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Debating on my front end Single-Channel Preamps
Old 10th October 2015
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Debating on my front end

Ok slutz, this might get messy but i'll shoot anyway.

I am a young aspiring producer who is caught in a very bad thinking cycle, looking for a little advice that may help my situation which is looking for something to get me out of that sterile sound thats been haunting me for years now. Now according to my gear, I've narrowed it down to..... 4 options (you could throw in more if seems fit, followed by a good argument off course):

Option 1: Pre such as a Heritage Audio TT73 paired with a Warm wa76 comp.
Option 2: 2 x tb12 Tonebeasts + wa76 (for stereo duties, guitars mostly occasionally overheads/strings)
Option 3: a Heritage Audio dma-73 pre OR a Pacifica (for the same stereo duties)
Option 4: a mic such as a cu29 Copperhead + 1 TT73/(tb12 + wa76)

It looks like the old mathematics class I know...

Gear is:
Charteroak e700
Pair of Beyer mc930
Shure sm7b

All going through the mr816x, I will not abide to any "but you can't bypass the pre's on that interface!" nonsense, unless you really think it's fullsense.

You have got to do me this one!
Old 10th October 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Going the neve type route would be a good choice. Lots of options, heritage, bae, great river, rnd, avedis depending on what specifically you are going to record.
Old 10th October 2015
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
Going the neve type route would be a good choice. Lots of options, heritage, bae, great river, rnd, avedis depending on what specifically you are going to record.
Alright yes that's my direction regarding a pre but is that the best route from all the options I listed? Stereo preamp?
Thanks
Old 10th October 2015
  #4
Gear Addict
If you want a quick route to leapfrog past "sterile," Pacifica will definitely get you there. Though of your options, it's the only one I've used. I'd also say a WA76 is a great option to beef things up. I've had great experience with mine.

I can't say how it will sound with your mics and conversion, however. In my experience, mics, conversion, and pres create a 3-dimensional matrix, and any one of those parts could be contributing to "sterile." In the past, I had an mBox 2 and a cheap chinese mic sounded great through it (really gave me nice high end) with Great River pres. Then, looking for more "definition," I got an Apogee Mini-Me to use SPDIF. Oh man, talk about "sterile." I got all kinds of problems in the high end with the cheap chinese condenser. Thinking it was the mic's fault, I explored a lot of other options, and found 414's sounded pretty good with the Mini-Me (still using GR pre). A while later, I snagged a Rosetta and shot it out against the Mini-Me and a friend's Saffire Pro 40. We always do blind, computer-randomized, .1 db matched shootouts. Oh man the Mini-Me lost by a MILE. It was creating all sorts of problems in the high end, problems I had been fighting for years and never thought to blame on the Mini-Me. (If your curious, the conversion on the Saffire tied on some sources with the Rosetta, which won overall. We bypassed the pre's on the Saffire, which I have heard are less-than-stellar.)

Oh yeah, guess what? That cheap chinese mic started sounding OK again (though not enough to get used). Fast forward to aquiring a few pres and shooting them out. Pacifica wins for thick and vibey, VP26 wins for focused, and Great River just sounds ...modern, fine, excellent, bright, nothing-wrong-with-it. Some would say Great River/Neve will give you beef, but at least with my chain, that isn't my experience. I've also used a vintage "toaster" pair of vintage Neve strips, and my experience is that they are extremely competent (especially the EQ section), but not "instant throwback beef." Go Pacifica for beef. And if your problems persist, consider renting/borrowing some other conversion options to see if you can pinpoint your issues.
Old 10th October 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by matan_levis View Post
Alright yes that's my direction regarding a pre but is that the best route from all the options I listed? Stereo preamp?
Thanks
What will it be used for?
Old 10th October 2015
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
What will it be used for?
I'm thinking of either getting 1 pre or a stereo one, making mostly folk/blues/country/jazz/rock and looking for that vintage vibe, now as i havent used any other pre's other than the one's on my mr816, im not sure what im really looking for. debate is mostly Herritage, Tonebeast, or Pacifica.
if another mic is more important then shoot suggestions away.

Thanks
Old 11th October 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
 

I would say go stereo if you can afford it. It will partially depend on if you will still use the 816 pres or might but others in the future. All the pres you listed will be very colored, which is a good thing but not all the time imo. So for rock it would be great not so much for jazz.

So if you want an all around pre for everything consider the great river, it's kind of in between, can do some color, and also cleaner.

If you will use the 816 for clean (or get something else down the road) then I would say the heritage of the options listed. API style and Pacifica are both wonderful, but I wouldn't get them as my first pre.
Old 11th October 2015
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
I would say go stereo if you can afford it. It will partially depend on if you will still use the 816 pres or might but others in the future. All the pres you listed will be very colored, which is a good thing but not all the time imo. So for rock it would be great not so much for jazz.

So if you want an all around pre for everything consider the great river, it's kind of in between, can do some color, and also cleaner.

If you will use the 816 for clean (or get something else down the road) then I would say the heritage of the options listed. API style and Pacifica are both wonderful, but I wouldn't get them as my first pre.
Why not something like the tonebeast? I thought it was cleaner/more versatile as a first choice.
but yeah that's what im leaning towards maybe a 1073

thank you
Old 11th October 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by matan_levis View Post
Why not something like the tonebeast? I thought it was cleaner/more versatile as a first choice.
but yeah that's what im leaning towards maybe a 1073

thank you
Isn't the tone beast an API clone? If not then I'm mistaken.
Old 11th October 2015
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
Isn't the tone beast an API clone? If not then I'm mistaken.
You are correct, but in a more clean way as i've heared. I heared the neve clones are more colored vintagely no?
Old 11th October 2015
  #11
Neve style preamp w the copperhead is your best bet
Old 11th October 2015
  #12
Lives for gear
I own the copperhead and I have run it through with the GAP PRE73 MKIII and it's a good combo. I also own a U87AI as well. The copperhead is fantastic so buy it since they aren't many of them being made. Also numbered as well. I am in the low 20's on mine. But I hope you also have a 87AI as well. If your producing and you have some fantastic vocalists coming in you need different flavors on tracks.
Old 11th October 2015
  #13
Lives for gear
 
e-are's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
Going the neve type route would be a good choice. Lots of options, heritage, bae, great river, rnd, avedis depending on what specifically you are going to record.
Vintech......
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