Do I need a mic preamp?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by iMatt, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. iMatt

    iMatt Member

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    Simple question I think.

    I have a Boss BR-1180. I would like to record some acoustic guitar - does not have any pick-up so I need to mic it up. I am looking at getting a Rode condenser mic (actually thinking of trying the NT4 stereo mic).

    Anyway, is there any point me getting a preamp? The BR-1180 has its own preamp on the mic inputs and can also supply phantom power, so its not clear to me what benefit would be had from a preamp.

    If there is any advantage can you suggest anything? Wouldn't seem to be much point going overboard on a preamp given the relatively low end recording station.

    Appreciate the help.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2008
  2. shawntp

    shawntp Member

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    I own the Rode NT4 and its a great mic for that application. The NT4 can take a 9v battery and has a mini stereo plug so you can use it that way but I think the output is real low - and you would not get the quality from the mic like when using a mic pre that can drive it good.

    The Boss unit is capable of goo quality capture, and a Stereo SDC pair like the Rode NT4/NT5 is capable of a nice detailed stereo image - enought that I would say you should get a decent small dual preamp.
     
  3. hobageeba

    hobageeba Member

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    I've never used your Boss recorder, but I'm guessing the pre's have room for improvement. If you don't mind making the investment, a good preamp is always worth it.
     
  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    >>Wouldn't seem to be much point going overboard on a preamp given the relatively low end recording station.<<

    Exactly correct. Very little point. The mic is the most important element in the chain, the one you will hear most, and an expensive mic preamp will make very little difference. So save your money, and put it into the mic.
     
  5. iMatt

    iMatt Member

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    Thanks for the input guys. What I think I will do is get the mic, get to the point that I can get the best I can out it after experimenting with positioning and room etc, and then see if I can get a preamp on trial and see if it makes sufficient differance to justify the extra expense.

    Just by way of background, I am still at the early stages of my home recording career - previously I have used the Boss exclusively with electric guitars going direct (using the Boss amp sims) and no acoustic. I have recently started to experiment with micing my amps (Univalve into THD 2x12 and Tiny Terror) and am now moving on to the acoustic (needless to say initial experiments with an SM57 on an acoustic and direct into the Boss are not great - though good enough to encourage me to have a proper go at it).
     
  6. Greggy

    Greggy Member

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    I almost always agree with Les, he has much greater experience than I. But I have owned and recorded with the Roland VS machines for years (VS 1880 and now a 2400). I would not buy an outboard mic pre unless I were also investing in an outboard A/D converter. Why? Because if you run your signal thru an outboard pre then into the analog inputs of the Boss you are still running your signal thru the Boss internal mic pre and converters. On the other hand, if you buy a quality mic pre and A/D converter, you can route your signal into the Boss via its digital inputs (the Boss unit has these I assume, the VS series has coax and optical digi inputs). This is exactly what I have done for at least 4 years, and the difference in tone, clarity, depth, etc. is noticeable, enough so to justify the expenditure on the mic pre and A/D converter. For reference, I use SCA mic pre modules and a Lexicon A/D converter. This is a material upgrade from the VS internal pres and converters.
     
  7. Greggy

    Greggy Member

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    Now with this additional info, you would be wise to learn how to maximize your chops using the Boss pres first, then prepare to move up as you improve your skills. Good luck, I was where you are now 8 years ago. It's a steep learning curve, but a fun one to climb.
     

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