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Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

  1. #1

    Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    I have recently built a "Weber" tube mike pre-amp. I also own a Mike Pre-Eminence and have used several different types over the years. I prefer the tube tone to everything I have used in the past. I was wondering, being an old-school guy, who is new to the digital recording medium, if there are plug-ins or anything that I can use th emulate the tube pre? (I also use a twin tube pre for a home-made spring reverb unit that is KILLER for vocals!)

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    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    The problem is there are some very very clean tube preamps out there. The world famous Neve 1073 (solid state) is known for being quite dirty. So it's tough to answer your question.

    There are a number of "tube" plugins out there that dirty of the signal. The best of I've heard is by SPL. Antares makes one that I use often as well.

    Now if you are referring to the 2nd order harmonics that tubes are so famous for, that's a bit more complicated. I'm sure if they made a plugin that emulated preamp differences, no one buy it because people would say it was too subtle.

    Brandon

  4. #3

    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    I would recommend to put your plugin money into hardware pre's. If you know you like something I would get it.

  5. #4

    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    Wavearts has a new tube plugin out called the Tube Saturator. I tried the demo and it sounded great to my ears. It'll absolutely RAPE your cpu though, so if you don't have a great computer, I'd look elsewhere.

  6. #5

    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    The fact that you are MAKING YOUR OWN tube pre-amps tells me that you are probably beyond any plugin to emulate the effect. Better yet, make me some tube pre-amps
    If it sounds good, it IS good!

  7. #6

    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    Originally Posted by brandondrury
    I'm sure if they made a plugin that emulated preamp differences, no one buy it because people would say it was too subtle.

    Brandon
    I wonder if the Focusrite Liquid channel is subtle. Me, not having experience with high-end tube pres or even a simple solid state API lunch box, I could probably not notice much difference in thier emulations.

  8. #7

    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    Originally Posted by Old Guitar Dude
    I have recently built a "Weber" tube mike pre-amp. I also own a Mike Pre-Eminence and have used several different types over the years. I prefer the tube tone to everything I have used in the past. I was wondering, being an old-school guy, who is new to the digital recording medium, if there are plug-ins or anything that I can use th emulate the tube pre? (I also use a twin tube pre for a home-made spring reverb unit that is KILLER for vocals!)
    I must have missed something here.
    When I took electronics tubes WERE analog.

    As to tubes vs transistors (both analog devices) I prefer the solid state gear.

  9. #8

    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    Originally Posted by newkid
    I must have missed something here.
    When I took electronics tubes WERE analog.

    As to tubes vs transistors (both analog devices) I prefer the solid state gear.
    HAHAHA. My brain assumed tube VS digital. Sometimes you see what you want.

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    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    The PSP plugs are excellent for what they are.
    "Well, if music's gonna move me, it's gotta be action packed!" - Johnny Dollar

  11. #10

    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    Hey garage, do you really feel the PSP stuff actually w a r m s stuff up due to plug design, or do you think it has something to do with the actual eq built in moreso than the plug istelf and what it's intended for?

    I'm not asking that to doubt you or be confrontational, I'm seriously curious to hear your take on them. The reason I ask is, I've been doing some extensive testing with these so called tube type plugs and I have several. None of them (insert W word we're not allowed to use lol) up the tone to me at all other than 2 of them I have. The Antares Tube is a good one thats makes a subtle "smoothing of the harshness" to me, but the one that really kicks my ass is this little free plug I found called "Pre-Amp Emulator". I've never heard anything smooth up digital sonicness like that plug to where it is an unbelieveable difference without using an eq. It's got tube a and tube b...you select the tube, choose the drive amount...and man, it's like runinng your mix through a Drawmer tube compressor minus the compressor. Just curious what your take is?

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    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    Here's my experience. I downloaded the demos and played with it quite a bit. They were excellent but didn't get my money. Plugs need to be really something make me fall in love with them because I know it's very easy to fall out-of-love.

    My sense of what they do is a bunch of things: a little transient reshaping, subtle even-order harmonic synthesis, small amounts of odd-ordered and non-harmonic distortion with a time component, a little medium-speed compression, and some dynamic EQ curve reshaping.
    "Well, if music's gonna move me, it's gotta be action packed!" - Johnny Dollar

  13. #12

    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    Thanks for the response...totally makes sense to me and kinda how I feel also.

    Now, if you haven't tried this little thing....give it a shot and use it subtley...see what you think. Nothing I've tried so far has made as much of a difference as this lil baby. It's very primative...but for some reason, it can make a world of difference on certain things and will be another cool tool for your box that won't cost a dime. Let me know what you think if you decide to try it.

    Musicrow Preamp Emulator VST- Free preamp VST plugin

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    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    Thanks for the tip. That's not one I'll be able to try. I use DP.
    "Well, if music's gonna move me, it's gotta be action packed!" - Johnny Dollar

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    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    It's very primative...but for some reason, it can make a world of difference on certain things and will be another cool tool for your box that won't cost a dime.
    Thanks for the tip. I'm downloading it now.

    I've been looking for a smoother-outer lately. Lately, I've had to result to multi-band comps more than I prefer and something like this may be the ticket.

  16. #15

    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    Originally Posted by brandondrury
    Thanks for the tip. I'm downloading it now.

    I've been looking for a smoother-outer lately. Lately, I've had to result to multi-band comps more than I prefer and something like this may be the ticket.
    No problem....this will definitely be your go to piece then. Best smoother I ever used. Try the presets....one of them really makes a huge difference in killing harsh high end. The other is too hot for me...but the one is like perfect and even seems to match your volume of your source track. I don't know how that thing works, but it's pretty amazing in my opinion. So good, it's too easy to over-use. LOL! Have fun.

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    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    Perfect! My Manley TNT is in the shop so I've been using a Martech MSS-10. It's a hell of a preamp, but the thing can get aggressive when being used as much as I've been using it and I find that it's not my favorite pre in the world for tracking everything. This smoother outer should be a life saver for me.

    Brandon

  18. #17

    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    I own a Focusrite Liquid channel. This is a piece of hardward that supposedly emulates at least 40 different "famous" mic preamps (including tube preamps). It also has a built-in compressor and EQ. The only problem is I can't tell a bit of difference between the various preamps. Does anyone else have any feedback on this device? Thanks.

  19. #18

    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    I don't own the focusrite stuff but I can tell you that presets don't usually mean ant thing to me. My educated guess is that the focusrites strength will be clean mic gain. Choose something you like and go. It likely is nothing like whatever it is emulating.

  20. #19

    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    Originally Posted by docjmg311
    I own a Focusrite Liquid channel. This is a piece of hardward that supposedly emulates at least 40 different "famous" mic preamps (including tube preamps). It also has a built-in compressor and EQ. The only problem is I can't tell a bit of difference between the various preamps. Does anyone else have any feedback on this device? Thanks.
    I have no experience with this unit, but to me it's no different than using a plugin on your computer.

    It uses a internal hardware dsp to run modeling firmware to emulate different preamps.

    A plugin uses a cpu to run software to emulate different preamps.

    The latency would be minimal due to the hardware dsp, but the end result would be the same.

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    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    It likely is nothing like whatever it is emulating.
    True. Whether this is a good thing or not, is impossible to know. Authentic and ideal are two different things SOMETIMES.

    I remember a preamp shootout where a guy was griping about his API pres being a little muddy on acoustic guitar. Whatever he was reviewing happened to not have the same mud problems. Of course, APIs are not known for being muddy (by any stretch of the imagination). It's just in that particular situation, without changing mics, placement, guitars, picks, room, bla bla bla bla bal alb al the API wasn't ideal even if API is in the world-class department.

    The point is if Focusrite had an API preset that was a bit thinner sounding than the real thing, it may beat the API in times where mud is a problem.

    It's just another damn variable to have to screw with. In the end, I don't change pres (when I know the mic and pre work well together for X) unless I've exhausted all other options. Having a mic preamp preset seems like yet another hassle.

    Brandon

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    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    Originally Posted by brandondrury
    Authentic and ideal are two different things SOMETIMES.
    Kind of like chinese food.

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    Re: Tube VS. Analog Mic Pre's

    ha!!!!! Yeah, that kinda sums it up.

    Brandon

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