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which would YOU prefer on kick/snare :API 312,Manley, or Focusrite ISA 215? Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 1st February 2011
Gear Addict

Thread Starter
which would YOU prefer on kick/snare :API 312,Manley, or Focusrite ISA 215?

I'm getting ready to track some drums with my world/reggae/ soul group and would love impressions from those familiar with the characteristics of these pieces..

Please.... Do not respond with "choose what sounds best to your ears...."

I own a Focusrite ISA and a Manley dual mono pre. My keyboardist also has an ISA 215 and I have access to an API 3124.

Would love your thoughts on which pres you would use where on the kit. I love all those pres and I know I couldn't go wrong with any configuration but I beg your indulgence anyway, slutz....

Thanks in advance for your insights!

Old 1st February 2011
Gear Maniac
Tungsten's Avatar

Love the sound of the API for Kick/snare duties - adds a nice bit of bite and allows these to pop out on their own a bit.

I've been using them alot with an ATM25 on kick and a beyer m201 on snare...has also worked well with Heil PR40/RE20 on kick or Senn 441(if you have the room!) on snare.
Old 1st February 2011
I love my API on snare, but I've never preferred it on kick - I love big/deep kicks and the API feels a bit thinner and more mid-forward to me than some of my other pres. The API does really well with transients though, so if you're looking for punch it'd be the way to go.

I'm a big fan of the Dual Mono as well, it feel a bit thicker/weightier to my ears than my API. I'd probably use the API on snare and the Dual Mono on kick.

I haven't used the 215 but I do have a Focusrite ISA428. I'm not sure how different they sound from each other, but the ISA428 is a good all-around pre and it generally gets the job done on drums. That said, I wouldn't generally pick it over the Manley or the API.
Old 1st February 2011
I'd do API on snare and ISA on kick, or ISA on both. Manley is great, but it's soft and round and is better IME on things like vocals or bass, or even putting on something after it's already recorded for its richer color. I haven't compared the 215 to a 428 in a direct head to head, but I remember them being on a different level of quality, with the 215 being a big step up.
Old 1st February 2011
Lives for gear
subspace's Avatar
I'd put the 215 on inside and outside kick, the 3124 on top and bottom snare, as well as toms, and the Manley on overs for starters.
Old 2nd February 2011
Gear Addict

Thread Starter
Thanks for the insights gents! Subspace your setup resonates the most with me. I prefer the Manleys on OH as they're a little softer and will smoothen the cymbals with the faster 215 capturing the transients of the kick and the 312 capturing the balls of the snare....
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