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Quietest preamp, interface and mic combination that there exists?
Old 13th May 2019
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist View Post
if you are dead serious you'd need a high end analog console with 24 volt rails and custom wired studio to decrease the external interference from dirty power, then you'd need the acoustic isolation ideally in an ultra quiet location, custom built room so that's several hundred thousand before you've started, it's pretty much endless but everything in the chain adds up. Hopefully after all that work you'd get an artist with genuine talent.
I think the gear vs talent debate is a given here; the ideal is *****+talent.'


Quote:
Originally Posted by 9xSound View Post
This. Unless you're in the business of producing money-making hits, the endless quest to find the most perfect gear and the most perfect space in which to use it starts to become a waste of time. Better to focus on nailing a good performance and stay realistic about what you can do to enhance your studio. I've spent a lot of money over the years to get some pretty nice instruments for myself and an adequate assortment of mics and gear for recording myself and my band, and I enjoy all of it immensely. But it doesn't makes me a better guitarist.
Another perspective is that many 'slutz are questing to find the perfect gear and space without commercial production in mind, and that their pursuit is not a waste of time. Personally I'm equally as interested in the sound and gear (technological art) as the talent.

To paraphrase Billy Childish: I've spent the whole of my life trying to avoid fame because that would destroy my art.
Old 13th May 2019
  #32
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Or maybe the OP just wants to record something that's really quiet. My guess would be either mitosis or bird yawns.
ASMR.
Old 13th May 2019
  #33
Gear Addict
 

Earthworm Foley.
Old 13th May 2019
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Or maybe the OP just wants to record something that's really quiet. My guess would be either mitosis or bird yawns.
Yes. That would be a reasonable reason to want/need a signal chain with a low noise floor.
Old 14th May 2019
  #35
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Or maybe the OP just wants to record something that's really quiet. My guess would be either mitosis or bird yawns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
ASMR.
I am going to null two DAWS, get a file that is a string of zeroes, and then sell it as an ASMR recording of mitosis.

The title of the record will be "Nice Threads, Your Majesty".
Old 14th May 2019
  #36
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9xSound View Post
Yes. That would be a reasonable reason to want/need a signal chain with a low noise floor.
I once recorded a ancient Chinese zither. That was a quiet instrument and at a few points I did hear the noise floor of my first mic. The artist said that historically the instrument was played for an audience of one. They would put it on a table and play for their Guest who sat across from them at the same table.

According to this guy, it was considered crass to play it for a group of people.
Old 14th May 2019
  #37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Another perspective is that many 'slutz are questing to find the perfect gear and space without commercial production in mind, and that their pursuit is not a waste of time. Personally I'm equally as interested in the sound and gear (technological art) as the talent.
But of course! I love the pursuit of ever better gear and I don't consider the quest to be without merit. I love talking about mics and preamps and I love adding a new outboard compressor to the rack as much as anybody. But gear for gear's sake isn't why I built a home studio and it can distract me from creating the sound it's supposed to capture... Aaah, blah blah blah. Whose kidding who? Sound, gear, talent, art: I like it all. And I like it a lot.
Old 14th May 2019
  #38
Lives for gear
Most likly looking for the best off axis color vs the lowest noise floor. And then you get into the flatness, transient responce in each range of the eq etc.....

Without spending tons of cash, you have to give up something.


Simply lowest noise floor. TLM103 into Grace 201 or 801. But it's not a nice recording color. I used that chain for a while.
Old 14th May 2019
  #39
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
I think the gear vs talent debate is a given here; the ideal is *****+talent.'
Gasp! What are you saying? I thought that was Gearslutz's First Law?

A great song and great gear cannot exist in the same place at the same time.

"I would rather hear a great singer recorded with an SM 58 than a crummy singer recorded with a U47, etc etc." "What acoustic guitar mic can I buy to make me sound like Tommy Emmanuel?" The entire basis of this website is "gear vs talent".
Old 14th May 2019
  #40
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Thunderbird's Avatar
 

Quote:
The entire basis of this website is "gear vs talent".
I thought it was "gear vs gear".
Old 14th May 2019
  #41
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
The entire basis of this website is "gear vs talent".
I don't know if I would agree that the entire (and thus sole) basis for this website is the gear vs. talent debate — but it certainly forms part of the framework. There is a lot of gear vs. gear going on as well. It's all very informative and entertaining. For my purposes, I'm just trying to capture the best performance my "above average" talent level can deliver while using the finest gear and sonic space that I can afford. But when you come down to it, I'd ditch a lot of the gear to be a truly stellar player.
Old 14th May 2019
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9xSound View Post
There is a lot of gear vs. gear going on as well. It's all very informative and entertaining.
I know, I am just feeling kind of cynical today.

Quote:
But when you come down to it, I'd ditch a lot of the gear to be a truly stellar player.
Well, how many extra hours per week do you spend working a Day Job or whatever to get the extra money to afford the gear? How many extra hours per week do you spend learning how to use that gear? What if you took all that time and money, and put it into more practicing, more lessons and better musical instruments?
Old 15th May 2019
  #43
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Plush's Avatar
Neumann KMD is the most quiet and has the largest dynamic range. It is a digital mic solution. It eliminates the mic preamp and interfaces to your recorder via AES.
Old 15th May 2019
  #44
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Well, how many extra hours per week do you spend working a Day Job or whatever to get the extra money to afford the gear? How many extra hours per week do you spend learning how to use that gear? What if you took all that time and money, and put it into more practicing, more lessons and better musical instruments?
Good suggestion, Joe. What I meant by a "stellar player" is that I'd like to be a truly gifted instrumentalist. I'm not. But they come along rarely and when they do, they earn their living at it. Music is my passion, not my source of income. I'm already spending more time in my studio than ever before, writing, tracking and mixing. It's an every day thing for me. I've never practiced a note. I just play. Lessons probably would have done me some good 20 years ago, but I've no interest in it now. What I do on the guitar musically is something like my accent: can't change it now. But at band rehearsal tonight I was showing flashes of brilliance in my improvised leads. And one total crash and burn, haha.
Old 15th May 2019
  #45
Lives for gear
 

i'm using neumann digital mics to record very quiet sounds: (almost) no noise, madi out of rme dmc-842 into rme madiface-xt - probably hard to beat regarding noise.

a tlm103 into a grace design m103 (there must something about these numbers!) - add your converter of choice: i'm using a cransesong hedd192 - is very quiet too.

for my work, environmental noise (both inside buildings and of course outdoors) is often more of a concern/limiting factor than the noise from electronic components in the recording path (unless there's a huge amount of mics necessary, but then stage noise will likely be higher)...
Old 15th May 2019
  #46
Many of my mics here are around 3~4 db self noise by using extremely low noise jfets and bipolar transistors at .5 to .7 nv/hz/sq self noise specs. My mic preamps are -136 db EIN with a shorted input, -132 db EIN at 50 ohms ( which most of my mics are).

Practical results show all you hear is random room noise, no electronic hiss at all. That creates what I call "digital black" with a silent background. Electric instruments may show residual self noise but the mics are silent in use. I love the space between the notes.
Old 16th May 2019
  #47
Here for the gear
 
cerebellum's Avatar
 

Quote:
Practical results show all you hear is random room noise, no electronic hiss at all. That creates what I call "digital black" with a silent background. Electric instruments may show residual self noise but the mics are silent in use. I love the space between the notes.
True , but when you apply compression or EQ some top end then that's when the noise floor can become more apparent.
Old 16th May 2019
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerebellum View Post
True , but when you apply compression or EQ some top end then that's when the noise floor can become more apparent.
who applies eq to hf?! if that's what you want, put on new strings or use a different mic!
Old 16th May 2019
  #49
I haven't used a typical "top boost" here in years on mics. Some weird electric stuff, yes. Music has plenty of top end naturally. The problem comes from using gear that filters that out. Avoid those losses and you will find there is nothing lost and nothing to get back. Compression if used here is applied lightly. I like dynamic movement in music, that's where the excitement comes from.
Old 16th May 2019
  #50
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Plush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
who applies eq to hf?! if that's what you want, put on new strings or use a different mic!
I use the D.A.V. electronics Broadhurst Gardens No. 3 mastering EQ to apply boosts at 32k. Wonderful effect!
Old 16th May 2019
  #51
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
The problem comes from using gear that filters [top end] out.
Yet there are times when ripping the top out -- a ton of it -- can result in something really nice.
Old 16th May 2019
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I use the D.A.V. electronics Broadhurst Gardens No. 3 mastering EQ to apply boosts at 32k. Wonderful effect!
fair enough - however, your gear and genre are beyond what most people around here are into; if hf boost would get applied to 'their' music, i'd turn it off even faster than i already do...

i'm not into chasing bats though: when recorded digitally, i can hardly remember the need for adding some hf on a 2mix - if so, i'm rather using a subtle amount of tweaking on an spl tube exciter to get some high end sparkle.
Old 19th May 2019
  #53
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If OP has an NT1, that's already quite a low noise mic. I believe it's 4.5dBA
Old 19th May 2019
  #54
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoepedals View Post
If OP has an NT1, that's already quite a low noise mic. I believe it's 4.5dBA
This is true. I heard a pin drop on a tiled-carpet floor listening on headphones via a NT1A.
Old 20th May 2019
  #55
Gear Addict
Bluebird and Baby Bottle ....also the Rode NT1 and NT2a all low noise for not a lot of cash.
The 2A is particularly good for capturing the grass growing in omni.
Old 20th May 2019
  #56
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whippoorwill's Avatar
considering that the schoeps mk2 with the Rens heijnis 60v mod into a sonodore MPB-502 is the lowest noise system I've heard (17 mV/Pa and 10dbA for stock and his electronics makes an improvement on this), the Sonodore LDM-54 @ 50mV/Pa and 8dA with that preamp must be the quietest mic and pre system on earth, all told.
Interface/recorders after that, the sonosax sx-r4+ is extremely low noise, as are most of the major mastering interfaces. My RME ADI-2 Pro has 124db of dynamic range in the AD, so maybe that combo would be the quietest imaginable today.

The Rodes have strange frequency responses which allow them to say their A-weighted noise is incredible, but high quality omnis have more normal/natural frequency responses. The earthworks are noticeably noisy compared to Schoeps/Sennheiser. Sennheiser MKH are also incredibly low noise.
Old 20th May 2019
  #57
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Konfus's Avatar
 

Lewitt 540 s = 4 dB(A)
Old 23rd May 2019
  #58
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Many of my mics here are around 3~4 db self noise by using extremely low noise jfets and bipolar transistors at .5 to .7 nv/hz/sq self noise specs. My mic preamps are -136 db EIN with a shorted input, -132 db EIN at 50 ohms ( which most of my mics are).

Practical results show all you hear is random room noise, no electronic hiss at all. That creates what I call "digital black" with a silent background. Electric instruments may show residual self noise but the mics are silent in use. I love the space between the notes.
Got my preamp beat by about a third of a dB or so and it took me some doing to even get there. Much respect Mr Williams, your high speed pre is a hell of a technical accomplishment in every regard. Bet your mic cabinet is a lovely thing as well.

And yes, the utter blackness of the silence gives a lovely musical depth to things and a weight to the space between. Totally agree with you on dynamics.
Old 24th May 2019
  #59
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Quietest chain?-
Josephson C617 omni (14dBA with sensitivity
of 66mV/Pa (-24dB ref 1v/Pa)! through Gordon
preamp. For most preamps you get a single number for self-noise but preamp self-noise is different at each gain level. Gordon publishes
a graph showing the self-noise at every gain level! http://www.gordonaudio.com/specs.htm
Old 24th May 2019
  #60
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preamp noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie View Post
For most preamps you get a single number for self-noise but preamp self-noise is different at each gain level.
and WHY does it matter to you at low gain settings ?
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