Stupid Question

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I wish I had a profile picture
Inactive Since: Nov 11, 2007

I know this is a really stupid question but it's been bugging me.

Let's say I have a setup with a USB recording interface (something like TonePort) connected to my computer. Is there ANY reason I will need a kind of mixer for recording? I can't think of a reason but everything I read about recording mentions mixers (big, small, cheap, expensive). So yeah....I'm confoggled.

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Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 18, 2008 03:57 pm

If you are a one-man-band type of thing, like me, and you only record one instrument at a time, then no, no reason, I sold my mixer a few months back and never regretted it...other than a nice mixer looks cool.

I wish I had a profile picture
Inactive
Since: Nov 11, 2007


Jan 18, 2008 04:29 pm

Ok.

Another question:
USB recording interfaces have a preamp built in them so...for good sound is should a better preamp be hooked up to it?
And that preamp could be used for live performance right?

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 18, 2008 04:41 pm

a good mic is going to make a bigger difference than a better pre-amp in most cases

I wish I had a profile picture
Inactive
Since: Nov 11, 2007


Jan 18, 2008 04:45 pm

Define "good."

So does that mean that compared to most preamps the preamp in a recording interface is crap?

Prince CZAR-ming
Member
Since: Apr 08, 2004


Jan 18, 2008 04:58 pm

I wouldn't say crap.

If you're looking in this range, then good is good. Quiet, and flat is good. Noisy and boosting isn't good.

'Compared to most preamps' is a loaded statement. For what many of us do here, consumer grade preamps are fine / great. There's some that are better than others. But almost always, the dollar sign goes along with it.

USB interface preamps mostly would compare to low-level mixer preamps.

The motu and rme preamps in firewire interfaces probably compare to nicer standalone preamps, maybe like the ART line, or maybe higher.

It gets kinda complex.

Basically, my preamps on my US122 and in my Yama mixer do a nice job. The yama are clean and flat, and the US122 are pretty basic, I think. I've had no reason to fault them, but I don't do a ton of fantastic work on them either. My purposes are meager, and not so demanding.

Prince CZAR-ming
Member
Since: Apr 08, 2004


Jan 18, 2008 05:01 pm

I think Coolo made a good statement (earlier):

With a Neuman mic, and a grace preamp, the difference was tangible.

But without both of them, neither could shine.

I hope that made sense.

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 18, 2008 05:06 pm

Quote:
Define "good."

If I must.... a mic that produces sounds that are pleasing to the ear.

All I mean is that if you have ..say $1000. That $1000 will be better served gettin a $1000 mic over a $1000 pre-amp.

If money is no object then go to town and pick up an Avalon or some other pre.

BTW - Quote:
for good sound is should a better preamp be hooked up to it?
What is YOUR definiton of good?

Prince CZAR-ming
Member
Since: Apr 08, 2004


Jan 18, 2008 05:08 pm

I read somewhere, maybe on here, a great preamp will make a poor mic sound worse.

Ain't that the crap!

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 18, 2008 05:16 pm

[quote]a great preamp will make a poor mic sound worse.
[/quote]
Exactly! Sucks but true

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jan 18, 2008 05:37 pm

hmmm, my take on it is this.

using behringer cheap mixer preamps, I can tell a great difference between the neumann and say an entry level condensor. using the grace preamp, I can tell an even greater difference between the two.

using the neumann on a behringer mixer pre and a grace pre, there is some difference, but its not super obvious. Using the entry level condensor, you can't hardly tell the difference between the behringer mixer pres and the grace pres.

Moral, for you to really get the benefit of nicer pres, you need a nicer mic first. At least in my experience.


www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 18, 2008 05:42 pm

Quote:
Moral, for you to really get the benefit of nicer pres, you need a nicer mic first.
In my own clumbsy way, this is exactly what I was trying to say.

To add to this a bit. The noise introduced by the mic and pre-amp starts to add up with the number of tracks. The more tracks you have the more noticable the noise will be.

I wish I had a profile picture
Inactive
Since: Nov 11, 2007


Jan 19, 2008 12:14 am

My only definition of good is that it's better than worse...so...I guess I don't have one.

So I'm getting the idea that a preamp really doesn't make too much of a difference to chunk down extra cash for one. And really...that makes my wallet smile.

Thanks for the help.

Prince CZAR-ming
Member
Since: Apr 08, 2004


Jan 19, 2008 03:24 am

Good deal. I tend to think to shoot for decent & adequate, until I know what I want in more detail.

I've bought some stuff that I think was middle of the road, but not cheap as I can get. I'm learning alot, and am starting to get more detailed ideas of where I want to upgrade in the future.

Also, learning on decent/consumer equipment gives you time to save up for better purchases later on =).

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