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Vintage mic preamps found in classic mixing consoles had great coloring that enhanced the recordings, and are super desirable. There are modern equivalents that can be added to any studio, but usually at a high cost. Soyuz’s Launcher Deluxe brings a pair of musical and clear mic preamps to any user for a reasonable price.
With locking Neutrik combo XLR/TRS inputs and XLR outputs, this is a clean and simple unit, the only user options residing on the bottom: a launcher mode, and a saturate mode. Each input is separate, and the modes are available for both channels independently. Launcher mode is meant for ribbon and dynamic microphones, providing 26dB of boost to the signal. Phantom power is required for this mode, so be sure your mixer/DAW has the +48 button engaged.
The Saturate mode works in a more global sense with any kind of microphone. Keyboards, amp modelers and other line level devices can also be used in this setting as well. In this mode it’s a passive system, with no need for phantom power, but if a microphone needs power, it can pass through the unit and handle the mic’s power requirements.▼ Article continues below ▼
Using this on a guitar amp with a SM57 was a breeze, and the results are best described as “more and better” – simple as that. The signal is dramatically boosted without distorting and getting crunchy, while maintaining a clearer bottom-end and rounded higher-end response overall. It’s just an overall warmer and smoother feel. On an amp that might sound shrill or slightly high-endy this can compensate nicely. With the ability to run two of these at the same time, stereo tracks can get the same treatment from one box! Running a combo of a ribbon mic and a 57 on a guitar cabinet with one of these can easily add in a big depth to your rig with just two microphones.
This lil box can eliminate the need to try to “fix” things with an EQ plug-in. Running a Strymon Iridium into the Launcher Deluxe in the Saturate mode really made this simple little amp modeler/IR loader sound noticeably better overall, again with more body and smoothness that took a bit of “edge” off of it. With more fly rigs being DI based these days, one of these can easily fit on a pedalboard, and as it uses no power in this application it won’t require more headaches. Running a bass guitar DI, yeah this is the sound you think when someone always says a DI is the core of their signal. Big, warm, and clear.
There’s no way to tweak things, but it does just enough that this could easily be a consistent part of a signal chain in recording. It brings a vintage shade without having to figure out how to get it to work, it’s literally plug and play. There aren’t a lot of devices that can work across a variety of microphones and yield great results, but this can be thought of as the enhancement device you didn’t know you needed for your existing mic locker.
Simple to use, excellent analog enhancement, stereo applications, works with pretty much every mic.