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A Preamp can be a good idea? Studio Monitors
Old 22nd August 2015
A Preamp can be a good idea?

Hi all out there,
I'm a newbie both here at Gearslutz and also in recording/post-producing (started nearly a year ago ). Also, I apologize for my far-from-good english.

As today, I've the need to only record vocals (rap). I use a RODE NT2A mic plugged in a Scarlett 8i6 since I started. I'm not completely satisfied, the registrations are a bit harsh and with a noise floor (nothing to worry about too much, with the instrumental on can't be heard). Sadly, I record in my bedroom (an untreated environment), so probably the cause of the problems is exactly the room. But I can't treat my room at all, due to my parents.
Do you think a preamp (300/400€) will be a good idea to improve and to achieve a warmer sound or it will only create more noise and """confusion""" ?

Old 22nd August 2015
Lives for gear

Make a couple of portable gobo's that you can put away when you're not recording. Even two mic stands with heavy blankets on them would dry up the room sound on your mic. Or products like the reflexion filter or realtraps pvb can really help.

The harshness problem is probably not caused by the room. Inexpensive mics/interfaces tend to be not as sweet in the high frequencies, but really experimenting with different mic placement and vocal technique is probably the key. Try the mic above, below, to the side of your mouth and see what sound you like. Experiment with distance - 6", 12", 24" from you. (hint, you won't be able to get farther away without gobo's like my first paragraph suggests). If it's sibilance, that's something you can work on with your vocal technique, but also look up things like the "pencil technique".

EQ your instrumental to make room for the vocal - cut around 3k or 5k or 10k in the instrumental and see if the vocal gets clearer.

All of that will help more than a new preamp.
Old 22nd August 2015
Lives for gear
Me_Likey's Avatar

You can do non-permanent room improvements. Try draping some moving blankets on a stand directly behind you when recording your vocals. Mic placement also plays a major role in how it will sound. How far away is the mic when you're rapping? I'm not sure throwing more equipment at it will improve things yet. Can you post a clip here?
Old 22nd August 2015
Gear Addict

My own research revield many comments concerning the Rode NT2a's reputation as a mic with a harsh sound in the upper frequencies. If that holds true, a new mic will yield better results than a preamp by far. Don't neglect the easy DIY treatments mentioned here.
Old 22nd August 2015
Thanks for the answer. I'm not the guy who rap (I suck lol). I forgot to say that I've already a Reflexion filter behind the mic and on the back of the singer I usually keep my wardrobe open so there is a minor absorption due to clothes, jackets and so on. I usually keep the reflexion filter at nearly max distance to avoid a darker sound. The guys usually sings very near to the pop filter. I'll try to ask them to move a bit more far.
Ye, I know it quite cheap gear, but it's the max I can afford now as student.
Thanks for the answer, I already thought that a preamp wouldn't be a good idea, I asked for being sure.
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