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Favorite preamp on pop vocals... 500 Series Preamps
Old 2nd October 2010
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Favorite preamp on pop vocals...

I like the Pacifica and API 512C more than the Avalon and Biz Mk.

But what are your thoughts or experiences? Great River? 212L?

Much appreciated.
Old 2nd October 2010
  #2
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tapehiss's Avatar
Preamp for pop vocals...

Although I've never used any of the Seventh Circle preamps, I think they pretty much got the perfect combo when deciding what "flavors" they were going to offer.... Which is Neve, Hardy/Millenia, API/Quad8....

These three types of pre's pretty much cover your bases IMO.

However, I really enjoy AM16's, and a good tube preamp like Mercury/Telefunken or Summit (Fearn, Thermionic and LaChappel look great as well)
Old 2nd October 2010
  #3
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dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

usually a 1073 is my fav for any kind of vocals.
Old 2nd October 2010
  #4
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andychamp's Avatar
I find the idea of associating certain products with certain styles increasingly weird. (apart from obviously style-defining technologies)
For "commercial" pop vocals I'd suggest a "quality" preamp.
Beyond that, it's all a matter of taste and personal choices.
Old 2nd October 2010
  #5
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Red 7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhiltonlittle View Post
usually a 1073 is my fav for any kind of vocals.
Old 3rd October 2010
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhiltonlittle View Post
usually a 1073 is my fav for any kind of vocals.
So do you think the Great River or the Golden Age is better at getting there.

Or the real thing...

NEVE 1081 Mic Preamplifier & Equaliser 1073/ 1084 MINT - eBay (item 250703676308 end time Oct-05-10 12:15:32 PDT)

Or the cheaper real thing...

MyGear | NEVE 1073 DPA Dual mic preamp, Item #25027
Old 3rd October 2010
  #7
Here for the gear
 

SSL pre's

SSL vhd (variable harmonic distortion) pre would be my take for pop vocals. The SSL pre with in the channel sounds good but it has this weird 2kHz-17kHz boost and 1ooHz-300Hz boost that makes doesn't catch all the natural aesthetics and frequencies the way they are supposed to be heard.

I also like compressing to tape. Not too much though because it can be tricky to rehabilitate it if it sucked. Usually 3:1 at with a fast attack and .2ms release. This is depending on the kind of sound I want but for poppy songs this would be the route.
Old 3rd October 2010
  #8
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siha_udio View Post
SSL vhd (variable harmonic distortion) pre would be my take for pop vocals. The SSL pre with in the channel sounds good but it has this weird 2kHz-17kHz boost and 1ooHz-300Hz boost that makes doesn't catch all the natural aesthetics and frequencies the way they are supposed to be heard.

I also like compressing to tape. Not too much though because it can be tricky to rehabilitate it if it sucked. Usually 3:1 at with a fast attack and .2ms release. This is depending on the kind of sound I want but for poppy songs this would be the route.

Welcome to Gearslutz! Thanks for jumping in with your first post!

Interesting about the SSL pres. No one ever really talks about them and I'll admit I've been curious. That is an interesting observation, though about the freq boosts... I've wondered about both of their pres - the VHD and the superanalogue one and how clean is the superanalogue. Any other opinions?

Thanks!
Frank
Old 3rd October 2010
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Without a doubt.

Original Focusrite ISA 110.

Makes everything big and glossy.

Not too much low end mud.. Plenty of open top end
Old 3rd October 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Aurora GTQC here. I agree that it's silly to pidgeon-hole too much, but the Aurora is usually my first choice for anything I want to sound bigger than life.
Old 3rd October 2010
  #11
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Denny C's Avatar
I like the Mercury M72 or the BAE 1073mp....of course, right now, those are my only 2 options.
Old 3rd October 2010
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
I find the idea of associating certain products with certain styles increasingly weird. (apart from obviously style-defining technologies)
For "commercial" pop vocals I'd suggest a "quality" preamp.
Beyond that, it's all a matter of taste and personal choices.
True.
Old 3rd October 2010
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
I find the idea of associating certain products with certain styles increasingly weird.
Me too. I am willing to bet that Page's mandolin was tracked with the same preamp that Bonzo used on "Levee," and that the same holds true for Lennon's voice and the brass section on SGT Pepper.

Pity the poor soul with more choices (and money) than ever before
Old 3rd October 2010
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
I find the idea of associating certain products with certain styles increasingly weird. (apart from obviously style-defining technologies)
For "commercial" pop vocals I'd suggest a "quality" preamp.
Beyond that, it's all a matter of taste and personal choices.


Old 3rd October 2010
  #15
Gear Head
 
Forked Lightning's Avatar
 

Wow, another really inspiring thread..............
Old 4th October 2010
  #16
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

wow i have a few in the 500 format i love.

the A-Designs P-1 always trips my trigger.
the API 512 is just some we all know is a pre that delivers.
the Forssell SMP-500 just a freak with dynamics mics for me
the Great River MP-500NV just dose what ever, how ever, anyway it gets it.
the La-Chapell 583 gets lots of love on vocals.


i have a few others i love for other vocal sources.
hehheh
Old 4th October 2010
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by violet View Post
I like the Pacifica and API 512C more than the Avalon and Biz Mk.

But what are your thoughts or experiences? Great River? 212L?

Much appreciated.
My thoughts and experience tell me that Larry DeVivo [AKA Silvertone] said is best when he said -

I use certain pre-amps with certain microphones like I use different camera lens for different shots.

That defines the ideas for me.
Old 4th October 2010
  #18
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JCRockit's Avatar
 

I have yet to like anything API for vocals though it's wonderful for guitars and drums. Only the 525 compressor is vocal compatible for me. The 212 pre has way to much color for vocals. Never tried the 512 though. The Great River pre has been my workhorse.
Old 4th October 2010
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Chandler LTD-1
Old 4th October 2010
  #20
sebatron vmp4000e gives me a rich warm tone for all of my female vocal tracks.
when i use it with a tlm103 the two fit together like hand and glove.

it does depend on mic and source etc.
for example on low male voices i might use my buzz preamp and if that sounds too thin run it back through the seb to fatten it up and give me more color to play with.
i only use a little light compression on the way in.
Old 4th October 2010
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeep View Post
Chandler LTD-1
+1thumbsup
Old 4th October 2010
  #22
Gear Addict
 
hernanperez2000's Avatar
Aurora Audio GTQ2 is an excellent option.
Old 5th October 2010
  #23
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jmikeperkins's Avatar
Vintage TAB made Telefunken V376. The first solid state version of the TAB made Telefunken tube V76. TAB only made about 1900 - 2000 of this model in the 1960's. The V376 is so warm and open sounding with a great top end. As good or better than anFavorite preamp on pop vocals...-whoopy-cat-4.jpgy Neve. I sold my api's after getting thse.
Old 20th September 2017
  #24
Gear Nut
I even brush my teeth with 1073.... Seriously wtf 1073 on pop? That has to be the biggest oxymoron I've heard, unless you are like keeping the input gain on like .001%. 1073 is pretty much the opposite of what you want for pop vocals.
Old 20th September 2017
  #25
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Squawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EisaMo View Post
I even brush my teeth with 1073.... Seriously wtf 1073 on pop? That has to be the biggest oxymoron I've heard, unless you are like keeping the input gain on like .001%. 1073 is pretty much the opposite of what you want for pop vocals.
Great bump for a 7 year old thread

Neve 1073 is still one of the most widely used preamps for commercial pop releases today. If you can't get a great pop vocal track with a 1073 and a nice microphone, then something in the equation is in need of servicing.
Old 20th September 2017
  #26
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
Great bump for a 7 year old thread

Neve 1073 is still one of the most widely used preamps for commercial pop releases today. If you can't get a great pop vocal track with a 1073 and a nice microphone, then something in the equation is in need of servicing.
Aha thanks. Usually for pop though I find myself boosting around 1.5khz with a wide q. While the Neve can be totally clean if you don't drive it, when you do drive it you get that smiley face effect with part of the dip falling In that 1.5khz area, even without the neve eq shelf section. It might depend on the type of pop we are talking about too. Something punky or grungy or folky could benefit, but a more ballad type pop might suffer.
Old 20th September 2017
  #27
Neve can be totally clean????? Huh???! Did I miss something?
Quote:
Originally Posted by EisaMo View Post
Aha thanks. Usually for pop though I find myself boosting around 1.5khz with a wide q. While the Neve can be totally clean if you don't drive it, when you do drive it you get that smiley face effect with part of the dip falling In that 1.5khz area, even without the neve eq shelf section. It might depend on the type of pop we are talking about too. Something punky or grungy or folky could benefit, but a more ballad type pop might suffer.
Old 20th September 2017
  #28
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsthalion View Post
Neve can be totally clean????? Huh???! Did I miss something?
As far as the op amps go, they are supposed to be totally flat, that is until you drive the unit and add in the transformers. So uh, not grace designs clean in that comparison.

I think its also important to mention that the Dynamics of a 1073 with low input, will also vary a lot vs something more modern. That might also make it "less neutral". My original point is arguing against a high input Neve for pop, but I guess it's good to cover everything.
Old 20th September 2017
  #29
1073 is def not flat!! Lots of low mid boost and nice high mids, def not clean
Quote:
Originally Posted by EisaMo View Post
As far as the op amps go, they are supposed to be totally flat, that is until you drive the unit and add in the transformers. So uh, not grace designs clean in that comparison.

I think its also important to mention that the Dynamics of a 1073 with low input, will also vary a lot vs something more modern. That might also make it "less neutral".
Old 20th September 2017
  #30
Gear Nut
Well that's my point. I don't want to have any of that mid scooping if I'm doing some ballad like pop music.
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