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Preamps & a/d converters

Hi i Just have two questions
I have a small studio setup mainly for recording vocals/acoustic guitar...

1. I have currently have a warm audio tone beast preamp and have seen a phoenix drs mark 2 stereo preamp selling for £1000 (half price as new model is coming out) ..I'm just wondering if theres much difference in quality between the two preamps ?

2. I'm.looking at getting a Lexicon effects unit and warm audio compressor and mounting on patchbay, but I will need separate analog to digital converter as my sound device (Audient id22 ) only has 2 inputs...can any one recommend a a/d converter up to around 4 inputs/outputs? ..I'm a bit lost as which are good quality but anything to the Audient level would be good.

Thanks!

Comments

pcrecord Wed, 05/08/2019 - 06:21

Hi Gazukmale,

First you need to evaluate at what level of quality you are aiming, the channel quantity needed and your budget to get there.
If you want to do demos in your bedroom, the Phoenix may be overkill if you don't have the rest of the recipe well planed (room acoustics, mics, converters... )
Compared to the Warm Audio, the Phoenix will be cleaner and give more noiseless gain but you'll definetly need good converters to grab its full goodness.

Audient interfaces are very good and provide nice preamps on the get go.. this could be a good setup that will eliminate the need for external preamps. (think of the ID44 if you need more inputs)
Of course if you want to go pro, their is a bunch of options : Focusrite ISA, Grace Audio, Millennia, Neve would be options I'd put against the Phoenix. Not that one is better but they all offer slightly different sound for the same pro level quality.

There is simply too many choices that can't make you go wrong if you put a bit of cash and effort to master them.
What about hearing the results you have with the equipement you own now ?? ;)

pcrecord Thu, 05/09/2019 - 04:57

Link555, post: 460957, member: 31690 wrote: n the end of the day if it sounds good it is good....

True ! But there's a little exception. We sometime need better gear to learn what actually sounds good.
For exemple, I was struggling to record and mix albums and never being totally satisfied for many years.
When I bought my first Focusrite ISA preamps, I went AWE !! That's how they do it. Same thing when I switched from Yorkvill YSM1 to Yamaha HS8 monitors.
Having better gear makes us learn faster sometime.
But I'm with you, there need to be a reason other than a sale to buy a piece of gear ;)

kmetal Thu, 05/09/2019 - 07:38

I will also add sometimes the gear you think you want, you use, then dont want anymore.

I wanted a u87 for 10 years like it was the holy grail. When i finally started working at a studio, i ended up barely using it. I couldn't ever find a voice it was right for. Ended up loving it on acoustic guitar, and using it mainly for kick drum out.

So i became glad i never dropped the money on one, and became more appreciative of how good my 57 and 414 was.

GAS is real.

I will add tho in my experience better conversion is always better, and conversion is one of the few areas where higher price means higher subjective quality. Sometimes cheap mics like a 57 or budget compressor like a dbx 163x will just be right regardless of what you have laying around.

Boswell Thu, 05/09/2019 - 10:10

Gazukmale, post: 460929, member: 50495 wrote: Hi i Just have two questions
I have a small studio setup mainly for recording vocals/acoustic guitar...

1. I have currently have a warm audio tone beast pre amp and have seen a phoenix drs mark 2 stereo pre amp selling for £1000 (half price as new model is coming out) ..I'm just wondering if theres much difference in quality between the two pre amps ?

2. I'm.looking at getting a lexicon effects unit and warm audio compressor and mounting on patch bay, but I will need separate analogue to digital converter as my sound device (Audient id22 ) only has 2 inputs...can any one recommend a a/d converter up to around 4 inputs/outputs? ..I'm a bit lost as which are good quality but anything to the Audient level would be good.

Sorry to be late to this thread.

The Phoenix DRS models are nice boxes, but not what I would spend a fair chunk of money on in your situation. You don't say which model in the DRS range is on offer, but from your using the word "stereo", I'm guessing it's the DRS2, for which £1K is not a generous price. In addition, you would need an ADC with S/PDIF (2 channel) or ADAT (4 or 8-channel) output to feed optically into your ID22 interface.

The ID22 has only two analogue inputs (line or microphone), but can accept a futher 2, 4 or 8 channels of optical digital input. That means you should look closely at pre-amp/ADC boxes that can output appropriate compatible optical signals.

You haven't come back to answer questions in other peoples' posts, but I'm assuming you are prepared to spend at least the £1K cost of the DRS box you found. For a little over half that money, I would consider the 8-channel Audient ASP880, which has very good pre-amps (even a little better than the two in your Audient ID22), and separately-usable A-D converters. It could output via lightpipe to the ID22 all 8 channels at rates up to 48KHz or 4 channels at 96KHz sampling rates. Having these extra channels offers you a way of capturing directly the output of effects units including compressors, while at the same time recording the raw (un-effected) signals.

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