Pro Audio specialists Doug Wessling and Marc Kuzio got the chance to take a deep dive into the Sebatron VMPQuadPlus 4 Channel Tube Mic Preamp while recording drums. The VMPQuadPlus is the next generation from the original VMP series which adds several new features and drastically broadens your ability to dial in your sound.
The old 4000e (and all 2000/4000 units) had a vibe to them, but with this newer version, you have the ability to dial in cleaner tones without always having a really pushed tube sound. Sebatron further cleaned up the circuit by minimizing the air band and a low-cut filter, making them an easier “on and off”.  Further, the new QuadPlus also allows you drive the preamp stage as well as control the clean output.  But the real tube drive comes from the 12dB switch.
This new boost, in its simplest terms, is like adding an overdrive pedal to your preamp.  When engaged, this is boosting the drive of the input stage to immediately add a wonderful tube warmth and color as well as a bit of soft natural compression.  The preamp shows a lot of versatility, but the 12dB switch is the game changer!
Doug and Marc used Neumann SKM 184s as overhead mics, a Bock Audio iFET Condenser Microphone on the kick drum, and a Josephson e22S Side-Address Condenser Microphone on the snare.
Here are the settings they used for the three different takes.
Take 1:
Gain = 0 (All Channels)
+12dB Boost = Off/Normal (All Channels)
Output Set for Level Matching (All Channels)
Flat (All Channels)
Take 2:
Gain = 0 (All Channels)
+12dB Boost = Engaged (All Channels)
Output Adjusted for Level Matching (All Channels)
Flat (All Channels)
Same Peaks – Louder from Natural Compression
Take 3:
Gain = -3 on Kick, 0 on Snare, +3 OHs
+12dB Boost = Engaged for Kick/Snare, Normal for OHs
Output Set for Level Matching (All Channels)
Kick = Flat, Snare = Lo-Cut On, OHs = Air On
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