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Hello, I am an aspiring audio engineer that has been mixing & recording for about 6 months. I only do Rap/Hip hop , I've been wanting to upgrade my current setup to something better. I currently own a Bluebird spark SL & a cheap $99 M-Audio interface. I want a little more of a professional, cleaner, & overall better sound, So I decided to create a interface chain instead of purchasing an interface alone. To start my chain I've decided to pick the Audio-Technica 4050 Microphone, because of the great reviews especially for rap vocals.

I have been advised to go with the Focusrite ISA One preamp or a Golden Age Pre-73?

I was leaning towards the Focusrite ISA One though but which do you guys recommend?

I'm going to add a compressor in the chain later on but for right now I will complete it with a solid interface. I was either thinking of the Audient ID14 or Audient ID22, I don't know which is better or even if there is any cheaper alteratives? Am I able to stop the gain coming in from these and just use the preamp gain, If so how do I go about it. I apologize for so many questions, but I am passionate about this and I want to do well! Thank You so much if you have any more advice or tips around building a better studio or rap vocals let me know! Thank yall again!


Boswell Sun, 12/23/2018 - 05:13

It feels a bit odd that you should be posting a new thread on the same topic without responding to the discussion and advice you received in the previous thread you started.

Yes, the AT4050 is a great mic for rap recording in a well-behaved acoustic space. The ISA One would also make an excellent front-end if you have a quality signal path for feeding its output into the computer.

I have used italics there to help to identify that good gear only performs to its capabilities when well supported by other equipment in the signal path and by the acoustic environment.

Fortunately, the ISA One is available with an internal ADC option that is a respectable match for the quality of the pre-amp. As I indicated in your other thread, the digital output that this option produces (S/PDIF format in this case) is relatively easy to capture and feed unchanged into a computer by using a low-cost interface, maybe even the M-Audio unit you already have if you were to tell us what model it is.

The room acoustics are another story, and would probably take a detailed description and diagrams to get any specific recommendations from us on what (additional?) treatment may be necessary. What I can suggest is that you post a short recording (20 - 30 seconds) of a rap vocal taken with your present gear, using the "Upload a File" button at the bottom of the "Reply" box. There are others on this forum much more experienced than I am at being able to make room treatment suggestions just from hearing a recording.