Starting Mic Pre Search...ideas?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by nickdahl, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. nickdahl

    nickdahl Member

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    I record in my home studio. I play rock music. Nothing "pretty" is going through my signal chain. It's loud guitars and loud vocals. Let me give you a list of my mics, and the stuff I have already, then if you could suggest a couple mic pre options to me, I'd appreciate it.

    I'm kind of leaning toward the Great River single-channel mic pre (1NV-something?) but wonder if I'm missing anything.

    MICS
    SM57
    AKG 414 XLII
    Sennheiser 421 N (a white one)
    Sennheiser 609 (a black one)
    AT 2020 LDC
    MXL v67

    PRES
    FMR RNP w/RNC inserted
    Mackie 1604VLZPRO board
    Mbox

    So, what would you suggest, given the applications I'd be using the mic pre for: rock vocals, rock guitars, bass guitar (maybe), and other tricks I don't know about yet?

    Thanks,

    Nick
     
  2. onemind

    onemind Member

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    Grace 101 Avalon M5 There are so many good choices, including the Great River, if you can book time in a high end commercial studio, that has some of this gear, it would be worth the one or two hours to help refine your decison.

    S
     
  3. nickdahl

    nickdahl Member

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    Thanks for the advice. You're exactly right. I should do some phoning around to see what the local studios have. We don't have much in Ithaca, but I've seen some places that advertise.

    Nick
     
  4. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    My rock band is making a CD with a bunch of mics (assorted dynamics & condensers for drums, guitars, vocals) and some "direct in" (PODxt for some guitar parts & for the bass) using a Firepod preamp --> Nuendo. Nothing fancy. Don't need anything fancy for Rock Music, IMO.
     
  5. neve1073

    neve1073 Member

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    Are you sure you only need one channel? The great river is a fine pre. Also check out the chandler tg 2 (two channel, mic pre and di only).

    Buy from a place with a "satisfaction gauranteed policy" like mercenary audio.
     
  6. nickdahl

    nickdahl Member

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    Great ideas. I hear you about the "satisfaction guaranteed" part. Mercenary is probably where I'll get it, since such things aren't sold in Central New York.

    I have a FMR RNP that has two channels. I'd love to have gobs of channels available to me, but I think I'd rather buck up and buy one great channel than more "okay" channels. Buy once, cry once.

    Other options, similar to the Great River, that should do a fine job on rock guitar and rock vocals, are thorougly encouraged! Thanks!

    Nick
     
  7. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    The Great River is an excellent choice. There are other high end pres that I'm sure would also do a great job (Manley, Chandler, Neve, etc...), but I don't think you would regret the NV for a great all around pre. I've used mine on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals, drums, and as a DI for bass. I've been really happy with it. The advice to try a few out before you buy is really the way to go...
     
  8. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Try Pyramid and Electric Wilburland studios. Both filled w/ top-notch gear.

    The GR is very nice - I've got one. I'd also HIGHLY recommend API - it's hard to go wrong w/a pair of those.

    Loudboy
     
  9. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Another GR fan here. And I like loudboy's API recommendation, or anything with a design that's based on an API preamp. There's something about API's mojo that is perfect for rock vocals and guitars.
     
  10. Cary Chilton

    Cary Chilton Senior Member

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    no love for chandler ?
     
  11. nickdahl

    nickdahl Member

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    Thanks for the advice, guys. Now my concerns are whether to get the single-channel model or the dual-channel model. I know, twice the money, but I wonder if I'll regret not getting the 2NV in the future.

    Nick
     
  12. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

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    Groove Tubes Brick

    If yer gonna spend on the Great River Id also suggest the Vintech 1272and the UA2108. Sweeeeeeet...

    Richard
     
  13. nickdahl

    nickdahl Member

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    Why? I don't know those two units.

    Nick
     
  14. neve1073

    neve1073 Member

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    i love the chandler tg2 for guitars. it's just 2 channels of straight high gain, amazing sounding mic pre with a very nice di. great with ribbon mics. i use it way more than the 1073 or tube pres i have for electric guitar. it sounds amazing. you can vary the coloration by the amount of gain you use vs the output knob. to me, having at least two channels would be pretty damn important. do you ever want to use two mics on your guitars? ever record in stereo with two amps?

    the api suggestion is a good one too, but it's a little more complicated. you could get a lunchbox and add channels as you need them.

    the great river is fine but you may be spending more on one channel than you need to. the preamp section is not better than the chandler tg2, but it does have eq (if it's the one im thinking of). i think i prefer the pre in the tg2 to the great river. but all the ones mentioned are really great.

    do you like to track with eq? if not, the only reason to get a highend pre with eq is if you plan to mix OTB in your studio. I often track vox with eq, but almost never guitars (sometimes acoustic gtr, tho even there I try to get it right with mic placement). I would much much rather have a nice mic pre and a nice compressor to track with. I track vox and acoustic guitar and bass with compression a lot.
     
  15. nickdahl

    nickdahl Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into the Chandler unit. Two channels would be nice. I have the RNP and it has two channels. I guess where I'm coming from is that if I'm going to cough up the bucks, I don't want any excuses. That is, I'd rather have to blame myself for getting ****** sounds than have to blame the equipment.

    That said, I plan (for at least until I learn more about recording) to mix inside the box. I've got a 16-channel mixer but I think things would be cleaner if I stay inside the computer once I get there.

    Chandler TG2...it's on the list.

    Thanks,

    Nick
     
  16. neve1073

    neve1073 Member

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    I can also highly recommend Brent Averill. He may not be well known in prosumer circles but engineering professionals have known and loved his products for decades. If you decide to got the neve or api clone route, check out his stufff here:

    http://www.brentaverill.com/

    Still, from what you describe, I'd try a chandler tg2 from mercenary where you can return if you aren't satisfied.

    good luck.
     
  17. zenpicker

    zenpicker Member

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    Check out the ADesigns MP2. Excellent two-channel preamp for the dough.
     
  18. nickdahl

    nickdahl Member

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    I totally missed your post. Great idea. I'm always driving by Pyramid. I'll give them a call and see about booking an hour, just to pick their brains.

    Thanks,

    Nick
     
  19. route14

    route14 Silver Supporting Member

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    I did the same thing. I have a bunch of mid level pre's but wanted one good mic pre and compressor. So I bucked up and bought a Manley single pre and a Distressor. Get yourself a sweetwater card, wait until they do a zero promotion offer, and bite the bullet. The actually have one going right now.

    The Manley is amazing. So warm and rich you'd think you were drinking the greatest cup of coffee ever. But seriously, it's a great tube pre. It will do wonders for the digital recording. I love it on everything I can use it on. And with the distressor I get some great sounding vocals without even trying hard and no EQ.

    My other Pre's are the Rolls/Bellari RP220s. 3 Dual channels. I take out the crappy stock tubes and replace them with any nice NOS tubes I can get my hands on. RCA blackplates, Telefunkens, or Mullards. Little trick I learned from an engineer I worked with once.

    I also have a Joe Meek VC1. Eh... I don't know. It's okay. I haven't figured out what people love these for.
     
  20. nickdahl

    nickdahl Member

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    Well, I decided to go with the Great River 1NV. I can't believe I pulled out my hair thinking about this. I also decided to upgrade my Mbox to a Digi 002R. That should make a difference too.

    Nick
     

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