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Need 'fat' mic pre recommendation for DAW

Discussion in 'Recording' started by regisfunk, Oct 28, 2001.

  1. regisfunk

    regisfunk Guest

    In a couple of months, I will begin tracking for a follow-up album that I have been hired to produce/engineer for an independant label. I am a Pro Tools guy (yes), and own a modest studio, with several decent mic pres, good A/D conversion, etc. These days, I've been mixing inside PT, and it is working well for me. For the purposes of constructive conversation, I'd prefer to leave that issue alone here. I know there are plenty of educated opinions on the subject already. That said, I am well aware that PT has its sonic 'signature' that is not always an easy thing to deal with. In that light, I see more and more, the importance of getting the biggest possible sound going in. Most of my mc pre's thus far are 'tame' high quality jobs with no real 'character.' Perfect for most applications actually. But occasionally I WANT character, especially for this upcoming project. And therefore (boy this has taken me a while to get to), my question is, are there any recommendations out there on good (but reasonably economical) mic pres which are very 'colored' yet well suited as a front end to a HD recording environment? I'm leaning toward ballsy' 'fat' 'thick' sorts of adjectives. Not 'pristine' 'transparent' or 'flat.' One unit that has sparked my interest is the UA 610 (or something like that). It's a dual channel valve unit for less than $2k or thereabouts. But valves are certainly not a requirement. I am, however, wanting to limit my spending at this time to around $1k per channel or less. So, sadly, no 1073's for me yet. Another unit that I've sort of wondered about is the SPL GoldMike. It's cheaper, but looks interesting. I'm sure the audiophiles are likely to shun it. Anyhow, Just looking for any knockout recommendations.

    Thanks dudes.

    CS
     
  2. ok - you are looking for some character in a box, for under 2k.

    may I ask first though, are you going to be doing any tracking in other rooms, or only with your own stuff? With that unknown...

    What do you have for mics? With that unknown, I'll still try to take a stab

    There are alot of preamps out there, alot that sound very much in the same league. When I think "character" - I think of a few mic pres, when used with certain mics. DW Fearn comes to mind, APIs come to mind, and yeah - 1073s really come to mind.

    The UA pre is a cool bet for the money, they make a mono version which will save you some dough. It's not some huge sounding thing though, just kinda mellow up top, yet so is the Great River NV - I like em both, yet I just bough my 1st APIs and am out of the preamp game for a while - Next gear purchase must contribute to the songwriting aspect (personal promise).

    let us know what ya got to work with, and what other stuff you might have access to. Also, renting a few things might be a good option to consider...
     
  3. regisfunk

    regisfunk Guest

    Thanks, microphone man. Let me fill you in on some of my 'gear.' I suppose by this forum's standards, it is indeed 'modest.' :)

    pre's:

    737sp
    true precision 8
    nti preq3
    tc goldchannel
    mp 20

    mics:
    brauner valvet
    se electronics 5000 (you gotta try these out some time)
    royer 121's
    tlm 103
    414's
    earthworks 30k (?)
    mc-012
    ksm 32's
    audix, shure, beyer, etc.

    other:
    joemeek sc2
    distressors
    tc m3k

    note: I am primarily looking to use this pre for vox, guitars (elec/acoust), bass, and possibly snare, if it turns out to be that versatile. Mics that would likely be going through it...royers, the 103, the brauner, or the se 5000. Mostly vox and guitars.
    This would be for my studio only.

    Hope this helpz.

    CS
     
  4. Originally posted by regisfunk:
    Thanks, microphone man. Let me fill you in on some of my 'gear.' I suppose by this forum's standards, it is indeed 'modest.' :)
    CS


    nah, man - you've got some great stuff. The 737 has a nice preamp, and it's compressor is colored to my ear - so that is some sort of "character" there. I've still yet to hear the precision-8, some like it some hate it.

    as for mics - you have most of the bases covered, between the Brauner / Royer / ksm-32 - you are pretty good.

    considering you want something dark sounding I take it - my recomendations in no particular order are:

    - averil 1272s or API 312s
    - d.w. fearn single channel
    - great river "mercenary" - NV

    you got some great stuff, is that your personal carry-around stash, or the stash of the joint you work at? As a freelancer, I only have a handfull of really nice stuff, and a bucket of shitty but "different" sounding old mics.

    why dont you nuke your distressors perhaps?
     
  5. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    It sounds to me like you desire something that a cheaper mic pre is NOT going to give you. I also don't think that FAT is something that most designers are thinking about when it comes to mic pres. You might be better off with something like the EL FATSO, UA LA2A, Tube Tech CL1B or CL2A in addition to your other gear.

    - Bruce -
     
  6. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    I forgot to mention that my normal FAT mic-pre for vocals is either my 1272 or more often my Focusrite RED-7. My RED-7 is pretty dam FAT to me and is a real workhorse for many things besides vocals. The compressor as well as the exciter/de-esser can be switched out if desired. I'd often wish I had another one...

    - Bruce -
     
  7. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

  8. regisfunk

    regisfunk Guest

    Originally posted by MicrophoneMan:


    nah, man - you've got some great stuff. The 737 has a nice preamp, and it's compressor is colored to my ear - so that is some sort of "character" there. I've still yet to hear the precision-8, some like it some hate it.


    The precision 8 is 'fine.' It's clean, and to my ears (but not to some others) it has a certain thickness on toms that I like. At any rate, it is solidly built and gives me 8 channels of clean pre in a single rack space. Yes, this is all my personal gear.

    Thank you for the recommendations! I'll check em out. Another guy recommended the vintech 1272, which is certainly priced right, at less than $700 per channel.

    CS
     
  9. regisfunk

    regisfunk Guest

    Originally posted by Julian Standen:
    If you bought the API 3421 4 way mic pre WITH MIXER OPTION. I don't think you would regret it.


    Jules, are you referring to the 3241? Looking at that one now.

    thx for rec!

    CS
     
  10. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Yes! That's it beg your pardon!

    The mixer option is a must...

    V f handy later on, you will see.. Lets you 'skip a console' and blend signals in it!

    :)
     
  11. mixfactory

    mixfactory Guest

    You got a lot of choices out there. Telefunken V72, Api,Tubetech mic pre, Great River NV, Vintech, and I am sure there others. If I were you I would just rent stuff(I don't know how it is in Oregon). For starters you need a great mic for Vocals, and you say you want something thick sounding, so unless the vocalists is thick sounding already, your gonna need something a little high powered(U47,U67,C12,Telefunken,SonyC800G), the preamp should actually be the least in the way. Also you didn't mention convereters(unless I missed it) also important. The 1073 does give the sound a certain color, which you might like or not, that's why a rental would not be a bad idea.
     
  12. regisfunk

    regisfunk Guest

    Originally posted by THETHRILLFACTOR:
    You got a lot of choices out there. Telefunken V72, Api,Tubetech mic pre, Great River NV, Vintech, and I am sure there others. If I were you I would just rent stuff(I don't know how it is in Oregon). For starters you need a great mic for Vocals, and you say you want something thick sounding, so unless the vocalists is thick sounding already, your gonna need something a little high powered(U47,U67,C12,Telefunken,SonyC800G), the preamp should actually be the least in the way. Also you didn't mention convereters(unless I missed it) also important. The 1073 does give the sound a certain color, which you might like or not, that's why a rental would not be a bad idea.

    All great comments there. Thank you. I have sort of narrowed it down to the vintech 1272, the api 3421 (or whatever the hell that thing is), and the GRNV. Renting may suck from here, but I will certainly look into it. I would have to have them shipped from LA, and I just don't know. The GRNV is probably too new to rent. As far as mics, you are correct, I really don't have an aggressively FAT sounding mic in my arsenal, but I'm pretty happy with my current mic collection for now. Just looking for fat pre that DOES get in the way. I do believe such a thing exists. Converters? AD8000.

    CS
     
  13. OneMan

    OneMan Guest

    CS,
    This sounds like me about 4 weeks ago when I was in search of "the sound" I have a tc GoldChannel too and I love the thing to death but was just wanting something diff. Everyone recommneded the same suspects you are looking at but by the time the smoke cleared, I now own a Focusrite ISA110. Take a listen to everything you can get your hands on and go with whats best for you. Also check out this thread
    (Dead Link Removed)
    p.s. Everyone may think I'm crazy but the tc is one of the best sounding boxes I have used in my modest enviornment.


    OneMan
     
  14. Todd Farone

    Todd Farone Guest

    The "sound" switch in the Cranesong Flamingo includes a "fat" mode... In the "fat" mode, the Flamingo has a much higher level of second and third harmonic distortion than in the non "fat" mode... The amount of color heard will depend on the type of signal and the operating level... The main use of the sound switch is to thicken,fatten and warm up sound... (Totally lifted from www.cranesong.com) I have a Flamingo myself which I love, very versitile... I'm expecting the Fatso to take me to the next level in this department... Actually, I've done a bit of tracking with the Fatso...And based on what I've heard and read, I plan on getting one very soon... You might want to consider one instead of a pre amp...For Fattness...
     
  15. regisfunk

    regisfunk Guest

    thanks jflush! Actually, a fatso is already on the list. Buying a few things for this project besides the pre in question. Buying buying buying! Always buying something. Crazy, nutty, buying. Whoohoo!

    And OneMan, I'll look into the focusrite. thx!

    CS
     
  16. regisfunk

    regisfunk Guest

    I have decided to go all out and get four channels of something colorful and delicious. It's either going to be 2 vintech 1272's, or an api 3124. They are both about the same general price per channel ($650 or so). That just seems to fit my wallet nicely. Not overly cheap and not audiophile out-of-this-world expensive, either. I've done well with mid-priced pro gear so far. Now, I just need to figure out how to get one of each for a lil' SHOODOUT!!!

    CS
     
  17. masmit

    masmit Guest

    I'd also suggest checking out the Telefunken V72i. It's the fet model, not tube, and can be had for surprisingly little money. I got a pair for about 350 pounds sterling, and they sound great. Fat, smooth but very clear. They've done great duty on guitars, drums and vocals.

    Happy tracking!
     
  18. Punchmo

    Punchmo Member

    regisfunk,

    I'll bump the Flamingo along. I use the 2 channels for kick and snare, guitars, vox, etc...with and without the fat and iron switches. It rocks. I've not tried the 3214+ but have used Neve and am getting what I want from the Cranesong. It's only 2 channels though and ain't cheap. If your gonna rent, try one.

    Steve
     
  19. Scott Gould

    Scott Gould Active Member

    I've gotta agree with the Flamingo - I use it more than any other pre. You need to listen to one before you make your purchase decision. I like mine so much, I ordered a Spider (8 mic pres, A/D & 8x2 mixing).

    Scott
    "Hard work may not kill me; but why chance it?"
     

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