View Full Version : Mic pre's for ProTools..

11-25-1999, 09:48 PM
I'm starting to research options for mic pre's for the studio I'm at, and so far I've heard a lot of recommendations for API and Neve mic pre's. We're a post house and mainly record VO's and foley, and were considering TC's Gold Channel dual mic pre + processing, with digital outputs. Does anyone have any experience with this mic pre, or is it simply worth getting a Neve mic pre and A/D'ing it at our 888 interface? I'll take all the advice I can get.. thanks!


11-27-1999, 12:58 AM
I use Neve 1069's, 1073's and Amek 9098's as front-end to my 888 interface at the studio where I'm working. I am now officially spoiled, and can't imagine what I would do without the ability to "warm" the tracks like this before conversion into digital.

Also worth exploring are Grace 8 channel mic pre's. Also, Pro-sonus puts out an 8 channel mic pre unit for around $1400. I hear its very good.

Kenny Gioia
11-28-1999, 09:36 PM
I would definitely go with the older Neve or API stuff. When your using Pro Tools there is little chance of getting too warm. But if you buy that new cleaner stuff it can get a little too clean. Plus the Neve will have a better resale value

11-29-1999, 10:52 AM
I'm about to purchase the Millennia Media 2 channel mic pre... the recommendation came from my digi rep here in NY. Anyone have any experience with this mic pre? Any thoughts?

Dirk Christiaens
12-01-1999, 04:23 AM
Hi, I'm using the Focusrite Red 7 Pre Amp. Of course, it has no digitally output, so I'm using the 888 convertors.
Good stuff !

12-01-1999, 08:18 AM
I don't think I'd run out and buy a neve if my main business were VO's.

I would probably stick to Solid State, and look for something with a good built in compressor and mild EQ options.

Take that extra money you'll save and invest in more mics.

12-01-1999, 11:04 AM
We bought the Avalon M5... no A/D, but wow, is it clean. U89 through the Avalon, straight to the 888. Sounds great.


12-01-1999, 02:07 PM
Any thoughts on a Neve 1272 into a Urei LA4 strait to an 888?

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">quote:<HR>The Greatest Risk in Life is Doing Nothing<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Jonny Atack
12-01-1999, 05:05 PM
My thoughts on reading these posts is that some of you are talking about great classic pres -- which I agree with -- and then putting the signal thru 888/24s.

With all due respect, 888/24s are pro gear and value for money, but they are not top of the line converters. From our experience, the difference between an 888/24 and a converter costing twice more is -- not surprisely -- plainly audible in terms of realism, air, dynamics and fidelity to source. We've done A/B/source/blind tests to check this carefully before deciding, and our conclusion is that it makes as much difference as a great pre versus an average one.

Digi software and dsps are the heart of our studio, but very honestly splashing money out for a 1073/1272/9098/Grace and then putting it thru an 888/24 is like racing a Ferrari with tires rated for 65mph (maybe 100mph) highway driving. Definitely not 200mph. You're only as good as the weakest link in your chain.

12-02-1999, 10:09 PM
SFXCraiq,the Presonus is real nice for the money it's no 1272 but very cool. By the way a Neve 1272,1073 is solid state

Eric Bazilian
12-03-1999, 01:09 AM
DW Fearn. Definitely. Big. Red. Valves. Pricey. Worth it. Biggest sounding mic pre I've ever heard. For eq check out the Dakings...mic pre and eq in one strip. Apparently a knock off of the Trident A-Range. Get a pair of each and you're slamming.

Eric Bazilian/Dingbat Sound
"Music Is Good"

12-03-1999, 02:59 PM
I have Neve, API, Focusrite, Tube Mastering and Hardy pre's, also just recently bought a Presonus MP20 which I really like. My favorite are the Neves (1272) but if you're on a budget I think you'll be very happy with the Presonus. I think they really have nice sounding box there, especially when you consider what it costs.

12-04-1999, 01:57 AM
Has anyone a/b'd 1272 and 9098 dual mic pre?



12-05-1999, 02:58 PM
Thanks for all your input so far folks - keep it coming! We're in an area where we don't come across too much "high-end" gear all that often, so I'm glad to read all these different points of view. Still trying to find someone that's used the TC Gold Channel though.. since we do have 888s, perhaps a different A/D is a good idea? (I'm probably setting off a huge debate by asking this, but.. oh well!)

Thanks again..

Kenny Gioia
12-05-1999, 09:45 PM
ProTool1 says

Take that extra money you'll save and invest in more mics.

I couldn't disagree more. As most of us pro engineers already know, the Pre is the most important part. Do the math. The boost in signal from a mic to line level is the biggest boost you're going to do in a signal chain. I A/B'd on a bet a U47 tube mic with an Art mic pre vs. a Shure 57 thru my Neve 1272. Everyone in the room preferred the Shure 57. Great mics are the upper 5 - 10% of the battle. It's the mic pre's that are the meat & potatoes. Spend your money on the Pre's. Also try putting your pre's out there with the drummer. keeping mic cables to a minumum. Mic signal is very weak & if you send it 300 ft to your control room & thru a pathchbay before your pre, you're gonna get degradation of the signal. Put your pre's closer & then run the line level the 300 + feet.

Kenny Gioia
12-05-1999, 09:49 PM
Jonny Atack

What A/D converters do you use?

Also Daking EQ's mixed with a Neve 1272 are a better value than Neve 1073's w/EQ

Brent Averill Neve 1272 = $975.00
Daking EQ = $1450.00

Total = $2425.00

This combo sounds better too

Peace :)

12-06-1999, 02:11 PM
Ok.. I'm sensing that if I'm going to invest in mic pre's, Neve is the way to go. So what's the difference between 1073, 1272, 1066..?? And which one is best for VO's?

And on top of all that - what's a good price for one?

12-06-1999, 05:44 PM
Those are all great mic pres that have been spoken of. But I have to agree with Johnny. The converter is more important. Your not getting the best possible sound from your mic and pre if the converter is not of decent quality. I prefer the Apogee AD8000. Most people will tell you that comparing it to others is like night and day. The better pre is just icing on your cake.

Mini Me
12-06-1999, 06:11 PM
Has anyone ever tried an Avalon 737SP into either a AD8000 or 888/24?

Steve MacMillan
12-06-1999, 07:40 PM
Mini Me,

I can highly recommend the Avalon 737sp. It sounds great and is an incredible value. I would characterize it as soft and smooth, perfect for recording vocals, acous. guitar, bass, etc. The compressor isn't fast enough for hard compression effects, but is just right for riding a vocal. It sure is great having all controls for your whole vocal chain right in front of you. Buy one, you won't regret it.


12-07-1999, 12:16 AM
I can totally second that. My best vocal to date was done with my 737. It should have been difficult - extremely dynamic R&B vocalist. I took the time to really carefully dial in the compressor on the 737 while she was warming up, and that was it all the way down the track - no adjustments, no gain riding, nothin'...just a smooth, warm, airy female vocal with just the right amount of transparent compression and no limiting artifacts or distortion or pumping at all. It was really a joy to use, and that was the first time I used it.


[This message has been edited by Disco_Doctor (edited 12-07-99).]

Mini Me
12-07-1999, 12:28 AM
Steve & Disco:

Thanks for your opinions concerning the Avalon 737. I already have one and it does sound pretty damn amazing. Wouldn't trade it in for anything else. My question was geared toward weather anyone has tried it with either the AD8000 and/or the 888/24 and what the difference was.

Jonny Atack
12-07-1999, 04:54 AM
Everything's important: the right mic for the job + a great pre + a great converter.


We're using Apogee AD8Ks. Like creaturestudios just said, day and night. I haven't yet listened to the Prism converters.

How do the Brent Averill 1272s sound? Can you buy them by mail without worry?

Regards to all.

[This message has been edited by Jonny Atack (edited 12-07-99).]

12-08-1999, 09:58 PM
Can AD-8000 handle 96K? I know that it's 24bit converter though. DO you think Apogee will come up with newer machine near future?

Mini Me
12-09-1999, 01:22 AM
Has anyone tried the Avalon 747sp? It has a great review in this months Mix.

Mini Me
12-09-1999, 01:25 AM
Any suggestions on a great 8 channel pre-amp?
Thanks all...

12-09-1999, 07:32 AM
Check out the Grace 801... it's a beauty.

Jonny Atack
12-09-1999, 11:50 AM
Philee, the AD8K goes up to 44,1 and 48K. Apogee products that do 88,1 and 96K are the PSX100 (AD&DA plus many sync possibilities) and the Rosetta 96K (AD only and has to be the master clock i.e. can't be slave to anything else).

Chris, gotta agree, the Grace IS nice. Any idea what they cost?

[This message has been edited by Jonny Atack (edited 12-10-99).]

12-09-1999, 01:47 PM
I think the Grace 801 is around $4500

[This message has been edited by Kris (edited 12-09-99).]

Mini Me
12-10-1999, 12:51 AM
Thanks for the info Kris.
Any suggestions on a great 8 channel preamp with EQ and comp?


rodney morris
12-10-1999, 01:21 PM
I work for a relief organization and I record 98% v/o. Just bought 2 Neumann TLM-103's (LOVE THEM). Now I want real mic pres (currently using built in pres on HUI). I've had suggestions for 9098's and Millenia Media pres. I came across a Focusrite Platinum 1 Voice Master for about $600, but I don't know how it sounds. Has anyone heard this particular pre? Any other suggestions given the mics and application?

12-10-1999, 07:25 PM
Anyone using the new Neumann True 8 channel mic pre ? I've heard a lot of good reviews ,
only around $2,200 for eight channels . . .

Kenny Gioia
12-12-1999, 09:45 PM
Jonny Atack

How do the Brent Averill 1272s sound? Can you buy them by mail without worry?

They sound great. It's the same Pre as in the 1073's.

It's actually a modified line amp in the old Neve console. They give you there own power supply. They are a real company so I wouldn't be afraid about using them. Been around for years. They Fedexed it to me next day.

As for the differences between Neve mic Pre's
The 1073 is the Pre with EQ right out of the console. It has the 1272 mic pre inside it.
1066 has a different EQ but the same pre. These are all class A pre's. There's only one different Pre that comes out of the 8068 console but you don't here about them much although they kick ass.

Kenny Gioia
12-12-1999, 09:47 PM
Jonny Atack

the Rosetta 96K (AD only and has to be the master clock i.e. can't be slave to anything else).

How would I use the Rosetta with Pro Tools then. Do I need to but a USD or can I just plug in the Digital outs to my 888


Jonny Atack
12-13-1999, 06:22 AM

Thanks for the info on those Neve pres.

I used a Rosetta 48K once on a test. It worked fine using AES out of the Rosetta to AES in of the 888/24. But you're monitoring back out with your 888.

If you're using a lynx or microlynx system I think you need the sync capabilities of the AD8000 or PSX100.

Considering that an AD8000 is 4x more expensive than a Rosetta 48K (and 3x more than a Rosetta 96K) but provides you with four times the A/D channels plus 8 channels of D/A plus full sync capability, digital patchbay, and much better visual metering, I think the AD8K is a much better deal. You'll probably feel limited with a Rosetta.

Just my $.02.