Here at Sound Pure Studios we have a nice healthy choice of tube microphone preamps: Presonus ADL 600, Millennia Origin, Avalon 737, A Designs MP2A, etc. But one of our favorites is the Sebatron VMP series, and we own the Sebatron VMP 4000e, which is the 4 channel variant.
Sebatron set out to do one thing with this line of preamps, and that was to make a tube preamp that had all of the natural tube warmth that made tube preamps so popular, but still retain the detail and presence of the source you are recording. There are many units on the market today that simply don’t have the accuracy and detail that should be expected of high-end recording preamplifiers. The Sebatron VMP preamps are just the ticket if you want a high-end tube microphone preamp with tube color and warmth, but the detail to record virtually any source.
In many home studios we see clients who have the budget for 1 or 2 really great preamps, and in today’s digital recording environment we have the ability to track 20+ tracks for a single song. What happens when you stack 20+ tracks and they have been recorded through the underpowered tube preamp that doesn’t have any detail? You get what we like to call “mud” or “haze” in your mixes.
What we love about preamps like the Sebatron is that it has what everyone expects from an all-tube design. It has the warmth, the smoothing effect, the bigness, and all of the other wonderful aspects that tube pres can bring to your recordings, but it also retains the sound of the instrument you are recording. Acoustic guitars will have a wonderful smoothness to them that you don’t get from solid-state preamps. Using the DI with a Rhodes will sound massive, and vocals will have a fullness that might be just what you are looking for. Believe it or not, the VMP 4000e is used quite often on our drum kit as well for the toms, floor tom and kick. Say that about your average tube preamp!
When you add the high and low pass filters that come standard on each unit, you really have built a killer preamp. You have two different high filter boosts (at around 4-5k for bright and over 10k for air) and then you have 2 low filter settings, boost and cut at around 120 Hz. Just by applying that little bump of “air” on vocals and stringed instruments, you can really bring the recording alive, and adding “deep” for a low end boost on your bass guitar, kick drum or floor tom… well it just sounds amazing!
Best for last, the 4-channel variant, the VMP 4000e is under $2,000.00, so if you are a studio owner looking to add some high-quality channels, but want to keep the budget as low as possible, this really could be the box for you! Be sure to check out the product pages for more videos featuring the Sebatron VMP series of preamps in action in the studio.