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Digital recording gives plenty of clarity, but warmth has always been the secret ingredient that’s most elusive. PreSonus brings that audio glow to the modern age with their ADL 700, an all-tube channel strip/mic preamp.
It’s a standard two-space rack unit, with tons of knobs, controlling a compressor, a high pass filter and a 4-band semi-parametric EQ. Behind those knobs are (2) 6922 and (1) 12AT7A vacuum tubes, giving plenty of warmth. Inputs are all analog, so using this in front of any recording device is simple. No menus or anything like that, just pure tactile control.
While the array of switches and knobs can seem overwhelming, it’s actually quite intuitive. The ability to carve the sound in such unique ways, while still staying musical, is amazing. Each individual EQ on its own is fantastic, but the ability to combine and structure them takes things to the next level, and the compressor works in the same manner; it doesn’t get in the way, it just adds what you want without any side effects. Just hook it up, and away you go. Forget about presets, just turn knobs, and it keeps getting better and better. The manual is also very helpful, with plenty of useful tips on applying EQ and compression for various applications, as well as a recipe for gumbo!
There’s no excuse not to have a decent preamp in the studio if you’re serious about your recording projects, and if you are truly serious, this channel strip preamp is well worth checking out. The street price is $2000, but like the saying goes, go big or go home – your microphones will thank you. Trust us.