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Sw comps kill the need for "colored" mics/preamps

Discussion in 'Preamps & Processing' started by klagga, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. klagga

    klagga Guest

    I´m looking for a mic and a preamp for home studio recordings.

    I reckon that if I buy a nice clean mic (Neumann TLM 103) and a nice clean preamp (Apogee Mini-Me), I´ll do whatever tone coloring I need with a high class software compressor (for example UAD, Voxengo Marquis, etc).

    So, no need for "colored" mics and/or preamps.

    What do you think about this?
  2. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Not a bad way of looking at it...however, there is nothing like the real thing..a great tube pre will have soul that is all but unattainable in post.
  3. tmcconnell

    tmcconnell Guest

    I don't think so

    First, all this gear produces different color when pushed vs not. So you don't want to compress somethng just to get the color, and you may not get the color if nothing is being taken out by the compressor. Also, the color that comes from the pre's is gentle, and dynamic - and the pres that deliver that color (neve-like) are often great pre's, which is why people use them - not all for the color. I just upgraded from nice to neve-like and the difference in detail is amazing. Finally, analog compressors are nice but not necessary in a didgtal world. The recording is so quiet you can just give yourself the dynamic range in the recorded material, and compress digitally later. On the other hand, a great pre will make your life better in lots of ways, the best of which is all your mics will sound better.
  4. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001

    and that's why no one needs a real tubed guitar amp anymore


    Software comps are great but they still fall well short of the real thing ...

    particularly during the point of capturing the sound ... pre conversion.

    Just as you would chose a different guitar and amp for a tone.
    nothing beats the right Mic then Pre then Comp
    ... then A to D.

    The Soft Comps and EQ's do get better inch by inch and we do love the total recall.
  5. tmcconnell

    tmcconnell Guest


    Kev, I didn't say they were not great, I said "nice but not necessary". I still use outboard comps a lot, particularly my pendulum - but the dude with the question is asking us if he should grt his color from a pre or a comp. I think a great pre with an option to create color is a better option than a compressor with color if you have to pick. One factor in that equation is that digital compressors are coming along nicely - and its quite possible to make a world class record without one in today's world. Its not possible, on the other hand, to make a great record without great preamps, imo. Where would you compromize?
  6. dwoz

    dwoz Guest

    You know...I can paint a pretty convincing portrait using just white, umber, burnt sienna, aquamarine, and cadmium red.

    But I can also paint a portrait using all those plus payne's grey, cerulean blue, alizerine crimson, cadmium yellow, dark green , and violet.

    This is a thin analogy, I know...but when you can match the color using a minimum of component pigments, you end up with a more pure, more "excellent" tone...less stuff dirtying each tone.

  7. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    You get your color where ever you may need to get it from. It could be the mic, the mic pre, the compressor, the eq, or all of the above. What is necessary is to do what ever it takes to the sound/tone you are after. EVERYTHING used in the audio chain is a form of eq. Those who master the skills and learn to use their tools to their full potential, can often get what they want to hear or at least attenuate what they don't want or like to hear. Getting those results is almost never because of only one piece of gear. I use my 20+ channels of analog compression as much for the color as I do for the dynamics control. Digital compressors can emulate but can not replace the sound of great analog gear. Maybe someday, but not today, and not tommorow.

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