Avid Pro Audio Community

Avid Pro Audio Community

How to Join & Post  ē  Community Terms of Use  ē  Help Us Help You

Knowledge Base Search  ē  Community Search  ē  Learn & Support


Avid Home Page

Go Back   Avid Pro Audio Community > Pro Tools Hardware > FireWire and USB Audio Interfaces (Mac)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-16-2020, 01:37 PM
guitar.byrd@gmail.com guitar.byrd@gmail.com is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: san antonio, texas, usa
Posts: 5
Default What is a good preamp?!

I have been using Pro Tools for a couple years now, and I'm currently studying at Berklee for Music Production. I have had a business recording guitar tracks for people for years, and I also served a full career in the Air Force band as a guitar player.

I'm at a point that I'm ready to upgrade. I have a Mac Pro Cheesegrater with 64 gigs of RAM, 12 core processor, and an Apogee Symphony IO. The one without the preamps. I'm wondering what a good preamp would be to use that wouldn't break the bank, but also not color the sound too much.

Thanks!

Josh Byrd
__________________
Josh Byrd
Byrdsongs Studios
www.byrdsongsstudios.com

Macbook Pro 2018, i7, 32 GB memory
Pro Tools 2018.12.0
Apogee Quartet
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-16-2020, 03:28 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Norwich, CT
Posts: 35,714
Default Re: What is a good preamp?!

If ever a loaded question was asked..............

Posting your budget and how many inputs you will need at one time will help steer the replies. Here is some general opinion based on my own experience with a commercial studio in Nashville, TN(since sold off and retired)
Some preamps are considered "good" because they impart no color, but others are considered "good" BECAUSE they color(which makes it more interesting)

For "color/character", its tough to beat a Neve 1073 or a clone. Vintech, Warm Audio, Heritage Audio have lots to offer. I used(and loved) Vintech 273&573 and the Warm Audio 2-channel with EQ. I also use Chameleon Labs 581(clone of the Neve 1081) and they are tough to beat for electric guitars.

The next "color" pre I love is the API 312(not the 512). I had a few of the Five Fish Audio X-12 with the discreet op-amp option(in a 500 rack) and those were used for 99% of all my vocal tracking. The Neve's might be rounder/warmer, but the 312 puts the signal up front and in your face (exactly what I want for vocals). API A2D fits as well as the Warm Audio WA-412.

For more "honest" and less "color", the Focusrite ISA428(or 828) is a solid choice. Miktek MP201 is also in this category. I used both of these on overheads, and acoustic instruments with excellent results.

For drums, the Midas XL48 is a real sleeper and excellent value(under $1K for 8 channels). It beat out both Neve clones and API clones in my setup.

Last category(I guess) would be totally clean and honest. Grace and Milennia are 2 that fit that need.
__________________
Gigabyte X79/intel i7 3930K, 32GB RAM, DIGI003 Rack
https://www.facebook.com/search/top/...0sound%20works


The better I drink...the more I mix.....

BTW, my name is Dave, but most people call me.........................Dave
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-16-2020, 04:04 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 14,238
Default Re: What is a good preamp?!

How many channels?

Do you want a preamp with DI input?

Do you want any EQ or other controls on the preamp?

Do you want a stand alone preamp or rack mount or 500 series unit? (I'd encourage the 500 series so you can build up a mix of preamps).

What output? Analog/line? ADAT/SMUX?

What type of amp/cabs and guitars do you record. What microphones?

Anything tonally you especially want?

... that might give others more of an idea.

I like the Rupert Neve 517. But others here will have much better advice.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-16-2020, 05:28 PM
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
Bob Olhsson Bob Olhsson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Songwriter Gulch, Nashville, TN
Posts: 3,392
Default Re: What is a good preamp?!

I bought a Daking Mic-Pre One and never looked back! It's the Trident A-Range circuit only with a Jensen input transformer and a really transparent high pass filter. There are also multi-channel versions.
__________________
Bob's room 615 562-4346
Interview
Artists are the gatekeepers of truth! - Paul Robeson
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-16-2020, 07:15 PM
guitar.byrd@gmail.com guitar.byrd@gmail.com is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: san antonio, texas, usa
Posts: 5
Default Re: What is a good preamp?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
If ever a loaded question was asked..............

Posting your budget and how many inputs you will need at one time will help steer the replies. Here is some general opinion based on my own experience with a commercial studio in Nashville, TN(since sold off and retired)
Some preamps are considered "good" because they impart no color, but others are considered "good" BECAUSE they color(which makes it more interesting)

For "color/character", its tough to beat a Neve 1073 or a clone. Vintech, Warm Audio, Heritage Audio have lots to offer. I used(and loved) Vintech 273&573 and the Warm Audio 2-channel with EQ. I also use Chameleon Labs 581(clone of the Neve 1081) and they are tough to beat for electric guitars.

The next "color" pre I love is the API 312(not the 512). I had a few of the Five Fish Audio X-12 with the discreet op-amp option(in a 500 rack) and those were used for 99% of all my vocal tracking. The Neve's might be rounder/warmer, but the 312 puts the signal up front and in your face (exactly what I want for vocals). API A2D fits as well as the Warm Audio WA-412.

For more "honest" and less "color", the Focusrite ISA428(or 828) is a solid choice. Miktek MP201 is also in this category. I used both of these on overheads, and acoustic instruments with excellent results.

For drums, the Midas XL48 is a real sleeper and excellent value(under $1K for 8 channels). It beat out both Neve clones and API clones in my setup.

Last category(I guess) would be totally clean and honest. Grace and Milennia are 2 that fit that need.

Yeah... I realize how loaded it was. Hahaha! I think my budget has got to stay a little lower. I want 16 inputs. But more grown up than the 20 I can get from my aggregate I/O of a quartet and xr18 by behringer.

It needs to be line output for 8, and then ADAT for 8. A friend of mine has a millennia that he wants to sell me, but itís just a little too rich for my blood.
But it seems freaking awesome.

I also think that Iím trying to find my sound a little still. I miss the older days when whatever your board was... well, thatís what your preamp was. So I think Iím ok if they all sound the same.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
Josh Byrd
Byrdsongs Studios
www.byrdsongsstudios.com

Macbook Pro 2018, i7, 32 GB memory
Pro Tools 2018.12.0
Apogee Quartet
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-16-2020, 07:19 PM
guitar.byrd@gmail.com guitar.byrd@gmail.com is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: san antonio, texas, usa
Posts: 5
Default Re: What is a good preamp?!

[QUOTE=Darryl Ramm;2572870]How many channels?

Do you want a preamp with DI.......


I would only want 2 channels at most of DI.

Iím going for 16 channels for now. I can do everything I need for probably the next few years with that. Unless my business explodes. Which Iím perfectly fine with, and Iíd also have the money to buy more by then.

I donít have the space to really be recording more than 16 inputs at a time in my current studio. So Iím trying to decide on getting a cheap 8 channel and 2 nice 4 channels with different sounds, or have 16 of the same and be like the old studio consoles. Have my own signature sound.

I donít need eq per se. I think I just want to get the mic character for a while.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
Josh Byrd
Byrdsongs Studios
www.byrdsongsstudios.com

Macbook Pro 2018, i7, 32 GB memory
Pro Tools 2018.12.0
Apogee Quartet
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-16-2020, 09:53 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 14,238
Default Re: What is a good preamp?!

I'm still not following what your budget is and that's pretty key here. Lots of nice stand alone or 500 series preamps are in the $500-$1k range. And you can get them in racks that that in some cases do ADAT Out.

If you want ADAT preamps "better than a Berringer" that does not really tell anybody much. The Beringer is lacking compared to the Apogee preamps?... and do you just want something as good as the Apogee?

If you like Apogee stuff. You can use an Element 88 as an ADAT preamp. And every other man and his dog makes ADAT preamps. Lots of folks seem to like the Audient 800/880s. The Grace M108 is a nice flexible higher end clean preamp. OK I just like Grace stuff. But nothing that will color the tone give you stuff to experiment with... most of the ADAT preamps are unlikely to do much for you but they'll get you a channel count.

If you looked for 500 modules for 8 channels for the critical stuff... So Apogee 88 ~ $1,500 500 series rack for 8 channels and then if you were racking 8 500 series preamps say guess $6,500 for the 500 series stuff, so $8k total. The critical thing here is what high-end amps you want. Even single box multi-channel preamps a bit better quality than typical start around $500 and higher per channel. So again my preference would be to go 500 series and then have flexibility to mix and match stuff, even at a likely slightly higher price. Or maybe you should be thinking about more channels of lower-end preamp and just a few higher end?

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 07-16-2020 at 10:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-17-2020, 03:59 AM
guitar.byrd@gmail.com guitar.byrd@gmail.com is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: san antonio, texas, usa
Posts: 5
Default Re: What is a good preamp?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
I'm still not following what your budget is and that's pretty key here. Lots of nice stand alone or 500 series preamps are in the $500-$1k range. And you can get them in racks that that in some cases do ADAT Out.

If you want ADAT preamps "better than a Berringer" that does not really tell anybody much. The Beringer is lacking compared to the Apogee preamps?... and do you just want something as good as the Apogee?

If you like Apogee stuff. You can use an Element 88 as an ADAT preamp. And every other man and his dog makes ADAT preamps. Lots of folks seem to like the Audient 800/880s. The Grace M108 is a nice flexible higher end clean preamp. OK I just like Grace stuff. But nothing that will color the tone give you stuff to experiment with... most of the ADAT preamps are unlikely to do much for you but they'll get you a channel count.

If you looked for 500 modules for 8 channels for the critical stuff... So Apogee 88 ~ $1,500 500 series rack for 8 channels and then if you were racking 8 500 series preamps say guess $6,500 for the 500 series stuff, so $8k total. The critical thing here is what high-end amps you want. Even single box multi-channel preamps a bit better quality than typical start around $500 and higher per channel. So again my preference would be to go 500 series and then have flexibility to mix and match stuff, even at a likely slightly higher price. Or maybe you should be thinking about more channels of lower-end preamp and just a few higher end?

My budget is under $2K. I am very interested in the 500 series, but not at the price they are running right now.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
Josh Byrd
Byrdsongs Studios
www.byrdsongsstudios.com

Macbook Pro 2018, i7, 32 GB memory
Pro Tools 2018.12.0
Apogee Quartet
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-17-2020, 06:44 AM
JFreak's Avatar
JFreak JFreak is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Tampere, Finland
Posts: 20,058
Default Re: What is a good preamp?!

IMO your budget is too much to spend on something you have no experience.

So my recommendation would be finding a dirt cheap 2nd hand Presonus DigiMax LT which is a clean preamp and has ADAT output limited to 48k (also possible to get analog outs from insert points). This way you can get your hands dirty with decent quality preamps, and after couple of sessions you have learnt what you like about clean preamps and what you think is lacking.

THEN spend more, now you are just hoping your 2k fulfills your expectations.
__________________
Janne
What we do in life, echoes in eternity.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-17-2020, 03:04 PM
TVPostSound's Avatar
TVPostSound TVPostSound is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 3,268
Default Re: What is a good preamp?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I bought a Daking Mic-Pre One and never looked back! It's the Trident A-Range circuit only with a Jensen input transformer and a really transparent high pass filter. There are also multi-channel versions.
I recently bought one, what a preamp!! From a SM7B to MKH416 to a U87
They all shine plugged into the Daking!!
__________________
IMDB
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Please Name A Good Mic Preamp Under $500 epu General Discussion 6 07-11-2010 01:30 AM
looking for a good preamp KevinAllen General Discussion 14 01-14-2010 10:42 AM
looking for good preamp ras315 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Win) 1 12-24-2005 06:37 PM
A good mic preamp for digi002 Mr Layz 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Win) 35 08-04-2005 07:02 PM
good vocal preamp? a kremer 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Mac) 6 04-20-2005 11:59 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:10 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Limited. Forum Hosted By: URLJet.com