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Do I need a pre amp to record vocals in logic?
Old 15th October 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Do I need a pre amp to record vocals in logic?

I’m a noob and in HS so forgive my ignorance but I have a MacBook Air with logic. I want to record vocals. Mic wise I’m working with the Shure SM57
I was thinking of buying the Scarlet 2i2 (not sure wether second or third gen really matters) but is the 2i2 a pre amp and do I need a pre amp to record vocals?
I know about mixing with plugins but I want to make sure my vocals sound as professional as possible. I’m recording in my bedroom which isn’t sound proof. I’m on a budget because class.
Also what do you guys think of the 2i2? It seems the most budget friendly for me
Old 16th October 2019
  #2
Gear Nut
 

The 2i2 will work, it has pre-amps in it. More money should be spent on making your room sound better before you spend on a "better" interface/pre-amp. If you're really only going to use 1 mic you could save a little and get the Focusrite Solo.
Old 16th October 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Does it matter what gen solo I get? And do you think it’s a bad idea to record vocals on an SM57 ? It’s not a condenser mic it’s a dynamic mic
Old 17th October 2019
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Buying new I’d just get the latest gen3 unless you run across a really good deal on the 2nd gen. It’s not a bad idea to record vocals on the sm57, just try it and see how it sounds. There’s no built in pop/wind screen so pay extra attention and maybe get an external one. Lots of great recordings have been done with dynamic mics.
Old 27th October 2019
  #5
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enossified's Avatar
I'd still get the 2i2 over the Solo unless you really can't afford it. The separate headphone level and stereo/mono direct monitoring switch is worth it, not to mention that saving $50 now will mean that if you ever do need to record in stereo in the future, you'll have to buy another interface.
Old 2nd November 2019
  #6
pop filter is essential on the sm57, it wouldn't be my no1 choice but it'll work. The answer is no, a more expensive preamp won't improve anything, focus on performance instead.
Old 3rd November 2019
  #7
Gear Addict
 
jaddie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist View Post
pop filter is essential on the sm57, it wouldn't be my no1 choice but it'll work. The answer is no, a more expensive preamp won't improve anything, focus on performance instead.
Yes, agreed with above. Money well spent would be on the pop filter, an SM57 and all of it's brethren, are impossible without one, but quite a decent mic vocal mic with a windscreen. No preamp will improve it.

I can't quite get on board with a Solo though, just doesn't seem the right way to save money. I'd go with the PreSonus Audiobox USB 96 and keep two preamps available for future stereo recording.
Old 3rd November 2019
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist View Post
The answer is no, a more expensive preamp won't improve anything, focus on performance instead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
No preamp will improve it.
This is just misleading.

A high-end pre-amp would be an improvement. Is that a realistic buy in this case or the first thing he should be spending money on? Of course not, the recommendation for a pop-filter, making the room sound better and focusing on performance are spot on. Also, any pre-amps in his price range are probably more of a sideways step than an improvement.

However making definitive statements saying a pre-amp won't improve anything is just confusing, unnecessary, and wrong.
Old 4th November 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
 
jaddie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teej View Post
This is just misleading.

A high-end pre-amp would be an improvement. Is that a realistic buy in this case or the first thing he should be spending money on? Of course not, the recommendation for a pop-filter, making the room sound better and focusing on performance are spot on. Also, any pre-amps in his price range are probably more of a sideways step than an improvement.

However making definitive statements saying a pre-amp won't improve anything is just confusing, unnecessary, and wrong.
I'm sorry, I disagree. Once a preamp is sufficiently quiet, and distortion is low, it's one of the most transparent devices in the chain. We're talking about mics here. Mics are full of problem. Frequency response varies, on and off axis. Distortion can be a wild card. Active mics (condensers) have all of that and vary in noise floor. And all of those things...all of them...are orders of magnitude above anything a preamp brings to the table.

Now, if you want a pre with deliberate "color" (non-flat, distortion, etc.) as a form of signal modifier, then fine, there are some of those. But a GOOD pre doesn't do anything but amplify the mics signal, with all of it's anomalies intact. A preamp with added response anomalies, noise, and distortion does not improve a signal already loaded with all of those things.

I've designed microphone preamps, tested them, and compared topologies from the single chips, through transformer input, discrete, tube, everything. A good preamp doesn't mess with the mics signal. As I said, there are preamps that don't meet that criteria, just like there are bad mics and speakers. Spending up doesn't guarantee anything except expectation bias. And what tiny differences there may be could easily be replicated with other devices in the chain.

There are reasons that, in professional studios with paying clients, you want high end preamps. Clients are impressed by them. Artists are impressed. Producers are impressed. They may even come to you because of your preamp (and hopefully mic) collection. It's bit of gear glitz you can sit out where they see it. Preamps with reputations are good things to have. But do they work magic? Beyond the expectation bias and cred you get from having them perched on the desk, nope, not really. And many of the exotics do more harm than good.

I stand by my statements. I preamp isn't at all what anyone at the entry level should spend money on, and is of somewhat questionable up at the audio-bling level. The $150 (and below) USB interfaces are fine. The limits are all about the mic in the room. No pre, no matter the price, can fix that. And advancing the idea that a high-end preamp will work any appreciable magic is actually much more misleading.
Old 4th November 2019
  #10
Gear Addict
 

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