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Author Topic: cost-effective upgrade to m-Audio MobilePre ??  (Read 3278 times)

expatCanuck

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cost-effective upgrade to m-Audio MobilePre ??
« on: September 16, 2008, 09:51:55 pm »

Greetings -

Newbie here.

I've got an old homegrown PC (Athlon XP 2700), Audacity, an SM-58, an SM-57 and an AT-2020. Just recording vocals, guitar & mando. Perhaps some keyboards. If I watch my room positioning, I can occasionally get a decent recording of my wretched performances, but there's more background hiss than I'd like (samples at http://oldWithoutMoney.com).

I'd like to think that it's the M-Audio MobilePre that's the weak link here and, if folks agree, I'd welcome suggestions for new or used cost-effective upgrade for the mic preamp / DAC part of the chain.

2 channels ought to be plenty, and the AT2020 needs phantom power. I could see spending $500 if the end-of-year bonus is kind, but $200-$300 is more realistic. And, if it matters, I have a FireWire card in the PC.

Thanks kindly.

- Richard

P.S. - If folks don't agree that it's the preamp, what might be introducing the hiss?
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Hank Alrich

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Re: cost-effective upgrade to m-Audio MobilePre ??
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2008, 01:47:20 am »

The FMR RNP sits at the high end of your budget, and it's worth it. Use it ahead of the MobilePre and feed line level into the converters.

expatCanuck

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Re: cost-effective upgrade to m-Audio MobilePre ??
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2008, 08:28:25 am »

Thanks.  The RNP seems to be well-regarded in this and other forums.

Is there a worthwhile additional benefit to opting for a separate outboard analog to digital converter and, if so, any cost-effective options?

Thanks again.

- Richard
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Hank Alrich

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Re: cost-effective upgrade to m-Audio MobilePre ??
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2008, 08:36:48 pm »

Better conversion never hurts, but I'm not a good source of info on lower-level cost effective converters. I use a MobileIO 2882+DSP from Metric Halo. Their ULN-2 combines two great preamp channels with very good conversion. It's not truly inexpensive, but it is quite good.

At some point it makes sense to upgrade one's monitor system and treat one's room in order to more accurately assess the quality of one's tracks and mixes.

garret

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Re: cost-effective upgrade to m-Audio MobilePre ??
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2008, 10:15:01 pm »

So what's the sound card?   The on-board audio chipset?

In your price range, I'd suggest something like an Echo Gina 3g.  The pres are quiet and decent, the converters are very quiet and decent, and you get 48v phantom power.

Most home demos I hear have a ton of background noise in them.  It's not "internal noise"... it's background noise from computer fans, hvac, hard drives, etc.   So consider where you are keeping your pc, and if you can upgrade any components to make it quieter.

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tomorrow is already here - http://www.worksongs.net/

expatCanuck

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Re: cost-effective upgrade to m-Audio MobilePre ??
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2008, 10:51:00 am »

garret wrote on Thu, 18 September 2008 22:15

So what's the sound card?   The on-board audio chipset? ...
Yes, currently I use the on-board chipset as the soundcard.  When I plug in the mobilePre, that becomes the sound card.
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expatCanuck

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Re: cost-effective upgrade to m-Audio MobilePre ??
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2009, 09:00:17 pm »

I ended up buying a used combo: Symetrix SX202 & Delta 44.
Seems to work pretty well. Here's a clip from the maiden voyage:
vocals --> SM57 --> SX202 --> Delta 44 --> Audacity --> .wav --> .mp3 (via LAME)
http://www.oldwithoutmoney.com/tunes/SM57test-GoldenRibbonsR efrain.mp3

My SM57 sounds one heck of a lot nicer now.
I just love cheap & effective.

- Richard
http://oldWithoutMoney.com
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