Next step, preamp or mic?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by Van_Hunter, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. Van_Hunter

    Van_Hunter Guest

    I am soliciting opinions on my next gear purchase. Given this gear, AKG Solid Tube, KM-184, M-Box, into a Power Book G4 with and external firewire harddrive attached, what would be my next best and most logical purchase? I am using this gear to record acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiiddle, bass, banjo and vocal. I am thinking along the lines of owning one or two Avalon 737sp's and an M149 or 147. My specific question is would I be better off getting a good pre first and then down the road pick up another mic or the other way around.
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Since you already have gear to get the job done, it may be wiser to focus on the missing or weak spots. What about your monitors or room treatment?

    I feel the mic is usually more important and makes a greater difference than the mic pre, but they really need to be thought of as two of the links in your chain. You need each link to be as strong as the others.

    If the mics you are using are giving you the results you like and expect than you may not need a new mic right now. If the preamp your using isn't giving you the performace you want, need or like, than that may be of higher priority.

    If you are using cheap and/or crappy half assed monitors like most people do, then that is where I would focus on.
  3. Van_Hunter

    Van_Hunter Guest

    I forgot to mention the monitors. They are DS 90's and I run the output signal via S/FDIF to my VS-1880 then via digital output to the speakers. They seem to be OK.
  4. Van_Hunter

    Van_Hunter Guest

    As far as room treatment I have four panels of 4" Auralex foam behind the speakers. The foam is on stands and not mounted on the wall. I remember when I put the foam up it made a big difference in my ability to hear into the mix. Things just sounded clearer. I still have a bass problem which would certainly be a good thing for me to figure out. I want to replace the carpet with wood. That will probably happen when I construct my vocal booth. These things are a year away.
    But the pre amp or mic will probably come first. One of my studio concepts was to keep it portable so that I can do recording in other places besides my studio. Also as was suggested in another section of this forum, that since my studio space is asymmetrical that perhaps I find another room to do the mix in.
  5. sdelsolray

    sdelsolray Active Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Pre and converters. Do you record bluegrass bands, one instrument at a time?
  6. coysoundnyc

    coysoundnyc Guest

    what about getting a VOX AC 30 and some cool pedal? :D :s:
    just a joke, sorry.
    If you do record mostly on piece overdub mode (as I suppose you do because you got only 2 ins) I
    would get a good channel strip maybe STT1 Millennia, if you have 2500.
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Benchmark DAC-1.

    And a double cheeseburger.
  8. Van_Hunter

    Van_Hunter Guest

    <Do you record bluegrass bands, one instrument at a time? >

    I record myself and a mandolin player and sometimes guests. We do bluegrass, swing, folk, classical etc.
  9. Van_Hunter

    Van_Hunter Guest

    And yes I record one at a time.
    What I have been doing as of late is first creating a bass part using Reason and one of the samplers in there. Then I play in a guitar rythm track. I really try hard to establish the groove at this stage. Then I put in my lead guitar parts and then send it over to Bob the mando player. He listens to it an comes up with his own ideas and at some point we record him on his part. If there are vocals I record them before Bob hears it. Then he comes up with a harmony. I will probably redo the rythm part if it will help the whole thing breath a little more.....but what does all this have to do with pre amps anyway.
    Someone said pres and A/D's. Does this mean I will shead the MBox? At some point I plan to go TDM.
  10. Van_Hunter

    Van_Hunter Guest

    I really like the idea of thinking of the whole set up as a chain. A chain for which you can keep improving the links.
    In that respect I am probably the most important part of that chain and at this point more than likely the weakest link. But I work on it daily.
  11. Van_Hunter

    Van_Hunter Guest

    Over Christmas I had a lot of time to think about the answer I got from AudioGaff. And after doing some testing I have discovered that my room actually has some major problems. And instead of spending anything on gear at this point I think it I really need to improve my room. This will probably take awhile because I'm not totally sure exactly what I need to do. But for starters I will probably get rid of my carpet and do something to deaden the ceiling. Thanks to AG for the great info.
  12. DanKennedy

    DanKennedy Guest


    You're on the right track. Get the room right,
    the equipment you have is more than up to it.
  13. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Great, Glad I could help! You might want to poke your head into the Acoustics forum here at RO and see what you can learn as well as get some specific advice.

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