I tried this out yesterday,. while recording a song with Shrinking Islands, Kyle’s band. This was multitracked to protools, not live-to-two-track like we usuallly do. We laid down most of the song.
–There’s a really nice overdrive/compression effect if you drive the input super-hard. We took a large kick drum and get it horizontally on chairs, tympani-style, with Andy playing it with mallets. Using the SE Electronics mic in omni mode, positioned about a foot above the edge of the drum, we got a MASSIVE bass sound, without the TubeMP. I inserted the TubeMP, turned up the input gain almost all the way, and the effect was somewhat similar to the Bluetube’s tube drive, with a little extra compression. It really helped bring out the attack, while maintining the big bottom. A little extra compression with the RNC and voila–a really nice sound!
–Recording vocals (kyle singing into the SE Electronics, omni mode again) showed the TubeMP has a better bottom-end that the stock preamps on our Spirit328. However, I had to turn the gain pretty high up, both at the input and the output, to get into a usable range, and when i did there was a constant low-end rumble, even with the high-pass filter engaged. I ended up switching to our BlueTube, which DIDN’T need to be turned up high, didn’t have the rumble, and sounded really nice with a little tube drive.
–The gain knobs work weirdly. On the presonus bluetube, the units on the gain knob are dB, but are spaced in a linear manner. That is, all the way off is 0 dB gain, halfway up is 30 dB, full is 60 dB. makes sense, and feels right. on the tubemp, halfway up on the input gain is 5 dB gain, with the last 25% of travel from between +24 and +45 dB. So the first 60% of travel does little, which makes no sense, and it sorta throws you off, and you have less control in the usable range.
–The impedance switch didn’t make any difference with the couple condenser mics I tried (SE and the KSM27). It’d probably be different w/ dynamics.
–Going back to this rumble, it was really disconcerting, made it useless for recording vocals. I need to investigate this more.
–I bet it’d be a nice pre for a kick drum mic. I’ll have to try that.