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Fresh Meat Audio Interfaces
Old 5th April 2008
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Fresh Meat

OK, question. I've seen all the posts and the endless banter about the "BEST" junk out there. First and foremost, I am nobody special. I am interested in and well read on gear. My experience is limited though when it comes to actually having used gear. I have a project studio in my home. I've never gone to school for music, engineering, or sound. I just have some ears. I have been doing music for some 15 years now. I perform as well as produce, mix and (on an amateur level) master. My preferred music is Rap/Hip Hop although I am well aquainted with Rock, Metal, Classical, Jazz, I mostly record vocals although I play a variety of instruments. My humble setup consists of: R0DE NT-1A Mic, Summit Audio 2BA-221 preamp rackmated with the TLA-50 tube leveler, 003 rack running PT 7.4, heard through Yamaha HS-80's. My mic booth is sweet and my room is pretty well treated. I was running the Mbox 2 until a couple weeks ago and with much pain and about 28 CDR's managed to mix and master my first real release. I know, you're thinking, "what the heck is this cat doin' on the high end forum?" Well, I am determined to make a niche with what I do so after researching many options, I've decided that my dream studio needs to start with capturing what I mostly record, vocals, with as much quality and accuracy as possible. I realize this starts with the mic and I just purchased an AKG C414 XL-II. Even though I can tell an incredible difference between the Mbox 2 and the 003r, which I believe is due to a better wordclock (less smearing), I am seriously considering the mod on my 003r from Black Lion Audio. Now to my question. I know my Summit 2BA-221 pretty well and being a hybrid, I can dial in quite a variety of tones between the solid-state/tube features. Same thing with the ohms impedence selector. I've been able to coax some nice sounds out of the mic I'm using. I want to aquire some nice preamps so I can offer different flavors to the different voices my clients are bringing me. I've been eying up the Chandler Germanium pre as well as the Vintech xi73. I've even considered the SSL Alpha Channel. I can only afford one every 6 months or so and am aware that the pre's I've mentioned are different beasts. I really like my 2BA, I just want something else to try. Any advice or suggestions on which one I should check out next? Where does my pre fit on the scale of "transparent" to "colored"? Thanks in advance for any replies.
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