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What mic pre for Orchestral recordings? Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 1 week ago
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
may i ask which studer pres you had at the time? i cannot imagine the newer studer pres having 15db more noise than the merging pres: i compared them too and my findings were nowhere near close to your observations
We had 961 and 962 consoles as well as some heavily modified modules from the 900 series studio consoles that I boxed up into 8 channel units.
What I found was that with the minimum gain on the Studer preamps (+20dB gain), using either the Horus line input or any other outboard AD converter, the basic noise floor of those preamps were, best case, around the -82dB mark. Same with the Millennia and Graces. The noise floor of the Horus, with the same gain to reach full scale was right around -100dB. What you are actually doing is cranking up the gain to around 30v p-p so it can be padded down to 3v p-p at the converter. This is why a system like the Horus or DAD can have much lower noisefloor. The gainstaging is optimized for the converter.
This noise is not a big deal if you're recording a pair of channels, but in a multitrack situation, the noise accumulates and becomes an issue in post. Getting lowest noise floor and using all the bits (Levels peaking in the top 6 dB) makes for a much cleaner recording. If you record 32 tracks, and they are mostly turned on, the accumulated noise raises the noise floor 15dB, which starts to creep well into the audible range with program.
As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark
Old 1 week ago
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
We had 961 and 962 consoles as well as some heavily modified modules from the 900 series studio consoles that I boxed up into 8 channel units.
What I found was that with the minimum gain on the Studer preamps (+20dB gain), using either the Horus line input or any other outboard AD converter, the basic noise floor of those preamps were, best case, around the -82dB mark. Same with the Millennia and Graces. The noise floor of the Horus, with the same gain to reach full scale was right around -100dB. What you are actually doing is cranking up the gain to around 30v p-p so it can be padded down to 3v p-p at the converter. This is why a system like the Horus or DAD can have much lower noisefloor. The gainstaging is optimized for the converter.
This noise is not a big deal if you're recording a pair of channels, but in a multitrack situation, the noise accumulates and becomes an issue in post. Getting lowest noise floor and using all the bits (Levels peaking in the top 6 dB) makes for a much cleaner recording. If you record 32 tracks, and they are mostly turned on, the accumulated noise raises the noise floor 15dB, which starts to creep well into the audible range with program.
As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark
many thx for elaborating - obviously there is quite a large difference between the older 900 series and the newer d21 series studer mic pres.

(i have a similar experience regarding the noise accumulation when using higher channel counts: i stopped using lots of 'exotic' mic pres for precisely this reason).
Old 2 days ago
  #33
Gear Nut
 
PuebloAudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
...Horus preamps are so much cleaner and quieter that inserting any external preamp adds 15db of noise to the system.
...
...using either the Horus line input or any other outboard AD converter, the basic noise floor of those preamps were, best case, around the -82dB mark. Same with the Millennia and Graces. The noise floor of the Horus, with the same gain to reach full scale was right around -100dB.... If you record 32 tracks, and they are mostly turned on, the accumulated noise raises the noise floor 15dB, which starts to creep well into the audible range with program.
Greetings Mark,

First, let me say I am not writing to contend your findings, which seem in line to me. However, I can imagine that some readers could misinterpret a message from this thread that using external preamps will always be noisier than the built in preamps. I would like to add some clarification.

To make sure my instinct was not off base, I recorded 32 tracks using Pueblo Audio JR4 preamps -> Lavry ADC -> RME AES32 cards, at nominal levels. The stereo sum of these tracks measured a vanishing -105dB. I also measured the noise frequency spectrum (graph attached below). This is a result which is inaudible and blameless.

Since I did not have all the details of your scenario, I admittedly could not replicate your set up exactly. However, I believe my little demonstration shows well enough that using external preamps will not automatically create an elevated noise floor.

More to the point (and as you did pointed out), it is establishing proper gain structure which is the dominant factor in ultimate, system noise floors. Equipment and their interfacing needs to be chosen and implemented with care to realize designed gain structures and avoid elevating noise.
Attached Thumbnails
What mic pre for Orchestral recordings?-pueblojr4-lavryadc_32ch_noisefloorspectra.jpg  

Last edited by PuebloAudio; 2 days ago at 01:40 AM..
Old 2 days ago
  #34
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Don S's Avatar
 

Hands down the most stunning sound I've ever heard has come from Pueblo. I can't afford them and use a Millennia HV3-B quad. Only had one problem in the 10 years its been in service. One channel starting acting funky. $200 and a week later problem solved. A quality product and support to go with it!
Another recommendation is the Rens Heignis 60 volt series.Yes, the CMC's need to be modded, but Plush can weigh in how, in concert with Rens's pre amps, the results are spectacular from a pair of Schoeps.

The DAV's are very sweet and musical, but I've found lack detail when used as mains for orchestral recording.
Old 2 days ago
  #35
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Plush's Avatar
I have never found any quality mic amps here to add ANY noticeable noise, in any track configuration. Are we only talking about measurable noise vs. noise audible to the human ear??

Certainly this is true with Pueblo and also with Sonosax. The latter having a dynamic range of 135dB on its digital output.
Old 2 days ago
  #36
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jnorman's Avatar
+1 on the sonosax. When I bought my first pair of Royer r121s almost 20 years ago, I asked Dave Royer what mic pres he recommended for the 121s. He said his testing lab used the sonosax sx-m2, so I bought one - a totally awesome mic preamp that I used for field work for many years.

I am surprised by some of the negative comments about millennia media - I used an 8 channel hv3 unit for a number of years in my studio, and I thought it was perhaps the best build quality of any piece of audio equipment I had ever owned, not to mention the absolute best customer support that I have ever experienced. I do not say that lightly - I started out at Deep South studios back in the early 1970s, so I have seen a fair amount of gear in my life...
Old 2 days ago
  #37
Gear Addict
 

I use Gordon preamps (i have 8 channels) to feed my 788’s and have never found noise to be an issue. Scott and Mark, in measuring the noise floor for your systems what, if anything,
do you have plugged into your preamps?
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