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ART tube pre-amp. MP/C for a hundred. Opinions?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Obsessed, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    You don't need that. I don't know Garageband, but try turning down your input gain and using its meter.
     
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  2. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    Thanks. This has been a confidence booster with your input and others. I think I must be doing it well enough to move on with the project. My ears say it is fine, I just didn't want to paint myself in the corner down the road. I need a manual titled, "Traps and Pitfalls of a noobie home recording engineer". Haa, maybe I'll be writing that manual.

    Thanks again @LutherBurger

    Edit: Sorry @LutherBurger ! I didn't prof read my post. Corrected but just to point out that this has been a confidence booster with your input.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  3. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    54
    May 11, 2007
    Toronto
    Looks kinda just like this, no?
    http://www.ebtechaudio.com/swizzdes.html

    Behringer actually tried to sue some members on gearslutz for pointing out the, uh “alleged” similarity between the products.

    So, um, there’s that.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
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  4. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    54
    May 11, 2007
    Toronto

  5. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC

  6. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    Hey, @Obsessed, I mentioned previously that I don't know anything about Garageband (heck, I don't know nuthin' about Macs, either), but I just found this:



    It might help you.
     

  7. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Ad Free Member

    Age:
    72
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    Obsessed, if I were you, I'd spend my preamp budget on a new interface with better preamps/converters and input metering. I've had a lot of luck with Focusrite, but I started out with an Mbox, and not knowing my signal strength going into the DAW was a huge frustration in the early going. The Focusrite preamps are pretty dang good at the lower price points. Good luck!
     

  8. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    You might have just touched on the real issue ... maybe as a noobie, I am just simply frustrated that I don't know the signal strength going into the DAW. Is it really necessary as the user becomes more confident?
     

  9. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Tele-Meister

    184
    Jun 23, 2017
    Ottawa, Canada
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  10. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    Well, that is what my buddy was suggesting, so now I am full circle on this issue. The ART MP/C is basically a channel strip. An inexpensive one, but nevertheless. Anyway, the one you suggest is nice because of the VU meter, which perhaps would give me the confidence that I need. Maybe I should just get a simple pre-amp with a VU meter and call it done for now to see if that gets me over this greenhorn hump?
     

  11. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    If it were me, I'd first figure out why there is not enough signal getting to my DAW before spending even 5 cents on additional gear that would just add more noise to the signal.
     
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  12. FerruleCat

    FerruleCat Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

    450
    May 2, 2017
    Tulsa, OK
    I don't have a clear understanding of the problem here. If the DAW is clipping, then you have too much signal. If the signal is clipping the meters but is not loud enough in your headphones, then it might be a monitoring issue. Monitoring setup can involve settings in the DAW itself, in your computer system, and on your interface.

    The interface you have should be able to get you what you want, assuming it's working correctly. I agree with 3-Chord that more troubleshooting is in order. Ideally, you could try your interface on another system, and another interface on your system.

    Given that interfaces have built-in preamps, I would not want to increase gain/noise and power consumption by chaining in more components. If anything, I would replace the interface itself, but only after more troubleshooting.
     
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  13. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    54
    May 11, 2007
    Toronto
    I had a look at @Obsessed’s current interface. It completely lacks metering. Not even a red light to indicate the pre is clipping. No wonder he’s having some uncertainty. He’s flying blind as far as the level his interface pre is generating. And how many dbs of gain does it have? I can’t see anywhere what those specs are.

    So yes, something with meters would be a huge improvement. Vu meters are slow though and don’t react that quickly to transients. So you can still miss stuff that is clipping. But if you record with a bit of headroom and aren’t going over 0 dbs at the converter into your daw, and the signal sounds good, all is still good.

    I’ll just say I’m gobsmacked that there is absolutely no metering on that interface. Crazy.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
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  14. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    Yeah, that's crazy.

    @Obsessed, I didn't know that you had no meters on your preamps. You can still get by with what you have by being very cautious with the gain knob, but I would probably consider trading in the interface for a model that has metering. The Focusrite interfaces mentioned by @woodman above have a good reputation (I like Focusrite preamps, and own one, but it's not in an interface) and I think their meters are pretty cool: circles around the gain knobs that light up and change colors. :cool:
     
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  15. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jun 26, 2008
    Albuquerque
    As you get more into this recording thing, a $30 piece a gear is going to seem like a bargain.
     
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  16. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Ad Free Member

    Age:
    72
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    My impression is that your pro buddy is viewing your problem through a lens whose resolution is far from your focus as a home recordist. I've got a similar buddy, producer/engineer/Grammy nominee, who sometimes gives me advice that doesn't always apply at my humble (some would say primitive) level.

    But at minimum you should at least have a clipping light on your interface — hitting the optimum preamp level is a big part of your gain staging. ... Confidence through experience is great, but you still want to know what your signal is doing! ;)
     

  17. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    Thanks @FerruleCat , @Geoff738 , @LutherBurger , @Martin R and @woodman . I feel better now. I'm going to look at GB and see if I can make the bar meter larger. One thing I did not mention is that I am going through a fairly small screen 2009 1/2 MacBook Pro. I wonder if I can use something through the interface inserts that provides a meter. The thing is, if I am getting -10 db into the DAW, then it seems like I'm doing okay. It certainly sounds great to me through studio monitors and closed back headphones. Like I said earlier, I just don't want to paint myself into a corner down the road.
     

  18. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jun 26, 2008
    Albuquerque
    You have GarageBand??? The meters are thermometers just under the channel name. If you get the aforementioned tone generator set the switch to +4, plug it into your interface and adjust your interface so the GB meter reads just below, (or a lot below), clipping.

    (And the tone generator is also a cable tester...You'll need it.)
     
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  19. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    Whoa. I can almost follow you. And to think how easily I dismissed the tone generator. So, would I plug this into the insert? Also, this seems like a boost or am I missing something? I apologize for perhaps a dumb question, but I don't get it.
     
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  20. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    Have a look at kvraudio.com. You can probably find a free metering plugin there that will be easier to see. They have a ton of other plugins, too.
     
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