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pre's and compr's

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by billblues, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. billblues

    billblues Active Member

    recording music from raw bluesacoustic[john lee hooker style]just voice and guitar to srv style to t bone walker to ac/dc rock.instruments are from fender to gibson amps mostly fender mics are sm57 beyer 160 at4040 at4033 akg 414 presently tracking thru a ghost to hd24xr.looking for some warmth to hard disk which pre's and compressors are a good solid foundation to start building my signal chain have approx. 5 grand at the moment and for the most part will be laying the rythm tracks live. guitar bass and drums........helppppp!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    There are so many decent pre's out there it's almost impossible to know where to start and I use relatively unconventional pre's so I may not be of help there.

    But I can really highly recommend the ART Pro VLA as a kick ass compressor that has fantastic color and top notch functionality. It's difficult to find an opto compressor with tubes for $299 (the going rate) and sometimes musician's friend will put them up for $229. Mine shipped with EH 12AY7 tubes which really surprised me. I'm used to having to replace the stock tubes as soon as I take most things out of the box. Not this time, on this product. It's a fantastic compressor that handles transients superbly, even close mic'd effects percussion is handled well with the Pro VLA. And you can cascade the 2 channels if you want (or need) by using one channel for limiting and the other for light compression before going to your HD. It's performs very nicely on vocals and acoustic instruments which is mainly what I record. But yesterday for instance I was tracking lead guitar with a healthy dose of natural all-tube distortion (close mic'd) and got some excellent tracks from it. So it will handle your SRV or Angus Young (I love that guy) style guitars very nicely.

    By the way, Electro Harmonix has finally come out with their new Tube Mic Pre and it's priced at only $189. I've read independent/un-biased pre-production reviews that place it's sound and performance above the UA 610 by reliable sources. Go figure. When you read abou the design though it all makes perfect sense. It's not a starved plate design like all the other low budget pre's out there.
  3. Clive Banks

    Clive Banks Guest

    I would recommend recording though valves or at least good Class A circuits with transformers like Hardy , Fearn , Sebatron , API.
    if you've got a good budget spend it on mics and good monitors as well.With good mic and mic pres the use for outboard E>Q should be minimal assuming you have good monitor and recording rooms.
  4. billblues

    billblues Active Member

    wow you guy's are quick thanks.I believe my first choice for pre will be a sebatron 4000.for the price point I can't see how you can beat it{same price or less per channel than a brick wowww}where can i purchase it in the states.that still leaves me with wanting at least 2 more pre's to track my rythym sect. live.at present i don't own any decent compression s.s or opt. i'm ashamed to say a 3630 is all i have right now and which has overstayed it's welcome in my live rig.i'm looking possibly at a r.n.c. and a 160x just to get off the ground. are the ua 1176 and la-2a still like the originals ?????????i'm using event tr8's to monitor and have treated the rooms but still experimenting... my mixes are becoming close but still a little off on bass freq's but i'm pretty happy with my tr8 beast's.in addition to the mic i already listed. i also own a d12 and senn md 421.i will be looking for 2 small diaphrams for acoustic and overheads any suggestions?any input whatsoever is sure appreciated thanx
  5. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    My favorite SDC's for acoustic work and overheads are Oktava MK012's (from The Sound Room because of their quality control) and I've been absolutely Ga-Ga over this new mic called The "Alice". Their hand made by a guy in Ann Harbor named Scott Helmke and he's selling them for around $175. It's the most incredible SDC I've ever used. I think the only place you can buy them is from his website at http://www.scotthelmke.com/

    The transients you get from the Alice mic are un-freaking-believable, no kidding. The highs are bright and strong without ever getting brittle. Mids are so tight and balanced that you can't believe the mic only goes for $175 and the lows are very tight and balanced. Very controlable (is that a word?). The weird thing about the Alice is that it's really great for male vocals too when you slap a windscreen on it and it's very capable of picking up the natural acoustics of a good room. My OM-16 loves this mic. Yesterday I tracked Electric guitar with it for the first time and it really captured the full range of freqs from this small watt all-tube antique amp I have. The beef was there, the mids were very tight and present and the dynamics and highs were very present. No choking on SPL's either. Overhead for cymbals it's incredible and it does a fantastic job with effects percussion like sleigh bells and claves. Bodhran too. No choking on SPL's or booming lows from the bodhran. Flutes and woodwinds like the mic as well, which is a little unusual. Most folks end up using an SM57 or 58 for flutes, especially Native American flutes but the Alice is my go-to mic for that now as well as with harps.

    The 012's from the Sound Room are just these amazing mics. They get Oktava stuff in bulk, test out everything, pick the very best of the lots and ship the rest to certain guitar center's and ebayers. All their Oktava stuff pings out at 9's or better (scale of 1-10). I bought an omni capsule from them a few months ago and was so in love with it I didn't switch it back out to the cardioid capsule for almost a month.
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    The 1176 and LA2as from UA are pretty exact replications of the originals. Ya gotta have one of each type .... I have a UREI 1178 ... For almost the same price of an LA2a I think you might be able to find a Manly EL OP ... its two channes and essentially the same thing as an LA2a with some Pultec mods performed on the gain make up amps... I like mine a lot.

    Sebatron vmp 4000e or a JLM TMP8 are both favorites of mine to recomend for mic pres.

    If a channel strip is attractive to you the ~Sebatron~ THORAX bears checking out. It's a tube mic pre eq and compressor "all in one".
  7. billblues

    billblues Active Member

    is the sebatron 4000e as fast and punchy and in your face for kick,snare as say api 3124? seems like a combination of the 2 would cover some serious ground. with api 3124+ a sebatron 2000e and either a 1176 or a distressor that should cover me for awhile.whats your take on the distressor which ever one i chose i'll most likely will be going for stereo link of the same down the road cause i still need some mics for now
  8. JBsound

    JBsound Guest

    Glory Comp is shipping soon. Should be a beast.
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Sebatrons are very "fast" and they are suitable for anything. If all I had were Sebtron vmp's, it wouldn't bother me at all. These are top quality mic pres, no two ways about it.

    In lieu of the API's (which are too pricey for me) I have discovered the TMP8 from Joe Malones JLM Audio. These are transformer balanced op amp type pres that are similar to APIs. 8 channels in one rack space, the JLM TMP8 is absolutely the most affordable quality pre per channel that I have come across so far, and they kick ass. Lots of aggressive sound like the APIs. The TMP8 sells for $2250 (I think). I reviewed the TMP last year but a new version with a lot more features has just been released, so I will be re-visiting it once more with an update to the review. keep an eye out for it. It's a good one.

    I love having the ~Sebatron~ 4000e and the TMP8.

    I never got the Distressor "thing" ... I guess I just an old fart geezer. The Empirical emulation's of 1176's never convinced me and I just don't care for comps that distort. I come from a time where we fought to keep distortion at a minimum (except in guitar amps).

    My current comps are the Manley EL-OP, an old UREI 1178 (essentially a stereo 1176), a pair of blackface UREI LA4s, a Valley People Dynamite, and the comp sections of my Millennia ORIGIN and ~Sebatron~ THORAX.

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