Recording Tutorial

Microphone Preamps Explained®

  4.8   (44)  - log in to review
11 Videos | Length: 1hr 24min 15sec
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    Intro to Microphone Preamps

    Designed for the beginner, Scottie gives you a crash course on Mic Preamps. Learn all about what they do and how to hook them up.

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    Why Microphone Preamps?

    Scottie now turns the videos over to his friend and colleague Brian Zieske's and his pro studio, where Brian talks more about preamps, how to use them, and why this link in the recording chain is so important.

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    Go deeper into what exactly a microphone preamp does, and take a look at their features and functions.

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    Learn exactly what this term means, as well as hear the what different impedance settings make on your microphones and their sound.

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    You Get What You Pay For

    Discover why people spend $1000 or more on a piece of hardware that just makes things louder. Watch and find out!

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    Types of Preamps

    Preamps come in all types of flavors. Brian goes over each type of preamp, their differences, and what you can expect from using the different types of preamps.

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    Mic Pres on Electric & Acoustic Guitars

    Now take a listen to an electric and acoustic guitar through various microphone preamps, and what each does to their sound. (High quality monitoring or headphones recommended.)

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    Mic Pres on Rhodes & Synths

    Experience what different mic pre amps sound like on a Fender Rhodes piano and a Roland Juno 60 synthesizer. (High quality monitoring or headphones recommended.)

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    Mic Pres on Bass & Vocals

    Bass and Vocals are next, and microphone preamps really make a big difference on these 2 sources. See and hear the sounds! (High quality monitoring or headphones recommended.)

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    Mic Pres on Drums

    Now you?ll finish up the preamp critical listening videos with everyone's favorite, the drums. (High quality monitoring or headphones recommended.)

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    Gain Structure

    Wrapping it up, you'll learn why proper Gain Structure is one of the most important parts of the recording process, and how it's often overlooked. After watching you'll know how to properly set your mic pre's gain level to maximize your recording signal and get a great sound.

Product Overview

New to recording with Microphone Preamps? Not sure of the differences between a $100 preamp and a $1000 preamp? Well pull up a seat and hang out with Scottie Dugan and Brian Zieske, as they show you everything you need to know to get started with using microphone preamps!

This series is designed for those who never used a microphone preamp before, and want to know about all the common features and controls found on mic pres, as well as how to set them up. It also touches on how the components and circuit design varies between units, and gives some sonic examples between an inexpensive “all-in-one” mic pre / audio interface and more expensive stand alone mic pres. It's not a mic-pre "shoot out" however, and we chose the MOTU because there are so many out in the field, and the others because they are studio staples.

Scottie starts off the series welcoming you, and then gives a crash course on Mic Preamps, covering what they are and do, they’re different features and functions, and how to hook them up.

Scottie then turns the show over to his friend and colleague Brian Zieske, who invites you into his pro studio for some critical listening videos featuring different types of Mic Pres on different sources. Instruments include Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Fender Rhodes, a Juno 60 Synth, Bass Guitar, Vocals, and Drums, so you can really hear the differences between various mic preamps. (High quality monitoring or headphones recommended.)

Wrapping it up, you’ll learn about one of the most important, but often overlooked aspects of using a microphone preamp, Gain Structure. With this set correctly, you’ll get much better sounding recordings and have correct levels into your recording interface, and that’s a good thing.

See the individual tutorial descriptions below for more info. If you’re just getting started recording and have no clue what a microphone preamp is, just want to brush up on using them, or hear the differences they make on different sources, check out “Microphone Preamps Explained®” today!

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Microphone Preamps Explained® is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 44 .
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Loved this series This series is brilliant for everyone, newbies and oldies. It is good for newbies as it demystifies mic preamps and the last video concerning gain staging. For oldies like me, it's good to refresh. A brilliantly explained and thought out series, thank you
Date published: 2021-01-13
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very helpful So much clearer now and so important to capturing your best performance.
Date published: 2020-11-29
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Perfect explanation Crystal clear
Date published: 2020-11-10
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Very insightful listening analysis of the three high end preamps involved. I found it very insightful in terms of listening experience. It helped pointing out the differences between the preamps involved. However, I would have liked to hear more models but I understand they're very expensive!
Date published: 2020-11-04
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from The best Tutorial I have learned so much about the theory behind preamps and the audio examples that were presented for each instrument class really showed how the signal could be coloured.
Date published: 2020-10-30
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very Helpful Brought clarity to some questions I had.
Date published: 2020-09-12
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Very good and helpful. This gave a very good compairison of the different type of mic pres and well informed video
Date published: 2020-08-05
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very helpful I just bought my first tube pre and this tutorial really helped me understand the setup.
Date published: 2020-07-17
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Great Explanation Great introduction to different quality types of preamps. This one helps a lot
Date published: 2020-05-20
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very nice to see how different pres compared Very nice to see how different pres compared
Date published: 2020-02-13
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Hits the nail on the head ... Gives a clear, easy to understand introduction to the basic concepts involved with the initial processing of electric instrument and microphonic signals within a recording paradigm. Viewers should gain insight into why they would or wouldn't want to spend more money on such equipment.
Date published: 2019-11-15
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very informative with lots of examples! This title provides some elementary mic preamps theory (and not just about preamps!) along with a lot of sound examples - this only shows that there is no one ideal preamp (even in the same music genre) and there is no one ideal preamp setting. Very interesting to watch and listen to!
Date published: 2019-11-03
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Important information explained simply and understandably. I have been working with music production a while and basically I knew everything before but...comparison between pre amps was very helpful and rest of information gained my theoretical knowledge and answered to few why's and what's.
Date published: 2019-07-14
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Best PRE AMP Tutorial Ever! Well, the moment , I saw this about the PRE-Amp, i was so excited to have this on and it a Tonnes of Information that Groove3 had done this. I highly recommend this video for today's Upcoming Music Producers / Home Studio users and also engineers with experience to buy this Product. If you wanted to honestly improve your Recording quality then, just buy it. No second thoughts! L.Baba Prasad
Date published: 2019-05-06
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Must watch for newbies. Great overview. Really lets you hear the difference in mic pres.
Date published: 2019-03-14
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from helpfull it help me understand more about preamps
Date published: 2019-03-08
Rated 3.0 out of 5 by from Less than on par with others I've enjoyed every course so far, but found the videos on mic preamps just a little lacking. I presume that a lot of people, like me, buy a preamp for the main purpose of enhancing vocal tracks. To have the demonstration on vocals put at the end of another video on bass guitar just didn't give it enough attention-- and on top of that, the vocalist repeats only one syllable, "Ooooo" which does almost nothing to describe the spectrum of sound that will be recorded through the preamp. Specific questions I had are: what specifically does the thick knob do ( does this take us into the area of pres with EQ?) and.. was the acoustic guitar played from a piezo pickup, some sort of blend pickup, thru a mic? Thanks for all the great tutorials, but I'll be looking for more info on using my pre, and a definition of "flicker".
Date published: 2019-02-24
Rated 3.0 out of 5 by from Good stuff but... Most people use cheaper pre-amps. I.m a big fan of GA. Why they show the amp but don.t use it I don’t know. Maybe because the GA is pretty good stuff but way cheaper.
Date published: 2019-01-31
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very Helpful Very Helpful
Date published: 2018-12-31
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from This Helped A Lot! I finally have a better idea on how to record properly and get the best out of my current recording kit. This will help me so much in my future productions! Thank you!
Date published: 2018-10-21
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very Helpful! This tutorial provides a decent insight into the often mysterious world of mic pres. The delivery is easy to follow and the examples are clearly explained. Only thing I wish was explored/explained further is the concept of connecting and gain staging synths (unbalanced TS jacks) via preamps. Nonetheless a highly recommended turorial.
Date published: 2018-06-11
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Exactly what I was looking for! I am just a short way into these so far. I am taking my time. It speaks directly to equipment I own and am very satisfied with this!!!
Date published: 2018-05-10
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Helpful I liked that they focused on hardware! Man online tutorials only focus on recording and mixing in the box.
Date published: 2018-04-22
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from very helpful Really gave me a great understanding of the different attributes of various mic pres.
Date published: 2018-01-01
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great information and examples Leaned a lot with this. Clear, to the point and plenty of ear knowledge
Date published: 2017-11-08
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from good series does a good job of describing the subtle difference between mic pres
Date published: 2017-10-07
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from A lot of useful information. Why do I love Groove3? The first time I viewed this course I gave it a poor rating, so Groove3 contacted me to find out what I objected to. There were flaws in the volume levels in the original presentation that drove me crazy. I explained and lo and behold, they fixed it! I viewed it again top to bottom and now I was able to concentrate on the VERY useful and valid information contained in this course. A company that cares that much gets my vote and dollars. This course is not for the very advanced user, but to give home studios and other project operations some true and useful information about preamps. The authors are well up on the tech side of things and it is handy to know these things. Be very aware of their signal to noise information because that one little thing can make a HUGE difference.
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Really helpful...shows how to tweak. Has real world applications...and compares and contrasts various pres...
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Video was interesting and helpful Everything was well explained. Well worth the watch.
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very helpful The instructor was very knowledgable
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Very useful tutorial! Finally somebody explained in simple words the relationship between VU and dBFS !, thanks!.
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very Educational! I love it when I am actually learning something new and in the areas of impedance and gain structure this series finally cleared up several issues that I have just never bothered to learn. So thats me being lazy, fortunately these tutorials are helping me out to finally get the clarity that I need.
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Top stuff Well worth a look at this one, for all of us whose only 'analog' experience is the audio interface into our computers - highly recommended
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Very helpful... The most important teaching method is demonstrations. It really helps.
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great tutorials... very helpful! Very well done.
Date published: 2017-09-04
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great video series! Great explanation on preamp topic! Great lectors!
Date published: 2017-09-03
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from awesome opened my understanding of why u need 1
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Excelent!! Clear and Depth Fantastic!!
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Good find! So glad I found this training...I've been slogging through one tutorial after another for the last 18 mo.s and, so far, the videos have tied a lot of stuff together for me!
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Thank you!!!! Thanks to this tutorial I know understand why different preamps sound like they do. It was also great to see them taken apart. Thank you so much!!!
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Enlightening!! First of it's kind explaining pre-amp usage. I have a few nice ones and now I have a better insight as to how to use them.
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Lots of useful information presented in understandable terms! The last segment, Gain Structure, left me wanting you to explain the various meter scaling, e.g., Peak, RMS, K-System. Perhaps you could include a discussion pertaining to LUFS and the recent loudness standards.
Date published: 2017-08-28
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great examples. I am especially impressed by the sound examples given for different instruments and preamps. This was very helpful in directing my ear to different sound qualities and ways to describe them.
Date published: 2017-08-28
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Great Very nice to be able to hear a/b comparisons on various signal sources, between a cheap interface, a couple of solid states, and a tube pre.
Date published: 1969-12-31
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