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BAE 312 mono pre is pretty sweet.
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E.rOk.stA
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19th December 2009
Old 19th December 2009
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BAE 312 mono pre is pretty sweet.

Just wanted to encourage anyone who needs a pre for vox that this is a killer sounding pre, especially for the $$. I've only owned a Vintech and this. I am not disappointed with it. It actually has a more mellow high end which helps alot with sibilance.
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20th December 2009
Old 20th December 2009
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wat pre does this resemble,

nevish vibe etc ?
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20th December 2009
Old 20th December 2009
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Originally Posted by Audio Child View Post
wat pre does this resemble,

nevish vibe etc ?
You're kidding, right??
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20th December 2009
Old 20th December 2009
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API
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20th December 2009
Old 20th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
You're kidding, right??
]

No i havnt heard a 312 before,

Im am aware of it but never really paid any notice, But now im intersted.
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20th December 2009
Old 20th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Child View Post
]

No i havnt heard a 312 before,

Im am aware of it but never really paid any notice, But now im intersted.
Oh...well, FYI - the 312 is sort of "the" API mic amp...it's sort of like, the 312 is to API as the 1073 is to Neve; their most classic and famous model.
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20th December 2009
Old 20th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
You're kidding, right??


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21st December 2009
Old 21st December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
You're kidding, right??
something tells me he is not! lol
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21st December 2009
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BTW the kit for these is pretty cheap.

It wont be BAE, but you can get the printed PCB for 25 bucks I think from a guy from Prodigy pro and it will include a couple of connectors for your mics and whatnot.

The circuit itself is pretty simple looking, you do need to know how to solder but otherwise its not a complicated build.

I'm pretty sure if you went with Cinemag or Edcor transformers, you could put each channel together for around 100 bucks in parts, including the pcb and DOA (discrete opamp).

I have half a mind to build an 8 channel of one of these.

It would be nice to have 8 more transformer coupled pres in my rig during tracking and mixdown with my summing system.

That would bring my old school preamp count to 21 channels!

Hmmm......

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21st December 2009
Old 21st December 2009
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I'm not up on my product knowledge,

Oh well you learn something new everyday,

One question how would you compare the 512 to the 312 in sound then ?
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21st December 2009
Old 21st December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Child View Post
One question how would you compare the 512 to the 312 in sound then ?
Some folks would say they're identical. I'd say, it depends on which version of the 512 you've got. My favorite 512 is version "b", and I think the BAE most closely resembles that one.

However...and this opens up a whole crazy tech-y can of worms...a lot of the sound depends on the opamps you have in the things. A Melcor doesn't sound like a Purple doesn't sound like an Avedis and so forth. To complicate things further, the API opamps from different eras can sound surprisingly different.

That said, all these mic amps share a certain characteristic: quick transient response, tight bottom end, and a forwardness in the midrange.

Illacov (and whoever) - if you're looking for a great-sounding, inexpensive mic amp in the API tradition, check out CAPI VP26 (Classic Audio Products of Illinois). You can order them built, or you can order the parts and build em yourself for cheaper, and they sound freakin' fantastic. We have a pair at the studio we're testing, and they've sounded every bit as good as the other 312/512 varieties I'm familiar with (which includes 512b and 512c, BAE312, and the 3124). Oh, and they have an output attenuator (!!!!!!!!!!!!). Very handy.
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21st December 2009
Old 21st December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
BTW the kit for these is pretty cheap.

It wont be BAE, but you can get the printed PCB for 25 bucks I think from a guy from Prodigy pro and it will include a couple of connectors for your mics and whatnot.

The circuit itself is pretty simple looking, you do need to know how to solder but otherwise its not a complicated build.

I'm pretty sure if you went with Cinemag or Edcor transformers, you could put each channel together for around 100 bucks in parts, including the pcb and DOA (discrete opamp).
Yes, the 312 circuit is fairly simple, which is why so many people try to copy it. Half of the preamps in the 500 series are a direct rip of this design.

You could build your own 312 type of preamp (or in a non-DIY'ers case, buy the parts and have them sit in a box for years). But, the end result wouldn't share any of the same parts as the BAE... The BAE uses the Avedis 1122 op amp and custom Jensen transformers. You can't buy those parts.

I've built my own with API op amps and API transformers... Was it worth my time based on the savings? Not even remotely. Let's face it... Unless you are somewhat experienced with soldering and assembling gear, this is a little too complicated for the average gear user.
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#13
21st December 2009
Old 21st December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
I've built my own with API op amps and API transformers... Was it worth my time based on the savings? Not even remotely. Let's face it... Unless you are somewhat experienced with soldering and assembling gear, this is a little too complicated for the average gear user.
Not to mention API's awesome warranty. Ya can't get that if ya build em yourself.

Hell, buy em from Mercenary and get double the warranty. That's un-****-withable.
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21st December 2009
Old 21st December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Not to mention API's awesome warranty. Ya can't get that if ya build em yourself.

Hell, buy em from Mercenary and get double the warranty. That's un-****-withable.
BAE has a pretty good warranty as well.
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21st December 2009
Old 21st December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
check out CAPI VP26 (Classic Audio Products of Illinois).
The Legacy summing and bussing amp cards and repro transformers have got me frothing at the bank account...
+ a bajillion for these guys
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21st December 2009
Old 21st December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
BAE has a pretty good warranty as well.
Cool! I don't personally own any BAE products, so I've never looked into it in-depth.

Their's is a one-year warranty, right?

API's is five-years...ten if you get it through Mercenary (Mercenary doubles all manufacturer warranties). That's a helluva deal, if you ask me! I've bought API stuff second-hand and still had them honor the warranty, which is super cool too.

Not trying to take away from BAE, who makes great gear, just pointing out one of API's (IMO) strongest points.
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22nd December 2009
Old 22nd December 2009
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Is it correct that the 312A starts off at 30db gain even turned all the way down? I noticed that it runs hotter than other pres I have.
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22nd December 2009
Old 22nd December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
Yes, the 312 circuit is fairly simple, which is why so many people try to copy it. Half of the preamps in the 500 series are a direct rip of this design.

You could build your own 312 type of preamp (or in a non-DIY'ers case, buy the parts and have them sit in a box for years). But, the end result wouldn't share any of the same parts as the BAE... The BAE uses the Avedis 1122 op amp and custom Jensen transformers. You can't buy those parts.

I've built my own with API op amps and API transformers... Was it worth my time based on the savings? Not even remotely. Let's face it... Unless you are somewhat experienced with soldering and assembling gear, this is a little too complicated for the average gear user.

What kit did you build your pre with Tony??

As far as knowing how to solder etc..the 312 is a very simple preamp in design. We're not talking building a tube rectifier.

The majority of the work with a kit for the 312 is stuffing the pcb, soldering, trimming legs, double checking that you didn't make any bone headed mistakes and good old fashion QC.

In no way am I implying it will be superior to what BAE does, there's quite a few closed shop parts that can drastically alter the sound of a product.

However, the old school API sound is what alot of people are chasing it seems versus the new and that site that Ben referenced is doing some great things by even existing, let alone trying to approximate the old school API sound.

I think moreso than anything, if you look at what you'd have to spend on modding a GAP73 with Carnhill transformers and upgrading the transistors, damn near gutting the thing, that puts us at almost 600 bucks!

This thing, the kit is 30 bucks with the Neutriks connectors, there's maybe 30 dollars in caps and resistors, the case is 60, the Cinemag transformers are about 70 bucks total and opamp is say 50 bucks. (I've seen different ones for much less though!)
If you buy a 5 fish PSU w/ the torroidal transformer, thats another $75.
That puts us at $315. If you hire a tech at $50 an hour, this is maybe 3 hours of work. (Stuffing and soldering the pcb is maybe an hour for an experienced handy tech, so 2 hours to drill two holes and connect a PSU is really pushing it)

$475 bucks!

Anyone seen an 312 style preamp for this much??

Plus with that same PSU and case, you can put 7 more modules in there over time and all you'd have to do is drill holes and connect the PCB via the ribbon connector, like an IDE hard drive. Basically a primitive lunchbox! Expandability. To be perfectly honest, you could have your case predrilled for 8 modules total and then all you'd have to do is pop in your new card, screw the connectors in and connect the ribbon yourself. This way your unit never has to leave your studio to get expanded!

Nevertheless, I still feel that the 312 itself regardless of kit or not, is a wonderful preamp, very simple, only a relatively small number of caps in the signal path = PURE SOUND. A design that definitely passes the test of time and regardless of what incarnation you hear it in, it just makes sense to have at least a pair in your studio. They have a very nice tone to them. I really dig the older stuff though.

The Five Fish Audio Kit, I really want to hear, the X12.

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#19
22nd December 2009
Old 22nd December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
What kit did you build your pre with Tony??
I didn't use a kit... Built from scratch.... a PCB isn't really necessary, it can be done on breadboard.

Quote:
As far as knowing how to solder etc..the 312 is a very simple preamp in design. We're not talking building a tube rectifier.

The majority of the work with a kit for the 312 is stuffing the pcb, soldering, trimming legs, double checking that you didn't make any bone headed mistakes and good old fashion QC.
Yes, but this isn't a DIY forum... Most people don't want to learn how to make gear... They want to make music,. Building a science project isn't part of the equation. This has the potential to be one of those things that sidetracks people from making music. Building gear is great for those with the passion for it, but not as a cost cutting measure for others.
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22nd December 2009
Old 22nd December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
I didn't use a kit... Built from scratch.... a PCB isn't really necessary, it can be done on breadboard.



Yes, but this isn't a DIY forum... Most people don't want to learn how to make gear... They want to make music,. Building a science project isn't part of the equation. This has the potential to be one of those things that sidetracks people from making music. Building gear is great for those with the passion for it, but not as a cost cutting measure for others.
+1 to that.thumbsup

You know me man. I'm old school about the whole term "engineer." I'm thinking EMI labcoats and guys who can tear down a console in 15 minutes lol.

And yes this isn't a DIY forum but I would think that you would encourage people to use better gear to make better recordings right? If that means DIY then why not? People that DIY often still buy gear, even I buy mic cables from guitar center or soundcards, SM58s and stuff like that.

Either way, the sooner you can get your hands on something as elegantly put together as a 312 style preamp (however you happen to do that), I highly recommend it.

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22nd December 2009
Old 22nd December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
+1 to that.thumbsup

You know me man. I'm old school about the whole term "engineer." I'm thinking EMI labcoats and guys who can tear down a console in 15 minutes lol.

And yes this isn't a DIY forum but I would think that you would encourage people to use better gear to make better recordings right? If that means DIY then why not? People that DIY often still buy gear, even I buy mic cables from guitar center or soundcards, SM58s and stuff like that.

Either way, the sooner you can get your hands on something as elegantly put together as a 312 style preamp (however you happen to do that), I highly recommend it.

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You buy your mic cables?? I gotta be honest: I find that kinda surprising!
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22nd December 2009
Old 22nd December 2009
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Originally Posted by illacov View Post
+1 to that.thumbsup
You know me man. I'm old school about the whole term "engineer." I'm thinking EMI labcoats and guys who can tear down a console in 15 minutes lol.
thumbsup

I couldn't possibly agree more. It's embarrassing that we call this engineering. I feel ridiculous calling myself an engineer to people outside of the recording circle. We aren't really engineers, well, maybe in the loosest sense of the word, but it sounds pretentious.

What audio engineers used to do would constitute as engineering, but now we are recordists.

Engineers work on the design team at Apogee. Engineers work at Nasa.
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22nd December 2009
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FYI you guys, the "white coats" at Abbey Road didn't record any music, and the "brown coats" (recordists) didn't build any equipment.
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22nd December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
FYI you guys, the "white coats" at Abbey Road didn't record any music, and the "brown coats" (recordists) didn't build any equipment.
I think this is my point. We recordists. They engineers.
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22nd December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelmossobrien View Post
I think this is my point. We recordists. They engineers.
And my point is that the recordists of yesteryear are not, in fact, all "true" engineers. The dudes in lab coats at Abbey Road (as per the example you quoted) did not make records. And the dudes that did make records did not maintain the equipment (in fact, they weren't allowed to set up or even move the microphones!). Thus, your assessment that

Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelmossobrien View Post
What audio engineers used to do would constitute as engineering
is inaccurate.

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone back then was a Bill Putnam, a Tom Dowd, or a George Massenburg.

With all that said, I myself am not entirely comfortable with the term "recording engineer". Furthermore, I find that all too often, young engineers/recordists/what-have-you have so little grasp on ANY of the technicalities of this occupation that it's doubly-ridiculous to call themselves "engineers". I just don't see any value in inaccurately glorifying the past, nor perpetuating the myth that all the engineers/recordists/what-have-you of yesteryear were working on gear that they made themselves from scratch, or were even necessarily capable of servicing a blown channel on their console.
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22nd December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post

With all that said, I myself am not entirely comfortable with the term "recording engineer". Furthermore, I find that all too often, young engineers/recordists/what-have-you have so little grasp on ANY of the technicalities of this occupation that it's doubly-ridiculous to call themselves "engineers".
bingo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
I just don't see any value in inaccurately glorifying the past, nor perpetuating the myth that all the engineers/recordists/what-have-you of yesteryear were working on gear that they made themselves from scratch, or were even necessarily capable of servicing a blown channel on their console.
I don't doubt this. This is another example of one being a recordist, and another an engineer.



....I'm sure then, as well as now, it varied. Some recording engineers are also electrical engineers.

I guess what I'm saying is calling what we do engineering is embarrassing, pretentious, or at very least awkward.
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22nd December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelmossobrien View Post
I guess what I'm saying is calling what we do engineering is embarrassing, pretentious, or at very least awkward.
I will absolutely give you that one
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22nd December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
I will absolutely give you that one
I mean it is just a word, and I don't mind kicking it around to other's in the same field. In fact when talking to other audio folks I don't even think about it. It's talking to those outside of the field when I feel silly calling it engineering. Especially when I run into a civil engineer or something
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22nd December 2009
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I was always under the impression the term "engineer" transformulated and metamorphosized from stating one engineered there own "problem solving" and just now implys "engineering sound" . Hence a "sound engineer". When you are mixing sounds together are you not engineering them ?


to remain on topic... the BAE 312 is a very sweet sounding micamp indeed... any 312 is , is probably safe to say ( ones that are constructed properly anyhow...sometimes ones that arent as well ). Some have dedicated them to the recording of percussion mostly (ie. drums) ... but i think they really add a dimension to acoustic guitar like no other preamp. So forward and in your face... really goes well with the solo singer/songwriter folkish type looking for that subtle pop to make that guitar rhythym really stand out in contrast to the vocal.
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22nd December 2009
Old 22nd December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
And my point is that the recordists of yesteryear are not, in fact, all "true" engineers. The dudes in lab coats at Abbey Road (as per the example you quoted) did not make records. And the dudes that did make records did not maintain the equipment (in fact, they weren't allowed to set up or even move the microphones!). Thus, your assessment that



is inaccurate.

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone back then was a Bill Putnam, a Tom Dowd, or a George Massenburg.

With all that said, I myself am not entirely comfortable with the term "recording engineer". Furthermore, I find that all too often, young engineers/recordists/what-have-you have so little grasp on ANY of the technicalities of this occupation that it's doubly-ridiculous to call themselves "engineers". I just don't see any value in inaccurately glorifying the past, nor perpetuating the myth that all the engineers/recordists/what-have-you of yesteryear were working on gear that they made themselves from scratch, or were even necessarily capable of servicing a blown channel on their console.
I know this much.

Know some techs, be their friend. Make them love your gear. Like M from James Bond.

Learn your equipment, why it functions the way it does. Even if you never open it, see its guts etc..at the bare minimum, understand why your equipment ticks or at least what it does.

Ben you're absolutely right. Both of those realities are 2 sides of the same coin. In retrospect, it never stopped you or I from saying, hmm they claim that they have the vintage sound but don't have the vintage parts or they are missing this type of capacitor or this opamp??

For example the whole thing with API and their preamps. Look at all the differing views on what API is supposed to sound like when you say 312 preamp.
Look at how some people claim that the new API is nothing like the old. (Not that I lend any credence to this simply acknowledging that the opinions are out there)

You could have the proper ratio transformers, psu, capacitor types etc..but if you switch up your choice in DOA it changes the entire sound of the preamp and people will turn their nose up at the claims that it sounds like the API of yesteryear or whatever else could be claimed.

Again I can't truly say I'm an EE or anything like that but I have made huge leaps and bounds over the past 18 months and it landed me a job with a mic company. Has learning the ins and outs of microphones made me a better recording engineer? No. But it has changed my overall view on microphones and their applications so in a way I haven't improved in application but in philosophy so I suppose that counts for something eh?

Has being better informed about the gear I use, made me a better recording engineer? Of course.

I can remember to this day how I used to just look at used gear for scratches, broken knobs frayed power cords and busted jacks, for ways to see if the unit was in good shape. (Like an ebay transaction).

Now I don't feel right unless I get to see the innards, take a look at what kind of input coupling caps are used, who makes the transformers, the opamps that kind of thing. I think this is a very useful set of eyes for any recording engineer if they happen to be a buyer for their personal rig or if they are consulting for someone else's purchase.

But the dialogue continues on that regard.

Back to the topic though!

API rocks!

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