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Microphone preamps are very much like microphones, in that they all have a slightly different sound. Some are very clean and transparent, while others are a little warmer or brighter. While just about any good preamp we'll get the job done, many engineers tend to have a favorite model they turn to for recording certain instruments, that's because of the color that it conveys or the combination what the certain microphone provides the best sound for the track. Other engineers may choose to combine a good mic with as neutral a preamp as possible, meaning one that doesn't impart any sound of color of its own on the instrument or vocal.
Since everyone has different ears and opinions the type of preamps to choose is an open-ended topic, but if you have one that has a transparent sound, try that first. Let's hear an example using an Avalon 737. (music playing) Now let's hear the same instrument, this time using the Telefunken V72, which has a lot of color.
(music playing) All preamps sound a little different. When in doubt try the cleanest, highest quality one that you have first, especially on acoustic instruments. If the sound still doesn't fit then begin to experiment.
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