Pre-Amps are important just like microphones and for years I would take them both for granted. When I first got started into recording I never took Pre-amps and microphones serious and my first recordings were real lo fi sounding. Back then I thought the only thing important was the Emcee, DJ, MPC and sound card interface. I learned slowly that even if you mix vocals to your best ability the signal chain you use is more important.
Great River ME-1NV $1150
Buying the latest plugin will not get you the sonic quality you are after with a mediocre Pre-amp. I’ve tried many cheap ones from the built-in pre-amp in my RME Fireface 800, Behringer and Art Pre-amps. You will never get perfection using the ones I’ve mentioned above. An individual will have to reach further in their pockets to get good sound quality. Sound quality cost so having a good signal chain is the answer.
Universal Audio Solo 610 $1000
Spending over a $1000 will put you in the territory of good sound. You can’t be cheap when comes to a hardware pre-amps because the quality components will help with the quality of sound. I learned this the hard way so please save up and get the best Pre-amp you can get. This post is not about recommending Pre-amps but more about the mindset you must have when searching for a suitable Pre-amp to use. Please don’t be cheap because your music will sound cheap.
True Systems P-Solo $599.95. Not in $1000 price range but heard good things about it.
Bedroom producers must step their game up to get notice in an over saturated playing field. If you are on the quest to get a studio going please don’t undervalue hardware. Today software can do a lot but presently can’t fully replace quality hardware components especially pre-amps. Technology is getting better but research what’s available. Check out Sweetwater. They have very helpful staff that have an extensive knowledge on gear. Sweetwater makes sure they educate their staff to have knowledge on the latest gear and technology. There’s my plug.
Also check out Sweetwater