Out with the old compressor in with the new channel strip?
Old 21st June 2010
  #1
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Question Out with the old compressor in with the new channel strip?

I have been using the preamp on the Mackie mixing board (DFX12). I have now learned the importance of the recording channel having a better preamp situation.

I have the behringer composer pro-xl compressor. I was wondering if i should shop for the best pre i can afford and then go into compressor or look for a channel strip and get more quality (ditch the behringer in the vocal recording device chain)

what makes the most sense thanks.
Old 21st June 2010
  #2
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Usually when I get a new piece of gear I have to save up for something that I've decided on ahead of time. If I can spend $600 on a pre, I want all that money going into a pre. If I can spend $600 on a compressor, I want that money going into a comp. So I don't usually look at channel strips. I would figure out how much you want to spend, and what you are wanting to get out of a pre. You can then research from there what options you have. I would ditch the berringer. They can work OK as live comps but never liked what they did to the signal for recording. I would use plug in comps until you can afford a decent tracking comp. If you can spare $175 after buying the pre of your choice, the FMR RNC is the usual suspect for a inexpensive tracking comp.
If you're looking for some guidance on what pre to get, I have questions...
What are you looking for that the makie isn't doing for you?
What kind of music do you typically record?
What's you're budget?
What mics do you have?
Also searching round here you will find so much info your head will spin.
Old 21st June 2010
  #3
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dustyreels thanks for response....thats interesting i was sure a channel strip would be best....but ur saying get a pre and a different comp.....

i only record vocals for hip hop and r&B......i dont record guitars, etc...
sm58 and AT3035 are the mics that i got....

i know my setup is very budget nevertheless.....i get by....i want to start getting better vocal takes though.......

my personal budget is about 500 bucks right now....
Old 21st June 2010
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rucontent View Post
dustyreels thanks for response....thats interesting i was sure a channel strip would be best....but ur saying get a pre and a different comp.....

i only record vocals for hip hop and r&B......i dont record guitars, etc...
sm58 and AT3035 are the mics that i got....

i know my setup is very budget nevertheless.....i get by....i want to start getting better vocal takes though.......

my personal budget is about 500 bucks right now....
I would look into a Grace m101. Very transparent. I have 2 and they serve me well. You will be amazed how great your 58 can sound with this pre. I'm not sure where you're at but RMC audio in knoxville will sell you one for $539. You have to request the better price and they will email you the offer. They are nice guys with great customer service (no, I'm not affiliated ).
I know a lot of people will chime in to suggest the Golden Age pre73. I've never used it so I can't vouch but it's quite popular around here.
As far as the channel strip thing, that's just my own taste/style, yours may very.
You're embarking on a great quest my friend... Happy hunting.
Old 21st June 2010
  #5
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I've seen the UA 610s and Focusrite 220s for around $900 on the bay.
I would prefer the 610 myself, but the 220 is a nice unit also.
Old 21st June 2010
  #6
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Thread Starter
I have more questions:

i noticed the m101 u suggested doesnt have a variable input impedance......any thoughts on this?

the other question is that with a mic pre now i dont go into my mackie board....directly to recording device? what good would it be to stack/feed awesome gain and clarity to a subpar channel preamp and the noise of the mackie....


@dustyreels i have since found out that the m101 is clean while GAP73 has the elusive color option...(in jest) does either have a variable input impeadance...

anyway my research goes on....thanks again......one guy said he had both and uses whichever he likes....that just depressed me.....
Old 22nd June 2010
  #7
has all the gear he needs
 
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A channel strip is useful if your workflow suits its use.

I just track Lenny and it's a lot of vocals, acoustic guits and DI bass......having the same general chain up and ready is very convenient if you are doing a lot of songwriting/tracking. I like to be able to sculpt my sound on the way in with EQ and compression and once I get the sound I like I like to keep it right there.

If you are doing a lot of different things....with different artists....it might not be right for you.

Might need more than $500, though, to get something good.
Old 22nd June 2010
  #8
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
A channel strip is useful if your workflow suits its use.

I just track Lenny and it's a lot of vocals, acoustic guits and DI bass......having the same general chain up and ready is very convenient if you are doing a lot of songwriting/tracking. I like to be able to sculpt my sound on the way in with EQ and compression and once I get the sound I like I like to keep it right there.

If you are doing a lot of different things....with different artists....it might not be right for you.

Might need more than $500, though, to get something good.
unclenny,,,,uncle lenny? anyway i am strictly looking for vocal take device chain....I like the idea of all the controls on one unit to sculpt the take as well......

but if m101 and GAP73 are best lower end pre's

what are the best lower end channel strips? and whats that price?
Old 22nd June 2010
  #9
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

i like my focusrite isa one and fmr rnla for voclas, this pre has a nice high end sheen and a send receive for the rnla compressor....both for me work beautifuly and cristal clear...a channel strip a really good one can run more oftentimes than a pre and compressor.
Old 22nd June 2010
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rucontent View Post
i noticed the m101 u suggested doesnt have a variable input impedance......any thoughts on this?
I wouldn't be concerned about the variable impedance. None of my pres have them. They are a "extra" on very few. I'm sure they're useful in some cases but aren't necessary. Also, since you're just starting out, it may be more than you need to be worrying about while learning to use recording gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rucontent View Post
the other question is that with a mic pre now i dont go into my mackie board....directly to recording device? what good would it be to stack/feed awesome gain and clarity to a subpar channel preamp and the noise of the mackie....
I would skip the mackie all together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rucontent View Post
@dustyreels i have since found out that the m101 is clean while GAP73 has the elusive color option...(in jest) does either have a variable input impeadance...
Neither do. Just not needed.
Old 22nd June 2010
  #11
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yeah so i am looking at ditching the channel strip idea for better pre....right now i might just get the pre i decide on...keep the behringer comp just because thats what i got and until i can get a new comp....

but i think even the behringer will operate differently with the proper levels a pre-amp will give me no? it should..... anyway....

I feel like i should go with the more "clear" grace m101 and start without color....so i can learn what color is......

i understand what it is but at the sametime its subjective so i am not sure that it hasnt become something that makes up for a poor performance?

Is there a place that has a few sound files that can show the difference between clear and color?

thanks again all!
Old 23rd June 2010
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rucontent View Post
I feel like i should go with the more "clear" grace m101 and start without color....so i can learn what color is......
That's a solid idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rucontent View Post
Is there a place that has a few sound files that can show the difference between clear and color?
All over this site. Do some searching. Have fun. You seem to be grasping what you need to do.
Old 24th June 2010
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rucontent View Post
yeah so i am looking at ditching the channel strip idea for better pre....right now i might just get the pre i decide on...keep the behringer comp just because thats what i got and until i can get a new comp....

but i think even the behringer will operate differently with the proper levels a pre-amp will give me no? it should..... anyway....

I feel like i should go with the more "clear" grace m101 and start without color....so i can learn what color is......

i understand what it is but at the sametime its subjective so i am not sure that it hasnt become something that makes up for a poor performance?

Is there a place that has a few sound files that can show the difference between clear and color?

thanks again all!
I agree with these dudes; get a decent preamp. You probably don't even necessarily need to use the behringer compressor if you keep an eye on your levels. If you record in 24 bit you have much more headroom and don't have to worry about getting such a massive level onto tape (computer that is!). Just don't run it into the red!! Worry about compression on the way back from tape using plug ins. It is amazing how much better even most DAW built in plug ins are than their cheap outboard couterparts!
I don't have experience of the grace pres but it sounds like a good idea to have something clean which will be more multi purpose. A good pre will stand you in good stead for the whole of its life.
Have fun with it, that is the main thing!!
long
Old 24th June 2010
  #14
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Thread Starter
Thumbs up GOlden Age Pre in the mail

Dusty,,,,/./.. i was gonna get the Grace but an opportunity for a GAP 73 came up and that is what i am going with...... cant wait to see what all the to do is about..........now i just want a control surface system like the command 8!

haha gear lust......is qwelled(sp?) for now......thanks again guys!
Old 24th June 2010
  #15
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dustyreels's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rucontent View Post

haha gear lust......is qwelled(sp?) for now......thanks again guys!
Not for long!!! Whahahaahahahaha!
From what I've read, you should be really happy with the gap. Let us know how it goes.
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