Mic Pre question, good stereo, or 8 ins?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by prswamp, May 3, 2003.

  1. prswamp

    prswamp Guest

    I'm looking into getting a pre these days and need some advice.

    I know presonus has an 8 input pre which seems like it would be a good thing to have for recording drums.

    The question are:

    1. Do you run all the drums mics through a pre?
    2. Would the 8 input presonus be good for vocals and guitar as well?
    3. Should I instead get just a stereo pre that is maybe a little nicer.

    I think the presonus goes for around $1300.

    Thanks for the input!
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    The PreSonus does seem to be a good bang for the buck type pre. Kevin M. (Also known as Tom G.) seems to like them quite a bit. He has been asking me to review them so I finally have capitulated and asked to have one sent for my evaluations. I will report my impresssions as soon as I can.

    Another 8 channel pre that is very affordable is the JLM TMP8. One of these is on the schedule for review also in July. These are class A designs (of the Focusrite "Red Range" type, from what I understand). I am very excited to have a chance to run one of these babies through the paces. http://www.jlmaudio.com

    To answer you question regarding drum mics, Yes! You have to pre amp all mics. Mics have very low level outputs and they all need preamplification. The better your pre amps, the better your mics will sound. A good pre amp can make a cheap mic sound better. Mics, preamps speakers (monitors) and power amps are the things you should never try to cheap out on. IMO these are the most critical points of your recording chain. Kurt
  3. mixman77

    mixman77 Guest

    Is it live or memorex haha. Tom Gerrit is a name I ghost write under for a regional music new paper. My real name is Kevin Mixson and the name I will be using from now on and maybe for the rest of my life lol. Who knows.

    I agree with Kurt, you should use a pre-amp on every mic if you can. It does make a big difference. Like the old saying "you can't polish a turd or crap in crap out" this still holds true today. You should try and get the best sound you can going to tape/HD which will make things a lot easier on the back end.


  4. wacckkjob

    wacckkjob Guest

    hey guys,

    first and foremost, great job guys! This forum is jam packed with great info and (hopefully unbiased) gear info.

    i am also interested in pre amps to record drums, but as with many, budget is an issue. i haven't seen or heard anything about these, and i'd like to get you guys' angle: studiomaster boards. i have a studiomaster club 2000 board and i'm just curious to see if anyone could tell me anything about it. would "budget" outboard pres make a difference? and just to narrow down on "budget", i'm thinking <= $300 per channel. any info would be great. thanks.

  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    The inexpensive mic pres I have used are not discernibly better that the mic pres in many small mixers like your Studiocraft or a Mackie. I have been comparing pres for most of this year, and out of all the pres I have tested, the Mackie pre actually stands up pretty well on a single sound sample.

    But my experiences have shown me that while a mic pre may sound pretty good on a single instrument (and when comparing pres a certain choice may be made based on this criteria) I have noticed there seems to be a cumulative effect with pres. Ones that you may have rejected on a "single sound source test" may actually be better sounding when you mix together several different tracks. This is something I have noticed with Mackie pres. When I mix a bunch of tracks I recorded with Mackie pres (or other less expensive pres) the sound is a bit brittle, plastic like and has an upper end “fizzy ness”. This in spite of the fact that the pre sounded wonderful with say just an acoustic guitar, bass or vocal going through it. The sum is less than the parts.

    This all has nothing to do with bass or treble response and I have heard bright pres that still sound good when a bunch of tracks are mixed. The Millennia STT 1 Origin is wonderful example of this. I am at a loss to explain why this is so on a scientific level, I just know that it is what I have noticed.

    So in the price range you are speaking of, I myself, would recommend the JLM TMP 8 mic pre or the Sebatron vmp-4000 mic pres. The Sebatron is a 4 channel tube mic pre unit, with some eq features. It is very fat/warm sounding and is absolutely huge on acoustic guitar and vocals. It sells at $1450 list, (but may be had for about $1250) for a four channel amp.. The JLM TMP8 is an 8 channel mic pre that retails for $1850. It is a similar to the Rupert Neve designed Focusrite Red Range mic pre. Solid state, high headroom, very compact packaging! These units both fall within or close to the $300 per channel that you specified and are wonderful performing mic pres. They are not cheap, but they will last a lifetime, (JLM has an excellent warranty program) will be an investment grade purchase and most importantly, will provide stellar sound for your recording endeavors..
  6. sagreene

    sagreene Guest

    I read the same thing...(not having access to premiums pres) One writer said that he would prefer the inferior pre solo but not with other tracks.

    I bought the Presonus Digimax, with the limiters and DI's in it...Eighth Street screwed up and sent me that one instead of the cheaper one so I talked them down $200 and kept it :)

    The DI's are pretty good for voice, guitar - you name it. The limiters are REALLY handy for those singers who go from whisper to roar in half a second. The only other pres i can compare to are the ones on the M-Audio Omni, and this thing kills the sound of the Omni..(I'm running it ADAT into an RME multiface). Focusrite just released the ISA 428. 4 channels of pres at about $400 a piece...that will hopefully be my next pre purchase. I have a little snippet up here

    Everything was done with the presonus...I could do better now...I swear I learn SOOO much every month or two - I always want to redo stuff. Plus I just moved into a new place with a decent room.

    Anyway, done with logic audio and mastered by another fellow with a UAD-1
  7. golli

    golli Active Member

    Apr 17, 2003
    Kurt, since you have fiddled around with the Mackie pre's, I want to ask you if you have also used Allen&heath pre's. And if so, wich do you like better. I'm asking because there is a new generation of Mackie pre's nowdays that have gotten good review's, and because I have a Allen&Heath board and like it.
    Just want your take on it :)
  8. downflow

    downflow Guest

    What about Bogen mic pre's? Or 5 to 1 mixers even?
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Hey, if you like it, use it. That's the bottom line, if it sounds good, do it! I have never had the pleasure of working on any Allen Heath consoles although I know lots of people whom I respect deeply that swear by them. As far as the Mackie pres, the review that you are speaking of was sponsored by Mackie I believe... they do this every time they upgrade their pres. This is the 3rd upgrade to the Mackie pre in what, ten years? Each time they do this they claim to have attained "world class performance". I believed it the first time but you know what they say, "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. It is simply unreasonable for the consumer to expect that a board that retails for $1100 (a 1604) is going to have 16 quality mic pres. Even the crappiest outboard mic pre like the Art or the Behringers are around $100 each and we all know they sound like ass.. To expect to get 16 "world class" mic pres, 16 channels with 3 band eq, 6 aux's, 4 sub bus's, a stereo bus, plus C/R control and tape returns for $1100, is, IMO unrealistic. The easiest person to con is a con man because they are looking for something for nothing.
    Quality costs, there's no way around it and there is no such thing as a "free lunch".
  10. golli

    golli Active Member

    Apr 17, 2003
    I'm staying with my A&H, then.
    I've allways liked those boards and have on numerous times A/B'd them to the Mackie 24/8 and 32/8, boards. The Mackie boards have sounded hmmmm......harscher (harder).
    You can see by the mixers I've come across, what level I'm at :roll: .
    Thanks Kurt, as allways.

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