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Author Topic: Advice needed regarding Shure FP24/MixPre  (Read 2184 times)

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Offline mtahir

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Advice needed regarding Shure FP24/MixPre
« on: April 29, 2014, 12:44:32 PM »
I thinking of getting a used Shure FP24 and after reading all that I can on forums, reviews etc., I just wanted to ask some advice:

1. Is there anything specific I should ask the seller about the FP24 apart from the usual regarding condition, everything functioning well etc?

2. I've also noticed that in the manual, the specs are sometimes given for 50% gain settings. Is there a reason for doing this? Is the full gain not to be used?

3. I want to use an AT875R and a Sennheiser wireless lav (Sennheiser Freeport FP12) with it for mostly recording seminars and interviews. The output will most like go via the 3.5mm to a Zoom H1 or the input to my camera which also has a 3.5mm input (HDC-SD700). I found that with one or two other pre-amps I've tested that either there isn't enough gain or I've got to turn up the gain a lot and there is a fair bit of hiss/noise during the quiet bits. I was wondering how quiet a Shure FP24 would be during the quiet bits, even with it turned up. I tend to turn down the gain on the recorder and camera and use the preamp to provide clean gain. That's the idea.

Thanks



 
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 06:07:56 PM by mtahir »

Offline DSatz

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Re: Advice needed regarding Shure FP24/MixPre
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2014, 09:46:55 AM »
I don't know about [1] and can only tell you regarding [3] that the basic gain of the preamp is quite high--more than I've ever needed. But it's also nearly as quiet as it is physically possible for a preamp to be.

As for [2] there's no problem running the preamp at full gain, but I really don't expect that you'll need or want to do so with amplified music and condenser microphones.

The thing is, for most mike preamp circuits, if you're the manufacturer and you want to get the best-looking noise specification, you turn the gain all the way up and make your measurement that way. But few people actually use a preamp that way unless they're recording very quiet sounds at considerable distances and/or are using microphones with low output (e.g. ribbons). I think that the spec is written the way it is because the engineers at Sound Devices were trying to give an idea of the preamp's performance under real-world conditions; they're like that.

--best regards

P.S. #1: A few years ago I spent a day performing noise tests on every preamp I owned. I decided to test each preamp at the same gain level--a moderate setting that I typically use in live recording (ca. 35 dB). I found that the preamp with the worst published noise spec (the FMR "Real Nice Preamp") was actually one of the quietest at that gain level.

P.S. #2: Preamp noise can easily become a fetish. Your microphones (even dynamic microphones that contain no active circuitry) have a noise floor of their own, and of course every venue does, too. What matters is the amount and kind of noise that you could possibly hear when playing back the finished recording. Professional condenser microphones typically have output noise voltages in roughly the -110 dBu range, and it shouldn't be hard to find a preamp with a noise floor 6 to 10 dB below that at all audible frequencies. Worrying about preamp noise when it is completely covered by microphone noise (which in turn is completely covered by venue noise) is an unprofitable use of one's time, attention and equipment budget.

--best regards
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline TSNéa

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Re: Advice needed regarding Shure FP24/MixPre
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2014, 10:43:20 PM »
Worrying about preamp noise when it is completely covered by microphone noise (which in turn is completely covered by venue noise) is an unprofitable use of one's time, attention and equipment budget.

What a statement... Impossible not to think of teenage time, when everything needs to be absolute, perfect, etc. Pleasure, love... and specs! Sometimes I really have to remind me how old I am.  ;)

Offline tim in jersey

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Re: Advice needed regarding Shure FP24/MixPre
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2014, 11:45:03 PM »
I've owned the FP-24 since my DAT days. It has gobs of headroom before distorting, but IME, I've never needed the available gain on my D8 DAT, my Tascam DA-P1 DAT my SD-722 or my M-10 (line-In).

Offline mtahir

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Re: Advice needed regarding Shure FP24/MixPre
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 01:13:09 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. I managed to acquire a Sound Devices MixPre in nearly new condition so I'm really looking forward to using it. :)

EDIT:
Got the unit now (it was bought in the US). I had the seller ship it to Sound Devices for the once over. It cost about $8 in parts. They also replaced the battery holder's spring so it can take rechargeable batteries. Beautiful little unit. Much smaller than I thought. I've only done basic tests but will be doing some more tests very soon. Will be using Jon's (Naiant) PFA's with it which are almost here.  :)
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 08:17:34 PM by mtahir »

 

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