high-quality mics and preamps

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by synergy, Jan 16, 2001.

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  1. synergy

    synergy Guest

    hello all!

    just discovered this amazing site through the usergroups at the "nuendo"site-congratulations, i think and hope that this will proceed as sucessfully as it did during the few months since it's up and running!

    with great interest i follow the discussions and topics, and it's good to see that there so many people in the recording-business who care about quality of sound.

    it's especially interesting from me because i come from the other side of the story-i just to work in the high-end-business for a long time, have experiences with all what's good (and mostly expensive), and therefore i value and appreciate good recordings.

    since a while, i'm thinking to do my first steps into doing recordings myself.
    i would like to do "puristic" stereophonic recordings of small classical as well as jazz-ensembles, so what i need is "just" a good pair of very good mics and an adequate preamp/ad-converter, and, of course, a daw or a digital recorder.

    now, it would be kind if you all could give me some recommendations about this stuff, and, during my longterm involvement with the finest gear money can buy, you can imagine that i'm VERY PICKY about soundquality.

    however, i don't want to spend much money on a-let's say-dcs-converter (which are also well respected in the audiophile community), dwfearn preamp and a manley (ditto) mic, because, like i said, i'm a starter and have already spent a huge sum for my listeningchain.

    i did some dd on my own, and thinking about an "andi pro" from mindprint and a pair of Neumanns or brauner "valvets"...?!

    any comments, researchtips, literature about stereophonic miking as well as other help is appreciated!

    thx very much in advance.
  2. synergy

    synergy Guest

    sorry, forgot one thing!

    what is the best way to downconvert 24/96 recordings to a normal cd-right now, i've a copy of " samplitude", and the results are not bad, but a lot of sound goes out of the window, though.

    so if you don't want to buy a sadie or a sonic solutions, which is the best program/plug-in to do it with (i test sampl. because it's acclaimed for excellent sound-preservation and restauration-features rather than gimmicks, although i've to say that their userinterface looks like $50 shareware-LOL)

    i considered buying cubase vst 32 (and nuendo, of course) because it has the apogee-dither uv22 built in, but i heard it's worse than that of sekd?!

    as always, any info is appr. and much welcome.
  3. synergy

    synergy Guest

    you see, i'm making my own thread;-)

    no, just stumbled over the Neumann km 183, Neumann says it's especially good for acoustic guitar, strings, percussion, drums, and also dedicated to use with piano, choir and organ.

    furthermore it's affordable, and you can get 2 of them as a matched pair.

    anyone experience with it or the km-series in general?

    another question: what's the difference in using xy or ortf-miking-techniques?

    ps: i saw that i made some mistakes in my previous post-that's because english isn't my mothertongue, i come from germany.
  4. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Oct 12, 2000
    Hi Synergy,

    You don't mind if I join in with your thread do you?

    IMHO, if you want to record good to high quality audio with a classical ensemble the first and possibly most important item is the size and acoutics of your live room. Get this right and everything else will be that much easier.

    If you are looking at DAWs, I personally think that for classical music you can't beat a PTools TDM system with Apogee AD8000 converters. The only other serious contender at this time would be SoundScape.

    Mic'ing: If I am going to use and an xy or ms pair I also prefer to back it up with some spot mic'ing which allows me to play around with the balance without the need to bring the musicians back in.

    I won't comment on actual mics or preamps because it all depends on the natural acoustics and the sound you are personally after.


  5. synergy

    synergy Guest

    hi greg,

    thx for your kind answer.
    like i said, i want to record small ensembles (jazztrios, stringquartetts, choirs etc.) in rel. small concert"halls" or any other room which size is adequate for chambermusic, grand piano and the like, but to be able recording in small churches and chapels would be also nice, so, like i see it with my very limited knowledge, i need mics which are suitable for all kinds of acoustic instruments and environments, if there're any at all and for a reasonable price.

    am i right that it therefore has to be switchable for different characteristics?!

    i posted my messages also in stephen pauls chatroom, and one poster recommended the alesis masterlink for on-location-recording, and octave mc-012 (never heard of these before), as well as apogee rosetta ad (the ad's-8000 are to expensive for the few records i'll do a year, i would like to do surround recordings though, but i think i'll wait until prices for this equippment will sink) and great river as well as Millennia media preamps.

    the sound i'm after should be as close to the original as possible, and because i guess that this is hardly possible like it is in high-end audio, i would prefer the following characteristics:

    - transparent (read: NOT (over)analytical)
    - airy, bloomy (tubes only?!)
    - more on the warm than on the cold side
    - very detailled, though
    - not too relaxed

    hope this says something to you, and also that these characteristics aren't contradictory.

    i took a look at protools, however, i think it's a bit overpriced and is "only" capable of 24/48. i also don't need most of the tdmplug-insand compatibility (it's the de-facto studiostandard, right?!) isn't a big issue for my purpose, i guess.

    i consider buying nuendo, cubase or smplitude, and also pyramix from merging which seems to be great, but is rel unknown.

    upps, now i said something, i hope you aren't working for digidesign, no offense meant;-)

    i fear that's all the info i can give right now, i simply don't know more-i wanted some recommendations for stuff which i should listen to, some kind of preselection.

    thx again for yours and everyone's help.

    ps: i would appreciate if one could see the post(s) to which one's referring to below or above the field where the own text is put in, would be of great help!

    best regards
  6. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    May I suggest that if the final recording is 44.1 and there is to be no processing in between the ADC and the CD, you don't want to go 96 at all. Just go 44.1 with a great ADC. I second the suggestion for Rosetta.

    The Earthworks pre is very nice for the $.

    For the mics, the oktava's are also a good choice for the $.

    Don't expect to be blown away by the end result. You are placing a tall order and trying to spend short cash. But these should get you by until you can afford those manleys.

    Hope that helps,

    Ang1970 is:
    Angelo Quaglia,
    AQ Productions

    RO, created for musicians by musicians.
  7. synergy

    synergy Guest



    so there's nothing in between of "good for $" and "absolute high-end $$$"?!

    it's not that i don't have the money, if it's really necessary, i can afford anything (but it's not a MUST just because of image and reputation).

    what about a pair of brauner "valvets" ($$ instead of $ or $$$)-would that be suitable for my purposes (and better than the oktavas)?
    any other good mics in this price-range?

    also, i heard a lot of records like the ones i would like to make, either at public demostrations at exhibitions or at home, and i've to say that there's a HUGE difference between the 16/44.1 and the 24/96 or sacd.(according apogees's site, the rosetta is 24/96-capable-so if it is, i should use that, right?! but you're right-better a good converter with 16/44.1 than a bad with 24/96)

    does the ad-8000 sound better than the rosetta, or is it the same circuit and just more channels?

    what about the psx-100 (i ask because there's a se-version avaible, and i've also a kind of se-version at home-i own a mark levinson 360s, and it sounds much better then the normal 360!)

    sorry to ask that much, but it's really hard to find one's way in this jungle of all kinds of stuff-it took my years to do so in high-end-audio, and i also think that oneself has to listen to the gear because it's one's ears, and not that of others, but i also know that there's sometimes gear which delivers exceptional sound without costing $$$ (90% of $$$ for $$ or even $)!

  8. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000

    I've never used that one, but if it sounds like the VM1 a stereo pair would be perfect.
    There is also a lower priced Manley. When you said you didn't want to buy a Manley, I assumed that was the price range you were talking about. Last I checked, it's about the same price as a Valvet.

    That's true, but nobody has them in their living room yet. If you're making CD's for normal people to listen to, start at 16/44.1 and don't do any conversions. If you're making SACD's for your personal consumption, use whatever rate you like. The conversion process is most noticable on wide dynamic range stuff, such as classical music.

    They're the same. And there's another one coming out that offers more options than the Rosetta. Might be worth a look if you're interfacing with a DAW and other gear.

    I have no idea what the "se" difference is on that unit. Sorry.

    So, in other words, you want the stuff that sounds best to your ears, but you don't want to have to listen to it all? hehe
    "The line forms here, please take a number, thank you."
  9. osmuir

    osmuir Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    for a DAW: emu paris pro. SOOOOOOO nice sounding. summing bus kicks protools ass.

    mic pre i use: pendulum MDP-1. amazing.

    try the earthworks qtc-1's, royer sf-12 stereo, and the km184's.

    earthworks new zero distortion pre sounds looks neat.

  10. Logan

    Logan Active Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    Elm Tree Ont. Canada
    Hi Synergy
    Consider the Buzz MA2.2 for a pre, it's very detailed and not coloured, like and Neve etc. Very good for pure tones. I'm doing a neo classical guitar project in my studio with it right now and it's really making everyone smile. Check out http://www.buzzaudio.co.nz As for mics, for string quartets etc, check out some B&Ks or maybe some Royer ribbons. I use Nuendo as a program and I like it, it seems very stable and it's pretty easy to use. Look into RME cards and converters, they sound great and I've read some tests where they were put up against Apoggee stuff and came out ahead in the scientific evaluations of bit level, head room and jitter and stable clockrates. The article was in the mag PMA. I use the RME Hammerfall card and the ADI PRo 8 converters and they sound great. Take care Logan

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