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preamp help (r&b,hiphop production)

Discussion in 'Preamps & Processing' started by C9productions, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. i mainy produce r&b and hiphop.. i track most of my stuff now with a u87ai and or cad m9 through a valley audio 401 or aphex 207. sounds good but it need great.
    i'm looking at getting the focusrite isa430MkII or the A-designs mp1 with a nice comp(distressor)

    which would be the cleaner setup overall.. i can get the focusrite cheaper than usual, same thing with the MP1.
    to start off i'll probably add a RNC with the a-designs until all the money is there to get the distressor.

    if neither pre, what do you have in mind. :w:
     
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2001
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    I havn't heard the A-designs MP1, but I would expect it to be cleaner than the Focusrite. Cleaner isn't always better. There are many mic pre options these days. You need to go listen to some or least have a known preference on what type of sound you are after so that you can narrow down the field. The Focusrite ISA 430 MKII is a great unit. But is not always going to be the best or perfect unit. It certainly would be much better than the Valley or Aphex your using now.
     
  3. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2000
    The A Design's MP-2 is my goto for vocals. That being said, it's not always the best for rap vocals. It's clean, but almost too rich for a lot of rappers I've used it on. I hate the Focusrite. It sounds like plastic, and distant on the rapper's I've used it on.

    For what you've got, I'd start with an Avalon 737. I've used it on a million rappers (Method Man, Ice Cube, Coolio, Missy, etc) with great results. For me, it's high point is the EQ. It's lower point is the pre, which is still totally useable, just not aye-numero-uno, still much much better than what you've got. Try to get one at Guitar Center, or any other crap store and make sure they've got a good return policy. Try this:

    U87 Card, No roll, No pad
    Pre @ 12 o clock
    Filter ON, Filter @ 100hertz
    48v in Comp in
    Compressor Ratio 4:1 - 6:1
    Thershold starting at 5 O clock and moving to the left as needed
    Attack 9o clock Release 2 O clock
    Make the attack and release faster until you get it 'punching' correctly.

    EQ, if needed
    Sometimes I'll keeping rolling off low end all the way to 120hertz..depends on rapper
    Look at 200 to 300 for fatty beef
    look for presence anywhere from 2K to 5K (might have to X10 the frequency)
    Harshess and Esses in the 7K to 12K range
    I normally use high Q's to notch around, but YRMV.

    If it doesn't work for you, return it. it's a great unit that you'll get a lot of milage out of (used for tracking and mixing). Good luck.
     
  4. random logic

    random logic Guest

    i agree with e cue. i just love avalon vt737sp on vocals. i have it for years and it works wihout any problems. (it has 3600 working hours). i produced and mixed many hip hop/rnb/dance projects and avalon always performed great. best thing on avalon is compressor-eq. comp works really great with vocals and you have an option to insert it before or after eq.this gives you many options to experiment with different settings. eq has a great sound and you can get a fat, bright and pleasant vocal sound out of it. avalon mic pre works just fine for me, sometimes i use amek 9098 instead. i also like amek 9098 and distressor combination for recordings .
     
  5. i've used everything from the mp1 to a ssl superanalog channel(which sounds great on a lot of my r&b singers)

    as for the avalon.. its lacking something for me.. i use one every week at my partners studio.. sometimes i feel its missing something... the only really good vox i got with it i tracked with a Shure ksm44.. with my u87ai, cad m9, tlm193 i could never get the sound i wanted. now the eq is its strong point, i have to agree with you there.

    i get all my stuff from Atlanta pro audio. GC are con-artist and half the time the guys that work there don't know sh!t. one guy had the nerve to tell me the vipre was a crappy preamp and he'd take a $400 dbx over it.. :D

    Price wise the mp1 is in there for me.. i'm gonna be able to get it under $700. the avalon i can get for $1700 and the focusrite for $1300. i'm gonna take a look at API and great river and see what my budget will allow me to get... perhaps in my studio the avalon can work out, but at my partners studio thats one pre i don't even deal with anymore.
     
  6. e-cue, logic.. i know so many ppl that sware by the avalon when it comes to r&b and hiphop.. and in atlanta, thats a pre thats used a lot.

    perhaps there may be a problem with my partners.. i'ma call atlanta pro audio and see if my ppl over there will let me rent one for a day and i'll see how it sounds in my studio..

    i was looking at the Ua but to many ppl tell me its over colored.. so i'm not even gonna worry about it..
    thanks for helping me out.. i don't find to many ppl online that produce hiphop/r&b that actually know their equipment or willing to help out a young guy that needs to get a pro sound from a home studio.
     
  7. I used the Sebatron 2000e on rap vox the other night and it was great. I was going for a coloured sound and it delivered. I sent it through the 1176 and smacked it hard, 7-10 db reduction with fast attack and slow release. I then sent that signal through the Valley People 2-610 comp (much better than the crap from Valley Audio) and gave it another 3-4 db to smooth things out. The 1176 sounds damn good to me on male vox, especially when they have a deeper voice (think Chris Isaak or Frank Sinatra). I know many people will cringe at the amt of comp, but it works for me. Why use crappy plug-in comps during mixdown if you have great analog comps during tracking, or have to bother with patching out to an outboard comp (I don't send much out for other people to mix, BTW, and YMMV)?
    I would still look at the UA, I love it, and having a clean AND coloured pre is the name of the game IMO. The Vintech 81 is a great pre and you should give it a listen. Why not, it's your money... David
     
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    The UA 2-610 is supposed to be an exact recreation of the mic pres Bill Putnam used in his 610 recording consoles ... and some of the nicest sounding records I have ever heard came from his studios... Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Count Bassie, just to name a few... and I am sure these pres have been used on many other recordings. So to say they are "overly colored" is in my POV wrong. They are not transparent but if Putnam could make them work as well as he did, there must be something to them ... and you gotta love those big knobs!
     
  9. Thanks for helping i'll look into a few of ther other pres mentioned.. i guess i shouldn't really say its for r&b or hiphop production.. its for vocals. i have poets, spoken word poets, r&b singers, rappers, ppl that need voice overs.. etc

    hey kurt did you ever get you Cad M9? if so what do you think? i've been using it more than my u87ai as of late.. but some artist just sound great on the u87 and sound ok on the m9
     
  10. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2001
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Putnam also wasn't likely using half-ass cheap or china made mics either...
     
  11. Putnam also wasn't likely using half-ass cheap or china made mics either... [/QB][/QUOTE]

    Good point! Thanks for that.
     
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Yes I did! I don't really think too much of it yet, but I am still checking it out. I tred it on my own vocals and was not impressed... but for the price, it's ok. It ain't no C12 though
     
  13. very good point, but i'm not gonna be using any cheap mics either.. i have a u87,tlm193 and the m9 as my main vox mics.. i'll be adding a sm7 and a ksm44 soon.. then i'ma add something in the blue line up.. perhaps a kiwi or blueberry.

    kurt, first thing you need to do is take that 7025 sovtek tube outta the mic... ive gone through a few different tubes, but i find the mullard cv4004 is the best tube in the m9. vocals are warm, have great dynamics, pressence, airy highend with out being siblant. when i first got my m9 i thought it was ok.. but with the mullard cv4004 in it, its a great vox mic.
    the cad vx2 is my next cad mic
     
  14. E-cue.. i was able to use a 737sp in my studio on tuesday for a session... i set it up using your settings and tweaking where i needed it... it actually didn't sound bad at all. i only used the M9 on the session and overall the vox sound great...
    depending on the price i'll go ahead and get one for my studio.
    but i have a quick question, whats different about the mercenary 737sp and the regular 737sp? i see its black but is there any other difference
     
  15. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2000
    AFAIK, the Mercenary is the same except the knobs are plastic to keep the costs down. The older purple knob'ed 737 have issues with the pots and if this is the same sorta thing, I'd avoid the hell out of them. Then again, I'm never buying jacksh¡t from Mercenary ever.
     
  16. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2001
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    I seem to remember that the curent 737SP has had an upgrade in the preamp/input transformer/power supply over the original purple knob version and the Mercenary version had the upgrades or was even responsable for the upgrades in their version but using plastic knobs.

    I might even be mentioned at the website. You could always call and ask them about it.
     
  17. i'll go ahead and go with the regular 737sp.. i still have to get my digi002R, Event asp8's with the sub, and a few other simple things..
    i just don't have $4800 right now :)
    i'ma order the avalon and the digi002R from Americanmusical, that way i don't have to pay for it all at one time.. the monitors i'ma get from 8thstreet cuz thats the only place that i see the asp8's with the sub for 1600..
     

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