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M-Audio DMP-3 or not???
Old 8th June 2006
Gear Head
knorr's Avatar
🎧 10 years
M-Audio DMP-3 or not???

I am looking to possibly buy a new lower end preamp for mostly acoustic guitars, bass and vocals. I have been using the only thing available which is a Focusrite Octopre 8-channel digitally into an 002r. I am getting of course useable results but I am looking for a lower end pre that might be able to help me warm the sound a little bit. The focusrite sounds fine, but it definitely does not have the warmth i'm looking for especially for vocals.

So, from advice from another post I am contemplating the M-Audio DMP-3 with an FMR RNC to go with it. I am wanting something that is Dual Channel so the M-Audio fits that and I've heard that it does well for the money. However, I know that it is not tube so what I want to know is whether I should just stick with the octopre for now?? Or has anyone used the focusrite and compared it to lower end pre's???

I also had some advice that a Studio Projects VTB-1 might not be a bad idea and that might help with the tube sound but again am I gaining much in terms of quality preamps by moving away from the focusrite??
Old 8th June 2006
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
okay.. The DMP3 isn't bad.. but it definately isn't a coloured pre.. but.. Colour and valves don't always go together.. infact alot of the high end valve gear is known for being quite transparent..

however.. if you do want a coloured pre for vocals in that sort of price range.. your best bet is the VTB-1.. It'd be worth swapping the valve in it out for something nicer too (this is quite simple to do)

The other things that often lack in "warmth" in budget setups are converters and mics.. I havent used the octopre.. so I have no idea what the converters in it are like.. do some research.. if people don't like them it might be worth looking into getting a 2 channel AD converter for vocals.

What mics are you using?.. if you using something such as a Rode or studio projects (which tend to have quite exagerated high ends) then that might explain some of your feeling that there isn't enough warmth.

As I say to everyone recording on a buget (and alot of people off a budget :p) don't discount Dynamic mics for vocals!.. in the cheaper price ranges the ones that realy stand out to me are the Beyer soundstar MKII (no longer in production), the SM7b (you can pick these up pretty cheap in america at the moment.. needs a pre with quite abit of gain though) and the beyer M88.
Old 8th June 2006 | Show parent
Gear Head
knorr's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Yes, the more I look into the VTB-1 I think that it might be the way to go. I am also thinking of getting a new vocal mic. I would prefer probably a condenser but I will look into those dynamics as well. As far as mic's I think I'm doing ok for things like acoustic guitar but I want something that will cover a standard female or male voice well. I know that there are exceptions and certain tones should use this or that type of mic but as far as myself being a low end user right now I am looking for something to kind of have a good overall balance and most likely something to warm the sound as well so probably a tube condenser. I know what you're talking about with the exaggerated high end so I want to stay away from that probably.
Old 8th June 2006 | Show parent
Gear Head
knorr's Avatar
🎧 10 years
another thought

what does anyone also think of the DMP-3 with a tube condenser to warm the vocals??
Old 8th June 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
🎧 10 years
DMP3 and an MXL V69...good combo...JUMP IN!!!

The smaller cheaper tube pres are usually very nice sounding! Dont let the tube fool you into getting a real tube sound though. Since they are starved plate designs, the tube is only in the circuitry during the output stage, so driving the tube taste will get you a nice rat pedal, NIN sound.

They still are usually good sounding "preamps" though, thats all you need for now.

However, something lijke the V69 mic is very very tubeee sounding...

I think the VTB1 or the DMP3 and the V69 is a good start.

Wait, werent you just clammering about convertors last night?!?!?

Buy a thing, anything and use it!!!

Old 8th June 2006 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
yeah.. another condenser you might like is the ADK hamburg.. they're quite nice..

a hamburg and a VTB1 would be a nice combo.. especialy if you upgrade the valve in the vtb.

Just remember that just cause something has a vale doesn't mean it's warm.. and just cause it doesn't doesn't mean it isnt :p

DMP3's are pretty reasonable for the price.. but I'd say that they'd be fairly similar in sound to your pres in the octopre.. so I'd definately sugest the vtb-1 as your specificaly looking for a "warmer" sound
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