Preamp usage

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by Eriksmusicproduction, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. Eriksmusicproduction

    Eriksmusicproduction Active Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    I'm wondering about the merits of tracking with lots of available types of preamp's vs using a really large great sounding console? And how many people today still track with just one console?

    IOW would I be better off buying anouther type of preamp to complinent my focusrite ISA428? For a better soundstage and instrument seperation?

    If so does anybody Know what NEVE preamp the 428 sounds closest to, so that I don't buy something similar in sound, maybe the 1272?

    And then of cours any reccomendations for preamps, I would like something that is fairly neutral but has that nice exagerated presence and shimmer to it. What about the John Hardy j99 type of preamp? The Seventh Circle stuff has caught my eye.

  2. JWHardy

    JWHardy Active Member

    Jul 5, 2004
    Home Page:
    I think it would be more correct to stae it as follows: "What about the Seventh Circle J99 Hardy-type of preamp?" The J99 is not a product of the John Hardy Company. It is a Seventh Circle product, somewhat similar to (but not the same as) the Jensen Twin Servo 990 Mic Preamp that was co-developed by the folks at Jensen Transformers and myself, sold by Jensen Transformers for a number of years, and now sold directly by the John Hardy Co. Thank you.

    John Hardy
    The John Hardy Co.
  3. i love dakig for anything at you need with alittle bit of hgih frequency buisness going on
  4. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    Who's this guy who acts like he knows what he's talking about? :p

    But seriously, back to the OP.

    Console-type preamps tend to be a little 'neutral' in flavor, in that they can be used on multiple sources without overdoing certain aspects of their individual flavor. Even some of the more flavorful console pre's (API, Neve) still have this quality.

    Many of the great outboard pres lose a lot of their impact when everything is tracked on them. To quote slipperman "If everything is big, nothing is big" the same can be said for preamp flavor. It's all relative to the other sounds in the mix.
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    As much as I hate to, I gotta agree with the Mayor. Theres a thought going around since the advent of the Digital Process that seems to say that ONLY high-end preamps can produce High-end results.

    True in a way yet not true also.

    Let me 'splain Luucy.

    In a busy and complex mix, there are things that need to stick out and there are things that need to stay in the background as a wash. Our friend Slipperman says it well. Budget becomes an issue for many of us 'smaller' studio owners and theres no getting around it. Having a couple of channels of 'high-end pres (such as the HARDY or 7th Circle, or Daking or API or whatever) makes the ability to get specific instruments 'out' in front an easier task.

    The choice here for the arranger/producer/artist is which ones to use em on?

    And THATS what makes the difference in production abilities.

    Its never about the gear after a certain point. Its about gear choices.....In conjunction with recording technique and all tied up nicely by song structure and arrangement.

    And who is this John Hardy fellow and why doesnt he send me a bunch of his stuff?

    One of each will do nicely John.
  6. Eriksmusicproduction

    Eriksmusicproduction Active Member

    Oct 17, 2005

    So if you got the choice of ISA428, and the Tascam pre's, might I be as well off tracking certain things through the Tascam to help distinguish between instruments? I mean do some engineers use lesser preamps with less diminsionality to emphasize the tracks that have been recorded with nice full sounding preamps?

    My train of thought used to be to use the best sounding, most dimensional preamps on everything, hence why I wanted anouther preamp with different characteristics to help my mixes from building up to much sound of one preamp.

    IOW, would I be better off using the Tascam with less dimension for certain instruments? OR get anouther preamp of high quality (diff than the 428 though) to get depth in my recordings?

    I know this is all subjective, I just don't have a way to try out preamps before I buy, not to mention I would pretty-much have to track and mix a whole song to find out.

  7. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest

    you will never be "better" off using the tascam pres. track everything you can thru your better pres. if you have only 2 pres, use them on everything you can. if you need something to stand out in a mix you use eq, compression, fx, etc.

    i just don't buy this bs about needing certain pres for instruments to stand out. there is a name for helping instruments standing out, and that is called (everyone say this slowly) "song writing" and "arrangement".

    i have decent sounding pres (soundcraft) and a few "good" sounding pres. seventh circle a12s and n72s. i don't think that either of them help me make things stand out in a mix, that is called mixing.

    i do think the good pres make stuff sound better, but not everything.

    whatever, ymmv.
  8. use the 428 pres, they practically dont have any colour if you ask me, then again i have been spoiled this month with some very colourful things
    tascam and 002r pres suck if you ask me, better of with some art tps
  9. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    I had wondered what preamp designers thought about the clones of their designs that are being made and sold (such as the J99). I think a little bitterness is deserved. I find it a little embarrasing buying the 990C's from JH in order to make a rip-off of his preamp. Interesting....

    And on the current topic, different preamp flavors are fun! And a secondary benefit is that it helps give different elements a little bit of a different flavor in the mix. But I see nothing wrong with using the same kind of pre for everything (such as with a console) if the pres sound good. It's been done thousands of times. Don't bother using your crap pres just to make the good ones sound betterer in comparison; unless going for an effect or something.

    J99's are nice. I have no idea if they sound like a Jensen Twin Servo or John Hardy. The A12's sound more like what you describe you are looking for IMO. Exagerated presence and shimmer. I currently have no single favorite type of 7thCircle pre; I love them all - as one might love their children.
  10. Eriksmusicproduction

    Eriksmusicproduction Active Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    Reggie, do you think the a12 are a transparent enought pre to stack lot's of tracks up with?

    I was under the impression that is was fairly color'd, which is why I thought the j99 would be a better choice at this time untill I could afford more, which the a12 would be my next choice.

    Now you got me thinking though, would you be able to describe the diff between the two.

    Try'd the SCA forum but there isn't much talk about it

  11. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    I don't see a problem with that. They certainly don't "muddy" anything up. The A12's are kinda fast sounding, sorta glossy, and exciting. The J99's are more of a fat, sweeter, smooth, sorta sound. I would say they both have a certain color, but don't think that is a bad thing. If you are wanting a more transparent pre, the C84 sounded very real from the clips I have heard (don't have one myself yet). But I think I would prefer an A12 or J99 or N72 in most situations. Whichever you start with, I doubt you will be disappointed.
  12. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest

    the a12's kick F@#king A$$. sorry, but they do. i have the n72s and the a12's, and there is something about the a12's i love on almost everything. i think they especially rock on snare, toms, guitars, and vocals that aren't too sibilent.

    seriously. they rock. i recorded a rock band that sounds like foo fighters, and i used them on almost everything. sounded GREAT!

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