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It's simple - your preamp needs MORE FREQUENCIES!

Having trouble with your recordings? It could be that your preamp simply doesn't have enough frequencies!


Now I like to think I know a thing or two about audio. But however much you know, there's always the opportunity to have your eyes opened still further.

And this opportunity came to me while reading the latest issue of my favorite audio mag.

On Page 39 I noticed an ad for a microphone preamplifier... the BAE Audio DMP, which, if you didn't suspect, is the desktop version of their 1073MP preamp.


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But we need some more background...

Does '1073' sound familier to you? Is it a prime number? Is the number of your Swiss bank account?

No, of course, it is the designation of one of the most famous preamps in the world - the Neve 1073, which you would have found installed in the great Rupert Neve mixing consoles of a bygone era.

Now I will readily agree that the original Neve 1073 is a great preamp. Don't go overloading it or it will do some really funny things, but otherwise it sounds great.

In fact it sounds so great that it doesn't have a sound at all. Rupert Neve told me that himself. At least that was what he was aiming for.

But since the Neve 1073 has, for whatever reason, acquired such a reputation, it isn't surprising that other manufacturers have sought to emulate it as closely as they can (get away with).

Audio die-hards will of course tell you that there is nothing quite like the original, and it is probably true to say that not every 1073 is quite up to the quality of the Neve original.

But the BAE Audio DMP, the desktop version of their 1073MP, aims to improve on the Neve 1073, not just equal it.

In fact, it has the classic 1073 sound, but with MORE FREQUENCIES.

I know this because in the ad there is a quote from renowned contributor to the professional music industry Matt Sorum who says exactly that.

"It has that classic 1073 sound but with significantly more frequencies to help you out of those tight spots."

That's what he says.

So where are these 'more frequencies' coming from?

I am very familiar with the normal range of audio frequencies from around 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz (although I merely remember the higher ones!).

Perhaps the DMP has lower frequencies than the original 1073. Or perhaps it has higher frequencies. But if these frequencies are outside the audio range, then surely they don't matter.

Or it could be... (cue Twilight Zone music)...

That these are frequencies that have hitherto been unknown!

Perhaps there are whole new ranges of frequencies that we just haven't discovered yet. A bit like America in 1491.

It could be true...

Think about numbers. Once upon a time there were just the positive whole numbers.

Then someone discovered fractional numbers, then negative numbers, then imaginary numbers.

Imaginary numbers? Yes, they do exist. No really. They are used in electronics calculations.

So maybe we could call these new frequencies 'imaginary frequencies'. Yes, that's a good term.

Imaginary frequencies.

See how it just rolls off the tongue?

OK, I could be a cynic and say that these frequencies really are in someone's over-fertile imagination. Maybe Matt Sorum's, maybe BAE Audio's, maybe the advertising copywriter's.

Or maybe imaginary frequencies could be real.

What do you think?

Is there any such thing as imaginary frequencies? And if so, how do we go about getting them?

Do we have to buy a BAE Audio DMP, the desktop version of the 1073MP?

Or are these imaginary frequencies all around, ready to be exploited by those who are able to open up their minds sufficiently.

Comments please!

By David Mellor Friday May 21, 2010