Okay, you just set up your studio. The computer is hooked up and, your recording software is installed. You saved up, and bought your dream multi-channel interface. You worked hard and squeezed out enough pennies for some of the coolest plug-in bundles to get that great sound. But, you are still not happy what you are producing. Maybe it is time to install some fancy pre amps. The problem is you do not have too much space, and you are still on a tight budget. 500 series pre amp modules are perfect for this exact reason. Although, the 500 series modules can still be costly, like any recording hardware there is a nice spectrum of products that you can buy at an affordable price.
First, we will start with the chassis. The chassis is something that holds it all together. The 500 series module pre amps fit in what many people call a “lunch box.” The pre amps will clamp into the circuits within the chassis rack. These circuits run the signal to the XLR outputs, and other outputs in the back of the rack. You can then run the chassis into your multi-channel interface using XLR cables. In this scenario you are pretty much using your interface volumes as gain control. An audio engineer would want to focus on the volume output of the pre amp first. After this use your interface volume as a gain, and try to recognize your ceiling. One will often hear a distortion or fuzz if you are using too much output volume between the two volumes. It is important to find the right balance for the sound to want.
500 series modules come in many awesome, powerful, compact forms. There are tube modules, solid-state modules, and hybrid modules. You have a range of modules that do all sort of magical things to audio. Dynamic compressors and other sorts of dynamic pre amps are a huge importance when it comes to recording. Equalizer Pre amps can be life savers if you are just not getting that sound you want from your interface EQ, or your plug ins. Equalizers also come in handy when it comes to mastering, but we will get to that later. Effects modules can be a nice touch on your mix adding all analog reverb, with a soothing, full slap delay. It gets me pumped just thinking about it. Along with effects modules, there are specialty modules. Specialty modules are fairly new as the popular recording method grows. Specialty modules are impedance boxes, head phone amps, reamping signals etc.
Great, not only have we broken down what kind of 500 series modules there are, but how they are set up as well. Now we can talk about all of the benefits of the 500 series module pre amps. The one thing that I find most valuable about the 500 series modules are their flexibility, and power. The power is at your fingertips because you can pick any module you want. There are no rules. You can even have more then one of the same modules, which is very common. Another huge advantage when it comes to these cool little gadgets is there impeccable talent for using less space. It is a new world today in the recording industry. High definition music hardware, and technology is way easier these days for the average person to go to the store, or online and purchase. Home studios have become a very common thing in the music industry. This is something that has been beating the recording industry up a little bit, but the revolution has begun! When building your home studio, it is necessary to utilize your space as intelligently as possible. That is why these 500 series modules fit perfectly in your at home studio.
One great advantage in 500 series module hardware is your are able to purchase DIY kits where you can build your own high quality 500 series modules at an even more affordable cost. Of course you can build regular size pre amps, and dual channel preamps, but this is a great start for beginners. My personal favorite brand is Hairball Audio. They offer a bunch of resources on how to build their DIY pre amps and are there for your assistance. This is a great way to get the sound you are searching for at a fraction of the costs.
I cannot express how great the 500 series modules are. We have stepped further into how to set them up, and what kind of different modules exist. I expressed the advantages of having them in your at home, or professional commercial studio. I hope that I have convinced you to take your studio, and your sound to heights you could not have imagined.