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My new trick - tube and xsistor preamp on a single vox mic!

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by JohnTodd, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    My apologies if this is "old hat" for the pros in here. I just wanted to share this for anyone who wants to adapt this to their own home studio.

    I am always looking for ways to make new sounds. This trick is nothing more than splitting a mic signal and passing it through both a tube and xsistor preamp and recording in the DAW on two tracks.

    So this is what I have done:

    1. I take my MXL 990 condenser mic and run it into my Presonus Firepod. (I use input #1 for this)

    2. Set the gain on this preamp to the proper level for a good recording.

    3. Use the "Preamp out" on the back to send to my Art SGX2000 guitar amp!

    4. Set up a patch on the SGX2000 that uses only the TUBE CLEAN effect. Set the drive to zero.

    5. Use the XLR out on the back of the SGX2000 to connect to another input on the Firepod (I use #8 so that I won't lose track during the "heat" of a session.)

    6. Lower the input gain on the SGX2000 (round knob, front panel) to a low level. Set the XLR level out (front panel of SGX2000) to the middle.

    7. Adjust the "re-input" gain on the Firepod (#8 in my case) to a proper level for a good recording.

    8. In your software, set your inputs to record BOTH Firepod inputs on two separate tracks. (Inputs #1 and #8 in my case)

    9. After recording, INVERT PHASE on the TUBE track.

    10. Use the "Exciting Compressor" strategy to blend/EQ/compress the sound to your satisfaction.



    There are a lot of knobs to tweak here - but with proper gain staging I have been able to consistently get a clean, low-noise signal from both channels.

    Failure to invert phase on the tube channel will result in cancellation artifacts - a swirly flanging reminiscent of Beatles' ADT. You may like it that way.

    Personally, I use the xsistor channel for the treble components, hence the exciting compressor goes on this track. The tube track in only mildly compressed at the mixer.

    Both tracks will (might) need EQ to get it perfect for your tastes.

    The input gain on the SGX2000 is largely responsible for the amount of distortion from the tube - hence the low-level setting when recording Vox. YMMV.

    The "Exciting Compressor":


    Hope this is of use to people. Cheers, and keep making great recordings!
  2. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Oops! Forgot something:

    Look at step #3:

    The input into the SGX2000 is the Line In on the back, left side for mono.

  3. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member


    I recorded a small body acoustic guitar with this trick and it really added "meat" to the sound. No audible breakup, but a pleasing powerfullness that the clean-only recordings lacked.

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