Mic Preamp Recommendations
A good preamp can give you the color and tone that you want for your recordings. Contact me if you would like a personal review and recommendation for your studio. I also do setup and installations to help getting all the gear connected and operating properly.
The Avalon VT-737SP has been a staple in recording studios around the world. Known for the extraordinary quality it provides on vocal tracks this preamp is everything you need in one unit. The preamp has ample gain for most condenser microphones and provides compression and EQ to sculpt and shape audio on the way in to your system. The real benefit to this preamp is that you can run your recorded tracks back through this unit and use the compression and EQ for post-production. For any studio that is looking to get Class A quality and more bang for the buck, then this preamp is the answer.
Warm Audio WA73 & WA73-EQ
When you need a dependable mic pre that will give your tracks that "hit record" sound, then you should be looking at a 1073. If there’s one style of preamp that professional engineers would unanimously agree has defined the tone of chart-topping records for decades, it would most definitely be the venerable '73-style of mic pre. '73-style preamps have been massively used in recording and live applications for many years and are still considered to be the “Holy Grail” of preamp choices today. The Warm Audio “WA73 Family” consists of single and dual channel '73-style preamps (with & w/out EQ), that each pay careful homage to British audio history. This line of preamps will not disappoint you and will be solid additions to your studio. I even use mine to reamp and EQ pre-recorded tracks to get that vintage overdrive sound.
4 preamps are better than one and the Manley Force gives you 4 Class A preamps to beef up your recording setup. This box is straight forward and is worth every penny. I've installed many of these units in recording studios and they always provide quality and reliability. I've tracked drums, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, bass guitars, keyboards, congas, vocals, and saxophones with these preamps. Everything sounds crisp, clean, clear, and dynamic through these preamps. This is an easy recommendation because Manley makes high quality recording equipment. If you just need preamps and you need a few to add to your studio, then I'd recommend you consider this beast for your studio setup.
Universal Audio LA-610 MKII
When you plug a microphone or instrument into the Universal Audio LA-610 MkII and start turning those fat knobs, it's nearly impossible not to sound good. A formidable front end for any DAW, the LA-610 MkII combines a clear, warm all-tube microphone preamplifier, a rich and musical EQ section, and a bypass-able Opto compressor. With a few notable improvements to the hit original LA-610, this "Mark II" version is a pleasure to use when tracking vocals, voiceovers, guitar, bass, kick drum and more. And on mixing projects, you can use the LA-610's line input to apply its smooth compression and EQ to any recorded signal after the fact. Combining a legendary preamp with a legendary compressor, Universal Audio's LA-610 MkII is an ideal first step in your recording chain.
Rupert Neve Portico 5017
Adding anything from the Neve product line is instantly going to improve your studio and audio recordings. This little box packs a big punch and I am more than impressed with the audio quality and control you have over your production with this box. Both the Mic and DI inputs and outputs can be used at the same time. The blend knob on this box allows you to adjust the balance and the thru output allows you to feed the instrument signal to a mixer or amp. The compressor on this box is smooth and silky. The price is reasonable for the level of quality you get from the Portico 5017. Versitile and reliable for any application that you can throw at this box.
Universal Audio 4-710d
The Universal Audio 4-710d is a boutique quality, four-channel microphone/line preamplifier with unique tube and solid-state tone blending capabilities, perfect for a wide range of microphone and instrument sources. This versatile multi-channel preamp offers selectable 1176-style compression circuitry on each channel, plus four additional line inputs feeding eight channels of pristine analog-to-digital conversion. Building upon UA's classic analog design approach, combined with smart modern features, the 4-710d is the most flexible preamp in the UA lineup.
Warm Audio WA-412
The Warm Audio WA-412 provides 4 channels of classic American console preamps in a sleek 1RU design. This style of preamp is often referred to as "the sound of Rock n' Roll" for its BIG punchy low end and smooth open top end. The price/performance ratio of the WA-412 is almost unfathomable to the experienced studio engineer who has possibly paid much more for preamps of this style during their career. Featuring fully discrete socketed 6-pin op-amps and custom wound Altran USA input and output transformers, the WA-412 leaves nothing to be desired. If you are looking for multiple channels of world-class tone in an affordable package, the WA-412 is the right choice for you.