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  #1  
Old 03-27-2012, 08:40 AM
Legolas1971 Legolas1971 is offline
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Default Quiet Mic pre for around $200????

Hi,

I'm looking for a mic pre for recording acoustic guitar and
vocals. I need some suggestions for mic pre's in the $200
range that are quiet. I've been looking at the Focusrite
line but I'm open to whatever.....

Any suggestions?

Thanks....

BTW...I'm recording with a Mac and Mbox 2 pro
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2012, 09:10 AM
Rick Shepherd Rick Shepherd is offline
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Up your budget to $400 and get a used Grace Design M101. It is a nice preamp that that is quiet, transparent, and very well-built.
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Last edited by Rick Shepherd; 03-27-2012 at 09:24 AM.
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2012, 09:34 AM
Legolas1971 Legolas1971 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Shepherd View Post
Up your budget to $400 and get a used Grace Design M101. It is a nice preamp that that is not only quiet, but very detailed.
It looks nice and the reviews are great but I need something with dual xlr
inputs. Their next level may be way out of my price range....

Thank you
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:36 AM
Rick Shepherd Rick Shepherd is offline
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Out of curiosity, what mics are you using and are you recording vocals and guitar at the same time?
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  #5  
Old 03-27-2012, 10:41 AM
Legolas1971 Legolas1971 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Shepherd View Post
Out of curiosity, what mics are you using and are you recording vocals and guitar at the same time?
Right now I have 2 AKG Perception 170's. No, I will be tracking
vocals separately. I also need to pick up a condenser for vocals
but right now acoustic guitar is the priority....
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:50 AM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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I have one of these in my very modest studio. Works fine, I like the variable input impedance. The mid/side function is great for acoustic guitars. Often put down by recording engineers (are you willing to pay thou$ands for a preamp?) but well liked by many home studio amateurs. Just above your budget at about $250 street price. There's a digital version for a little more $.

http://artproaudio.com/art_products/...ct/pro_mpa-ii/
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:17 AM
Joseph Hanna Joseph Hanna is offline
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If your interface
is the new Avid MBox Pro you aren't gonna touch a duel pre that's $200.00 and anywhere near as clean as you already have. What's wrong with the MBox pres??
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:31 AM
Legolas1971 Legolas1971 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Hanna View Post
If your interface
is the new Avid MBox Pro you aren't gonna touch a duel pre that's $200.00 and anywhere near as clean as you already have. What's wrong with the MBox pres??
Hi,

No, I have the older Mbox 2 Pro. The mic pre's in it are okay but not
ideal. I'm looking for something to enhance the detail and give me more
warmth in my recordings....
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:06 PM
Rick Shepherd Rick Shepherd is offline
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If you want something better in the form of a two channel mic pre, you are going to have to save up more money, IMHO. You also have to look at your whole signal chain rule out other things that might be contributing to noise issues or affecting your level of detail. I don't know anything about the Perception mics, but you might need to upgrade those also. Perhaps if you listen to samples of other people's recordings and find out what they are using. Have you searched around in the Gearslutz Forum, or the Homerecording Forum? You can get some good ideas there.
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Last edited by Rick Shepherd; 03-27-2012 at 12:13 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-27-2012, 12:11 PM
Legolas1971 Legolas1971 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Shepherd View Post
If you want something better in the form of a two channel mic pre, you are going to have to save up more money, IMHO. You also have to look at your whole signal chain rule out other things that might be contributing to noise issues.
Hi,

I guess I wasn't clear enough. I don't have any noise issues now. I'm
just looking for a mic pre to really beef up these AKG 170's. I just feel
like the stock ones in the Mbox 2 pro aren't cutting it. At the same time,
whatever mic pre I get I would like it to be as quiet as possible to keep my
tracks clean. I've used other mic pre's years ago that were just too noisy.

So, there's nothing out there for like $200-300????
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  #11  
Old 03-27-2012, 12:17 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legolas1971 View Post
Hi,

No, I have the older Mbox 2 Pro. The mic pre's in it are okay but not
ideal. I'm looking for something to enhance the detail and give me more
warmth in my recordings....
An M-Audio DMP3 is very clean, quiet, and accurate.

This means that it will _not_ add warmth or any other character to your recording. Instead it will amplify the signal generated by your mic with minimal change.

What levels are you hitting in your recordings? One of the most common problems in home recording is trying to record too hot, pushing the analog segments in the chain beyond their optimal operating range.

Fran
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  #12  
Old 03-27-2012, 12:29 PM
Legolas1971 Legolas1971 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
An M-Audio DMP3 is very clean, quiet, and accurate.

This means that it will _not_ add warmth or any other character to your recording. Instead it will amplify the signal generated by your mic with minimal change.

What levels are you hitting in your recordings? One of the most common problems in home recording is trying to record too hot, pushing the analog segments in the chain beyond their optimal operating range.

Fran
Hi Fran.....Good point. I mean, I'm not trying to kill the levels off the jump; but
maybe I'm expecting too much from another mic pre?
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:32 PM
theotigno theotigno is offline
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I'd recommend the Rane MS1b. Looks plain but sounds good. Here's a dry track recording I did for some friends of mine a while ago. I don't use it much because it doesn't have 1/4" outputs but I do like the way it sounds.

You can find a lot of information on these little black boxes if you do a Google search.
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  #14  
Old 03-27-2012, 03:54 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legolas1971 View Post
Hi Fran.....Good point. I mean, I'm not trying to kill the levels off the jump; but
maybe I'm expecting too much from another mic pre?
Here's the thing - while there are a few preamps designed to be used as an effect, the fundamental idea of a preamp is transparent amplification of the signal. And two transparent devices by definition "sound" the same - they have no sound of their own.

I've referred to this before, a post by Doug Young talking about the advice he was given by a respected pro: http://69.41.173.82/forums/showpost....9&postcount=10

Quote:
I was chatting with Joe Weed, an engineer, while recording my recent cd. Joe has the best of everything, right down to a killer studio where every room is isolated at the foundation level. In spite this at one point he told me that he had his top 10 list of what mattered in a recording. In order of importance he said the 10 things were ( doing this from memory):

1,2,3: the player
4,5,6: the instrument
7: room acoustics
8: the recording engineer
9: mics
Distant 10th place: all other gear, preamps, a/d's, recorder, etc
The first 7 points are all related to the sound that hits the microphone and in fact the 8th refers to mic positioning which also affects what the mic hears.

The reason I mentioned recording level as a possible issue is that it took me a long time to learn that my initial recordings should not be as loud as a commercial track, and that trying to achieve that loudness was wrecking my tracks. And in the years since I've seen literally hundreds of posters in the same situation.

Fran
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  #15  
Old 03-28-2012, 08:02 AM
Legolas1971 Legolas1971 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
Here's the thing - while there are a few preamps designed to be used as an effect, the fundamental idea of a preamp is transparent amplification of the signal. And two transparent devices by definition "sound" the same - they have no sound of their own.

I've referred to this before, a post by Doug Young talking about the advice he was given by a respected pro: http://69.41.173.82/forums/showpost....9&postcount=10



The first 7 points are all related to the sound that hits the microphone and in fact the 8th refers to mic positioning which also affects what the mic hears.

The reason I mentioned recording level as a possible issue is that it took me a long time to learn that my initial recordings should not be as loud as a commercial track, and that trying to achieve that loudness was wrecking my tracks. And in the years since I've seen literally hundreds of posters in the same situation.

Fran
Good points my friend. I'm going to see what I can do as is.........
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