Picking a preamp for both acoustic guitar and vocal
So I recently ended up purchasing an M-Audio projectmix i/o to use as a mackie control surface very well aware that the preamps were crap. But now I have to decide on which preamp to buy. At the moment I'm recording a lot of acoustic guitar using an interesting mic position with a Shure SM137 (SDC) and a Shure PG42 (LDC). Both are rather warm and thought the Grace 101 Preamp would work well but I also do vocals from time to time therefore something that would double up well for acoustic guitar as well as vocals is more desirable. I'm finding that the vocals are really dry and thin (maybe my engineering also) with the PMIO's preamps where as normally they aren't as so. Keep in mind I actually considered getting the Presonus Tubepre for vocals over the Grace (tell me if I'm ********). As far as my guitar tone goes, I like it even with these preamps but I know they can sound better.
If anyone could shed a bit of light if you have any experience with the Grace pre with these mics or something close I'd really appreciate it. I've done a lot of googling, and for the most part people seem to like it for either but I'm not finding anything concrete enough to convince to buy it. All you really see is FMR RNP vs Grace -.-
I just sent mine out. I'm looking forward to getting it back. This will give you two channels of very nice clean preamp for under $300.
And you're not crazy for looking at the Presonus TubePre. I have had mine for more than 5 years. It served me well as a vocal pre for a long time before I stepped into better stuff. These days I only use it as a bass/guitar DI though (works very well for this though).
The Grace 101/m101 is a very nice pre. I've gotten some sweet acoustic sounds out of that. If you take the time to mic it up right, you get a real nice result. And the tracks will be squeaky clean enough to make what you want out of it using EQ/compression/tape saturation plugins after the fact.
I've also had the RNP, and while it's a very nice sounding pre (just a hint of mojo/color), I feel that it's a tad overpriced for what it is. I'm sure a lot of folks will disagree with that, and that's fine. Just my opinion on it.
I'm really looking forward to seeing how close the DMP3 mod brings me into that Grace ballpark. They just started doing this mod, so I would think that in the next few weeks as people start getting their units back you'll be able to get a good amount of feedback on it.
my favorite pre for AG is the sytek mpx-4aii. if you get the sytek with the 3/4 BB option, you'll get a slightly different sound and it sounds magnificent for AG and vox. especially with ribbon mics and SDCs for AG. i have used the sytek for vox some, but most of my vox go into my neve clones, but the vox i have recorded usually were with my beater mics like the v67i, adk vienna and hamburg. truly stunning tracks were made with those, but as far as projects/sessions, never used the sytek tracks for them. as for AG, the sytek is my go to pre for any session.