What Is a Microphone Preamplifier and Why It Is Important?

Microphone preamp or preamplifier is an audio device for preliminary sound processing and its purpose is to amplify the microphone signal before it gets to the recording device or other equipment such as a Public Address system, amplifier or a mixing console. Microphone level or instrument level sound is generally faint and unusable. The preamp is needed to intensify the sound and fit it into line level sound without causing any additional and unwelcome noise and distortion. Playing a crucial part in the recording process and the creation of quality sound makes the preamplifier essential for producing a good final audio recording. Of course, it is only another link in the sound recording and producing chain, but choosing a good preamplifier will contribute significantly to achieving your goals. Not only does it add volume, but also it adds its own tonal character and dimension to the original tune and improves it.

The Preamp Principle

Types of preamps

Sorted by form – built-in/ integrated/ internal and External

Sorted by circuit design – tube, solid state or hybrid

Sorted by output sound – transparent or coloration

Typical Preamp Response Character Preamp Response

Basic Features