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Author Topic: Preamp needed quickly - advice on what is out there!  (Read 3514 times)

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Offline johnfb

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Preamp needed quickly - advice on what is out there!
« on: October 24, 2011, 02:12:24 PM »
I'm looking for a preamp to go into Edirol R09HR and Zoom H4, main mic is stereo Rode NT4, but others as well.
For a 3 week field recordings of music in Gabon, Africa (drumming, voice, song, etc)

I don't have time to get a Naint littlebox (leaving in 2 weeks and he needs a 3/4 week turnaround) which seemed like it might be ideal.
Does anyone have suggestions on what is available off the shelf that would be suitable? Is there such a shelf?!

My partner is in New York and can pick stuff up there if needed and I'm around London.
We are thinking of getting a Sound Devices 702 if we can't find a preamp quick but would really rather not go down that route for expense reasons.

cheers for any help

Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: Preamp needed quickly - advice on what is out there!
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2011, 07:20:38 PM »
Already posted a reply to your query in the "Tascam DR680 or Sony D50" thread but to restate what I wrote:

Sound Devices MixPre.  Small, lots of clean gain, runs off 2 AA batteries and (like all SD gear) built like a tank.  The only cables you'll need are XLR's from the mics to the MixPre and a 1/8" TRS/stereo cable to go from the MixPre to the input of your Edirol, Zoom or other recorder.  A quick look on their website and it appears that B&H has them in stock; their brick & mortar shop is right in NYC.

Offline rastasean

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Re: Preamp needed quickly - advice on what is out there!
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2011, 12:01:08 AM »
I agree with FCB but since you don't have a lot of time to wait for this, I suggest taking along a number of AA for the recorder as well as the pre-amp.
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Preamp needed quickly - advice on what is out there!
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2011, 12:19:44 AM »
I would also suggest the SD MixPre :) Get some AAs and youre golden :)
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Offline eclark

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Re: Preamp needed quickly - advice on what is out there!
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2011, 08:17:56 AM »
just ordered my MixPre-D from Sweetwater and it's awesome! there is a thread in the BB, Preamp, Mixers, ADC and Processors board. incredibly fast shipping!
akg 460b + ck61 (-10db) > MixPre-D > Sony PCM M10

Offline johnfb

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Re: Preamp needed quickly - advice on what is out there!
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2011, 10:56:17 AM »
thanks for the advice - looks like it should be what we need.

one question about going from the mixpre into the recorder - looking to go from the tape out of the mixpre into the line in of the Zoom/Edirol is there an issue of the level being too hot from the mixpre?

I ask because I came across this:
http://www.danmccomb.com/posts/987/connecting-zoom-h4n-to-sound-devices-mixpre-part-ii/
Essentially he was having trouble going into the Zoom H4N and ended up using a -25db attenuating cable to feed the Zoom

Seems awkward to have to be reducing the signal to get it to work with the Zoom.
Looking at other posts on here it seems the Edirol R09HR may be better at coping with the higher input level from the mixpre - can I get away with just a normal (non-attenuating) cable from mixpre to R09HR?
Is the same true for Sony D50 and Sony M10?

(I realise that you can trim the level at which the limiter in the mixpre kicks in)

thanks again for input


Offline rastasean

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Re: Preamp needed quickly - advice on what is out there!
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2011, 11:41:02 AM »
You can also adjust the gain on 09HR but otherwise, the mixpre and 09HR are perfect just as the m10 and mixpre. I would still have my 09HR but i messed up and toasted it (nothing to do with the mixpre).

I have also used the mixpre with the m10 and I have been pleased with it.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2011, 05:11:07 PM by rastasean »
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: Preamp needed quickly - advice on what is out there!
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2011, 11:45:41 AM »
I regularly run a MixPre straight into the "Line In" on an original Edirol R-09 with no attenuator and have no problems whatsoever; you shouldn't have any issues with an R-09HR.  The MixPre actually has a test tone that you can send through to adjust the level on your recorder.  With this tone, I set the input level on my R-09 so it's measuring at -20 dB, leave the R-09 levels alone after that, and use the gain pots on the MixPre to adjust the levels.  Ideally you want the input on the recorder to be set around unity gain and let the MixPre do all the heavy lifting.  I would advise you to play around with it for a bit to see what settings work best for you but this method has worked flawlessly for me.  Set up properly, the R-09 won't clip/overload unless the MixPre does.

Now I can't speak for the Zoom or the Sony decks but I can tell you that the Sony's are good pieces of gear and built to tolerances as good as, if not better than, the Edirol; they also have better input preamps so I'd be surprised if they don't perform as well as the Edirol.  Perhaps someone who has run the MixPre/Sony combo can chime in here?

To be blunt, I have not had good experiences with the Zoom recorders so it wouldn't surprise me that they can't take a professional level signal (according to Dan McComb's article, it can't).  If it would help you breathe easier to get an attenuator cable, then I would suggest you get one as well.  Cheap insurance for those "just in case" situations.

Offline hi and lo

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Re: Preamp needed quickly - advice on what is out there!
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2011, 12:07:56 PM »
The MixPre actually has a test tone that you can send through to adjust the level on your recorder.  With this tone, I set the input level on my R-09 so it's measuring at -20 dB, leave the R-09 levels alone after that, and use the gain pots on the MixPre to adjust the levels.


This is such a great feature... I almost want to buy a MixPre-D just so I can do this! :)

Offline acidjack

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Re: Preamp needed quickly - advice on what is out there!
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2011, 03:52:06 PM »
The MixPre actually has a test tone that you can send through to adjust the level on your recorder.  With this tone, I set the input level on my R-09 so it's measuring at -20 dB, leave the R-09 levels alone after that, and use the gain pots on the MixPre to adjust the levels.


This is such a great feature... I almost want to buy a MixPre-D just so I can do this! :)

..and you probably will, because you're a gear .... ..  >:D
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Offline tim in jersey

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Re: Preamp needed quickly - advice on what is out there!
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2011, 02:02:17 AM »
The MixPre actually has a test tone that you can send through to adjust the level on your recorder.  With this tone, I set the input level on my R-09 so it's measuring at -20 dB, leave the R-09 levels alone after that, and use the gain pots on the MixPre to adjust the levels.


This is such a great feature... I almost want to buy a MixPre-D just so I can do this! :)

My Shure FP-24 has the same feature. It was handier when I ran mics>pre>AD>recorder and I hardly ever use it anymore, but I can't part with it for just that reason. A nice preamp with a tone generator is something every man should have.

Offline willndmb

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Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: Preamp needed quickly - advice on what is out there!
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2011, 01:25:57 AM »
My Shure FP-24 has the same feature. It was handier when I ran mics>pre>AD>recorder and I hardly ever use it anymore, but I can't part with it for just that reason. A nice preamp with a tone generator is something every man should have.

It's my understanding that the FP24 is the MixPre just with the Shure branding on it.  Regardless of the name on it, they're great mic pres.  I'd be hard-pressed to ever get rid of mine.

http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=150669.0

Considering that, new, the MixPre is around $665 and the Porta-Brace runs over $150, that ain't bad.

Offline Husker Du

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Re: Preamp needed quickly - advice on what is out there!
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2012, 02:13:24 AM »

It's my understanding that the FP24 is the MixPre just with the Shure branding on it.  Regardless of the name on it, they're great mic pres.  I'd be hard-pressed to ever get rid of mine.

It looks like that depends on the dates they were manufactured: http://shure.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3441/~/difference-between-a-shure-fp24-and-a-sound-devices-mixpre

Quote
QUESTION:
What is the difference between a Shure FP24 and a Sound Devices MixPre?

ANSWER:
Originally, the products were identical. In October 2002, Sound Devices made several changes to the MixPre. These are detailed in the following bulletin on the Sound Devices website:

http://www.sounddevices.com/tech/mixpre_changes.htm

Include were a change in the output meter LEDs, a change to the input DC connector, and a change in the output signal configuration; specifically, the output signal configuration was changed from "impedance balanced" to "active balanced". The differences between these two configurations are noted here:

http://www.sounddevices.com/tech/balancing.htm

The single issue that prompted this change is that certain specific Sony camcorders,like the PD150, "do not properly accept any audio signals from impedance-balanced outputs". For these cameras, Sound Devices supplied an accessory cable (XL-55) that padded down the line-level signal from the MixPre to mic-level and then unbalanced the signal in a suitable manner, due to the fact that the "impedance balanced" output only has signal on Pin 2.

The result is that the Shure FP24 and the Sound Devices MixPre are no longer the same product and have not been since October 2002.
Neumann KM150->SD MixPre->Edirol R-44

 

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