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preamps

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by xMannequiNx, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    Im lookin for new preamps to replace my firestudio project

    First of all, is it possible to use the FSP just for its preamps, and have it output to a separate interface?

    If not, what 8 channel solid-state pre would you recommend?

    Also, what 2 channel tube pre would you recommend?

    Im lookin for rackmountable gear, and preferably with the balanced inputs on the front of the console.

    Thanks
     
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    So you're looking for new preamps to replace the preamps that are already quite good in your digital audio interface? Why? And you not been able to make good recordings with what you have? Or, are you just looking for a different kind of sonic signature? Any other preamps anywhere near the price range of your current systems is only going to yield a similar sounding microphone preamp. You are only in a year a difference when you move into the boutique styled preamps. With all of those heavy input & outputs transformers. They're not cheap. They're top shelf. API 3124 gives you that classic sound with incredible headroom, sweetness, fatness, just as you and all over fuzzy warm feel. $2500 times 2. But if you want a truly different sound you want something with transformers in it.

    What kind of crap are you recording?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Remy's got some points there...

    First, what are you recording?

    Second, what don't you like about your current preamps? Are you of the opinion that replacing them is going to make your recordings a world better?

    My whole take on purchasing things such as Preamps, mics, A/D D/A, monitors are:
    If you don't know what you want, then you probably don't really know *why* you want (or need) it.

    However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't buy them, that just means you need to be careful. This is the point in time where you can take yourself to a new level as an engineer or you can make a costly mistake that you'll regret for years to come.

    What I mean is, if you purchase a preamp just because someone told you too and you don't know why and even worse, if you purchase some piece of incremental-upgrade crap...then you'll be wasting your money and getting no gain in improvement.

    However, if you take this opportunity to go and listen and play around with preamps and then start making decisions based on requirements, then you've headed down a very positive path.

    The first step to do is identify the capabilities you wish to have. Do you need a simple preamp (8 ins, 8 outs and nothing more?), do you need a mix bus (8 ins, 8 outs, and a stereo mix?), do you need digital outputs? Basically, determine what capabilities you need.

    The next step - determine the sound you're after. Mic pres have distinct sounds in some cases. Do you need pristine? Do you need chunky and big? Do you need glossy and shiny?

    For example, if I were going through this process and I identified the following:

    I need 4 channels of preamp input, 4 analog output with ADAT outputs.

    For my sound, I'm looking at big, warm and fuzzy.

    Okay - so based on my knowledge, I'm not aware of any pres that fit this - now I need to determine where I can modify my requests.

    Perhaps an API 3124 (meets the warm and big) and a good ADC (Lynx??).

    Maybe I can compromise on the "big and warm" and go for "big and shiny/sheen" and get a Focusrite ISA 428 with the digital output card.

    This is called systems engineering. This is a step you need to take prior to purchasing any major gear like this. Sometimes when you go through this process, you'll learn that your existing gear meets all of your requirements and you really only "want" new gear. Sometimes this factors in, sometimes it doesn't.

    One last question for you though -
    What's your reasoning for saying that you need 8 channels of solid state and 2 channels of tube? Why the delineation?

    Cheers!
    Jeremy
     
  4. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    I have a Firestudio Project and an ART MPA gold. I think the external preamp just gives you a little different sound, and it makes the standards like the SM58 and SM57 sound different. If you want something different, but not necessarily better, then get a mid-level pre. Or else save up for such wonderful pieces of audio goodness as previously mentioned.

    I do really appreciate the quality of the onboard pres more now that I do have an external.

    People I record seem to like more lights and gizmos though, so the external pre might have some glamor factor.
     
  5. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    I think this post is an outgrowth from an exchange mann and I had on another thread.

    Remy and Cucco are right - unless you're buying the high-end stuff, and know what you want, stick with what you have (BlueTube included).
    I have a Focusrite ISA 428 (saving up for the ADC card) and Sytek (4ch) that I run analog into my Firestudio's 8 inputs. Both are $1000+ solid state units that color the sound very differently.
    I got the ISA b/c I had the opportunity to hear what Focusrite pres do at a very nice, very very $$$$ local studio, the Sytek b/c an engineer friend had used it and had specifc recommendations on its sound - it fit as a "darker" counterpart to my Focusrite.

    I also have some cheaper tube pres (TubePre and BlueTube) that I use instead of the onboard Presonus pres if I think the sound will benefit from them - otherwise I use my Digimax Preamps.

    I'm a flavor guy - I like options in sonic character from mics and pres and the combos created by them. Still, sometimes no flavor is good, too.

    I suggest you play around with what you already have (mics, placements, preamps), and if you just really aren't satisfied still, consider:

    What sound do I have now? What sound do I want to achieve? What preamp (or any other purchase for that matter) will get me there?

    Finally, if you want more than 8 inputs, look for stuff that has ADAT in/out - the Project doesn't.
     
  6. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    I think this post got a little off topic - rather I didn't post my question clearly.

    First off I am INCREDIBLY happy with the FSP onboard pres, I don't really want to replace them

    The only reason I am asking about new pres is because I want to change the interface part. I absolutely HATE the dice II chipset in the FSP, it just doesn't want to work with anything besides cubase (and I cant stand cubase!)

    My main question I was asking was would you be able to output the preamp line signal from the FSP into another interface

    IF NOT

    what 8ch pre should I buy to replace the FSP pres?

    I already know I want to get the echo audiofire12 interface
     
  7. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    So, you're not really looking for a preamp but an interface. I have to ask: what do you hate so much about cubase? My guess would be unfamiliarity. I've never heard of problems using the Firestudio with other DAWs. What DAW were you trying to use it with?
     
  8. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    I think hueseph may be on to the right track re: your frustration with cubase after trying to answer your question on punch in recording with cubase. I can't compare Sonar with cubase as I have never used it. Presonus says the following re: FSP and Sonar

    "The v.3 driver in the Firestudio Project is compatible with Sonar 7. It addresses the problems that we had with the previous driver in the Firestudio2626."

    You should be good to go.

    Kind Regards,
    __________________
    Rick Naqvi
    http://www.presonus.com
    rnaqvi@presonus.com
    800.750.0323 x0641

    Rick is one of the moderators of the Presonus forums, I would think that any problems you were having with compability could be addressed there they have been helpful to me in the past.
     
  9. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    I'm thinking of converting my my PC into a hackintosh (I absolutely love mac and logic 8), which is perfectly stable now due to the new patches that came out for it. How compatible is the firestudio project with logic 8?

    I also want to get more interface inputs. I'm good for now, but if I were to expand, should I get something like a presonus lightpipe and just daisy chain it with the firestudio project? What would you recommend?
     
  10. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    As a lover of all things involving osx86, make sure you have a compatible firewire card, mine bit the dist when i threw leopard on my rig because it was a really old card.

    Good luck man.
    (you may get a negative response from other people. Just make sure you at least buy logic. It's just the right thing to do.)
     
  11. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    Yeah i will. I own a copy of osx as well. The only rules I know I am breaking is the end user license agreement for the osx software...who is really gonna sue me over that haha

    I am upgrading my pc with new mainboard, processor, power supply and memory, and I'm going to buy a mainboard that people have confirmed is flawless with osx86 :)
     
  12. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "end user license agreement for the osx software...who is really gonna sue me over that haha"

    You'd be surprised...
     
  13. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    Code,
    Respectfully, the osx86 community for the most part has the upmost respect for Apple, don't judge them on that alone.
     
  14. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    At least he bought the OS.
     
  15. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    Is it better to have a quad core at 2.3ghz or a dual core at 2.8ghz? Which will give me more power to do mixing?
     
  16. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    Depends, the quad is more future-proof (hopefully) but I would see no problems with mixing any C2D. (could be wrong though, I have no experience with high-end plugs)

    Hell, I do quite a bit with an Athlon 2400+ and a gig of RAM that I didn't think I would be able to.
     
  17. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    You seem to be using a shotgun approach here, lets fire off 200 BB's and maybe we will hit something. You want to change your OS, DAW and interface and you are seeking opinions without clearly defining your needs. For example your need for more simultaneous inputs. Changing any or all of these things is unlikely to bring you to better recordings. Building a "hackenstein" system is as likely to introduce new problems as it is solve old ones, but if this is a hobby and you are having fun then great!
    If you have used Logic and find that the system is more intuitive for you then wonderful, but taking the time to learn the DAW will probably do more for recordings than any single change. I doubt that in a blind listening test you would be able to tell Cubase from Sonar from Logic. One of your other posts said that you thought Cubase was great except for the punch in recording issues, you then said you wanted Sonar, today it is Logic.
    As far as your Presonus FSP goes I am using this at present and for instrumentation, drums, guitars, etc it is giving me excellent results I do find it somewhat lacking in re: to vocal recording but I have not experimented enough yet with mics, recording spaces, etc to throw in the towel.
    In another post you said you have not been able to achieve the sound you want from your guitar recordings. There are so many variables to try first, amp settings and volumes (speaker excursion), mics and placements, etc. There is an article in this months Sound on Sound you may like to read on recording guitar.
    You might benefit from slowing down a little and trying to focus on each stage of the recording process until you feel that you have an in depth understanding of how that affects results. There are no magic pills. Good luck and have fun.
     
  18. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    If you're going to daisy chain w/ the Project, you need more Projects or the Tube models.
    These all have firewire outs, which is the only way to daisy chain w/ a Project.
    Problem is, the Lightpipe, and Digimax models connect w/ ADAT, and your Project doesn't have that connection.
     
  19. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    jg49: let me explain - I started with sonar doing crappy recordings through my sound card. I got fairly comfortable with it. Then I got my FSP and tried using cubase. It was decent software except for the issue with the punch in (and a couple other little things I did not like). So I switched back to sonar. But now the firstudio really doesn't like sonar and I get dropouts occationally and something my inputs dont even work. Also the new version of sonar I upgraded to isnt as stable as the last. I recently tried logic at a friends house and I like it and saw that it was really smooth and stable, so I want to try it out.

    Im big on changing things until I like them, and I really don't mind learning new software. But I understand your point that I should just stick with something. Unfortunately, I am just too damn curious haha

    soap: So daisy chaining the firewire ports between the lightpipe and the FSP wont work? I understand that they can't connect via lightpipe as the FSP has no lightpipe outs. What if you just had the lightpipe and the FSP plugged into separate firewire ports on the pc?
     
  20. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    That gets a little trickier, b/c you want to make sure both units are sync'd w/ each other - or you'll have major latency issues between the two.
    I suppose you could slave both to the PC clock, but not sure. Or use the BNC to sync the two. Again, not sure.
    Someone else would be better at answering that question.
     

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