Vocal Pre Amp

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Laurassound
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Vocal Pre Amp

Post by Laurassound » Mon May 13, 2019 6:38 pm

Hello Fellow Taxi Drivers,
I've decided do some updating in my studio. Does anyone have any recommendations on a good preamp for vocals.

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Re: Vocal Pre Amp

Post by lesmac » Mon May 13, 2019 9:14 pm

What sort of interface and mic are you using?
You may get a more noticeable improvement in quality by upgrading your mic [if your interface pres are pretty reasonable].
External preamps are good if you need to drive microphones with low output [ribbons and dynamics, some small condensers too]. Large diaphragm condensers favoured for vocals usually have a higher output.
Whatever you do take your time and ask mr google as many questions as you can.
I hate buyer's remorse. :evil:

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Re: Vocal Pre Amp

Post by Len911 » Tue May 14, 2019 2:09 am

I saw your other post about singing and guitar. If you don't have the luxury of visiting a store that has a large inventory to audition and thus are blind buying, and knowing that there are so many diverse opinions, and price ranges. and have nothing
in particular in mind, and just want a general recommendation, I would probably go with a used Neumann U87 and an API 500 series mic preamp in a 2 or 3 slot 500 series rack. You'll need an a/d interface for your computer.

That gives you a few polar patterns to work with, keeping you away from tube issues, and offering a preamp you'll never hear a bad review of. The more specific your ideas, perhaps the finer your specifications can be, this is just a "no regrets"
recommendation, and choices that also have great resale if you ever have the need to, though you won't have the need to as far as quality.
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Re: Vocal Pre Amp

Post by Laurassound » Wed May 15, 2019 11:33 pm

lesmac wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:14 pm
What sort of interface and mic are you using?
You may get a more noticeable improvement in quality by upgrading your mic [if your interface pres are pretty reasonable].
External preamps are good if you need to drive microphones with low output [ribbons and dynamics, some small condensers too]. Large diaphragm condensers favoured for vocals usually have a higher output.
Whatever you do take your time and ask mr google as many questions as you can.
I hate buyer's remorse. :evil:
I'm using a very good Blueberry mic that fits my alto (sometimes loud) voice. This mic has served me well but I think I need an updated preamp.

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Re: Vocal Pre Amp

Post by Laurassound » Wed May 15, 2019 11:37 pm

Len911 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:09 am
I saw your other post about singing and guitar. If you don't have the luxury of visiting a store that has a large inventory to audition and thus are blind buying, and knowing that there are so many diverse opinions, and price ranges. and have nothing
in particular in mind, and just want a general recommendation, I would probably go with a used Neumann U87 and an API 500 series mic preamp in a 2 or 3 slot 500 series rack. You'll need an a/d interface for your computer.

That gives you a few polar patterns to work with, keeping you away from tube issues, and offering a preamp you'll never hear a bad review of. The more specific your ideas, perhaps the finer your specifications can be, this is just a "no regrets"
recommendation, and choices that also have great resale if you ever have the need to, though you won't have the need to as far as quality.
Thank you for the recommendation.

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Re: Vocal Pre Amp

Post by Kolstad » Thu May 16, 2019 1:35 am

Hi Laura, try watching this video on the subject. It gives a really good perspective on what you can expect in different budget ranges. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p1T1VKr09pg

You didnt mention a budget, so if you are totally free, you cant go wrong with a studio staple like the Neve 511 mic pre. It will last you a lifetime. However, you can also find perfectly useable gear on a smaller budget, as you can see from the video.

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Re: Vocal Pre Amp

Post by Razor7Music » Thu May 16, 2019 2:19 pm

Hi There Laura--

If you decide to get a mic pre, for the value, I really like the ART products. I bought another one after my first--no issues and like I said, there are very reasonably priced. This is the model I bought - ART Pro MPA II (two channel tube) Here

I worked for for GC between jobs years ago and fell in love with the Avalon pres. Now, they are not low cost--but the owner would come in (El Toro, CA) and go over how all the circuitry was silver, etc. etc. Anyway, I can dream can't I? :D
Thanks,

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Re: Vocal Pre Amp

Post by MBantle » Fri May 17, 2019 11:12 am

Laurassound wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:38 pm
Hello Fellow Taxi Drivers,
I've decided do some updating in my studio. Does anyone have any recommendations on a good preamp for vocals.
If you do not want to spend an awful lot of money I can recommend the Warm Audio preamps. It obviously depends on what sound you are looking for.
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... ent-preamp
Hope this helps.
Cheers,
Matt

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Re: Vocal Pre Amp

Post by neilmctavish » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:15 am

I have a Focusrite ISA110LE that I just love. It has eq too which I like having for vocals. they don't make them any more but you can buy a good one used for around 1400. Super quiet. Just an amazing piece. I also use the EQ a lot for tracks that need it. I also have a Focusrite ISA One which is a lot cheaper, one less transformer, and made in China. I think it has a real quality sound for the money. Nice.

Last time I saw Rob Chiarelli on Taxi TV he recommended a Neve 1073 style preamp. I know Warm makes one now so you may want to try it out. It's sold with or without eq. He also suggested an Avalon piece, 737 I think.

I always thought the A designs Ventura was good value. Ronan has reviewed them on his video blog. Daking looked like a really good value too. I think these would be a good start for comparisons.

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Re: Vocal Pre Amp

Post by mojobone » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:14 pm

Laurassound wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:38 pm
Hello Fellow Taxi Drivers,
I've decided do some updating in my studio. Does anyone have any recommendations on a good preamp for vocals.
This is that sort of question where you really need to provide more information, if you want a helpful response. I gather from your post that you're looking to upgrade your vocals; how can I know I'm recommending an 'upgrade', if I don't know what mic/preamp/vocal chain you're currently using? I mean OK, if it's simple case of G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) I can just recommend any old thing, and it'll be one more option than you gad before and it's good to have options, but if you're addressing an actual need and you're on a budget, those would also be good things to know. This one time, I churned out several paragraphs on preamp and microphone topologies, and it was super helpful stuff, just not to the OP, who it turned out, already had a Universal Audio 610 and a Lauten Atlantis; basically there was no upgrade path south of five grand.

Furthermore, it's possible that your mike and preamp are not the bottleneck; so long as you're not Tom Waits, or the fat lady at the opera, nearly any decent mic and pre should give you excellent results, given a good performance and proper technique . If either of the former are lacking, what's required might be a compressor or a mic isolator. Or singing lessons.
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