Specialist suppliers of pro audio/video equipment to the film,
post-production, broadcast and music recording industries.

Microphone Preamps

Mic Pres, EQs & Dynamics
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Microphone preamps are arguably just as important as the microphone you are using. Having an incredible microphone that costs thousands of pounds outputting a signal to a microphone preamp that is not able to translate its nuances defeats the purpose of having such an expensive microphone.

The primary function of a microphone preamp is to take the signal from a microphone and boost the signal strength so that it can be fed to other equipment. Microphones general output a very weak signal level and need to be brought up to 'line level', which is the signal strength equipment such as mixing consoles and recording devices require. Microphone preamps provide gain while simultaneously preventing the noise floor from rising with this amplification. This gives an output signal with enough signal strength to be effectively processed by other equipment and enough headroom to be manipulated without the signal distorting.

Audio interfaces often have microphone preamps included for convenience but stand alone preamps are also available. Common functionality found on these units include controls like EQ, roll-off for minimising low-end frequency issues, compressor and limiter functions, and de-essers for dealing with sibilance. A microphone preamp that uses valves will usually impart additional character on the output signal, whereas transistors-based models can be cleaner and clearer and allow the microphone to pass through largely untouched.

Your sound is only as good as the weakest link in your signal chain. Don't let that weak link be your microphone preamp.

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