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  #1  
Old 07-02-2013, 07:11 AM
gavriil1 gavriil1 is offline
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Default High Quality Pre-Amp with MBOX3

Hi guys. I have been trying to reach a conclusion on this by reading 20+ threads and articles but I am more confused now. Here is my question:

I have an MBOX3, PT10 which runs pretty stably now and a Shure 58A. However I always felt that connecting the mic directly to the MBOX3 resulted in a very low signal (the static sound I get every time I touch the main volume control on the MBOX which did not go away after repeated alcohol spraying attempts, I won't mention). So I would connect my mic to a $120 mixer I have and I would connect the out of the mixer to the in of the MBOX. I would get acceptable results, even in quality. <----is this even OK? It sounded OK, but maybe there is more to learn here.

However lately I have started working with a female singer who is great. Better than great. And I started thinking about getting a more "pro" mic and a more "pro" pre-amp.

I am even looking into the $2500 range pre-amps (I have not started research on mics yet). So my question is:

Could I be wasting money because maybe no matter how good of a signal the MBOX3 gets, it will convert it "its own way"? I know I am missing sth here. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2013, 08:18 AM
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chrisdee chrisdee is offline
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Default Re: High Quality Pre-Amp with MBOX3

Quote:
Originally Posted by gavriil1 View Post
I am even looking into the $2500 range pre-amps (I have not started research on mics yet). So my question is:

Could I be wasting money because maybe no matter how good of a signal the MBOX3 gets, it will convert it "its own way"? I know I am missing sth here. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Hello.

My experience is that every part of the signal chain is important. Personally i would range the microphone as the most important part (besides the singer and the engineer).Then comes the other stuff.

A high end preamp is nice to have to color or shape the sound, but i think you won't be able to take full advantage of it unless all the other parts also are good.

Personally the only preamp i keept is the Aurora GTQC (Neve style preamp). I think it's within your price range.
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2013, 08:22 AM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: High Quality Pre-Amp with MBOX3

Well, there's really nothing wrong with the Mbox preamp or converter, and I seriously doubt its the "weak link" in your recording chain. The Shure Beta58A is a great vocal mic......for LIVE use. Not so great for recording. There are several things involved in getting a good vocal recording. These include:
a good sounding room
the right mic for the voice(no single mic is perfect for everybody)
a decent preamp
decent converters
a good singer
You get the idea. As for the room, you can help that by placement of the mic/singer(away from walls and corners), or you can hang blankets(heavy drapes, carpet, etc) to damp reflections from nearby flat surfaces(floor and ceiling are also flat surfaces). It sounds like you are on a tight budget, so I will give you my choice for the best inexpensive vocal mic on the planet; the MXL V89. You can find it on eBay(brand new) for around $200(which makes it the silliest great deal ever IMHO). Like any condenser, it needs phantom power(Mbox has it).
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:50 AM
gavriil1 gavriil1 is offline
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Default Re: High Quality Pre-Amp with MBOX3

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdee View Post
Hello.

Note that this is from a hobbyists/enthusiasts perspective as I don't make a living from music.

Every part of the signal chain is important, but personally i would range the microphone as the most important part (besides the singer and the engineer).Then comes monitors, converters and lastly preamps.

A high end preamp is nice to have to color or shape the sound, but i think you won't be able to take full advantage of it unless all the other parts are equally good.

Personally the only preamp i keept is the Aurora GTQC (Neve style preamp). I think it's within your price range.
Thanks. My monitors are KRK8s. I find them to be accentuating vocals more than normal. I love them otherwise.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:56 AM
gavriil1 gavriil1 is offline
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Default Re: High Quality Pre-Amp with MBOX3

Quote:
Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
Well, there's really nothing wrong with the Mbox preamp or converter, and I seriously doubt its the "weak link" in your recording chain. The Shure Beta58A is a great vocal mic......for LIVE use. Not so great for recording. There are several things involved in getting a good vocal recording. These include:
a good sounding room
the right mic for the voice(no single mic is perfect for everybody)
a decent preamp
decent converters
a good singer
You get the idea. As for the room, you can help that by placement of the mic/singer(away from walls and corners), or you can hang blankets(heavy drapes, carpet, etc) to damp reflections from nearby flat surfaces(floor and ceiling are also flat surfaces). It sounds like you are on a tight budget, so I will give you my choice for the best inexpensive vocal mic on the planet; the MXL V89. You can find it on eBay(brand new) for around $200(which makes it the silliest great deal ever IMHO). Like any condenser, it needs phantom power(Mbox has it).
Thanks. Let me give you some more info about my setup.

With respect to the room, I think after the treatment I gave it with this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The middle third of all walls is covered with it. Top parts and lower parts are untreated. Will add more around the singer area and the monitor area though.


My latest addition to the home studio was the below which made a bid difference also. The singer was very happy with it.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2013, 09:00 AM
gavriil1 gavriil1 is offline
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Default Re: High Quality Pre-Amp with MBOX3

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Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
Well, there's really nothing wrong with the Mbox preamp or converter, and I seriously doubt its the "weak link" in your recording chain.
I have found posts about this even within DUC. Maybe I should try again and see if I was doing sth wrong though. So you're saying going directly into the MBOX, is OK?

Regardless of the answer to the above: is it not better to go into the MBOX through a high quality preamp? Assuming mic and other factors fixed.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:00 AM
gavriil1 gavriil1 is offline
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Default Re: High Quality Pre-Amp with MBOX3

Quote:
Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
It sounds like you are on a tight budget, so I will give you my choice for the best inexpensive vocal mic on the planet; the MXL V89. You can find it on eBay(brand new) for around $200(which makes it the silliest great deal ever IMHO). Like any condenser, it needs phantom power(Mbox has it).
I see amazon has it for less

http://www.amazon.com/MXL-V89-Low-No...ywords=MXL+V89

Will check it out. Thanks.
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2013, 09:08 AM
gavriil1 gavriil1 is offline
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Default Re: High Quality Pre-Amp with MBOX3

Why so many people talk about the Shure SM7A so highly? Is it really worth it? I know I am changing the subject but....
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:26 AM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: High Quality Pre-Amp with MBOX3

The SM7 and SM58, etc., are dynamic mics. Usually these are not what's used for recording (though the SM7 does get a certain amount of use).

What you want is a large diaphragm condenser mic, which is what is used 99% of the time for recording vocals. These have a much bigger frequency range and capture more detail. Switching to one of these will be more dramatic than using your existing mic with a nicer preamp.

You can get some cheap ones, but I would look for something starting at least in the $250-300 range and up. Talk to your dealer about some possibilities.
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2013, 09:29 AM
gavriil1 gavriil1 is offline
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Default Re: High Quality Pre-Amp with MBOX3

Quote:
Originally Posted by nst7 View Post
The SM7 and SM58, etc., are dynamic mics. Usually these are not what's used for recording (though the SM7 does get a certain amount of use).

What you want is a large diaphragm condenser mic, which is what is used 99% of the time for recording vocals. These have a much bigger frequency range and capture more detail. Switching to one of these will be more dramatic than using your existing mic with a nicer preamp.

You can get some cheap ones, but I would look for something starting at least in the $250-300 range and up. Talk to your dealer about some possibilities.
Thanks. I have no prob paying 300 or more if the benefits will be there.

Finally, about what you said: "Switching to one of these will be more dramatic than using your existing mic with a nicer preamp"

How about the right mic AND a very good preamp? I am guessing that's better right? However my question still stands. DO I need a preamp which the mic will connect to and that preamp will connect to the MBOX, or am I OK with going directly to the MBOX3?
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