What is a Preamp and Does it Belong in your Sound Recording Equipment?
When you are hard at work building the perfect DJ kit, you might be wondering what a preamp is, and whether or not it actually belongs in your sound recording equipment. Well, we would definitely say it does, but you probably want to know what it is and why exactly you should have one. We have a fairly non-technical explanation for you today along with a few brand examples that you can find right here in our store. Let’s get started, shall we?
Understanding the Preamp and its Role in your Sound Recording Equipment Arsenal
Your kit is an arsenal, or perhaps better described as a ‘Swiss Army Knife’. You need every single piece you have to complete the whole picture, and while the preamplifier is a very small part of it, it’s a very big part of your final product. Essentially, the preamp is an electronic amplifier whose entire job is to prepare an electrical signal for amplification. While this could be from nearly any source, it is generally used for microphones or instrument pickups. Essentially, you can amplify the sound of anything so long as you are able to connect it to the line. In many cases, you will find that preamplifiers are integrated into your audio inputs on your device, which can include:
While integration with the above devices is often a key part of the operation, keep in mind that a preamplifier, or preamp can also be a standalone device, two of which we’re going to talk about shortly.
Making it Work
If you have a USB Audio Interface with preamps it should be placed close to your computer and attached with a USB cable. Once a signal hits your preamp it is going to be a digital signal from there, which makes it vital for you to have a high quality preamp between the source and its final destination on your computer. Let’s take a look at two of the most popular USB Audio Interfaces on the market!
The Scarlett 2i2 Generation 2
The Scarlett 2i2 Gen 2 is a USB Audio interface, and is without a doubt one of the best selling. It accomplishes three very important things: high speeds, top sound, and ease of use. The second generation model continues to evolve and push those areas to the brink, giving you better sound than ever before. Best of all, you can take it anywhere and connect it to any device using a single USB cable. You also have the ability to connect up to two microphones, and it’s compatible with all major DAWs across the two most popular computing platforms. The device features some of the lowest latency in the market at only 2.74ms and can operate at Sampling rates up to 192Khz at 24 bits.
When you’re looking for the highest end sound in your sound recording equipment package, this is right where you want to be. The Audient iD14 delivers professional sound, using Audient’s patent Class-A mic pre-design used in its high end recording consoles used by professionals all over the world.
The iD14 brings to the table its high performance AD-DA converters and a quality analogue design. Going beyond the hardware, we can see that it has outstanding software while still managing to keep things pretty simple. The iD14 features a mixer app designed with that simplicity at the forefront, the iD14 is specially designed to match the hardware that it inhabits, ensuring that you can get the job done quickly while concentrating on the music rather than highly technical details.
Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of the ScrollControl function that allows you to easily scroll through DAW Hosts and plugin parameters. You can even scroll through your iTunes library at will. It’s more than just a cool piece of hardware to add to your collection, it’s a new way of life entirely.
These are two outstanding examples of hardware that you absolutely want to add to your ‘arsenal’. They improve your sound and give you advantages that you simply would not have otherwise. Head over to our store, pick your preamp, and start producing outstanding, professional recordings.