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Microphone Preamps

What is a Microphone Preamp?
Think a minute.  A microphone actually converts sound energy into voltage.  But this voltage is very low, MUCH lower than the voltage coming out of your keyboard or other line level processors.  Your recording device can't use this signal unless it boosted massively.  Hence the preamp.  You already have a mic preamp on your computer, but it's only designed for speech and cheap mic--totally unsuitable for serious work.  You might have Mic preamps on your mixer and they may work perfectly.  However, sometimes we want a better one than is on our mixer.  And if you don't have a mixer and are going mixerless, then you have to have a mic pre.  On this page you will see a lot of different preamps that will boost a microphone signal without adding lots of noise.  Remember that the Mic Pre is one of the "core" devices that provide for sound quality.  You will see that there are many preamps here.  There is one for every budget.   

How does it Connect?

You typically connect the output of the Mic Preamp into the line inputs of the soundcard, mixer, or audio interface.  Some mic pres have digital outs to avoid another digital to analog conversion.  These would connect to the s/pdif in of your interface or soundcard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mics and Preamps Index of Articles
Microphones Introduction
Mics under $100
Set up a Vocal Session
How to Process Vocal Tracks
Recording Vocals
ShureSM81
M-audio Solaris
Cad E200
Mic Preamps
High Quality Mic Preamps
Great River ME1-NV
FMR's Really Nice Preamp
Voicemaster pro
Shure SM7b
Sennheiser MD421
Rode NT1a
ElectroVoice RE20
TLM 103 by Neumann
Shure SM57
Microphone Prices
Prices of Mic Preamps