NT1, are cheap (inexpensive) enough to start with.

    Please dont crank the EQs
  5. Nirvalica

    Nirvalica Guest

    trust me, i know its not right, but its the best i can do with what i have. i don't have software to eq stuff with. hell, i don't even use the computer to record at all.

    pr0gr4m, i know i have the preamps on the recorder, but i believe i did say they were noisy as hell. the eq is quieter, which was the only reason i used that for volume.

    now that ive concluded i need a preamp or two, what would be a good preamp to get? i can live with a single preamp, but i'd really like to get a double one. if its better to buy two singles, i will, but it'd be better to get a double one for space and price.
  6. jcnoernberg

    jcnoernberg Guest

    We need to know your budget to recommend a preamp...


    you say the two preamps you have are "noisy as hell". Can you be more clear on that? There is no reason that those preamps shouldn't be useful for some basic recording... which sounds like what you are doing.

    What are you recording to if you aren't going to a computer? A computer will open up worlds of creative options for multitrack recording!
  7. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005

    I have no idea what a Fostex MR-8, is? Here's how to make it work.



    For God's sake, BUY NOTHING ELSE!!!

    Plug your mic into one of the mic jacks on your MR-8.

    Turn up the input level on the mic jack(The mic preamp), until it is satisfactory.

    Congratulations! You are done!!!


    BTW: If this doesn't work, READ THE MR-8 MANUAL!
  8. Nirvalica

    Nirvalica Guest

    jcnoernberg - i want to get a preamp for about $100-150. ill got $200 max. id like to have two, either a double preamp or two singles, but i can live with just one.

    uh, the noisy as hell is like white noise. im recording straight to my 8-track and then im editing on the computer.

    ted, the preamps work, but like i said above, they have this static/white noise that really bugs me.
  9. Reggie

    Reggie Distinguished Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Oo, oo, I know this one! It starts with a D and ends with an MP3. No, not that mp3, this one: M-Audio DMP3.
  10. jcnoernberg

    jcnoernberg Guest

    maybe you're hearing some sort of "noise floor". for instance, when you goto play something on a cd, you know/can hear the instant your track begins to play, even if there is silence in the track. you hear a bit of a low hiss. if that's it, I believe the only way to solve this is to sink some money into the problem... buy high end preamps and/or a/d converters.

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