R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Down

Author Topic: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?  (Read 4916 times)

acupunk

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12
Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« on: June 10, 2004, 11:47:28 am »

I just purchased the 3d audio mic pre CD.
there are several mic pre's to listen to. High end.
They all sound very similar, however the GML 8302 stood out.
Just beautiful.
Does it really that much what pre you have if it is clean?
or are the mics are more important?
Logged

Eliott James

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 283
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2004, 01:38:49 pm »

Mics sound different, mic pres sound different, converters sound different, as do compressors, EQs, the recording medium........ most of them sound a little different, some of them sound very different....... but what sound you think sounds right depends on your taste only.


As to mics and mic pres, many have observed, and I agree, that mic placement has as much if not more impact on the sound than the sound character of the mic or mic pre.
Logged

malice

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 799
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2004, 03:07:39 pm »

acupunk wrote on Thu, 10 June 2004 17:47

I just purchased the 3d audio mic pre CD.
there are several mic pre's to listen to. High end.
They all sound very similar, however the GML 8302 stood out.
Just beautiful.
Does it really that much what pre you have if it is clean?
or are the mics are more important?


Huh,


hmmmm,



I have to chime about this, I mean, I understand my opinion about this cd might be misunderstanded, but frankly ...


What is the point of this CD ????



I mean, I don't get it ...

here's why:

1) some pres might suck ass on several situation, and be great on others. One pre you would use on electric gtr might not be the one you pick for recording a tambourine. You would need like 10 CD (at least) to get the full idea ...

2) some mic are suiting a pre and some don't. I mean, I never use my TLM 193 anymore until I found a great combination for instance ...That's just an example. So basically, you would need like a hundred time the original amount of CD (10 >>>see paragraph 1: that would make 1000 ...)

3) Some pres have features that would change the tone for a given mic. Like the VIPRE for instance (that have adaptative impedance load) or the Requisite Pal+ (that have a feedback knob that add second order harmonics), most of them you can really change the tone by messing with the input/output level (like Summits Audio for instance).
Basically the different settings would lead to try like 3 or 4 different take per pre ... Huhhhhhh, that would make, hmmmmmm 3 to 4000 cds ????

4) Let's say that I just mentioned three brands not even represented, and that a quick look at the advertising at Lynn's site led me to the conclusion that we could name like 50 missing beauties at least ...

Huuhhhh, that would make (damn, I'm tired today)


hmmmm : 20,000 cds ...

and I'm being modest Very Happy


A lifetime to try and record ...


precisely my point


malice

Fibes

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4306
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2004, 03:18:17 pm »

Trying to listen to what Lyn did is already tooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much...

It's a nice effort at showing the nuances of pres, i am however of the belief that grabbing a pre that's in the ballpark and capturing the magic while it's still around is way more important than spending hours finding the perfect one for the source. Learn YOUR tools.

A good preamp (properly chosen) can do wonders for cheap mics and the mixing and matching of preamps (and mics)over the course of a project can help find sonic real estate for every track when it comes to mixing time. Cheaper pres when stacked can yield some haziness by the time they are multiplied out over the course of overdubbing. tracks can sound fine on their own but lack presence when thrown into the mix with other stuff. ....and then there's noise...
Logged
Fibes
-------------------------------------------------
"You can like it, or not like it."
The Studio

  http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtist ?id=155759887
http://cdbaby.com/cd/superhorse
http://cdbaby.com/cd/superhorse2

bloodstone

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 268
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2004, 04:43:16 pm »

It's the old Catch-22.  A good mic can make a mediocre pre sound better, and a good pre can make a mediocre mic sound better.

__________________
Dominic Carpin
Studio Wee
Logged

Daniel_Dettwiler

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 96
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2004, 09:29:09 pm »

the longer I record the more I start to think that all those pres are not at all that important. Much more I like to spend time to check mics out. I think that the right mic on the perfect position is far more important that the pre. Normaly I just plug every mic into a GML Pre (I am lucky to have 12 GML Channals for use:-). Alternativly I might try DW-Fearn, Millenia HV3B or DBX Blue. But if I only had the GML's it wouldn't break the record to be honest.

daniel
Logged
------------------
Daniel Dettwiler
www.ideeundklang.com
www.volkshausstudio.com

Dan Kennedy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 170
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2004, 11:34:56 pm »

It might be that you just have really f'ing good preamps too. Hard to fault any of them, for anything. Kind of a lofty position you got there...
Logged

malice

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 799
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2004, 12:50:33 am »

Daniel_Dettwiler wrote on Fri, 11 June 2004 03:29

the longer I record the more I start to think that all those pres are not at all that important. Much more I like to spend time to check mics out. I think that the right mic on the perfect position is far more important that the pre.


I think the performer in front of the mic is what it is all about Smile

malice

Daniel_Dettwiler

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 96
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2004, 01:27:05 pm »

Quote:

I think the performer in front of the mic is what it is all about

malice


So true (and often forgotten). And the Acoustics and the quality of the instruments... and the vibe in the place of the recording...  all 1000 times more important than what pre...

daniel
Logged
------------------
Daniel Dettwiler
www.ideeundklang.com
www.volkshausstudio.com

gtoledo3

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 172
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2004, 01:53:48 pm »

malice wrote on Fri, 11 June 2004 05:50

Daniel_Dettwiler wrote on Fri, 11 June 2004 03:29

the longer I record the more I start to think that all those pres are not at all that important. Much more I like to spend time to check mics out. I think that the right mic on the perfect position is far more important that the pre.


I think the performer in front of the mic is what it is all about Smile

malice


That is a fact, proven time and time again...

The main problem with the "preamp/mic/whatever cd's"- besides all of the other problems that have been listed- is that you are listening to solo-ed tracks. A pre will truly show it's sonic signature when you start stacking tracks up.
Logged

davemc

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2004, 10:03:23 pm »

Every time I have purchased or tried a new mic pre or mic. I often already have by research an idea what I might use it on.
I will do some solo stuff to see the signiture.
Now when you solo this you really only start thinking X has more low-mid less high then Y. So you have to see after a few sessions moving things around what works best in certain situations. Everything is always changing that is why I have a varity of mics and mic pres so I can move colors around to create what I have inside my head.

Now a really good idea would be a multi track recording of say 4 different styles and using stock type of mics. Each going to say 8-10 different preamps.. How you would do this? I do not know. Again it would not give you the proper gain staging that some mic pres like better. Aslo using stock mics does not apply to everyone. Best bet is to research and see which you can try yourself.
Logged

Lynn Fuston

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 79
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2004, 02:22:26 pm »

gtoledo3 wrote on Fri, 11 June 2004 12:53

malice wrote on Fri, 11 June 2004 05:50

Daniel_Dettwiler wrote on Fri, 11 June 2004 03:29

the longer I record the more I start to think that all those pres are not at all that important. Much more I like to spend time to check mics out. I think that the right mic on the perfect position is far more important that the pre.


I think the performer in front of the mic is what it is all about Smile

malice


That is a fact, proven time and time again...

The main problem with the "preamp/mic/whatever cd's"- besides all of the other problems that have been listed- is that you are listening to solo-ed tracks. A pre will truly show it's sonic signature when you start stacking tracks up.



You must've been reading my email. This project was already recorded earlier this spring. Six instruments (drums, elec. guitar, ac. guitar, bass, piano and voice) each recorded into a single song arrangement through each of 24 different preamps. 15 audio tracks wide, 24 preamp layers deep, the files are presented as 24/48 .wav's and you can either import them into the DAW of your choice or open the included PT mix file.

For more info and pictures, look in the Preamp Summit threads in this forum at 3dB.

 http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum&a mp;a mp;f=22
Logged

Lynn Fuston

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 79
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2004, 02:44:03 pm »

To answer your question, mic preamps make a very pronounced difference. Mics make an even more substantial difference. We auditioned between 3 and 6 mics for each source we recorded.

And here's a picture of Paul Leim, drummer, with me in front of the preamps we heard. He picked a clear favorite and first runner up among the ones we heard. He was truly shocked at how much difference there was between the preamps with everything else staying the same.

http://www.3daudioinc.com/DSCF0129.jpg

(sorry, can't figure out how to paste it into the message.)
Logged

Peter Simonsen

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 225
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2004, 03:08:21 pm »

Lynn Fuston wrote on Sat, 12 June 2004 19:44

To answer your question, mic preamps make a very pronounced difference. Mics make an even more substantial difference. We auditioned between 3 and 6 mics for each source we recorded.



I would say you took to words right out of my mouth there Lynn. I agree preamps does make a difference..sometimes a Huge difference Wink

Kind regards

Peter
Logged
http://www.psl-design.dk
 
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.>>Søren kirkegaard>
>>Its not a dream Peter is real<<

Jim Dugger

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 73
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2004, 05:22:15 pm »

Lynn Fuston wrote on Sat, 12 June 2004 13:44

And here's a picture of Paul Leim, drummer, with me in front of the preamps we heard. He picked a clear favorite and first runner up among the ones we heard. He was truly shocked at how much difference there was between the preamps with everything else staying the same.


Lynn,

You know from my posts on your forum I agree the pre can make a very significant difference.  That said...

I find the preamp becomes much more important the higher the gain.  So, with drums, sometimes I find the differece quite subtle indeed as often I am at the very lowest gain setting on the pre, pad on, and even then padding the output before the converter.  So, I guess I'm a little surprised Paul articulated hearing such a drastic difference pre-to-pre.

Could you describe the nature of the difference?

I did a "shoot out" on drums this morning... One preamp in particular is quite obviously different on snare, but beyond that I would say it's shades.  And, the pres I tested today were a quite different set of topologies:  Solid State Clean, Tube, 1073-like.  What am I missing?

Logged

Lynn Fuston

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 79
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2004, 12:02:36 am »

[quote title=Jim Dugger wrote on Sat, 12 June 2004 16:22]
Lynn Fuston wrote on Sat, 12 June 2004 13:44

I did a "shoot out" on drums this morning... One preamp in particular is quite obviously different on snare, but beyond that I would say it's shades.  And, the pres I tested today were a quite different set of topologies:  Solid State Clean, Tube, 1073-like.  What am I missing?




Maybe it's the Royer R-122s that we used as overhead mics. The differences were not very subtle. ATM-25 on kick and 57 on snare.
Logged

halljams

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 81
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2004, 12:05:11 pm »

While i hear pretty obvious differences between most pres, I find alot of the time that a big difference in how pres sound is heard on the lower level stuff like room ambience decay, how far it reaches. This may be more pronounced on a bi-directional like the 122 than say a 57 on a snare.
I find a good comparison test is an omni or bi-directional about 4-5 feet away from and acoustic guitar.
Logged

Mark LaCoste

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2004, 01:01:44 pm »

Dang.  I always get here late for the good threads.  But fwiw here is my experience so far.

When I have a chance to compare preamps there are "obvious" differences.  So I choose a pre based on these obvious characteristics.  Then, once the track is recorded and layered with a few other tracks, the differences become way less noticable, unless it's something like a lead vocal that's way out front.

I've begun to feel like all I need are a few channels of "Clean, clear, and open", with maybe some optional "Character".  Beyond that It's just too much niggly little details that make only  microscopic differences.
Logged

ted nightshade

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1272
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2004, 02:46:30 pm »

With both these questions, it can matter a lot what you're recording- I do a lot of recording of concert percussion, vibraphone and that, and a lot of mics and preamps just can not handle it- you get outright glitches and edgy noises. That said, the human voice can be the hardest of all, even though it doesn't demand a lot in terms of headroom and transient handling and that.

Myself, I'm a fan of a "console sound", not really with a console, but where all the pres are the same, and all the tracks have that much in common. One way to have everything work nicely together as a whole, with pres that work that way. Sometimes I hear stuff on the radio where it's obvious that different parts of the drum kit were done with different pres, and then other instruments were done with yet other ones, and they really didn't go together too well- this was jazz, maybe that's why it sounded so weird to me.

Also, I track a lot of stuff at once to one or two mics, so the mic and pre both need to be able to do it all at once- not a lot of room for a pre that's great on just one source, working that way- but of course there are lots of different ways to work, and some people change that on a daily basis. I can kind of settle into my niche and get a bit more specialized, and accept some limits on what all I can do well.

Or maybe that's all just a rationale for not having one of everything! =)
Logged
Ted Nightshade aka Cowan

There's a sex industry too.
Or maybe you prefer home cookin'?

Mark LaCoste

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2004, 07:36:42 pm »

Ted, interesting insight, the "console sound" idea.  Just last night I tried using two different preamps to capture myself singing and playing guitar.  My old trusty Massenburg/Sontec was for the guitar (it's got two channels, and I wanted two mics on the guitar).  My new Great River MP-1NV was for vocals.  The guitar sounded clear and open.  The voice was not...the tracks just weren't going together well.

I tried different mics, but decided that maybe the Great River Neve 1070 reincarnation over-represents the closeness of my control room -- or it's just a closed/covered sounding pre.  That's not what I read it should sound like, so I need to try a different room or something.

Maybe the Ted Nightshade method would have worked better.
Logged

ted nightshade

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1272
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2004, 11:00:13 pm »

Mark LaCoste wrote on Wed, 23 June 2004 16:36

Ted, interesting insight, the "console sound" idea.  Just last night I tried using two different preamps to capture myself singing and playing guitar.

Maybe the Ted Nightshade method would have worked better.



The Ted Nightshade method, such as it is, is one mic for both!
Logged
Ted Nightshade aka Cowan

There's a sex industry too.
Or maybe you prefer home cookin'?

mwagener

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 137
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2004, 11:56:17 pm »

If I may give one little piece of advice: get to know as many different preamps as intimately as possible. The tiny differences you hear when comparing preamps on "solo" instruments start making a big difference once you put them all together in a mix. So, in essence, when choosing a mic pre one has to know what is going to happen with that sound way down the line when everything else gets added. That nice big VIPRE sound used on EVERY instrument or that 1072 on EVERY track might not work in the mix. Lately I use more and more pres for sound shaping and less or no EQs. That said, there are some pres that work on most instruments and some I wouldn't use on any, but having a variety of flavors works best for me.

Granted there are millions of combinations of mics and pres, but I think Lynn's CDs are a good starting point to get a general idea what a particular preamp (or microphone) sounds like, because the overall character of the pre is not going to change on different instruments.

stickman

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 36
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2004, 01:35:21 am »

Quote:

Sometimes I hear stuff on the radio where it's obvious that different parts of the drum kit were done with different pres, and then other instruments were done with yet other ones


Ted, if you are serious about this, im seriously giving this whole audio shit away! i can't even hear (strictly sonically speaking) when someone tells me, "this song sounds digital" on the radio. all i can ever think of is, "this song sounds good/shit". to me, it's always seemed like far, far, far too many factors come into play before the final product (radio or even CD) to define such idiosyncrasies...

now im not denying that what you hear isnt true, im still a young (and poor) buck who hasn't had their hands on the cream of the crop gear, so on the contrary im saying thats amazing!

its just that im gradually perceiving this devolopment of dogmatic views in audio production.

Logged

wireline

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 211
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2004, 09:08:51 am »

ted nightshade wrote on Wed, 23 June 2004 13:46


Myself, I'm a fan of a "console sound", not really with a console, but where all the pres are the same, and all the tracks have that much in common. One way to have everything work nicely together as a whole, with pres that work that way. Sometimes I hear stuff on the radio where it's obvious that different parts of the drum kit were done with different pres, and then other instruments were done with yet other ones, and they really didn't go together too well- this was jazz, maybe that's why it sounded so weird to me.


{snipped}


Or maybe that's all just a rationale for not having one of everything! =)


I have felt this way for a while now...to my ears, there seems to be a certain inexplicable cohesiveness when doing the "console sound" than the mixing of various maker's preamps...I can't explain it...

Disclaimer: I have asked this very question before, and was advised in no uncertain terms that I was insane - that preamps of varying colors do NOT play a major role further down the chain.  This doesn't change the fact that the best sounding recordings (IMHO) were indeed created using the console approach (albeit to tape)...

Obsessive...perhaps...but if more than one person has noticed this, maybe there IS something to it...
Logged
Ken Morgan
Wireline Studio, Midland, TX
Authorized Sales Agent, WWW.Soundpure.Com

ted nightshade

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1272
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2004, 02:57:04 pm »

stickman wrote on Wed, 23 June 2004 22:35

Quote:

Sometimes I hear stuff on the radio where it's obvious that different parts of the drum kit were done with different pres, and then other instruments were done with yet other ones


Ted, if you are serious about this, im seriously giving this whole audio shit away! i can't even hear (strictly sonically speaking) when someone tells me, "this song sounds digital" on the radio. all i can ever think of is, "this song sounds good/shit". to me, it's always seemed like far, far, far too many factors come into play before the final product (radio or even CD) to define such idiosyncrasies...

now im not denying that what you hear isnt true, im still a young (and poor) buck who hasn't had their hands on the cream of the crop gear, so on the contrary im saying thats amazing!

its just that im gradually perceiving this devolopment of dogmatic views in audio production.




Well, I try not to be dogmatic, although I am a bit of a fanatic- it's just that some approaches and some results really resonate with me and give me the enthusiasm it takes to tackle some of this stuff. I fully believe M. Wagener that once you know how all these combos of pres and mics will play together in the end, you can work it really well. So often, when you run into a snag, it turns out that if you get to know the ways of the confusing new dimension, you can work it to advantage.

As for what you can discern, that is subject to expansion from experience and lots of listening- I haven't worked with that much great gear, and I couldn't begin to identify individual pres- I'm just hearing, in some cases, and probably missing it entirely in most, some strange stuff on the radio that doesn't seem to work together, really- I'm thinking it's pres. I'm pretty sure that's what I was hearing, but I have no way to verify it.

One part of it that I'm especially aware of, is the space that different pres will create for the sound to do it's thing in- different ones can be very different that way, same with mics, and ultimately I suspect it's the combination of the two that I'm probably hearing.

On the other hand, I can verify that many exceptionally wholistically-consistent-in-tone-and-space albums, such as Beatles albums, were done with a console approach- and while there's often some mud from all that circuitry, the overall sound works together in a common space, and the preamp's signature becomes transparent as you get used to it, and helps you forget about that aspect and just get into the music. I'm sure such changes of space can be very effective artistically, done with awareness and experience.

I haven't always been able to identify such things by any means. My listening and aesthetic awareness has gone through some dramatic changes since getting into working with some good gear and making a lot of mistakes- I'm sure yours might well do that too. I wouldn't do anything hasty!
Logged
Ted Nightshade aka Cowan

There's a sex industry too.
Or maybe you prefer home cookin'?

mwagener

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 137
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2004, 12:08:04 am »

Ted

very interesting point of view, I have to chew on that one for a while. I most definitely agree about different pres portraying the "room" around the instrument very different, so that could be one reason for things not sounding "glued" together. Interesting, at the very least for instruments played at the same time in the same room.

lucey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1043
Re: Do Mic pre's make a difference or mics?
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2004, 05:01:43 pm »

I have a combo of Ted's view and Michaels's view ... having chosen pres here that are all in the same basic family sound (transformer I/O class A discrete) and thus there is cohesion, yet still various tone colors to suit various instruments and to lend variety.


(off topic: that's why the vocal pre being auditioned now is so hard to come to grips with ... maybe a MSS-10 is good to have around for it's ability to ice cream cone the lead vocal with clarity ... or maybe it's not, depending on the moment and the singer?)
Logged
Brian Lucey
Magic Garden Mastering

"the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the ecology" - unknown
Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Up