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Hey whats up guys,
Ok here's the deal. I'm looking to improve my vocal chain (as usual, it's a sickness!) I'm working with an Audio-Technica 4060 into an ISA 428, to RME ADI-8 for conversion.

I was seriously considering getting the avalon, because I know it's not absolute crap. I also know it's not the best, but as I do mainly hip hop and r&b, it would get clients in here.

On the other hand, i'm trying to IMPROVE on my current setup, and from what i'm told, the GML makes the Avalon pale. But as always i'm looking for more opinions and views.

Anyone have any experience with the GML or the Avalon for that matter?



Johnson Cabasa Fri, 09/23/2005 - 06:09

the 737 is the sound of r & b. i tried teh gnl 2032 and didn't think it was that special next to my speck eq and john hardy mic pre it sounded kind of lame. the 737 is what i use on every hiphop vocal so its what i would recommend. i got one of the black 737s with the red meter and my clients love the way it looks and sounds

anonymous Fri, 09/23/2005 - 07:30

thanks for the correction. 8-)

so Johnson,
do you use the 737 because it just seems to work well for Hiphop and r&b, or cause you know thats what cats want to see.
I don't know if you have any experience with the focusrite ISA 428, but if you do, would you say the avalon would be a step up for vocals?

thanks for the replys guys

Cucco Fri, 09/23/2005 - 07:45

I would venture a guess that most (and I mean a staggering 99.99%) of all the people in the world wouldn't be able to pick the sound of the ISA range and the Avalon out of an audio clip lineup.

Don't get me wrong, I think they're both good and have distinctive sounds, but the point is they're both VERY good.

Personally, I wouldn't see the need to upgrade your pre in this case. The 428 is quite versatile, especially considering the resistance mod capability. I would aim at the mic.

Again, don't get me wrong - I think the 4060 is one of the finest mics available for many things (and the price is just damn good.) But, a different flavor in the mic department is more likely to give you the bigger differences in sound.

Try a Gefell M930. (Or, for the price of the avalon, try 2)

For the price of the avalon, you could even add on a Soundelux with the 930 and have 3 bad ass mics!

Just some thoughts.


anonymous Fri, 09/23/2005 - 09:07

right i hear you. i'm just trying to fatten the vox up some. also i'd like something to fatten the overall tracks up. anybody heard the Presonus ADL 600? I guess i'm just looking for another flavour to go to. The ISA sounds nice to my ears, but i think i need something a little thicker to complement it.

i'm worried that the combo of my AT4060 and the tubes in the 747 might be a bit much though. or any tube pre for that matter.

Cucco Fri, 09/23/2005 - 09:41

This is a myth regarding tubes and tube gear.

By nature, tubes do not make sounds "fatter" or darker, simply a little slower (not much) and a little bit more in the 2nd and 4th (complimentary) order distortions.

In several cases, transformer based gear is far more colored/dark/warm sounding than tube gear. There is absolutely no issue whatsoever with cascading tube gear. (Unless it's all driven to the point of break up)

If you're simply looking for a little added flavor - try:
GT Brick
Summit 2BA-221
Brent Averil / OSA

All of these are cheaper than the Avalon stuff and would be welcomed into my studio long before I'd spend any additional money on Avalon.


anonymous Fri, 09/23/2005 - 22:32

If you're looking for something to fatten things up, the GML isn't it...both the preamp and EQ are exceptionally clean. It's an amazing preamp, but probably not what you want.

The 737 is kind of a standard for R&B/hip hop and it'd be hard to go wrong there, and it's on par with your Focusrite quality-wise. If you really want something that will fatten things up, though, I'd look at something with a more distinct color like maybe a UA 610-based preamp of some sort or a Neve 1073-ish preamp.


o2x Sat, 09/24/2005 - 14:20

I'm with Cucco on this one, I don't think changing your pre will give you the difference you expect. A couple of extra mic choices will give you much more noticable results.

The AT is a damn good mic, but fairly 'safe' in terms of the sound it gives you. That's why it's suitable for a whole host of apps.

Saying that Avalons seem to be quite widespread in studios who record a great deal of R&B and Hiphop, but from what i've seen they tend to be fed with U47's or C12's