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Suggestions for a FOH vocal preamp

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by mark_van_j, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. mark_van_j

    mark_van_j Active Member

    I've decided to start upgrading my touring rack a little bit and one of the things I'd like to add is a decent vocal preamp. I know people say you don't really need it, but it's an option I'd like to have.

    What I would really like is it to be flexible. This means a decent EQ section, a decent compressor, bonus points for de-esser and of course road-worthyness.

    I've met engineers that walk around with Red's or Avalons but that's too rich for my blood. Here's what I've been looking at:

    Drawmer MXPRO 60 (the old MX60 had great reviews for this price range, plus I like the "tube sound" buttons.) Drawmer - MXPRO-60 Front End One

    SPL Track One MKII (It's SPL!) In short: Sound Performance Lab

    TL Audio Ivory 2 5051 (Worked on it a couple of times, great tube sound) TL Audio 5051 - Mono Tube Voice Processor

    Mindprint Envoice MKII Mindprint

    DBX 376 376 Tube Channel Strip w/Digital Out:: dbx Professional Products

    These are all in the same general price range, which is around 500-600$.
     
  2. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    tc m300?
     
  3. mark_van_j

    mark_van_j Active Member

    Can you expand on that please? Why do you recommend a vocal effects processor as a suitable preamp? I mean, it doesn't have xlr inputs and I believe the inputs are line...
     
  4. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Erm, ahem, sorry. Skim-read your post and I just know we bought a bunch of these to put on the rehearsal room PAs and everybody is very happy. I saw the boxes as I wandered into my office and threw it up as a suggestion. Apologies, its not suitable. Not really my area and apologies for posting in haste.
     
  5. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I have owned the Drawmer MX60 for what seems like a guzillion years. That tube thang is useless, but the rest of it is great.
    It works well on a wired 58 and also on wireless mics. I use it as the "money channel" for acts that have prima donna vocalists with more ego than budget. My vote is for the Drawmer...Very good dynamics and de-essing. Plus Drawmer knows how to make a rugged box that doesn't crap out (unlike other British manufacturers...ever own a Jag? LOL!!!!)
    I would stay clear from Tony Larking's stuff, it seems to have a reputation of less-than-great reliability. Build quality has been an issue in the past for that stuff. Once again, ever own a Jag? Same thing... LOL!!!!
    I have used a Mindprint a client provided and the headroom was atrocious. Also it got real hot after about an hour and that wasn't nice to the other gear in the rack.
    Been there, done that with the dbx 376. Eeeh, not bad, not great. I have issues with "tube gear" on the road. Personally, I own a good amount of dbx, but their tube stuff is hype...and noisey.
    SPL makes good solid gear, try to get a good price, their importation into the States from The Land of Beer and Beemers drives up their prices.
     
  6. GZsound

    GZsound Active Member

    I've got a Symetrix 528 vocal processor in my studio that does everything you are asking. I got it used for $75 and it works very well for many vocal and voice over projects. I am not sure if a vocal processor would do much good in a live situation since normally board EQ is adequate and it's easy to insert a compressor. I doubt the quality of the preamp would be noticable in most live situations unless you have a really crappy mixer.
     
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm really big on SPL stuff but I tend to think GZsound may have a good point. You could be going good after bad making little or no difference in the chain. If your SNR is cheezy and you are inserting an nice hefty SPL strip in there ...

    If you think it will make an improvement, think of whatever you choose as an investment for your recording rig too.
     

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