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pre amps?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by abmac, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. abmac

    abmac Guest

    Ive been recording some personal projects and i have done about 20 full songs. I havent used a pre amps on anything whatsoever and im not completely sure if they would improve my recordings. Is there something im missing?
  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    unless it was all software
    or all at line level
    I suspect you did use a pre-amp ... you just didn't see it as such

  3. abmac

    abmac Guest

    well i use sonar 4 with a tascam us-122 interface. i mic the electric and the vocals are obviously micd. everything else is line level. Does the interface serve as a pre amp?
  4. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member


    there can be some advantages in having a dedicated pre-amp and run the output of that into a line input of the interface.

    this interface is near the bottom of the heap BUT I would recommend starting with a couple of good mic's and a DI box suited to your immediate needs
    look to quality monitoring ... speakers and headphones and the amps to go with them
    before unloading cash on pre-amps

    it's just a matter of priorities
  5. abmac

    abmac Guest

    well i use a shure sm81 for pretty much everything cause its all i have. Whenever I record with the mic i run it directly into the interface. Ive been doing it like this for about 6 monts and im pretty happy with the results. I have a direct box but i dont use it. I just dont see how a pre amp would improve anything. To tell you the truth i dont even really know what a pre amp does. Any tips would be appreciated!
  6. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    with in your current set-up it may not help you

    Using a different pre is a bit like using different guitar amps for different tonal qualitys and different saturation sounds.

    Once you get quality monitoring you will be in a position to hear any difference that may come when using these external pre-amps.
    Until then it may all remain a mystery.
  7. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    yeah, priorities!

    I think if you are happy with the results, and this is not intended as anything but a demo, or for your own enjoyment, the setup you have is fine. However, I think Kev is correct about monitoring. What are you listening through now? A better playback quality may reveal problems you couldn't hear on your current system. The mic is decent, the interface could be better but at least it works for you. The question you need to ask is what more do you want out of this? As for what a preamp does...well the tascam has 2 inputs, correct? Whatever, I know it has a built in preamp for each input. The problem is it is a very cheap preamp. All the preamp does is amplify the signal to a usable level. Different preamps do this in different ways. The more money, the more flexability, usually. Most cheap preamps have one decent sound they deliver, and that's it. More expensive, particularly tube driven pre's, have a variety of sounds they can produce, from clean to warm and fuzzy, to gritty maybe. But, as Kev says, improve your playback quality so you will know what is missing, before you buy a preamp.
  8. abmac

    abmac Guest

    For playback im using my cheapo NADY QH560s, my crappy rca stereo or my car stereo. I have been reading up on studio monitors which i plan on buying sometime soon.
  9. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    oh, oh, sounds like you caught the bug.... soon you will be taking a loan out on your house to outfit your studio...
  10. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    that's my next step...

    My next step...taking out a loan! Provided my wife doesn't kill me of course! I need to come up with a way to get her obsessed with this stuff too!

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