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Can a USB interface sound as good as an expensive preamp?

 
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Jowillie
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:20 pm    Post subject: Can a USB interface sound as good as an expensive preamp? Reply with quote

Don't ask me. Judge for yourself:
Mic Mate vs Millenia HV-3

Not plugging a particular brand, but the concept is interesting.
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bobsouer
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Willie,

Very interesting.
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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very interesting indeed ... i don't have the mic mate - but the micport pro ... i i think that little bugger is great!
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Jowillie
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
i think that little bugger is great!
Tell us about it. How are you using it.
Thanks.
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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i use it with my road rig. laptop running AA 1.5 > micport pro > at4050

from hotel rooms to the backseat of a mercury mountaineer i have had ZERO
issues. sound quality 90%+ as good as my studio at home. i have never had a client complain about the sound & the only trouble i had in the back of the car was that it was HOT, and for the first 5 minutes i was talking into the back of the mic.
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Eddie Eagle
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out all my work and demos. I use a M-Audio Mobile PreUSB for my 415 and my Rode NTK. The NTK has a power supply.

I get excellent results. 95% of the time the clients end up using raw audio anyway and I have no worries.
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Lance Blair
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't find that test useful at all...everything sounds shrill and distorted no matter if it's through a Neve, a Millennia, or the MXL...so of course they all sound similar. He's offering up three flavors of lousy, and it has nothing to do with the preamps.

Compare the sound of the intro and outro music of the piece to the test audio or narration audio. That music sounds good and rich, whereas the Millennia through an Apogee shouldn't sound that bad as it does in the test at all. He's got something nasty going on in the digital domain that's narrowing everything into junk, so of course the MXL sounds the same.

Still, the amount of "hiss" in the VO test for the MXL I found to be unacceptable.

Whenever somebody says pieces of gear sound similar, I become skeptical about either their monitoring or their computer.

I'm a big booster of MXL gear, and the Mic Mate is a neat little product, but it does not perform anywhere near the level of a Neve or a Millennia unless the signal is all messed up as it is in this test. It's like saying an ugly person is actually as good looking as a beautiful person if you look at them through a fun house mirror.

He says "Surprisingly close" on the mandolin sample. Is he talking about the horrible click and clipping at the end of each mandolin sample? I mean, if he can't hear that blatant mistake he's got no business doing technical tests.

I've heard samples of the Micport Pro from people who know what they're doing, and they do sound very good.
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Edo
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree with Lance...
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Eddie Eagle
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

quasithreadjack here, Edo, That is one funny Roland baby photo avatar. Laugh
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georgethetech
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a bit of a harsh "gearslutz" type response there, Lance, but you are correct.
Also, MXL released a new version of the Mic Mate with Zero Latency monitoring like the MicPort Pro, but don't be fooled. They are NOT in the same league sonically.
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Diane Maggipinto
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i agree the "vocal test 1-2-3 vocal test 1-2-3" (wow! creative!) is overmodulated and/or shrill.

but i can speak to the mic port pro, which i love and am happy to have. i use it on the road, and have had great results, both in open spaces and in closets, with or without bedspread-over-head technique. i especially like having it as a backup in case anything goes south with my permanent set up, and it eases my mind to know i can use it with my laptop while i move the studio gear around ... sooner than later, i hope.

one thing i DO need to do is futz with the gain/volume a bit. bruce hired me for a gig while i was in hawaii and he commented that there was a bit of sibilance. could have just been my excitement over another drug rehab hospital spot Wink
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Yoda117
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

soundgun wrote:
That's a bit of a harsh "gearslutz" type response there, Lance, but you are correct.


Don't get me started George.

Using an flv to judge audio quality is not a good call, same goes for any compressed format, quite frankly. That said, I still preferred the Millennium (not by much... bad clips) since I could at least hear most of the lower registers.

If this is what I heard with the MicPort Pro, I'd not have bought one for my travel kit.
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