Hey guys,

What is the best low noise mic preamp for recording foley and Sfx in the studio? I started out working in music, and I have a 2-610 universal audio tube pre, that I haven't really used for 2 years because its coloration and noise floor is to much for...pretty much anything film- including ADR, foley and sound design (unless I'm going for that specific tone which isn't often).

I have a buddy that is willing to trade a 4-710d which I tested and it has a WAY better sound/noise ratio. Any suggestions?


3 Answers 3


We actually use a Sound Devices MP-1, which works great as a quiet preamp. It is battery powered, but it is worth the extra effort. We also have some focusrites and an avid pre, but the MP-1 works a treat.

Next time we have some money to spare we plan to upgrade to a Marenius, which is truly excellent.


  • 1
    +1 on the Sound Devices, I run my studio mics through my Sound Devices 702 and do most of my gaining through those quiet pre-amps. Seems to sound and work great. Mar 23, 2013 at 12:27

I've seen quite a few Avalons in ADR studios. Very quiet units.

  • 2
    Actually Avalons 737SPs are not very quite (the ones most often used for VO). They are usually OK for VO which has a relatively high input level and then is mixed over music, sfx, etc. But for ADR or things with low level the self-noise can become apparent. Pres like Grace, Millenia, GML, Earthworks are all REALLY quiet pres. We use a Grace m101 in the studio for both VO and ADR and it sounds amazing.
    – Ryan
    Mar 22, 2013 at 21:15
  • We also have 2 Avalon 737sp, and use them often for VO, they are great pres as well, and as a channel strip they are great. They are ubiquitous in VO studios and have the "VO" sound, but again are not very quiet.
    – Ryan
    Mar 22, 2013 at 21:16
  • Interesting, good to know. Haven't had any noise issues with Avalons so far, but then again I've only used them a couple of times. +1 for Millenia.
    – Alex
    Mar 22, 2013 at 21:29
  • Millennia HV-3
  • John Hardy M1
  • Grace Design m201

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