View Full Version : Mic pre for acoustic music?
12-22-2002, 11:27 PM
I was wondering if anyone could recomend a good mic pre for acoutic music? I do mainly bluegrass stuff (mandolin, guitar, banjo, and vocals). I will be using the Nuendo multilink interface with Nuendo software.
As far as mic's go I currently have a KM184, blue baby bottle, rode NT1, akg c1000s and a sm57.
I would like to have at least 2 channels.
As far as a budget, I would like to stay under $1500 since nuendo is gonna break the bank!
Thanks in advance!
12-23-2002, 09:13 AM
Jeff, it looks like you are going a pretty good route. I have been doing a lot of pre amp recently in that price range for myself. I have seen several references to great river preamps on here lately, but I think you will only be able to get one channel of preamp in that range. You are stuck in the same price range I am. When you start looking in that prcie range, the quality jump in preamps is amazing. I believe you may be able to get a 2 channel Vintech 1272 for that price. I however just ordered a Universal audio 610 mono preamp. It ran me $1078 for a single channel with tax shipping etc.... I have talked with a bunch of vintage mic resllers, all of them instantly recommended hte new universal audio stuff. If you can go with a solid state pre amp I believe you can get 2 channels of Universal audio preamp for just over $1500. Also, you can get into a 4 space API lunchbox with power supply and 1 preamp card for about $1400. The advantage there is that you can add other cards to that for around $900 a piece later (line cards, EQ cards, Compressor cards etc...) But you are in the same bind I am, wanting 2 channels, but finding that to get 2 really good channels, you need to spend like $1900. The Vintech 1272 will sound good, but EVERYONE has recommended saving up more and going with single channels of the x73 (about $1800) Also, if you go with 2 mono preamps that only run around $750 each, the quality drop seems to be huge. Thats why I opted to bite the bullet and go with one channel, and just get the right channel. Your baby bottle is kind of a hidden gem. All of these mentioned preamps should match up very well with it:) I am a huge BLUE fan so maybe my opinion is a little biased;) Let me know what you decide and what research you manage to come up with. You may want to check awebsite called vintageloop www.vintageloop.com . They have some cool stuff on there. Several people have told me that recently people have traded in a lot of Manley stuff in order to pick up the new Universal audio reissue stuff. Also, it seems like people will actually plug UA comps and limiters nto their signal chain even when they are not using it just to get a little of the shaping from just the analog circuits. I lucked into an original silverface LA4 compressor for $400 so I should have a pretty nice single channel strip:) BTW, I am using a blueberry, of which I have seen some used ones sell around $650:)
12-23-2002, 09:26 AM
As many readers of this forum may know, I am a big fan of colored sounding preamps, such as the Universal Audio, or Neve re-issues. If you are really trying to do accurate, realistic recordings of acoustic music, however, you may be better off with more transparent gear. In the price range you are looking at, I would probably recommend either the True Systems P2analog, or a pair of the Grace 101's. Both of those are very detailed, transparent pre's of the sort I tend to favor for acoustic instruments with a lot of transients, such as guitar, mandolin and banjo.
For vocals, however, I tend to favor pre's which smooth out some transients, and add some midrange harmonics. If you are tracking everything one instrument at a time, perhaps getting some variety (i.e., a one Grace 101 and one UA M610) will cover all your bases well.
12-23-2002, 09:33 AM
I just saw a BUZZ audio ma2.2 2 channel preamp on the trading post for $1200;) And yes David is quite right about the UA pre being a little colored. I don't think you will find it quite as colored as the Neve though (this could be a good thiong or a bad thing:) ) But he is correct about about wanting at least one good channel of clean rather than colored preamp for acoustic music. I have however done a lot of Bluegrass work, and I know that your bluegrass players will really love the punch and air that something like the UA will provide them. But, having a grace and an M610 would definately not be a losing combination, plus, theres your 2 channels. I am assuming the 2 channels do not have to be matched since it sounds like you only have one of each of your mics. You might want to consider selling off the rode and the AKG mic and putting into trying to acquire on good channel of compression to go with your nice new preamps.
01-06-2003, 10:33 PM
I love the Avalon 2022 for acoustic music but it is way above that price range ($2500). I just got the Grace 101 and I could not believe how well it sounded for the price, $580. I will still use the Avalon for the most important chanels and then I will use the Grace for the others. I have not heard anything in the $500-$600 dollar range that sounds as close to the Avalon as the Grace does.
Good luck with your search!
01-06-2003, 11:43 PM
You will absolutely freakin' love the Buzz Audio MA 2.2. And yes, you can find them used for under $1500, including that one for $1200 on the Trading Post.
Other good choices? The aformentioned Grace 101 pair, maybe a Great River MP-2 (non NV).
The Avalon M5/2022 and Millennia are great too, but more expensive.
If you're doing a lot of acoustic guitars and such, I don't think a slower pre such as the UA or even Neve or API will be quite up your alley. But who knows...
01-07-2003, 12:30 AM
I can definitely add to the endorsements of the Grace 101 for acoustic instruments, but would also like to suggest the Apogee MiniMe. It has a couple of extra features, which you may not need at the moment, but will be glad of in the future - and the price is well under $1500 (street).
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