Microphone Preamps: Digital or Analog? Best 3 VST Microphone/Signal Preamps!

Microphone Preamps – Digital or Analog?

Why do we need a preamp?

When we mention a preamp, the first place that we go to our mind, is a unit that will increase the power of our microphone. Usually, it brings the volume to a regular recording level. Some microphones do not have very high output power and they needed to be powered by this hardware.

Not only in a recording studio but it can also be used for live shows, TV and radio broadcasts, or by regular vocalists. Mostly, they want to have their vocals on a higher level with a nice boost and clarity.

A preamp can add goods such as gain boost, this will be used to increase the power of the mic up to a precise decibel level. There are options like chopping precise sorts of unwanted noise and clearing the sound to avoid ‘clipping’. That is when a preamp tries to deliver an output beyond its capability, leading to sound dropping out.

There are various reasons why you would like microphone preamps. To own a sound that is up to recording standards. To feature a professional touch for musicians or for any style of live acts. To please the degree of quality that’s currently expected of the business, a preamp is an important investment.

In this blog, we will mention 3 plugin preamps going from the most affordable to the most expensive ones.

VST/Software Preamp Plugins:

1. Lindell 6X-500 Class A Preamp

Tobias Lindell took the experience he gained mixing and making hit records, and created a line of audio gear. The units became instant favorites with producers and engineers around the world. Now, many of Tobias’ favorite styles are on the market in plugin type.

The Six X 5 Hundred is a mono/stereo unit coupled with a Preamplifier and Passive two Band Equalizer. The Preamp is an all-discrete style based mostly upon our hybrid amplifier.

The Equalizer is a take on the charming classic Pultec style. It’s got a 15dB boost of swish smooth high finish and also the most punchy low end you’ll be able to get.

The 6X-500 plugin may be a direct evolution of the hardware. It adds the foremost requested options from our users:

  • High And Lowpass Filters
  • Variable Slopes
  • Wide Distortion vary
  • The sound is faithful to the hardware.
Lindell 6X-500 Class A Microphone Preamps

Note: The links below are to the hardware and original units of the plugins.

IMAGE PRODUCT For US Customers For EU Customers
Lindell 6x 500
Lindell Audio 6X-500 500 Series Microphone Preamp & EQ

Check the new compressor from Lindell here!

2. Neve Preamp by UAD

The Neve microphone preamp is an undisputed audio masterpiece. Adding real Neve richness, and thick musical detail to any signal that passes through it. The top of Neve preamp style is that the classic 1073 module with equalizer. But, Neve also shortly made the 1290 module — a rare, preamp–only version of 1073.

Now, you’ll be able to get the clarity of the advanced class‑A saturation unit. This is a superb mic plug-in with a very easy two-knob preamp that’s excellent for UAD owners.

UAD-2 hardware users can even use the Neve Preamp plug-in for mix and tone-shaping. All that, without even going away from the box. Due to its lower DSP usage, you’ll simply place Neve Preamp plug-ins across many channels. That will turn your favorite digital audio workstation into a classic Neve console.

Neve Preamp Plug-In Key Features:

  • An authentic end-to-end circuit emulation of the legendary class-A, Neve microphone preamp. Solely for UAD hardware and UA Audio Interfaces
  • Combines sonic attributes and options of each of the desired 1073 and 1290 styles
  • completely sculptural dual-stage “Red Knob” microphone preamp and output amplifier
  • Unison technology for UA Audio Interfaces offers the authentic tone of the classic Neve preamps. Together with precise resistivity matching
  • Lower DSP usage for plug-in instances across many channels
Neve Preamp by UAD

3. Manley VOXBOX Channel Strip from Universal Audio

As the name suggests the UAD-2 Manley Voxbox is an emulation of the excellent Manley Voxbox. All-valve channel strip that gives Universal Audio’s Unison technology. Made for UAD Apollo audio interfaces only. It is transferring precise emulation of the input gain stage for a fair extra realistic result.

For years, the Manley VOXBOX has been a secret weapon for bassists. Trying to harness its high-end tube signal path and slick equalization and compression. Engineers have called on the Manley VOXBOX for electrical guitars, strings, and drums. And as always, the results will elevate any signal beyond the standard.

The VOXBOX is a remarkable piece of gear. Signal flow and controls are totally different from many alternative channel strips. This can be true for the hardware unit also. That being said, there are many choices and much of space for management over your sound. Exploration and persistence are going to be rewarded here.

Manley VoxBox Plugin

Note: The links below are to the hardware and original units of the plugins.

Manley Voxbox

Lots of individuals are enthusiastic about the ‘warmth’ of analog studio gear. Sure—it sounds fuller, more human, and more present. The late technology has become specialized in simulating the results of analog equipment.

Our computers and music programs are powerful enough to handle these VST workhorses. So do not spend lots of money on analog gear when you can get software for cheaper. If that is your preference or you do not have enough cash to get the unit.

What these processes do to your sound is usually hardly noticeable. That’s what the magic’s about, you won’t hear them. They’ll build an enormous distinction in how your track sounds and feels. When emulations of analog units first hit the scene, several old-school engineers had their doubts. But over the years, modeling has established its value. These days analog-style plug-ins are the norm.

All the associated analog circuitry, as well as the tube itself and also the effects of biasing resistors and capacitors, are simulated in superb detail. Almost any audio supply or track will have the benefit of natural soft limiting. Also, dynamic heat that every virtual tube preamplifier provides.

The accumulative result of analog processes is what folks are gushing about.

If you want to check the best analog microphone preamps that everyone can afford, follow the link here. Also, the 500 series preamps link is here!

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Nikoloski is the founder and main content writer and editor of Mixing Tips. With his experience in audio engineering, mixing, and mastering for over 15 years, will provide hands-on experience and expertise in all the matters covered on this website.

  1. […] You need to check alternatives to analog gear? Here are the top 3 choices for VST preamps! […]

  2. […] preamps provide many of the best sounds you’ll be able to find during this higher-end price range. The […]

  3. Great! Thank you. I mixed an original recently without preamp. If I add one of those above on the mic track it would sound better?? I did that with a sm58. This is the song https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=B6DKbgIMzxY

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