Mic Preamp in the studio

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by seanm, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I am using an ARTs Mic Preamp as a preamp for my bass at a practice space. And I was asked why you would need a mic preamp when the mixers have a preamp built in :confused:

    I have never recorded in a studio and couldn't answer the question. So why would you use a mic preamp in the studio? Is it just to get a slightly different sound?
  2. dalley


    Jul 6, 2005
    technically, if you have a mixer with preamps, you don't NEED to get a seperate preamp unit (unless you have a multi input interface and need more mic inputs). Depending on what kind of mixer it is, most of the low end ART stuff wont yield any better results anyway.

    People like to use external units because they can be of much better quality and they want different types of preamps for different types of sounds or applications (clean, tube, etc.). Some are better suited for vocals, some for acoustic guitars, etc....

    I would suggest if you don't have much of a budget to pick up a seperate mic pre, use the mixer's pres for now and save up and get a decent mic preamp.....

  3. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    I have arrays of mic preamps because my DAW interface doesn't have any (Echo Layla 24). It's kind of a pain, a mixer with direct outs on each channel would be more convenient, but I've been able to obtain some nice-sounding pres over the years that I wouldn't find in a mixer costing less than 5 figures or so. Pro Tools TDM rigs don't have pre's built into the convertors, either; they need some preamplification going in (although Digi will happily sell you a bank of pre's to go with, of course ;) )
  4. using mixer pre's can often be the downfall of people's home setups. Until you use a nice outboard preamp you often dont realise how much they can improve your sound, and how many different sounds you can obtain. Basically - its like always using a DI for your bass, and then plugging into an SVT and realising it sounds much better.
  5. adam on bass

    adam on bass

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: GK, EMG and D'Addario
    I finally bought a Radial J48 DI and it made a HUGE difference in the tone I was getting to the board. I use a Sadowsky RV5 as of late to record and the J48 helps tremendously. I used to use a Yamaha PB1 as my preamp but it finally took the high road. Also, try not to EQ pre record so you can tweak as needed afer it's down and not have to try to fix anything.

    Good luck.
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