Arena-rock mainstays Def Leppard have always made top-quality vocal production a priority of both their albums and their live shows. Toward that end, they’ve chosen the ADL 700 as their preamp of choice for lead vocalist Joe Elliott.
Check out this great video from session drummer and recordist Luis Hernandez on using the ADL 700 and Studio One to record a jingle for HBO Latino. If you’re looking for some workhorse secrets from a guy who’s working in music full-time, don’t miss it! Luis shares some of the secrets of his signal chain, and some of his favorite EQ settings for using the ADL 700 on kick and snare—particularly as it pertains to filtering high-hat sounds from his snare mic.
Compression is an oft-misunderstood and sometimes over-used effect that enjoys (?) a wealth of online forum punditry. Sonic Sense has done an exemplary job here in plainly illustrating the rudiments of compression while cutting the crap. This video begins by demonstrating exactly what the basic compressor controls do, and then follows up with audible examples of the compressor being applied during tacking AND in a full mix, so you can very clearly hear the effect applied in the context of a full song. Demos include vocals, snare, and bass.
Thanks to Sonic Sense for not only clearing up some of the mysteries of compression, but also for choosing the ADL 700 as the right tool for the job.
Taylor Nauta consistently sounds great, and we felt that the ADL 700 and ADL 600 preamps would really do his tones justice. So, we invited him by the new HQ, brought him to the live room, and recorded a few tracks.
Taylor’s voice is running through the ADL 700, and his guitar is recorded through a direct input into the first channel of the ADL 600, as well as by a mic run into the second channel.
[This just in from Guido Craveiro, who is taking his StudioLive on the road with his band, Maxim!]
This kind review of our latest golden boy,the ADL 700 tube mic preamp, comes to us from the informed masterminds at Amazona.de. Naturally, this one is written with the German-speaking crowd in mind. If you don’t speak German but DO have Chrome installed, you’ve got a translator built right into your browser to help you out!
Amazona has gone a step above and beyond in this review by not only detailing all the nitty-gritty technical specs, but they’ve also included several audio demos of the ADL 700. Click here to read the review in full and hear it for yourself.
Roughly translated, you’ll find such laudatory praise as “The PreSonus ADL 700 is a professional device that costs less than it sounds. A suitable candidate to compliment a serious outboard collection. Sonically, a big thumbs up.”
Can you really get a great recording of a guitar AND vocal perfomance with just a single mic and a single preamp? Absolutely! That’s how the majority of classic recordings were done back before multitrack recording. The benefits of recording with one really great mic and preamp are twofold:
With a single-mic setup, you have the ability to make the listener feel like they are literally in the room. So how do you pull this off? First of all, you need to have a great song and a great performance. If you’ve got one mic or 1000 mics, it won’t matter if the song sucks or the performance isn’t there. Assuming you have your song and performance together, here’s a few tips on how to pull this off using the PreSonus ADL 700 Channel Strip and the Blue Microphones Kiwi. The artist I recorded is the amazing Chris LeBlanc.
Mic Positioning: We’re using Blue Microphones’ Kiwi, a nine-pattern microphone (omni, cardioid, figure of eight, and everything in between) featuring their B6 capsule, to capture as much detail as we can. Most of the time, I set the mic to a cardioid pickup pattern, so it is picking up what’s going on in front of it while rejecting reflections that are coming off of the wall behind the mic. When I’m miking a singer/acoustic guitar player, I try to place the mic far enough away to pick up both the guitar and voice—but not too far, otherwise I will get to much room sound. Once I’ve positioned the mic for the correct distance, the next challenge is to position it vertically to get the correct balance between the singer’s voice and guitar. This is also a bit tricky, as placement is dependent on how loud the artist both sings and plays. On this particular session, Chris’ voice was actually a lot louder than his guitar was. Notice I have the mic actually positioned lower, toward the guitar, to account for this. With the Kiwi, it’s good to experiment by opening up the polar pattern to achieve more omni pickup when trying to capture multiple sources. The flexibility of being able to move in-between cardioid and omni is extremely valuable in these settings!
Setting the mic preamp and compressor
The preamp gain was set so that I had plenty of headroom. Chris is a very dynamic singer, and puts out quite a bit of volume, so it was important to make sure I didn’t let him clip the input of the mic preamp. The ADL 700 features variable microphone impedance settings, so I set it to the highest impedance available to get a bright, dynamic sound. The High Pass Filter was disabled, and the compressor was set to a light ratio of about 3:1. I was getting around 5 or 6dB of compression on the meter. This smoothed out the response, and helped control the inevitable peaks that occur when Chris really belts it out.
Setting the EQ Since the mic was pulled back from Chris by about 1.5 feet, I found I needed to boost some lows around 60k just to bring out the body in his acoustic guitar. Since the guitar was tuned down, the low-mids sounded a little muted, so I boosted a few dB at around 400Hz. Lastly, I added just a tad of highs at around 6kHz to bring out the high-end definition.
Point and Shoot That’s it! As you can see from the video, sometimes Chris wasn’t looking directly at the mic, but because I had some distance between him and the Kiwi, it didn’t matter. What you hear is what the performance actually sounded like if you were in the room. The trick with this type of technique is to experiment. It also doesn’t hurt to have a world-class mic and preamp, but nonetheless, it all starts with the source. Experiment—happy tracking!
Limited time offer from Blue and PreSonus!
Parents are always proud of their children, even the ones who have ornery rugrats who mark up the walls with crayon. We treat pro audio product development a lot like parenthood. Our gear is shaped by our experiences, and we instill in our offspring the virtues we hold dearest. It’s a labor of love. And of course, the fateful day must arrive when a product matures, is all grown up, and is released into the world—hopefully to live out the values shaped by our guiding, if solder-burned, hands.
However, that’s pretty much where the similarities end. If you ask a parent who their favorite child is, the universal standard answer is that the parent in question loves all their children the same.
Not so with us. The ADL 700 Tube Channel Strip is far and away our best, most favorite child, and now that it’s graduated from LSU and made it’s way into the world, it has started to reap the recognition we—and plenty of others—feel it deserves.
Some gems follow. Click the publication names to link to the full review, where available.
The ADL 700 is available via our Signature Dealers. Click here for a list of where to find the ADL 700 in the USA. If you live outside the USA, please contact the official PreSonus distributor in your area to find out where you can hear/obtain the ADL 700 for yourself. You can find your region’s distributor by clicking here.
Here are some artist opinions on the ADL 700. We’re flattered!
Who are you, where are you, and what do you do?
My name is Graham Cochrane. I am a producer, engineer, songwriter, and worship leader based in Tampa, FL. I’m also the founder of The Recording Revolution, a popular audio training resource.
How were you introduced to PreSonus?
Word of mouth, years ago.
What PreSonus software/hardware do you use and for what purpose?
I currently have a Eureka and ADL 700 in my rack. Both are excellent preamps and channel strips that make recording easy and fun. I’m using the Central Station Plus for monitoring. I also do all of my mastering in Studio One Professional. Love that project page!
What’s so great about PreSonus, anyhow?
You guys make great products, and make them available at real-world prices, and you have an obvious passion for making music. What more could you want?
What’s the last big project that you worked on using PreSonus gear?
I tracked my band’s most recent EP using just about nothing but the Eureka on the front end. Everything I’ve mastered this year has been exclusively in Studio One.
What are you working on now—or next?
Mixing for a few bands this summer. Also writing a new solo album. I’m always making content for The Recording Revolution including a recent video series called Mastering With Stock Plug-ins that was done all in Studio One. It’s free, you should check it out!
Where can our readers learn more about you online?