I need a decent preamp

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by aquadog, Jul 29, 2005.


  1. aquadog

    aquadog Member

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    Sorry for anyone who was interested in the thread about the Echo gina, M-audio black box, and digidesign mbox, but since I no longer need all the extra equipment that goes with these designs, I'm not interested in them.

    Anyway, to the point: My friend has access to essentially any software I could want, All I need now is a decent mic and preamp. I know little about either, particularly mics, so any good suggestion is welcome on those (as long as its around $100 or less).
    For the preamp, I'd like low noise/distortion, phantom power, and two mic pre's so I can play guitar while a friend plays bass/keys/sings. PCI card is fine, but USB 2.0 would be preferable for ease of movement or if I need to use a laptop.
     
  2. Antero

    Antero Member

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    Well, for a sub-$100 mic the obvious choice would be a Shure SM57 or one of the many variations thereupon. Honestly, they don't sound very good - the reason they get used so much is because they're cheap, durable, and sound about the same on everything.
     
  3. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    I hear really good things about the Audix i5 as an alternative to the SM57.

    Uhmmmm... what does that exactly mean?

    I buy all my software. Expensive? Yes, but I get access to tech support, free upgrades, and the peace of mind that everything will work. I went the 'friend' route, and all I got was frustrated.
     
  4. aquadog

    aquadog Member

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    Denyle guitars - I was essentially referring to software (and other parts, if any, besides a hardware driver and cable). sorry if it sounded misleading.

    quote: "They all contain a mic preamp, a/d & d/a converters and a simple master section"

    If I'm correct, the other preamps that you just listed have the same, no? I'd just prefer to pay for the preamps separately as they seem to cost between $150- 220, so that saves me at least $130 if I bought one of those instead of, say the Echo Gina or the Mbox; I could use that towards mics. (I am fairly strapped for cash right now)
    Is there one, out of the preamps you listed, that you would say is preferable?
    I'll check up on those mics. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Tonefreak- I do agree with you, as there are many benefits for actually buying the software and things can go wrong with borrowed software. But, as I said, I'm low on cash, so any software upgrades would most likely be purchased used, which would most likely revoke a warranty or some of the other benefits.
     
  5. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure that there's a lot of difference out there in very inexpensive preamps (less than say $200). I think the lowest common denominator preamp I'd recommend would be the Studio Projects VTB. Moving up from there the RNP at about $500 is great. Mic-wise, I'd try and get together enough to buy one large diaphragm and one small diaphragm mic. A used SM57 should run you $55, a used SM58 $65 (you'll have to search for one at those prices) and a used Oktava Mk219 or 319 should be in the $100 range. Even better would be thw Studio Projects mics, but they'll be a little more.
     
  6. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    You could probably find a used Joe Meek VC3Q pre/compressor for about $150 if you're patient.

    That's about the cheapest pre I'd use for my own stuff (and, coincidentally, it is).

    You're going to have a hard time finding ANY decent pre for $100 IMHO.

    --chiba
     
  7. aquadog

    aquadog Member

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    I don't know where I said I was only willing to pay $100 for a mic pre- I can't find it in any of my posts. Im sorry if anyone was confused with something I said
    What I did say was I wanted to get a decent mic for around a hundred or less.

    The preamp, if possible, would run less than $300.

    I'll look into everything mentioned. Thanks for the recommendations.
     
  8. aquadog

    aquadog Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation. I never knew the aphex had tubes in them.

    Anyone familiar with Carvin stuff? They've got a mixer for $240: http://www.carvin.com/products/single.php?ItemNumber=sm162

    It does seem to be a bit of overkill, but at that price, it sounds like almost too good to be true- It's features are rediculous. Has anybody used them, or their other pro audio?
     
  9. dougb415

    dougb415 Supporting Member

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    From your first post:

    "All I need now is a decent mic and preamp. I know little about either, particularly mics, so any good suggestion is welcome on those (as long as its around $100 or less)."
     
  10. aquadog

    aquadog Member

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    Actually, the $100 was refering to the mics, but looking back on it, I can see how that was badly worded- I confused myself when I reread it at first. At this point, I'm borrowing a cheap behringer preamp and a soundcard, so I'll see If I can get that set up and give an update on this.
     
  11. dougb415

    dougb415 Supporting Member

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    Would that be the MIC100 pre? I've got one of those but haven't used it in a recording situation as of yet...
     
  12. Antero

    Antero Member

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    A mixer is probably overkill - how many digital inputs do you have, after all? You'd wind up using the stereo out and recording one or two tracks at once, no matter how many instruments you were recording, and that would mean you'd have to get the mix before it hit the computer... could work, but you might be better served by a higher-quality one or two channel preamp.
     
  13. aquadog

    aquadog Member

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    Its an mdx 2100
     
  14. aquadog

    aquadog Member

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    I came to realize it was overkill as well- it's just really unlikely that I'm going to need more than one channel at a time. Thanks for the heads up though. I'll compose a list of units that piqued my interest as soon as I find the time.
     
  15. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Member

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    John Hardy.

    Korby convertible.

    YMMV.
     
  16. mccreadyisgod

    mccreadyisgod Member

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    I've used a few Carvin boards. They're junk, every last one of them. Preamps are noisy, unreliable, and have NO dynamic range. EQ sucks. Their stuff is okay if you know and accept the limits, but the only pro gear from them I'd use voluntarily is their power amps.

    If you want a cheap mixer, get a Behringer. A tad noisy, but better gain range and usable EQ.

    I'd really suggest Joe Meek or PreSonus pre's. Affordable, but good quality. Best bang-for-the-buck in my opinion.
     
  17. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    IMHO for bang-for-the-buck preamps on a pro level, the RNP is the "one".

    Well over 2 years as my only mic pre after owning tube and solid state mic pre's costing $1000 a channel. And still VERY happy.
     

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