In The Studio with Lady J

LadyJ discusses studio preamps for new engineers and artist to record with in home studios.  



What's up everybody? I'm LadyJ aka CreateLadyJ, owner of WTS Recordings and I'm here to talk to you guys today about microphone preamps. This is the number one thing that I'm asked about when it comes to home studios and people making their recordings sound better, brighter, and overall more ready to be professionally mixed and mastered, if you're not coming here to record.  

So, the big thing about gear wars is oh, I don't have thousands of dollars to buy what you have here or whoever has wherever. That's okay. Because a lot of the times when you're starting out, you want to buy the things that are in your price point. You can still get good, good quality as long as you pair things together right, and look up videos like this, get good recommendations and send it to us the professionals, to complete it for you.  

In any case, the very first microphone preamp that I had was called the Arts MP Project. A lot of the times, microphone preamps have other things on it like EQ and compression. And you can see more details about what EQ and compression is in other videos, but all the bells and whistles are not really necessary, especially when you're first starting out. What a preamp does is it makes your voice louder, clearer, and captures more of the dynamic and natural sound of what you're recording. Instead of turning the volume in the program that you're using, or what have you. Now also do not get confused because there are usually mic preamps that come with your interfaces. One of the biggest ones is the Scarlet. Everyone loves a Scarlet. Scarlet's amazing. But I would highly recommend that you don't just rely on that. 

You want to get a separate device to do your amplifying, have it go through your interface, and amplify it again. So that is the very, very first thing that I would buy. And I would like to share with you a couple of other things.  

Now, the Art Tube MP is what it's called. That's $119 on the market. Very good. And you know what's crazy, when I first got it, it was like $69. I think they realized how good this thing is. But 119 out the door, you're good. And a lot of the times you could find it in other places like Reverb or find it used at Guitar Center. Make sure it works. Make sure everything's good, and you're set. Get it even cheaper.  

Now, the first preamp I'm going to share with you is this. It's called a Focusrite Saffire. Now this was my third preamp. I honestly don't remember what the second one was. But you see all the different knobs. These are the bells and whistles that preamps or other outboard gear might come with. They have your EQ, your compression, some gating. Again, all these things could be seen in later videos, but just know that preamps, when they get a little more expensive, they have more bells and whistles. This is on the market for 599.  

Now my latest one, and the one that you will see when you come to WTS Recordings, is the Avalon. And with the Avalon, oh my God, these are amazing. So not only is this a preamp, but they have tubes in them. And what a tube does is it will brighten up and get that clarity in the vocals that everybody wants. But it'll also warm it and soothe it, and make it sound so natural. But this is 1500, probably 1800 now, because these are apparently not being made anymore. Since the pandemic, the factory shut down. I don't know. WTS has two of them. Made sure I had to get another one.  

In any case, the very first piece of gear you should get outside of your microphone, your microphone interface, and computer interface, and the cores that you need. Your XLR cables, whichever dial you're using, whether it's Pro Tools or Logic or FL Studio. Well, I started with Audacity, free program recorded on, had fun. There's so many out there. But microphone preamp. So LadyJ signing off. See you next time on the next video.