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What mic pre for Orchestral recordings? Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 15th May 2018
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
What mic pre for Orchestral recordings?

Hi all,

I need your suggestion.
What mic pre do you use for orchestral recordings? I will use it for Scoeps MK2 mics on the decca tree, and for spot mics (ribbon, ldc, sdc).

Now I have a Neve 1073 and 2 Isa428s, but I think those are not that kind of thing.

Thanks!
Tom
Old 15th May 2018
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HangArt View Post
I have ... 2 Isa428s
Then you are good to go
Old 15th May 2018
  #3
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
Old 15th May 2018
  #4
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Thread Starter
Yes they are great preamps, but I think they are too colored for orchestral use. I need more channels, and need to buy a mic pre. Maybe 8 channels. Thats why I asked, what the orchestral recording pros use.
Old 15th May 2018
  #6
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tourtelot's Avatar
Grace m108. It's chock full of goodness.

D.
Old 15th May 2018
  #7
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

This ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

I bought a BG8 in 2009 and have never needed to look elsewhere for the choral/orchestra stuff I occasionally do. "Usual suspects" running through it are MKH8040 and AT4041 cardioid pairs; MG 296 and DPA4061 omni pairs; occasional AT4050, Rode NT1 Joly K47 mod; occasional Beyer M500 ribbons. All sound quite fab... and it (the BG8) is still one of the best price-per-channel values out there for "clean and quiet".

HB

Last edited by hbphotoav; 16th May 2018 at 01:17 PM..
Old 15th May 2018
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Grace m108. It's chock full of goodness.

D.
My feeling too. Very satisfied user since last summer
Old 16th May 2018
  #9
Here for the gear
 

True 8, DAV, Pueblo, Hapi, and many more are all up to the task.
Old 16th May 2018
  #10
Millennia HV-3D or Jensen Twin Servo are my current go-to's. Hard to go wrong there.
Old 16th May 2018
  #11
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Agree about the DAV BG8....... and another (low priced) contender that gets some praise in this forum for great neutrality for orchestral use is the Line Audio MP8: Line Audio Design - Made in Sweden You can buy direct from the manufacturer for 574 Euro plus shipping
Old 16th May 2018
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Thank you for the suggestions!
I will check it.

Did you use the Neve 1073 for decca, or main pair? Or should be better a cleaner one?
Old 16th May 2018
  #13
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So many good suggestions. In fact, so many superlative mic amps around now, some very good value. So the mic amp market and availability appears to be pretty much saturated.

Now its about ergonomics, I think, no longer about sound, which is a given.

Last edited by David Spearritt; 16th May 2018 at 12:37 PM..
Old 17th May 2018
  #14
Hi,
we do a lot of orchestra recordings. We use mostly Schoeps Mics for the differnent main mics (but also for outriggers, choir, Hamasaki and some spots). We have 8 channels of DAV BG8 and 16 channels of Millennia HV3. Both combinations (Schoeps and Millennia as well as Schoeps and DAV) work very well. Personally I prefer the Millennia a little bit. the recordings with it seem a bit more "stable", "solid", clearer. However: The DAV BG 8 is so light, small and sounds big and still keeps the color... I think it's perfect as a start into location recordings...(and it's quite cheaper than the Millennia) I love both

Best regards, Marcus
Old 17th May 2018
  #15
Old 17th May 2018
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Thank you everyone for the comments!
I will buy, the BG8.
Old 17th May 2018
  #17
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
Old 17th May 2018
  #18
Anything that is quiet and fits your workflow and signal flow. I'd be wary about the Millennia - have had several people I know have theirs go down in the last two years. And the sound isn't the be-all end-all (but I wouldn't object using them on all channels!).
Old 17th May 2018
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorseHorse View Post
Anything that is quiet and fits your workflow and signal flow. I'd be wary about the Millennia - have had several people I know have theirs go down in the last two years. And the sound isn't the be-all end-all (but I wouldn't object using them on all channels!).
I'm surprised by this. We have several Millennias (several STT1s, HV3R, HV3 8).Soundwise they are very, very sharp, transparent and with stereo/multichannel applications they provide a very"stable" stereoumage. However I could see, that there are different opinions and tastes. We have Forssells, Millennias M2B, HV3, DAV, Prisms, Focusrite. I you are interested I can post an example. We have a Neumann Microphone Splitter for the test...

But the built quality of the millennias is from my perspective is unquestionable. They are built like tanks. The DAV looks really "cheap" compared to the Millennias. (However I really like the DAV because of this. It's so light.... and still sounds great)
Old 17th May 2018
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruby06 View Post
But the built quality of the millennias is from my perspective is unquestionable. They are built like tanks.
If only great build quality (heavy case, good buttons) equaled reliability. If the electronics/capacitors/switches/whatever go down, the case doesn't matter.
Old 17th May 2018
  #21
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I don't think there is anything terribly wrong with the ISA428 for this purpose, is there?
Old 17th May 2018
  #22
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jnorman's Avatar
Generally, there is a direct correlation between build quality and reliability. I started out with millennia media HV3 8 many years ago and have never really found anything better. As mentioned, the quality of construction is outstanding, and John lagrou is about as excellent as it gets in terms of customer satisfaction- just a great guy.
Old 17th May 2018
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peller View Post
I don't think there is anything terribly wrong with the ISA428 for this purpose, is there?
especially if you already own them ...
Old 17th May 2018
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorseHorse View Post
If only great build quality (heavy case, good buttons) equaled reliability. If the electronics/capacitors/switches/whatever go down, the case doesn't matter.
Autsch...
Please have a look inside. There are just highest grade of switches, capacitors and other components inside. And already mentioned: the service is phantastic. One time I thought the AD card on my hv3r was broken (actually it was just a configuration error on my side). I wrote an email on Sunday morning to the official support address. Sunday afternoon I received already an answer from Johnny la Grou in person :-)
Old 17th May 2018
  #25
I have the ISA 428 MKII
It’s a very flexible preamp with inserts, ad conversion, line inputs etc.
The AD card sounds amazing (especially considering the price). The mic pres are OK, but a bit thin and with a little lack of resolution compared to the other ones
Old 17th May 2018
  #26
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tourtelot's Avatar
Okay, me pokin' my nose back in

I had the Millennia HV-3D and I had a big argument with the company about, of all things, the XLR connectors in the rear of the unit. They are CRAPPY, CRAPPY (maybe Chinese) knock-off of Neutrik connectors. I had two jam and break apart in the first week of use. I, with my own time and at my own expense , replaced every connector with Neutrik brand. The guys at Millennia were no help and never offered a fix or even an explanation. Why such a cheap component on such an expensive box? At that point, it didn't really matter how it sounded. I sold it as quickly as possible. And, although I was most certainly biased, I didn't actually think it sounded that good. At least compared to my True P8 (which I also HIGHLY recommend) at a much lower cost of entry. Pretty disappointed overall.

I'd love to listen to the Broadhurst Gardens No.8 (and I could make it Dante compatible, which is a MUST for me now, by running it through the Lynx), but that makes it 1) more complicated and 2) way more expensive.

Now, about the Grace m108. Can I tell you some more about how great it is?

As always, everyone's mileage may vary.

D.
Old 17th May 2018
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorseHorse View Post
If only great build quality (heavy case, good buttons) equaled reliability. If the electronics/capacitors/switches/whatever go down, the case doesn't matter.
As much as I generally like Millennia gear, this is far from the first time I've heard of issues like this. I have a number of colleagues that have come and gone from the Millennia world.

Personally here, I'm using Pueblo and am extremely happy with it. But I also have Jensen twin servo (Boulder), A Designs, DAV, API, Vac Rac, Forssell and others... They all have their uses and strengths. What I've found for classical work is more important than all else is that the pots for gain are stepped and matched. Nothing I hate more than sitting there trying to balance a stereo pair of mics by ear- especially when an orchestra or other ensemble may be inherently unbalanced from left to right.

--Ben
Old 17th May 2018
  #28
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together with a friend, i did a comparison between amek/neve, api, focusrite, grace, merging, millennia, studer (through a purpose built splitter so that all pres got the same signal) and my mci (and a second test with less expensive pres from aphex, midas, yamaha):

i'm more into acoustic music and i kept my amek/neve pres, added a few from grace design and bought a lot from studer. (since then, i got to record with daking and liked them very much). my collegue is more into rock music and kept his api's and added focusrite pres. and we both keep on using yamaha and midas pres for smaller projects.

as mentioned by others, there are LOTS of options, although some less when remote control is needed.
Old 18th May 2018
  #29
We've had tons of different flavors of mic preamp over the decades and fundamentally settled on four different colors. Millennia, Grace, Studer and Hardy. Each were good for different things, but we have sold off all the external preamps in the last 5 years. The Horus preamps are so much cleaner and quieter that inserting any external preamp adds 15db of noise to the system. We make our color choices based on microphone choice and for this the Merging Horus/Hapi preamps are our first choice.
The only preamp I have kept is a very custom 8 channel Hardy M2 based preamp that I built with different output options. It has a particular character that works in very specific circumstances, but to be honest, It hasn't left the building in 3 years...
I really don't think about mic preamps anymore.
As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark
Old 18th May 2018
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
We've had tons of different flavors of mic preamp over the decades and fundamentally settled on four different colors. Millennia, Grace, Studer and Hardy. Each were good for different things, but we have sold off all the external preamps in the last 5 years. The Horus preamps are so much cleaner and quieter that inserting any external preamp adds 15db of noise to the system. We make our color choices based on microphone choice and for this the Merging Horus/Hapi preamps are our first choice.
The only preamp I have kept is a very custom 8 channel Hardy M2 based preamp that I built with different output options. It has a particular character that works in very specific circumstances, but to be honest, It hasn't left the building in 3 years...
I really don't think about mic preamps anymore.
As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark

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
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