Which 8 channel mic pre amp for drums ?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by CaptainBeardy, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. Hello again, fine folks,....

    As it looks like I'll be needing an 8 channel pre amp when I get the MYGDA epansion card for the AW 2400 to give me 16 simultaneous mics for my drum kit,( pheeeeeewwwwwww ,..takes deep breath ! ) can any one recommend a suitable unit ?
    I've spotted a 'Mackie Onyx 800R' that seems to be ideal,( aside from the £ 1000 price tag :( ).
    Also, would a transistor, tube, or hybrid type be best ?

    Ermmmmm,.. Over to you learn'd people,..

    Cheers,..... Dan.
  2. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Depends on what you want to spend. I've never used the Mackie but have heard that it's decent. Check out the True Systems 8, UA 8110, (2) Focusrite ISA428's, or an API lunchbox. Again, it's all dependant on what you're willing to shell out.
  3. Hey, backinthelab, thanks for the advice,..

    I'll check those-out,...

    As for budget, well, if I need to spend a few quid,( £ 1000 ) on a pre amp, then, so be it,.. It's a pity the standalone AW 2400 doesn't cater for 16 mics from the word go, ( I guess it'll come in a couple of years in the next version of the machine ? ).

    I think it would be worth buying a decent out board pre amp as it would be usable on other set-ups in years to come,.....

    Thanks again for the help,...

    Cheers,.... Dan :D
  4. Digger

    Digger Guest

    Well I have my eye on a Shadow Hills Gama 8 with switchable transformer and non transformer selections this thing is friggin sweeeeet!!!!


    At under 4 grand it is not a bad deal either. I have heard some test recording off of this unit and I don't think it is a bad option to consider.

    Getting a pair of API 3124's is not a bad idea either and cheaper than the lunch box option - really fast transient response which is great for drums (I own one)

    good luck!
  5. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    This might be close to your budget after the conversion.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    The Presonus Digimax is also a nice and more affordable unit. This coming from somebody that owns both API and Neve is pretty strange wouldn't you say?

    The compellingly strange
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. recordometer

    recordometer Guest

    I have a JLM TMP-8 (http://www.jlmaudio.com) which I find to be a fantastic 8 channel pre- very clean and clear, really tight bottom and clean highs... heading towards API style without the pricetag.

    If you're after something more Neve-like (i.e. quite coloured), why not consider one of the many clones around, like SCA and others... If you're up to a little bit of building. I haven't heard these myself, but have only seen positive comments about them!
  8. recordometer

    recordometer Guest

    Oh crap, sorry markd, didn't see your post in there suggesting the same thing.

  9. mugtastic

    mugtastic Active Member

    Dec 9, 2005
    i don't understand. you want to record 16 tracks of drums at a time using half yamaha pres and half something better? shouldn't you be looking to match the new 8 to the yamahas?
    also i thought the website said the recorder could only record 16 at a time at 16 bit not 24.
    also thought space was an issue so wouldn't a laptop and interface w/pres take less room than a standalone daw plus mixer?

    just curious.
  10. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    Hey no probs. Just adds weight to the suggestion :cool:
  11. Yup,..that's about it Mr.mugtastic,... Not knowing how 'good ' the Yam i88x pre installed pre amps are in the first place,and also not knowing what's available in the form of out board pre amps is my reason for participating in a forum such as this,..to gain opinions !
    Sure,it'd be ideal to have all 16 channels with matching pre amps, but then, I am still very limited for space, so the less out board equipment, the better,..and a stand alone DAW will always be more portable than a separates system,...
    ( Though I haven't completely ruled-out a Mac based system, as I would like to record with sixteen tracks in 24 bit ,..It all depends on how flexable each option is, and how much bang for my pound I can get ).

    Thanks again to everyone for your advice, it all helps :wink:
  12. recordometer

    recordometer Guest

    Mugtastic and CaptainBeardy...

    You seem to be of the opinion that matching pre-amps all around are desirable.. but certainly a bit of variety can help give you a little more flexibility. Standalone pre-amp modules weren't just designed for DAWs, they also find a lot of use feeding into a console insert for a bit of flavour.

    Personally, I wouldn't be hung up on trying to match the preamps to those of the yamaha- better off thinking about what will give you the most flexibility and what you'll use more. But each to their own!

    What would you rather? 5 Ferraris, or a Ferrari, a Porsche, a Lambourghini, a Bugatti and a Mercedes?

    (p.s. I hope you don't have a fetish for Ferraris, otherwise my analogy was a waste of time)
  13. mugtastic

    mugtastic Active Member

    Dec 9, 2005
    i totally agree. if it was me w/ 8 pres looking for more i'd go in a "different" or "better" direction - no question. from previous posts however, it seems that the goal here is to record 16 tracks of a huge drumkit onto as small a setup as possible.
    instead of a standalone daw w/expansion card and outboard mixer at 16 bit, i would think a laptop w/2 firepods would fit the bill WAY better. (that setup would fit in the change pocket of your jeans)
    now, i use a mackie board into an older yamaha standalone w/out the newer versions usb interface flexability, but i like it for the ergonomics and cliche free performance - not for # of tracks and footprint. actually the idea of a studio w/out a fader in sight gives me the heebie jeebies.
    beware that the limited versions of software that are more economical (and come w/the firepod btw) will not allow 16 track at once recording.
    how about this - eliminate the restriction of 16 at once and create stereo submixes of a few toms etc. to get the kit down to 12 tracks. 12 tracks at 24 bits will kick 16 tracks at 16 bits ass!
  14. Cheers, recordometer,.....

    I've read that several types of pre amp are desirable, for ,as you put it 'flavours' can be chosen,....

    As for a Ferrari, well, if they made a van version, then I'd be interested so I could get my drum kit into the back of it 8) :lol: !
  15. Interesting, mugtastic,....

    So,..you're currently using a Yamaha stand-alone,( which one ? ) with a Mackie mixer,( hasn't the Yam stand-alone already got a hardware mixer ? ) and two Firepod pres ?
    How many tracks can you simultaneously record at once ?
    ( And all 24 bit ? ).

    As I mentioned before, I haven't ruled out completely the separates / Mac / Lap top route,...but I've heard horror stories concerning latency and, like you, I'm a hands-on man, and would much rather work with actual faders and ,ahem, knobs, than all that ' virtual ' console malarky,( shudder at the thought,.. ! ).
    Also, there seems to be a bewildering array of programs available for PC / Mac systems,..any idea of a good'un that does my beloved 16 tracks, and what would I have to pay ?

    I didn't quite get what you ment by stereo submixes of the toms ?

    Apologies for the 'sonic inquisition', ... :lol: :roll:
  16. mugtastic

    mugtastic Active Member

    Dec 9, 2005
    i don't have firepods, thats just a small solution w/a laptop.

    i use a mackie cr1604 board into the eight inputs of a yamaha aw4416 all-in-one daw. i had the mackie from a previous reel-to-reel set-up and it sounds better than going straight into the yamaha (or so i think). it also gives me control over mics and other sources as 16 channels are available to go to compressors or straight into the recorder. i can easily control levels and routing while playing drums.

    the yamaha will record 8 tracks at a time at 24 bits, but its a small kit and i only have 9 mics anyway.

    submixing for me is recording snare and kick to a track each, then the rest to 2 tracks having created a stereo mix of several mics in the board. i've been doing this for long enough that i know what i want in mix. i also record all the mics to separate tracks sometimes too.

    for you i would save some tracks by recording a 2 track stereo mix of, say 4 toms plus a 2 track stereo mix of several overhead/room mics to get down to 12 tracks at 24 bit. just a thought.

    unless i was top and bottom micing every drum i couldn't imagine using 16 tracks for drums, but if thats the dream of a monster kit guy like you, maybe you should compromise on the other stuff and go 16 craazzy!
  17. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I'm going to third the JLM as far as value and sound. It is a very good box and with the limiters option it makes a very easy to use drum preamp. It is tending towards API, this is true, but has its own stamp on the sound and is high enough quality not to make you want to pull out your hair at mix due to a horrible buildup of some nasty sounding frequencies.

    A great value. There is a review somewhere in the archives about this unit. Search function should put you on to it.

    All the other suggestions...ie: API lunchbox (my fave), API 3124, True 8,even the Mackie Onyx, are all excellent units too.
  18. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    1000 pounds? That's about $1500. I'd look into the RME Fireface or Presonus Firepod. You aren't going to get anything mindblowing at that price point, but you'll get decent recordings if you take your time with mic placement, performance and mixdown. Good luck.
  19. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    Actually 1,000.00 GBP = 2,438.34 AUD, which is only $300 short of the JLM.
    Have to add freight etc in there as well of course.
  20. Cheers, chaps and chapess',...

    I've been investigating the power Mac quad set-up today, as I'm starting to go off the idea of these stand alone DAWs due to not being able to record with 16 simultaneous channels in 24 bit !

    How does this sound for a set-up ; Power Mac Quad + 2 X 8 channel Focusrite pres / interface, ( or Mackie Onyx 800Rs ) + Mackie control surface ?
    I'm not sure about what software though, ( I've read that Logic 7 is good with the Mac for nearly zero latency ? ).

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