We’re back with another FAQ Friday!
Today’s episode is sponsored by our good friends over at Austrian Audio!
Today’s featured question is: “Do you need a separate mic pre along with an audio interface or can you connect the mic directly into the interface? Are there benefits? Or drawbacks to either?”
I spent a lot of time researching and talking and trying out different interfaces and we use all kinds of interfaces! We have Apogee, UAD, and of course we use a lot of the Audient stuff! We also love and use the Steinberg because of its connect ability. When we go to other studios and record from different consoles we need something with tons of inputs! – The Steinberg, being a German design, is superly heavily engineered.
The reality is, I’ve done many demos using the ID14 or the ID44 from Audient, which is totally inexpensive. 90% of my life is recording 1 or 2 microphones at a time. As much as I love recording drums, I’m not doing it 8 – 10 hours a day!
With the interfaces, we usually just go straight in. When we’re tracking on an inexpensive interface, we’re using the mic pres. We’re big fans of the Audient mic-pres. They take a lot of their technology from their more expensive consoles and put it into that. However you look at it when you’re talking about inexpensive interfaces, if you don’t go over about 65% on a level, you’re never really going to hear any audible clipping. You’re printing a good clean level! Which is a wonderful thing. With a nice clean level in there, you can start applying all of the dirt on afterwards.
So why am I highlighting that? Well, if you’ve got a nice mic, something that’s not colouring it too much, and then you check your mic pre that’s built into your interface, and you print something that’s very clean with no colouration, you have the world at your fingertips!
Why do you think every week someones bringing out a new tape emulation? Saturation – Waves have got 5 brand new saturators! We love them all! Everyone’s doing really great stuff!
The new console emulation that we just tried out last week with Brainworx, the 9000J – All of these things have characteristics and sounds.
You want to print something very clean going in so that you can then choose how you want to do it afterwards. Not even necessarily afterwards- you can have that plugin running while you’re tracking. One of the wonderful things about UAD is that there is almost zero latency and you can track through their plugins.
The answer to this question is: How do you want to record? Are you someone who wants to go into a great drum room or own a great drum room and have a beautiful selection of mic pres that have a characteristic and a sound, and you want to print through it? If you are, I totally get it! I’ve got a ton of outboard gear!
Having said that, I know I could get a great result with a great singer through an Audient, through my Steinberg, through the Apogee, through the UAD! I know that I can get that result using the built in mic pres! These days it’s all about what exactly is your methodology. What do you want to achieve, and how do you want to achieve it?