Recording Tutorial

Microphone Preamps Explained®

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11 Videos | Length: 1hr 24min 15sec
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  • Intro to Microphone Preamps 17:18

    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.

  • Why Microphone Preamps? 3:03

    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.

  • Features 2:45


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

  • Impedance 4:49


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

  • You Get What You Pay For 5:35

    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!

  • Types of Preamps 2:57

    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.

  • Mic Pres on Electric & Acoustic Guitars 13:49

    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.)

  • Mic Pres on Rhodes & Synths 12:24

    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.)

  • Mic Pres on Bass & Vocals 9:28

    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.)

  • Mic Pres on Drums 5:40

    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.)

  • Gain Structure 6:27

    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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