ART tube preamp for vox

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by capncal, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    anyone ever used one of these for vocals?

    my singer is fantastic but sometimes gets a bit ... thin, i suppose is a good word for it. he's constantly fighting with the guitar to be heard (common issue i know) so i figured i'd pick up a tube preamp and see if i couldn't beef him up a bit.

    the two options for using the device is to one, run it as an insert at the board level, or two, run the mic into it, then xlr out to the board like you would a DI box.

    just picked it up this weekend and have only had very limited opportunity to play with it.

    what are some of the first things i should try? what have you found to be successful? what hasn't worked?

    as always, ya'lls input is greatly valued.
  2. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    I have successfully used the ART Tube MP for vocals, always as a preamp before sending the signal into the board. As you are "EQing" the band, consider the vocalist as an additional instrument. That means other instruments like that pesky guitar might need to turn down the volume a bit to balance the sound. The vocalist should be the primary anchor followed by everything else. You might also add some reverb or echo to the VOX to fatten the sound.
  3. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    indeed sir, the pesky guitar has issues turning down. can't destroy that nice tone, eh?

    so you've used the preamp as essentially a DI box for the vocals, correct? not as an insert on the board?
  4. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    Yes. I've also used the Tube MPs as preamps for a "Blumlein Pair" of condenser mikes to record the whole room. Always on the front end of the board, not inserts. Those little cheapies are good work horses for average recording situations.
  5. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    ah, very good sir and thanks for the input. hadn't yet considered putting it in front of my room mic.
  6. I use two ART tube preamps, a Tube MP and a TubePAC, for mics. I run each mic directly to its pre, then through one side of a Lexicon MPX500 for a little reverb, then to the board. The built-in compressors are nice, I get no noise, and I think they warm up the sound from the mics a lot. The only issue is that we now have 3 vocalists, and the one without an ART sounds horrible in comparison.
  7. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    i ran DI through this little ART tube box for an outside gig this past Friday. first of all, this was the most impressive portable stage i've ever had the good fortune of playing on. there were 6 12 inch monitors (EV was the brand) and the one behind my drummer would have been plenty for me to hear myself! then they put me into the monitor in front of me! i may never bring a rig to a show again!

    the ART box to my ears sounded better than the next band who's bassist used a JDI.

    these things are amazing. i want 10 of them. if only it ran on phantom power.
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    TC Electronic Voicetone Correct XT will blow the art out of the water for live vocal use. On board compression and warmth controls help my fairly thin voice. The anti feedback seems pretty effective as well. A smidge of pitch correction, well as long as it is just a smidge...

    If i am singing on someone elses mixer I use it, period. Have a pair and put one on little Miss Stage Candy :)

    If I'm using my board then I have comps and 4 bands on all the channels, no need for the voicetones.

    I also own an ART Tube Channel which sees some studio use. Nice tool but the TC Boxes aredesigned for live vocals and they do it well...
  9. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    interesting. i'll have to check one of those out. they have them used on for a buck fitty.
  10. Step one is choosing the very best mic for each vocalist, and I can't stress this enough.
    The days of "stick a 58 on them" are long gone.
    The goal is to have almost zero EQ on the mixer beyond bass rolloff when it comes to lead vocals.
    Board EQs are getting better and better these days, but whenever you have to crank the knobs more than a little the phase shifts and quality suffers.

    I'm leaning towards condensers these days, as the results on thin vocalists have been miraculous.
    At the same time, amazing sound is happening with a budget line Shure on a male country singer I just started working with. I was skeptical when he whipped it out, but results are all that matters. Works for him, but would suck on a female singer.

    Finding the perfect mic is often cheaper and always easier than adding preamps.
    Hopefully it leaves enough $$$ in the budget for a better quality compressor.

    Look at EV and Sennheiser dynamic and condenser mics, as they seem to have a fuller and richer bottom end with less annoying upper mids than the usual suspects.
    I'll never understand why singers have zero clue what mic they really need, but are willing to spend similar $$ on shoes.