I've seen the light

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by mcmilliron, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. mcmilliron

    mcmilliron Guest

    I want to thank all the RO guys who have helped me understand the importance of quality mic pres. I've spent many years using mackie and presonus pres with nothing but mediocre results. Now that I have The Brick I'm making recordings that actually sound warm. I've been dreaming of this since the day I got my first DAW. I realize that a lot of you are poor like me and spending $360.00 on a mic pre is not an option right now. My suggestion SAVE, SAVE, SAVE, The Brick is only $200 more than most single channel budget pres. You will never look back, I guarantee it.

    I'd like to give a special thanks to Kurt Foster for helping me understand why Budget pres are close but no cigar. I know a lot of you like to blast Kurt for pushing expensive gear on the budget forum but you have to understand that he's just trying to save you money and heartache. there really are no excuses to buy budget pres when you can get The Brick for $360.00
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    You're very kind. Thank you.

    I'm just happy that something good in that price range has finally hit the market. Now people on the tightest budget can hear for themselves what a full bass wave and good heardroom can do for their recordings. GT hit a home run with "The Brick"

  3. JeffSanders

    JeffSanders Active Member

    Jun 10, 2004
    Fairhaven, MA USA
    Home Page:
    I feel the same way. Just got my Brick a couple of weeks ago (also thanks to Kurt's explanations about what makes a preamp quality vs. garbage), and I'm happy as hell with it.
  4. Antho

    Antho Guest

    Hi Kurt.

    I have a question that is in line with the thread.: If you were recording a band: vox, guitar- acoutic and electric, drums & bass had eight presonus pre's, and ONE pre like the brick or similar/better... what would you use the good pre on?

    How about two good pres? & three? Basically, you can see where I'm heading. What're the most important areas to prioritise ytour good pre's to?

    Also, you mention the Kel HM1 can sound really nice with cheaper pres? I'm interested in this...and have been in liase with 'Mr Kel' re: getting some shipping over to test. 'How much' / 'to what extent' do you think mics like these can help with cheaper pre's?

    BTW:this is a good thread that deservedly pays homage to a very helpful and sometimes under-appreciated man!
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    The answer is, what ever you think is the most important elements in the mix.

    Remember that good pres can help the signal preserve its dimension as well as s/n and tonal quality.

    I personally go for the kick and snare first then overheads. Toms usually are drawn out or gated between hits so they are not so important although what a nic mic and pre can do for a tom is a "be-uatiful ting".

    Guitars and vocals as well benefit from good pres but you can do those as an overdub.
  6. Antho

    Antho Guest

    cheers... makes sense.

    In light of this...I would say Vox for the live recordings when only one pre is available, as it's inevitably the stand out element...guitar if theres no vox. I kindoff guessed vox as no. one :)

    I'm looking to go for the Sebatron 4000e when I've saved up. It's cheaper for me in OZ, and as it works out per channel, it's actually an exceptional deal. Around $650 AUD per channel.

    Kurt, You've heard both the Brick & the Sebatron...how would you compare them (just looking at one chann of each...price aside),..just briefly if you have time. I'm Asking as the Brick is about the only other nice pre in that price range per channel
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    The Brick has a "chunky" midrange with a little grit ... while the Sebatron is very smooth and clear sounding at (low gain) until you drive it hard.

    With the Sebatron you have a lot of different tones you can pull out of it, depending on how the pad and eq switches are engaged and how hard you drive the tube. With the Brick you only have the gain adjustment, so it pretty much sounds like it sounds on eveythoing you run through it.

    These are both however quality mic pres and you will not regret purchasing either or both.
  8. edgarbc1

    edgarbc1 Guest

    where did you get yr Brick for 360? I want to purchase
    but trying to find the best deal as possible.. Guitar Center
    sells it for 399!!

  9. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA


    offer the guy $360 and please report back to us
  10. edgarbc1

    edgarbc1 Guest

    testing the waters... Brick SM57

    $362.5 for two.

    coming from a unexperienced newbie using cheap and outdated
    in testing them they are warmer sounding than my much
    cheaper ART TPSII 2-ch tube preamp, and ive only got two
    pairs (4 total) of mics Oktava MK-319 (bought two for 1 at gtr center way back) and SM57s... Midiman FlyingCow D/A-A/D 24bit feeding
    into Digi AMIII spdifs, PTLE 6.2.3
    I tested them having the L channel be Brick and the R channel be
    the TPSII. (panned hard L andd R) Much warmer sounds on both mics
    with the Brick...


    1) with SM57s i have to crank the gain all the way
    on the Brick to get any decent level out of them and the level is
    midrange, id like to get at least -3db to -5db on the master fader
    peaks... Ive cranked the gain on the A/D box and ive cranked the gain
    on the AMIII input gain (although i think it only affects analog in,
    not digital in) Im at a bit of a loss what to do to increase levels
    for this particular mic.
    caveat: i was trying to record acoustic guitar... maybe better results
    with a louder source (i.e. electric guitar)
    Id hate to have to feed Brick levels into the analog ins just because
    they are only 18-bit and was planning to keep any 18-bit stuff to
    secondary mics and (pre-planned) lower level tracks

    2) Oktavas dont need the gain cranked, but still cranked up pretty
    high (3/4) same source ac.gtr, required phantom pwr

    3) need to test direct in still this weekend...

    yours truly,
  11. Antho

    Antho Guest

    Thanks for the Brick/Seb reply Kurt,

    'preciate it.

    I'm sorry If i seem to be hijacking this thread, but have you heard any info about the Sytek MPX-4Aii Kurt?
  12. tmcconnell

    tmcconnell Guest

    I've seen the light too...

    and it sais "you get what you pay for". Cheap gear I've owned:
    RNC compressor - results: Hissy, no low end, no balanced IO.
    Alesis 12R Board - results - a bad channel, not repairable.
    RME Quadmic - results - One bad channel, cuts out, signal light always on. Not easily repairable.
    Cascade M20 mic - results - hissy, won't take spl, colored off axis
    Rolls hearphone amp - results - distorts easily.
    Presonus MP20 - One channel of VU failed. Not worth much now.

    ..... and I could go on. The answer is that there is no middle ground. If you buy cheap stuff you will lose investment - but it can get you where you are going and that's good. If I took the sum of all that failed gear (now all worth 400 dollars combiined) on which I spent 1200 dollars over, and had bought a focusrite red second hand, it would still be worth about what I bought it for.

    So: from a purely financial standpoint, buying cheap took a 66% loss, like the stock market crash of 1929. Buying true quality I own the gear for free for as long as I want. Pretty good deal, don't you think?

    Anyone want to buy an MP20 with a non-working VU on one channel? .... I thought so.
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Another reason for purchasing quality gear ... serviceability.

    Everything no matter how well designed and built, will fail at some point.

    A Focusrite Red or an old Neve ... a new GRMP2NV, Sebatron vmp or a Brick are all built with through the board construction. This means any qualified tech can repair a piece in the field if it fails. With LSI / SFM construction, all you can do is return the unit to the manufacturer and hope and pray they still have sub assemblies to replace your damaged ones. If there are none available or the product is no longer manufactured, you are most likely out of luck. Those of us who have been on the Merry Go Round for a while have all been trough this.

    I bought a LA2a once for $50! It didn't work. There was burned tube socket and some wiring inside was burned as well. My "sevice guy" repaired the unit for me for $350 (5 hours bench time and parts) ... Try that with Behringer or an RNP. Fuggedaboudit!
  14. axel

    axel Guest

    Kurt wrote:

    soooo......... TRUE
  15. JSRockit

    JSRockit Guest

    Is this unit alot better than the Studio Projects VTB-1?
  16. gnarr

    gnarr Guest

    how do the pres in the macie 8-bus sound compared to the brick?
  17. FoundSounds

    FoundSounds Guest

    I'm also curious about this.
  18. JLiRD808

    JLiRD808 Active Member

    Sep 29, 2005
    Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
    Home Page:
    I jut got a brick off Ebay today for way less than $400. Can't wait to try it out!!
  19. JLiRD808

    JLiRD808 Active Member

    Sep 29, 2005
    Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
    Home Page:
    Well I got this thing setup and my condenser mic plugs in and works properly but I'm having trouble getting any sound when I plug in my guitar or bass into the instrument input.

    Any ideas?

  20. AllInRuins

    AllInRuins Guest

    I use a firepod, would I still benefit from the brick?

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