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AF in studio: any benefit from mic pre's?

edo

Power User
Vendor
I generally always tweak my presets for live use, but in the last year I obviously found myself much more involved in studio sessions than live playing. So because I am considering to upgrade my home studio with some fine mic pre's / compressors etc to use for tracking vocals, acoustic guitar etc, I was wondering whether the axe could benefit from a pre, or it would be pointless since a pre is already printed in any given IR... thoughts?
 

Greg Ferguson

Fractal Fanatic
I see no reason to use a mic preamp in front of, or after, either the FX3 or FM3. They're already equipped with very capable A/D and D/A converters, plus have digital out allowing you to sidestep multiple conversions, keeping the signal as pure as possible all the way to the DAW.

If you want a preamp to color the sound, both devices have multiple ways of adding them, plus the DAW will have them, so I personally would avoid the hardware redundancy when it's not necessary.

I think I'd even be tempted to use the FM3 or FX3 as the preamp for the acoustic guitar and vocals, at least until something convinced me it wasn't up to the task. They're basically little two and four channel recording studio effect racks already when you look at the effects, EQs and A/D conversion, they just lack the recording capability.
 

Andrew Male

Experienced

Ben.Last

Experienced
You need a mic pre to get the level high enough. Also, what about phantom power?

https://forum.fractalaudio.com/thre...e-fx-iii-using-a-dynamic-mic-problems.140047/
That thread is about using a microphone through the AFX. The op is talking about using the AFX through mic pres, not about running anything other than guitars through the AFX.

OP, until I switched to spdif I was running xlr through one of my Audient's mic pres. The gain was turned all the way down and, since switching, I haven't noticed any change in tone whatsoever.
 

henryrobinett

Fractal Fanatic
I don't think using a mic pre is important ad can defeat the work on your presets, unless you program it with that in mind. I did a recording session a few years ago with an engineer who just didn't get it. He refused to listen to me, assuming he knew best and put all of his Neve pres on the Axe II. It really messed up the sound. Luckily I was reamping anyway. But it you use the wiz bang pres and outboard compressors as part of the preset it could be cool. I use outboard reverbs along with the onboard reverbs.
 

RevDrucifer

Power User
I think it’d be adding an extra, unneeded step in the way.

I’m at the point now where I’m barely needing to EQ anything in post. I’ve been mixing some songs and instead of EQ’ing the guitars, I run the DI into the AxeFX and tweak the preset in AxeEdit as it’s playing along with the rest of the mix. Then I just save the preset and next time I’m working on a song in the same vein, I’ve already got the tones dialed in.
 

Andrew Male

Experienced
That thread is about using a microphone through the AFX. The op is talking about using the AFX through mic pres, not about running anything other than guitars through the AFX.
I know.... I was replying to Greg who mentioned using it in front of the axe....
 

Callan

Experienced
No reason not to try it and see.
You might like it, you might not, or you might not be able to tell the difference.

I think there was a thread here somebody trying to replicate an API pre using a drive block.

I personally would avoid a/d conversion as often as possible, but curiosity would kill me until I heard it for myself.
 
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Werpinater

Inspired
I don’t think you’ll need the pre’s for the Axe (unless you want to run a mic with phantom power through the Axe then you’ll need the pre in front of the Axe), but if you already have them for acoustic and vocals, it could be fun to try and play with on the Axe. In the end if it sounds right and fun to you, then go for it! You could get some cool character results, without having to adjust a preset. Some tones might work, and some might not be quite what you are looking for. But could be a fun experiment!
 

edo

Power User
Vendor
Definitely worth trying. A mic pre is a great way to add extra character to a guitar track.
Oh, yeah, I know! I will surely try, i was just making sure it would not be a wrong principle, like eg connecting an amp sim into a guitar amp, since I always assumed the mic preamp character should already be printed in the ir one is using.
 

laxu

Power User
If you need a mic pre for vocals or micing a cab etc then go for it but for plugging a guitar into it I would not bother. You can already use the mic pre sim in the cab block.
 

yek

Legend!
I have a Neve RNDI which I used when I I recorded my acoustic through the III, and it sure attributed (in a good way) to the result.
 

Piing

Fractal Fanatic
Don't forget to try the different Preamps at the CAB block (in Hi-Res mode). They add very interesting character. I always use them in all my presets.

Cliff says they are based in some famous preamps and consoles, but he doesn't disclose which ones in order to avoid the usual disapproval of the picky grumblers.

Try them before purchasing a Neve 1058 ;)


A good method to get familiarized with the flavors of these preamps is to listen well-recorded music through them. I created a specific preset for that purpose here:

https://forum.fractalaudio.com/thre...hi-end-300b-audiophile-tube-amplifier.172557/

It is using a CAB with a flat IR
 
Last edited:

yek

Legend!
Don't forget to try the different Preamps at the CAB block (in Hi-Res mode). They add very interesting character. I always use them in all my presets.

Cliff says they are based in some famous preamps and consoles, but he doesn't disclose which ones in order to avoid the usual disapproval of the picky grumblers.

Try them before purchasing a Neve 1058 ;)

It’s never been disclosed indeed. There’s some similarity with Ozone though.
 
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