Warming up digital..Tube or not Tube?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by noelhartough, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. noelhartough

    noelhartough Guest

    further, It is impossible to try out a unit in the store. I know a couple of guys who are sho' nuff producers who really like API, and Neve and what not. They consider "cheap" for a mic pre around $1000.00 And they seem pretty confident that under that pricepoint, you are not getting much. I am pretty uneducated about what's truly functional in my situation. What advantage tube really offers. I write and record demos for my publisher, and independent sources. Can someone please shed some light on this? I'm told the thing that really takes a project studio to the next level is a good mic-pre. Thanks..
  2. bassmac

    bassmac Guest

    It was explained to me that since it cost so much more to build hi-quality tube gear, unless get up around the 1-2k level, the tubes may have very little to do with the signal path and overall sound. Additionally, well built tube gear can also be extremely clean too, which might not be what you're looking for either.

    FWIW - in my own experience (which I'm slowly acquiring too), I've learned it's best to pay attention to the *character* of the pre, and not worry so much if it has a toob or not.

  3. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    May 14, 2001
    Mogadore, OH
    Good advice Bassman. I will say there is an exception in the Peavey AMR preamp and compressor. Really high quality tube gear for under 1K each.
  4. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    There are a lot of things that can contribute to a project studio 'going to the next level.' Assuming a reasonable setup to begin with, I would say that some of those are, in rough order;

    1) Higher engineering skill and experience (this one's probably 90%, and can make or break the rest of the list)
    2) Better sounding, more neutral rooms
    3) Better players (probably #2, actually)
    4) Better sound sources (instruments, amps, sampler libraries, keyboard modules, whatever)
    5) Very good monitoring chain (there's that room again!)
    6) Better/wider assortment of mics
    7) Good front end (mic pre's, converters)
    8) Better processing (compressors, EQ's, reverbs, etc.)
    27) Possibly the presence of tube gear, if it's good quality, if only because people think it's cool and want to see it.

    You can stick 'client comfort' up there in the top 5 if you rent time. It's not productive to overlook your own comfort, either, if you're a one-man shop.

    Originally posted by Noel Hartough:
    I'm told the thing that really takes a project studio to the next level is a good mic-pre. Thanks..
  5. Scott Gould

    Scott Gould Active Member

    Oct 22, 2001
    Pt. Charlotte FL
    It seems to me that the whole idea of "tube warmth" is akin to the medieval idea of sympathetic magic - tubes get warm so they must "warm up" the sound. Circuit design & good transformers probably contribute more to what is called "audio warmth" IMHO.

    Scott :D
  6. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    Originally posted by DigitMus:
    good transformers probably contribute more to what is called "audio warmth" IMHO.

    ...And lots of them in the signal path. Usually 8 or more tranny's from the mic to 24 bit digital is good :D . Throw a few more in during the mix off the board and things start sounding good.
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