Tech Tuesday—How to Choose the Right Preamp for Bass, Kick, Snare & Vocals




In this week’s episode of Tech Tuesday, Steve Lamm, Instructor at Dark Horse Institute talks to you about how to choose the right preamp for different instruments, along with some of his personal preferences.

Many people ask, does a more expensive Preamp really make a difference? Absolutely! In this video, Steve compares multiple preamps and their characteristics.

Using bass as an example of the different effects you can achieve, Steve starts with a Brent Averill 1073, which he pegs as a personal favorite. Next, he tries an API 3124 preamp to demonstrate a more aggressive sound with less low end. The Vintech X81 preamp boasts a Neve style design with an expanded EQ. The Summit Dual Tube adds a round sound that brings an interesting character to the instrument. The DBX 786 can be used to achieve a super clean sound. Lastly don’t count out the preamps on the SSL 6000, a console that is used and taught at Dark Horse Institute. Steve is a personal fan of the Neve style preamps like 1073, 1084, and 1064, as they offer a rounder, fuller sound on the low end. API, another favorite, brings a punchier sound to the mix. Neve preamps are great for kick, snare, electric guitar and bass, while APIs are excellent for high hat, overhead mics, acoustic guitar, and violin. Other great preamps come from John Hardy and George Massenberg. These particular preamps are designed to give a straight sound with no added character, while the Neve and API aim to change the sound but in a very pleasing way.

There are lots of great options to use. Choosing the right preamp for your sound can not only add a lot to the sound of your recordings but also allow you the freedom to create your sound.

If you found this video helpful then don’t forget to check out other Dark Horse Institute Tech Tuesday videos for more tips and tricks on mastering your music production skills. Interested in How to Use UA’s SPL Transient Designer Plug-in To Get A Big Drum Room Sound ? We will show you how in minutes!

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