Shadow Hills Mono Gama Mic Pre
The recording industry is in a very interesting state right now. Some professionals believe it’s declining, some believe just the opposite. I’m not here to argue that, but as a younger engineer and producer I am happy to be working my way through this tough industry. I personally believe that the music industry in general, living in a state of uncertainty, is a positive thing. I guess we will find out as time goes on. For now it seems like everyone is an engineer or has some sort of studio. There are positives and negatives to that as well. The internet has really been a great resource for me when I got started, and I still use it today. Unfortunately there is a lot of sifting through what most would consider useless information. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that’s totally fine. So maybe I’m just more useless information…. I hope not. I have decided to talk about gear and what I’ve learned in this industry purely because I’m only speaking from experience. I’m not going to talk about stuff I don’t know. Experience and education wins in this industry, and that is where I’m coming from. I have spent some time teaching kids and adults how to record along with studio consultation work. I hope I can become someone people can trust for useful information.
To start out I’m going to review my first high end outboard mic pre I ever bought; the Shadow Hills Mono Gama.
First of all, I love this company. Every engineer I know loves this company and their products. Everything is hand built and the build quality is spectacular. If I had the money I would totally fill at least one lunchbox with these pres. I would definitely describe the preamp as a colored pre. When I was first looking for a high end outboard pre, I quickly found out there were many options and flavors. I decided on the Shadow Hills mostly based off the switchable output transformers. It basically gives you 3 flavors in the 1 preamp. The discrete transformer reminds me of the api 521c with a little more low end. Obviously it’s going to sound similar to any discrete preamp. The steel and nickel transformers really add in their own flavors. It honestly depends on the source your are recording, because the nickel and steel transformers tend to sound different on just about everything. Both of those transformers really add on some serious mojo to the source. Sometimes it’s a nice low mid range that really compliments a bass or acoustic piano. Other times I’m going back to the discrete transformer because the nickel or steel are adding in harmonics that aren’t favorable. Overall I love the flexibility this preamp has. It is a favorite on vocals, bass, electric guitar, and just about anything else. If you want examples of how it sounds, listen to any of my recordings. I use it all the time. Other option is to get one yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed.