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  #31  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:31 AM
Dirk_Z Dirk_Z is offline
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Originally Posted by gwlee7 View Post
I have posted this in a couple of other forums but thought this thread may be able to help me as well in regards to the "next steps" down the rabbit hole:

First, my room is treated. I learned to do that first from reading posts here. I have 4" thick Bass Traps in the corners and where the ceiling and wall meet. I have 2" thick absorption panels on the walls and reflection points.

I am using an Apollo Twin USB as my interface coupled with a Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre for additional inputs. I use some UAD plugins. I use Studio One 3 Pro as my DAW.

I have the following microphones: Shure SM7B, Shure KSM313 ribbon, Shure SM 57, sE ELectronics Voodoo 1 ribbon, Se Electronics sE5 matched pair small condensers, Warm Audio WA87, Warm Audio WA251, and Rode NT1-A.

I am not currently trying to record other bands. I am only working on my own stuff and with the guys I play some classic rock and country covers with. My music is best described as jam band/blues and/or southern country rock. Think Allman Brothers, Eagles, Tom Petty, Rolling Stones "Sticky Fingers/Let it Bleed"era.

I am getting better at mixing and tracking with each new recording and am thinking that a couple of channels of outboard preamps would be next logical step in the gear acquisition rabbit hole. I don't feel like I necessarily need out board eq or compression yet. I would rather spend the money on good preamps. I am willing to spend up to $2400 at this time.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Here is an example of what I am doing:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tc...aTI4u7qqnSM1ri
I would rent a decent mic preamp and test it for a day. Should be possible for 20$ or so.
I donīt think that the preamp is the magic wand that will make your recording/mixes sound better.

The equipment you got should be more than capable of making great sounding recordings.
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  #32  
Old 02-11-2019, 11:07 AM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Originally Posted by Dirk_Z View Post
I would rent a decent mic preamp and test it for a day. Should be possible for 20$ or so.
I donīt think that the preamp is the magic wand that will make your recording/mixes sound better.

The equipment you got should be more than capable of making great sounding recordings.
I strongly agree with this. I would add that when things improve in the quality of your recordings it will be due to your skills.
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  #33  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:26 PM
DukeX DukeX is online now
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Originally Posted by gwlee7 View Post
I have posted this in a couple of other forums but thought this thread may be able to help me as well in regards to the "next steps" down the rabbit hole:

I am getting better at mixing and tracking with each new recording and am thinking that a couple of channels of outboard preamps would be next logical step in the gear acquisition rabbit hole...I am willing to spend up to $2400 at this time.
Rabbit hole? https://seventhcircleaudio.com/

SCA has been around for quite some time and have a great reputation. Tons of discussion over at Gearslutz.

I've been looking at their PC01 stand alone modules, especially the J99. https://seventhcircleaudio.com/products/PC01
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  #34  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:29 PM
DukeX DukeX is online now
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
I recommend http://www.npngproducts.com/Home_Page.html
I have the two channel preamp.
Very interesting, probably out of my price range, but I have to ask.
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  #35  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:20 PM
Knives&Guitars Knives&Guitars is offline
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Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
It's hard to talk about differences in terms of sound. Both of these units impart some color, the Sebatron gives you the ability to dial in just how much you want. I'd say the Demeter imparts slightly more warmth and that pre is my go-to vocal pre for myself.

If I had to pick one, I'd go with the Demeter because I don't do instrumentals so vocals are an important consideration. To my ears, the Demeter edges out the Sebatron slightly in that department. If I was doing strictly instrumentals, I'd probably give the Sebatron the slight edge.

But if I'm being totally honest, the differences are slight and I could be absolutely happy with either on its own. So if you're interested in my recommendation, buy whichever one you can get the best deal on. They're both absolute stunners and I've no doubt you'll be incredibly pleased by either.

True story - My friend Vinny is a singer ...mostly opera but he dives into jazz standards and show tunes as well. I bought an Audio-Scape Opto compressor about a year ago and Vinny, as well as another friend who has a studio, came over so we could test the compressor out. At some point I had Vinny singing through my Demeter instead of the generic preamps on my UA Apollo. His eyes lit up. He has a small home studio and a couple of decent mic pres but the Demeter really is special on some vocals. Within a couple of weeks he bought a used VTMP-2b on Reverb and hasn't stopped raving about it.

But like I said, I could be very happy if either was my only pre. They're both really excellent and both can be had for a nice price on the used market.
Thanks Jim1960, excellent descriptions. I especially like your story about Vinny liking the sound better coming out of the Demeter verses the UA Apollo.
While I know modern emulations-electronics are excellent, I always have in the back of my mind that no matter what, there will always be something extra to be had when using old fashion hardware.
Some will dispute that in the final mix those extras are hard to be heard. And of course, depending on the song and the mix that can certainly be true. But for some of us, it is only the extras that can totally satisfy what we are looking for. Isn't that what searching for that special guitar is all about? That little something extra?
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  #36  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:56 PM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Originally Posted by Knives&Guitars View Post
But for some of us, it is only the extras that can totally satisfy what we are looking for. Isn't that what searching for that special guitar is all about? That little something extra?
I TOTALLY agree with this! To me, there's something magic going on when you find a good combo of microphone and preamp. It makes recording ALOT of fun. It's like the first time you hear a good Telecaster guitar though a 50's tweed Deluxe. No emulation brings that kind of fun to the table And sometimes the oddest combination of things work. Alot of people pan Drawmer 1960 preamps/compressors for being too dark and the compressor too slow, but when I use the 1960 with the often misaligned Rode NTK microphone, which people say are ridiculous bright/harsh, I love the recordings I get. Searching for those magic combos adds a fun hobby element to my profession and keeps me interested.
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  #37  
Old 02-11-2019, 04:03 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Originally Posted by Knives&Guitars View Post
Thanks Jim1960, excellent descriptions. I especially like your story about Vinny liking the sound better coming out of the Demeter verses the UA Apollo.
While I know modern emulations-electronics are excellent, I always have in the back of my mind that no matter what, there will always be something extra to be had when using old fashion hardware.
Some will dispute that in the final mix those extras are hard to be heard. And of course, depending on the song and the mix that can certainly be true. But for some of us, it is only the extras that can totally satisfy what we are looking for. Isn't that what searching for that special guitar is all about? That little something extra?
Indeed, that little something extra can make a big difference sometimes.

I think it comes down to priorities. For me, the top tier are monitors, convertors, and microphones. Second tier is preamps and compressors. After that, I'm fairly content to stay in the box.

I think the emulations are useful to a lot of people. They're certainly great for pointing us in a direction. My interface is a UAD Apollo X8p. I have emulations for SSL, API, Neve, Helios, etc., all available to me. Those can give a user a good idea of what he likes or doesn't like. Same with mic emulation software. It's all good for giving the user an idea of what might work well for them. Do they stand up to the real thing? In most cases, I don't think so. And for a lot of people that's fine. If you haven't heard great high end gear, you can be very happy with those emulations. It's like if you've never tasted lobster, you don't miss lobster.

Unfortunately for me, I've exposed myself to better gear and I don't mind treating myself to a new toy every now and then. But as for the mic emulations, the aforementioned Vinny did a shootout that's up on YouTube. It includes some mic mod softwre, the Slate VMS, some affordable offerings from Advanced Audio, and he borrowed my Flea 47. To my ears, the differences are pretty stark.

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  #38  
Old 02-11-2019, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DukeX View Post
Very interesting, probably out of my price range, but I have to ask.
Around $2600 new for a two channel. Have seen used ones for around $1500
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  #39  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:37 PM
Sage97 Sage97 is offline
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Originally Posted by RRuskin View Post
Under $500 - FMR Audio RNP
That’s what I thought too along with the RNC.
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  #40  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:42 PM
DukeX DukeX is online now
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Around $2600 new for a two channel. Have seen used ones for around $1500
Thanks, much appreciated.
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  #41  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:10 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Originally Posted by DukeX View Post
Rabbit hole? https://seventhcircleaudio.com/

SCA has been around for quite some time and have a great reputation. Tons of discussion over at Gearslutz.

I've been looking at their PC01 stand alone modules, especially the J99. https://seventhcircleaudio.com/products/PC01
I've built a couple SCA J99s and recommend them. I also want to say that I don't hear nearly as significant differences in mic pres as I do in mics and often those are subtle.
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  #42  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:34 PM
Sage97 Sage97 is offline
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Originally Posted by rockabilly69 View Post
And sometimes the oddest combination of things work. Alot of people pan Drawmer 1960 preamps/compressors for being too dark and the compressor too slow, but when I use the 1960 with the often misaligned Rode NTK microphone, which people say are ridiculous bright/harsh, I love the recordings I get. Searching for those magic combos adds a fun hobby element to my profession and keeps me interested.
The NTK works very well for my vocals. I am not so serious hobbyist and I’ve only paired it with the FMR RNP and some mild compression with the RNC and really liked the result. I currently use it with an Apogee Duet and I think it sounds better.
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  #43  
Old 02-12-2019, 08:46 PM
lukegard22 lukegard22 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlee7 View Post
I have posted this in a couple of other forums but thought this thread may be able to help me as well in regards to the "next steps" down the rabbit hole:

First, my room is treated. I learned to do that first from reading posts here. I have 4" thick Bass Traps in the corners and where the ceiling and wall meet. I have 2" thick absorption panels on the walls and reflection points.

I am using an Apollo Twin USB as my interface coupled with a Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre for additional inputs. I use some UAD plugins. I use Studio One 3 Pro as my DAW.

I have the following microphones: Shure SM7B, Shure KSM313 ribbon, Shure SM 57, sE ELectronics Voodoo 1 ribbon, Se Electronics sE5 matched pair small condensers, Warm Audio WA87, Warm Audio WA251, and Rode NT1-A.

I am not currently trying to record other bands. I am only working on my own stuff and with the guys I play some classic rock and country covers with. My music is best described as jam band/blues and/or southern country rock. Think Allman Brothers, Eagles, Tom Petty, Rolling Stones "Sticky Fingers/Let it Bleed"era.

I am getting better at mixing and tracking with each new recording and am thinking that a couple of channels of outboard preamps would be next logical step in the gear acquisition rabbit hole. I don't feel like I necessarily need out board eq or compression yet. I would rather spend the money on good preamps. I am willing to spend up to $2400 at this time.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Here is an example of what I am doing:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tc...aTI4u7qqnSM1ri
Hey brother, I stumbled across this tonight while Googling and going down the rabbit hole.
8 channel preamp for under $1k? Seems crazy.
No experience with this company but at that price, seems like a great preamp for recording in a full band setting.
https://reverb.com/item/19250650-tru...m_medium=share
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  #44  
Old 02-12-2019, 08:56 PM
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RRuskin RRuskin is offline
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Originally Posted by lukegard22 View Post
Hey brother, I stumbled across this tonight while Googling and going down the rabbit hole.
8 channel preamp for under $1k? Seems crazy.
No experience with this company but at that price, seems like a great preamp for recording in a full band setting.
https://reverb.com/item/19250650-tru...m_medium=share
A friend has one of these. Nice sounding but the input gain pots don't do much until you get to the upper portion. This makes getting the exact setting you want dicey.
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  #45  
Old 02-13-2019, 08:55 AM
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ChuckS ChuckS is online now
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Originally Posted by gwlee7 View Post
I have posted this in a couple of other forums but thought this thread may be able to help me as well in regards to the "next steps" down the rabbit hole:

...[snip]...

I am getting better at mixing and tracking with each new recording and am thinking that a couple of channels of outboard preamps would be next logical step in the gear acquisition rabbit hole. I don't feel like I necessarily need out board eq or compression yet. I would rather spend the money on good preamps. I am willing to spend up to $2400 at this time.

...[snip]...
If you are patient you can find nice deals on used preamps, and buying used opens up a lot of possibilities for what works within budgets. Also buying used, at a good price, minimizes the loss if you decide to sell later. If you're interested in a quiet/clean/transparent preamp, and want to hear only the performance/instrument/mic without added coloration from the preamp you could consider a used Gordon Model 5.
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Last edited by ChuckS; 02-13-2019 at 10:51 AM.
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