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Mic Pre (really make a difference?) Condenser Microphones
Old 16th December 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

Mic Pre (really make a difference?)

Hi Guys,

I am running a digi 002 with PT 8LE and all is great works fine etc.

Now, the question I have and excuse me in advance if this sounds a bit stupid or noob (ish) but here goes:


I was toying with the idea of getting a new PRE and was thinking of something like a Golden age or ART VLA2 or something similar. This is going to give a nicer sound over the stock Digi002 pres.

However, am I right in thinking that you would run the cable from the mic into the INPUT of the pre and the OUTPUT of said pre goes to the Input of the digi 002? Surely, even with the best pre's that money can buy put on the chain is only going to sound as good as the pre in the digi 002.

The term you can't polish a turd springs to mind....or am I missing something?

Hope someone can give me some guidlines or input.

Cheers
Old 16th December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
Ideally you would want to run the output of the first pre to a line input instead of going through a second pre, but I'm not sure if the digi has line in's and the ability to bypass the pres or not. Another option is to buy a pre with A/D conversion and just run the digital signal into the digi.
Old 16th December 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Eric Pederson's Avatar
 

When you are making this connection, plug it into the LINE in rather than MIC in if that is an option (this will almost always bypass the DIGI preamps)

If you have a digital output on the mic pre then you can make the connection digitally as well and bypass the pres and conversion of the digi unit
Old 16th December 2010
  #4
Gear Nut
 

I'm not familiar with the digi 002 interface but if it is like most others, there should be inserts that allow you to bypass the digi pres. This allows you to use the converters without the pre.
Old 16th December 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Eric Pederson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
Ideally you would want to run the output of the first pre to a line input instead of going through a second pre, but I'm not sure if the digi has line in's and the ability to bypass the pres or not. Another option is to buy a pre with A/D conversion and just run the digital signal into the digi.
Lol what he said!
Old 16th December 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Pederson View Post
Lol what he said!
ha... deja vu...
Old 16th December 2010
  #7
Lives for gear
 
BradLyons's Avatar
 

Absolutely a pre "can" make a difference. I say "can" because it depends on what the reference pre is you're using now and the rest of the signal chain v/s what upgrade you're wanting to make. Taking into account the 002 and the Pro-series of products---those pres will sound "different". One might say better, yes---but it's really different. Honestly, the pres on the 002 aren't that bad, they just aren't great either. They are a kind of pre that has no coloration, they aren't "clean" type pres---but not a pre that is going to enhance or add to the sound the way something like the Art Pro range will. Of course the type of pre you go with will each have its own character.

I'm a big fan of the Universal Audio Solo 610, this is a tube pre that adds some serious warmth and color to the sound. No matter what level of converter that you're using you'll get instant results from this kind of a pre. But now let's say we're doing Grace 101 pre, a VERY clean gain pre with little to no coloration. This pre too is a significant upgrade from that of the 002, you'll hear it---however because it is a clean-gain style of micpre you really will not hear the full benefit of it unless you have better converters.

My point is, it's all relative. Please let us know specifically which one you're looking at AND WHY....also, what microphone(s) are you using and what are you recording specifically? All of this matter----matching the mic and pre is just important as the pre itself is.
Old 16th December 2010
  #8
Gear Head
 

Wow, some quick replies...

for info the Digi 002 does have 8 line inputs 4 of which are either line or XLR type connectors.

So I would assume that using the line inputs will bypass the pre?

Cheers
Old 16th December 2010
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BradLyons View Post

My point is, it's all relative. Please let us know specifically which one you're looking at AND WHY....also, what microphone(s) are you using and what are you recording specifically? All of this matter----matching the mic and pre is just important as the pre itself is.

I am looking towards the ART VLA2 Pro. I have heard this a few times as my local studio has one and we recorded vocals and bass guitar with it.

I want one to add to my home setup and I would be using it with my Rode NT1A & my SE2200a to record vocals and bass again.

When we did some simple acoustic recording (Guitar & Vox) using the Digi 002 the results were good but lacked some depth / feeling. I was hoping that a good mic pre would add some warmth and that bit of extra zing to my recordings.

Thanks for all your advice thou.
Old 16th December 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Eric Pederson's Avatar
 

Here is a topic I made with a list of 2 channel mic preamps with digital outs if you care to browse or add to it 2 Ch. Mic Preamp w/ SPIDIF Out List
Old 16th December 2010
  #11
Gear Addict
 
gumby1220's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobywan View Post
I am looking towards the ART VLA2 Pro. I have heard this a few times as my local studio has one and we recorded vocals and bass guitar with it.

I want one to add to my home setup and I would be using it with my Rode NT1A & my SE2200a to record vocals and bass again.

When we did some simple acoustic recording (Guitar & Vox) using the Digi 002 the results were good but lacked some depth / feeling. I was hoping that a good mic pre would add some warmth and that bit of extra zing to my recordings.

Thanks for all your advice thou.
are you mixing the art vla II up with the art mpa II because the mpaII is the pre amp and the vlaII is a compressor.
Old 16th December 2010
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gumby1220 View Post
are you mixing the art vla II up with the art mpa II because the mpaII is the pre amp and the vlaII is a compressor.

Sorry yeah.....MPA

I have been putting VLA as I was using a VLA today !!
Old 16th December 2010
  #13
Gear Addict
 
gumby1220's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobywan View Post
Sorry yeah.....MPA

I have been putting VLA as I was using a VLA today !!
ah ok yeah but yes the mpa is a great pre and vla is a great compressor. i don't have a mpa but have used a buddies. have to say you won't be disapointed.
Old 17th December 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 
uncle duncan's Avatar
 

Mics make a big difference. Mic pres just make mics sound a little more distinct - or fuzzy - depending on whether you get a clean pre or a colored pre. The point is, if you're using the wrong mic on a source, running it through a great preamp is still going to sound wrong because it's the wrong mic.

You can get your NT1a modded for $60 from Minute Nine studios. It's still going to be a bright mic (just like your SE mic) but at least the high end will be smooth. I'd look at adding a neutral mic to your collection, like a MXL 2003a or a V67g, or a ribbon mic. Neutral mics are good for bright sources, bright mics are good for neutral sources. If all you have is bright mics, you're seriously compromising your ability to make your mixes sound good. A better preamp won't change that.
Old 17th December 2010
  #15
Lives for gear
I would say if you don't have any decent condenser mic's get one first.
If you have good mic's it will be an improvement.

The digi has 4 pre's and 4 line ins. Plug the line out of the pre into a line level in on the Digi. Digi pre's are in the 50 db gain range and nothing special IMO.
Old 17th December 2010
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Gearhero's Avatar
 

According to this forum mic pres make a huge night and day difference. It's like going from an old honda civic to a new Porsche Carrera. Prepared to be blown away. If for some reason you are disappointed with your new purchase, because you don't hear these spectacular improvements, don't tell anyone. You will be either be ridiculed for not having good ears or the other parts of your chain such as your "crappy" digi 002 converters will be blamed as the culprit. Thus the answer is spending more money. Have faith, and worship at feet of the mic pre gods.
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