Second Preamp for Character

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by bgavin, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    Which preamps should one consider for a contrasting "character" from a neutral preamp?

    My condensors are bright with neutral coloration, and I also use SM57 and ATM25.
  2. ErikFlipside

    ErikFlipside Guest

    API is the first thing that comes to mind...
  3. What do you have as "neutral"? UA 610, Sebatron, Joe Meek all have character, but very different character. Neve has character. David
  4. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    I'm entirely focused on mobile/location recording. My pres are a pair of Aardvark Q10.

    If the need comes up, I would probably add a Grace Design 101 or 201 for a clean/neutral upper end preamp. I understand these are not all that suited for hard rockers, due to no coloration. Too sterile?
  5. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    Neve or neve clone.

    They tend to smooth the top and make the bottom huge.

    A good counterpoint to what recording digital does.
  6. Malpasoman

    Malpasoman Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Hard to go wrong with API.
  7. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    I understand that preamp character is amplified into a "signature" as it progresses through multiple tracks, i.e. the effect is cumulative.

    Is there an argument for having a pure pre, such as a Grace, and using colored/valve mics instead?
  8. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    No, not really. It's all about preferences in creating a sonic picture. Every artist has his or her way of doing it.
  9. tommypiper

    tommypiper Guest

    If those are your only two mic choices, then you need to get more mics before worrying about the pres. The mics will have WAY more influence on the color and character of your recordings than pres. They are the paint! The pres are the brush. The music is your canvas.

    No, the pre character does not get amplified and exagerated through the mix process. Focus on your music. Assuming you have decent pres to start, mics and mic placement are your strongest determining factors. Pres are not going to make or break your recording (again, assuming you have something decent which won't cause fundamental problems).

    A good engineer with a good musician with a good instrument can make marvelous recordings with modest means.

    t :)
  10. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    I have three mic choices. My initial post did not spell out my AT4040, but listed it only as my bright/neutral condensor mic.

    Unlike many here on this board, I'm not a studio engineer. My interest is live band recording combined with PA support, hence my Q10 pair and portable DAW. I anticipate generating only pocket change revenue from this adventure, so mega-buck gear is difficult to justify.

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