Why have a Mic preamp that is Portable ( IE Battery or DC Powered)
The Studio guy isnt going to , His or Her Gear is Racked in and squarely stationed in the Studio .
But I have a Penchant for Portability . The Ability to setup anywhere and get sounds that you would not get otherwise .
But there is a lot more to that Portable setup that initially meets the eye ( or Ears in this case) Portable means also Outdoors in which now you have to think about Wind protection . Proper Wind protection requires some inginuity , because the stock wind furries and foam very rarely do the trick . ( Baby Socks really help though ) .
As I write this , I have a small solar panel facing out one window that the sun is coming thru , and a long power cable to a small 2 channel Mic Pre ( not of great audio quality but it works ) and out the other window facing the Park across the street is a Stereo Mic . The Mic has a Sock , and a Furry over the sock . And Still getting some wind noise , But I hear every tiny creature that you would not be able to hear just with your ears .
Therein lies the point , What You dont realise that your hearing . Mics dont lie .
There is a phenomenon that happens with human hearing , We shut stuff out . and do not realise just how much we shut out . But when we put the headphones on we dont . We hear everything in those headphones .
Imagine that , All the stuff you miss , now right in front of you .
What is even more interesting is when certain ceatures get interested in your Microphone , Birds and what not . And they Get right up to the mic , The rustling of Feathers , the Tiny grunt sounds , or happy curious gurgles , You can hear their curiousity . Quite clearly I might add .
The Quality of Preamp will make varying degrees of difference . For example , A Slightly noisy preamp ( white noise or broadband noise ) in a city environment isnt neccessarily a bad thing , and with some City Noise being really harsh and sharp sounding , and moderately noisy preamp adding that suble HISSSSSSSs in the Background can Soften the Harshness of City sounds making them easier to listen to .
Conversely , out in Nature , Where there are now very little in the way of Complex sounds and the busy layered textures that White noise would Soften , You would want a very pristine Preamp /Mic combination Because the spaces in between the sound you capture become just as valuable , Silence is also a Sound . It is a space in time , and part of that space your in .
So where does this short rant lead ?
Noisy Preamp , EFfing Piece of $$%# , Dont Buy this !!! YADA YADA YADA , The Comments sections are often More Noisy that the Device being reviewed .
But Instead , the Idea that That Noise might even be Useful doesnt even cross the mind . This is part of the Media Programing versus real education , or working knowledge .
Now Albeit I would not use that Noisy Preamp in the Studio except on really loud instruments , where I can turn the gain down so far the noise wont matter ( IE Drums and Percussion ) , but the Preamp can be useful , And an extra set of Channels ? Never know when that will be handy .
Having Multiple sources of Audio , For different types of sound . It is a Tool Box , Just like any other Tool box , it isnt any good if it doesnt have tools in it .
Portable mic preamps , Yeah , Must haves . at least in my toobox .