Would adding a mic preamp help my Boss BR600 recordings?

goodsal

Silver Supporting Member
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1,055
I record with a Boss BR600 by mic'ing my amps with an SM57, but haven't been happy with the recorded sound of overdriven guitars. Would adding an external preamp like the ART Studio MP help warm up the recordings? Has anyone tried this with a Boss recorder?

I have good gear: my amp is a '64 Princeton Reverb and I get my overdriven tone at basement volumes using a Fulltone OCD. I just can't capture my live sound on the recordings. I've tried different mic placements. I'm very happy with my clean sound, I just can't capture the overdriven tone properly.
 

kselbee

Member
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2,839
I have gotten pretty good results out of using the mic pres on my mixer (Behringer UB802) and running the mixer into the line in on the BR600. So yes, I think you'll improve your tones using some type of pre.
 

smorgdonkey

Member
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688
A good preamp will always help...now, I don't know if the ART Studio MP will qualify as I have no experience with that particular one but you should be aware that whatever live sound that you have may be altered somewhat by the frequency response of the microphone. The SM 57's frequency response looks like this:
site_img_us_rc_sm57_large.gif


The next issue is that often a sound that seems thin or not 100% solo will fit a full mix perfectly so unless you are just recording solo guitar you may not want to reproduce that live sound as accurately. The vocal and the bass guitar and kick drum can all fight with the guitar in the audio spectrum requiring that you make room for each. Often that means a 'thin' sounding guitar.
 

Nomadgtr

Member
Messages
413
+1 on smorgdonkey's comments.

First, I don't think you'll see any appreciable difference until you get into higher end mic pre's like Great River, A-Designs, Neve etc. A Mackie mixer has decent enough pre's for the level you're working at so.....

Look at mic placement, look at mic placement, look at mic placement. Yes I'm repeating myself but it's very, very important. The higher end mic pre's will give you low noise floors and desirable color to your tone but even they can't make up for good mic placement. Another area that alot of us newbies overlook is your A/D converter. When I upgraded from and Emu 1820 to an RME ADI-2 it was like taking a blanket off the speaker cab. Tremendous clarity and detail that was being lost with the lower end converter. The RME isn't even near top of the line there either.

One other thing you can try is mixing the SM57 with a ribbon mic. For me, that has really made the difference in replicating the tone I hear in the room. Use the SM57 up close to the grill and the ribbon back a couple of feet or so and blend the two to taste. If you go down the ribbon route make sure your mic pre has enough gain to drive it. Typically 60db or higher is what you'll need.
 

paulscape

Member
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3,571
One other thing you can try is mixing the SM57 with a ribbon mic. For me, that has really made the difference in replicating the tone I hear in the room. Use the SM57 up close to the grill and the ribbon back a couple of feet or so and blend the two to taste. .

Could you do the same thing but using a condenser like a NT1 as a second mic? How would that work?
 

Nomadgtr

Member
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413
Probably not near as well. Condensers are good for room mics but I think most would tell you using it to mic a guitar cab isn't the best solution. Condensers are great for acoustic guitar though!
 

paulscape

Member
Messages
3,571
Probably not near as well. Condensers are good for room mics but I think most would tell you using it to mic a guitar cab isn't the best solution. Condensers are great for acoustic guitar though!

Thanks Nomadgtr - yes for room ambience mainly. I have a NT1 lying around that ive been thinking about using as a second mic. Use the shure57 up close as the main sound and then using the Nt1 to capture the remaining ambience reduced in level.
 

mcuguitar

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,227
You've got good gear, except for your recorder. That's what is holding you back. That Boss doesn't have the quality mic pres or headroom of some of the better digital recorders, like the Akai and Tascam 2488. Get a Tascam 2488 used for about $500.00 , and a great condenser like an AT4047! Use your SM57 up close and personal, and the AT as your room ambient mic. Your recordings will sound amazing. But honestly, you'd be throwing good money in a hole if you buy a $300.00 mic pre for that Boss.
 

paulscape

Member
Messages
3,571
You've got good gear, except for your recorder. That's what is holding you back. That Boss doesn't have the quality mic pres or headroom of some of the better digital recorders, like the Akai and Tascam 2488. Get a Tascam 2488 used for about $500.00 , and a great condenser like an AT4047! Use your SM57 up close and personal, and the AT as your room ambient mic. Your recordings will sound amazing. But honestly, you'd be throwing good money in a hole if you buy a $300.00 mic pre for that Boss.

Are the mic pre-amps on the Boss the same as the Roland VS series?
 




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