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Good Mic Preamp

Member for

21 years 2 months
I am currently using a Groove Tubes GT55 and some scattered Oktavas along with a Tube MP preamp. I've heard people diss my preamp before. How much does a preamp affect the total sound of recorded vocals? What preamp would you suggest withing the $50-$200 range and how would it benifit me? My man goal is to get my vocal tracks to sit better in the mix. They tend to sound more like a voice over (which is why i got the GT55, sweet mic). Thanks all!

Comments

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sat, 01/10/2004 - 15:10
It's no longer fashionable to say so, but actually some of the Mackie pres will do just fine in most situations. They are not a "great" preamp, but will do the job. When the 1604s first came out 10 years ago or so, virtually ever pro engineer liked them, and they have improved a bit since I believe. Some very top engineers I know still recommend the little Mackies as starter pres and utility mixers for people buying their first pre. Bucks/per channel it's a very good deal. Think about it.

As others have said, get away from the cheap "toob" pres, which usually don't use the tube within its linear range but as an effects device which smears the audio. I also agree you should get a good small collection of different mics before you worry too much about different pre flavors. Mics and placement will change your sound much more than pres. Assuming you get something decent...

cheers,
t

Member for

20 years 9 months

AudioGaff Sat, 01/10/2004 - 21:26
Originally posted by Aziel:
Roger Nichols recomend some 150$ pre from RANE...i never used that brant but, if Mr. Nichols say so...
The Rane MS-1 is a decent little basic mic pre that is nothing special but gets the job done. Like most cheap mic pre's it suffers in quality and freq response at near min. or max gain settings. You'd likley be better off spending a little more and getting something like the RNP, Joe Meek or geting a new or used small Mackie mixer like the 1202 which has basic, decent mic pre's as well as all the other mixer features. I own a massive amount of killer outboard gear but still love and use my Mackie 1202VLZ all the time. One of the most useful and best values in gear I know of.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 01/11/2004 - 07:31
There are several versions of the MS1, and the MS1b is the current model. All are based on Burr-Brown mic preamps, which are a good cut above the el-cheapo types.

I own a bunch of Rane and find it does very well in its price range. Rane is inexpensive and plentiful on eBay, so it is a mistake to buy it new. The MS1 shows up occasionally. It offers switchable +48 phantom power plus polarity invert. For $35 to $75 used, the MS1 is impossible to beat.

If my math is correct, the gain midpoint on the MS1b is 42, in a range of 18 to 66 dB. A quality mic output of 10mV amplified 42dB is 1.25v or right at +4 dBu line level. A really hot mic such as the KSM44 requires 33dB gain to reach +4 dBu. This is lower-mid point, but still well "in the middle".

Of course, this is all on paper, and YMMV.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 01/11/2004 - 20:16
still love and use my Mackie 1202VLZ all the time. One of the most useful and best values in gear I know of.
it`s good to hear that from someone like you AudioGaff...my respects. Everybody says around here "wackie" and stuff like that, it`s true it`s not a "pro" level, but, sure you can make it work with a little of patience and effort...maybe we must learn to do the job with what we have instead be a gearslut without money... :p:
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