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High-end Preamp or Mic??? Condenser Microphones
Old 7th August 2014
  #1
Gear Maniac
High-end Preamp or Mic???

Alright so I'm saving up money to either add a preamp to my vocal chain, or buy a high-end mic. Which one would do me more justice? I'm talking $2-3k budget. I'm contemplating buying [$1500 preamp] or a Peluso mic, which I LOVE the sound of.

My current chain goes ADK TC > Mbox 2 and obv I'm very limited with that.
Old 7th August 2014
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

preamp/compressor all day every day.
Old 7th August 2014
  #3
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
definitely --> the microphone

I've done great recordings with great mics through scrummy pres/interfaces

although obviously you'd like to eventually have great everything, all the way down to the converters and room
Old 7th August 2014
  #4
Gear Maniac


This forum is ruining my life
Old 7th August 2014
  #5
Lives for gear
 
MusicJesus's Avatar
 

neither or both.
Old 7th August 2014
  #6
Gear Maniac
I would get a new interface with better converters and preamps. Something like an Apollo, metric halo or rme.
Old 7th August 2014
  #7
Gear Head
 
jasonxoc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bitterasacid View Post
Alright so I'm saving up money to either add a preamp to my vocal chain, or buy a high-end mic. Which one would do me more justice? I'm talking $2-3k budget. I'm contemplating buying [$1500 preamp] or a Peluso mic, which I LOVE the sound of.

My current chain goes ADK TC > Mbox 2 and obv I'm very limited with that.
I have a few C414's and a TLM49. Plugged into a ****ty pre those mics sounds like there is a blanket between my mouth and the mic. Once I got a good pre, it was like going from black and white to hd.

I would say get a great pre. But you don't need to spend 1500 on a great pre. I have a 1073lb, a shadow hills mono gama, a capi 312, a focusrite isa one, and an apollo interface.

The ISA one is an _EXCELLENT_ pre and holds up to the others, get the digital card and go adat into the mbox if it has it. You can get an ISA one for 300 bucks.

A rode NT1a through any of those pres sounds better than a 414 through a ****ty interface pre.

Thats my 2 cents.

J
Old 7th August 2014
  #8
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
With a $2-3K budget, I don't see why you can't do both.
Old 7th August 2014
  #9
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302efi's Avatar
 

This is Gearslutz..you need a U47 and an original Neve 1073 or you vocal chain sucks.

:D
Old 7th August 2014
  #10
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Lucin Niega's Avatar
 

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you should get a really nice cable first.
Old 7th August 2014
  #11
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Lenzo's Avatar
You can get a Pearlman TM-1 for $1600. I bought one used for $1100. You can get a Miktek CV-4 for $1500. I bought one used for $900. A Warm Tonebeast new is $599. You can pick up a lunchbox and Great River used for a grand or less. $1225 new. With a lunchbox you can get a Never 511 for $545 new. There is a tonebeast 500 out for $549. It's a combo thing. Use a great mic with a crappy pre and it doesn't sound as good as a great mic with a great or good solid pre. Within your budget you can get new or used and still get a great combination. And you didn't say which Peluso, but if you love it, go for it. There are a ton of good used Peluso's around. Just avoid a NT1A. They suck.
L.
Old 7th August 2014
  #12
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12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucin Niega View Post
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you should get a really nice cable first.
I don't think that's as important as the performer, followed by the engineer...and lest we not forget acoustic treatment of the room...
Old 7th August 2014
  #13
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302efi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucin Niega View Post
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you should get a really nice cable first.

Old 7th August 2014
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitterasacid View Post
Alright so I'm saving up money to either add a preamp to my vocal chain, or buy a high-end mic. Which one would do me more justice? I'm talking $2-3k budget. I'm contemplating buying [$1500 preamp] or a Peluso mic, which I LOVE the sound of.

My current chain goes ADK TC > Mbox 2 and obv I'm very limited with that.
your mic is fine, get a pre and a nice interface
Old 7th August 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
Is your room properly treated? What monitors do you have? A really nice mic in an untreated room isn't going to make your recordings sound better. It will pick up all that is wrong with the room. Also, i agree with the other guys that suggested you should get a new interface.
Old 7th August 2014
  #16
Baz
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Baz's Avatar
 

Mic all day everyday......but not a Peluso.......
Old 7th August 2014
  #17
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szmola's Avatar
My vote goes to better interface.
I suggest Metric Halo ULN-2 which have preamps so you can also buy decent mic but that depends on your room and monitors because many LDC will sound very bad in untreated place. Monitors are important and if you don't have decent boxes to mix with, great mic will not get you anywhere.

Last edited by szmola; 7th August 2014 at 07:18 AM.. Reason: grammatic editing
Old 7th August 2014
  #18
Gear Head
 

Quote:
definitely --> the microphone

I've done great recordings with great mics through scrummy pres/interfaces

although obviously you'd like to eventually have great everything, all the way down to the converters and room
__________________
I've done things I think sound great with an SM 57 and a GA 73. Arguing taste is like arguing... taste.
Old 7th August 2014
  #19
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DarbyOhara's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bitterasacid View Post


This forum is ruining my life
lol. You posted and asked the same typical question that has been posted and asked so much my eyes hurt. You love the sound of a Peluso how? Since a mic can't work without a preamp, how did you determine this? If you experienced and heard it, what was their setup?

Why not just spend a hundred bucks on a SM58 and see if you still think you need to p!ss away $2k. For a home studio, a decent clean preamp may be necessary for the gain. The fairy sound mother doesn't appear when you buy expensive equipment. Picture George Clooney singing "my way" into a U47 or Peluso... Betcha it would sound the same as thru a SM58 with a decent preamp .
Old 7th August 2014
  #20
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hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
With a $2-3K budget, I don't see why you can't do both.
Old 7th August 2014
  #21
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Plush's Avatar
Always improve your source pick up first. That always means the microphone first.

Having a great mic preserves all the detail and all the dynamics with good tone.

Using a less good mic, these are never recorded in the first place and they can never be added or recovered later.
Old 7th August 2014
  #22
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Plush's Avatar
Always improve your source pick up first. That always means the microphone first.

Having a great mic preserves all the detail and all the dynamics with good tone.

Using a less good mic, these are never recorded in the first place and they can never be added or recovered later.
Old 7th August 2014
  #23
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Always improve your source pick up first. That always means the microphone first.

Having a great mic preserves all the detail and all the dynamics with good tone.

Using a less good mic, these are never recorded in the first place and they can never be added or recovered later.
This. Also known as the GIGO principle. When upgrading always start with your mics, then work your way downstream.
Old 7th August 2014
  #24
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

How's your room, you recording environment?

If your room has a lot of background noise, a super sensitive LDC condenser
may only reveal the faults in your room.
Same for running your mic's through a good preamp.
You pump the signal, but if you've got air handler noise, neighbors, appliances, street and aircraft noise, improving the signal chain with the wrong choices for your situation may only make the situation worse.

Much of the advice here is sound advice, but it may be coming from a different perspective, where they are working in a perfect, dead quiet room.
Old 7th August 2014
  #25
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Always improve your source pick up first. That always means the microphone first.

Having a great mic preserves all the detail and all the dynamics with good tone.

Using a less good mic, these are never recorded in the first place and they can never be added or recovered later.
This is precisly why a properly treated room is so important. A better mic means that more of the room sound as well as evironmental sounds will be picked up. A better mic will do more harm than good if the room isn't taken care of first. If you are in a small square untreated room, you are gaurenteed a 'Boxy' mix. If you clap your hands in your recording space and hear a lot of flutter echo, your new high-end mic is going to pick that up. Stand in a corner while playing a CD. Do you hear a lot of bass? The mic will pic that up too.

Don't make the same mistake that others including myself have made by thinking that a high-end mic will automatically make your recordings sound better. Take care of the basics first.
Old 7th August 2014
  #26
If the goal is primarily to record yourself, then you need a mic that sounds great on your voice. That could be an affordable RE20 or a pricey LDC. It depends on what you actually sound like and the only way to know for sure is to try the mics.

If the goal is to service a variety of vocalists, then the best course is a variety of microphone options.

How you answer the above would dictate whether or not you can afford a preamp upgrade.

PS-- if your acoustic environment is particularly bad, an SM-7 is a often a great vocal mic with very good off axis rejection. Generally, if you get up close on a good dynamic you will lessen the capture of extraneous noise and reflections in a compromised space.

Last edited by zilla_studios; 7th August 2014 at 05:30 PM.. Reason: Addendum
Old 7th August 2014
  #27
Lives for gear
OK, I would agree to start with a good mic first, but imo, you have that. The ADK TC is a nice mic. Yes, you could get a better mic for your budget (arguably), but then it's still going through the less than stella pre and converters in the MBox, so I think you would see much better results with a nice pre and converter. There are plenty in your budget. A DAV BG1 or GAP73 or BLA Auteur, ISA One etc would give you plenty of change for a better interface. The mic you have will sound like a new mic with these additions imo.

Btw, I own a Peluso 2247 LE and it is a great mic, so forget the Peluso bashers. However, if you go for a new mic, the Pealman TM1 would be a great choice.
Old 7th August 2014
  #28
Gear Maniac
Some of y'all just ain't nice, we all started somewhere.

I often think of getting a new interface, but very few have tubes, which I enjoy the sound of. If a preamp has built-in converters, could I potentially keep my mbox and keep the digital in?

A lot of things are difficult to decide. I can't be buying stuff @ retail and then reselling it if it doesn't fit. I don't think there's anywhere I could demo equipment, at least not the ones I'm interested in. I wait tables for a living so I don't have a credit card or a line of credit.

& yeah I do like the sound of Peluso mics, specifically the 2247 LE, might be the first mic I'm head-over-heels in love with.
Old 7th August 2014
  #29
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I love my Peluso 47, as well, favorite mic for my voice, have tried so many.
Old 7th August 2014
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonxoc View Post
....The ISA one is an _EXCELLENT_ pre and holds up to the others, get the digital card and go adat into the mbox if it has it. You can get an ISA one for 300 bucks....

Agreed. Great value in a pre, with useful features like HPF, DI input, switchable insert loop. If you get the digital conversion card with it, you can keep your mBox and just plug the ISA One digital out into the mBox digital in and bypass your existing A/D conversion. That will leave you plenty of your budget left over to get one or more microphones that make you happy.
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