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Tube DI/Preamp questions Direct Injection & Re-amp Boxes
Old 6th September 2011
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Tube DI/Preamp questions

Hi I have some very specific questions I have wondered about and I feel now is a good time to ask them. In the past I have played with the idea of running softsynths (mono or stereo) out of my audio interface, through a tube DI or Preamp, and then recording the results back in to the computer... All for the purpose of getting a nice tube colored sound (in my mind akin to something you would hear from an old record being played on a turntable). I have also wanted to maybe start tracking my hardware synths through this chain as well. I was thinking on starting with just a mono chain: either an adesigns reddi or tab funkenwerk v71 tube DI into a UA 610mic pre.

So the questions:
1. Recording out of audio interface and then back in.. My audio interface has 8 outputs. I only use two at the moment cause I'm not doing surround work. Would I just assign a channel to one of these other outputs then run it through the DI then onto the Preamp and finally back into my audio interfaces Preamp? Can I cook the inputs or outputs on anything by doing it this way? I know a DI brings a signal up to line level and the signal coming out of my audio interface would be unbalanced... So the DI would bring it up (whilst adding it's character to the sound) then into the Preamp for more color. Would this work? I am afraid that I would destroy my audio interfaces Preamp with this super hot signal from the DI and the Preamp.

2. Tracking synths: lets say I want to run my little phatty through the same chain. I would not technically need a DI cause the signal coming out of the phatty is plenty loud... But I could use it anyway correct? Then on to the UA 610 tube preamp... Finally arriving at the the Preamp on my audio interface. Would that work? Is there anything I should be aware of when attempting to do something like this?

I really just don't want to kill any of my equipment. Does that signal chain sound like it would give me the results I am after or am I just way off base here? Any advice is greatly appreciated!*

*(as long as it's a genuine answer and not some sarcastic comment driven by some fake elitist persona you have cooked up for yourself)
Old 6th September 2011
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boddhisattva007 View Post
...I was thinking on starting with just a mono chain: either an adesigns reddi or tab funkenwerk v71 tube DI into a UA 610mic pre...
Hi Boddhisattva,

The TAB Funkenwerk V71DI is a direct input pre-amplifier. It has the same amplifier circuit as our V78M but without the input transformer. You can go directly from the V71DI "to tape" or to your DA without using an additional pre-amp. You could go through another pre if you'd like, but in most cases you may overload the input of the second pre. I hope that helps!

Sincerely,

Joe Hauck
AMI, Inc.
Old 6th September 2011
  #3
The A Designs REDDI is ridiculously good and has become the only DI I'll use in the studio these days. From acoustic and electric guitars, bass, and of course synths, the REDDI just makes everything sound bigger and fatter. Love it!

Btw, run it into a great preamp like the Pacifica and it gets even better.
Old 6th September 2011
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Thank you both for your input.

How about the UA 610? Anyone have any experience with it?
I guess what my main question is what can be plugged into what, safely, and without destroying equipment.
Old 6th September 2011
  #5
AvS
Lives for gear
In my opinion spending money on expensive DI's and preamps for synths is just not worth it. Ive done quite a bit of experimenting recording synths with DI's and also running tracks out of the daw through DI's/pre's and the color you get incredible subtle. You do not get instant old record vibe at all.I would rather buy an analog filter, overdrive/distortion pedal or a tape machine for color. If you do buy a DI expect very subtle coloring.
Old 6th September 2011
  #6
Gear Addict
 

@AvS: thank you for your input. So do you think something like the Thermionic Culture Vulture would get me the sound I am after? I have wanted one for some time but am not sure which version to get (regular or MV+).
Old 6th September 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 
BTByrd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boddhisattva007 View Post
@AvS: thank you for your input. So do you think something like the Thermionic Culture Vulture would get me the sound I am after? I have wanted one for some time but am not sure which version to get (regular or MV+).
It will do just what you're looking for. The front panel has DI ins, and the back has a line input, so you're covered as far as connections are concerned. The mastering version isn't really worth it, IMO, because the unbalanced inputs on the regular version can handle pretty hot levels already and the stepped knobs are not really necessary for most applications. It will definitely add more mojo to your sound than your standard tube pre, since you have multiple valves on offer and you can starve them and overdrive them to 11 (yes, the knobs really do go to 11). Use it subtly to warm up your 2-bus or drive synths, guitars, and drum machines into oblivion. I have a UA 610 (in my LA610) and while it's a nice mic pre and DI, it can't really compete with the Vulture as a tube coloration device.
Old 6th September 2011
  #8
Gear Addict
 

@BTByrd:

Thank you for your response. Yeah it seems like I keep looking for an alternative to the CV but for what I am looking for I keep coming back to it. I have however backed off on the idea that I should get the mastering version (like you say) because I have heard the standard version is maybe a little more flexible. Also if I wanted I could buy some Telefunken tubes (matched) or other better tubes myself and put those in instead of the stock ones. I wonder how easy it is to swap them out and put new ones in.
Old 7th September 2011
  #9
AvS
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boddhisattva007 View Post
@AvS: thank you for your input. So do you think something like the Thermionic Culture Vulture would get me the sound I am after? I have wanted one for some time but am not sure which version to get (regular or MV+).
I have not tried the Thermionic Culture Vulture but I'm thinking its a better choice for synths than a regular tube di if its color you want. Should be way more flexible.
Old 27th October 2011
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Ok I still haven't bought the CV as I always seem to be sitting on the fence about it. I just saw this commercial though and it's the very "sound" that I am trying to attain (warm, full, and 60's like old). Could the culture vulture alone help me attain this sound if I were to run individual elements through it? Any one have any other recommendations for getting this old 60's sound.

Heineken The Date - YouTube

and yes I know they are not actually playing the song in the commercial, the recording itself is actually an older recording.
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