helterbelter

8 channel micpre advice
« on: August 18, 2015, 05:12:19 AM »
Hi all,

I'm considering getting back into live recording, for this I'd like to  put together a front-end recording setup using a 32ch motu interface, with high quality micpres.
I say "high quality", not esoteric, not overly colouring stuff. Needs to have a clean sound, not excited 
In the perfect world I'd have enough time and money todesign and build these myself, and at a later stage I might do this anyway, but it's probably more wise to buy a bunch of (used or new) 8 channel micpres.  Chances are big that I have to mod these for my purposes anyway, as I want to have dual line outputs for each channel (1 for the audiointerface, and the other one for the FOH desk).

I'd like to know what you guys  advice. There are plenty of boxes available, all with different price tags.
for instance :
-Focusrite Octopre platinum.
-Focusrite Octopre Mk2
-Audient ASP008
-Presonus Digimax
More options ?

I aim at a price range of 300 to 800 euros each, new or 2nd hand . cheaper is no problem of course  ;)

Maybe a modified Behringer or Phonic is a possibility ?

EDIT 5 sept 2015 :
It looks like I can't continue with my plans to get myself this amount of micpres : The possibility exists that I'll be losing my dayjob.... The company I work at is heading towards bankruptcy..... So, no work - no way to save serious money for micpres....
Bummer......



« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 05:15:51 AM by helterbelter »


sahib

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2015, 05:53:27 AM »

Paul,

I am not sure if the cost of modding them for the second output is included in your target price. But if not then perhaps by going a little higher you may consider my MICPRE ONE.

It has a completely separate second output (MONITOR) which is at the same level as the main output.

If you do not need the instrument input and metering then we can omit these which will save you a considerable amount over 32 channels. I can customise the front panel again at no cost as I normally get them laser cut one by one anyway.








JohnRoberts

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2015, 10:28:28 AM »
an 8 channel mixer with inserts could deliver cost effective preamps, and allow you to do a rough mix on the side.

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

kosi

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2015, 01:29:10 PM »
I heard a lot of good things about the

http://www.lineaudio.se/8MP.html

or
DAV Electronics BG No.8
RME Octamic
2 x Sytek-MPX4Aii




mrclunk

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 03:18:03 PM »
We have a Octopre MK2 dynamic , ok for the money  but the pre's are poor, not much gain, little headroom.  You get what you pay for...

If you have AES inputs on the motu check out the yamaha ad8hr. http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/global/en/products/interfaces/ad8hr/

Rock solid, clean sounding, tons of gain/headroom and split outputs (aes). Can pick them up second hand for about £300.

Saying that Salib's mic pre's will kick their arse!







Rocinante

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2015, 03:28:25 PM »
Ive done a lot of live recording and I'd have to agree witb John. A good 8-12 channel mixer is really the best way to go about it if you dont want to use good outboard. We used a True Systems Precision 8 a few times which was pretty astounding but thats getting up there in price.
Allen and Heath mixwizard might be your best route.
Or get a yammie.
They're friggin affordable and sound fine.
If there's a harder way to do this, I haven't found it yet.

helterbelter

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2015, 04:21:52 PM »
Thank you all for your replies !

Well, a mixer is too large (as said , I need 32 channels), but the idea also crossed my mind as it is the cheapest way to get a large number of pres. But I don't think I have enough space to put a 32ch console next to the stage at the venues where I expect to do my recordings. That being said : I have also thought of cloning the micpres of the DDA M and S series console. The circuit is simple, and the sound is great.

regarding the Focusrite : Unfortunately... I kinda expected the sound would be poor. The platinum pres that I know all sound a bit harsh, so I had the hope the Mk2 would be better . But now I know I'd better keep away from that stuff....

Sahib : I have looked at your great stuff before, and more than once ! I have no doubt that your pres and eq's will be worth every penny, but unfortunately, this is above my budget. At least, for now.

I will have a look for the Yamaha ad8hr. I've had several Yamaha stuff in the past (mixer, drums, guitar). Yamaha for some reason never disappoints ! Also the Lineaudio is interesting, but it's at the top of my budget.
The other pres mentioned are above my budget.
I'll keep my eyes open for the Yamaha and the Audient on the 2nd hand market. I don't expect a 2nd hand Lineaudio will pop up here in the Netherlands, but well, you never know.

I will do some calculations also, as it might be a better idea to roll my own pres after all. Or a single fantastic 8ch pre with a 24 diy-ed ones..... Then I'll keep Cemal's pres in mind for the 8ch !!!!

Thanks again, and feel free to post more !

:)




moamps

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2015, 05:30:11 PM »
I will do some calculations also, as it might be a better idea to roll my own pres after all. Or a single fantastic 8ch pre with a 24 diy-ed ones..... Then I'll keep Cemal's pres in mind for the 8ch !!!!
Thanks again, and feel free to post more !

I liked much SSL SL615 preamps for recording classical music and Jazz (USD300-500 for channel). But it is DIY-able.

helterbelter

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2015, 06:01:24 PM »
I guess I mainly will do metal and rock recording, although I also hope to add blues and acoustic rock as well.  Especially acoustic stuff will be awesome......

SL615.... I think these are similar to the 5k pre circuitwise
I have a few SSL 5k pre amps, and they have the reputation of being the best micpre that SSL has built.  The 5ks use Jensen iron, and yes, they sound good, but I'm not really getting wild about them.....   I have a few of SSLtechs 9k clones, and I really prefer these over the 5k pres.
For live recording, I think I'd rather choose for a transformerless design. Aside the 5kpres, I have a few other highgrade transformer based pres, and I really feel these are colouring the signal. Of course, in many cases this is great because it adds something mojo-ish, but for live recording these wouldn't be my first choice.

Cemal : thanks for your email ! I just replied.

totoxraymond

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2015, 03:36:16 PM »
If you thought about audient, you might consider Midas xl48 too. nice pres with adat out.


Thomas


Michael Tibes

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2015, 12:22:56 PM »
I recently bought a SM Pro Audio PR 8E for very little money for my talkback mics. I was surprised that it actually sounds pretty good, a lot better than I expected. Definitely a very good value for its money.

Michael

JohnRoberts

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2015, 12:34:08 PM »
Mic preamps are a mature technology and there are a number of good off the shelf ICs to accomplish the heavy lifting. Almost any junior engineer who can follow an ap note can make a decent preamp these days.

That said there is a strong negative perception whenever more than two preamps are put inside the same chassis. While they will be less expensive that way because of the economy of sharing a single power supply and common chassis, most consumers correlate the lower cost with lower quality.

I've wrestled with this perception about console preamps that are often underrated because of where they are, not what they are.

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

SSLtech

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2015, 08:53:32 AM »
I've wrestled with this perception about console preamps that are often underrated because of where they are, not what they are.
Read this wisdom and believe it.

The fertile soil of nagging doubt is where the seeds of marketing and reassurance of high price grow their most profitable fruit.

All those "fabulous" records of the 1970's that everyone's trying to recreate? What outboard preamps were they using?

Not a single one. Back in those days, the fallacy of the inability to make a decent recording without a "candy-store" of esoteric outboard preamps hadn't been invented, and engineers just used nice preamps. -I appreciate that this thread is about just getting exactly that, but "my fuse is easily lit" when it comes to preamp discussions these days. -There's so much nonsense that gets repeated.

On the subkect of SL617 and SL615, they use Jensen transformers, and they're nice and all... but the 9K is 'better' by some significant margin, if you value linearity, low noise, low distortion and exquisite clarity.  -Anyone who suggests that the SL615 is the greatest preamp they ever built simply doesn't know what they're talking about. It's that simple. (Helterbelter is only repeating what others are saying, but I write this as a caution to STOP listening to those people who say that. -I mean it!)

The 9K is a great home-build; comparable to the True Precision 8, but it may exceed your budget, plus there's the hassle of building it. The Expat Eden is similarly excellent, but once again, there's hassle in making a case, etc.

The Octopre is adequate... As are most small console pres. -I think the suggestion to get a small, unregarded console and just use the pres may be a good one. Certainly, most people will sniff at the idea of using a console pre "because it can't be any good... -It's in a console!" and then go and pay for an octopre which isn't really any better.

The Audient ASP880 is actually a decent preamp. Dave Dearden's products historically have generally been of an impressively high performance standard, at a price that isn't silly. -Itmay be a little outside your price range new, but if you see one used within your price range, I say jump on it like a half-starved Chihuahua on a half-eaten pork chop.
"A waist is a terrible thing to mind"
Quote from: PRR
Ah, but that was 1999; we don't party like that any more.

helterbelter

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2015, 12:51:03 PM »
Keith, thanks for chiming in !

I haven't thought about the Expat Eden yet, but an INA or That micpreamp chip based DIY did cross my mind earlier on. (So did your 9k clone by the way. One of my favorite preamps.)

Audient  : David Dearden is a great guy, and I truly respect him. I have a rebuilt small size SSL 5k console which I really like, but I have kept my older DDA mixer as well because it sounds so good. I use it for tracking my own stuff so i don't need to power up the SSL. The DDA has nice preamps. Clean EQ. The summing could have been better though, but for mixing I use my SSL anyway.

As a note regarding your response to the SSL615 or 5k pres : no worries,  nobody here said they're the best SSL built, I only said the 5k's have the reputation. But I also said I disagree on that  ;)
I do agree that a lot of it is just seller-talk. That's also the reason why I ask here about a decent preamp, and not on GS. I know  that on GS a lot are parrot-tales, instead of real experience talk.

but now we're talking pres and reputation : Anyone here knows the "5 bucks preamp" article of David Mellor ?
http://www.auralize.com/giant-killing-5-mic-preamp-its-secrets-revealed

Of course the comparison isn't entirely fair , but it's surely food for thought.

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2015, 11:57:53 PM »
I've wrestled with this perception about console preamps that are often underrated because of where they are, not what they are.
Read this wisdom and believe it.

The fertile soil of nagging doubt is where the seeds of marketing and reassurance of high price grow their most profitable fruit.

All those "fabulous" records of the 1970's that everyone's trying to recreate? What outboard preamps were they using?

Not a single one. Back in those days, the fallacy of the inability to make a decent recording without a "candy-store" of esoteric outboard preamps hadn't been invented, and engineers just used nice preamps. -I appreciate that this thread is about just getting exactly that, but "my fuse is easily lit" when it comes to preamp discussions these days. -There's so much nonsense that gets repeated.

On the subkect of SL617 and SL615, they use Jensen transformers, and they're nice and all... but the 9K is 'better' by some significant margin, if you value linearity, low noise, low distortion and exquisite clarity.  -Anyone who suggests that the SL615 is the greatest preamp they ever built simply doesn't know what they're talking about. It's that simple. (Helterbelter is only repeating what others are saying, but I write this as a caution to STOP listening to those people who say that. -I mean it!)

The 9K is a great home-build; comparable to the True Precision 8, but it may exceed your budget, plus there's the hassle of building it. The Expat Eden is similarly excellent, but once again, there's hassle in making a case, etc.

The Octopre is adequate... As are most small console pres. -I think the suggestion to get a small, unregarded console and just use the pres may be a good one. Certainly, most people will sniff at the idea of using a console pre "because it can't be any good... -It's in a console!" and then go and pay for an octopre which isn't really any better.

The Audient ASP880 is actually a decent preamp. Dave Dearden's products historically have generally been of an impressively high performance standard, at a price that isn't silly. -Itmay be a little outside your price range new, but if you see one used within your price range, I say jump on it like a half-starved Chihuahua on a half-eaten pork chop.



Hey there, this is a little off topic but do you still have any ghost 32's available for sale? Please Pm me. thanks

Deepdark

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2015, 03:17:46 PM »
I got a Focusrite Octopre Platinium and nothing to complaint. It works well for drum miking. I got the extended card option.
"I'm givin' you that money so I don't have to kill your ass."

Whoops

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2015, 08:10:55 PM »
Buy the Behringer ADA8000,
Just use it,
you don't need to modify it!


müx_micro

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2016, 06:11:18 PM »
Most FOH consoles are digital these days no? Most of them will have lightpipe outs on expansion cards. If its a yamaha console you could get two my16at and you are set.  You would have to rely on the FOH tech to set proper gain levels, and you are stuck at 48kHz, but it will be a lot cheaper than 32 decent mic pres. Just a thought..

Blackdawg

Re: 8 channel micpre advice
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2016, 12:36:58 AM »
I know its out of your price range, but id highly suggest saving up and finding a used Grace m802. Super versatile for live location stuff.

Its also a remote pre amp. So if you get the controller, you can leave the preamp just off stage, then just run an AES wire for the controller and some CAT6 for the digital audio to your recorder for all 8ch. Plus they sound fantastic and the built in conversion is great.

Company i work for uses 3 of them. We love them.