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Anybody bought a high end preamp/channel strip for their home studio - worthwhile?
Old 28th June 2009
  #91
Lives for gear
 
moon_unit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
One easy way to check yourself on your ability to appreciate the difference is to go to the website for Vintage King, go to the "listen to the gear" link, choose mic pres from the menu and listen for yourself.
So you want me to go to a web site that sells gear to hear samples?

That's a good one.

Samples like this mean nothing. You're not listening to a sample of said gear - you're listening to a conglomeration of factors and tools that lead to a recording, with the mic pre being only one small factor in the whole equation.

A mic pre provides gain. It's essentially a volume knob. You turn it up and you get more volume. You turn it down, and the volume attenuates. I won't ague that it isn't a good idea to have a "good" volume knob any more than I'll argue that it isn't a good idea to have a good lava lamp ... but it's not a transducer, and it's role in the process is not so great that it can't be done competently with inexpensive circuits.
Old 28th June 2009
  #92
Lives for gear
 
rty5150's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit View Post
So you want me to go to a web site that sells gear to hear samples?

That's a good one.

Samples like this mean nothing. You're not listening to a sample of said gear - you're listening to a conglomeration of factors and tools that lead to a recording, with the mic pre being only one small factor in the whole equation.

A mic pre provides gain. It's essentially a volume knob. You turn it up and you get more volume. You turn it down, and the volume attenuates. I won't ague that it isn't a good idea to have a "good" volume knob any more than I'll argue that it isn't a good idea to have a good lava lamp ... but it's not a transducer, and it's role in the process is not so great that it can't be done competently with inexpensive circuits.
so what is your mic and pre list? which have you used in the past?

just curious, no harm meant, just trying to get perspective.
Old 28th June 2009
  #93
Lives for gear
 
Heartfelt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit View Post
So you want me to go to a web site that sells gear to hear samples?

That's a good one.

Samples like this mean nothing. You're not listening to a sample of said gear - you're listening to a conglomeration of factors and tools that lead to a recording, with the mic pre being only one small factor in the whole equation.

A mic pre provides gain. It's essentially a volume knob. You turn it up and you get more volume. You turn it down, and the volume attenuates. I won't ague that it isn't a good idea to have a "good" volume knob any more than I'll argue that it isn't a good idea to have a good lava lamp ... but it's not a transducer, and it's role in the process is not so great that it can't be done competently with inexpensive circuits.
Moon, I agree with most everything you said in your last three posts. There are a lot of people who are better served by not acquiring a lot of gear they think is high end and using what they have.

However, my current "volume-knob" is much better than my last "volume-knob". I agree that pres in general should be nothing more than clean volume with which, you can do a lot; but, do you not agree that pres have an impact in the sound of a signal? It seems it should be easy to agree that pres do contribute in different ways, both good and bad.

Just curious,
Rob
Old 28th June 2009
  #94
Lives for gear
 
moon_unit's Avatar
 

I've been freelancing professionally for close to 10 years now, and have been recording in general for more than 20. In that time, I've used just about everything out there at one time or another. For my own rack, I've currently settled on a collection of Symetrix channel strips, along with a few channels of Audio Upgrades as well as some Rane units.

Typically, I'll spend no more than 10 seconds deciding which XLR input to plug a mic into. Any more is simply wasted brain space that could be used for something much more meaningful; like which mic to choose and how I should be pointing it, tweaking with the source, etc.

This holds true whether I'm at a studio with some fancy-pants gear, or if I'm on location using whatever I happen to be able to fit in my rack. When I'm on the clock, time and meaningful workflow are of the essence, and the priorities shift accordingly. If I'm spending time mentally masturbating over which XLR input is going to give me subtle nuances I want for a given track, I'm not operating efficiently or effectively, and I'm wasting my clients' time on a small part of the recording process that is very low on the totem pole in terms of it's sonic payoff.
Old 28th June 2009
  #95
Lives for gear
 
Heartfelt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit View Post
I've been freelancing professionally for close to 10 years now, and have been recording in general for more than 20. In that time, I've used just about everything out there at one time or another. For my own rack, I've currently settled on a collection of Symetrix channel strips, along with a few channels of Audio Upgrades as well as some Rane units.

Typically, I'll spend no more than 10 seconds deciding which XLR input to plug a mic into. Any more is simply wasted brain space that could be used for something much more meaningful; like which mic to choose and how I should be pointing it, tweaking with the source, etc.

This holds true whether I'm at a studio with some fancy-pants gear, or if I'm on location using whatever I happen to be able to fit in my rack. When I'm on the clock, time and meaningful workflow are of the essence, and the priorities shift accordingly. If I'm spending time mentally masturbating over which XLR input is going to give me subtle nuances I want for a given track, I'm not operating efficiently or effectively, and I'm wasting my clients' time on a small part of the recording process that is very low on the totem pole in terms of it's sonic payoff.

I clearly hear you and understand your perspective. I can see how a lot of folks do get caught up too much in details and lose work flow. However, your view seems to be throwing the baby out with the bath water. Have changed pres several times, there certainly is a difference and IMHO, all the nuances add up to something tangible and in my case, has drastically changed my sound to the point that non-engineer types hear it instantly.

.02
Rob
Old 28th June 2009
  #96
Lives for gear
 
rty5150's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartfelt View Post
I clearly hear you and understand your perspective. I can see how a lot of folks do get caught up too much in details and lose work flow. However, your view seems to be throwing the baby out with the bath water. Have changed pres several times, there certainly is a difference and IMHO, all the nuances add up to something tangible and in my case, has drastically changed my sound to the point that non-engineer types hear it instantly.

.02
Rob
i agree with rob on this.

we shouldn't lose sight of the workflow and song on account of trying to determine if our chain is "awesome", but i have seen a tremendous change in my quality and techniques as i have introduced better gear into the equation.

if people do get caught up in the nuts in bolts too much, then yeah, it will be at the expense of the project. this is more for the AE looking to make money off of their gear. most of this time should be spent outside of the session and at the expense of the engineer. this is a more professional way of speeding up the process for the client: familiarity. otoh, if someone is looking to make quality recordings in a home environment, then they would best be served with at least ONE good/great channel. it just makes recording easier and more fun. less fixing and more mixing. sure i could go back and record with all behringer console pres, but in that i would lose time by having to fix things in post. either way it's time lost on the project: on the front end or in the mix stage.
Old 28th June 2009
  #97
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit View Post
I've been freelancing professionally for close to 10 years now, and have been recording in general for more than 20. In that time, I've used just about everything out there at one time or another. For my own rack, I've currently settled on a collection of Symetrix channel strips, along with a few channels of Audio Upgrades as well as some Rane units.

Typically, I'll spend no more than 10 seconds deciding which XLR input to plug a mic into. Any more is simply wasted brain space that could be used for something much more meaningful; like which mic to choose and how I should be pointing it, tweaking with the source, etc.

This holds true whether I'm at a studio with some fancy-pants gear, or if I'm on location using whatever I happen to be able to fit in my rack. When I'm on the clock, time and meaningful workflow are of the essence, and the priorities shift accordingly. If I'm spending time mentally masturbating over which XLR input is going to give me subtle nuances I want for a given track, I'm not operating efficiently or effectively, and I'm wasting my clients' time on a small part of the recording process that is very low on the totem pole in terms of it's sonic payoff.
That certainly puts your thoughts in better perspective but suffice to say, yours is certainly not the only valid point of view, no matter how strongly and insultingly you put it.
Old 28th June 2009
  #98
Lives for gear
 
Heartfelt's Avatar
Of course, my perspective comes from a different viewpoint. Many of you, as Moon_Unit does, records others whether a as a freelance engineer or with a position.

I do have work with others coming, but at present, I am a self publishing artist and there is a desire for my work as a whole to be seen as quality. That is one of my biggest priorities and the workflow isn't such an issue. Having a project studio and my calendar being currently cleared, I can experiment as I wish.

Lots of differing perspectives, for sure.
Old 29th June 2009
  #99
Wow, somehow it's been really cranky in GS land lately
Old 29th June 2009
  #100
Lives for gear
 
Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit View Post
I've been freelancing professionally for close to 10 years now, and have been recording in general for more than 20. In that time, I've used just about everything out there at one time or another. For my own rack, I've currently settled on a collection of Symetrix channel strips, along with a few channels of Audio Upgrades as well as some Rane units.

Typically, I'll spend no more than 10 seconds deciding which XLR input to plug a mic into. Any more is simply wasted brain space that could be used for something much more meaningful; like which mic to choose and how I should be pointing it, tweaking with the source, etc.

This holds true whether I'm at a studio with some fancy-pants gear, or if I'm on location using whatever I happen to be able to fit in my rack. When I'm on the clock, time and meaningful workflow are of the essence, and the priorities shift accordingly. If I'm spending time mentally masturbating over which XLR input is going to give me subtle nuances I want for a given track, I'm not operating efficiently or effectively, and I'm wasting my clients' time on a small part of the recording process that is very low on the totem pole in terms of it's sonic payoff.
we sound like we're in the same boat, right down to time lines. i agree with the jist of your point(s) whole heartrendingly, but do feel you're generalizing a wee bit too much. i'm not of the 'lets do the blackbird" (as i like to call it) and pull out every mic and every "xlr" and run the client through them all,on their dime, while we get our jollies listening and formulating the subtleties of all the combos into our heads. for sure, that's just being a ******.but i'm a stickler for mental as well as written notes, and to use your logic of "not wasting my clients time" i like to be as informed as i can,and the fact remains is that there are several pieces of gear i like to use that are basically fire n' forget on most sources. it took a lot of messing around, renting, borrowing, buying and returning gear to figure this out.this has made my workflow much more efficient. but as a freelance, you do take what you're given and just make it work.

but ya, i do agree that there are way more pressing details than mic/pre selection on a session, first and foremost settling the talent in and making sure they're comfortable and ready to go
Old 29th June 2009
  #101
Gear Maniac
 
bluemix's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dominic hoenig View Post
incorrect, they do, do the desk Mods - they did it for me !
Hi Dominic,

How long ago did you get it done? I have seen some other threads where it sounds like people had their desk versions modded but I think this might have been when BLA first started doing mods to the digidesign stuff.
I last posted after being in direct contact with BLA. If you can convince them to do it for me let me know!

Cheers.
Old 29th June 2009
  #102
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit View Post
So you want me to go to a web site that sells gear to hear samples?

That's a good one.

Samples like this mean nothing. You're not listening to a sample of said gear - you're listening to a conglomeration of factors and tools that lead to a recording, with the mic pre being only one small factor in the whole equation.

A mic pre provides gain. It's essentially a volume knob. You turn it up and you get more volume. You turn it down, and the volume attenuates. I won't ague that it isn't a good idea to have a "good" volume knob any more than I'll argue that it isn't a good idea to have a good lava lamp ... but it's not a transducer, and it's role in the process is not so great that it can't be done competently with inexpensive circuits.
When I last responded to this I was in a hurry, so here's a better one.

Firstly, you're right, it is a good one, a very good one. IMHO, samples like this are actually quite valuable. Vintage King has done us a big favor and done a bunch of relatively well controlled comparisons of gear where only the link in question has changed. Obviously, it would be preferable to try out the gear in your own studio. Vintage King and other reputable retailers provide for this as well. In the mean time, before you invest in a demo, you can do some pretty effective research in hearing for yourself the "kind of" difference that changing one piece makes, at least in that particular chain. So in this case, comparatively speaking, we are listening "for" only the differences that the mic pres contribute. This is certainly more effective than listening to people's opinions, whether they be salespeople or GS posters.

I apologize that I did not make it clear that I was directing my suggestion to check out Vintage King's comparisons, not to you, but to the OP, who could then judge for himself how meaningful the differences were to him. This takes it out of the hands of advisers like me and you, and puts our input to the test, the OP's test. Would you rather have them just take your advice and believe you when you say these differences will probably be inaudible, or if not, should be considered meaningless? Obviously, you don't think they should take my word for it. I agree.

Getting back to the OP, I think it is wise to consider, after sufficient research, what quality and how many flavors of mic pres would best serve your circumstances, taste and budget. Once having settled on your choices and gotten used to what they do, the decision of which to use in a given situation can typically be done in short order. For myself, having enough channels of quality pres is important, and while I'm at it, having a few different choices is useful. In addition, I'm always delighted to find efficiency oriented, affordable, high quality gear, but I don't mind paying for it if needs be. Bringing the attention to finer levels of perception is a big part of why I make music. Getting the job done efficiently and effectively is also important.

I reiterate that I think you brought a good dose of reality check to the table, just that your points need to be taken along with the rest.
Old 29th June 2009
  #103
Lives for gear
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 

I have a Demeter VTMP-2B mic preamp & a Lucid AD9624 a-to-d converter in a portable rack that I bring with me for remote gigs, or tracking sessions if I don't know what type of front end the studio I'm guesting in will have. When I'm not on the road it lives in my home studio, and I record everything through it. Hell yeah it makes a difference, definitely worth it imho. Then again A) I already own a decent mic collection and B) I'm not a noob.
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