10 Best Channel Strips For Vocals (2023 Update)

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As a singer or vocal performer, you know that the quality of your recording setup can make or break the final output of your music. One crucial component to consider is a channel strip for vocals, which is an essential tool for processing and enhancing the sound of your voice. A channel strip combines several important elements such as preamp, EQ, compressor, and other effects into one unit, making it easier to tweak and adjust your vocal sound.

When looking for a channel strip for vocals, there are a few key points to consider. First, consider your budget and determine what features you need. Next, think about the type of music you'll be recording and what kind of vocal sound you want to achieve. Consider the quality of the preamp and the type of EQ and compression that the channel strip offers. Lastly, make sure it's compatible with your recording setup and has the necessary input and output connections.

In summary, when looking for channel strips for vocals, keep in mind your budget, desired vocal sound, preamp quality, EQ and compression options, and compatibility with your recording setup. By taking these factors into consideration, you'll be able to find a channel strip that can help enhance your vocal recordings and take your music to the next level.

10 Best Channel Strips For Vocals

1. Dbx 676 Tube Microphone Preamp Channel Strip

The dbx 676 Tube Microphone Preamp Channel Strip is a high-quality preamp designed to enhance the sound of any microphone. It features a Class-A vacuum tube preamp with high voltage gain, which provides a warm, rich sound that is sought-after by many recording professionals.

The preamp includes a high-visibility vintage VU meter, which helps to ensure that the levels are correct and that the signal is not too hot or too low. This is an essential feature for any recording engineer, as it helps to prevent distortion and other unwanted effects.

In addition to the preamp, the dbx 676 also includes a compressor that is designed from the dbx162SL. This compressor is highly regarded in the recording industry and is known for its smooth, transparent sound. It can be used to add warmth and depth to vocals, guitars, drums, and other instruments.

The dbx 676 also features a 3-band parametric EQ, which allows users to fine-tune the sound of their recordings. This is particularly useful for removing unwanted frequencies or boosting certain elements of the sound. The EQ is highly flexible and can be adjusted to suit a wide range of recording scenarios.

The preamp comes with both 1/4” and XLR inputs and outputs, making it compatible with a wide range of microphones and other audio equipment. The inclusion of both types of inputs and outputs means that users can choose the best connection method for their specific setup.

Overall, the dbx 676 Tube Microphone Preamp Channel Strip is an excellent choice for anyone looking to enhance the sound of their recordings. Its high-quality components, including the Class-A vacuum tube preamp and the dbx162SL compressor, ensure that it delivers a warm, rich sound that is highly sought-after in the recording industry. Additionally, the 3-band parametric EQ and flexible inputs and outputs make it a versatile choice for any recording setup.

2. Dbx 286s Microphone Preamp & Channel Strip Processor

The dbx 286s Microphone Preamp & Channel Strip Processor is a studio-quality device that enhances the sound quality of your recordings. It combines a microphone preamp with a channel strip processor to provide an all-in-one solution for professional audio production.

One of the standout features of the dbx 286s is its classic compression technology. This feature allows you to achieve a smooth, polished sound that is perfect for vocals and other instruments. The dbx compression is known for its transparency and ability to preserve the natural dynamics of your recordings.

Another notable feature of the dbx 286s is its frequency-tuneable de-esser. This technology reduces sibilance and high frequency distortion, resulting in a cleaner, more polished sound. The de-esser is adjustable, allowing you to fine-tune it to your specific needs.

The dbx 286s also features an enhancer that increases the detail and definition of the high and low frequencies. This feature is perfect for adding clarity and depth to your recordings, making them sound more professional and polished.

The program-adaptive expander/Gate is another useful feature of the dbx 286s. This technology helps to reduce background noise and unwanted sound, providing a cleaner, more polished sound. The expander/Gate is adjustable, allowing you to fine-tune it to your specific needs.

The dbx 286s has a wide frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, allowing you to capture every detail of your recordings. It has multiple input options, including 1/4" TRS (x2) and XLR (x1), and a single 1/4" TRS output.

The dbx 286s operates on 120VAC 60Hz, 100VAC 50/60Hz, making it suitable for use in a variety of countries. It comes with a power cord, operation manual, and rack mount screws and washers (x4), making it easy to set up and use.

Overall, the dbx 286s Microphone Preamp & Channel Strip Processor is an excellent choice for anyone looking to enhance the sound quality of their recordings. Its combination of classic compression technology, frequency-tuneable de-esser, enhancer, and program-adaptive expander/Gate make it a versatile and powerful tool for professional audio production.

3. Presonus Studiochannel Vacuum-Tube Channel Strip, Blue

The PreSonus STUDIOCHANNEL Vacuum-Tube Channel Strip in Blue is a high-quality audio processing unit designed to enhance the sound of any recording. This channel strip is packed with features that make it a versatile tool for both home studio and professional recording applications.

At the heart of the PreSonus STUDIOCHANNEL is a high-voltage Class A 12AX7 vacuum-tube mic/instrument preamplifier. This preamplifier is designed to provide a warm, natural sound that is ideal for vocals, acoustic guitars, and other instruments. The tube drive control allows users to add subtle or intense harmonic distortion to the signal, giving it a rich, vintage character.

The STUDIOCHANNEL also features a 3-band EQ with variable-Q on the mid-band and peak/shelving on the high- and low-bands. This EQ provides a wide range of tonal options, allowing users to shape the sound of their recordings to their liking. The parametric mid-band and semi-parametric low and high bands make it easy to target specific frequencies for fine-tuning.

A variable VCA compressor with auto attack/release and soft/hard knee is also included in the STUDIOCHANNEL. This compressor provides precise control over the dynamics of the signal, ensuring that it stays within a desired range. The auto attack/release feature adjusts the attack and release times automatically, while the soft/hard knee control allows users to choose between a more transparent or more aggressive compression style.

In addition to its audio processing capabilities, the STUDIOCHANNEL also features a range of connectivity options. It has instrument, line, and mic inputs, making it compatible with a wide range of instruments and devices. The unit is also 1U 19” rack-mountable, with a rugged steel chassis that is built to withstand the rigors of professional use.

Overall, the PreSonus STUDIOCHANNEL Vacuum-Tube Channel Strip in Blue is an excellent choice for anyone looking to enhance the sound of their recordings. Its high-quality preamplifier, versatile EQ, and precise compressor make it a powerful tool for any recording application. With its range of connectivity options and rugged construction, it is also a reliable and durable choice for professional use.

4. Dbx 286s Preamp And Channel Strip Bundle (3 Items) With Trs And Xlr Cables.

The DBX 286s Microphone Preamp And Channel Strip Processor with 1/4-Inch TRS and XLR Cable Bundle is a high-quality bundle of professional audio equipment that includes the DBX 286s Microphone Pre-Amp Processor, a Knox Gear 25-Feet XLR Male to XLR Female Microphone Cable, and a Focus Camera by Kirlin 1/4 inch TRS to 1/4 inch TRS Cable (6-Feet).

This bundle is designed to provide studio-quality sound for vocals and instruments, making it an ideal choice for professional recording studios, home studios, and live performances. The DBX 286s is a full-featured Channel Strip Processor that delivers a studio-quality microphone/instrument preamplifier and four processors that can be used independently or in any combination.

The DBX 286s Mic Preamp is designed to provide wide-ranging input gain control, switchable +48V phantom power, and an 80Hz high-pass filter to remove low-frequency hum, rumble, or wind. It is a perfect tool for recording vocals and instruments in a noisy environment.

The DBX 286s also comes with a patented DBX OverEasy compressor that can be used to smooth out uneven acoustic tracks or deliver that classic 'in-your-face' vocal performance that only a DBX compressor can. Additionally, the frequency tunable De-Esser can be used to eliminate vocal sibilance and high-frequency distortion from instruments such as cymbals.

The DBX 286s offers a full complement of metering and status LEDs to visually guide users to achieving the right sound. The floating balanced XLR Mic Input accepts balanced or unbalanced inputs, making it easy to connect to professional and home studio microphones. The additional 1/4-inch TRS Line Input can accept balanced/unbalanced signals to process live electronic instruments or pre-recorded tracks at mixdown.

The DBX 286s also comes with an Insert jack that can be used to interface between the Mic Preamp and the signal processing sections. This can be used to loop out to external processors (such as EQ or delay unit) or to mix the Mic Preamp's signal out to an external destination.

In conclusion, the DBX 286s Microphone Preamp And Channel Strip Processor with 1/4-Inch TRS and XLR Cable Bundle is a must-have for any professional recording studio, home studio, or live performance. It provides studio-quality sound for vocals and instruments, making it an essential tool for any recording artist or musician.

5. Art Voicechannel Tube Channel Strip With Digital Outs

The ART VoiceChannel Tube Channel Strip with Digital Outs is a highly versatile and reliable audio input solution that is perfect for any recording application. It features a proven ART Tube Preamp design that delivers exceptional warmth and definition to your recordings.

This channel strip is equipped with a range of smooth, musical-sounding dynamics control tools, including a compressor, expander, de-esser, and gate. These tools make it easy to shape your sound and create professional-quality recordings.

One of the standout features of the ART VoiceChannel is its flexible digital connectivity options. It offers ADAT Lite-pipe, AES/EBU, S/PDIF, and TOSLink digital outputs, making it easy to connect to a wide range of digital devices. Additionally, it features USB direct-connect to a computer or laptop, providing even more flexibility and convenience for your recording setup.

Overall, the ART VoiceChannel Tube Channel Strip with Digital Outs is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality audio input solution that delivers exceptional sound quality and versatile connectivity options. Whether you're a professional audio engineer or a home recording enthusiast, this channel strip is sure to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

6. Newborn Cotton Kimono Robe Bodysuit Romper For Infants, Japanese Pajamas 0-24 Months

The PAUBOLI Baby Kimono Robe is a premium quality, newborn cotton yarn bodysuit romper that is designed for infants aged 0-24 months. Made from 100% premium cotton yarn, this baby kimono robe is lightweight, smooth, and breathable, making it the perfect choice for your little one.

The super soft fabric of this baby kimono robe ensures that your baby's delicate skin is protected, while the strong sweat absorption properties keep their skin dry and cool. This makes it an excellent choice for use during the hot summer months.

The comfy and loose pajamas design of this baby kimono robe ensures that your little one can sleep peacefully without any restriction. The snaps on the bottom of the robe also make it easy to change your baby's diaper without having to remove the entire outfit.

This baby kimono robe is available in five different sizes to accommodate babies of different ages. You can choose from sizes that range from newborn 0-1 month to 12-24 months. This makes it easy to find the perfect fit for your baby.

When it comes to cleaning this baby kimono robe, you have the option of either hand or machine washing it in cold water. This ensures that it remains in excellent condition and lasts for a long time.

In summary, if you are looking for a high-quality, comfortable, and breathable baby kimono robe for your little one, then the PAUBOLI Baby Kimono Robe is an excellent choice. Its premium cotton yarn material, sweat absorption properties, loose pajamas design, and easy diaper change features make it an ideal outfit for your baby.

7. Dbx 286s Mic Channel Strip With Cables And Cloth.

The dbx 286s Mic Preamp/Mic Channel Strip Processor is a high-quality tool for any recording or broadcasting setup. With its classic dbx compression, this device can bring professional sound quality within easy reach. The preamp helps to amplify and improve the quality of any microphone, while the channel strip processor offers a range of features to enhance the sound even further.

One of the standout features of the dbx 286s is the frequency tunable De-Esser. This feature helps to reduce sibilance and high frequency distortion, resulting in a clearer and more natural sound. The Enhancer is another key feature that can be used to increase the detail and definition of the high and low frequencies. This is particularly useful for bringing out the nuances of vocals or instruments.

The dbx 286s also includes an insert jack that allows you to add an external processor if needed. This gives you even more flexibility and control over your sound. The device is designed to be easy to use, with intuitive controls and LED meters that make it easy to monitor your levels.

The dbx 286s comes with two professional-grade XLR cables and two 1/4" to 1/4" TRS cables, making it easy to connect to your other equipment. Additionally, the package includes a StreamEye Polishing Cloth, which can be used to keep the device clean and free of dust and debris.

Overall, the dbx 286s Mic Preamp/Mic Channel Strip Processor is a powerful and versatile tool for anyone looking to improve the quality of their recordings or broadcasts. With its range of features and intuitive controls, it is easy to use and delivers professional-grade sound quality. Whether you are a musician, podcaster, or broadcaster, the dbx 286s is a valuable addition to any setup.

8. Tascam Ta-1vp Rackmount Vocal Producer Processor With Antares Autotune

The Tascam TA-1VP Rackmount Vocal Producer Processor is a high-quality device developed in collaboration with Antares Audio Technologies. It is designed to provide everything that singers and producers need in order to achieve a polished, modern vocal sound, whether in the studio or during live performances.

The TA-1VP includes a range of features that make it an ideal choice for singers, producers, and engineers. It includes a mic preamp, compression, de-essing, mic and tube modeling, and Antares' famous Auto-Tune pitch correction. With this range of tools, users can add warmth, depth, and character to their vocal recordings, ensuring that their performances stand out from the crowd.

Whether used in a live setting or in the studio, the TA-1VP is a powerful tool that can transform the sound of vocals. The device includes a high-quality XLR microphone input on the front panel, complete with phantom power for condenser mics. This makes it easy to connect your microphone and start recording or performing right away.

The TA-1VP also includes balanced TRS inputs and outputs on the rear panel. These connections are ideal for use with other studio equipment, such as mixers, preamps, and effects processors. Additionally, the device features a Double Track out, which can be used to simulate doubled vocals, adding depth and richness to the sound.

One of the key features of the TA-1VP is its simple-to-use layout. The device is divided into processing blocks, each with dedicated buttons and meters that show exactly what is happening to the signal. This makes it easy to understand and adjust the processing, even for users who are new to vocal processing.

Another key feature of the TA-1VP is its Auto-Tune module. This module can be set to any level of pitch correction, in a variety of user-selectable scales. This makes it easy to achieve a natural, polished sound, without the need for extensive manual tuning.

Overall, the Tascam TA-1VP Rackmount Vocal Producer Processor is a versatile and powerful tool that is ideal for singers, producers, and engineers. Whether used in the studio or on stage, it provides everything users need to achieve a modern, polished vocal sound. With its range of features and easy-to-use layout, it is an excellent choice for anyone looking to take their vocal recordings to the next level.

9. Tascam Model 24: 24-Track Live Mixer, Analog/digital Recorder, Usb Audio Interface

The Tascam Model 24 is a versatile 24-track multi-track, live mixer, and recording studio that combines the best of analog mixing with digital recording technology. It offers a full set of familiar EQ and auxiliary knobs, making it easy to use without the need for menu diving. All inputs and outputs are located on the surface of the mixer, providing quick and easy access.

The Model 24 features 16 high-grade TASCAM mic preamps and multiple stereo line inputs, delivering studio-quality audio performance right out of the box. It allows users to capture up to 24 tracks simultaneously at 24-bit/48kHz resolution, with the ability to support punch in/out of eight tracks simultaneously. This makes it an ideal choice for recording bands, live events, and podcasts.

Once a take is complete, users can easily playback any or all recorded tracks through the console for immediate mixdown. The input impedance is 22kΩ, providing optimal performance for a wide range of microphones and instruments. Additionally, the Model 24 can act as a powerful audio interface, connecting directly to a PC or Mac for easy integration with any DAW of choice.

Designed to be both lightweight and rugged, the Model 24 can be easily carried from studio to stage with confidence in its reliability. Its compact size makes it ideal for use in small studios or on the road, while its durable construction ensures it can withstand the rigors of daily use.

In summary, the Tascam Model 24 is an all-in-one solution for recording, mixing, and mastering music or other audio projects. Its intuitive design, high-quality components, and versatile features make it an excellent choice for musicians, sound engineers, and podcasters alike. Whether creating music in a studio or capturing live performances on stage, the Model 24 delivers exceptional results with ease of use and professional-grade features.

10. 4-Channel Wireless Microphone System With Quad Uhf Metal Cordless Mics, Fixed Frequency, 150-200ft Long Distance, And 16 Hours Of Use. Ideal For Karaoke Singing And Church Events.

The Innopow 4-Channel Wireless Microphone System is a highly durable and reliable wireless microphone system designed for use in a variety of applications, including karaoke singing, church services, conferences, classrooms, and small DJ KJ stages. The system features four handheld microphones, each with individual volume control, housed in sleek and durable metal housing with an internal antenna for optimal aesthetics and long life.

With a battery life of 14-17 hours and a working range of 180-240 feet (60-80m) in wide-open areas, the Innopow 4-Channel Wireless Microphone System is perfect for use in both indoor and outdoor settings. The system also includes two XLR individual outputs and one 6.35mm mixed output, providing versatile connectivity options for a wide range of audio equipment.

The microphones are equipped with unidirectional neodymium dynamic cartridges, which provide optimal sound quality, maximum feedback rejection, and minimal handling noise. The vocal sound quality is loud and clear, making it ideal for use in a wide range of settings.

In addition to the receiver and four handheld microphones, the Innopow 4-Channel Wireless Microphone System also includes a power adapter, 1/4 audio cable, and two antennas. The system is easy to set up and use, and is designed to provide reliable performance even in challenging environments.

Overall, the Innopow 4-Channel Wireless Microphone System is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a durable and reliable wireless microphone system. With its long battery life, wide working range, and high-quality sound, it is ideal for use in a wide range of settings, from small family parties to large conferences and events.

Best Channel Strips For Vocals FAQs

Are there any specific settings or techniques for using a channel strip for vocal processing?

Yes, there are specific settings and techniques for using a channel strip for vocal processing. Firstly, it's essential to set the input gain correctly to avoid clipping or distortion. Then, apply EQ to shape the vocal's frequency response by cutting or boosting specific frequencies. Additionally, compression can be used to control the dynamic range of the vocal performance, making it more consistent and easier to mix. It's also common to add some reverb or delay to create a sense of space and depth in the mix. Lastly, it's essential to listen critically and adjust the settings to fit the specific vocal performance and the overall mix. With these techniques, a channel strip can be a powerful tool for achieving professional-sounding vocal processing.

Can a channel strip be used for both recording and mixing vocals?

Yes, a channel strip can be used for both recording and mixing vocals. A channel strip is a piece of audio equipment that combines multiple functions into a single unit, including a preamplifier, equalizer, compressor, and sometimes a de-esser. This makes it a versatile tool for both recording and mixing vocals.

When recording vocals, a channel strip can be used to shape the sound of the singer's voice before it is recorded onto a track. The preamplifier can boost the level of the microphone signal, while the equalizer can be used to adjust the tone of the voice. The compressor can help control the dynamics of the performance, while the de-esser can reduce sibilance and other harsh sounds.

In mixing, a channel strip can be used to further shape the sound of the recorded vocals. The same tools can be used to adjust the levels, tone, dynamics, and sibilance of the vocals in the context of the entire mix. Overall, a channel strip is a valuable tool for recording and mixing vocals in a professional setting.

How do different types of channel strips affect the sound of vocals?

Different types of channel strips can have a significant impact on the sound of vocals. Solid-state channel strips tend to provide a clean and transparent sound, while tube channel strips can add warmth and saturation to the vocals. Some channel strips also come with built-in EQ, compression, and other processing tools that can shape the vocal sound in various ways. For example, a channel strip with a high-pass filter can cut out unwanted low-frequency rumble, while a compressor can even out the dynamic range and add sustain to the vocals. Additionally, different channel strips have different preamp designs, which can affect the level of detail and clarity in the vocal sound. Ultimately, the choice of channel strip depends on the specific goals of the recording and the desired sound aesthetic.

What are some recommended channel strips for achieving professional-quality vocal recordings?

When it comes to achieving professional-quality vocal recordings, a high-quality channel strip is essential. Some recommended options include the Universal Audio LA-610 MkII, the SSL E-Channel Strip, and the Neve 1073. These channel strips offer features such as preamp emulation, EQ, and compression to help shape the sound of the vocals.

The Universal Audio LA-610 MkII is a popular choice for its vintage preamp design and smooth sounding optical compressor. The SSL E-Channel Strip is known for its versatile EQ and dynamic processing capabilities, allowing for precise control over the vocal sound. The Neve 1073 is a classic choice for its warm and punchy sound, with a powerful EQ section.

Ultimately, the best channel strip for achieving professional-quality vocal recordings will depend on personal preferences and the specific needs of the recording project. It's important to consider factors such as budget, desired sound, and compatibility with other equipment.

What are the key features to look for in a channel strip when recording vocals?

When recording vocals, it is important to have a channel strip that can provide the necessary tools to enhance the vocal performance. Some key features to look for in a channel strip include a high-quality preamp, a variable impedance control, a de-esser, an EQ, and a compressor. A high-quality preamp will provide clean gain, while a variable impedance control will allow you to match the microphone to the preamp for optimal performance. A de-esser is important to control sibilance and harshness in the vocal performance, while an EQ will allow you to shape the sound of the vocal to fit the mix. Finally, a compressor will help to even out the dynamic range of the vocal performance and add sustain. Overall, a channel strip with these features will provide the necessary tools to record and enhance a great vocal performance.

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