Mic preamp


New member
How important to your miced (besides vocal) sound is a mic preamp? What exactly can it do? Is it just for vocals or will it add anything to a miced acoust. or a guitar and bass cab? Will it be usefull at all in the chain when running a signal from an acous. strait to the mixer?
Secondly, what are some good low end preamps that work the best with these conditions?
A good mic preamp is like pulling plugs out of your ears in some cases. Since onboard preamps are usually made with budget parts to budget specs as to keep the price of the board lower, preamps that are 2 or one to a rack are usually of higher quality. The ever popular tube preamp, when driven, adds even order harmonic distortion and very light compression which gives it the classic hot, fat, warm.......sound. Solid state preamps are usually for sounds that you don't want the tube drive coloration. Vocals, bass drum, bass guitar, guitar usually benefit from tube drive. Overheads, snare, and vocals too somtimes can sound better with a transparent solid state preamp. HHB makes good tube pre's at a good cost and Presonus makes an excellent solid state pre.
But remember, just because it's tube doesn't mean it's gonna be warm and fat; while just because it's solid-state doesn't mean it's gonna be transparent. Take the Neve 1272 for example. It's Class A solid-state and is warmer and fatter than a lot of tube pres I've heard. I'm planning to buy a two channel Neve 1272 racked by Brent Averill by the end of the year to use on my bands next album.