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Please, complete this home studio!
Old 2nd December 2014
Gear Guru
FFTT's Avatar

I didn't find out till after I had purchased my DAV BG-1 that David Gilmour's crew bought 48 of them the day before I bought mine, for the On An Island Tour. I bought the original brick version and I'm sure part of their decision was rugged build quality. That and signal quality over long runs to FOH.

Play any of the tracks from that tour DVD or Royal Albert Hall and you'll hear what they can do in less than quiet studio conditions.

One of the reasons I'm also considering a Neumann KMS-105
Old 2nd December 2014
Lives for gear
Kamurah's Avatar

Wanted to agree with what some of the former posts have already stated.

The gear list you already have is completely fine / pro level stuff. I would not start trying to look for additional preamps unless you need a specific color...and certainly not without dealing with the room first. The 4050 is a great all around mic...and used in pro studios all the time.

The preamps on the Duet are NOT noisy! Very clean ample gain there with gobs of headroom.

I would offer the noise you are struggling with is almost certainly in your environment.

Using a noise gate / expander within your DAW of choice is a simple and quick way to mitigate a LOT of the problems home recordists have.

I use expansion most of the time...even if it is just to lower the overall perceived noise in a location.

To illustrate, I am enclosing two small spoken sound clips. Both were recorded with the same chain in the same room at the same time. On one clip, I enable a gate / expander just to show how much cleaner the audio can be perceived.

My chain is very similar to yours (in fact, the 4050 is a higher grade mic).

Chain: AT 4040, UA Apollo, Logic

In these clips, I purposefully cranked my space heater up to a point where its fan is louder than any computer and sounds like I am sitting next to an HVAC system.

I would not record this way, but just did this to illustrate the point and make more of a contrast.

So vote is no need for new equipment given the kit you already have. Learn how to use a gate / expander if you need to tame your noise, or find a better place to record.

Best of luck.
Attached Files

Spoken No Gate.mp3 (551.0 KB, 150 views)

Spoken Gate.mp3 (466.3 KB, 103 views)

Old 2nd December 2014
Gear Maniac
Very good! Thanks for the clips as well. Has to be taken into consideration.
Old 2nd December 2014
I have a few pieces of the gear mentioned so I thought I'd chime in.

I have an RNP and some SCA N72s, and the N72s are awesome.

I also have an AT-4050, MD-421, MD-441, and a pair of Oktava MK-012-01s. The Oktava sounds really nice on acoustic guitar and I also use it on chord organ and it sounds great. The AT-4050 is a workhorse mic and is very flexible with the different polarity patterns. I also like the MD-421, but for vocals I love the MD-441 with a Fethead. The Supercardoid pattern is really helpful for minimizing mic bleed too.

I don't think you could go wrong with an SCA N72, Oktava MC-012, and a gently used MD-441 with a Fethead.

Here's a tune I did with all these pieces the other day. Keep in mind the guy played REALLY quietly so I picked up a lot of computer fan noise. I'm working on moving my computer out of the room. (BTW- this guy is super-talented!)

Old 3rd December 2014
Lives for gear
dc_r's Avatar

Originally Posted by Tavares View Post
Yes, I have the same idea about the two. Just heard stories about quality control issues with the GAP. Not your case, apparently. That the DAV is a cleaner pre while the GAP has more of a vintage sound would make me choose the GAP.
Or the Warm WA-12 or the ToneBeast TB-12. Where I am availability also play a part in the process.

But thanks for the comment.
Both GAP and DAV are budget priced compared to many other preamps but the build quality is still very good.

David Gilmour track above does sound to me a bit like DAV but those tracks must have gone through lots of other processors.

One thing I would say is that I will not be looking to buy any other preamps or to 'upgrade' in the future. I also heard tracks done with Duet that were excellent. I think a real upgrade with your budget would be to get some bass traps. This made the biggest difference so far for me.
Old 3rd December 2014
Gear Maniac
Yes, room correction, noise gate and a different location will be tested before getting the preamp which will most likely be one in this list:

Warm Tonebeast
GAP 73

The ones that seem to offer the best value for money. The DAV being the clear one and the other two the hotter pres.

Thanks again.
Old 3rd December 2014
Gear Guru
FFTT's Avatar

Yeah try the noise gate first and do what you can to improve the environment.

I track dry as a bone going in, just a good clear signal, not too much gain.

I tried running the software compressor up front and only amplified the background noise.

If I need to pump up the volume in the mix, I can do that post production.

Try the moving blankets as described too, should help.
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