2 Pages V   1 2 >  
Pro Preamp Vs Soundcard
Mertay
Jan 5 2021, 12:59 PM
GMC:er
Posts: 4.882
Joined: 27-May 13
From: Turkey / izmir

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Todd Simpson
Jan 5 2021, 07:47 PM
GMC:er
Posts: 21.796
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
In isolation I can hear a bit of difference but inside of a mix, like most things, I'm sure it would be barely audible if at all. Having nice mic preamps is always a bonus, but they are really overkill for most home studios imho, when the money could be better spent on other things like better near field monitors or adding a sub.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mertay
Jan 5 2021, 09:12 PM
GMC:er
Posts: 4.882
Joined: 27-May 13
From: Turkey / izmir
QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jan 5 2021, 06:47 PM) *
In isolation I can hear a bit of difference but inside of a mix, like most things, I'm sure it would be barely audible if at all. Having nice mic preamps is always a bonus, but they are really overkill for most home studios imho, when the money could be better spent on other things like better near field monitors or adding a sub.


The 512c goes for 850 and a small chassis for them goes around 300 dollars in USA, yeah thats overkill biggrin.gif specially considering very few actually mic.s amp at home. But as for the video comparison, I thought the difference was pretty noticeable. The tone was much tighter and in some moments even flatter relealng the amps tone much better.

By the way the soundcard he used, I actually had the smaller version of it smile.gif was my first firewire soundcard, really liked it but died cause one of my cats played with the firewire cord biggrin.gif The preamps on those at the time was considered very transparent compared to say something like m-audio, comparing that bad against the API was also personally revealing to my as I know their sound so well.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Todd Simpson
Jan 5 2021, 10:32 PM
GMC:er
Posts: 21.796
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
The difference can be heard by itself, but yeah I don't think it would matter that much in a mix. Also, for the price, one could buy a great set of new studio monitors with a sub. That's the kind of purchase that would really improve ones quality of output imho.

QUOTE (Mertay @ Jan 5 2021, 04:12 PM) *
The 512c goes for 850 and a small chassis for them goes around 300 dollars in USA, yeah thats overkill biggrin.gif specially considering very few actually mic.s amp at home. But as for the video comparison, I thought the difference was pretty noticeable. The tone was much tighter and in some moments even flatter relealng the amps tone much better.

By the way the soundcard he used, I actually had the smaller version of it smile.gif was my first firewire soundcard, really liked it but died cause one of my cats played with the firewire cord biggrin.gif The preamps on those at the time was considered very transparent compared to say something like m-audio, comparing that bad against the API was also personally revealing to my as I know their sound so well.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mertay
Jan 6 2021, 12:28 AM
GMC:er
Posts: 4.882
Joined: 27-May 13
From: Turkey / izmir
QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jan 5 2021, 09:32 PM) *
The difference can be heard by itself, but yeah I don't think it would matter that much in a mix.


If only recording say a solo, then yes managing balances will be easy but considering a full mix (specially guitar-centered music like rock, layered guitars etc.) then it would matter. Not that x preamp will result in a bad sound/mix etc. but the overall character of sound will be heavily influenced (as in neve, ssl sound etc. thing).

I still believe in value of sound character in production has weight in commercial success (aside my engineer-romanticism smile.gif ) which is something very unconscious-mind/psychology related and hard to discuss. A few times even I listened terrible recorded stuff (often dark and noisey) yet the song itself fitted so well to that sound was successful.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


This post has been edited by Mertay: Jan 6 2021, 12:31 AM


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kristofer Dahl
Jan 6 2021, 03:57 PM
GMC Founder
Posts: 17.117
Joined: 15-August 05
From: Stockholm, Sweden
I would go for a transparent on board preamp / sound card, and then instead invest in good mics (for guitar or vocals). You should be able to take it almost anywhere 'in the mix' with this foundation.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
klasaine
Jan 6 2021, 04:31 PM
GMC:er
Posts: 3.913
Joined: 30-December 12
From: Los Angeles, CA
I hear both more weight and definition with the hardware API.
But is that what's gonna be right for the track - ? Maybe, maybe not.

IMO, if you're recording a 'real' instrument: guitar, bass, vocals, drums, horns, strings, etc. you should (if possible) invest in one good hardware mic-pre.
I'd be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that most of us have $300 to $500 worth of "cheap" modelers, pedals and software that goes unused. How many $30 software reverbs, eqs and comps do you have taking up hard drive space when you pretty much only ever use one of them?
I am totally guilty of this. The best investment I made when I started into the home recording thing was a hardware mic pre.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Todd Simpson
Jan 6 2021, 11:19 PM
GMC:er
Posts: 21.796
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Good point per usual smile.gif Having one good mic pre is always a good addition to any setup. If the budget just doesn't permit one to buy a good mic pre, there is of course, always a plugin option.




QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 6 2021, 11:31 AM) *
I hear both more weight and definition with the hardware API.
But is that what's gonna be right for the track - ? Maybe, maybe not.

IMO, if you're recording a 'real' instrument: guitar, bass, vocals, drums, horns, strings, etc. you should (if possible) invest in one good hardware mic-pre.
I'd be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that most of us have $300 to $500 worth of "cheap" modelers, pedals and software that goes unused. How many $30 software reverbs, eqs and comps do you have taking up hard drive space when you pretty much only ever use one of them?
I am totally guilty of this. The best investment I made when I started into the home recording thing was a hardware mic pre.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
klasaine
Jan 7 2021, 02:20 AM
GMC:er
Posts: 3.913
Joined: 30-December 12
From: Los Angeles, CA
Don't get me wrong, I'm loving digging into the software pres I've gotten.
Standouts for me are the Lindell Audio 80 (neve 1073 and 1084 clones combined with an added comp, gate, limiter) and the Scheps Omni channel (pre/EQ/comp/gate/de-esser and an insert slot) - super versatile.

I also use my hardware and software differently.
I record/print with my hardware pre. I (potentially) tweak post record with software.

As an aside, I can get the Lindell to sound remarkably close to my WA73. In fact I would just say it's a little different but neither worse nor better. One of the cool things about the Lindell is that it has the extra high band on it like the 1084.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


This post has been edited by klasaine: Jan 7 2021, 04:25 AM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mertay
Jan 7 2021, 09:18 AM
GMC:er
Posts: 4.882
Joined: 27-May 13
From: Turkey / izmir
QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 7 2021, 01:20 AM) *
Don't get me wrong, I'm loving digging into the software pres I've gotten.
Standouts for me are the Lindell Audio 80 (neve 1073 and 1084 clones combined with an added comp, gate, limiter) and the Scheps Omni channel (pre/EQ/comp/gate/de-esser and an insert slot) - super versatile.


Both are great choices, I spent time with the omni in a friends studio a while ago as they're very popular here and can say its one of the smartest designed (but highly musical) plug-in out there, likely one of waves's best seller too. Todd's scheps 73 is also a winner but lindell's console plug-in is a current hit.

Also a small note on preamp comparison (maybe I should have posted it earlier for clarification); In my experience unlike any other hardware gear (comp.,eq...) preamp differences are much more subtle when A/B'ed side by side.

They're designed with the idea of running 100's of tracks in a project (as unlike say a compressor, they're un-avoidable in recording), so to eliminate any possible harshness/muddyness with layering there is a limit of how much "mojo" can be added to its flavor.

So when I heard such a difference in the video, this is why I consider it a big difference (specially considering we're listening through youtube).

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


This post has been edited by Mertay: Jan 7 2021, 09:19 AM


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Gabriel Leopardi
Jan 7 2021, 04:40 PM
Instructor
Posts: 34.262
Joined: 3-March 07
From: Argentina
This is interesting! Thanks for the video Mertay. When recording Cirse's second album, I borrowed an API preamp so I had the oportunity to compare my Motu 828 preamps, the API and also a cheap Behringer.

The Motu's were much cleaner but API had a cool color which sounded great on electric guitars. This was 10 years ago.

When recording Ramen's new songs, the mixing engineer asked us to record without any external preamp (which adds color) so he could start with cleaner takes.

My question is, nowadays that plug ins evolved a lot, isn't is better to record with a clean preamp and define the color with plug ins?

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


--------------------
My lessons

Do you need a Guitar Plan?
Join Gab's Army

Check my band:Cirse
Check my soundcloud:Soundcloud

Please subscribe to my:Youtube Channel
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mertay
Jan 7 2021, 05:58 PM
GMC:er
Posts: 4.882
Joined: 27-May 13
From: Turkey / izmir
QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 7 2021, 03:40 PM) *
...


Hey Gab.

I had a guitar student who was electric engineering student and asked me something very similar, why not use a simple gain device (like the level knob on a pedal) instead of a preamp. I had an ibanez BB9 pedal, unlike any other pedal I know of this completely disables its drive when set minimum. First we tested ultra clean, then added a tiny bit of drive.

What he also noticed was, with the ultra clean the more gain we added to get a solid recording level, the more "thinner/weak" the signal got. That tiny bit of drive helped the signal sound as good as low level when high. Side note; this also happens with guitar amps, when volume is increased the poweramp also adds coloration which is why we love loud amp sounds.

So essentially, a preamps technical goal is to keep the signal from becoming weaker sounding by using that coloration. How it does it (tube, transistor, components and design) determines its character and reasoning why we choose one instead of another.

As to your question; As much as I love plug-ins, the way we simulate coloration (which is based on clipping) still has its limits. Today I think we got the coloration aspect pretty good but while doing that I often notice lack of depth-feel when listening online comparisons.

Also, with a preamp unlike a tape-machine or channel strip its almost impossible to make a mistake on the recording stage of project this is why I noticed when a small studio first starts to become successful the first upgrade they make is a preamp. A good preamp lessens the need of plug-ins and is a real time-saver.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


This post has been edited by Mertay: Jan 7 2021, 06:01 PM


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
klasaine
Jan 7 2021, 07:03 PM
GMC:er
Posts: 3.913
Joined: 30-December 12
From: Los Angeles, CA
Great response from Mertay!

I will also add that when everybody is recording remotely, the mix engineer wants to minimize the 'color' burned into individual tracks because that particular 'color' may ultimately not be right for the song/project. Inexperienced recordists will many times attempt to make their individual track sound like what they think the part should sound like on the finished product. The biggest offenders being too much compression and too much saturation. Those two elements tend to pile up in a big mix. *Small and murky sounding parts, especially guitar parts, are usually the byproduct of too much gain and too much compression.

When I record tracks at home for other people I deliver a completely dry and uncompressed track but I do usually go through my preamp. The beauty of a Neve 1073 or 1084 is that you can bypass the EQ section and just add a touch of the Neve 'sound' - even at unity. The better software emulations allow for this too (Brainworx and UAd). Still, what I add is very subtle.
If I think I know what they want 'color' or fx wise I will send an effected track(s) along with the dry. I can also send just the fx bus tracks.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


This post has been edited by klasaine: Jan 7 2021, 07:06 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Gabriel Leopardi
Jan 7 2021, 07:59 PM
Instructor
Posts: 34.262
Joined: 3-March 07
From: Argentina
Great responses guys!! Thanks a lot!

I liked Mertay's guitar amps analogy.

You said "a good preamp" in your last sentence. Do all good preamps color the signal? Was my Motu828 preamp not as good as an Api or Neve?

For example, now I have a Babyface Pro. If I use an Api, what do I get? The Api color an anything else?

When I compared Api with Motu preamps I could hear the color difference but I didn't hear (or couldn't note) a difference in sound quality.

I hope that my questions don't sound silly! biggrin.gif

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


--------------------
My lessons

Do you need a Guitar Plan?
Join Gab's Army

Check my band:Cirse
Check my soundcloud:Soundcloud

Please subscribe to my:Youtube Channel
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mertay
Jan 7 2021, 08:58 PM
GMC:er
Posts: 4.882
Joined: 27-May 13
From: Turkey / izmir
QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 7 2021, 06:59 PM) *
Great responses guys!! Thanks a lot!

I liked Mertay's guitar amps analogy.

You said "a good preamp" in your last sentence. Do all good preamps color the signal? Was my Motu828 preamp not as good as an Api or Neve?

For example, now I have a Babyface Pro. If I use an Api, what do I get? The Api color an anything else?

When I compared Api with Motu preamps I could hear the color difference but I didn't hear (or couldn't note) a difference in sound quality.

I hope that my questions don't sound silly! biggrin.gif


smile.gif

Yeah they all add something to the signal. By what I mean "good" is usually related to how well elements you record will sound together rather than individual. For example; A behringer soundcard (newer ones have midas preamps but terrible converters) will sound very warm when you record a guitar, but when you record many sounds through it (guitars, drums, keyboard...) when played together it might cause a muddy sound or atleast they won't sound separate enough and some details may be lost. Before starting the mix process, engineers prefer the dry recordings to be heard easily individual/identifiable when everything is played together.

So I don't have experience with motu, I'm sure it won't be any bad but with an api or neve the mix elements would likely be more detailed yet still musical sounding when played together. The onboard preamp on the video is a TC Electronic and reviews will suggest its a very "transparent" preamp, yet to my ears the API in the video makes it almost middy/lo-fi when compared.

So thats why we like the homestudio soundcard preamps cause the projects made at home aren't huge (doesn't pass 20 maybe 30 daw channels, some being midi...), then your RME or Motu will perform just fine. But for your studio album project (much larger than a homestudio project) then you'd prefer the best preamp or console you can get, with all the dubling/layering etc. keeping the sound tight may become an issue with lesser gear.

But what if we record a 100 channel project with a cheap behringer soundcard? it will sound already glued and soft. This is the issue thats harder to discuss, cause some will like that behringer sound smile.gif This is were the producer shines before recording a project, he listens to the band demo's/rehearsal and selects the studio which will give them the right "sound". Today though its hard to find such producers or afford them, musicians often have to rely on the engineer.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


This post has been edited by Mertay: Jan 7 2021, 09:28 PM


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kristofer Dahl
Jan 7 2021, 11:15 PM
GMC Founder
Posts: 17.117
Joined: 15-August 05
From: Stockholm, Sweden
QUOTE (Mertay @ Jan 7 2021, 05:58 PM) *
Also, with a preamp unlike a tape-machine or channel strip its almost impossible to make a mistake on the recording stage of project this is why I noticed when a small studio first starts to become successful the first upgrade they make is a preamp. A good preamp lessens the need of plug-ins and is a real time-saver.


I guess what happens is that the preamp ads overtones across the entire spectrum - which later on makes it easy to fix issues via simple EQ:ing.

Another powerful way to fix a signal that is not as susceptible to EQ:ing is parallell distortion. This is a breeze to do with just stock plugins in modern DAWs. Another option is to add a preamp plugins as Todd mentioned - which is almost the same as it also ads overtones (+ compression).

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mertay
Jan 8 2021, 10:22 AM
GMC:er
Posts: 4.882
Joined: 27-May 13
From: Turkey / izmir
QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Jan 7 2021, 10:15 PM) *
I guess what happens is that the preamp ads overtones across the entire spectrum - which later on makes it easy to fix issues via simple EQ:ing.

Another powerful way to fix a signal that is not as susceptible to EQ:ing is parallell distortion. This is a breeze to do with just stock plugins in modern DAWs. Another option is to add a preamp plugins as Todd mentioned - which is almost the same as it also ads overtones (+ compression).


Just to add we also have semi-smart plug-ins now too which basically flatten the source or only its peak, I shared 1-2 of them in the past in this forum. Some examples; Gullfoss (better for main out), teote, dseq and maybe we can add sonible smarteq 2. Of-course also izotope neutron 3 is famous but thats more intended as a full audio-mixing solution.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kristofer Dahl
Jan 8 2021, 12:42 PM
GMC Founder
Posts: 17.117
Joined: 15-August 05
From: Stockholm, Sweden
And I guess the big advantage of having top notch hardware or plugins is that they are more "plug and play" by nature. Tweaking with parallel distortion and compression requires extra ear and time.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mertay
Jan 8 2021, 02:29 PM
GMC:er
Posts: 4.882
Joined: 27-May 13
From: Turkey / izmir
QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Jan 8 2021, 11:42 AM) *
And I guess the big advantage of having top notch hardware or plugins is that they are more "plug and play" by nature. Tweaking with parallel distortion and compression requires extra ear and time.


To be honest after the schools studio I struggled a bit with home studio monitoring. Rather than how good the monitors were, I used to work more frequent with the midfields than nearfields.

The music has a surrounding quality to it and pretty much you're in it, with nearfields its more like simply coming from inside the speakers. Though of-course no way near my experience compared to today, still it was much easy for me to make such tweaks you mention almost instinktably. Then only used headphones, nearfields for controlling.

I did try to get that feel at home, but it won't happen if the room isn't living-room sized. I learned the lesson we have to learn to make stuff happen with what we have biggrin.gif

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kristofer Dahl
Jan 8 2021, 02:32 PM
GMC Founder
Posts: 17.117
Joined: 15-August 05
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Yes, listening environment is absolutely crucial. I would say most rooms can work decently though if you apply common sense placements of speakers + reference listening.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

2 Pages V   1 2 >
Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 




RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 27th January 2021 - 06:38 PM