I’ve always been impressed with M-Audio gear. They seem to get a good balance of doing something simply, reliably and also in-expensive. Since, I’m going to be selling my Tampa (as I’m getting rid of my studio equipment and focusing on live) I thought I would write a quick review of it.
In short, this is a fantastic mic pre to add some valve-like coloration to a signal in a subtle way.
The heart of this pre-amp is really the compressor. With an attack range of 1-10ms and a release range of 0.25-5s it can create some interesting shaping possibilities. Without the compressor engaged this pre is rather dry and transparent. When you add the compressor into the signal path things really come to life. In particular, anything rhythmical or percussive seems to have a bit of added life.
There is a 20dB pad on the output section which is useful for when you want to drive the pre-amp and compressor section hard. This is when you can really explore the sonic character of this unit.
I’m going to miss playing with this unit. But it needs to go as I’ve not really done anything serious with it. If M-Audio would put two of those compressors in a 1U unit then I’d buy it straight away.