Academy Dashboard Forum Studio Gear Talk Preamp / Channel Strip

  • This topic has 7 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 8 years ago by Jon Burns.
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    Cody Cote

      Hi Guys,

      I'm in the market for a channel strip / preamp that I can use to vary my sound canvas during recording. I have a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 interface that I use as my main (only) preamp. I will be adding a "decent" mic (likely a Shure SM7B) to vary the signal chain as well but for now I prefer to rent mics when working on a project (this saves some $$ and allows me to experiment without the cost). I don't mind paying for quality and I can handle a price tag of about $1000 CAD. I would like to have a compressor and EQ in the unit as well but if a pure preamp is the better choice for now I can go that way. A HiZ (instrument) input would be a bonus.

      AS we know, there are a lot of options out there and it can be overwhelming. I know I can get an honest (not advertising supported) opinion here.

      Thanks guys!



        Yes, there are soooo many gear options it can make your head spin!

        Not a channel strip but the BAE 1073 DMP was a huge game changer for me. It was my first class-A pre and I love it so much more than my Focusrite octopre pres and old Motu pres (kept the octo around for when I need lots of inputs, sold the motu). You can find them used on ebay for around $750 I think. My thinking was to get a really good pre that I would use on lots of stuff and just use the eq and compression in the box. Then later on add hardware comps and EQs if you really think you need it.
        I'm interested to hear what others suggest. Good luck!

        Charles Monteiro

          Check out the Robbie by BLUE, outstanding, and its about 1K

          Christopher Feeney

            So I added an outboard preamp (Audient MiCO) to give me options beyond my FocusRite Saffire Pro 40 (which I love) and PreSonus TubePre V2 (do I $ on upgrading it's tube?). The producer I work with for fun, mainly to take my hobby songs to next level and show me - hands on - tricks from his 40 year recording and producing career ( recommended I add an outboard compressor. I added the ART Pro VLA II with upgraded Tung-sol tubes.

            Now, in the spirit of "record it right at the source" I am wondering if I should put an outboard EQ between my preamp and compressor? Yes, I can get a channel strip (price vs value used looking at PreSonus Eureaka, JoeMeeks and ART Pro again). But I don't do enough to have kinda duplicate (individual preamp, EQ and compressor and channel strip) set ups. Any reason to have both?

            If I get the EQ, any recommendations on used ones to look for? They seem to be all for live racks. I found one, a Rane ME15B Stereo Graphic Equalizer Rack Processor 15-Band Micrographic EQ.

            All thoughts and advice welcome.

            Mario Maslik

              Hi guys,
              a question about VCC SlateDigital
              is it worth investing in virtual channel strips that particularly Slate Digital VCC - virtual console collection offers?
              What's the advantage or disadvantage of it? Does it have an enormous improvement in mixdown process on the sound?
              Anybody has any experience? Thank you

              Nick D.

                I know a lot of people aren't so fond of Joe Meek anymore, but i really like the twin Q. i have had it for years and it can be clean or very aggressive, and that is the preamp as well as the compressor. you can bypass the transformer, and the eq is ok. Since its 2 channel, i like to use it for parallel drum bus sometimes too. If you cant find a channel strip you like, a better choice may be to get into the 500 series and build the pieces you want. although it is more expensive up front, it can give you a lot more versatility later.

                I have the VCC in the mix rack, and it can add some color to tracks, but i don't feel like it works the same as a hardware preamp. i really think its how voltage hits the transformer and especially tubes that do not seem to quite translate right. i do like them though and use them often, generally to add saturation or characteristics of the chosen preamp. The new slate mic system may work better with it than other mic/preamp combos but i cant comment on that.

                Jon Burns

                  Hi Codycote - I'm not sure of the value in Canada but if I had a 1000 budget for
                  a channel strip I'd vigilantly track down a Focusrite ISA 430.
                  Mic-pre, parametric eq, compressor, de-esser - all top-notch and with send/returns
                  so it can be used as a mix tool also.

                  Jon Burns

                    Hi Christopher -

                    Like you say, graphic eq is more for live stuff and being quite blatant
                    about cutting to rid problems. It can cause nasty artifacts in a mix.

                    Good parametric eq is not cheap as I've recently found out!
                    Even 2nd hand it holds it's value. If you've already committed to 500-series
                    then there's some cool options. I haven't yet as I know I'll spend a month
                    getting distracted by 'my dream lunchbox'.
                    So, I'm after a standalone parametric for tracking and mixing/printing
                    - the best I could find in my price range is the Speck ASC, and even then
                    I'm looking for a 2nd hand one. From what I hear it's not too coloured,
                    which is good as by the time a coloured sound is replicated across 20 or
                    so tracks, it can lose it's appeal. But then, I think that-not-happening
                    is what you pay for on pro-level eq.

                    I'd love to hear some more input on this as I'm very presently looking
                    to buy an outboard eq.

                    Cheers, Jon

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