Best mic pre for electric guitar?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by cocheese, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. cocheese

    cocheese Supporting Member

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    I am putting together a small project studio and I'm looking for a really nice preamp for electric guitar. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    You unwittingly answered your own question; you want a really nice preamp? http://www.fmraudio.com/RNP8380.htm

    I have one and it is wonderful on so many things. Very transparent, yet very musical. I have owned $1000 a channel preamps; this one just captures what you put into it very well with minimal color. And for a lot less money.
     
  3. bjm007

    bjm007 Member

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  4. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Sure spend, $1400 on a mic pre when you don't even have a mic yet. :)

    My advice: you might not even need a preamp. It's only electric guitar; you're talking about a very narrow frequency range and you'll never hear your money's worth on an expensive preamp. Depending on what audio interface you end up with and what mic you use (mine cost $85), the built-in mic pres might be more than sufficient.

    If you really insist on an outboard pre, the RNP would be the best use of your money IMO.
     
  5. cocheese

    cocheese Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the input guys! (pun intended :D )

    Scott, yeah...my bro has some of those along with some RNC's. He swears by them. That was actually my idea, but I thought I'd throw it out there and see what everyone had to say.

    The Great River stuff looks good. Well, it's priced like it must sound good that is! ;) I've never heard them before. Sounds like an interesting concept as I'm sure into vintage tones.

    I plan to use the front inputs on my unit as well, I was just thinking that a dedicated preamp might get me a more tweakable tone and better tone.

    I'm new to this digital recording thing...so fire away!!! :)
     
  6. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    I completely agree with Michael.

    Electric guitar is all you're recording?

    "Gee, I get so much more delicacy out of my Shure57 when I run it into my Gloriosky Maximum mic preamp. I hear so many more of the overtones, and it just sits in the track so much better."

    :rolleyes:

    Um. no.

    It is nice to have a wonderful mic preamp for certain things, and if you already have an excellent vocal mic, you can get a little more with it when matched to a great preamp.

    The only reason I can see to use anything other than a stock preamp for most electric guitar is if it's breaking up because it can't handle the level very well.
     
  7. GerryJ

    GerryJ Member

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    Les, do you ever record electric guitar or bass direct into the board? Or always thru a mic'd amp?

    Without a studio, I'm investigating options for direct 'silent' guitar/bass recording (don't have my DAW set up yet) to avoid a divorce ;) , and also as a Real Man I love a challenge.

    I know his sound leaves some people cold, but for the past 2-3 years, Satriani, for example, has recorded silent/direct in using a Palmer load box. (Funny, in an interview he mentioned how he does that in part so he can work out his different tones/settings for the tunes ahead of time in his own home studio, "instead of spending thousands of dollars a day trying to dial in the right sounds in the recording studio").
    Thanks.
     
  8. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I always record bass direct, using a SansAmp Bass Driver DI. It goes from there into a solid state preamp then a tube compressor.

    I record guitar direct using the Pod sometimes. From the Pod I go into either a tube preamp or tube compressor to warm it up a little. I only use the Pod for layering, for which it works great because you can dial in such different contrasting sounds.
     
  9. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Get a Royer R-121 or a Coles 4038 ribbon mic and then use whatever pre you've got.

    Put your money into the mic - it's the most important part of the recording chain.

    Thank me later.

    Loudboy
     
  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    >>Les, do you ever record electric guitar or bass direct into the board? Or always thru a mic'd amp?<<

    I always record guitar using a miked amp. I don't like direct recorded guitar, just a personal preference.

    I usually take bass direct, through an Avalon direct box, because it has a lot of headroom, and I prefer the sound for most things. However, there are times when I record a miked up bass cab if I want a woolier kind of sound.

    >>Put your money into the mic - it's the most important part of the recording chain<<

    +1

    I have been preaching this very thing on this board for a long time. The preamp is miniscule compared to the mic in terms of importance.

    I very much like the royer on guitar cabs, too.
     
  11. cocheese

    cocheese Supporting Member

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    Ok, thanks for the plethora of information here. I think I'm getting either a Lynx or RME card with a RNP and RNC, running Cubases x3 or Samplitude with 57's, E609, AKG414 (gold and black one) and some kind of ribbon mic...either the Royer 121, 122, or a Beyer M160 with an RCA ribbon. That is supposed to be a great mic for the money.

    I'll keep you posted as thing develop.
     
  12. bjm007

    bjm007 Member

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    Yeah, I agree and I get your point, but he didn't say he was on a budget... I've got a small project studio with a Great River, an old Neve, a Vintech, a Wunder, a old Joemeek and some RNP's and yes, I can hear a difference in a mic'd guitar cabinet with the higher end pre's.

    I'm using 57's on my cabs, and for guitar that's all I need. Royer's are obviously amazing, but I chose to spend my money on pre's because I can get more mileage out of them in other applications... I use old U87's and 414's for vocals and 451's for acoustic guitars... I'm pretty old school I guess...

    BUT... If you're on any kind of a budget, then it's simple...

    FMR RNP and a 57.......... For the money, nothing even comes close ;)
     
  13. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    You guys slay me. Spend 5000+ on a guitar amp but running a 57 through a decent mic pre isn't gonna improve anything...
    I for change am speechless.
     
  14. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    I would rather run a 57 and/or 609 into a Neve, Telefunken or RCA pre than use a R121...
    I completely disagree with the thank me later thing. nd yes i had a pair of Royers...great for clean and just broken up stuff. But I take the 57, thank you.
     
  15. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Why not? You're saying a $1500 mic won't be any improvement over an $85 mic on that same amp.

    Speaking for myself, I never said it wouldn't be an improvement. I said it "might not" be necessary, which is very different.

    IMHO for most people recording electric guitar in their home studios an expensive mic pre is a complete waste of money, because 90% of them don't even have tone good enough to be flattered by a great preamp. Of those who do have great tone, 90% don't mic it properly. Of those who do have good tone and mic it properly, 90% can't play worth a sh*t. Of those who have tone, mic it properly and can play OK, 90% of them don't have songs worth a damn. Of those who have tone, mic it properly, can play and have good songs... well, they still have my attention whether they use a great preamp or not! ;)

    Seriously: I don't feel the preamp is an unimportant component of the chain; I feel it's an overrated and misunderstood component. Mic pres are a big push in the "prosumer" market because they fall in a price point that is expensive yet affordable for many people, and unlike compressors, EQs and high-end mics they don't require even minimal expertise or experience to operate. Many people incorrectly see them as a "quick fix" to get instant professional sound.
     
  16. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    FWIW to me the 1500 mic is no improvement. I have a few dynamics I know what to do with and I havet to find an expensive mic that works better for my needs.
    The rest I concur...that said a good mic pre doesn't have to be 1500 bucks. One of my faves came out of an old RCA board and cost me like 200 bucks, a box to mount it in and a power supply.
     
  17. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I was not disputing that; I was using your statement to point out that money doesn't always buy an improvement.

    I use a 57, too, every time. I also like the Royer (I've only heard it, never used it myself) but it's not the same kind of thing.
     
  18. Paul Secondino

    Paul Secondino Member

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    The bottom line for me personally was that for a long time, I recorded on Adats and never liked what the ydid to my guitar tone.

    So for me personally, investing 2 gand into a Universal Audio 2-610 mic pre was money very well spent. Tube goodness, and incredibly clean gain.

    I also use this preamp for drum sessions.Sometimes for overheads and sometimes for the kick and snare. I tracked through the Great River pre and liked that too but it sounded a little different.

    If you have the money, and recording technique, you can increase the tonefulness and detail of your guitar tracks with a good mic pre.

    However, buying a sweet mic pre is not wise if you are a novice recording engineer.In that case, one would be better off developing better micing,playing, and mixing technique than buying new gear.
     
  19. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    There ya go. That's it.
     
  20. joseph

    joseph Member

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    Well...... "playing technique" ......harumph haruumphh!
     

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