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FETHead Pre Amp. ( with SM58 mic for in studio vocals. )

5ynth3t1k

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2024
Messages
44
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Location
New Zealand
Dear People,

I just ordered the FETHead, I got the phantom pass through model for future utility.

see here:

I plan to use it with my SM58 ( Yes it's not phantom powered, I knowed this. ).
Why I wish to use it is because the SM58 is @#$%#@$ quiet.

Will report back next week when i get the device and try it out.

QUESTION:
The mic cost $250 NZD new the FETHead $200 NZD new.
For that much money can one get a DYNAMIC mic this loud, this good/OK and this "known" ?

Input stage is a Focusrite Sapphire 6 USB Interface. ( The original version...)

I am using the mic for studio vocal recording. I am working the vocal technique to get a
good sound into this mic. So far: standing back and belting into the mic is sounding ok,
also getting close and singing softly into it is working well. Both use the natural EQ of the mic
and I am trying to not boost/cut EQ much. Time will tell. Also Mic modeling plugins etc.

In my mind getting the sound right "in the mic" with a healthy signal is stage one.

What happens at the console is stage two. So far I have mixed results etc.

I got the FETHead over the CloudLifter for several reasons:
The Pre Amp being as close to the signal source as possible makes a lot of sense.
The extra cabling just seems a bit of a pain.

Are they any different sounding? No idea.


Cheers!

Have a nice day. :- )
 
It's here,
it works,
it's louder,
it sounds nice and clean.

No real sciency way to test it, but my ears are in like with it already.
Had my gain on 8. ( max is 10 not 11...), singing "hello, hello..."
which is a very easy thing to sing nicely, and with a bit of oomph.
Great gain. Makes my SM58 waaaaay easier to use.
Out go all the old vocal takes...

If someone would "science" this device that would be cool.

Pic below: In comparison.
Same singing power, same input gain,
recorded with FETHead, hit pause, unplugged the device and then recorded without, singing the same thing.

The device is not cheap but it does do the thing.

Mate. :- )

FETHead - REAPER audio.jpg
 
It adds some gain you need, and has a very high EIN. Not much else to it. Cloudlifter is the other common device for the same purpose. You can find some measures of it at gearspace if you search.
 
Why I wish to use it is because the SM58 is @#$%#@$ quiet.
Right! Dynamic mics don't generate noise (except for thermal noise like a resistor) because they don't have any active internal electronics. ;) But the FETHead or Cloudlifter (or any gain) adds noise, as-does the head amp inside a condenser mic. So it should be about the same as a condenser mic.

Generally, the important thing is to get a strong acoustic signal into the mic with minimal acoustic noise.

Most audio interfaces are optimized for condenser mics (or a dynamic with a loud drum or guitar amp, or a dynamic with a FETHead or Cloudlifter). Stand alone preamps often have more gain but they are usually expensive "pro specialty items". You get a lot more for you money with an audio interface.
 
It adds some gain you need, and has a very high EIN. Not much else to it. Cloudlifter is the other common device for the same purpose. You can find some measures of it at gearspace if you search.
If the "very high EIN" is below human hearing while the program recorded is definitely within human hearing... then it's a moot point.

Coloration is the biggie, and if it is indeed colouring the program, well heck it sounds fine to me.

So far I am really enjoying it and I can't hear any nose. Zip. Nix. None.

In fact I could hear a slight "clear as a heck " in breath at -54 db and then the signal belts up to -6 db.
If the signal was scraping the noise floor, where ever that is, then the device is not working ...
And boosting the signal to hear the noise... well what is the use of that?

There are specs and then there is "what we do in the real world" and I have no shortage of loud signal...
If I was trying to record a mouse blinking, sure it might include the noise... but with loud vocals the
signal is MILES away from what ever noise the device may produce. I gues..

Have a nice day! :- )
 
Right! Dynamic mics don't generate noise (except for thermal noise like a resistor) because they don't have any active internal electronics. ;) But the FETHead or Cloudlifter (or any gain) adds noise, as-does the head amp inside a condenser mic. So it should be about the same as a condenser mic.

Generally, the important thing is to get a strong acoustic signal into the mic with minimal acoustic noise.

Most audio interfaces are optimized for condenser mics (or a dynamic with a loud drum or guitar amp, or a dynamic with a FETHead or Cloudlifter). Stand alone preamps often have more gain but they are usually expensive "pro specialty items". You get a lot more for you money with an audio interface.
I'm still waiting for the 'noise" to turn up. :- )

I had a cheap as all heck LDC and heck it was nosy.
SM58 and Fet head sounds very noise free right now. Like amazing.

As I am only recording vocals and I can belt it out, pretty loud actually, I have not shortage of signal.

This changes a few things!

Cheers!

:- )
 
Sounds like you got a good result but why use an SM58 in the studio anyway, isn't it mostly a stage mic?

Well it's about about money, the learning curve and results:

I had some small money, decided to learn on the most identifiable real and understood mic on the planet, and the results are not so terrible.

The SM58 is indeed a stage mic: low signal ( less feed back), Super Cardioid polar response ( less feed back, crowd noise etc), rugged, low noise etc. I think the fethead lets it shine. It's no U87 but If you can't record a catchy tune with this mic then... a super pro one won't help.

So far it's doing well. I could save up and buy a LDC but to get into the pro audio scene in that regard ... it's not going to be cheap.
and cheap is doing well so far. : - )

Cheers!
 
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