The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Worth investing in other mic preamp?
Old 26th February 2019
  #1
Gear Head
 

Worth investing in other mic preamp?

Hi,

Our band are recording a new record soon, we (I) will be recording everything except drums which will be done in a decent studio.

I've invested in some new equipment, we've sound treated the recording space (sounds good for vocal tests so far), got a decent mic which suits our singer (SM7b) a neve preamp (Avedis MA5), and a much better active DI.

The MA5 should be just the treat for vocals and bass, but I am debating as to whether to get a different mic preamp for recording the guitars?

The music is fast heavy metal (a bit like judas priest), I haven't had the chance to try the neve preamp with guitars, but doing alot of reading about various mic preamps would seem to suggest that the edgy percussive guitar sound might not be best represented by the preamp we have.

Obviously I'm going to try out the Neve asap (as soon as my new 500 series rack arrives) but I'm still interested in potentially trying some more stuff now and selling what we don't need, I would just be interested in hearing your thoughts on whether you think its splitting hairs worrying about preamp types at all?

I'm still using a focusrite forte interface, perhaps investing in a better converter unit would be a more worthwhile avenue?

Appreciate your input,

Thanks
Old 26th February 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
Assuming you're recording an amp in the room, heavily distorted, the signal will be so compressed naturally anyways, I don't know if speedy transients like drums are going to be an issue with that Neve. Might actually take some of the edge off. If not, those RedNet preamps are really good; you could try them.

Focus more on getting a good tone in the room and stuff like this will matter less and less.
Old 26th February 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
You could record an entire record with one or two MA5’s. I don’t hesitate to use mine for any source. Maybe rent or borrow a different preamp to compare it to, but I think you’ll find it to be a very fine pre for tracking guitars. Keep in mind it is not a Neve preamp. I own two MA5’s and two Neve preamps. The Avedis is faster, has a tiny “smiley face” to it (more bass and top end extension) and the Neves are darker, thick and creamy. So don’t apply what you read online about “Neve preamps” to the Avedis. I wouldn’t even apply it to Neve preamps, because the lines are really blurred with folks with a Vintech, new BAE or even a Warm clone like to call them Neve preamps, but they’re not.
Old 26th February 2019
  #4
Gear Head
 

Thanks very much for the replies folks, as ever great advice!

I'll stick with what I have then I think
Old 26th February 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 
mbvoxx's Avatar
Spend you extra money on a good LDC vocal mic
Old 27th February 2019
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbvoxx View Post
Spend you extra money on a good LDC vocal mic
Thanks very much for the suggestion,

We're pretty happy with the SM7b right now, personally I've recorded as a singer with both condenser mics and dynamics and didnt get on with the condenser mic, detailed but thin and accentuated the more undesirable details, the 7b seems to be smoother overall and helps bring forward the low mids and more masculine parts of the voice. Seems to sit nice with the marshall amps too, especially with our new tenor range singer..
Old 28th February 2019
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Try removing the foam covering from the SM7b, i found it opens up the sound of the mic & feels a little more 3d with a little extra top end clarity. This does not fit every vocalist but I normally prefer this method with the sm7b... just be sure to use a pop filter . When it comes to the mic pre for heavy guitar...i personally love the Neve sound for this, especially if it's an original 1073 type pre.
Old 2nd March 2019
  #8
Gear Head
 

Cheers car crash, most definitely I will try that, thanks man!
Old 2nd March 2019
  #9
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I think you'll be fine with what you have
Old 3rd March 2019
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by symeboy View Post
Hi,

Our band are recording a new record soon, we (I) will be recording everything except drums which will be done in a decent studio.

I've invested in some new equipment, we've sound treated the recording space (sounds good for vocal tests so far), got a decent mic which suits our singer (SM7b) a neve preamp (Avedis MA5), and a much better active DI.

The MA5 should be just the treat for vocals and bass, but I am debating as to whether to get a different mic preamp for recording the guitars?

The music is fast heavy metal (a bit like judas priest), I haven't had the chance to try the neve preamp with guitars, but doing alot of reading about various mic preamps would seem to suggest that the edgy percussive guitar sound might not be best represented by the preamp we have.

Obviously I'm going to try out the Neve asap (as soon as my new 500 series rack arrives) but I'm still interested in potentially trying some more stuff now and selling what we don't need, I would just be interested in hearing your thoughts on whether you think its splitting hairs worrying about preamp types at all?

I'm still using a focusrite forte interface, perhaps investing in a better converter unit would be a more worthwhile avenue?

Appreciate your input,

Thanks

Is this really an investment that will pay for itself?
Or could there be some GAS involved?

What is the problem you are having now?
What do you think a new mike will do to fix that?
Ditto a converter or any other new gear.

What is your budget?
What do you really need?
Will the new gear satisfy the need for what you can afford?
Old 3rd March 2019
  #11
I’d use the $$ to rent a Fet47 or a U87. I’ve done a lot of metal and punk and even screamers sound better on condensers compared to an sm-7b (which I love on guitar amps). Just don’t turn the gain up higher than necessary on loud vocal parts, you’ll get unwanted clipping.
Old 3rd March 2019
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
I’d use the $$ to rent a Fet47 or a U87. I’ve done a lot of metal and punk and even screamers sound better on condensers compared to an sm-7b (which I love on guitar amps). Just don’t turn the gain up higher than necessary on loud vocal parts, you’ll get unwanted clipping.
+1

Always a good idea to test gear first. Renting is a viable way to see if you really should purchase that item.
Old 3rd March 2019
  #13
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe sixpak View Post
Is this really an investment that will pay for itself?
Or could there be some GAS involved?

What is the problem you are having now?
What do you think a new mike will do to fix that?
Ditto a converter or any other new gear.

What is your budget?
What do you really need?
Will the new gear satisfy the need for what you can afford?
Thanks, yup can't deny GAS is real!

Possibly a bit of confusion here, you're asking about mics, my OP was about preamp, 100% happy with mics so far.

I was essentially asking is it worth having a second very different mic pre for recording guitars than the Avedis (which is cool for vox)
Old 3rd March 2019
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
I’d use the $$ to rent a Fet47 or a U87. I’ve done a lot of metal and punk and even screamers sound better on condensers compared to an sm-7b (which I love on guitar amps). Just don’t turn the gain up higher than necessary on loud vocal parts, you’ll get unwanted clipping.
Thanks Nathan. I'll have a think about that, liking the 7b so far. Vocalist sounds a bit like Bruce Dickinson so not particularly screamy/shouty.

Partly my fault but I think the convo has gone off on a tangent, I was asking about investing in a new different preamp for guitars. Vocals tests sound great, but as a guitarist I'm wondering if it's worth having a different preamp to try other than the MA5. I have 2 months to test gear before we record (I'll sell anything we don't use).
Old 3rd March 2019
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by symeboy View Post
Thanks, yup can't deny GAS is real!

Possibly a bit of confusion here, you're asking about mics, my OP was about preamp, 100% happy with mics so far.

I was essentially asking is it worth having a second very different mic pre for recording guitars than the Avedis (which is cool for vox)


OOPS sorry. Must have read a later message or misread it.

To me and my budget it would not be worth it. But to you and your band it may well be worth getting.

Still I stand by my suggestion to rent first then buy later if you really think it is worth it.
Old 3rd March 2019
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by symeboy View Post
Thanks Nathan. I'll have a think about that, liking the 7b so far. Vocalist sounds a bit like Bruce Dickinson so not particularly screamy/shouty.

Partly my fault but I think the convo has gone off on a tangent, I was asking about investing in a new different preamp for guitars. Vocals tests sound great, but as a guitarist I'm wondering if it's worth having a different preamp to try other than the MA5. I have 2 months to test gear before we record (I'll sell anything we don't use).
I don’t think you need another preamp if you are doing single track overdubbs. The money could be spent elsewhere that would be more beneficial IMHO. The MA5 is a great preamp, it’s a little faster and airier in general that a 50 year old 1290 type preamp (the kind in a 1073, 1084 etc) so I wouldn’t worry about loss of detail or dynamics.

If you don’t think the mic can be improved on and the room is treated enough, then maybe a compressor is a good idea which will fatten up the ITB tracks and make things easier come mix time. Something based on an 1176 or even a fast opto will do well, these are available in rack or 500 (I personally am liking the quality of these 500 pieces in the $1k range from Chandler, Serpent, APA, Buzz, IGS etc).

A better AD converter will help the quality of the input, a better DAC will help with tweeking the instrument sounds during tracking and making better mix decisions. Mytek Brooklyn series, Apogee, Benchmark, Crane Song there are a lot of great ones these days! Unfortunately there are no free lunches as a setup is only as good as its weakest link.

Last edited by NathanEldred; 3rd March 2019 at 04:19 PM..
Old 3rd March 2019
  #17
Gear Head
 

Thanks as ever guys!

Cool. I'll stick with the MA5 for tracking everything (except drums) I think. I'm getting a RNC 500 series compressor for tracking vocals, should do the trick as a safety net for clipping.

My weakest link is probably the converters as you say Nathan. I have a Focusrite Forte interface, in honesty I actually hate the damn thing! the software is glitchy on windows and I dont like the preamps very much for anything I've tried. It only has 2 outs + headphones too, might be handy when it comes to reamping guitars to have another output.

I might look at a different interfaces then, I could be wrong but I imagine that really is a world of diminishing returns in terms of the quality versus price nowadays (if we are only talking conversion)?
Old 3rd March 2019
  #18
RME anything is usually a safe bet and solid conversion quality. Their totalmix is good for ITB tracking too.
Old 3rd March 2019
  #19
Gear Head
Nothing wrong with the Avedis but I'll never miss a chance to give a shout to the Louder than Liftoff Chroma.

As far as conversion goes.... depends how much you want to spend. You can spend a ton of money and get some really nice stuff. You can usually find a Steinberg MR816 for pretty cheap and they are great. RME is fantastic as Nathan mentioned. Have yet to do a comparison between the two since my RME is still pretty new, but I'd use either without question.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
VanDiesel / Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production
55
auralart / Low End Theory
4
Dimobr / Newbie Audio Engineering + Production Question Zone
4
digitalM / So Much Gear, So Little Time
2

Forum Jump
Forum Jump