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Preamp for hard rock overheads Single-Channel Preamps
Old 18th August 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

Preamp for hard rock overheads

Hey everyone,

I have an api 512c, UA LA-610 and I was looking to get some new preamps for my empty lunchbox. I was definately going to go with the a-designs p-1 but the more i thought about it, I need two preamps that will be good for recording overheads. I like a real "live" drum sound, sorta in utero or the last wintersleep album, but i also like the around the fur/white pony sound.

I usually use 4050's for overheads, and i don't have the largest tracking room but I want to upgrade my signal chain because right now I'm going to my presonus digimax or 002 pres with them. I love the way my la-610 and api sounds on guitars and kick/snarei, and i love my la-610 on bass, and i love both for vocals but I want to be as happy with my overhead sound and maybe even have another high quality pre to go to for toms or room mics etc. I was thinking about the RNP or Sytek because I'd like to stay under the $1000 mark and even cheaper if i can.

It be nice to get two P-1's or even get another 512c but the sytek comes with 4 pre's and i could have my toms, overheads and snare and kick covered. Or even use the sytek for overs and rooms and use the digimax for toms. DO you guys have any suggestions for a good overhead pre that would sound good with 4050's and won't break my bank account? Anyone use the Sytek on overheads?? RNP??? 512c???

I don't do allot of quiet, soft type of music but I really want a nice crisp overhead sound. I know allot of that comes from the room and player but the 002 makes things sound a little plastic and fake it seems and my digimax doesn't give me the clarity i'm looking for. Any Advice?
thanks!
Old 18th August 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
I've had good results with the Sytek on a lot of iverheads. Also the trident S20 works. But I love the 610 there.
Old 18th August 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
espen askelad's Avatar
P1s are killer preamps for overheads - my favorite of any I've used. The S20 suggestion is pretty good as well IMO. I didn't really love that preamp for most things, and the build quality scared me a little, but it really does sound quite decent on overs.
Old 18th August 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 
s.d.finley's Avatar
+1 for the A-Designs P1's for overheads. I like these very much. Engage the pad on the pre, not yer mic, for some added saturation.....
Old 18th August 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Daedalus77's Avatar
My sense is that now that you've owned and heard something on the level of the API, you're not going to want to go back to the RNP/Systek "range."

We've got API, BAE, Great River, and other "high-end" units—and we also still have an RNP. I loved the RNP when I first got it, because I didn't yet own the others, but now it (justifiably) can't compete.

My advice would be to save up until you can get more 500 form pres for your lunchbox (or rack). If you do, you've loads of options: You can't go wrong with the APIs in this application, though might try a pair of the BAE counterpart (312s), which, to my ears, are quite similar but a little different. Of course, there's the Purple Biz, Shadow Hills Mono Gamma, A-Designs "colors"...

Best of luck.
Old 19th August 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 
BLueROom's Avatar
 

I've used P-1s on rock/metal overheads and they are killer. Rather than "settling" for them as OHs, you should be seeking them out as OHs. You won't be disappointed.
Old 19th August 2007
  #7
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FossilTooth's Avatar
 

Two more channels of api would be just a hair more expensive than 4 channels of sytek. I'd take the api's if I had to choose, but your situation may be different.

You mentioned In Utero. Although Albini seems to prefer transformerless pres like the syteks, I don't think anyone would try to convince you that preamps were anywhere near being the most important factor in the sound of those drums.
Old 19th August 2007
  #8
much though I think there is still a place for the rnp (mine sits readily alongside even my GR) it will not provide the sound you are looking for for OH's. It has a warm vintage vibe going on about it. At the price you are quoting a DAV BG1 might do it for you at the budget end. If you could stretch to $1500 you could pick up a pair of GR's for your lunchbox. These things are very verstatile.
Old 19th August 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by senlab_studios View Post
Hey everyone,

I have an api 512c, UA LA-610 and I was looking to get some new preamps for my empty lunchbox. I was definately going to go with the a-designs p-1 but the more i thought about it, I need two preamps that will be good for recording overheads. I like a real "live" drum sound, sorta in utero or the last wintersleep album, but i also like the around the fur/white pony sound.
4050's are pretty decent mics for OH's.

Fill up your lunchbox with API 512c's.
(Then buy another lunchbox and fill it up with 512c's.)

Albino recorded "in utero".
He uses GML, Hardy and Ampex pre's in addition to his Neotek board.
I'd have to say that it is more about your room acoustics for OH's than your preamp choice- but you might want to consider a pair of distressors as well.
Old 19th August 2007
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

La Chapell 992

Best pre for overheads period.#2 pacifica
Old 19th August 2007
  #11
+1 on LaChapell. Also Buzz Audio MA2.2TX and Buzz Audio Elixir...detail for miles.
Old 20th August 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Get another 512c so you at least have a pair, they will do just fine for OH's or anyother part of your kit, EG, vocals, bass etc. As for your 002 problem.....just get a cheap used Apogee Rosetta 48kHz converter.......that will give you more headroom and a far better sound.
Later get a pair of P-1.

nIC
Old 20th August 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 
crypticglobe's Avatar
Old API 312's are pretty much impossible to beat for that application in my book.

I do mostly rock here, and my 312's were purchased specifically for that reason. When I can, I am going to add a few more because they are also my absolute favorite on High Hat and Ride. They are usually my go-to for Kick drum as well, all though sometimes I like the cleaner, slightly higher head room of the newer 512's and/or my SCA A12's for that. 312's also are one of the top 2 for toms as well (the other would be by N72's). If I want monster meat... it's the N72's, if I want REALLY sharp attack... it's the 312's. Both can give just a hint of crunch that makes toms (if they are tuned properly) just sound amazing.

So in short.... vintage 312's are what you want. They are fairly hard to find... but sooooo worth it.
Old 20th August 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 
RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus77 View Post
My sense is that now that you've owned and heard something on the level of the API, you're not going to want to go back to the RNP/Systek "range."
I agree with this. My fave OHs these days are Pacificas, so I think the P-1 would be pretty darn close. For drums the P-1 or more APIs are going to be fantastic. Since you already have a lunch box, I would suggest you get some great pres that will fit into the box.
Old 20th August 2007
  #15
Gear Head
 

thanks for all the advice. I'm thinking about goin for 2 pacifica p-1's or another 512c. I just have one more question just to get a better idea of my situation.

How would the Sytek in your opinion compare to my digimax lt preamps or those that sit in a 002??? I hear what the api and la-610 do that my 002/ or digimax won't do but would it be the same for the syteks? trident??

I'm just curios to see if you put the 002 or digimax at the bottow of the scale and an api 512 at the top, where a sytek or trident would fit in for this type of application? I'd definately like to fill up my lunchbox and I know i want 2 pre's the same and then the rest a variety from clean to neve'ish etc. But for right now it really might make sense money wise to get a sytek or trident etc. Your thoughts would be appreciated..
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