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different mic pres' "sound" 500 Series Preamps
Old 25th July 2009
  #61
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
I have no agenda other than hating certain gts, pearl jam and the beatles production.
LOL, so this first post of yours to this thread doesn't show signs of an "agenda?"

Don't listen to Ethan

Quote:
You don't need a treated room to make great recordings.
Agreed, close micing compensates for a lot of acoustic problems. But you can't always do that with violins and saxophones and string basses etc. I'm focused mainly on the importance of treating the room you mix in, though recording acoustic instruments in an untreated bedroom usually sounds pretty bad.

Quote:
"Is your room treated? " I'm sick of that reply.
I don't give a flying fig what you're sick of. Understand? I'm just as sick of seeing gear pimps tell newbies who are unhappy with their productions that they'll never get pro results until they drop big bux on ouboard pres and converters etc. That is never the reason a newbie's mixes suck. Discounting musical issues such as performance and arrangement etc, the typical newbie problems with making their tunes sound "like a record" are, in order:

Lack of skill and experience
Bad acoustics
Everything else

If you disagree that's fine, but at least be civil and stop with the name calling already. If you have logic and useful points to make, then go for it. Otherwise keep your thoughts to yourself. If your sole motivation for chiming in on a thread is to diss me, that says a lot more about you than it says about me.

--Ethan
Old 25th July 2009
  #62
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lord_bunny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by larry b View Post

Do my recordings made with terrible gear not sound that good compared to the ones i've done with great gear? Yes, but i've also become much more skilled with my technique over the years.

More than anything else, it's what you do with what you have.
Amen. It's like playing poker, the guy who makes the least mistakes wins. I find myself making less mistakes... I'm buying better gear as I go, but although I can hear the difference between $1000 channel A vs. $1000 channel B, they're both good and likely fine for all applications.
Old 25th July 2009
  #63
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allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Agreed, close micing compensates for a lot of acoustic problems.
it sure does. And dead rooms with carpets and absorbing foams will yield great results with stringed instruments. It's been done for years

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

I don't give a flying fig what you're sick of. Understand? I'm just as sick of seeing gear pimps tell newbies who are unhappy with their productions that they'll never get pro results until they drop big bux on ouboard pres and converters etc.
I'm with you on the pimps but good converters make or break the recording.
Did folks use tascam and fostex reel to reels in pro studios? no they didn't
Same reason pro studios don't use m-audio and behringer




Preamps are a fine line but $400 will buy you a nice one


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
That is never the reason a newbie's mixes suck. Discounting musical issues such as performance and arrangement etc, the typical newbie problems with making their tunes sound "like a record" are, in order:
It's a learning process

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
If you disagree that's fine, but at least be civil and stop with the name calling already.
I always refer to you as 'Ethan'. I guess to some that would be insulting
(just kidding) Seriously I never called you a name. I may have said you were wrong or one of your statment was dumb but never personally attacked you in any way don't pull spin and try to get me in trouble. You know I never insulted you. Disagreeing with Ethan is not insulting. Sorry to say along with me you are not the authority on anything

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
If you have logic and useful points to make, then go for it. Otherwise keep your thoughts to yourself. If your sole motivation for chiming in on a thread is to diss me, that says a lot more about you than it says about me.
Sorry ethan you hijacked the thread. don't weasle your way out of it I made logical and useful points stating my beliefs on preamps
you can look back if you care too.

Bottom line is most guys on this board who are pros already know the deal. the ones just starting out need fair and unbiased advice
I'm not sure you provide that. Your room treatment beliefs maybe be correct but your constant denial of qualtiy A/D D/A
and importance of a quality pres are misleading. did you ever notice the real pro engineers /producers on this site who own top quality gear never debate you and your nonsense? I must just a sucker. Tell them their SLL or Neve is not needed. Tell them the Radar system was a waste of 20k. Sorry to inform you but people who drop 100k on a never or 500k on an api are not stupid
they may be helpless romantics for punchy warm and musical sultry sonics but they ain't stupid. They may be rich that's about it

Ethan if A/D like Weiss and Lavry or even if mid level stuff like UA, Burl and Hedd were marketing scams why woudl they still be selling my the boatload after 5 years? If your philosophy was correct, IZ and Mytek would be out of biz and Alesis and fostex stuff would be in every room in Holly and Nashville.

For the record. You can make an acceptable recording in a bad room with a behringer preamp and a maudio. You CAN'T make a recording that sounds like it was made in a professional studio. Maybe if you use sample you could.

But I'm sorry to break your heart and say you can make major label sounding recordings with a bad room a great console/pre and a great a/d converter. and the right outboard. Even with an untreated tracking and control room. I know many folks who have done it. Ive done it. It's done everyday.

The bottom line is cheap a/d sounds harsh. cheap pres sound thin and unmusical (yeah cliche') your not gonna get that
musicality (yeah cliche' again) associated with quality gear. The gear pimps go a bit overboard but many of them here know their ****.

I was like you a few years back. Thinking there is nothing wrong with that fostex a/d and that RME converter. Sorry to say they sound harsh and very unmusical. Wish I had bought the 2192 and the radar from day 1

It is what it is. These foolish a/b test " I can't hear the difference" really I wonder why? uhhh duh.... mabye cuz your monitoring through a $100 D/A converter? Not to offend anyone but It's like sex with a condom the real thing is not being captured so to speak
the cheap pre and cheap a/d are not representing whats really happening at the source.

Sorry ethan I never insulted you. Unless saying 'your wrong' is an isnlult then I'm guilty so don't pull a Dick Cheney or a Fox news and spin it. No one insulted, you not me. I disagree with you. Big difference.

bottom line room matters , pres matter, conversion matters , mic matters and the engineer matters.
but me? myself? I can still make the recordings I dream about in a square room with a dropped ceiling and sheetrock painted
with enamel. Oh and don't forget the carpet.

Why don't you post some stuff cut in your treated room with your $50 converter? $50 preamp. I'd love to hear it
Old 25th July 2009
  #64
Gear Head
 

My experience...

In the past year I upgraded from an M-Audio Octane (8-ch preamp with conversion) to 4x API 512c, 2x Purple Biz, an A Designs P1, and a Great River MP-500NV through an Apogee AD-16X.

There was definitely an overall improvement in sound quality. However, when comparing my Beyer M160 on drums going through these different pre's, the differences were very, very minimal to my ears. And I'm still fighting my small, barely treated bedroom.

I'm very glad I upgraded my pre's and converters. I feel I'd be just as happy with only 512c's or any of the other pre types I have now.
Old 25th July 2009
  #65
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
Sorry ethan you hikacked the thread.
This is ridiculous. Here's my first post to this thread:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/4408042-post3.html

How is that hijacking? Versus your next post telling people not to listen to me.

Quote:
You can make an acceptable recording in a bad room with a behringer preamp and a maudio.
Yep.

Quote:
You CAN'T make a recording that sounds like it was made in a professional studio.
I'm sorry that's just wrong.

Quote:
The bottom line is cheap a/d sound harsh. cheap pres sound thin
If that were true Mike Keith would already have dropped off a preamp at FedEx on its way to me. He would have also arranged for, say, our mutual local customer Peter listed on his site to watch me do the comparison to make sure it's fair. Same for the converter shootout that came "this close" to happening, no fault of mine. Every time this comes up, I'm all over the chance to do a fair and balanced test, but the other side bags out. Why do you think that is?

Quote:
Why don't you post some stuff cut in your treated room with your $50 converter? $50 preamp. I'd love to hear it
I don't consider myself an excellent mix engineer, but that has no bearing on the validity of my statements. At least I put my stuff out there for all to hear. Anyone can watch my Tele-Vision and Cello Rondo videos on Vimeo. Versus you and virtually all of the anonymous nay-sayers who have strong opinions but not one link to anything they've done. Your "About Me" link goes nowhere useful and shows not one musical project.

I'll wait patiently for you to post links to some music you've recorded and mixed.

--Ethan
Old 25th July 2009
  #66
Lives for gear
 
allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
This is ridiculous. Here's my first post to this thread:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/4408042-post3.html

How is that hijacking? Versus your next post telling people not to listen to me.



Yep.



I'm sorry that's just wrong.



If that were true Mike Keith would already have dropped off a preamp at FedEx on its way to me. He would have also arranged for, say, our mutual local customer Peter listed on his site to watch me do the comparison to make sure it's fair. Same for the converter shootout that came "this close" to happening, no fault of mine. Every time this comes up, I'm all over the chance to do a fair and balanced test, but the other side bags out. Why do you think that is?



I don't consider myself an excellent mix engineer, but that has no bearing on the validity of my statements. At least I put my stuff out there for all to hear. Anyone can watch my Tele-Vision and Cello Rondo videos on Vimeo. Versus you and virtually all of the anonymous nay-sayers who have strong opinions but not one link to anything they've done. Your "About Me" link goes nowhere useful and shows not one musical project.

I'll wait patiently for you to post links to some music you've recorded and mixed.

--Ethan
Ill gladly send you a cd sampler of some goodies
keep checking your mail box in the next month or so
finishing a project in the next couple weeks
that was recorded in a cabin in the White Mountains.
Talk about no room treatment. Cut the drums in the cabin
with only a fireplace no real heat. It won't matter you won't like it
but I'll be a man and send it.

All real strings too. youll love that cut em in an office building
room square as can be. All acoustic gtr too
Old 25th July 2009
  #67
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

OMG.

Old 26th July 2009
  #68
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larry b's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzface777 View Post
I have talked to some reputable engineers who told me about NOT worrying too much about the "sound" or "color" of a mic pre....sayin' it was neglible at best. Most engineers just said pick up one of the pre's I mentioned (btw usual suspects). However, when I heard firsthand James Lugo's amp shootout, the difference between TWO Neve's 1272 and 1073 was discernible. The 1073 being more open sounding, the 1272 with softer top end. Now maybe some of these top engineers, do not think that kind of difference among pre's is important, but I do.

It would be impossible the world to pick the flattest, most natural sounding mic pre is a basis for comparison. However, I did easily HEAR the difference between the Neve's. Would anyone dare to describe the sound of an API, Chandler TG-2 or LTD-1 ? Or how about a Daking, or Great River? -with actual hours working on them...
I supposed someone could use the 1073 and or 1272 as a basis for comparison since everyone here can download Lugo's sound files when he was choosing whether to use the 1272 or the 1073.
I thought i would repost the original question, as this thread has gone completely off topic. Not once does the OP mention acoustic treatment.

He has some questions about describing the sound of various high-end mic preamps.

While i somewhat agree with Ethan that any quality mic preamp will get the job done, there are certainly some subtle differences between the various units. It's not rocket science but its also not playing with Legos.

And of course, since they are such small differences (IMHO), it sort of goes without saying that one would need a very neutral listening/recording environmet to discern the differences between say, a 1272 and a 1073.

And yes, this probably includes acoustic treatment, at least in the control room at the monitoring position.

BUT....the OP didnt mention what his monitoring environment is all about, and in fact, it doesn't sound like he is doing comparisons between preamps himself.

He simply asked for some thoughts and comments on the sonic differences from one expensive mic pre to the next. He also stated that he heard some definite differences between preamps in James Lugo's shootout.

This thread is three pages long now and not one post seems to address the questions stated in the original post.

Let's focus on answering his questions, and not bickering and attacking one another personally.
Old 26th July 2009
  #69
Gear Addict
 
amanitas's Avatar
Ok, from my experience:

Avalon 737, 2022 - sounds crispy. Very flattering for hip hop n rnb vox keys and guitars. Not so good for drums. Horrible on trumpet. Essential for jiggy hip hop and rnb. In fact, I think the word jiggy was devised as a way to describe the sound of music recorded on an Avalon, particularly when said music involves mono synths, typically of the Korg variety.

Chandler - I own a germanium and pretty much love it on everything. It get's pretty gritty when pushed, but when you keep it mellow it sounds super clear and very warm and inviting without any sort of muddyness or murk. I've done many sessions on TG2s and LTD1s and such and I find the same thing with Chandler gear: the more tracks you stack recorded through them, the more of the "studio magic" that starts to happen - the undefinable gold dust sprinkled into the tracks. Granted the tracks have to sound good themselves (ie intonation, performance, etc.) but I've found that the difference between stacking 8 vocal parts on a cheap pre versus stacking those same 8 on a chandler to be staggering. I truly believe a monkey could make a good sounding record with enough Chandler gear.

API - punchy, lots of hi-end. I think of Green Day when I think of API although there isn't really a good reason for me to think that because I don't really know what they used to record their records. But that sort of aggressive jump out of the speakers pop/punk sound, particularly on the drums, seems to be an API thing.

Neve - I've had the most experience with a 33421 which sounds dark and awesome. Magical one might say. It's dark without being blurry or lacking any definition. I've been recorded through a number of other neve pres but I can't comment on the specific model #s because most of the time I didn't bother to ask (I've only started to do that lately =). Needless to say they all sounded very flattering.

Universal Audio - Great for funk music. Thick. Fat. Perhaps Obese. Lots of low mids. Not always the best for lighter fare, and I've heard records done entirely on a 6176 that sound like they were recorded with socks on the microphones. Granted a lot of that is due to the engineers inexperience, but you really have to watch these to make sure they don't get too wooly sounding. Then again if you want that sound - extra chunky - this is the pre for you.

Trident S100 - warm and clear. Like the source is sitting in a bath of warm water with candles and wine. Not as defined as the Neve, little less transient response maybe, but very flattering and very nice when stacked. Reminds me of a less crispy avalon... the tracks do the same sort of thing when you stack them - they seem to sort of melt together into a whole. Unless jiggy rnb/hip hop is what you do, I would probably take the Trident over the Avalon for a big warm clean sound as I believe they are selling for cheaper.

Focusrite ISA 428 - accurate. Not terribly flattering, can be a little hard sounding for lack of a better word, but it definitely gets the job done and seems to provide a very accurate representation of the source you are recording. I would call it neutral, maybe a little bright. Like a less stuffy version of the pres in my first generation MBox.

Anyway do keep in mind that this is all totally subjective and based on my own limited experiences with all of these pres. Hope this is helpful...

Old 26th July 2009
  #70
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allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by amanitas View Post
Ok, from my experience:


Trident S100 - warm and clear.
I liked the s20. These are really good preamps
they get no recognition. weird must be orams name associated with it

Quote:
Originally Posted by amanitas View Post
Focusrite ISA 428 - accurate. Not terribly flattering, can be a little hard sounding for lack of a better word
Thought that had a bit of color not so much accurate. A little fuzzy in the mids

Quote:
Originally Posted by amanitas View Post
API - punchy, lots of hi-end. I think of Green Day when I think of API although there isn't really a good reason for me to think that because I don't really know what they used to record their records. But that sort of aggressive jump out of the speakers pop/punk sound, particularly on the drums, seems to be an API thing.
green day? really I guess they have a real punchy warm sound. When I think API it's Van Halen II, 70's Aerosmith and Fleetwood mac rumors. funny you say highs I love the signature smooth mids on gtrs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amanitas View Post
Avalon 737- sounds crispy. Very flattering for hip hop n rnb vox keys and guitars. Not so good for drums.
very warm preamp. I like it on bass and vocal. A little pricy for me though
Old 26th July 2009
  #71
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larry b's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
I liked the s20. These are really good preamps
they get no recognition. weird must be orams name associated with it
I have an S20 in my racks. It gets used a lot. I have to agree here that this is a very nice preamp that gets little to no recognition and/or bashed here on GS.

I use it for drums on every basic tracking session i do. It's either on the kick in and snare top or on overheads. It seems to handle the fast transients of drums very well.

I also like the simplistic layout. It's super easy to set up, just get your gain staging right and ease up the low-cut to taste/application.

My only problems with it are visual: the blue lights are wicked bright, and im not a big fan of blue LED's to begin with. So, i put it at the very bottom of my mic preamp rack. Hah. Also, the fake tube lighting thing is kind of silly, although it's fun watching them work when its on kick and snare.

I would describe it's tonal characteristics as sort of a poor man's API 512c, although im fully aware that it is IC-based rather than discrete topology. Still, it's quite similar to me.

Another sleeper preamp of mine is the Ward Beck M470. I have a pair of these racked by the Ward Beck Preservation Society in a 3U enclosure. Man, talk about fat, wooly 1970's tone. The M470 has it in spades. I use it constantly on toms, a fair amount on guitar amps, and also for some rock vocals. Some people describe the sound/build of these units as similar to Neve modules of the same era. Im not sure i fully agree here. The build quality is not bad, but not on par with Neve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amanitas View Post
API - punchy, lots of hi-end. I think of Green Day when I think of API although there isn't really a good reason for me to think that because I don't really know what they used to record their records. But that sort of aggressive jump out of the speakers pop/punk sound, particularly on the drums, seems to be an API thing.


As far as i know, Green Day recorded their latest album, and i believe earlier ones as well, with a ridiculous rack of mostly Neve preamps with a few Chandler Germs and a TG2 or two. I saw a photo of the rack that was used on '21st Century Breakdown' and there wasnt a single API preamp anywhere in sight, and probably 48 channels of Neve/Chandler.
Old 26th July 2009
  #72
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vernier's Avatar
Transistor pre's are a different animal ...I'm surprised they're still being used.
Old 26th July 2009
  #73
Gear Addict
 
amanitas's Avatar
"As far as i know, Green Day recorded their latest album, and i believe earlier ones as well, with a ridiculous rack of mostly Neve preamps with a few Chandler Germs and a TG2 or two. I saw a photo of the rack that was used on '21st Century Breakdown' and there wasnt a single API preamp anywhere in sight, and probably 48 channels of Neve/Chandler."


Yeah I heard their new record was all Neve and Chandler. I mean older Green Day but I could be very wrong about the signal path on all of that too, so don't quote me on it. I just know that rock/pop/punk dudes seem to really really like the API stuff. My experience with it is only tracking some horns, and the horns sounded great, but very compact for lack of a better word. We were doing a bunch of stacking and I was suprised how little space everything was taking up in the mix. Usually need to use a fair amount of eq and comp to get that but this was right out of the box, and it didn't matter how many tracks we stacked up, it still blended neatly into this very small package. Not small sounding mind you, but rather very clear and present, just not taking up a bunch of space in the mix with needless frequencys.

I've had similar results with my Chandler Germ by keeping the feedback knob around 9 oclcok to 11 oclock or so...

I would put the Avalon as the opposite of this - the tracks tend to take up a lot more space in the mix, which makes it great for lead vocals and such.
Old 26th July 2009
  #74
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fuzzface777's Avatar
 

Alright guys, let's take it easy on Ethan.....
Old 12th January 2016
  #75
Gear Head
 
drybones's Avatar
 

"He's dead Jim." It is all about the room acoustics and the mic. Use your ears, not someone else's opinion/review. Heh, don't even trust me, use your ears! You have to be happy. Ok, ok, one comment about ribbon mics, mic pre matters, but it is about the gain. 65dB and up.
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