A Comparative Analysis on the Unique Characteristics of Microphone Preamplifiers

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Ferrell, Foster
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
To many in the world of audio production, different preamplifiers hold a sort of magical essence that gives them their characteristics. I believe that there is a scientific explanation of why different preamplifiers are better suited for different jobs. The goal of my project is to qualitatively and subjectively answer the question, “What fundamentally makes preamplifiers different?” I believe I will discover that the slew rate of each preamplifier plays a major role in creating its unique sound. I expect this to have a major effect on why the API 512c preamp sounds punchier and why the Neve 1073 preamp has a smoother and warmer sound. I also believe I will see major differences in the frequency response as well as the amount of THD in each preamplifier tested. After conducting my research, I plan to use this knowledge to build a preamplifier of my own.
preamp, preamplifier, audio, recording, studio, microphone