Which interface + mic preamp should I get?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by visualrocker69, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. visualrocker69

    visualrocker69 Member

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    Hi, I'm looking into starting recording and am stuck on gear. There seem to be as much criticism as praise for any given piece of equipment. I was thinking of starting with modest microphones so that I have room to grow, and I don't really need advice there. What I want is to get a top-notch interface and preamp so that I can elimiante some variables in that area, so to speak.

    An important thing is that I'm NEVER going to use more than TWO microphones simultaneously - I'm only recording guitar and vocals, and one at a time, at that! So, for an interface, I'd *ideally* like the highest possible quality for something with TWO INPUTS only. I realize that's a tall order as most good interfaces have more inputs, so I'm willing to be flexible but would prefer to keep the number of inputs to a minimum.

    Any suggestions?

    For the record, I'm currently considering the RME Fireface (400 preferably, maybe 800 if the quality is wayyy better) and the Avalon VT-737sp interface.

    For mics I'm looking at a Suhr SM57 (obviously) and a Sennheiser MD421 for guitar, and for vocals an AT-4047. Especially for vocals, I'd like to upgrade mics as I improve. I've got my eye on some Neumanns for the (hopefully near) future.

    My current gear is a PRS Custom 24, a Bogner Ecstasy 101 B (2002 model), a 2x12 Bogner cab with Celestion V30's, and a TC Electronic G Major. (BTW - does anyone NOT record gutiar dry? As in, run effects through the cab and record that?)

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  2. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Put your $ in the mics.
     
  3. HammyD

    HammyD Member

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  4. Da5Id

    Da5Id Member

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    If you have a Mac, that's an easy question! Answer is - Metric Halo ULN-2 Expanded! Amazing quality mic preamps (think wire with gain), ultimate routing flexibility, ultimate input/output flexibility, DSP on board offering a 80 bit mixer in the box with excellent quality plugins (in the box) and input plugins that emulate various hardware (tube, transformer, FET, etc). Awesome customer support, great internal clock and A/D/A converters. Monitor and headphone outputs. Route anything to anything including within your sequencer. Not cheap, but for what you get it's an absolute bargain. Obviously I could go on and on with gushing but I'll stop. I do own one btw. Here's a link:

    http://www.mhsecure.com/v5mm/ULN2_2dExpanded.html
     
  5. yellowecho

    yellowecho Member

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    +1. I recently picked up a Duet and an SM58 for my blackbook. It is an extremely straight forward, easy to use interface with very good sound quality. I didn't even have to touch the instruction manual. I've been happy with mine and I'd buy again.
     
  6. shawntp

    shawntp Member

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    Duet is the best if you only need 2 inputs - if you need 4 inputs get 2 Duets, after that you are in the $1000+ range and there are many more options but in the $250/channel range the Duet is by far the best ive heard for the price.
     
  7. visualrocker69

    visualrocker69 Member

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    I don't have a Mac!!! :(
    Nor am I interested in using ProTools. Used it for a semester in recording class and absolutely hated it! Sonar Producer all the way!

    so... any PC interface recommendations?
     
  8. Da5Id

    Da5Id Member

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    Well, at least that avoids a flame war re: Duet vs Metric Halo!!! I'm sure you'll get lots of answers. You're probably better off though posting your question on gearslutz.
     
  9. ben_allison

    ben_allison Member

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    Mackie 400f. The pre's will embarrass the RME ones, and the converters are probably a bit better too (I used to have a Multiface)

    Amazing value. The pres held their own in a shootout with Neve (of course stacking after 20 tracks or performing big EQ adjustments the differences might rear their ugly heads).

    The onyx pres are the first thing Mackie's actually gotten right!
     
  10. foghorn99

    foghorn99 Member

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    Ever thought about taking your mic straight into the laptop via XLR-to-1/4" transformer? You can always EQ/change the sound with VST plug-ins to suit your taste. I'm no pro....but that's what I do.

    Just trying to keep it simple....
     
  11. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    As far as AD/DA goes, look for a used Lynx 2. Sounds great, and can be had for under $500.

    Preamps?...just get an API 512 or the Brent Averill version.
     
  12. Big Boss Man

    Big Boss Man Member

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    Looks like you have a fairly liberal budget in which case I would consider a Royer R-121 as a guitar mic. An Apogee Rosetta 200 with a Symphony card would make a great interface for the Mac as well.
     
  13. t0neg0d

    t0neg0d Member

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    I'd be interested in hearing any clips you have of this mic in use.

    Oh... I almost forgot! I try and say this at least once a day. For the thread owner: Please, for the love of baby jesus, don't use an SM57 to record guitar. Thanks!
     
  14. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Heaven forbid, no one's ever got a good sound out of one of those things... <g>
     
  15. elambo

    elambo Member

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    :aok
     
  16. Gretschman

    Gretschman Member

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    Sonar
    Mackie Onyx 16 w/firwire

    Crowley & Tripp Naked eye
    Crowley & Tripp Vocalist

    UAD Cards w/plugins
     
  17. John Mayes

    John Mayes Member

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    Thanks for being sincere Steven.
     

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