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Would a pre-amp help my sound quality get better?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by crucified, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. crucified

    crucified Guest

    Right now I have a Behringer XENYX 802 mixer and an AKG Perception 100 large diaphragm condenser microphone and it's goin through my computer. I was wondering if I bought a preamp if it would boost my sound quality up any? I have good quality now BUT I was recording in a studio that was top notch equip. so I am trying to keep all of my tracks sounding as good as they used to sound quality wise, I know I wont have the exact sound becuase the mic. I was using was a 1200 dollar mic. there but I know I can make my quality sound better then what it does. Any advice would be appreciated!!! Thanks for taking your time to read this!!!
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    A real good mic pre CAN make a difference in quality, there are other variables. But your going to need to spend the money to get there. The weakest link in the chain theory applies like always. A real good mic pre with a crap mic and low budget audio interface/mixer is not ever going to give you best possible results. In your specific case, I'd suggest a great high end mic first.
  3. crucified

    crucified Guest

    Yeah I am happy with my perception 100 and am sticking with it for a while I think eventually I will buy myself the Rode NT-1 but I am wondering about the preamp and other things that can improve the quality of sound.
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Like Gaff said....The weakest link in the chain will always limit the level of the gears abilities. Sometimes this link is human in nature...........

    I doubt that you have enough experience and ear training to truly tell the difference of a highend mic pre compared to an inexpensive one. Dont misinterpret this.....Most people dont. I'm not sure I do.... :lol:

    Because I am such a mic slut, I would get a higher end mic first before attempting the long process of searching for pres and other gear that will make a huge impact. And no disrespect, but the Perception series is NOT really high-end. Not bad, just not "high-end".
  5. crucified

    crucified Guest

    Okay and I am not taking it offensively LOL it's cool and yes you are right I am new to this. I ahve been recording in studios for years but barely started my own since my studio guy isnt around anymore. What do you think of the Rode NT-1?
  6. jimmys69

    jimmys69 Active Member

    Apr 16, 2011
    Arvada Colorado
    The NT1A will sound better than your AKG. But not necessarily on everything. A nice preamp will only give you good results if your signal chain is worthy of good results. IMO, if your interface costs less than your best mic, then a $1000 preamp is not going to help. A decent starter preamp that will actually help a poor quality mic, will run you over $500. Anything under that level will just be wasting money for what you are hoping for.
  7. LittleJohn

    LittleJohn Active Member

    Oct 31, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    Lots of good advice here. I agree with all of it.
    Respectfully, If I were in your place, I would not buy a new mic or a standalone mic pre.
    I would however, replace the Behringer with a different small board that has pre-amps that will be good enough for you for a long time.
    (mackie, yamaha, A&H come to mind)

    My $0.02
  8. GZsound

    GZsound Active Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Near Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    The other issue is the sound of your room. A high dollar studio most likely has spent a good deal of time and money on acoustics in their recording space.

    I think the mindset that a microphone preamp is some wonder tool that will give you amazing results is wrong. A decent pre can improve your sound, but by small amounts not by huge leaps. Getting a decent sounding mixer would be my first choice and then invest in different flavors of mics. I have found that the microphone is much more important than the preamp.

    You can pretty much be assured that you will not get a high end sound by using the cheapest mic and mixer you can buy, especially if you are recording in an untreated room. However, thousands of hits have been recorded using a basic Shure SM58 mic, but in a great sounding room through a decent signal chain.

    My suggestion would be in this order:

    1. Room
    2. Mixer
    3. Mic
    4. Monitors

    Only after those items have been addressed would I even think of buying a mic pre. And most folks consider "decent" mic preamps to start at around $500 (RNP) and go up from there.

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