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  #61  
Old 06-16-2021, 08:08 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Congrats Bob.

Looks like some nice new gear is coming your way!

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  #62  
Old 06-16-2021, 08:34 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Originally Posted by SprintBob View Post
OP checking back. Well I made a move and I went somewhat "big".

The robustness, simplicity, and performance of the Sebatron Axis 200VU Tube Mic Preamp as recommended by Jim1960 seemed too good to pass up so I ordered one from Soundpure that gets delivered tomorrow.

I came to the conclusion that I really need dedicated line in options totally separate from mic pre-amps on an the audio interface so I am replacing my Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 with the Motu Ultralite Mk 5 USB interface. This interface has six line inputs in addition to two mic inputs. The A/D converters on this interface have excellent specs.
Congrats Bob! You're going to love that Sebatron. It hits way above its price-tag. And MOTU has a fine rep. I'm using their 16A as a channel expander with my AVID Carbon. Best of luck with your new gear.
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  #63  
Old 06-16-2021, 10:12 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default Congrats, Bob!

Aloha Bob,

Congratulations on your decisions & new gear. Definitely better upgrades for maximixing your mic's & rest of the signal chain. A very informative thread too. And VERY nice playing on Shenandoah.

Can I offer an opinion or two?

You stated this in your last post:

"I think I have bought the last mic preamps and interface I'll ever need."

I hope that's the case, but it rarely is when one enters the world of home studio recording with serious goals & whose ears are always being further educated.

I would caution you & all entering this crazy home recording world to remain open to always improving your signal chain with greater quality & most importantly, the best compatibility of the parts as you learn more. And also to be open to trusting your ears & further investment into greater parts as you finally did with that Scarlett.

The Scarlett is well-marketed & popular with beginners. But it's removal from any signal chain is a huge step towards instantly better recordings. Good intuition on that Bob. I've never heard the new Sebatron tube preamp, but if Jim recommends it, it must be good. For several years, I used a Pendulum MDP-1a tube preamp that no other preamp could ever beat on my mic's.

I know it's not popular at AGF, or with the youngsters, but I still suggest that any gear decisions be made by first auditioning gear on your own rig - before you buy. Soundpure & Sweetwater are very helpful on home auditions. Doing shoot-outs with your ears is the only way to really be sure. And that can get costly with today's postal rates. Note: Amazingly, Sebatron gives you a 30-day audition period!

For example, I did mic/preamp combo shoot-outs all the time here in the Islands, & had to bring it out here from the Mainland & send it back quickly. I loved doing those because the shoot-outs - using my ears on my rig - made up my mind - not online recordings from Soundcloud or marketing links heard through earbuds or computer speakers, or even from AGF opinions - Ha. My ears made the choices in my studio for me. And reading specs is also a lost or forgotten art for many today making gear choices (right sdelsoray?!?). I never used anything online for determining gear quality because it can't really show you anything substantive. Using your senses first hand always trumps reading a computer screen. Ex: how can you tell build quality, off axis distortion or where gear places your signal in a mix online? It can't!

SOS gear reviews are definitely worth reviewing also to help with a close decision. I found their opinions about the Sebatron preamp interesting, about its unique coloration & especially RE: its gain limitations. So you may not be using a ribbon mic through it any time soon at -60db. How does it sound to you?

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews...on-vmp-2000evu

That's just something to consider when you upgrade your signal chain in the future, Bob. When you find that a USB MOTU interface, an Austrian LDC & Reaper DAW are NOT the answers & are curious about better stand-alone interfaces & mic/preamp combinations. Question: Why haven't you moved over to the only two fully-professional DAW's yet? Logic Pro or Pro Tools? Not that expensive for industry standards found in every pro studio. +1 Logic Pro!

I also heard the Alaska piks noise in your recording too. Those are not for every player, IMO. Even Alex DeGrassi tried them & stopped because of trouble controlling the touch in softer passages. Me too. You may have better luck having acrylic nails painted on fingers 1, 2 & 3 every five weeks at a nail salon. Keeping them short at about 1/8" above the finger pad & filing regularly should give you the same touch as natural nails, without the noise. I did that for 25 years as a gigger, after a friend suggested it.

Finally, I see from your music & comments at AGF, that you are definitely committed to learning about using the gear & wish to get further into DAW home recording for better versions of your music. Though it's sacriligous for many at AGF, I suggest that you don't be afraid to also commit money for achieving those better results. Because I guarantee that these won't be your last interfaces or preamps. It's the nature of educated ears to want better sound, Bob.

I'm 75 now & can't play anymore. But I can say that in all my decades of recording futility through mediocre signal chains, I never found a way to improve my recordings on the cheap. Once I made that commitment, & DAW's came along to make recording truly more affordable, I finally got to play through the best gear & achieve the best recordings of my musical life. Go for it, Bob! It's worth it! If you're at KM184 levels now, you'll need a signal chain made up of compatible parts that are all at least at that level. That's the way it works for serious player/recordists. The 'on the cheap' guys can't even hear the differences. Ha!

Enjoy your new gear upgrades, Bob. And Happy Recording!

alohachris

PS Bob: You went with the MOTU because your computer is probably older without Thunderbolt connectivity & you needed more channels, right? If it's me, I'd start saving for a new iMac with fastest M-1 chips & a better TB interface like the better standard Apogee's or RME's, or Metric Halo or even an Aurora interface with the fastest/best connectivity & better onboard mic preamps. Those will fully maximize your nice mic's, Bob. And later, listen to your mic's through even better quality, stand-alone mic preamps. The KM-184 sounds great through many pre's, like NEVE clones or my Pendulum tube pre. But you might get lucky with the Sebatron per Jim. Oh, it never ends! Ha! -alohachris-

Last edited by alohachris; 06-17-2021 at 12:56 AM.
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  #64  
Old 06-17-2021, 09:31 AM
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SprintBob SprintBob is offline
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Chris,

Thanks so much for the thoughtful reply which deserves my feedback.

I laughed at myself when I typed "I think I have bought the last mic preamps and interface I'll ever need." I hear you!

I do have the options for home trials on both the Sebatron Mic Pre and the Motu and that fueled my justification to move forward.

I can't use acrylic nails for reasons that are personal (wife does not like long nails on one hand), professional (clients might find long nails on one hand to be strange), and activity related (lifelong competitive sailor, hard on long nails). Alaska Piks have been the best solution so far and my technique is a work in progress for sure. I've been experimenting with different nail lengths and finishes with them. Fellow AGF'er and fingerstyle GOD Eric Skye uses them and he uses very fine sandpaper to finish them out which I believe I need to give a try.

I think I'm using the best value in a DAW for now as long as I only have a USB interface to work with. If/when I change over to a faster interface, it will be to a Mac computer, Thunderbolt, and Logic Pro. It does not make sense to me at this time to purchase Pro Tools as long as I am using a PC with a USB interface. I believe at best that will be at least 2-3 years away. Reaper continues to evolve and so far I have found it to be all I need. I may stay with it.

I'm 62, have been playing for 8 years, and believe in investing in equipment that inspires me. I'm fortunate to have the income to afford gear that is way beyond my current abilities but that gap is what really motivates and inspires me every single day. A lot of people will think this is a foolish approach but if we were all the same, it would be a boring world.

Cheers,

Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by alohachris View Post
Aloha Bob,

Congratulations on your decisions & new gear. Definitely better upgrades for maximixing your mic's & rest of the signal chain. A very informative thread too. And VERY nice playing on Shenandoah.

Can I offer an opinion or two?

You stated this in your last post:

"I think I have bought the last mic preamps and interface I'll ever need."

I hope that's the case, but it rarely is when one enters the world of home studio recording with serious goals & whose ears are always being further educated.

I would caution you & all entering this crazy home recording world to remain open to always improving your signal chain with greater quality & most importantly, the best compatibility of the parts as you learn more. And also to be open to trusting your ears & further investment into greater parts as you finally did with that Scarlett.

The Scarlett is well-marketed & popular with beginners. But it's removal from any signal chain is a huge step towards instantly better recordings. Good intuition on that Bob. I've never heard the new Sebatron tube preamp, but if Jim recommends it, it must be good. For several years, I used a Pendulum MDP-1a tube preamp that no other preamp could ever beat on my mic's.

I know it's not popular at AGF, or with the youngsters, but I still suggest that any gear decisions be made by first auditioning gear on your own rig - before you buy. Soundpure & Sweetwater are very helpful on home auditions. Doing shoot-outs with your ears is the only way to really be sure. And that can get costly with today's postal rates. Note: Amazingly, Sebatron gives you a 30-day audition period!

For example, I did mic/preamp combo shoot-outs all the time here in the Islands, & had to bring it out here from the Mainland & send it back quickly. I loved doing those because the shoot-outs - using my ears on my rig - made up my mind - not online recordings from Soundcloud or marketing links heard through earbuds or computer speakers, or even from AGF opinions - Ha. My ears made the choices in my studio for me. And reading specs is also a lost or forgotten art for many today making gear choices (right sdelsoray?!?). I never used anything online for determining gear quality because it can't really show you anything substantive. Using your senses first hand always trumps reading a computer screen. Ex: how can you tell build quality, off axis distortion or where gear places your signal in a mix online? It can't!

SOS gear reviews are definitely worth reviewing also to help with a close decision. I found their opinions about the Sebatron preamp interesting, about its unique coloration & especially RE: its gain limitations. So you may not be using a ribbon mic through it any time soon at -60db. How does it sound to you?

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews...on-vmp-2000evu

That's just something to consider when you upgrade your signal chain in the future, Bob. When you find that a USB MOTU interface, an Austrian LDC & Reaper DAW are NOT the answers & are curious about better stand-alone interfaces & mic/preamp combinations. Question: Why haven't you moved over to the only two fully-professional DAW's yet? Logic Pro or Pro Tools? Not that expensive for industry standards found in every pro studio. +1 Logic Pro!

I also heard the Alaska piks noise in your recording too. Those are not for every player, IMO. Even Alex DeGrassi tried them & stopped because of trouble controlling the touch in softer passages. Me too. You may have better luck having acrylic nails painted on fingers 1, 2 & 3 every five weeks at a nail salon. Keeping them short at about 1/8" above the finger pad & filing regularly should give you the same touch as natural nails, without the noise. I did that for 25 years as a gigger, after a friend suggested it.

Finally, I see from your music & comments at AGF, that you are definitely committed to learning about using the gear & wish to get further into DAW home recording for better versions of your music. Though it's sacriligous for many at AGF, I suggest that you don't be afraid to also commit money for achieving those better results. Because I guarantee that these won't be your last interfaces or preamps. It's the nature of educated ears to want better sound, Bob.

I'm 75 now & can't play anymore. But I can say that in all my decades of recording futility through mediocre signal chains, I never found a way to improve my recordings on the cheap. Once I made that commitment, & DAW's came along to make recording truly more affordable, I finally got to play through the best gear & achieve the best recordings of my musical life. Go for it, Bob! It's worth it! If you're at KM184 levels now, you'll need a signal chain made up of compatible parts that are all at least at that level. That's the way it works for serious player/recordists. The 'on the cheap' guys can't even hear the differences. Ha!

Enjoy your new gear upgrades, Bob. And Happy Recording!

alohachris

PS Bob: You went with the MOTU because your computer is probably older without Thunderbolt connectivity & you needed more channels, right? If it's me, I'd start saving for a new iMac with fastest M-1 chips & a better TB interface like the better standard Apogee's or RME's, or Metric Halo or even an Aurora interface with the fastest/best connectivity & better onboard mic preamps. Those will fully maximize your nice mic's, Bob. And later, listen to your mic's through even better quality, stand-alone mic preamps. The KM-184 sounds great through many pre's, like NEVE clones or my Pendulum tube pre. But you might get lucky with the Sebatron per Jim. Oh, it never ends! Ha! -alohachris-
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  #65  
Old 06-17-2021, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
Congrats Bob.

Looks like some nice new gear is coming your way!

- Glenn
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
Congrats Bob! You're going to love that Sebatron. It hits way above its price-tag. And MOTU has a fine rep. I'm using their 16A as a channel expander with my AVID Carbon. Best of luck with your new gear.
Thanks gents!
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  #66  
Old 06-17-2021, 11:16 AM
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ChuckS ChuckS is offline
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Congrats on all the new gear. I was one that suggested looking at the Motu interfaces. Your Ultralite Mk5 has great features and specs (seems it has inherited the best of Motu's earlier released devices). Your Mk5 also has nice expandability as well, with optical and SPDIF digital interfaces (in case you ever move to external converters). I'm not familiar with CueMix, but the router/mixer/dsp on my Ultralite AVB is really nice.
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  #67  
Old 06-17-2021, 11:22 AM
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SprintBob SprintBob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
Congrats on all the new gear. I was one that suggested looking at the Motu interfaces. Your Ultralite Mk5 has great features and specs (seems it has inherited the best of Motu's earlier released devices). Your Mk5 also has nice expandability as well, with optical and SPDIF digital interfaces (in case you ever move to external converters). I'm not familiar with CueMix, but the router/mixer/dsp on my Ultralite AVB is really nice.
You certainly did suggest Motu Chuck and Iím so glad your positive experience led to me looking at their product line. I also like that their equipment is US design and build. Thanks!
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  #68  
Old 06-17-2021, 02:29 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SprintBob View Post

The robustness, simplicity, and performance of the Sebatron Axis 200VU Tube Mic Preamp as recommended by Jim1960 seemed too good to pass up so I ordered one from Soundpure that gets delivered tomorrow.
When I can afford a preamp, that's the one I'd want.

Let us know what you think.
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  #69  
Old 06-17-2021, 03:35 PM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SprintBob View Post
OP checking back. Well I made a move and I went somewhat "big".

The robustness, simplicity, and performance of the Sebatron Axis 200VU Tube Mic Preamp as recommended by Jim1960 seemed too good to pass up so I ordered one from Soundpure that gets delivered tomorrow.

I came to the conclusion that I really need dedicated line in options totally separate from mic pre-amps on an the audio interface so I am replacing my Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 with the Motu Ultralite Mk 5 USB interface. This interface has six line inputs in addition to two mic inputs. The A/D converters on this interface have excellent specs.

My recording chain will consist of the mics - Sebatron - Motu - PC/Reaper. There is the option of mixing with the Motu's CueMix software and DSP capability. The other audio interfaces that were in play for me were the RME BabyFace Pro and the UA Apollo Twin & Solo models. The Motu seemed a better fit than the BabyFace for my needs and the reviews for the Windows/PC versions of the Apollo units seemed to be either love/hate (not so on the reviews of the same units when used with Mac OS).

I think I have bought the last mic preamps and interface I'll ever need. I'm looking forward to learning how to use these tools. Thanks again to you all who offered advice and recommendations.
You will love the Sebatron. The VMP4000e in my studio is the most used preamp in a rack full of GREAT preamps!
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  #70  
Old 06-18-2021, 08:00 AM
anton anton is offline
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Congrats! Post some recordings with the Sebatron and the rest of the new gear once you get it settled in. I would love to hear the new setup.
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  #71  
Old 06-18-2021, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runamuck View Post
When I can afford a preamp, that's the one I'd want.

Let us know what you think.
Will do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockabilly69 View Post
You will love the Sebatron. The VMP4000e in my studio is the most used preamp in a rack full of GREAT preamps!
That's a good endorsement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anton View Post
Congrats! Post some recordings with the Sebatron and the rest of the new gear once you get it settled in. I would love to hear the new setup.
Will do, thanks!
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  #72  
Old 06-21-2021, 11:57 AM
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So update on my new Sebatron Axis preamp and Moto Ultralite Mk 5 interface.

The Axis arrived Friday afternoon and initially I could not get a response from the mics. With the advice of a couple of AGF'ers, I determined the 48V power source was not working for both channels. Late Sunday night, I got an email from Soundpure who I bought the unit from advising they had experienced instances of a ribbon cable coming unplugged during shipment. I opened the unit up this morning and sure enough found one unplugged. Once plugged back in, the mics started working through the Axis and I'm getting signal to the Motu so I should be ready to start using both this week.

The Motu arrived yesterday morning and last night I used it with the KM184 and the Austrian Audio OC818 mics in a spaced pair setup. All I can say is that the Motu preamp seems hotter and cleaner than the previous Scarlett 2i4 I have been using with these mics. Very, very pleased and excited with that first impression. Can't wait to see what I'll hear using the Axis preamp in the chain. My playing now has to step up to the capability of my equipment but that is how I want it to be.
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Doerr Trinity 00 (Lutz/Maple)
Edwinson Zephyr 13 Fret 00 (Adi/Coco)
Emerald X-20 (all carbon fiber)
Eastman 810CE (Spruce/Maple archtop)
Froggy Bottom H-12 (Adi/EIR)
Rainsong APSE (all carbon fiber)

Last edited by SprintBob; 06-21-2021 at 06:06 PM.
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  #73  
Old 06-21-2021, 12:16 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Happy to hear you got that all sorted, Bob!
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2009 Bamburg JSB Signature Baritone macassar ebony/carpathian spruce
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  #74  
Old 06-21-2021, 12:53 PM
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Happy to hear you got that all sorted, Bob!
Yes second that and very cool, I am guessing that unit should be a joy to use ... It's always a disappointment when new gear does not function properly
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Recording System :
Avid Carbon interface , PT Ultimate 2021.3 .....Mid 2020 iMac 27" 3.8GHz 8-core i7 10th Gen processor,,128GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory,,2TB SSD storage,,Radeon Pro 5700 XT with 16GB of GDDR6 memory,, on Catalina 10.15.7
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  #75  
Old 06-21-2021, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SprintBob View Post
So update on my new Sebatron Axis preamp and Moto Ultralite Mk 5 interface.

The Axis arrived Friday afternoon and initially I could not get a response from the mics. With the advice of a couple of AGF'ers, I determined the 48V power source was not working for both channels. Late Sunday night, I got an email from Soundpure who I bought the unit from advising they had experienced instances of a ribbon cable coming unplugged during shipment. I opened the unit up this morning and sure enough found one unplugged. Once plugged back in, the mics started working through the Axis and I'm getting signal to the Motu so I should be ready to start using both this week.

The Motu arrived yesterday morning and last night I used it with the KM184 and the Austrian Audio OC818 mics in a spaced pair setup. All I can say is that the Motu preamp seems hotter and clearer than the previous Scarlett 2i4 I have been using with these mics. Very, very pleased and excited with that first impression. Can't wait to see what I'll hear using the Axis preamp in the chain. My playing now has to step up to the capability of my equipment but that is how I want it to be.
Ha yes the one downside of better gear when you become the weak link
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Enjoy the Journey.... Kev...


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Recording System :
Avid Carbon interface , PT Ultimate 2021.3 .....Mid 2020 iMac 27" 3.8GHz 8-core i7 10th Gen processor,,128GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory,,2TB SSD storage,,Radeon Pro 5700 XT with 16GB of GDDR6 memory,, on Catalina 10.15.7
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