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Recommend dark-sounding preamp for a bright mic like Rode NT2A
Old 15th January 2011
  #1
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Recommend dark-sounding preamp for a bright mic like Rode NT2A

I have a NT2a, and I suppose dark-sounding preamps are better for it, so, would you please recommend a few of them.
Old 15th January 2011
  #2
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Aaron Miller's Avatar
I don't really consider preamps dark vs bright because those terms are a bit extreme IMO. The differences here are not big like the differences between a dark mic and a bright one. I bet a 1073 would be sweet though!
Old 15th January 2011
  #3
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B-San's Avatar
 

I'd recommend a UA LA-610 or 6176...
Old 15th January 2011
  #4
Registered User
Any good transformer based preamp will help take the edge off it. Neve, API or clones thereof. Ideally something with both input and output transformers - which eliminates most modern-design preamps. Anything all tube will have both input & output transformers.
Old 15th January 2011
  #5
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edva's Avatar
Drawmer 1960 is a dark and thick sounding pre. Good pre for most Rodes.
You're on the right track in looking for different sounding, and in this case dark, pres, IMHO.
Old 15th January 2011
  #6
Neve 1272, Chandler Germanium, or similar would be my first choice.
Old 15th January 2011
  #7
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 

Minute Nine studios can mod the crispy high end of your NT2a away for $60. Regardless of whether or not you go that route, you'd be better off spending money on a second mic rather than a preamp to change the sound of the first mic. The mic defines the sound, the preamp amplifies the sound, but it doesn't turn the mic into something it's not. A Neve-ish pre would be a good piece to have in your arsenal, but a second choice for a mic would be better.
Old 15th January 2011
  #8
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All really good recommendations!


Second mic
Nt2a Mod
1073
UA LA-610
UA 6176
Drawmer 1960
Neve 1272
Chandler Germanium

More options.......
Old 15th January 2011
  #9
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jnorman's Avatar
vintech 1272
Old 15th January 2011
  #10
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Have you tried a foam/fuzzy cover for the NT2a? It will take the edge off...that's what I did when I had it. It's a low-end move, but works very well.
Old 15th January 2011
  #11
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softwareguy's Avatar
 

I agree with Uncle Duncan. If the mic is too bright, either get it modded or sell it and buy something that works. Don't dig a deeper hole by buying a pre to accomodate it.
Old 16th January 2011
  #12
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camus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Baron View Post
I have a NT2a, and I suppose dark-sounding preamps are better for it, so, would you please recommend a few of them.
Unless you want a preamp that comes with a built in -6dB at 10kHz shelf, I'd suggest simply changing the microphone.
Old 16th January 2011
  #13
Gear Head
 
Crybaby's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan View Post
The mic defines the sound, the preamp amplifies the sound, but it doesn't turn the mic into something it's not.
A tube preamp with a Mullard tube (really dark) or a GE Jan (big bottom), would drastically change what you get out of your mic. But still, there will always be a background of what you don't like.

I think the mic you work with has to fit you, but doesn't have to be perfect, sometimes the combination mic/preamp/tube can create the magic recipe.
Old 16th January 2011
  #14
Registered User
Changing preamps for very subtle EQ effect seems pretty dumb if all you need is a bit of EQ.

I have an NT2a, which I bought for a project when I need another cheap condenser mic in a hurry, and I was interested in the low noise floor. When mine arrived, it was faulty - and my dealer sent me a new one, but also the NT2000 as well. I had previously not bothered, because looking at the publish response curve I thought these mics would be fairly similar. They are VERY different. In comparison, the NT2a is a fairly nasty sounding mic. The NT2000 is much sweeter and silky in comparison. I ended up keeping both - because there is something about the NT2a on certain soft sources (such as my voice) that really adds some edge.

I subscribe to Mike Stavrou's theory about mic selection: basically using harsh sounding mics on soft sources, and soft sounding mics on harsh sources.

I also tend to use dynamic mics a lot more.

Maybe you just needs some more mics.
Old 16th January 2011
  #15
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Sonic Lush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
vintech 1272
jnorman beat me to it.

love to pair the Vintech 1272 with bright mics.

mmmm
Old 16th January 2011
  #16
Only way to get the nt2-a natual and pleasing sounding is to record it in a very well treated room and then use eq to compensate for the high boost.

Or even better: Mod it

Btw: I actually like the mic, but I am about to mod mine...

/Jon
Old 16th January 2011
  #17
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Thank you very much,

Up to now:

Second mic
Nt2a Mod
1073
UA LA-610
UA 6176
Drawmer 1960
Neve 1272
Chandler Germanium
Vintech 1272
A tube preamp with a Mullard tube (really dark) or a GE Jan (big bottom)

If I get a Nt2a Mod, I will have to buy another Nt2a, because it´s great for acoustic guitars, but this no problem because it´s cheap.
Old 16th January 2011
  #18
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by softwareguy View Post
I agree with Uncle Duncan. If the mic is too bright, either get it modded or sell it and buy something that works. Don't dig a deeper hole by buying a pre to accomodate it.
+1
another vote against 'fixing' a mics' problems with your preamp choice

mics can have distinctive, even strong EQ curves. Even highly colored preamps are relatively flat compared to colored mics.
Old 17th January 2011
  #19
Old 17th January 2011
  #20
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginaryday View Post
This is cool, never seen it on there. I'd add the UA 610 onto the list right by the Vintech Dual72 and probably moreso...at least to my ears. These are the 2 I was going to recommend with any bright mic. My Vintech Dual72 is my go to for MANY things. Rich, thick, punchy and just analog sounding in every way. Takes high input, is awesome on loud guitars, forces vocals to sound strong and easy to mix in the box. I absolutely love the pre.
Old 17th January 2011
  #21
I bought the NT2 back in the 90's when I was still using tape. It was decent at the time but since moving to a DAW I have always hated that mic. It's been thru a Vintech 1272, UA 610 and now a Daking MP1. It's still too bright and I have other mics I use instead these days. I will likely get it modded someday down the line when I'm bored.

In short, the pre wasn't enough of a "fix" for me. I'd get another mic or get it modded.
Old 17th January 2011
  #22
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Eirik_A's Avatar
 

I have used the NT2A with my BAE1073, and it worked out pretty well.
The NT2A is a good performer for the money in my opinion.
Old 17th January 2011
  #23
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I advice you not to buy the Universal Audio Preamp, I wouldnt say it sucks for vocals (even though I pretty much think so) but It has a tube sizzle presence thing going on that is annoying even on a dark mic. Cant see why people consider that pre warm..?
Old 19th January 2011
  #24
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

the first thing i thought of the the A-Designs EM-PEQ, the JLM Audio PEQ500, or the new Electrodyne 511.

as for pre's beefy and colored i would lean to;

AML 5003D
Avedis MA5
Pete's Place Electrodyne 501
Great River MP-500NV
Vintech VA 573

also very much worth trying would be the A-Designs EM colors, the JLM Audio TG500, and the LaChapell 583E or 583S
Old 19th January 2011
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
nivek_yoccm's Avatar
 

I don't know how this technique is received around here as it has the fatal flaw of not requiring the purchase of more gear; but it's worked for me to warm up or make more "natural-sounding" a Rode before:

If you have one, simply use a linear phase eq plugin; and save the preset for that mic. I use the one that comes with Sonar Producer and I think it works very well if it's just an EQ change you're after. It doesn't add any mojo; so sometimes I literally flush cash down the toilet to prep my ears and that does the trick.
Old 20th January 2011
  #26
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Quote:
I have used the NT2A with my BAE1073, and it worked out pretty well.
Quote:
the first thing i thought of the the A-Designs EM-PEQ, the JLM Audio PEQ500, or the new Electrodyne 511.

as for pre's beefy and colored i would lean to;

AML 5003D
Avedis MA5
Pete's Place Electrodyne 501
Great River MP-500NV
Vintech VA 573

also very much worth trying would be the A-Designs EM colors, the JLM Audio TG500, and the LaChapell 583E or 583S
Colored preams could help, no doubt, thanks
Old 20th January 2011
  #27
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Thanks for "the Listening Sessions" chart , and, of course, to Dan Richards to share his chart, really helpful.

http://www.thelisteningsessions.com/micpregraph.htm
Old 20th January 2011
  #28
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Seventh Circle Audio N72 is nice and big and full sounding to counter the brightness of the Rode. And in case you were wondering, yes, it is a Neve type of circuit.
Old 20th January 2011
  #29
Registered User
 

Recommend dark-sounding preamp for a bright mic like Rode NT2A

Quote:
Originally Posted by lynyrd
Seventh Circle Audio N72 is nice and big and full sounding to counter the brightness of the Rode. And in case you were wondering, yes, it is a Neve type of circuit.
Yes, indeed. These boxes sound very good. I was very impressed.
Old 20th January 2011
  #30
Gear Head
 

I have the NT-2 and my LA-610 will "warm" it up a bit. works well...
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