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Microphone Preamplifier Features or Fluffs?
Old 14th February 2003
  #1
Little Labs
 
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Thread Starter
Microphone Preamplifier Features or Fluffs?

I have been laying low for the past couple days on the gear slutz forum, but I woke up this mornin with a question in my head. My microphone preamplifier, of which only twenty were made, I want to bring back but ... Since I did that in 1989 there has been a whole lot of mic preamps introduced to the point I was like jeez what's the point. It seems you need more than just amazing sonics. Some of the features I am seeing on the new mic pres seem useful some not. I had a termination thing on the transformer that was switchable on the bottom of the Little Labs pre, I think similar to the rise time on the vipre. I put it only on a few units but it seemed everyone liked the one position best. Funny that position was technically by spec the worst, HA HA so much for specs. Any way I love that Vipre pre it is one that sticks out as a contemporary unit (not a remake) that really is very nice, a product I really admire the design of, (along with the SPL transient designer, not a mic pre I know, but a very good idea). Now the transformer I believe on the vipre unit is not tapped but a seperate transformer for each setting, someone might lay some light on that. I think gain remains constant so they must've compensated on the windings on the secondary. That to me is smart, the potentiometer dullometer on the front end of a device finding it's way onto mic pres and other devices I think is a wank and for a $3 pot you can add that feature to anything. Anyway enough of that, or Dave will be on my ass. If you know my products, you can guess what I will be adding as a feature to the mic pre, but what else is a feature you like, not a fluff. Like what is one, ohh >Temperal Harmonic Alignment < huuhh? or DI inputs or Rise time or variable impedance or basics like lo pass /hi pass, built in deesser, chronic biflagelator...What do you want.

Thanks Slutz!heh
Jonathan
Old 14th February 2003
  #2
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

i do like the variable impedance. now that i have a unit with variable impedance... im amazed it has taken so long for it to get here as a feature on mic pres.

i do like the rise time feature on the vipre as well.

i like the FAT switch on crane song. and the switchable IRON for that matter.

and on more than a single channel mic pre unit... i like them to be matched [or at least as close as possible].
Old 15th February 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
i do like the variable impedance. now that i have a unit with variable impedance... im amazed it has taken so long for it to get here as a feature on mic pres.
Well there is the SSL Logic FX383 which is on the market for quite some time now!
Old 15th February 2003
  #4
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
The variable impedance comes in very handy. It would be great if it could be constantly variable instead of switchable. Also, is it possible to switch the transformer(s) in and out of the cicuit? And of course it would be absolutely neccessary to have the IBP knob included.
Old 16th February 2003
  #5
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Nutmeg II.
Well there is the SSL Logic FX383 which is on the market for quite some time now!
i meant as popping up on more and more pres.... cant say i would want the SSL to begin with. about the only thing i like is the 2buss comp. course, thats just my prefs.

IBP would be cool to have also on pre's. built in. ever think about licensing it to companies?
Old 16th February 2003
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
The variable impedance comes in very handy. It would be great if it could be constantly variable instead of switchable. Also, is it possible to switch the transformer(s) in and out of the cicuit? And of course it would be absolutely neccessary to have the IBP knob included.
That's what I was going to say. Esp. the IBP.
Old 16th February 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
I like the solid state and tube gain stage option, if the two options actually sound different and the tube state is run at a high enough voltage. As well as a transformer or transformerless option. I really like having an input gain and an output taper so you can crank up the gain of the tube or solid state and or the transformer if you really want.
Old 16th February 2003
  #8
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
The variable impedance comes in very handy. It would be great if it could be constantly variable instead of switchable. Also, is it possible to switch the transformer(s) in and out of the cicuit? And of course it would be absolutely neccessary to have the IBP knob included.
Michael,

That sounds delicious!
Old 17th February 2003
  #9
Jax
Lives for gear
 

I like everything mentioned in this thread on a mic pre but I've yet to use a pre with variable impedance. I know, call me green.

One thing I don't want to pay for on a pre is hi and lo pass filters. That feature gets redundant fast as you look down the chain.
Old 17th February 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
toledo3's Avatar
 

I like mucho gain, phantom power, mute, and high pass. Integrating your variable polarity thingee might be a good idea for you. I also like balanced and unbalanced outputs. But, I don't like it when something tries to be everything to everyone.
Old 17th February 2003
  #11
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I'd like a pre with stupid amounts of gain, like 80-85dB so I can use ribbon mics on acoustic guitars. It should have a "color" switch to it, maybe like the distortion on a Distressor but still have the option of being pretty clean. Also, phantom is a must and I'd like to have phase switch and the pad before the transformer on the input or input stage. Also, a DI with a loop output so I can go back out to an amp would rock!!! I don't know why preamps don't offer that because it makes them pretty useless as a DI. The IBP would be nice but I'd like to see it as an option so I don't have to pay for it if I don't want it. I'd rather have that as an outboard thing.

Actually yeah... make the pre the same size as the IBP so they can fit on the same rack tray or maybe slide into an API frame. And if they could share a power supply too that would rock. Oh, and a street price of $500-600 per channel would be perfect. I'm not really in the market for anything that's $1K+ a channel. If it's that much it's gotta wrap cables at the end of the session.
Old 17th February 2003
  #12
Smart Research
 

Anyone using remote controlled units out there? Or, would you often run standard pre's at source to avoid long cable and patchbay ugliness ?

Al.
Old 17th February 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
subspace's Avatar
I think there's a place for a high quality mic pre that incorporates a second line level input, with trims for both. These would be mixed internally and feed a single output. The line input could be fed by a second pre for summing multiple mics to one track, or an active DI to mix with the mic input. Obviously, an IBP in front of the line input would be very useful, as would any of the active direct box designs, but the basic idea would be a mic pre and a separate line pre which combine to one output. There are a few boxes built for combining mics while going straight to tape, but no pres that incorporate the feature that I know of.
Whenever I saw an input channel with separate mic and line amps, I always thought it would be cool if they could do this, rather than just having a mic/ line select switch. I haven't put up the money for one of those outboard combiner boxes to avoid the console, but if there was a nice pre that had it built-in, I'd lean towards making that my next pre-amp choice.
Old 17th February 2003
  #14
Gear addict
 
Bernd G's Avatar
 

PRE wishlist

... Variable Impedance
... Transformers In/Out (Lundahl)
... IBP buit in
... indented gain switch
... integral power supply
... overload led
... high gain
... switchable fast limiter on output



Oh Yes, and could you make the packaging so that at least two would fit into a one rackspace unit?

Cheers

BG
Old 19th February 2003
  #15
Little Labs
 
littlelabs's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks, all this input is great!
Just curious what is the most amount of gain you have ever used, more than 60dB?
Jonathan
Old 20th February 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
faeflora's Avatar
 

Signal splitting without level loss or crappification.

Analog harmonization! How? I don't ****ing know.

EQish presets (done with as little actual EQ circuitry possible to avoid phase distortion) that use different transformers and circuits. Like on the knob:

Position


1 Telephone Amplifier
2 bullhorn amplifier circuit
3 mega gain mega compression telephone amplifier
4 class b power amp
5 class a transformer gloriousness
6 class a tranless spicknspanness
7 Behringer


all done with analog stuff.

or how about a pre with an "autopeakleveler". It would ALWAYS raise the signal to a certain level, depending on the knob position. Like have -.1db for digital or -15db for eq boost down the line.

I want SUPER MEGA CRAZY HEAR THE NEIGHBOR'S HEART BEATING AMOUNTS OF GAIN. I WANT 30000DB OF GAIN SO I CAN HEAR CHAIRMAN MAOS BONES ROTTING IN CHINA. GAIN IS GOOD. MORE GAIN IS MORE GOOD. MORE MORE GAIN IS MOOOOOO GOOOOOOO.
Old 20th February 2003
  #17
Gear nut
 
verbular's Avatar
 

Hi,

I'd like to see the following features (in priority order);

1. variable impedance
2. high gain (more than 65dB, 75 would be nice)
3. phase switch
4. half rack size (or smaller!)
5. 2 outputs (for the latency thing)
6. hipass filter

Not really a big fan of gear that does more than two things, ie xformerless/xformer, solid state/tube. I'm pretty happy with either one of them.

What would actually be nice is to have an active summing box seperate to the pre, but the same size so that it fits in a rack for summing kick drums, bass cab, etc, but with an ibp built inside.

A compact size would help, since I prefer to have the mic pre close to the source as much as possible, especially when overdubbing.

Gain wise, I do need more than 60dB, when using ribbons and often wish that there was an extra 5 to 10dB.
Old 20th February 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 
paterno's Avatar
 

I, for one, would like to see a high pass filter. It would be nice to have when doing vocals to deal with the popping p's, without having to stick an EQ in the chain.

Cheers,
John
Old 20th February 2003
  #19
Lives for gear
 
faeflora's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by paterno
I, for one, would like to see a high pass filter. It would be nice to have when doing vocals to deal with the popping p's, without having to stick an EQ in the chain.

Cheers,
John

I want a low pass filter! Good for kicks or toms or nasely voices etc!

rollz rollz rollz rollz
Old 20th February 2003
  #20
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by paterno
I, for one, would like to see a high pass filter. It would be nice to have when doing vocals to deal with the popping p's, without having to stick an EQ in the chain.
Uhhhh... you mean an additional EQ in the chain right? A hi-pass filter is an EQ circuit.
Old 20th February 2003
  #21
Gear addict
 
cymatics's Avatar
 

Seeing as i'm a cheap-ass bottom-feeder type, I really like 'double duty' boxes (the IBP being an obvious example). I have a Summit TPA 200b that has 1/4" line level inputs for each channel on the rear panel. It sees just as much use as a line level coloration device as it does as a tracking pre.

It doesn't neccessarily need to be a 'coloration' feature, just something useful to sweeten the deal.

- jon
Old 20th February 2003
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
 

In terms of hp+lp it is very usefull if you could switch them to work in series or parallel!
So some times you cut high and lows to leave the toms, guitar or bass in the mid range.
The other thing is too cut abig hole into a kick drum, leave only the omph and the 1-5kHz klick. Wich will give you the space to fill in the guitar and bass...
One switche, many chances to fu__ up every thing! I love that option.
Old 23rd February 2003
  #23
Gear nut
 

In the gadget category, I have to say I really like the P48 ramp-up McQ put on the RNP.

HPF is nice for live work. DI is nice on a few channels but adding that expense to dozens is not my preference. Maybe 1-2 channels of an octal pre?

Speaking of which, 8 channels in 1U is quite cost-effective in terms of sheetmetal and power supply. DB25 output is cheap and widely supported by many ADCs.
Old 23rd February 2003
  #24
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

What I'd love to see is something that would let me ride gain on live vocals. It would have a full-sized slider with buffered pre and post inserts for patching my choice of eq and limiters or even a different mike pre but would be self-contained and easy to set up and use stand-alone with a notebook computer.
Old 26th February 2003
  #25
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 

It's always the same thing here.
hard wire switchable hot signal chaser and inverter
iron in or out (unbalance)
lo and hi filters
Variable impedance (4, 8, 16, 75, 150, 300, 600, 1.2k, 2.4k, 10k, 100k, 1M, 2MOhm)
mountains of pads (fleas legs rubbing a ribbon to +30 line)
Output trim
A/B/C inserts switchable series or parallel (saves time making sounds)
12 (I always burn 8) busses, passive is just fine, includes switchable pan and appropriate buss master trims.
Modern usable master section.
OK I'm stubborn but maybe someone will listen.
A usable (which it wasn't always) replacement for the Focusrite ISA 131 (never had enough headroom) (the new boxes aren't as useful, aside from the pre) ISA 131 with more headroom.
Old 26th February 2003
  #26
Gear nut
 

Quote:
mountains of pads (fleas legs rubbing a ribbon to +30 line)
I'd prefer a design with sufficient headroom so that pads are unnecessary.
Old 26th February 2003
  #27
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 

Let's just say precise level matching, or universal or something similar. A device that you would use on anything.
Speakers as mics., headphones, casio rap man, 150 ohm mics., 330 ohm drum machines at 0 dB, 600 ohm anything and so it goes. just dial up your impedance and your level and off you go.
Someone who would build this thing would know whether to use pads or to stage the gain in different ways. I just want about 40 of them.
It doesn't seemed that far fetched, does it?
Old 26th February 2003
  #28
Gear nut
 

Minus the variable impedance feature, the FMR RNP comes pretty darn close (no HPF, though.) Now if we could just persuade McQ to make a multichannel version in a real rack case, and maybe drop the EIN with a better input pair (with the expected price increase of course.)
Old 27th February 2003
  #29
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by littlelabs

Just curious what is the most amount of gain you have ever used, more than 60dB?
65 or so but I really wish I could go an extra 10dB on ribbon mics and other things with low outputs.
Old 28th February 2003
  #30
Lives for gear
 
David R.'s Avatar
 

Two outputs, that can be used at the same time. I have been using my pre's so one is feeding the input of my AD, the other is going to the board for monitoring..

Which brings me to my second wishlist item, inserts so I can plug a compressor in the chain.

L.E.D.s with peak hold?



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