Gear / Technical Help > Battery Boxes, Preamps, Mixers, ADCs, and Processors

External Preamps - you in or out nowadays?

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With all in one recorders getting better and better preamp topology built in for the purchase price I wonder how many people are still using external preamps like we were all doing 10 years ago. I had a Busman modded R4 around 2008 -2009 and I didn't use my V3 at all so I ended up selling it after it sat on the shelf for over a year.

Now I seem to be going back to my old ways and have gotten hold of an Aerco MP2, a Grace Lunatec V2 and an NBox Platinum. Powering these is a lot simpler than it was when I had to haul the SLA lead sled and I can still pack light and run 4 channels of mics and a board feed if I want and the whole bag comes in at around 12 pounds - batteries and all.

I only have my little Tascam handhelds and when the stars line up, the sound comes out pretty good.  I had purchased some CA-14's and ran them in a DR-22wl and was not impressed by what I got from just running a basic battery box.  Picked up a CA9100 to run them through and, from my limited sample size, the recordings are vastly superior.  My knowledge is very limited on the how/why but it seems to work for me.  And granted I run on the small scale versus the big dogs around here.

I love my Mixpre6. But channels 5/6 are line in only, hence the need for at least one pair of high quality preampfification. I'm using a Naiant Littlebox but have a schoeps vms on the way

I like my ca-9200. The volume knob allows me to adjust on the spot if needed. I'd rather do that and leave the recorder locked om 'hold' then fiddle around with the recorder.
The size of the ca-9200 is so small, I don't mind bringing it in the venue together with a recorder and some mics.

I use the V3 these days primarily as a way to increase the recording channel count of the DR-680 to 8 channels via its digital input.  Sort of like the SD machine users who need a preamp in order to record another pair of mics.

So for me its a practical thing, however it does seem weird using such a nice preamp for my least important "extra" channels, which is my usual intent of doing this, rather than using that path for recording an essentially separate stereo pair with high-quality.

If I was only recording only two or four channels where there is less complications, I might use it as a "high-quality path" more often.


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