When working out of your private studio, you want noise in your session files like you want geese in your jet engines. Delivering consistently noisy voice over tracks can bring down a career.
The acoustics of my room are pretty good. Room within a room with thick walls, dead space between them, double doors, non-parallel walls, plenty of studio foam and all that.
I picked the Prima LT for ISDN because it has no fan (noise). The computer is a MacBook that sits in a wooden box within a box and is as quiet as an AIG executive with a million dollar bonus check. The pick up pattern of the Sennheiser 416 short shotgun mic is a big help in keeping out noise from the environment. So the last thing I wanted was noise from my electronics. And that’s what I was getting from the mic pre-amp section of my M-Audio Mobile Pre USB.
I get around that by using different mic pre-amp and patch it into the line in/out section of the Mobile Pre. That half of the box is pretty quiet. The mic pre-amps, not so much. Audible hiss.
So needing a USB pre-amp when I travel, and after reading some good reviews, I ponied up for a CEntrance MicPort Pro.
It is much quieter than the pre-amp section the Mobil Pre.
Take a listen for yourself:
The link is a high res mp3 file (oxymoron alert). The first half was recorded with the Mobile Pre USB pre-amps. The second half was recorded via the MicPort Pro. I think you can hear the difference. If you open the file in your audio editor you can see the difference in the wave form.
The last time I was in Guitar Center, the kid said a new generation of the M-Audio Mobile Pre was on the way and it would be quieter. Then a piece of metal fell out of his face and I left.