Pre Amps
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Pre Amps

  1. #1
    Tech Student
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Long Beach
    Posts
    3

    Default Pre Amps

    Im starting to make my own home studio. Currently I use a Audio Technica AT2020 USB mic. Everyone tells me a preamp is what i need, but can you use a preamp with a USB mic? If not what kind of microphone do you recommend.

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor escapemcp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Bristol, England
    Posts
    148

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dojomaster View Post
    Im starting to make my own home studio. Currently I use a Audio Technica AT2020 USB mic. Everyone tells me a preamp is what i need, but can you use a preamp with a USB mic? If not what kind of microphone do you recommend.
    The USB mic has a preamp built in. If you plug in straight into PC/Mac then that's all you'll need. What the mic picks up will be sent to the PC and available in your favourite DAW for recording/manipulation.

    You WON'T be able to use this mic directly into a mixing desk etc, as it's USB (even if the mixer claims to be USB - that's different! ) To make it work you would have to route it IN to the PC and then OUT of the PC's soundcard - this is a bit cumbersome/clumsy tho.

    If you are planning on using the mic in a live environment, I would recommend that you buy a normal mic (with XLR on) and then buy an XLR to USB mic interface (like this Shure X2U)- or a mixer with a USB 'recording' out and mic in - both are doing the job of boosting ((pre)amplifing the tiny mic signals to a 'normal' level). Or another way is to use any old mixer with mic in inputs (would need +48V Phantom Power if your mic needed that) and then just run a standard phono lead from the mixer's out into your soundcard. As the signal path is now getting longer with this, it will introduce more noise as you add more components tho.

    FYI Note on Phantom Power (just in case you are not aware of this): If you are buying a 'normal' mic (without the USB interface), check to see if it needs +48V phantom power, because if it does, and the interface/mixer you are going to plug it into doesn't provide phantom power, it won't work!

  3. #3
    Tech Student
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Long Beach
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks for the reply that was great. I still am curious about the preamp though. Would i get a better sound if i used an xlr mic into a preamp into my DAW Rather then the USB mic?

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor escapemcp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Bristol, England
    Posts
    148

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dojomaster View Post
    Thanks for the reply that was great. I still am curious about the preamp though. Would i get a better sound if i used an xlr mic into a preamp into my DAW Rather then the USB mic?
    Possibly... the quality of sound is usually going to depend on the preamp (oh and the mic of course). The preamp built in to the mic may not be as good quality as a separate preamp, but as the mic costs something like £130/$160 (I think), so you *may* have to spend quite a bit more on a preamp/soundcard with preamp, to get better quality.

    Does that make sense?

    PC/Mhac, Traktor 2, Citronic MP-X10, 2 x Kam KCD450, Behringer BCD3000, Echo Audio Layla 3G, Numark EM-460 w/Kaoss Pad, Shure C606, Carlsbro Tytan PA, Turbosound TXD121 12" Tops, Reloop RHP-20
    http://soundcloud.com/escapemcp

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor escapemcp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Bristol, England
    Posts
    148

    Default

    I mean that you could spend £20 on a seperate preamp, but the one in the mic costing £130 will probably be better (yes, I know - higher price does not automatically equal better quality, but usually it's an ok guide).

    PC/Mhac, Traktor 2, Citronic MP-X10, 2 x Kam KCD450, Behringer BCD3000, Echo Audio Layla 3G, Numark EM-460 w/Kaoss Pad, Shure C606, Carlsbro Tytan PA, Turbosound TXD121 12" Tops, Reloop RHP-20
    http://soundcloud.com/escapemcp

  6. #6
    Tech Student
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Long Beach
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Yeah. i get it know

    Thank you so much

  7. #7
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    4,742

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by escapemcp View Post
    I mean that you could spend £20 on a seperate preamp, but the one in the mic costing £130 will probably be better (yes, I know - higher price does not automatically equal better quality, but usually it's an ok guide).
    There's a reason that things like the SSL Alpha Channel and Blue Baby Bottle exist. It's not all marketing, but there's definitely a point of diminishing returns that kicks in pretty quickly.

    A $300 mic might be about 3x better than a $100 mic depending on your requirements and the rest of your setup, but a $3,000 isn't 30 times better. You pay a lot for that last little bit.

    My opinion…use your USB mic until you have a reason to get something better, and when you do…get the best you can justify the expense of, keeping in mind everything that goes together…I can't think of any reason to run a $1000 mic into a $200 sound card, for example.

  8. #8
    Tech Mentor escapemcp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Bristol, England
    Posts
    148

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
    My opinion…use your USB mic until you have a reason to get something better.
    Yeah, use the one USB one until you KNOW the reason that you DON'T want to use it anymore (e.g. it's too essey, noisy etc) - then you can justify it to yourself why you want a new one.

    PC/Mhac, Traktor 2, Citronic MP-X10, 2 x Kam KCD450, Behringer BCD3000, Echo Audio Layla 3G, Numark EM-460 w/Kaoss Pad, Shure C606, Carlsbro Tytan PA, Turbosound TXD121 12" Tops, Reloop RHP-20
    http://soundcloud.com/escapemcp

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •