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#946767 - 02/21/12 05:19 PM Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals?  
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I've heard various opinions on this. Some people seem to think that
most "affordable" preamps dont make any difference in vocal sound.

Others say that any is better than none.

What are the thoughts here?

#946809 - 02/21/12 09:42 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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What are you using if you do not have a pre-amp?


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

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#946812 - 02/21/12 09:50 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Using m-audio fast track, it's ok for basic recording, but for
getting a top notch sound, i dont think it's good enough.

Considering you can pay over 1500 and more for a quality pre, im not sure if the lower end stuff is worth buying.

Aside from using a quality mic, quality signal chain and good sound proofing, not to mention quality vocals and positiing, a great pre is the real difference maker.

But everybody's opinion varies, that's why im asking.



#946820 - 02/21/12 11:07 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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I think you have to decide what your goals are. I'd really like to make my CD I am working on to approach the sound quality of the CD's of my favorite artists. Bottom line for me -- it ain't gonna happen. I think I would need to spring for a couple $500 - $1,000 mics, $300-500 for a good pre-amp, better monitors, a better audio interface and room treatment -- I could easily spend $5,000 to get that better sound (and that is still just using software plug-ins for compression, eq, ...)

Or I could trudge along with my less than $100 mic, $29 pre-amp, $150 monitors, old tascam us-224 interface and get 80% of the way there. I think I can get decent sounds and recording with what I have. If I laid down $5,000 and spent the time required, I could get 90% there. If I wanted to get 100% there -- I would just go to a pro studio.

EDIT: I didn't answer your question: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? The answer is probably no.

Last edited by Kevin Emmrich; 02/21/12 11:13 PM.

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2017)
#946834 - 02/22/12 12:48 AM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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First you need to see if you need a Pre Amp or not. Pre Amps are used to build up very small signals such as a Condenser Microphone. Some Condenser Microphones I researched had the Pre Amp included.

Pre Amps are very basic devices and anyone of them will do the job, if you need it. If you are using a Dymanic Microphone such as a Shure SM57 or SM58 you don't need a preamp and if you use one you may actually degrade the signal! More info is needed to see if you need a Pre Amp or not.

Bigger and more expensive in not necessarly and better.


Ray E. Strode
#946837 - 02/22/12 01:02 AM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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yeah i tend to think the preamp is just a reflection
of what you record with normally.

a 1500 dollar preamp wont do much good if you have a 5o dollar mic, cant sing, and record outside.

but average mic, average pre, average singer, average room treatment, tends to equal average everything.

Most of the time I record I get a sound that lacks volume. No matter how you eq or compress it, it still sounds like a good sounding live vocal. Not a tight roomed, punchy, fat vocal.

same for all instruments really, even drums from a drum machine dont sound overally big.

#946839 - 02/22/12 01:06 AM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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I dont know Ray, I think preamps cost alot of money for a reason, the expensive ones work!

Im sure there are good engineers out there who can get great results with anything, but for somebody who wants to spend more time writing, a higher quality pre is preferable.

I see guys spending alot of money(just for average equpitment), and in the end, when everything is said and done, they dont have a pro recording, they have a quality demo.

Thats why it irks me when people focus so much on the recording, in most cases, the song is going to need to be recorded again anyway.

Get the songs first!

I'd like to be able to press music I make at home, but I dont think it's realistic.

Last edited by December Rock Star; 02/22/12 01:10 AM.
#946840 - 02/22/12 01:07 AM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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You need a pre-amp for mics (sm57's and 58's included). Mics have a low signal output called a "mic level". The recording devices need a "line level" signal strength. If your audio interface does not have built in pre-amps, then you need an external one. Condensers need 48V "phantom power" -- and then usually more gain through a pre-amp (most pre-amps have both the phantom power and then additional power boosts).

Can you record with a dynamic mic without a pre-amp? Yes, but you have to fire up the gain too high and you introduce too much noise. I've done that. Here's a link to a dealer that sells a lot of high end pre-amps: http://www.odysseyprosound.com/microphone_preamplifiers.php

While cheaper pre-amps work fine to boost the signal, the better ones will have less noise. Also, people swear their pre-amps can impart warmth and character to the sound/performance of a mic.

Last edited by Kevin Emmrich; 02/22/12 01:18 AM.

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2017)
#946842 - 02/22/12 01:22 AM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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Originally Posted by December Rock Star
... Most of the time I record I get a sound that lacks volume. No matter how you eq or compress it, it still sounds like a good sounding live vocal. Not a tight roomed, punchy, fat vocal...


You will probably need to double the lead and backing vocals (at least) to get a fatter sound with what you have. I can't do that doubling too well, but it is amazing how many vocal tracks are recorded sometimes (and acoustic guitar tracks) in pro studios.


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2017)
#946847 - 02/22/12 02:32 AM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Yeah, but doubling is best reserved for a special effect as opposed to doubling the whole vocal.

It's nice to double a chorus or a bridge or anything as the song builds, but the lead vocal is going to suffer when you double from beggining to end,

But I guess it would depend on what kind of song it is.





#946859 - 02/22/12 04:01 AM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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Yes, pre-amps make a difference. I don't know how good the ones in the M-Audio sound but a $300 pre-amp will sound pretty darned good. Diminishing returns sets in pretty quickly in recording equipment - you can spend a fortune for only slightly better performance.

There is a tremendous amount of know how required to get a good sounding recording and mix.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#946900 - 02/22/12 12:32 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Imo, the M-Audio DMP3 is the best budget pre-amp on the market. It's low noise and will boost your signal. A boosted signal seems to make your in-the-box fx sound better, and you can definately reach broadcast quality with the DMP3.

Next level pre's could be the UA 710, the Grace 101/202 and perhaps the SSL xlogic alpha channel, another step up from that could be the Great River ME1-NV or an SPL channel one mk2 2950.

But you may need more along the way :-)


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#946910 - 02/22/12 01:32 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Kolstad]  
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The short answer is NO......a cheapish pre will not do that much for vocals.
To get a great studio recording you need a great mic...great interface and have a good PC with top end sofware capable of studio quality results...it all costs.
Recording with an SM58 or other dynamic is asking for trouble and no pre will get you out of that trouble. Adding stuff pre record rarely works out.
Keep the chain short and simple...and use the best studio mics and interface you can afford. Once you have a good dry recording then it can be edited and processed. Compression and fx can then be added.
All that said you need great engineering skills to produce great results. I have seen some bad engineers with the best gear available produce real turkeys and clever guys with modest equipment produce great recordings. Knowing your gear and knowing what to do with it is the key. It is possible to produce pretty good stuff with budget equipment providing you have the know how. Learning the art and having modest equipment is better than having the best but not knowing how to use it.

#946912 - 02/22/12 01:41 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Kolstad]  
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Without looking at a particular piece of gear such as a recorder, Disc, Tape, etc, there may be Mic Inputs and line outputs. Most likely the Mic Input is designed to take a Dynmaic Mic of which has enough output, to drive the circuts to full output without any extra amplification.

When, or if using a Condenser Mic, of which doesn't have enough output to drive the circut enough without extra amplification you will need a preamp to raise the signal up enough to record without gross distortion.

Circut design has changed little over the years. Where a Mic is used the circuts still are designed to use a dymanic mic. The Pre Amp is used when a device such as a Condenser Mic is used to increase the output of the mic. Some devices that use a Mic may have what is known as Phantom Power, of which is basically a Pre Amp for Condenser Mics. A Pre Amp should not change the signal but only increase it up to the level the device can use.

So, no an expensive preamp will not make you sound better! But if I was selling you a preamp, of course the expensive one that costs twice as much is twice as good! Circut designs were developed years ago and are pretty much the same today. Three different Companies may make the exact same pre amp and charge 3 different prices for them!

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 02/22/12 01:42 PM.

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#946914 - 02/22/12 01:56 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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I tend to agree, but there are plenty of articles online showing how to get a good vocal sound. I dont think it's that difficult if you follow directions...ie. stand 6 inches away, stand slightly to the side so you dont pop the mic, use reflection filters and pop filters, use some compression on the way in, and move close on softer parts, and further away on louder parts.

That's all doable, but once everybody is doing that, the guy with the better gear is going to get better results.

Ive heard alot about "really nice preamp" its supposed to be the best preamp under 500 bucks.

#946915 - 02/22/12 01:56 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_power -- Phantom power sends a signal back up the microphone cable to energize the active electronics in the condenser mic. I don't think it is used to add "gain" to the condenser mic's output.


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2017)
#946916 - 02/22/12 01:59 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Im sure, just like microphones that sell for cheap can outperform an expensive one on certain applications.

But you cant compare a saffire preamp with one of those 30 dollar tube pres like ART makes.

So you need quality gear, theres a reason why big name artists go to the best studios available.

#946918 - 02/22/12 02:07 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Ray circuits have changed hugely...and so has equipment. The digital age has made recording a whole new ball game. When a signal is amplified it also tends to add and amplify UNWANTED "noise" This is a huge problem. The whole point of having a good mic is to capture a sound accurately without distortion or unwanted noise. Now a great mic will not add anything to or take away any of the sound it picks up so distortion is cut...it has nothing to do with signal strength. So we have equipment now that will put a clean relatively noise free signal straight into a PC without the need for pre amps or signal boosters as all this and more can be done once in the PC. Obviously the more sophisticated the hardware and software equipment is the more it costs. Prices however have come way down and nowadays it is possible for folk to have home studio equipment at modest costs that would rival or surpass out of reach top pro equipment used a decade or two ago.

#946919 - 02/22/12 02:19 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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Originally Posted by December Rock Star
Im sure, just like microphones that sell for cheap can outperform an expensive one on certain applications.

But you cant compare a saffire preamp with one of those 30 dollar tube pres like ART makes.

So you need quality gear, theres a reason why big name artists go to the best studios available.


I cannot argue with that.......give a monkey a Gibson SG and he will probably smash it up.
We buy and use what is appropriate for our needs and budget. That said some waste money on gizmos that do little or nothing extra and skimp on the things that really matter. No point in buying a mega buck pre if you are using an SM58.

#946924 - 02/22/12 02:27 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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not only waste money, but waste their time and energy trying to get a broadcast quality recording, when they are only capable of getting a demo.

It's hard enough writing good songs, everybody wants to be writer, singer, band, engineer and producer at the same time!

#946927 - 02/22/12 02:28 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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Originally Posted by December Rock Star
I tend to agree, but there are plenty of articles online showing how to get a good vocal sound. I dont think it's that difficult if you follow directions...ie. stand 6 inches away, stand slightly to the side so you dont pop the mic, use reflection filters and pop filters, use some compression on the way in, and move close on softer parts, and further away on louder parts.

That's all doable, but once everybody is doing that, the guy with the better gear is going to get better results.

Ive heard alot about "really nice preamp" its supposed to be the best preamp under 500 bucks.


Do not confuse a good performance with good equipment. I have been singing for a living for many many years and notice that what is considered doable...in practice very few folk actually do. But good mic technique is a whole different thread. The best technique in the world will not produce a great recording if the mic is crap or is not set up right and the engineer cannot work the other equipment to its best.

#946929 - 02/22/12 02:38 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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Originally Posted by December Rock Star
not only waste money, but waste their time and energy trying to get a broadcast quality recording, when they are only capable of getting a demo.

It's hard enough writing good songs, everybody wants to be writer, singer, band, engineer and producer at the same time!


Yep you need to have something decent to record in the first place.....We are in the age of multi task and multi talent....I am of the old school where you concentrated on YOUR strengths and got others in to cover the areas where you were weak. It was a merging of the minds and talents that produced the truly great stuff. I cannot think of too many people past or present who are masters of ALL....writing, performing, recording, mastering and producing. There are some who make a reasonably good job trying everything but tend to be jack of all master of none.

#946930 - 02/22/12 02:39 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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I am talking about Analog not digital. You could take a 60 year old Nueman Mic, use the 29 dollar ART Preamp, one Tube, two stage, and get as good a sound as is possible to get. In fact the 29 dollar Art Preamp is most likely exactly the same as the ones used with Newman's 60 years ago. BUT, you can spend tons of money on your equipment! I just wish I had the store you are buying from! I can use the money! Dynamic Microphones do not need an extra stage, actually 2 stages of preamplification to work properly, just an appropirate piece of gear that takes a microphone.

When all else fails, read the directions, if you can find the directions, of which may not be all that clear.


Ray E. Strode
#946932 - 02/22/12 03:06 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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I cant see how those ARTS do anything. If it were that simple everybody would be buying one. From what i've heard they dont improve the sound, they just change the sound. ie. add phasing and subtle distortion/harmonics.

Anything 30 dollars probably shouldn't be in your chain.

But again, if you are a great engineer, anything is possible

Last edited by December Rock Star; 02/22/12 03:07 PM.
#946940 - 02/22/12 04:11 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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The only thing the ARTs can do is give you better level for recording. If you keep the input low, they wont color the sound as much. But doesn't the M-Audio Fast Track have a preamp? I'm pretty sure it does. That should be all you need. After that it's up to ears. I wouldn't spend anything less than $350 to upgrade, but I'd spend on speakers first, then a mic.

Now here's a little secret weapon:
http://www.zenproaudio.com/goldenagepre-73.aspx

I've got one of these and use it a lot.



You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#946941 - 02/22/12 04:17 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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If you ask this sort of question on an internet thread, you will hear every possible answer. As a result, you'll be forced to decide the winning answer based on your opinion of someone else's opinion. Doh!

I suggest you record something with a cheap pre-amp, and also without one, then critically listen to the difference.

In my experience, even a cheap pre-amp can bring to the table a sound quality I wish to hear.

#946956 - 02/22/12 05:00 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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True, alot of times people dont want to hear that an affordable pre or any other piece wont cut the mustard, cause they want to be part of the recording world. And other times people believe they are in fact getting great results.

I think small increments of quality ie, going from a 150 dollar pre to a 300 dollar pre to a 500, wont yield an astounding difference where suddenly you are cutting records in your bedroom.

So in that regard, a good quality pre from a competetive brand will give good results, just not broadcast results.

Then of course, the mixing of the whole song is just as important, and there too home budget equiptmen7 and plug ins only go so far.

I think alot of people believe they are getting broadcast results, but I havent heard many on forums such as this.

I have heard very good recordings though.


Last edited by December Rock Star; 02/22/12 05:01 PM.
#946959 - 02/22/12 05:20 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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http://www.fmraudio.com/

this line looks most impressive! heard alot of good things about the whole line

#946960 - 02/22/12 05:27 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
If you ask this sort of question on an internet thread, you will hear every possible answer. As a result, you'll be forced to decide the winning answer based on your opinion of someone else's opinion. Doh!

I suggest you record something with a cheap pre-amp, and also without one, then critically listen to the difference.

In my experience, even a cheap pre-amp can bring to the table a sound quality I wish to hear.


Good point but the problem is...you have to buy a thing first before you can run your own test to compare it. Most folk cannot afford to do this. Folk should never buy anything unless they know exactly what they are getting first. That is why review and comparison sites are so great....provided it is an indepenadant review.....nothing worse than a manufacturer blogging and bragging about how great their stuff is and showing results or demos produced by their own folk. My point is that a pre amp is way way down my list of buys for a home studio.......mics monitors and hardware come first.

#946962 - 02/22/12 05:38 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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that's funny, ive heard just the opposite arguments along the way.

Some people feel the pre is THE most important thing, because it converts the signal to digital which is a complex issue. You're asking alot of a cheap unit to do that complex work.

Some folks feel you can get away with an sm58 mic so long as you have the great interface.

Monitors matter more for mixing that tracking, but you cant beat a great pair of monotors.

I guess there is no right or wrong, just what is right and wrong per individual.

#946968 - 02/22/12 06:01 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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In most cases, the equipment is a lot less important than the engineer. smile

#946969 - 02/22/12 06:05 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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But what do you do if you suck as an engineer? whistle

#946971 - 02/22/12 06:16 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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Humm,
I think it would be nice to get an Electricial Engineering Degree and then you would understand a lot of things about electronics better. For instance, a Mic Preamp doesn't convert Analog to Digital. That is done by a converter in a Computer or Hard drive recorder or CD recorder, etc.

Being a Sound Engineer takes some education on what does what. There are lots of Articles that do give some insight and there may actually be a Course you can buy or take from some Educational Institute. Anyone taken such a Course? I haven't but have learned a lot about electronics over the years. I did take a Course in T.V. Servicing years ago. I worked on everything you could imagine.

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 02/22/12 07:23 PM.

Ray E. Strode
#946976 - 02/22/12 06:23 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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The job of a microphone preamplifier is to boost microphone level signals to line level so that the signal can be converted from analog to digital.

http://www.presonus.com/products/detail.aspx?productid=48


#946984 - 02/22/12 06:39 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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This was an educational article.


Why is a mic preamp important in recording?

OK, so you got the ultimate $700 microphone! Now you plug it into your $30 mic preamp to record and we're set to go, right? Uhmm, no. Not so fast!

Your mic is producing $700 worth of sound, but the preamp is only letting $30 worth of it through! Why spend all that money on the mic, and then cancel it with trashy processing?

What is a preamp? Basically it is an amplifier that takes the microphone level signal and amplifies it to line level, the standard used in recording systems. Also, it is often used to provide power to the microphones that require it.

A good preamp is important in maintaining and enhancing the sound of your mics. When the preamp amplifies the sound, it can add or subtract subtle shades in the character of the sound. That's why it's important to use high quality preamps. You don't want them affecting the sound in a negative way!

Another thing to look for is the self-noise. I have two preamps in my studio, and I basically use the one all the time. The other one has so much self-noise that I hate it! This is important for each track, because when you mix all your tracks together, you get all the noise added together. The result may be much louder than you expect!

So don't get a cheap mic preamp. I think it is more important to spend money on a microphone, but don't skimp on a preamp. The processing they add is very subtle, but that is they key. You don't want to hear the preamp. You can tell a difference from a $100 to a $1000 - it's a matter of you get what you pay for.

A lot of the audio interfaces available will actually have a preamp or several built into it. They can often be just what you need. I like the ones that come on my MOTU 828. But I also have a Presonus DigiMax which provides 8 channels of high quality preamps. This is then a bargain. It's easy to keep adding more and more channels, and with the DigiMax, you can go a long way before you run out.

BTW, if you want to know the lingo, a preamp is also called a mic pre, or just a pre. Now, go impress your friends!

What should you look for when shopping for a mic pre for recording? If you're getting a high end one, look for things much the same as you would regular pres.

Keep things like self-noise and trim level in mind too. You will most likely want phantom power too, so look for that. What cables do your microphones use? Make sure the mic preamp will accept them.

Read some reviews on different preamps, and see what people are recommending.

Yes! Now comes the fun part — doing the actual recording.

#946989 - 02/22/12 07:06 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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ALL--

THERE IS A GREAT SITE TO HANG OUT--LOTS OF SAVVY TECH INFO--AMPS MICS AND GUITARS--EVEN KITS TO BUILD--OR DESIGN YOUR OWN EQUIPMENT--

I'M OLD SCHOOL AND I LOVE THE OLD TUBE SOUND--A SHUR 58 INTO A MODED FENDER CHAMP WITH A JBL SPEAKER HAS A KILLER SOUND WHEN MIC-ED CORRECTLY AND FED TO A TASCAM BOARD--

YOU DON'T GET GOOD SOUND WITHOUT GOOD EQUIPMENT!

Mackie

Last edited by Mackie H.; 03/15/12 03:03 PM.
#947405 - 02/25/12 08:16 AM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Mackie H.]  
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As I have said before it is ALL down to the skill of the person using the equipment. I have heard great sound from cheap equipment and bad sound from expensive equipment.....it ALL depends on the skill of the person using the equipment.
Learn how to use the equipment properly FIRST then you will know what is best to buy and what your budget can buy.
The home studio market has become very sophisticated of late and some pretty good gear is available at budget prices BUT the best equipment is good ears and hands and the know how to set up and twiddle.

#949818 - 03/12/12 12:15 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
As I have said before it is ALL down to the skill of the person using the equipment. I have heard great sound from cheap equipment and bad sound from expensive equipment.....it ALL depends on the skill of the person using the equipment.
Learn how to use the equipment properly FIRST then you will know what is best to buy and what your budget can buy.
The home studio market has become very sophisticated of late and some pretty good gear is available at budget prices BUT the best equipment is good ears and hands and the know how to set up and twiddle.


Just had to repeat what Jim said because this is the most sensible post I've seen in the whole thread.

A good solid state preamp that doesn't colour the sound is fairly easy to build nowadays. Your M-Audio interface may well be as good as any cheap add-on preamp. It certainly won't be the limiting factor in your recordings. In the whole scheme of things, your talent, your recording room and your mic choice are far more important than your choice of preamp (provided the preamp hasn't been deliberately designed to colour the sound like the ART does). Don't get hung up on things that aren't important.

James.


James Perrett, JRP Music http://www.jrpmusic.net

Della Perrett's Sweetedge http://www.sweetedge.com
#950193 - 03/14/12 04:15 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: James Perrett]  
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Has to be important thats why the prices range from 50 bucks to 5000...


#950198 - 03/14/12 04:40 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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Originally Posted by December Rock Star
But what do you do if you suck as an engineer? whistle


You invest your time, energy and money in the betterment of your skills...better equipment cannot bridge a knowledge gap.

#950226 - 03/14/12 07:28 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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Originally Posted by December Rock Star
Has to be important thats why the prices range from 50 bucks to 5000...



Cars also have a dramatic price range........each model is designed for a specific purpose or to suit differing budgets......they will all get you from A-B.....but if you are a rotten driver it does not matter what car you choose....you still crash......buying a big fancy car does not make you a better driver.

#950249 - 03/14/12 10:27 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Yes but, why do these questions always turn into "if you are this or you are not that"

naturally, talent plus a preamp will produce better results than no talent plus a preamp. That doesnt tell me anything.

Assuming talent is a given, then what.


#950250 - 03/14/12 10:29 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Then who writes my songs, sings, plays all the instrumentation? grin

Only so much time in the day. If you spend the next two years learning how to record, what happens to your playing and writing chops?

Last edited by December Rock Star; 03/14/12 10:31 PM.
#950260 - 03/14/12 11:27 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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You concentrate on your strengths and get others to fill in the areas in which you are weak.......so if you want great recordings get a great producer then go to a proper studio.....hire the best session musicians to cover the parts you cannot....but if you want to do it ALL by yourself.....then invest the time cause it is a pretty steep learning curve.....I am thinking perhaps pre-amps are the least of your worries.
BTW get a decent audio interface and you will not need a preamp....assuming you want digital as opposed to analog.
Do not want to get into an argument about dig v analog.....but digital is possibly the preferred option for newbies or home studios.

#950265 - 03/14/12 11:39 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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I like that answer, it sums up how I feel about it.

If it takes a team to make a great record, get a team to help you.

Sure I can half ass my way through the whole thing from pencil to master, but why? What snowballs chance do i have of putting out a competitive product doing it all myself.

#950330 - 03/15/12 02:06 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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When all else fails read the directions! Ok, there are no directions in some cases, Then you have to do research, plenty of it on the Web, just Google what you want to know and see what shows up. It seems you want it all right now. Well it doesn't work that way. You will have to put in your time if you want to be sucessful.


Ray E. Strode
#950336 - 03/15/12 03:03 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Ray you are 100% right...folk today want and expect success today not tomorrow....trouble is they have not spent the time money and effort or have the talent and experience that traditionally is required first. IMO you need to serve an apprenticeship and learn the ropes before even thinking about fame or fortune....then and only then should success come and come only to the few who have the skills and shine above ALL the others.

#950362 - 03/15/12 06:01 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Can I hear some of your work?

#950377 - 03/15/12 07:51 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: December X]  
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Originally Posted by December Rock Star
Then who writes my songs, sings, plays all the instrumentation? grin

Only so much time in the day. If you spend the next two years learning how to record, what happens to your playing and writing chops?


I hear ya--there's only so much time, and carving out more always entails some sort of sacrifice. But I'm actually one of those guys who did this after discovering this place. After being disconnected from songwriting for over a dozen years, I felt the need to get back to it, and ended up finding JPF. I ended up getting very involved writing and collaborating and critiquing new songs. I was still working with cassette tape, and realized it was time to dive into this digital recording thing. So the past few years have been spent learning how to produce my own songs to broadcast quality, and it has paid off. Now I'm getting these recordings signed to music supervisors for use in TV and Film. The further I go, the more opportunities present themselves. And I'm really enjoying the outlet for my songs--I enjoyed making music anyway, but now it's even leading to income again, thanks to learning some basic recording skills.

But to answer your question of what happens to your playing chops if you decide to take the time to learn how to engineer your own recordings at home? Well, mine didn't get any worse, so I'll say "nothing!"

#950391 - 03/15/12 08:33 PM Re: Do "Home Budget" preamps do anything for vocals? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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That's good that you got some tv stuff. You must one of the superior talents that stand out far above the rest as big jim desribes grin

I would say TV and Movies might be the most realistic expectation for people producing their own music.

I find though especially with lyrics, if I dont write exessively, and I skip months,,,years, I lose it fast.

Right now im in a groove, ive written 10 lyrics in the last few days, maybe one of which ill actually use. But I lose lyric creativity fast when I let it go.

Melodies are always there, but I lose the ability to string them together if i dont do it regularly.

Ive already lost my guitar chops, thats been happening gradually since i started writing instead of playing. Im good enough to accompany myself and do some recording, but I one time I could rip a mean solo, that has completely left the building! But I surprise myself every once in a while when I can still do the heartbreaker solo!

I just dont want to get to a point where im writing something just to produce it, thats backwards.


Last edited by December Rock Star; 03/15/12 08:34 PM.
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