using pre-amps

Most of the recordings that I have been doing is with accoustic instruments but I am going to record a rock band soon and I am wondering will I need to use pre-amps to record. Since the volume will be louder than I am use to, is it necessary to pump up the signals like I do with my blue grass band?

Depends on the type of sound card you are using. Even if you don’t absolutely have to use external preamps, you might still want to. The preamps on most inexpensive soundcards are not particularly good. You might get a better sound using the preamps in your external mixer feeding to your soundcard throught the ‘line in’ input. Also you will have the pads on your mixer to keep really strong signals from overdriving the preamps. The pads can really simplify recording drums in particular.

My Audiophile USB interface doesn’t have built in preamps, so I always have to use external ones. From your initial question it isn’t clear whether your card has preamps. What kind of sound card are you using?

Describe your present recording chain. Then describe what you will be recording.

Also, I think, just based on your question, you aren’t familiar with the hows and whys of preamps. You MUST use a premp with a microphone… period. Otherwise the signal will be so incredibly weak you won’t record much of anything. That said, you most likey have been using preamps built into your sound card or a mixer. YOu don’t have to have an expensive outboard pre, pre exist in all sorts of devices… most notably mixers as I mentioned. So do you have to use pres? Yes. Do you have to use expensive or boutique pres? No.

I am recording the band using my Yamaha 16g. I use n-track to edit, mix, & master. I have joe meek and pre sonus pre-amps.

I am planning to record guitar, bass, & drums all at the same time then add the vocals. One mic per instrument/amp , and on the drums 2 overheads, 1 mic on the snare. 1 mic on the bass drum.snare

The Yamaha has built in pre-amps, but… Not being familiar with the 16G, I looked it up on the internet and on the Yamaha website I found: “Most users have found that condensor mics have enough output to drive the G nicely, but the old classic SM57, SM58 and the like (dynamic) don’t have enough output, and you end up cranking the 'G analog input gain up full, resulting in a noisy result. An external preamp is recommended instead.” On the other hand, you might be able to get by on the drums without the preamp because they are so loud. On my OLD Yamaha mixer, I usually have to pad the input to prevent overdriving the preamps. So seems to me you’ll have to do some trial and error testing. Also, seems like a definite probably for using a preamp with vocals if you are using SM58’s or other dynamic mic.

Most of the mics I will be using are condensers. The vocals and Instruments will use a pre amps. Shure kms44, Blue Blueberry, Blue Blue bird, Octava 319, sm57’s and several AT pencil condensers are what I taking to the session today.

Wow, some good mics in there. :)