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4Ch Pre's on Drums -API 3124+ or Vintech 473 or SSL VHD or UA 4-710d Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 6th August 2011
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by End Over End View Post
Anyone care to comment on these setups? #1#2#3
That looks pretty good man. I prefer API on snare and close mics.

I noticed you didn't have anything for the drum rooms. I am big on using drum rooms even if it is not completely treated properly.

I would suggest some ribbons on the rooms.

If your on a budget check out the cascade fatheads. They are very affordable. I have gotten good results with them. Other Ribbons would be coles 4038 and royer 121's, AEA r84's. I'm also a fan of LDC pointed away from the drum or in the corners. AT 4050's or AKG 414's come to mind.
Old 6th August 2011
  #32
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T. Morgan's Avatar
 

API all the way!
Old 6th August 2011
  #33
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End Over End's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegatsby View Post
That looks pretty good man. I prefer API on snare and close mics.

I noticed you didn't have anything for the drum rooms. I am big on using drum rooms even if it is not completely treated properly.

I would suggest some ribbons on the rooms.

If your on a budget check out the cascade fatheads. They are very affordable. I have gotten good results with them. Other Ribbons would be coles 4038 and royer 121's, AEA r84's. I'm also a fan of LDC pointed away from the drum or in the corners. AT 4050's or AKG 414's come to mind.

RE: drum room - I have a nice room - not square - treated and only half dead. (brand new build with 6 layers of sheetrock)
Old 6th August 2011
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
I prefer Vintech on kick and snare to most faster preamps. It's got a nice subtle saturation to it when lightly pushed.
The vintechs kill on overheads,with a royer sf12.Juggernaut kills on everything else.
API IMO is to slow on snare and kick.I prefer Daking and APA pres on these.
Old 6th August 2011
  #35
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End Over End's Avatar
 

using 414tl2s for ohds
see the list above for what my system is like
Old 6th August 2011
  #36
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End Over End's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studio825 View Post
The vintechs kill on overheads,with a royer sf12.Juggernaut kills on everything else.
API IMO is to slow on snare and kick.I prefer Daking and APA pres on these.
I've got my eye on the Juggernaut / Pacifica and Great River.

Im pretty sure this list will suffice for this season.

Manley Voxbox
AMS Neve 1073DPA
Rupert Neve Designs 5024 Quad
API 3124+ with Sure AS14AS Pads
Focusrite Green Range (ISA)
-
Soundcraft Ghost LE Console 32-8 for extra pres
Old 7th August 2011
  #37
Comment on your 3 scenarios? Well for starters, microphone choice makes more of an impact on sound than preamp choice does IMHO. Other posters have stated mic is 90% and the pre is 10%

I would think it's more 75-25 in ratio and when you add a nice comp like an 1176 or an LA2A or an API, then the ratio becomes more 70 mic, 10 comp and 20 pre.

Ok, getting back to microphones. I'm puzzled with the sm57s on toms. That's a sure-fire way to make them sound like old fashioned ice-cream tubs. I don't know of any pre that will save that scenario without extensive EQ and by that time, you would just be wishing you had 3 MD421s anyhoo...

And a c1000 for the hats? Sure, I guess so... I've had moderate success with c1000s as cymbal microphones (mais, a chacun, sa meme) but then you have your u87 as outside kick microphone, indicating that's the most important part of the entire kit sound to you.

I would rather have a mono room sound with the U87 than have a stereo room/overhead sound with cheaper microphones. That's where the bulk of your sound should come from.

Just my opinion, others will vary.
Old 8th August 2011
  #38
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Thanks all
Old 27th February 2015
  #39
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I use Neve preamps on overheads and 312 pres on close mics (dynamic). If you mic properly you don't need pads and it always sounds very very professional. Sennheiser dynamic mics seem to really like the api pres, even the clip ons. Pretty much any high end stereo small condenser pair will be awesome on overheads with a 1073/1272 style pre. Personally I don't need the extra gain a 1073 offers on drums and I like how the 1272 colors the room acoustics favorably. I am looking for an SSL pre to add to the choices perhaps for snare/kick... but I would prefer SSL 5000 or 9000 over the VHDs.
Old 27th February 2015
  #40
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Well I have a little different opinion then most I am sure....
I have a 24 channel Api 1608.
I had for years 2 api 3124 pres
I found the 3124s good for drums but prefered them with dynamic mics and always felt the need to mix in other pres for overheads hat and sometimes snare....
Since getting the 2408 I records all my drums using only the API preamps in the console it is a night and day difference in sound over the 3124. I don't know why I have a suspicion, more transformers etc
In fact there is no instrument or vocal that does not sound great through the console ... I never liked vocals or piano with the 3124 for instance...the sound stage is smaller, less hifi and cloudy by comparison....
So I guess my question would be not Api but which Api?

Also as aside I have the ssl preamps as well got it for a live thing but I kept them they are really quite nice and never sound wrong to me ...acoustic guitars sound great. And I liked them on drums
Never got the vin tech thing I have real Neves and these don't sound like them. Cloudy, small, thick in a bad way to me...
Cheers
SP
Old 27th February 2015
  #41
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott petito View Post
Well I have a little different opinion then most I am sure....
I have a 24 channel Api 1608.
I had for years 2 api 3124 pres
I found the 3124s good for drums but prefered them with dynamic mics and always felt the need to mix in other pres for overheads hat and sometimes snare....
Since getting the 2408 I records all my drums using only the API preamps in the console it is a night and day difference in sound over the 3124. I don't know why I have a suspicion, more transformers etc
In fact there is no instrument or vocal that does not sound great through the console ... I never liked vocals or piano with the 3124 for instance...the sound stage is smaller, less hifi and cloudy by comparison....
So I guess my question would be not Api but which Api?

Also as aside I have the ssl preamps as well got it for a live thing but I kept them they are really quite nice and never sound wrong to me ...acoustic guitars sound great. And I liked them on drums
Never got the vin tech thing I have real Neves and these don't sound like them. Cloudy, small, thick in a bad way to me...
Cheers
SP
You arent alone. In addition to my 1608 I have a 1073 DPD, a Great River MP2NV, a Pacifica, a TG2 and a Germ. Since I put 8 channels of AML 1073 into the producer desk on my console all the other outboard pres got moved to our B room.
Old 27th February 2015
  #42
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Yeah Trev
To take this a step Farther I was a little concerned when I first considered the 1608 because of my experience with the 3124s I was afraid I would still be stacking all manners of preamps.... Not the case at all totally versatile , big open yet totally Api.... I still have about 30 other preamps in the room .. The neves get used and I still like my great river for Bass a lot...and my Phoenix audio pres get used but on typical session these day I just go to the console first it streamlines everything and sounds great....I have not hears 312 preamps in a lunchbox... Possible it might sound better then the 3124 might be something for the OP to investigate...I think I would go tonelux or classic before the Apis though in a lunchbox format.....
Cheers
SP
Ps I like those amls of yours!
Old 27th February 2015
  #43
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Swansonic's Avatar
 

x2 3124 rack here for drums, but also API 560's, 527's and 2500 also contributing to the drum sound
An API console would be a treat for sure
I have Great River pres also, but prefer the API's on drums for my tastes, and the API eqs and comps bring out the API flavour in spades
Old 27th February 2015
  #44
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From my experience I will echo the question of why 57s on the toms...and my first experience with APIs was the 3124 and I was not impressed.

I don't think you should have limited your discussion to just the pres listed. You might have heard first hand experience on great pres like Seventh Circle or Daking ....
Old 27th February 2015
  #45
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I've got four Vintech X73i's and an API 3124. I often track without the Vintech's EQ engaged. So, I presume it is similar sound to the 473's. I use both interchangeably. They're both good preamps.
Old 27th February 2015
  #46
SEED78
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Revive audio do a quad API style preamp cheap
M12 - Revive Audio

I have their stereo Neve clone, love it!!
Old 28th February 2015
  #47
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i use API for more than just drums. Anything, really. but in particular acoustic guitars, where the character of the mic really comes through. The pre is more than just one pigeon holed sonic stamp, imo. That said, I've been trodding on with 1272, 512s and VP26s for 'some thyme now' --sometimes mixing them up, other times staying with one pre-amplifier exclusively. The El Preamp Supremo approach. Either way, it sounds like music to me. After I sing it in tune, that is.
Old 3rd March 2015
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
i use API for more than just drums. Anything, really. but in particular acoustic guitars, where the character of the mic really comes through. The pre is more than just one pigeon holed sonic stamp, imo. That said, I've been trodding on with 1272, 512s and VP26s for 'some thyme now' --sometimes mixing them up, other times staying with one pre-amplifier exclusively. The El Preamp Supremo approach. Either way, it sounds like music to me. After I sing it in tune, that is.
1272s with an Earthworks QTC40... there is no better acoustic guitar sound. Try it.

I find API 312s to be very harsh sounding with condenser mics. But they make dynamic mics sound like condenser mics.

I think it all has to do with the frequency response curves of the preamp->converter combo. The API 312 was made to go to tape, whereas the 1272 was a line amp for stereo playback so it has a razor flat response and so does the QTC 40. Whereas dynamic mics lack highs and have pronounced low mids, the API 312 scoops the low mids and boosts the highs to make the signal flat once it's to tape; thus it makes an excellent tom or kick drum preamp into a digital converter.
Old 4th March 2015
  #49
Have loved API 3214+ every time I've used them. Will echo what some have said that they push the mids, which for condensers sound pretty harsh, but for dynamics opens them up and makes them punchy. Love them.

I use the SSL 4-channel VHD a lot and I would call it a 'meh' pre. It's quiet, but it doesn't have polarity invert buttons (WHY!?!?!) so for drums I tend to keep the SSL on room mic duties rather than the close mics where phase is less critical. Sort of vanilla for my tastes.
Old 4th March 2015
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyD View Post
Have loved API 3214+ every time I've used them. Will echo what some have said that they push the mids, which for condensers sound pretty harsh, but for dynamics opens them up and makes them punchy. Love them.

I use the SSL 4-channel VHD a lot and I would call it a 'meh' pre. It's quiet, but it doesn't have polarity invert buttons (WHY!?!?!) so for drums I tend to keep the SSL on room mic duties rather than the close mics where phase is less critical. Sort of vanilla for my tastes.
I want an SSL Superanalogue 4ch pre! Why did they stop making them?!

Anyways I think that most people are doing the polarity invert backwards. The kick drum should be normal and the drums mic'd from the top should be flipped. Took me a long time to realize that. When you sing straight into a mic you don't reverse the polarity? Why do you reverse the kick drum. It's the other drums that need reversing.
Old 5th March 2015
  #51
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Lander's Avatar
 

(8 channels) Jlm audio tmp-8

It just performs. I use it all the time on a kit. Usually use a pendulum audio mdp 1 on overheads though out of habit, though the tmp8 sounds great there too.
Old 6th March 2015
  #52
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I have not read thru this whole thread but I did read your post and understand your question.

We own and use Neve 1066, 1073, & 1084 (all vintage) as well as an original vintage 3124. I have not used Vintechs or the UAD 710 but we do own & use the 610 version. We also have the BAE 312's that are slightly attenuated on the input (312B I think it is- as opposed to the 312A?).

I often times use the API's on kick in & snare top with the Neve's on kick out & snare bottom although I also use the API on the snare bottom. I use the Neves on toms. I mix things up many times using different mic pres with out feeling things are dis-jointed or anything. Some like using the same pre but I do not find that an issue. That's pretty subtle stuff in my mind- YMMV

Frankly- having the choice of Neve flavor (vintech) and API I would think is very desirable. If you plan on using the API's for drums, then you may want to consider the BAE 312B which needs no attenuation in front. Otherwise if you get the 3124, I would recommend a high quality attenuator either custom made or perhaps the Gas Audio piece (I forget the model- I own two but I'm not in the studio at the moment- Gas A-10 maybe?).

Good luck-
Old 6th March 2015
  #53
Here for the gear
I would go for the punchy, warm and tight ass API 3124
Old 6th March 2015
  #54
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
1272s with an Earthworks QTC40... there is no better acoustic guitar sound. Try it.

I find API 312s to be very harsh sounding with condenser mics. But they make dynamic mics sound like condenser mics.

I think it all has to do with the frequency response curves of the preamp->converter combo. The API 312 was made to go to tape, whereas the 1272 was a line amp for stereo playback so it has a razor flat response and so does the QTC 40. Whereas dynamic mics lack highs and have pronounced low mids, the API 312 scoops the low mids and boosts the highs to make the signal flat once it's to tape; thus it makes an excellent tom or kick drum preamp into a digital converter.
Ahh, I don't have the Earthworks mic, but I've used the 1272s on Acoustics before, usually with an omni condenser. I've had them for 19 years now. Classic silky and "Over the Hills and far Away" vibe, loosely speaking.

As far as "razor flat" and API "harsh," we'll agree to disagree, digital or tape. Put a ribbon on it! Another beautifully human difference of opinion.

Last edited by Tone Laborer; 6th March 2015 at 08:08 PM..
Old 7th March 2015
  #55
Gear Maniac
 

I tried earthworks for overheads and didn't find them interesting enough. Can beleive they would sound nice on acoustic gtr though.

Have a GTQ-2 here and a 3124, and I like the Aurora on close mics and api on o/h and rest of kit if the k/s are the bulk of the sound (most of the time for me)

Otherwise its the other way round.

Last edited by ultraburner; 7th March 2015 at 01:00 AM.. Reason: did I type that?
Old 7th March 2015
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
Anyways I think that most people are doing the polarity invert backwards. The kick drum should be normal and the drums mic'd from the top should be flipped. Took me a long time to realize that.
Every different song/kit/drummer and mic setup will need different phase attention; there are no standards. Are the outputs of your pre's in phase?
Old 7th March 2015
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
Ahh, I don't have the Earthworks mic, but I've used the 1272s on Acoustics before, usually with an omni condenser. I've had them for 19 years now. Classic silky and "Over the Hills and far Away" vibe, loosely speaking.

As far as "razor flat" and API "harsh," we'll agree to disagree, digital or tape. Put a ribbon on it! Another beautifully human difference of opinion.
Yep it's really nice! Earthworks is technically an Omni condenser even though it is also very directional as far as tone.
Old 7th March 2015
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultraburner View Post
Every different song/kit/drummer and mic setup will need different phase attention; there are no standards. Are the outputs of your pre's in phase?
Yes I generally make sure the transient on the waveform goes up towards positive and not towards negative. You want the speakers to push air not pull the transient. It's amazing how some speakers sound very different when the polarity is reversed and others it's not noticeable. Usually when it's backwards the room is kinda muffled on most speakers, so that's why I think people tend to have it backwards, because the signal sounds more isolated. But it causes problems later as we all know haha Sometimes I'll flip the kick, then flip the whole drum mix after. It usually doesn't matter unless you get into delaying close mics a few samples so the transient lines up or comes a little late because the overheads usually sound snappier and less compressed than close mics. That's my thought process on practical use of polarity.
Old 21st October 2015
  #59
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Rare find

If anyone's still in the market here's a rare 4110 on ebay

4Ch Pre's on Drums -API 3124+ or Vintech 473 or SSL VHD or UA 4-710dUA Universal Audio 4110 4 Channel Preamp | eBay
Old 21st October 2015
  #60
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I have the 3124 and (4) Vintech X73i's which are the 473 with EQ. So, I hope you don't mind me posting given your criteria:

I wouldn't sweat this. They both sound great. I use them interchangeably all the time.

Also, I'd read up about the Shure pads if you choose the 3124. I only use the 3124's pad when I need it. Sounds great.
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