The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Good Mic vs. Good Mic Preamp? Mind boggling.
Old 7th July 2009
  #61
Lives for gear
 
Jimbo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
The discussion is going around and around in a circle.
What "discussion"?

Old 7th July 2009
  #62
Lives for gear
 
Chucho's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
This is what the OP asked:



Here's proof the mic is more important.

Take any mic, any preamp and record any instrument being played. Vary the microphone position but keep the preamp the same. Make a bunch of recordings, each time putting the mic in a different location. Cut all the recordings together and marvel at the wide range of spatial impressions, timbres and source / room balances. Or try this...keep the mic source / mic position constant but change the mic for each recording take. You'll still end up with a remarkable variety of impressions of the source and room.

Now take any mic, any preamp and record any instrument being played. This time, change the preamp but keep the mic and positioning the same. Make a bunch of recordings. Cut all the recordings together and marvel at how much they all sound the same.
Moving the mic around is a good idea.
thanks.
Old 7th July 2009
  #63
Here for the gear
 

Uppin' the Budget to $1600

Well the verdict is in. The winner is, all is vital, including the cable which I didn't even consider. Wow, thanx for all your input. It's a great debate. Different orders of priorities for different folx. This is way over my head and I am learning immensely.

So...for the "Mic is more important" crew, can I get a good mic for $600 used. Are any of these below respectable?

What does anyone think about my actual suggestions?:

HTML Code:
 AT 4047/AT 4040/ Shure KSM 44/ SM7b / Add the AKG 214/Rode NTK(upgraded tube) with a Great River ME-1NV , john hardy m-1 personal mic preamp...

verses the tube route:

Soundeluxe U195 or Rode K2, Audio Technica 4060 w/ RNP or Grace 101, True P-Solo...
I have decided to spend more money, $1600. I have ruled out the UA 610. I agree. Not right for what I am doing. What about the UA710? This list is what I have access to because I need the pieces of gear this week. I'd really like the mic pre to be easily PORTABLE not a rack mount.

Quote:
Mark Kaufman Sounds like you intend to do a lot of recording in some unusual spaces?


Mark I will be recording in a cabin and we're going to create a makeshift vocal booth.

Space 2012, I like your input but most of those mic pres are out of my price range.

It's cool that this thread had become metaphysical, almost of a scientific spiritual nature. Guys, once again, gratitude.
Old 7th July 2009
  #64
Here for the gear
 

Not a cheap mic.

BTW I am not looking for a cheap mic, I am looking for a good lower end mic in the $500 to 600 dollar range used. I have my eye on 2 in Vancouver a Shure KSM 44 and a Rode K2 depending on which route I take. Also, I do hear much satisfaction about the Shure SM7b through a Great River and it might be good for my purpose and budget.
Old 7th July 2009
  #65
Here for the gear
 

This kind of feels like a religulous argument, doesn't it? or political... everyone has a pretty strong opinion on this, it seems.

My take is, yes, it's both... both are important.

But, from my own personal experience, years ago I had a few decent mics and a crappy Mackie board. When I got my APIs, everything I recorded sounded completely 100% better to me. All of my dynamic mics, my few condensers, everything.

I am saving up for some higher end mics, but in the meantime, I am enjoying everything I record with my less expensive mics than I ever did. I can't afford to buy a bunch of Neumann's (or whatever) all at once, but the pre upgrade knocked everything up several notches in quality.

So, in my opinion, for ME, it was

1) Great pre first
2) Great mic later

However, I think mics are ultimately the most important... this is just the ORDER that seemed to work best for me. In the end, I want BOTH.

Good luck with your decision.

J

(Oh, and I have good instruments, monitors, and a treated room, in case you were wondering)
Old 7th July 2009
  #66
Here for the gear
 

While the luminaries discuss the fine points why don't you get a Duet? Two sweet, clean clear pres with 65 db of gain, enough for low gain ribbon and dynamic mics, best in its class converters - portable and works great with mac. I have both the Fb and Duet and there's no comparison - the Duet completely blows away the Firebox. Use the rest of your cash to buy an assortment of inexpensive but well regarded mics - maybe a pair of Oktava 012s for stereo ($120 each on ebay), a ribbon just because they sound so cool (even a $100 apex 205/10 will do the job providing that 'darker,' 'vintage' sound), a 57 $(50) or Sm7 and maybe an AT LDC. Having a variety of mics to mix and match will open up more sonic possibilites and allow you to escape everything sounding more or less the same. Just my $02
and worth what you paid for it .... Have fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by yvesapple View Post
Well the verdict is in. The winner is, all is vital, including the cable which I didn't even consider. Wow, thanx for all your input. It's a great debate. Different orders of priorities for different folx. This is way over my head and I am learning immensely.

So...for the "Mic is more important" crew, can I get a good mic for $600 used. Are any of these below respectable?

What does anyone think about my actual suggestions?:

HTML Code:
 AT 4047/AT 4040/ Shure KSM 44/ SM7b / Add the AKG 214/Rode NTK(upgraded tube) with a Great River ME-1NV , john hardy m-1 personal mic preamp...

verses the tube route:

Soundeluxe U195 or Rode K2, Audio Technica 4060 w/ RNP or Grace 101, True P-Solo...
I have decided to spend more money, $1600. I have ruled out the UA 610. I agree. Not right for what I am doing. What about the UA710? This list is what I have access to because I need the pieces of gear this week. I'd really like the mic pre to be easily PORTABLE not a rack mount.



Mark I will be recording in a cabin and we're going to create a makeshift vocal booth.

Space 2012, I like your input but most of those mic pres are out of my price range.

It's cool that this thread had become metaphysical, almost of a scientific spiritual nature. Guys, once again, gratitude.
Old 8th July 2009
  #67
Lives for gear
 
Rednose's Avatar
Start with a good mic, than add a good pre.
In the under 5 bill range I can recommend the AT 4050.
Great all arounder with alot of options.
Sounds great with the SOLO 610 and API 512c.
Old 8th July 2009
  #68
Gear Addict
 

I think both camps are right. It really depends on what you are recording.

Say you primarily record electric guitar cabs, then a 57 and an API would cover a lot of ground (and even if you had "better" mics in your locker, you might still go for the 57).

But if you were primarily recording acoustic guitar or vocals, I would probably suggest some other combo, possibly involving a more expensive/suitable mic (although depending on what you were after soundwise and what your exact source was, the 57 might also do the job in this case).

There are advantages/disadvantages to both set ups depending on what you want. Ultimately, most people plan to have both good pres and good mics eventually. It usually happens that they have enough money for one first (such is the nature of saving). So you gotta choose which order is going to work best for you.
Old 8th July 2009
  #69
Lives for gear
 
Odey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deeper View Post
So, to sum it all up, you'll never be satisfied until you have at least one fine mic and one fine preamp. Start saving.
I would have to agree with this. The problem is if you get A really good mic and an average preamp then you will want to upgrade the preamp later leaving you with the same problem but further down the line. And vice versa with an average mic. Average gear always become redundant and is difficult to sell meaning that you loose more money in the long run. Better to beg/borrow and buy great equipment upfront. Especially if you are running a home studio and every investment counts. Good luck!

Odey
Old 8th July 2009
  #70
Gear Nut
 

For my ears, the True P-Solo or the Summit 2BA-221 (similar to the UA710 you mentioned) are the best value. Both are portable. We compared these mid priced pres to a Chandler Germanium and could hear no noticeable difference in sound quality, not enough to justify the Chandler costing twice as much. So for me, the price of a pre does not make it sound better.

Try to audition a few options and let your ears decide what you prefer. Good luck.
Old 13th July 2009
  #71
The only thing about all this is, I currently use my K2 with the Digital MPA at home and it colors the sound, but the SSL channel makes it sound much better, so in my case, I'd say that the pre is more important for me, because the K2 cannot get to it's max potential with a lower end pre. I think the K2 needs to be used through an uncoloured pre.
Old 13th July 2009
  #72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Odey View Post
I would have to agree with this. The problem is if you get A really good mic and an average preamp then you will want to upgrade the preamp later leaving you with the same problem but further down the line. And vice versa with an average mic. Average gear always become redundant and is difficult to sell meaning that you loose more money in the long run. Better to beg/borrow and buy great equipment upfront. Especially if you are running a home studio and every investment counts. Good luck!

Odey
Best advice ever! I am currently looking at an A designs 2 rack 500 series, and a Five Fish Sc1 pre with it. Pure, clean tone.
Old 13th July 2009
  #73
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnymac View Post
a great mic pre can make a decent mic sound great.
Of course not. The mic is what it is. If you like some coloration (or lack of) in your pre.. congrats! :-)

Quote:
a great mic will NOT make a decent mic pre sound great.
Of course not!

Quote:
i just ran a pair of cheap oktava mics through API pres as overheads and it beat out a pair of U87's through mediocre mic pre's.
What you write above lacks information.. you can't conclude anythinhg at all from it.



Quote:
the API's made the oktavas come alive.

Or simply the Oktavas was better in that situation period.

Price is not a quality parameter, nor is hype.


/Peter
Old 13th July 2009
  #74
Lives for gear
 
nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Listen to this and see what you think...
Bosendorfer piano sample

I would take a TRULY high end pre any day, because it should be more versatile, truly wide dynamic range which includes INPUT headroom..

BUT the mic is NO doubt very important, the best pre in the world can not compensate for a mics flaws and differences, what ever that might be.
And price is irrelevant IMHO, use is everything...
And some pres will produce a different sound from the same mic because of the loading (input Impedance)the mic pre has..

Have seen too many good engineers pick a good pre using a basic SM-58...
Old 13th July 2009
  #75
Lives for gear
 

to me the argument of pre vs. mic is like debating brains vs. beauty in
a potential mate. you want both as high as possible but what matters is
NOT AS MUCH the individual sides but the AVERAGE of the two.
for examples sake if a woman you're interested in is absolutely gorgeous
and would be a 10/10 in your scale (an AKG C12 or Neumann U67 in mic's
haha) but was dumb as a rock like a 2/10 (Digi 003 preamp) you only got
12/20 for an average of 60% which if i remember would get you an F in
school but if you found a girl who was decent looking but really smart
you'd have a higher average easily. the fallacy of the whole thing is that a
good mic and a good pre have to be expensive. most if not all of the best
500 series pre's are less than $820 that's 10/10. some great mic's can be
found used for the remainder of your budget from there. pm me if you like and i'll share a recording with you of me with a sm57 and an avedis ma5 (obviously not what i'd recommend) that i did just for arguments sake and that's waaay under your budget.
Old 13th July 2009
  #76
Lives for gear
 
antoniosolo's Avatar
 

mic or pre

The pre is more important. It can make a average mic sound wonderful. A great mic cannot make an average pre sparkle. I get a certain electricity from my pre's.
Old 13th July 2009
  #77
Lives for gear
 
Jimbo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by antoniosolo View Post
The pre is more important. It can make a average mic sound wonderful. A great mic cannot make an average pre sparkle. I get a certain electricity from my pre's.
I think it's important to note again (ref: audioP) that a pre can color a mic in a way that may be "wonderful", but it won't make the mic perform any better.
Old 13th July 2009
  #78
Lives for gear
 
nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
I think it's important to note again (ref: audioP) that a pre can color a mic in a way that may be "wonderful", but it won't make the mic perform any better.
Actually that not completely true, some mic pres allow the mic to operate at its optimum...
Like I have mentioned SEVERAL times, the input impedance and how FLAT it is can/does make a difference... this is a fact...
Also how well the pre operates in some conditions either allows for that low level detail, or its lost in the noise of the pre...
Old 13th July 2009
  #79
Lives for gear
 
Jimbo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Actually that not completely true, some mic pres allow the mic to operate at its optimum...
Like I have mentioned SEVERAL times, the input impedance and how FLAT it is can/does make a difference... this is a fact...
So, the input impedance of the mic pre actually changes the output signal of the microphone? Is the microphone performing better or is the mic pre handling the signal better? (note: I'm not being rhetorical or facetious with these two questions)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Also how well the pre operates in some conditions either allows for that low level detail, or its lost in the noise of the pre...
This is an excellent example of a mic pre performing better -- not a mic pre making a microphone perform better.
Old 13th July 2009
  #80
Lives for gear
 
nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
So, the input impedance of the mic pre actually changes the output signal of the microphone? Is the microphone performing better or is the mic pre handling the signal better?



This example is an excellent example of a mic pre performing better -- not a mic pre making a microphone perform better.
It was a separate statement...
And yes to the input impedance, ask a GOOD mic manufacturer about this...
Some mics specs the input impedance(Mic Pre) at a min. 1K with the mic output being 50 ohms...
That's far higher than the 10 times higher some consider typical..
For example: the JT-115 has an impedance around 1400 ohms at 1.5K, and it drops down to about 800 ohms at both extremes 20 and 20KHz, this Loads the mic MORE at these frequencies..
Old 19th July 2009
  #81
Lives for gear
 
MadGuitrst's Avatar
When recording acoustic sources, no doubt, the color of your shoes is what matters most.
Also, the material they are made out of is important, ex: suede helps control reflections, leather is somewhat reflective, and of course, patent leather is the most reflective (which is what I wear in my shower stall while recording vox for ballads).
Old 21st February 2015
  #82
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
This is what the OP asked:



Here's proof the mic is more important.

Take any mic, any preamp and record any instrument being played. Vary the microphone position but keep the preamp the same. Make a bunch of recordings, each time putting the mic in a different location. Cut all the recordings together and marvel at the wide range of spatial impressions, timbres and source / room balances. Or try this...keep the mic source / mic position constant but change the mic for each recording take. You'll still end up with a remarkable variety of impressions of the source and room.

Now take any mic, any preamp and record any instrument being played. This time, change the preamp but keep the mic and positioning the same. Make a bunch of recordings. Cut all the recordings together and marvel at how much they all sound the same.
Old thread...
I just did this, and found this thread looking for other peoples views.

I used all good preamps*. I recorded 1:30 of a tune (E. guitar, bass, one mic drums, and doubled vocals), with carefully matched levels into the tape machine (yep, tape!). I swear they were extremely close, and I could never blind test them.

*Modded Ampex 601, an old Altec that I don't l know the model, but they were used at Motown, Gates tube, RCA tube, UA 710. I used an SM7b, a SM58, and a direct box into each preamp for bass.
Old 21st February 2015
  #83
Lives for gear
 
Melgueil's Avatar
 

The Microphone first, but in your case and budget you can have both.

AT4047. Inexpensive. Great sound (you could say same for any AT) and great value for the buck. Tony Bennet recently cut an entire record with one, when in fact he could have used anything. I have one and use it interchangeably with far more expensive tube mics. I have that choice, but if I had only that I wouldn't be crying.

Then any decent preamp. Here again, I have SSL, Great River and the like. Doesn't mean I can't get great sound with non boutique preamps as long as I get the fundamentals right (mic placement, levels).

People rave about records cut 30, even 40 years ago that were in many cases made with gear that was from a strictly scientific and sonic point of view far inferior to what is sitting in many home studios today.

You can get a good mic and a good preamp for 1200. The sound you get good or bad, will be reflective of how you use those tools. Nothing more.

Cdlt

Last edited by Melgueil; 21st February 2015 at 09:45 AM.. Reason: spellcheck
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
Forum Jump
Forum Jump