Great Tube Mic Pre for Higher Gain Guitar....

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by tradarama, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. tradarama

    tradarama www.PRIMEGUITARS.com Silver Supporting Member

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    Home recording but I want to sound AWESOME! Manley? Drawmer? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks !
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    Make your amp sound awesome. Play awesome. Use an awesome miking technique.

    But you don't need to waste your money on a high end mic preamp designed to reveal every nuance of an airy vocal, or a piano, to record electric guitar, which has a very limited frequency response (about 150 - 5000 Hz).

    Then again, what do I care. It's your money! LOL

    Go ahead, waste it. Better yet, send me some. I'll waste it for you!

    And yes, I produce broadcast recordings for a living. And yes, I have high end mic preamps.

    But I record electric guitars with the built in preamps on my console.
     
  3. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Les is right. If you want to sound AWESOME!, play AWESOME! There's no way around it. The mic pre won't do it. It won't even help.
     
  4. devin

    devin Guest

    Assuming your playing is awesome, and that you have a good sound to start with, I would say that buying a good mic pre will make a huge difference in the sound of the recording. Your guitar will sound more natural and sit in the mix better. You will probably need to use less EQ, and it will pick up more of the nuances of the amp, the guitar, and what your fingers are doing.

    After recording my first album with Mackie and Aphex 107 mic pre's, I was pretty frustrated with how the guitars never sounded right. I always had to add or subtract EQ to make some tonal compomises, but it was never "right".

    I finally upgraded to Sytek preamps. No comparision. None. The guitars sound like they do in the room. EQ is not needed if you position the mic correctly. The Sytek is pretty reasonable, too. You can get 4 channels for about $850 new. I picked up a second one not too long ago for $730 used because I liked them so much. The Sytek is not a tube pre, so maybe it won't work for you if you are set on a tube pre. If you are just looking to reproduce what you hear in the room, then I would highly recommend the Sytek.

    Devin
     
  5. stratofied

    stratofied Member

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    I agree, if you are already getting great tone in the room and are looking for the best way to get it to line level a great mic pre can make a difference. I do have a Manley dual mono but usually prefer a Neve or API. Chandler is making some nice stuff as well.
     
  6. johnnyguitar

    johnnyguitar Long in the tooth Silver Supporting Member

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    Stick a 57 in front and a condenser mic about 4 feet away record as normal and blend them when you play them back..like Les said the great vocal preamps are just for that VOCALS..you cannot print a great tone from a guitar amp if it doesn't sound that way when you play it..in other words you can't get chicken salad from chicken %$#@..or maybe you can if you're hungry enough!!!..:D
    I've got a pretty good set up, real simple, over here at Purple Haze studios..give me a call and drop by some time...
     
  7. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    I have a Really Nice Preamp from FMR that is a killer all-arounder for not too much $$$. Works great on damn near anything. Not on the level of the $1000 a channel stuff, but it can hold its own with that stuff for what it does.

    For the record, I have owned some of the $1000 a channel stuff and used/rented to use much of the bigger name stuff too. I am most happy now with the FMR RNP. No hype, no bull. It just works for me.
     
  8. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    Tube mic pres are overrated imo.

    The best mic pres I ever heard were Neve's-all solid state.
     
  9. jzb

    jzb Member

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    In this circumstance I would use a SS pre. One with high headroom and clean clean clean (did I mention clean) image.

    Perhaps a John Hardy M1.

    Others on my list would be:
    • Daking
    • Great River
    • Avalon SS pre (M5?)
    • Neve is ya can get'em
    • Aurora Audio (Geoff Tanner's stuff rocks!)

    To name a few...


    Tube pre's won't really be of much use on a high gain guitar amp as the nuances of valve distortion is lost in the fray.

    -j
     
  10. Affair2k

    Affair2k Member

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    Well, its true that a good mic preamp makes a huge difference, i have a friend that has a good mixing console and he never uses a mic preamp, but that is not my case, the preamps of my mixer are not very good.

    I have a cheap Joemeek VC3Q that works GREAT for me, i bought it to record vocals, but i found it very noisy for my tastes, but with my guitar it sounds awesome used with a rode NTK1. I guess it would sound better with a more expensive preamp, but that is what i have and i cant spend more money at the moment :).

    Cheers
     
  11. Orren

    Orren Member

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    If you are happy with your guitar sound and guitar playing, I've heard that the new Universal Audio 2108 mic pres (about $1300 for two channels, solid state) do a great job of getting that "punch" onto disk.

    I'm definitely looking into them--but of course, I've already done the "sound awesome" part of Les's suggestion, and since I'll never "play awesome," thats not a consideration. ;)

    Orren
     
  12. saros141

    saros141 Guest

    I think tubes can be clean if you don't overdrive 'em. And if it's a proper circuit, not a hybrid starved-plate job.

    I recorded my pal playing mandolin with my Ampex MX10, unbalanced and straight into his laptop - just to see if it would work - and it came out remarkably clear and natural, aside from a bit of 60Hz.

    OK OK that's pretty far from high gain guitar!!!:D
     
  13. Impulse 101

    Impulse 101 Member

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    A great mic is more important to me than the pre for guitars. I love my Audio Technica stuff. My favorite dynamic mic is the ATM29HE, which is on sale all the time. It's around $50 so I bought five of them. They are great on toms as well and are built to take hits from drumsticks, unlike the 57.

    I also like my ATM4050 which is a really nice condensor mic for guitars. Close or far mic'd it sounds great. I have been using my 414's lately for cleans and I love them.

    JT
     
  14. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    You got that right...

    I'd invest in a Royer R-121. It's the single best purchase I've made in recording gear in the past 5 years, guitar sound-wise. It truly grabs what is coming out of the amp, especially on clean/mid-gain stuff.

    That said, if you've got to get a pre, the Great River MP1-NV is most righteous on electric guitar, and anything else that rocks.

    Loudboy
     
  15. creamsoda

    creamsoda Guest

    I'm certainly not an expert, but I'm getting good results as well with my Great River ME-1NV.

    I've been recording mostly clean stuff lately (with an AEA R84) and the Great River hasn't dissapointed me yet. I've also used it with a Sennhieser E609, an SM7 and a Blue Baby Bottle (especially nice). I'll try some gained-out stuff when I get the chance.

    BTW, I've recorded some wicked sounding samples by running my old Yamaha DX100 synth into the DI and overdriving it. It's a great preamp.
     
  16. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Yes, these mic pres are definitely what sets apart the merely great from the AWESOME! Absolutely critical.

    But... do you have the right mic cable? A $1000 mic pre with a $20 cable could be a terrible mistake. People will never say, "Man, he sounds AWESOME!" if you have the wrong brand of cable.
     
  17. stratofied

    stratofied Member

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    I agree that you should use a good quality cable but some of the audio-fool stuff out there is way over the top. Just have some cables made from Mogami, Canare or even Belden and terminate with Neutrik. You will be fine. You can get the stuff and make'um yourself or have these guys do it for you.

    http://www.redco.com/
    http://www.markertek.com/
    http://www.haveinc.com/htext/index.html
     
  18. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    You are correct, sir. No need for anything more than that...

    Loudboy
     
  19. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    I think Michael was kidding.

    Better gear up guys, it's so tough to record a high gain electric guitar, you need an esoteric preamp to capture that compressed, square wave signal.

    :rolleyes:
     
  20. Greggy

    Greggy Member

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    You are the info king, Les. So tell me, who sells those Esoteric preamps? Gotta get one. Thanks man. :cool:
     

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