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Firestudio Mobile and Eureka
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markyeldham
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Joined: 16/09/2010 22:05:11
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Hi Guys,

Could really do with some advice re the Eureka and FS Mobile preamps. I have a FS Mobile with which I'm getting some great results and was about to purchase the Eureka after reading so many glowing reviews and being very impressed with a demo of it. I assumed that the preamp in the Eureka would be significantly better than those in my FS Mobile but after delving though the technical stats for both the Eureka and my FS Mobile on the Presonus site it looks like preamps on my FS Mobile are the same if not better than that of the Eureka.

Could anyone tell me if this is the case as if so I would probably be better off looking at a dedicated compressor instead such as the Really Nice Compressor by FMR.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 09/07/2011 02:14:11

markyeldham
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Anyone please?
hue
Presonic
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Joined: 27/08/2010 07:54:06
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Not worth the money. If you want a real improvement in the preamps, you'll need to spend more money. Consider the ADL600. Unfortunately it takes that kind of investment to really justify outboard pres. Look for a used Groove Tubes Brick or check out True Systems P-Solo. There aren't many decent preamps under $500. Maybe a Grace M101.

If it's the compressor that you're looking at, consider investing in a good plugin suite. IK Multimedia have some good ones. For that matter most emulated plugins are very good and considerably cheaper per channel than a good compressor or eq is on it's own.

It's up to you. Having the tactile aspect of a hardware channel strip can really help you to listen better than having to move a mouse around. That in itself may be worth the money. On the other hand once it's on disc, that's it. You can't fix it if it sounds broke.
Elliot Easton: "(You make me feel so bad, I wish I was back sleeping in) The Testicles Of My Dad"- Renaming the song performed by Dan Alder @ Guitar Superstar 2010
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talmen
Presonoid
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:56:13
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They are not the same preamp as in the FSM. I believe the Eureka shares some topology with the MP20 and M80 preamps, which feature transformer coupling, and that gives a pretty different sound than the ones in the FSM. I definitely agree the something like an ADL600 is a more significant step up, but a Eureka is a pretty nice unit, too, and good for the money. If you like to track with FX, I'd recommend it. (I prefer to use plug-ins for processing, and track dry.)

Unless you have a really outstanding hardware compressor, I really prefer plug-ins for that duty. If it was me, I'd concentrate on getting the best preamp(s) I could afford and skip the hardware compression/EQ.

Another thing to think about is whether the preamp is the part of your signal chain/recording system that needs the most attention. Are you after a particular sound that you're not getting? Will changing your preamp be the most effective means of achieving your immediate and long-term goals? It may very well be, depending on where you are at with getting your studio together, but I'd encourage you to consider all of your improvement possibilities carefully, if you haven't done so already. (I say that partly because I think one quickly get to a point in their investment is this stuff -- whether you do this as a hobby or a business -- where you have to start spending some major $$ to chase what are ever smaller, and more elusive/marginal improvements in the end product. I am a proponent of seeing just how much performance you can squeeze out of every bit of gear you've got, and avoiding the treadmill of "gotta have the latest thing," which is really beside the point, and which can very easily bleed you dry.) [NOTE: Do as I say, not as I do, as far as that goes, though -- I have to admit I'm a gear/software junkie. I need one of those t-shirts that says that "my plug-in list is longer than yours!" ] You'll definitely need to spend around $500 to get ahold of something that is significantly better than the FSM preamps, but there are quite a few out there for under $1000 that are very good.

Another cheaper alternative would be to pick up a used MP20 on ebay for somewhere around $150-300. I have several of them (and an M80), and the only thing I've used that I thought was all that much better than them was a Millennia HV series, but then you're really getting up into the big-leagues, price-wise.

Field Kit:
MacBook Pro 9.2 i5 2.5 GHz, 8GB RAM,
OS 10.8.5;
A & H Qu-16, AB1818VSL, Alesis IO14 / IO26,
PreSonus S1 v2.6.2.25990, Boom Recorder 8.3.2

Studio Kit:
iMac 11.3, i7 (Quad) 2.93GHz, 8 GB RAM,
OS 10.9.3,
M-Audio FW1814, PreSonus Faderport,
PreSonus S1 Pro 2.6.2.25590
markyeldham
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Joined: 16/09/2010 22:05:11
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Guys,

Thanks for the comments and suggestions - very useful and much appreciated and as you both say it's so easy to fall into the gear lust frame of mind and make purchases with your heart rather than your head.

I don't have an issue with the preamps on my FS Mobile - they're certainly quiet and clean and I certainly don't want to spend money on another premap unless it's to offer any noticeable improvement. It was partly the voice channel side of the Eureka that I was interested in as I do a lot of recording with a female singer who has an incredible voice but the material we do is acoustic with a lot of dynamics and I need to tame and reduce some of the dynamic spikes on her vocals with subtle use of compression as any agressive use of compression/limiter will be too noticeable. I'm not really succeeding at the moment and have ended up on several tracks going through each entire track manually making lots of individul voclume corrections but it's such a headache and very time consuming.

I was kinda hoping a dedicated channel such as the eureka would help me to at least subtlely tame some of the dynamic spikes before they were recorded so that they were more manageable.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 10/07/2011 12:36:47

Telemurph
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Joined: 28/03/2011 02:36:08
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Location: Virginia
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It really depends on what you need (or want) to do. A channel strip, like the Eureka is really handy when you hav a vocalist that is a little unruley or inexperienced in dynamics. But you can get very similar results by recording at a slightly lower level and automating the levels, plug-in a compressor or limiter, and do some good mixing.

I have two Eurekas that I use for various things. I like to record banjo and dobro with a little compression on a ribbon mic. The pre definately helps with the ribbon mic and I can tweak the the eq if needed.

I also have two Focusrite IAS Ones. I like to use them on vocals and acoustic guitar. I also have an Art MPA Gold tube preamp that sounds good on some bass parts, depending on the genre, song and the player.

I'm running two FSPs, so needless to say, I like the Xmax Pres, the only issue I have is when I run the external pres is I prefer to go into the "pre amp in" on channel one or two so I'm bypassing the internal preamp.

The main thing is to use your ears and learn to trust them. I buy gear when I need to, after I have tried to get the sound that I'm looking for and can't. I try to buy stuff that is versitile.

Talmen has a great point about looking for where you can make the most cost effective improvements. In my experience the biggest variable in sound quality is always on the other side of the mic. After that, having the right mic for the job, then as you progress up the signal chain, you sort of go along a curve of diminishing returns until you get to speakers on the output end.

My two cents,
Telemurph
PC: HP Pavillion, MS XPPro, SP 3
2 FSP
2 Eureka
HP4
Central Station with remote
2 Focusrite ISA One
1 MPA Gold
Soundcraft SR200
Furman HD-6/HR-6 headphone system
markyeldham
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Joined: 16/09/2010 22:05:11
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Once again thanks for the suggestions and great advice guys. Although I'm getting some good results (well results I'm happy with) it's just the dynamics on some of the vocals range so much that it is really a headache to control. I'm sure most of it is just down to inexperience on my part and I'm guess I'm just looking for some way to cut a few corners and make my life easier and I was kind of hoping a channel strip like the eureka would give me a helping hand.

I'm recording everything at 24bit so have plenty of headroom and I'm making sure that all the vocals are nice and loud I'm still leaving a few dbs clear. But there are a lot of peaks in some of the vocal takes which I'm having to manually reduce using faders and automation because I just don't seem to be able to even out the dynamics enough using compression.
Telemurph
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Joined: 28/03/2011 02:36:08
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Location: Virginia
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markyeldham,

You should be able to get good results with either a limiter or compressor plug-in (or both) on the vocal track. If you haven't already, take a look at the Dynamics Processing Tips and Tricks article from the Community/Learn pull down menu on the Presonus Home Page. There is a good primer there and some good setting suggestions to try. I would also suggest that you look around on the net for other compression tutorials. There is a lot of good stuff out there; I learn something new everyday.

You should also experiment with "working" the mic as you sing. Move closer on the soft passages and move away on the louder passages, or turn slightly off axis with the mic. Experiment with different mics, too. Sometimes, a dynamic mic works better than a condenser for a high energy vocal. Sometimes singing "under" or "over " the mic works well too.

The main thing is to not give up. Keep after it and you will find something that works.

Telemurph
PC: HP Pavillion, MS XPPro, SP 3
2 FSP
2 Eureka
HP4
Central Station with remote
2 Focusrite ISA One
1 MPA Gold
Soundcraft SR200
Furman HD-6/HR-6 headphone system
markyeldham
Prenoob

Joined: 16/09/2010 22:05:11
Messages: 37
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Hi Telemurph,

Thanks for the advice and words or encouragement. I guess there is a little frustration creeping in there and re the compression I have a read a few articles including the great compression guide on the Presonus site. I'm not a stupid guy and normally I pick things up so quickly but I'm really struggling to get my head around using the compressors in S1 properly. I understand the basic principles and while I'm getting reasonable results I'm just not acheiving the results I need - I know it's not my equpiment or S1 - I guess it's just like everything else with Music - knowing the theory is one thing but having the experience and know how to put it into physical practise is another matter and as with most of us home/bedroom studio enthusiasts - I guest I'm trying to learn in days and weeks what it has probably taken experienced engineers many years to properly master and understand?

Anonymous



markyeldham wrote:Hi Telemurph,

Thanks for the advice and words or encouragement. I guess there is a little frustration creeping in there and re the compression I have a read a few articles including the great compression guide on the Presonus site. I'm not a stupid guy and normally I pick things up so quickly but I'm really struggling to get my head around using the compressors in S1 properly. I understand the basic principles and while I'm getting reasonable results I'm just not acheiving the results I need - I know it's not my equpiment or S1 - I guess it's just like everything else with Music - knowing the theory is one thing but having the experience and know how to put it into physical practise is another matter and as with most of us home/bedroom studio enthusiasts - I guest I'm trying to learn in days and weeks what it has probably taken experienced engineers many years to properly master and understand?



This is actually a very common theme... The good news is: This isn't theoretical physics! With some study and trial and error (and a great set of ears) you should have no trouble getting the results you want. There's just no substitute for experience and tenacity

The Eureka is a fantastic piece of kit, although I am with Talmen when it comes to gear (I'm a convicted gear-head, albeit a frugal one). There's no sense in just throwing gear at a problem. Make sure you do the necessary research and seek out other folks that are in the know (such as what you're doing now and make your gear purchase based on what you know for certain!

Good Luck and happy music making!

Cheers,

Jason
 
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