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Thread: Mic, preamp, or interface

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    Mic, preamp, monitors or interface

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    I currently use a presonus firestudio project and a Rode nt1a as my main means of recording.

    What would make more of a difference, mic, microphone preamp or a new interface altogether?

    I have a budget of around £700. I was initially leaning towards buying an akg 414 xls but would like some further opinions.

    Tah
    Last edited by davecg321; 01-06-2017 at 09:59.

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    You haven't given enough info. What are you recording? Vocals? Guitars? Are you happy with the recordings you are getting? Have you considered other ways to spend money that might make a bigger improvement in your final product, for example studio monitors? That said, I would not be without an external preamp.

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    I mainly record acoustic music. I did have an art pro mpa preamp which I kind of regret getting rid of. Yes! I was meant to put new monitors in that list too. Currently I have m audio av 30s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davecg321 View Post
    I mainly record acoustic music. I did have an art pro mpa preamp which I kind of regret getting rid of. Yes! I was meant to put new monitors in that list too. Currently I have m audio av 30s.
    I think your monitors are in need of an upgrade more than your signal chain. I started on the exact same speakers (AV30), mixed an entire album on them! But even a modest step up would be a big improvement. The AV30s are now my kids' computer speakers
    "Easy, guys.. I put my pants on just like the rest of you - one leg at a time. Except, once my pants are on, I make gold records." - The Bruce Dickinson

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    What monitors would you suggest for my price range?

    Haha yeah I was impressed when I first got them. They are ok for general desktop listening but not well defined enough for mixing.

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    Depends on how demanding your recordings are. Output op-amps and Monitors are your final link - what you base "reality" on.

    Nothing I do requires KH120 monitors, and one can try to find a shoe that fits

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    As you have an NT1-a I would suggest that all another pre amp would add would be extra noise!

    A REALLY quiet pre such as a Grace would probably be ok but then very quiet pres tend to be very clean and not add anything to the signal.

    In any event, transformerless capacitor mics are not really affected by such booteekeries as variable loading.

    Monitors? Yes, the advances in the high end stuff has filtered down to affordable units in recent years.

    Dave.

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    When I sold my 414, I always regretted it, but I won't be replacing it until I can afford two! I think it's the only 'sound' I'm missing for what I do.

    I'm never quite so sure about monitors, and once you can balance in your head what they actually do to the sound, you can adjust quickly. I suspect that each time you upgrade your studio monitors you need to double your spend, £250 needs to be replaced with £500, then you go up to a grand for the next appreciable difference, but somehow, the benefit of the change satisfies you less and less as you go up.

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    Was using AV-30's for monitors. Upgraded to JBL LSR-305's which are a decent size for my roomand sound great. AV-30's now are used for general music listening on a computer.
    Pretty happy with my GAP Pre73 mkII, ISA One, or ART PRO MPA II depending on the mic. (all purchased used to save a few $$$)
    Favorite mic is a Miktek C1 (cardioid). Studio Projects CS5 and a Shure KSM44 have done well for me for multi-pattern mics (also all bought used).
    Mark.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    As you have an NT1-a I would suggest that all another pre amp would add would be extra noise!

    A REALLY quiet pre such as a Grace would probably be ok but then very quiet pres tend to be very clean and not add anything to the signal.

    In any event, transformerless capacitor mics are not really affected by such booteekeries as variable loading.

    Monitors? Yes, the advances in the high end stuff has filtered down to affordable units in recent years.

    Dave.
    This is exactly why I am thinking of a external pre... the interface is too clean. I want some character. Surely most studios would opt for an external pre over any interface pre...?
    “Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.”

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