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twind
post Dec 31 2007, 02:00 PM
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So i want to start recording my amp using a mic. And im wondering whats the best mic pre amp under $200? (if there is one). Or is there a better way of recording? thx.
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Andrew Cockburn
post Dec 31 2007, 02:17 PM
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What are you using for input? Your PC's soundcard? Or do you have an audio interface already?

If it is the soundcard, you will benefit from buying a better audio interface, and these days a lot of them come with reasonable MIC amplifiers thus solving 2 problems at once.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 31 2007, 03:30 PM
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Adrew has a strong point here - you need a reasonably good soundcard to start recording.

I suggest something like EMU 0202 USB. It is very cheap and it has one mic input with preamp.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Dec 31 2007, 03:50 PM
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QUOTE (Milenkovic Ivan @ Dec 31 2007, 09:30 AM) *
Adrew has a strong point here - you need a reasonably good soundcard to start recording.

I suggest something like EMU 0202 USB. It is very cheap and it has one mic input with preamp.


Good suggestion! I have an EMU1212m (discontinued now I think) - I have been extremely pleased with it.


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twind
post Jan 1 2008, 03:31 AM
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Thanks for the help guys smile.gif im thinkin of getting a toneport UX2.
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Andrew Cockburn
post Jan 1 2008, 05:14 AM
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QUOTE (twind @ Dec 31 2007, 09:31 PM) *
Thanks for the help guys smile.gif im thinkin of getting a toneport UX2.


Also a good choice - I have line 6 stuff as well and it rocks, I don;t think you will be disappointed.


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Joe Kataldo
post Jan 4 2008, 02:14 PM
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Stay away from toneport stuff or any digital, with 230 euro I'll buy the PreSonus BlueTube DP Stereo Tube Microphone Preamp, just bear in mind that tube pre has a smother slower response instead of the solid state one (if you are a fast metal riffer you culd prefer the latter) anyway the PreSonus has both! :-DDDD

Joe Kataldo

If you are in the US go to zzsounds.com they sell it just $199.95 nearly there man! under 200$$$ :-D

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Jan 4 2008, 03:37 PM


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twind
post Jan 5 2008, 02:39 AM
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QUOTE
Stay away from toneport stuff or any digital,


Isnt that the point of recording something on a PC. Also i can get a toneport ux2 for $200 aus (alot cheaper than retail), PreSonus BlueTube or anything like that here is over $400 bucks.
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Joe Kataldo
post Jan 5 2008, 12:08 PM
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well, I understand, right now I'm In Italy, and is expensive than US mad.gif , but speaking in $$$ I conceived that you were in U.S. any way I think that USB is too slow for audio application if you need a audio interface/mic pre solution I suggest you to search for something fireware

Anyway here is my suggestion...this solution should fit your budget

M-Audio Delta Audiophile 24/06 PCI (you can use protool M-Powered!!!)

A really good sound card to start recording

ART TubeMP Project Series
A Budget tube pre with phantom (stereo)

or cheaper

ART TubeMP (mono)
A Budget tube pre with phantom
the same with less option

Check this stuff and let me know

Joe Kataldo

QUOTE (twind @ Jan 5 2008, 02:39 AM) *
Isnt that the point of recording something on a PC. Also i can get a toneport ux2 for $200 aus (alot cheaper than retail), PreSonus BlueTube or anything like that here is over $400 bucks.


This post has been edited by Joe Kataldo: Jan 5 2008, 12:19 PM


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Twibeard
post Jan 5 2008, 12:43 PM
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If its a PreAmp only you need, then Behringer got affordable good Tube Mic Preamps called Ultragain.
You can only fill your tank on your car twice for the money you will spent on one of these.
Cool thing: if you later want to upgrate the Behringer Ultragain to a pro preAmp, then just replace the stock tubes with: EI Elite 12AX7EG Telefunken clones, then you suddenly got a highend PreAmp mate. Have fun! cool.gif


This post has been edited by Twibeard: Jan 5 2008, 12:46 PM


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Joe Kataldo
post Jan 5 2008, 01:15 PM
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Very cool advice, I upgraded mine with NOS e83cc Tesla biggrin.gif, changing tube you can fully re-voice your pre!


QUOTE (Twibeard @ Jan 5 2008, 12:43 PM) *
If its a PreAmp only you need, then Behringer got affordable good Tube Mic Preamps called Ultragain.
You can only fill your tank on your car twice for the money you will spent on one of these.
Cool thing: if you later want to upgrate the Behringer Ultragain to a pro preAmp, then just replace the stock tubes with: EI Elite 12AX7EG Telefunken clones, then you suddenly got a highend PreAmp mate. Have fun! cool.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 5 2008, 03:13 PM
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I think that toneport is a good choice for starters. It is a good PnP device that needs little configuration and it doesent require sepparate soundcard - because it is a soundcard. For that sort of money, buy it, it has 2 mic preamps, two guitar inputs, two line-level recoridng inputs, built in effects, decent converters (for a price) and over 100dB n\s ratio. It even has two monitor inputs, SPDIF, analog VUmeters and phantom power. And for 200$! Come on wink.gif


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Twibeard
post Jan 5 2008, 03:51 PM
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QUOTE (Joe Kataldo @ Jan 5 2008, 01:15 PM) *
Very cool advice, I upgraded mine with NOS e83cc Tesla biggrin.gif, changing tube you can fully re-voice your pre!

Joe ... I have to try the NOS Tubes ... do you have any kind of review on those tubes? cool.gif I got 2 Behringer Ultragrade and will upgrade my second with new tubes as well ... makes recording awesome really smile.gif


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Joe Kataldo
post Jan 5 2008, 04:25 PM
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E83CC Tesla not jj has the same design of Telefunken and are cheaper I can't say more than that! I have two of them from same batch matched, but they sound different Actually I'm using them in my mark IV

Many people thinks NOS is a waste of money, I think is right and true at the same time, Before transistor were tubes, specially military and medical one were made to last That kind of machine can't fail for a tube!!!
This for as means more quality Definition 3d sound. The only BIG advice I can give to you about NOS is Find A dealer you trust!

Joe Kataldo

QUOTE (Twibeard @ Jan 5 2008, 03:51 PM) *
Joe ... I have to try the NOS Tubes ... do you have any kind of review on those tubes? cool.gif I got 2 Behringer Ultragrade and will upgrade my second with new tubes as well ... makes recording awesome really smile.gif


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Twibeard
post Jan 5 2008, 04:36 PM
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QUOTE (Joe Kataldo @ Jan 5 2008, 04:25 PM) *
The only BIG advice I can give to you about NOS is Find A dealer you trust!

Ah okay Joe thanks, then I think that I will keep buying the Elite tubes smile.gif They reallt make a BIG difference cool.gif


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twind
post Jan 7 2008, 12:41 PM
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So been looking at stuff other than a toneport because ideally i want to record my marshall JCM900 instead of using emulation.

There are two ART Tube MP Projects, a standard? and usb. Not sure what the difference is maybe one is a newer model? standard is about $130 and USB is $220. Anyone know if the art Micro Mixer pre amps are any good aswell? their pretty cheap.

How would these sound with a shure sm57? any other suggestions for better mics? pretty sure thats the best one.

Then i guess that just leaves getting a better sound card.
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Joe Kataldo
post Jan 7 2008, 01:31 PM
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QUOTE (twind @ Jan 7 2008, 12:41 PM) *
So been looking at stuff other than a toneport because ideally i want to record my marshall JCM900 instead of using emulation.

There are two ART Tube MP Projects, a standard? and usb. Not sure what the difference is maybe one is a newer model? standard is about $130 and USB is $220. Anyone know if the art Micro Mixer pre amps are any good aswell? their pretty cheap.

How would these sound with a shure sm57? any other suggestions for better mics? pretty sure thats the best one.

Then i guess that just leaves getting a better sound card.


http://www.artproaudio.com/products.asp?ty...at=1&id=115

I suggest to you the standard...as I state before usb is to slow for audio application,...and connect it to a good sound card, the M-Audio audiophile 24/96 PCI is cheap but a good start it has aiso driver direct monitoring a latency near to 0 etc. anyway if you want to hear the art and sm57, just check my lessons (they will be relased soon) I'm using the same gear

so about better mic the answer is: there is no better mic but different sound (I know the sm57 is a cheap mic but has is "sound" ) for archive better sound quality a common solution is misc different mic,for example a common modern sound combination is sm57 and sennheiser md421 trying to get the best of both, in the end will be just a matter of tast

I know that sometime I can be very drastic about digital mad.gif , but I think that work and experiment with sound cabinet, room and mic placement is an art, that many musician ignore, it's so easy plug 'n' play in digital stuff, but alway something missing for me, my advice is start experimenting as soon as you can! wink.gif

Joe Kataldo

This post has been edited by Joe Kataldo: Jan 7 2008, 01:33 PM


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jan 7 2008, 02:11 PM
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Hey Joe, this is interesting stuff.

I have a reasonable tube mike (Rode K2) which I run into a solid state Mic Amp (Fostex TwinTrak pro) but was wondering if you think it is worth getting a tube preamp as well? I guess you can't have too much tubey goodness smile.gif Maybe I'll build a preamp myself, could be a good follow on project from my guitar Amp.


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Joe Kataldo
post Jan 7 2008, 02:37 PM
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finding the right combination of mic and preamp is as much science as religion...anyway is a common practice combine tube mic with mosfet pre and vice versa always trying to get best of both world, usually one tube stage is enough. each stage will add noise.

I had opportunity to test the rode k-2 I think is an awesome mic for female voices, I like the coloration it gives. I've tested it for cabinet ambient, but didn't impressed me, it does a good job for acustic guitar too!

Here is an helpful website for all newbie http://www.bedroom-recording.com/

Joe Kataldo


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jan 7 2008, 06:16 PM
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Just to add to Joe here - different preamps suit different types of music as well, just the same as some mics suit say a female vocalist, others a male and so on. The difficulty for most of us is that we don't have a vast array of mics and pre's to mix and match so often end up trying to get one, or a very few, that will be a 'jack of all trades'.

Higher end pres generally will give a much better result then intro ones and you'll find you have more head room and probably more gain. Also above a given price limit you can start to hear that certain makes have a particular sound/character, a Neve is a Neve is a Neve, A Manley is a Manley is a Manley, an SSL is an SSL, etc - just the same with high end guitar amps. Perhaps what we tend to do is gravitate towards what we are used to? I grew up with Neve before getting used to the ultra clean SSL sound in the 80s/90s. I like both and think they have their own strengths and weaknesses. I tend to see Neve as good for many things and SSL excellent for dance/electronica and some orchestral. So to some extent what may work is to think what type of music you record and like to listen to and what sort of equipment the latter may have been recorded on and aim towards what matches them.

Just going back to a tube mic - as Joe says it has a nice coloration and tube 'warmth' that suits some vocal types for some types of music. You might not want that coloration to record say an orchestra or even a male vocal. It can work really well with some preamps that gain from the warmth whilst others might come across as strident or unnatural and with too much presence. I don't know about the Fostek (did it become the Focusrite Twintrack Andrew?) but I'd guess that the K2 is probably a notch or two above it price band wise. So the K2 would certainly work well with a more high end pre. A tube pre - maybe - but it is possible to add too much warmth and colouration, and as Joe says more noise, or indeed have a tube pre that doesn't match the tube mic.

What I'd suggest you try Andrew is to take the K2 in to a good music store and try it out with some different pre's and then base your design on whichever of those works best.

Last bit from me - at some stage you will need to digitise for your DAW. To my mind it would be a bit of a waste to have a great mic, great pre and poor AD conversion. So as Joe says you either need an audio card like the Audiophile that has good AD/DA or you will need to do it prior to it. Some preamps have AD cards, some don't. The more expensive pres that do tend to have good AD, the less expensive, well... IMHO don't waste money on poor AD/DA. A bargain end pre with an AD/DA card might look like great value for money but essentially garbage in results in garbage out.

Cheers,
Tony


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