Is there an (affordable) software version of a microphone preamp (such as the world class but unaffordable avalon 737 specifications) that allows my (phantom powered) nararted voice audio recordings to have more warmth, more base, more depth and a more professional radio-like sound?

I'm looking for software or plugi-ins that provice not only the usual attack, realease, compression, gain etc and equaliser to have custom specific filters to bring dul, audio recordings more to life and more radio-like, just like the avalon 737 can do. Any and all ideas are welcome!

Currently I use the free Audacity software but I m open for experimenting with new other paid software to achieve better narrated voice audio recordings.

2 Answers 2


Actually, the mic pre amp you are mentioning is a pre amp plus a processing chain (a dynamics processor and some filters and eqs).

You cannot emulate the pre amp itself in software as amplifying the mic signal is inherently done in the analog domain. The cost of a mic pre amp is related to the analog components included, their selection and association to obtain high gain without distortion or noise.

Once your mic signal has been amplified and digitized, you can try to emulate the processing part with software. This is in my opinion subject to a lot of subjective appreciation. You will find dozens of channel strip plugins, some of them referring to famous hardware. Cost can go from free to thousands of euros.


to have more warmth, more base, more depth and a more professional radio-like sound

is only partially related to your mic pre amp and processing chain.

I would consider, in decreasing order of importance :

  • the talent
  • the microphone, the room were you record and the positioning of the mic
  • the mic pre amp and the AD converter
  • eq and dynamic processing

(This is subject to endless discussion).

One of the key factor is to have a coherent setup (for example, a high end microphone on a very cheap pre amp will give poor results).

addon : besides the cost of an Avalon 737, you must take into account that it requires changing the tubes on a regular basis to keep it's sound quality.


I'm in full agreement with audionuma's answer, but just to add that a 3 grand mic preamp will not fix a 10 buck microphone.

As you didn't mention in your question what mic & preamps you currently have, this is a bit of guesswork, but assuming it's a fairly basic setup, you can gain a reasonable amount of sound quality by using a USB pre-amp - they usually have built-in phantom & for a few bucks more an effects chain that can be used on input [often supplied with software 'VST' versions you can use on your output chain too]. Several of them have emulations of expensive mic preamps too.

Here's a listing from a popular retailer - no advert intended, just a good place to see a lot of them in one place - they run from about €30 to thousands.

You obviously still get what you pay for, but some of these cheaper devices can fake a reasonable sound out of low-budget gear.

  • Thanks Tetsujin and @audionuma for your informative questions! as microphone I was planning to use SE Electronics X1 S, and as hardware preamp something cheap and affordable such as for example the Rode AI-1 USB audio-interface. What do you think about that? Thanks!
    – Sam
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 13:31

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