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Simple question regarding vocal chain routing

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Simple question regarding vocal chain routing

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:47 pm
by maxmatthewsmusic
Simple question regarding vocal chain routing:

Which of these routings is more favorable?

Microphone --> 500 Series Pre-amp --> 500 Series 1176 compressor --> UAD Apollo Twin

or

Microphone --> UAD Apollo Twin --> 500 Series Pre-amp --> 500 Series 1176 compressor --> and then back to UAD Apollo Twin

Thanks for your help and advice

Max

Re: Simple question regarding vocal chain routing

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:40 pm
by CS70
A pre-amp expects (and amplifies) a microphone-level (i.e. low) signal, bringing it to a higher voltage, "line level", so that it can be easily processed by downstream effects (such as a 1176 compressor).

Mic level --preamp--> line level ---effect box---> line level ---effect box---> ....

If you plug the mic in the Twin, you have to use one of the interface preamps. The result will be a line level signal, which won't be suitable to be used by the 500 series pre.

So the first chain is the one that makes sense (and the input that you will use when reaching the interface will be a line input, not a microphone input).

Re: Simple question regarding vocal chain routing

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:13 pm
by maxmatthewsmusic
Thank you for your excellent reply.

The pre-amp I'm using is a Phoenix Audio DRS 1R.
It can switch between line and mic.

If I switch the phoenix pre-amp to 'line' am I correct in assuming that that gives me the option to place the pre-amp after the Apollo Twin in the chain?
e.g. option 2.
Mic --> Apollo --> 500 series Pre-amp --> 500 series 1176 --> back to Apollo.

My reason for asking is that the phoenix-pre add's a particular character to the sound.
It's a lovely sound but it's quite saturated and I figure that the higher I push the phoenix pre-amp the more of this character it will endow.

Being able to boost the signal prior to entering the pre-amp would let me decide how much of this 'phoenix' colour I want.

Am I correct ? Or is all signal affected the same regardless of how hard the pre-amp is pushed?

Link to pre-amp:
https://www.thomann.de/ie/phoenix_audio_drs_1r_500.htm

Re: Simple question regarding vocal chain routing

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:22 am
by Hugh Robjohns
maxmatthewsmusic wrote:If I switch the phoenix pre-amp to 'line' am I correct in assuming that that gives me the option to place the pre-amp after the Apollo Twin in the chain?

Yes.

Am I correct ?

Yes.

Personally, I would probably opt to record the mic signal straight, either through the Apollo, or via the preamp with modest (uncoloured) settings.

And then, once you have captured the performance you need, run the signal back out through your preamp and compressor chain to add the colouration and effects you desire as part of the mix.

That way you have a far greater ability to tune the effect to the mix, and you're not hampered by inappropriate settings a the recording stage.

Re: Simple question regarding vocal chain routing

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:06 am
by maxmatthewsmusic
Hey Hugh

Awesome, thank you for your reply. Very helpful :thumbup:

Re: Simple question regarding vocal chain routing

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:27 am
by CS70
maxmatthewsmusic wrote:If I switch the phoenix pre-amp to 'line' am I correct in assuming that that gives me the option to place the pre-amp after the Apollo Twin in the chain?

Yep, then it simply becomes another kind of "effect box".