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Need help picking out a mic and pre!

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by mfunk49, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. mfunk49

    mfunk49 Active Member

    Need help picking out a mic pre and mic!

    Ive been researching pres for a while now. Its very overwhelming to say the least! First my goals....Im a songwriter/guitarist and want to make quality demos for submissions to sell songs (but also in general LOVE music and dont mind paying for some quality equipment!). Ive been using the digi002 rack pres and the nt1000 for my vocals (as well as overhead drums and ambient for guitar amp) and pro tools 8 stock plugins. My tracks sound ok on their own but get lost when combining many. So, ive decided to get a quality pre (or 2 if affordable) and mic. I realize some of my issues are other issues(mix technique, room, mic placement....) but want a solid starting point.

    So.......I was originally going to get 2 golden age73s (possibly modded) and possibly a sm7b mic (read good things about it). But now Ive been leaning toward a channel strip to gain the comp, eq, desser..(tk audio strip was recommended by warren at zed audio)

    i have about $2000-2500 to spend.

    any opinions about the pre73? I realize this subject is subjective and would appreciate if narrowing down to just a few options. So....what should i spend my money on??

    Im new here...please be gentle! Thanks!

    ok...one more thing.

    If i get a different pre(s), wont that output go into my pro tools input and therefore be double preamped so to speak? i have lightpipe input on 002 rack. If i went into this, would i avoid the pres on the 002 rack? And if so, should i be looking for a preamp with digital outs? Sorry....very confusing for me!
    (dont know why theres a smiley face at the title?)
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    How many channels do you want or need? Is the mic going to be primarily a vocal mic?

    Your 002 rack has 8 analog ins and 8 analogs out as well as 8 channels of ADAT and 2 channels of SP/Dif. Connecting any outboard pres to the analog ins, not the mic ins will bypass the mic pres. You also have Firewire on that unit. So any inputs and outputs you are using with this interface will allow you access to a computer with firewire capabilities. I figure you're already using it in this way.

    I have an 003 Factory. I use several mic pres with this and an extensive patchbay for my console and all other outboard.

    If I was looking at a budget like this, I would look at the Focusrite ISA series. Whether you opt for either of the channel strips, the dual channel pre or the 428 like I have, you'll happy with the sound of this series over most pres in its price range. I REALLY like this stuff. They have a digital card option that has converters well above the stock converters in your 002 and most other boxes for that matter!

    With this, you can look at mics in the 1K realm if you choose not to buy the digital card. Theres a LOT of fine offerings in this category. The variable impedance input on the ISA gives you several different sounds for any mic you put in and allows you dial it just right.

    This is all subjective but I find this to be a great value with its quality vs. price point.

    There are two ages of the ISA gear. Theres discussion on which is better but I'm not sure its measurable in any way other than someones ears and familiarity.
  3. mfunk49

    mfunk49 Active Member

    Great input Dave! I'll check those out when I get home. So, if I bought a unit w/ converter built in,
    I would send the digital outs to my 002 digital input? Would my inferior a/d converters on the 002
    Negate the converters on the new preamp?
  4. mfunk49

    mfunk49 Active Member

    I mostly need a good vocal mic and would soon like to get a pair of ribbon mics. I typically need 1 input but use 2 for occasional ambient tracking. I'm starting to do a little bit of drum recording. Thought I could use the 002 for that (along with the new pre).
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    If you went with the ISA428 with the digital card you would use the converters on the ISA to your computer and hook up your mic pres in your 002 to that. It has all the ins/outs that the 002 has and does 8 channels . That would be the four native channels in the ISA plus any other 4 channels you'd send to it. It even comes with monitoring for the extra channels on the front.

    Study the factoid sheets on these and it will give you all you need to know. You would certainly get enough channels to eventually do drums. The reason I suggest this particular one is the future growth and the difference in price for the four pre unit vs. a solo or a two channel isnt that much.

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