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Apollo + Coles 4038: what's next? Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

Apollo + Coles 4038: what's next?

Hi guys,

In a previous post I asked questions about if (and if so: what) I should get an interface and/or preamp and which one first, et cetera.

Last week I got a great opportunity to buy an Apollo Quad 8 (so not the 8p). I went for it and now I suddenly own a great piece of gear which is both interface and preamp.

My situation now: my Apollo has 4 mic inputs and 4 line inputs. I use more than 4 mics so I need an external preamp to feed (some of) the 4 line inputs. What would you advise me to do now, knowing that:
- I use a pair of Coles 4038's as overheads
- I use an SM57 and an Audix i5 for snare
- I use a Yamaha subkick and a Microtech Gefell MD300 for bassdrum
- I use a Beyer M160 for hats
So in total 7 mics of which 4 can go into the Apollo right away. I might add some more mics later on to close-mic the toms for instance.

My question is now:
- which of those 4 should you connect to the Apollo and use for instance a Neve unison preamp on it and why;
- what preamp should you get to connect the other 3 mics to the Apollo.

I was thinking of maybe getting a Warm Audio WA-412 (API clone, 4 channels) or an Audient ASP880 (8 channels).
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
Experiment. Nobody can tell you what's best here, only you can.
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

The Audients are solid, no experience with the Warm, but they are both the type of gear you are more likely to get tired of/outgrow within a few years than something like the Coles or Gefell mics.

I’d recommend getting an AEA TRP 2-channel ribbon pre for your Coles (it’s
in the same ballpark price wise as the Warm and Audient), and then recording only 6 channels for now til you can afford another 2 high-quality pres. Buy once, buy right.

Google around about the subkick, all it does is generate a tone at its own resonant frequency, so you can ditch the input and still get a very similar effect ITB. For example with a dynamic EQ tuned to expand your kick’s fundamental note, sidechaining to a gated sine, or plain ol triggering 808 samples.
Old 6 days ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JanHaakma View Post
I need an external preamp to feed the 4 line inputs. What would you advise me to do now...
Notwithstanding that preamp threads tend to be folks basically recommending whatever preamp(s) they have themselves...

But one has to start somewhere, so let's start with your initial concept specifically of a 4-channel preamp unit...

I have a 4-channel DAV BG-2 MkII which is a 1U 4ch unit that sounds superb on everything and I'm sure would pair as nicely with your Apollo as it does with my Metric Halo.

I've not heard the Warm 1073s although I have other pieces of theirs (WA-76, TB-12 etc) and I think they build good kit have no reason to believe it wouldn't meet your needs.

It's almost impossible to 'go wrong' with an API, so of course the 3124 should be on your list, although this is likely to be the priciest choice.

I used to own an Audient ASP-008 which was an excellent, very clean unit - keep in mind you'll need a DB-25 cable to get the line-outs going. The only niggle I had with the Audient was that a lot of the useful gain range was piled into the last 1/3rd of pot-travel - I found that a PITA, especially when setting up pairs of mics. Stepped input gains is one big reason I like the DAV BG so much as I'm nearly always using it on two pairs of matched mics.

Personally I take with a grain of salt the whole 'this preamp for this application' and 'that (different) preamp for that application'. Of course there are sonic differences between preamps, but a good quality pre should amplify the sound of whatever your microphones pick up in a pleasing, musical and technically functional fashion, be that on voice, kick drum or Siberian nose-flute. It's a bit of a cliche I know, but whenever people get too evangelic about recommending specific preamps only for specific tasks in the studio I just imagine Alan Parsons sitting in Abbey Road asking himself 'I wonder what preamp would be best to record this source?' when in reality he simply got on with the business of recording Dark Side of The Moon with whatever was in front of him.

Last edited by James Lehmann; 6 days ago at 08:45 AM..
Old 6 days ago
  #5
There are some fantastic, relatively affordable multiple mic/pres.
D.A.V. electronics - The Broadhurst Gardens No. 2 mk II Mic Amp

I worked in Mark Knopfler's studio and he has racks of DAV mic/pres.

Buy used?Api 3124:
Access to this page has been denied.

And again, second hand? Daking Mic/Pre IV:
Access to this page has been denied.

Regarding the post above......
I don't currently own any of the above products. I'm a drummer who records, so they are recommendations from that point of view. This is what I would buy if I needed 4 more channels.
(I also own an Apollo 8).
Old 6 days ago
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post

I have a 4-channel DAV BG-2 MkII which is a 1U 4ch unit that sounds superb on everything and I'm sure would pair as nicely with your Apollo as it does with my Metric Halo.
Old 6 days ago
  #7
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by inasilentway View Post
The Audients are solid, no experience with the Warm, but they are both the type of gear you are more likely to get tired of/outgrow within a few years than something like the Coles or Gefell mics.

I’d recommend getting an AEA TRP 2-channel ribbon pre for your Coles (it’s
in the same ballpark price wise as the Warm and Audient), and then recording only 6 channels for now til you can afford another 2 high-quality pres. Buy once, buy right.

Google around about the subkick, all it does is generate a tone at its own resonant frequency, so you can ditch the input and still get a very similar effect ITB. For example with a dynamic EQ tuned to expand your kick’s fundamental note, sidechaining to a gated sine, or plain ol triggering 808 samples.
This is interesting! So if I understand you correctly, you would advise me to get rid of the subkick, simulate its effect with EQ and save a channel that way?

The AEA seems very nice indeed... But hard to get here in the Netherlands I guess. Would perhaps make sense to get the AEA now and for instance a Warm 273 later.
Old 6 days ago
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
I have a 4-channel DAV BG-2 MkII which is a 1U 4ch unit that sounds superb on everything and I'm sure would pair as nicely with your Apollo as it does with my Metric Halo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
There are some fantastic, relatively affordable multiple mic/pres.
D.A.V. electronics - The Broadhurst Gardens No. 2 mk II Mic Amp

I worked in Mark Knopfler's studio and he has racks of DAV mic/pres.
Very interesting too, I never heard of this brand but it seems to be made in UK. If I decide to get one, I should hurry and fix it before Brexit ;-)
Old 6 days ago
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
I used to own an Audient ASP-008 which was an excellent, very clean unit - keep in mind you'll need a DB-25 cable to get the line-outs going. The only niggle I had with the Audient was that a lot of the useful gain range was piled into the last 1/3rd of pot-travel - I found that a PITA, especially when setting up pairs of mics. Stepped input gains is one big reason I like the DAV BG so much as I'm nearly always using it on two pairs of matched mics.
Very useful information, thank you. Someone told me that its best to use a very clean pre with the Coles, so this speaks for the Audient.

About the DB-25: can't I just connect an ASP880 through ADAT? That way I get 8 extra inputs in stead of 4 right? What would be the difference if I used a DB-25 and connect to the line ins versus connecting through ADAT?
Old 6 days ago
  #10
Effectively, you can use whatever you want with the Coles. I've used them a lot in a variety of studios with a variety of consoles and mic/pres.
They tend to be more noisy than other mics, so it makes sense to use a clean pre. The AEA is designed and made for ribbons so that could be the go.
There must be a DAV dealer in your country, or in Europe? They are British, but also a long established company.
On the Kick sub, we always use one. Overall I think it's better to derive your low end from the actual instrument rather than manufacturing it. However, for many decades people recorded without a sub kick.
If it were me, I would have one.
My kick set up is close mic (at the head or just inside), a U47fet a few feet away, plus a sub kick right in front of there kick.
Old 6 days ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
jwh1192's Avatar
What is your Budget for this Purchase ??? 4 channel units on Reverb.com range from about 850.00 to 1500.00 and up of course ..

alternative thought: 1200.00 for another Apollo Silver Quad - gives you 4 more MicPre's / Unison Software / 4 More Chips for UAD PLugins ..
Old 6 days ago
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
What is your Budget for this Purchase ??? 4 channel units on Reverb.com range from about 850.00 to 1500.00 and up of course ..

alternative thought: 1200.00 for another Apollo Silver Quad - gives you 4 more MicPre's / Unison Software / 4 More Chips for UAD PLugins ..
Wow didn't think of that one yet! I did think of getting an Apollo twin though.

My budget is around € 1.000 I guess...
Old 6 days ago
  #13
Gear Head
 

Could anyone please explain to me the difference between an ADAT connected preamp (for instance the ASP880) and a 4 channel pre which I connect to the four line ins of the Apollo?

Is an ADAT channel exactly the same (soundwise and possibility wise) as a line input channel?

If so: it's always best to get one of those 8 channel ADAT units, right?
Old 6 days ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JanHaakma View Post
Is an ADAT channel exactly the same (soundwise and possibility wise) as a line input channel?
No.

There is a difference in that an ADAT-equipped unit like the Audient will convert your signal to digital onboard and then send it to the Apollo via a digital (ADAT) connection.

In this instance you might also need to consider a discrete BNC digital clocking connection to ensure best performance.

An all-analogue preamp like the DAV will connect to your Apollo via the line ins of that, and therefore your signal will be converted to digital by the Apollo.

What we have then is two different units doing the digital conversion of the signal coming from your mics - which in itself may not be much of a difference compared to the sonic differences in the preamps, but it is there and the minute you introduce more than one digital unit into your system you have to give some thought to clocking (do a search if you're not sure how this works).

Obviously numerically you'll have more preamps available if you get the Audient, i.e. 12 (+ 4 spare Line Ins available on your Apollo) vs 8 with the DAV (+ no spare Line Ins available on your Apollo).

By the way - just to address some earlier comments, DAV is a small company and you can buy direct from owner Mick Hinton who ships his units all over the world; no need for a dealer.
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