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The way I see it there has been a real demand for low budget mic pre's. So much that most all of the low-midpriced manufactureres are and have been cashing in on the demand with one pre does it all type of eqipment. Problem is that most of it is junk and unusable in stacking tracks. Its been said " buy only hi Q gear- end of story " Alot of people out there are home recordist or the project studio budget is just plain nearly tapped out. Maybe theres a new baby in the picture or the high house note .. whatever ! The fact is ,.. many people just cant do it along with aquiring decent mics, fx, ect. so in order to be able to record sometime in this century without motgaging the house they nearly allways have to settle for whats out there in a modest price range and that most likely will end up being the compromised swiss army knives of preamplifiers.
Now alot of the high end pre's have tryed to be everything to everyone as well and as I have I have experianced and also have seen stated on this forum that the the pre's in some units are great but the cabooses are hit and mis (ok, im paraphrasing ) but the problem is that you have a piece that you end up using the pre and not the eq or the compressor except ocasionally and you end up using something else. For instance i like the sound of some mid priced pre's ok, but the rest of the unit is left in bypass, sometimes because the application isnt there such as i want to use an opto compressor on vocals and not on drums and so on. so if the pre im using has a vca, then i bypass it and trail along an opto behind the pre unit. or with folks who dont any other unit, there stuck... what a waste.
Now heres my proposal, as if im the only one. Why not build a stand alone mid priced Mic Pre ( such as Avalon has done with the m5) but not as stealthy and priced of coarse, that utilises quality componants and is dedicated to the pre only. half rack it, no bells and whistles, give it phantom and assign the pad, phase reverse and lo cut to desk duty. If i were a consumer I could use this GREAT sounding pre and follow it with whatever eq or type of compressor my heart desires. It apears that most of the decision making for folks in the low to mid price range is that by buying unit X, ill get a good pre and compressor, but hate the eq, or something to that effect. So why not just invest the money solely in the pre itself and nothing else yet make it so in the under a 1000 dollor price range. Lots of people buy up the old Telefunken pre's on ebay , wouldnt they rather pay the same money for something new if the quality was up to snuff? I love the M5 but its still too pricey. for a few hundred more , id opt for the 737 and get more built in tools. but if the M5 was not as stealthy and was a grand, Id buy 2 of them !
Theres not much out there for a grand retail, most of what ive seen recently is about 300- 500 bucks and the quality is stretched out in the addition of an eq and/or compressor which is bypassed half the time anyway. Alot of folks cant afford the high dollor units so they settle in hopes of one of these compromised units. So here is where you can cash in ! tons of folks will take the time to save a little more money if they knew they were getting a hi quality unit for theyre sacrifice and still be able to record in theyre lifetime.Id like to spend more money on my studio than my car but my wife really thinks i shouldnt! so do many others. So what do you think ? who's game ? why you know , after you build the pre, you can also build hi q eq's and compressors in the same forte' huh ?
;\)

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You should check out what John Hardy has to offer in a single, non racked mic pre...

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And this is why FMR is building the RNMP...rumored to be around $450 or so.........hopefully shipping in 60 days....


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The Studio Projects VTB-1 is also about to be released soon. At $299.99 list, it is a descrete front end with an independant Tube drive that blends the tube into the circuit without affecting the gain stage.

For more info:

http://www.studioprojectsusa.com/spvtp1.html


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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Lunde:
And this is why FMR is building the RNMP...rumored to be around $450 or so.........hopefully shipping in 60 days....


I don't know, at the rate they've been going you may very be able to design, construct, produce, market, distribute your pre, and get a 5 out of 5 review in one of them magazines--- before the RNMP hits the market. You got a goldmine brother. (Maybe you could sabatoge the FMR place, to make sure they don't beat you to it)
But seriously, the grace 101 and the presonus mp20 (I think) are alredy there. But your right its a shame that it seems that you need to spend 1k+ to get a decent preamp. (Hell, talking amps you could get a decent plexi or an svt for that!!)
O well
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Many people are very happy with the Peavey VMP-2 dual tube preamp. Under $1k and it holds its own with the bigger boys. Do a little search in this forum to research for yourself.


No matter how good something is, there will always be someone blasting away on a forum somewhere about how much they hate it.
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Great,.I see a few of you are believers! Now i wish some of the big boys/girls would produce such an animal as a norm of competition with the low enders. Focusright has jumped in with theyre Tone/Voicemaster,ect. but they still opted for the swiss army knife approach, compromising quality for utility (my opinion)If it were me, I personnaly wouldnt have done it. I mean,.. why stretch it out on a combo when just as many people would gladly shell out $600 bucks or whatever for a sigle HI-Quality stand alone pre. I dont know ,..maybe im wrong. maybe research and developement has shown diffrent demands than what i'd like to see. I dont mind paying high dollor for hi-gear. What i dont like are hi dollor combo's because theres always something in the chain you pay for and dont like or dont use and 30-50% of your payment is for nothing. Now I have used the high end equipment and there is really no substitution for hi end gear. yes.. the lower end stuff may sound good when you plug in your mic and headphones and you say to yourself "WOW " Ill take it. but when the dust settles and youve got stacked tracks of your new non Hi-q PRE ALL PLAYING AT ONCE, you will see why the MSRP was so easily in your price range. FLAT not PHAT is the sum. lacking character, fullness, individuality and stereo prospective and giving you such nice presents as graininess, brittleness, edgy , distortive ,flat and sterol. Yes there is no substitute foe Hi Q if your going to record for perfection. Im not knocking the low priced pre's mind you. they are great for demo's personal stuff. ect. but what im saying is that there can be reachable quality for all ! This is provable, Take a STEREO pre ( or compressor ) that list's at 18 or 19 hundred dollors. chop it in half along with the price and i do believe you will see those two half units dissapear off the shelf alot quicker( by project and home studio buyers) than the double amount double unit that would have been purched by the high budget studio purchasing owner/agent. ( of coarse the price wouldnt be completely in half,.. youd have to add another power supply ect. but there would be better quality obtainable for most everyone and not just a few. Sales would turn into volume as well.Compartmentalism..yeah ! thats the ticket !. Hi Q half rackers that you can mix and match for your application with no waiste, no extravegant panel design, no bells no whistles, just quality. I have seen the Grace 101, havnt heard it but my question is , why are they only one of a few out there in that price range ? when i originally posted this , it was a question of building mic pre's in an area of aroung a $$grand, or somewhere in that msrp. so i do not mean to diss any of the lower priced unit suggestions, I only wanted to stay with the spirit of the post and that is basically to cut those double or combo $2000 units in half, lessen the case and features and sell for a price that would be obtainable for most (even saving up for a unit ( instead ofpaying what you have ) might become fashionable again and do-able. \:\)

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The studio projects mic pre's design to me is questionable at best. A tube pre that doesnt affect the gain stage? I have seen some units that are somewhat switchable between tube and solid state. I question the purpose of an independant tube section. What does it add? Surely that type of design cant emmulate the type of sound that people look for in a tube unit. There would be transformers to consider and other circuitry desingns inherent to that type of unit wouldnt there? I dunno... the Studio Projects C1 has had some succes and mixed reviews. I would hardly consider the as of yet unreleased/unreviewed VTB comparable with high end gear just yet. Its the same with the RNMP which may never get released. There are more rumors circulating around this vaporware item than I care for. On the otherhand I hope it lives up to the hype. If it does....FMR Audio will have a gold mine. The same with Studio Projects. Time will tell.


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I second that motion on the Presonus MP20, it's an amazing mic pre. I also run all my synths thru it, talk aabout smooooov!

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Don't forget about the 4 channel Sytek....700-800$ used... thats like 200$ per channel of REALLY nice(and available) mic pre.


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Quote:
Originally posted by jrides:
I question the purpose of an independant tube section. What does it add? Surely that type of design cant emmulate the type of sound that people look for in a tube unit. There would be transformers to consider and other circuitry desingns inherent to that type of unit wouldnt there? I dunno... the Studio Projects C1 has had some succes and mixed reviews. .



The idea behind the tube section is to simply add some 2nd order harmonic. This adds a little flexibility so those with only one or two mics and none of them tube, can add some distortion to get that airy sound. It really works well, at least on the prototypes! The cool thing is you don't have to have the tube in the circuit, so you get a very clean front end sound, kind of the best of both worlds. Lastly, the tube can really add to the DI when using bass or guitar. It can get real nasty like a pedal, so the VTB-1 is quite flexible.

I hope this does not offend anyone here, but the Studio Projects has had quite a bit more than "some" success. The reviews have not been mixed, they have all been incredible. The mics are what they are, and they are very good for the money, and the VTB-1 should do very well. This will all of the VTB-1's added features should prove its worth as a contender as soon as it ships.


Alan Hyatt
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>I hope this does not offend anyone here, but the Studio >Projects has had quite a bit more than "some" success.

Hmmmmmmmmmm........okay. Im not gonna do the semantics thing tonight. (Im not even gonna touch that one besides...a dealer would know best)

>The reviews have not been mixed, they have all been >incredible.

I meant user reviews, not web/magazine. I personally like the C1's on some things. Some people dont like them at all. Just for the record though.....when using the word "all" to quantify a situation. It makes your response suspect.


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As for C1's I just ordered one. cant wait to get it. So far im not pleased with anything on my voice. not u87's 103's 4050's 414's. ect. nothing. i guess i got a really bad voice. actually i have a type of distortion that follows my vocals everywhere. it kind of just rides on out with the chop. Its there on all sorts of desk's and gear too. its a cross between steven tyler and robert plant. just reaaalll edgy. oh well i love buying new mic's too. maybe thats the real reason ? \:D

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As for C1's I just ordered one. cant wait to get it. So far im not pleased with anything on my voice. not u87's 103's 4050's 414's. ect. nothing. i guess i got a really bad voice. actually i have a type of distortion that follows my vocals everywhere. it kind of just rides on out with the chop. Its there on all sorts of desk's and gear too. its a cross between steven tyler and robert plant. just reaaalll edgy. oh well i love buying new mic's too. maybe thats the real reason ? \:D

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Quote:
Originally posted by jrides:
>I hope this does not offend anyone here, but the Studio >Projects has had quite a bit more than "some" success.

Hmmmmmmmmmm........okay. Im not gonna do the semantics thing tonight. (Im not even gonna touch that one besides...a dealer would know best)

>The reviews have not been mixed, they have all been >incredible.

I meant user reviews, not web/magazine. I personally like the C1's on some things. Some people dont like them at all. Just for the record though.....when using the word "all" to quantify a situation. It makes your response suspect.
I understand what you mean, I actually meant both web and magazine reviews, as they all have been good. I am sure we could never please all the end users, then again no manufacturer can. I don't mean my reply to be argumentative or defensive.. \:\)

My issue in my post to you was that Studio Projects should not automatically be "suspect" when a new product comes along by us. I think we should be given an opportunity to get it out to market and let the reviews and user comments determine how it will perform. The VTB-1 has a lot of features and performance for a low cost unit. Will it stand up to the critics or higher end gear, well,that will be soon be seen. We do not make that claim, but to be suspect of it already before it even comes out is at best forming an opinion of it before ever using it.

Then again, if you follow some of the other threads I hang out in, according to some, suspect seems to be my middle name... \:D


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Alan - will the tube in the The VTB-1 run on full voltage or will it be the "starved plate" solution?
Ola

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Quote:
Originally posted by mixman:
The idea behind the tube section is to simply add some 2nd order harmonic. [/QB]
Only second order harmonics? Wouldn't that be the fifth above the first octave? Hell, you could do that with a digitech vocalist, right? ;D

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Alan ,
I think the only thing that makes people feel suspect about your mics, is that 797 audio had been sued by AKG for making knock offs. Care to clarify?


Want mix/tracking feedback? Checkout "The Fade"-
http://www.grand-designs.cc/mmforum/index.php

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Well i just got my c1 today and i really like it. This little puppy ( BIG puppy ) is really a nice mic ! I thought it might turn out sounding like the other chineezzze mics, but not so. Ive only had a quick chance to audition it , but its very nice so far, its nice and open ,airy, not real boomy,,, a diffrent sound than the other RED microphones. I think this ones a keeper \:\) will post more when i can, thanks Allen !

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Yeh, I didn't think so \:\)


Want mix/tracking feedback? Checkout "The Fade"-
http://www.grand-designs.cc/mmforum/index.php

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Quote:
Originally posted by GT3:
Alan ,
I think the only thing that makes people feel suspect about your mics, is that 797 audio had been sued by AKG for making knock offs. Care to clarify?
Sorry for the delay, but I have been in sessions so I was not ditching you. I am happy to answer your question now that I am here.

You have to understand the Chinese and their culture. 797 Audio knows fully well that some of the models they make and sell in China look exactly like some of the AKG models. You have to realize they do not export any of those models outside of China. They only use and sell them in China, where to them, they are honoring AKG by emulation of them. You can't find any of those mics for sale in Europe or the USA, and I am sure that they have discontinued them some time ago anyway.

Like many other companies, 797 offer products for sale as an OEM business, and many brands are built by them, but they are not AKG copies.

Studio Projects is our design, but I know any technology we give them, they will use it in China for themselves to make their mics better, but I don't care. As long as the Studio Projects are what they are, and the build is exactly like I specify, then that is all that matters to me.

I have to disagree with you, I don't think my mics are suspect anymore. They may still be by some, but I think the mics have proved they are a very good value, and sound quite good. They do not look like some of the Marshall and ADK Neumann look-a-likes...although Brad Lunde from Brauner thinks we copied them, but then again his look like the early C12's and Telefunken's, so big deal.

The Studio Projects have a different look than any other innexpensive mics. They are built like a brick shi*house, and the professional and end user reviews have been quite good. Are they the right mic for everyone...No, but they do give the expensive mics a very good run for the money, and for those out there that have done the comparisons, they know what I mean. They are not a Neumann or a clone of one, but they hang with them and other expensive mics quite well for a fraction of the price.

These are my responses and opinions because I was asked to give them, so please take them for whatever you think they are worth... \:D


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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Maxin:
Well i just got my c1 today and i really like it. This little puppy ( BIG puppy ) is really a nice mic ! I thought it might turn out sounding like the other chineezzze mics, but not so. Ive only had a quick chance to audition it , but its very nice so far, its nice and open ,airy, not real boomy,,, a diffrent sound than the other RED microphones. I think this ones a keeper \:\) will post more when i can, thanks Allen !
Chris,

I am glad you like it...now go enjoy it. \:D


Alan Hyatt
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ola Lagarhus:
Alan - will the tube in the The VTB-1 run on full voltage or will it be the "starved plate" solution?
Ola
Im interested in knowing the answer to this as well.


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Quote:
Originally posted by jrides:
Quote:
Originally posted by Ola Lagarhus:
Alan - will the tube in the The VTB-1 run on full voltage or will it be the "starved plate" solution?
Ola
Im interested in knowing the answer to this as well.
Come on now guys, for $299.99 retail or less, how can you do a 300V solution? This unit uses an external wall wart, but don't count out the VTB-1 usefullness based on that, because we are doing things a bit different. Since the unit will not be ready for a bit longer, I prefer to discuss the specifics when it is out, but this does answer the question... \:D


Alan Hyatt
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Thank you for your answer Alan - look forward to
hear your new mic pre.
Ola

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Quote:
Originally posted by ** CHRIS **:
The way I see it there has been a real demand for low budget mic pre's. So much that most all of the low-midpriced manufactureres are and have been cashing in on the demand with one pre does it all type of eqipment. Problem is that most of it is junk and unusable in stacking tracks. Its been said " buy only hi Q gear- end of story " Alot of people out there are home recordist or the project studio budget is just plain nearly tapped out. Maybe theres a new baby in the picture or the high house note .. whatever ! The fact is ,.. many people just cant do it along with aquiring decent mics, fx, ect. so in order to be able to record sometime in this century without motgaging the house they nearly allways have to settle for whats out there in a modest price range and that most likely will end up being the compromised swiss army knives of preamplifiers.
Now alot of the high end pre's have tryed to be everything to everyone as well and as I have I have experianced and also have seen stated on this forum that the the pre's in some units are great but the cabooses are hit and mis (ok, im paraphrasing ) but the problem is that you have a piece that you end up using the pre and not the eq or the compressor except ocasionally and you end up using something else. For instance i like the sound of some mid priced pre's ok, but the rest of the unit is left in bypass, sometimes because the application isnt there such as i want to use an opto compressor on vocals and not on drums and so on. so if the pre im using has a vca, then i bypass it and trail along an opto behind the pre unit. or with folks who dont any other unit, there stuck... what a waste.
Now heres my proposal, as if im the only one. Why not build a stand alone mid priced Mic Pre ( such as Avalon has done with the m5) but not as stealthy and priced of coarse, that utilises quality componants and is dedicated to the pre only. half rack it, no bells and whistles, give it phantom and assign the pad, phase reverse and lo cut to desk duty. If i were a consumer I could use this GREAT sounding pre and follow it with whatever eq or type of compressor my heart desires. It apears that most of the decision making for folks in the low to mid price range is that by buying unit X, ill get a good pre and compressor, but hate the eq, or something to that effect. So why not just invest the money solely in the pre itself and nothing else yet make it so in the under a 1000 dollor price range. Lots of people buy up the old Telefunken pre's on ebay , wouldnt they rather pay the same money for something new if the quality was up to snuff? I love the M5 but its still too pricey. for a few hundred more , id opt for the 737 and get more built in tools. but if the M5 was not as stealthy and was a grand, Id buy 2 of them !
Theres not much out there for a grand retail, most of what ive seen recently is about 300- 500 bucks and the quality is stretched out in the addition of an eq and/or compressor which is bypassed half the time anyway. Alot of folks cant afford the high dollor units so they settle in hopes of one of these compromised units. So here is where you can cash in ! tons of folks will take the time to save a little more money if they knew they were getting a hi quality unit for theyre sacrifice and still be able to record in theyre lifetime.Id like to spend more money on my studio than my car but my wife really thinks i shouldnt! so do many others. So what do you think ? who's game ? why you know , after you build the pre, you can also build hi q eq's and compressors in the same forte' huh ?
;\)
Yes this make absolutely perfect sense (thanks for saying it). I totally agree that in may respects the added stuff like compression, tubes, soft clipping and other gizmos are not necessarily of the highest standard (or are not generally preferred over other alternatives) and of course their inclusion must impact on the quality of the Mic pre itself because of component and manufacturing costs etc. Trouble is that everyone is looking for features rather than simple purity of design and function in a single application. A good Mic pre does not have to cost the earth, so long as it's a stand alone application with basic required functions such as you mention.
The Mic pre can subtlely affect many aspects of the sound quality of a recording chain and it's characteristics in real life conditions (as opposed to measured ones only) intimately affect the performance of your Mics, often in complex ways that are not obvious. It's not cost effective to shell out loads of cash on mics but skimp on the Mic pre's.


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