Video: Warm Audio's Affordable Outboard Lineup & The New WA-MPX Pre

Since their inception in 2011, Warm Audio has been dedicated to delivering high-end recording products that also happen to be affordable for the average musician or engineer. Their lines of cost-effective vintage-style microphones and effects pedal clones combine blue-ribbon sound with budget solutions, and their outboard gear—including a range of rackmount compressors, EQs, and mic pres—are sure to level up your studio without emptying your bank account.

The latest addition to the Warm Audio family is the WA-MPX, a one-channel microphone preamp that serves as an authentic reproduction of one of the most revered tape-era tube mic preamps in the history of the recording arts. Based on the 351-style tube preamplifiers found on several American tape machines, it features premium components and true-to-original circuit design that's still sought out by artists and producers today.

In the above video, we give the WA-MPX a spin, alongside three more from Warm Audio's existing mic pre lineup.


This is a Warm Audio WA-MPX 1-Channel Microphone Preamp
Warm Audio WA-MPX 1-Channel Microphone Preamp

The WA-MPX is inspired by the legendary tube preamp from Ampex's 351 tape machine, a unit that was a staple of several elite recording studios in the late '50s and early '60s, such as Sun and RCA. Its sonic profile boasts a full range of analog tone, from clean volume with preserved clarity to thick distortion that pushes tubes to saturated heights. The "Tape Sat" switch on the MPX adds all-analog tape saturation, as well as harmonic distortion, compression, and EQ, making it the ideal for adding warmth to any mix or master.


This is a Warm Audio WA73-EQ 1-Channel British Microphone Preamp / EQ.
Warm Audio WA73-EQ 1-Channel British Microphone Preamp / EQ

'73-style boutique preamps can be heard all over a variety of expensive-sounding landmark recordings, and thanks to the introduction of this one-channel combination pre and EQ, that ubiquitous sound is now far more affordable. It's a versatile tool that can be utilized on a variety of microphones—be it condensers or dynamics—and can be applied to shape the tone of all sorts of instruments including vocals, guitars, drums, and keyboards. Equipped with 80dB of gain and a fully discrete Carnhill Transformer balance signal path, this hand-wired unit is sure to add that shiny, vintage British sheen to any record you produce.


This is a Warm Audio WA-412 4-Channel Mic Preamp with DI.
Warm Audio WA-412 4-Channel Mic Preamp with DI.

This four channel mic pre—based on the design of classic American console preamp—packs a gigantic low-end punch and buttery, open top-end. The WA-412 also adds an output trim and a "Tone" switch, which allows for changes in the input impedance for the ultimate in sonic versatility. When you consider how much clarity and headroom the discrete op-amps and Altran transformers deliver, you'll want to use this on every drum or bass track you end up recording. For those who need a bank of mic inputs at a low-cost, the WA-412 will be the one for you.

TB12 Tone Beast

This is a Warm Audio TB12 Tone Beast Preamp
Warm Audio TB12 Tone Beast Preamp.

As a rackmount counterpart to its 500 series sibling, the Tone Beast lives up to its name: it's a single-channel pre that comes equipped with switchable op-amps and output transformers, plenty of gain, not to mention a section entirely dedicated to tone. Based on the circuitry of the API 312, it also features insert slots which allow the unit to integrate other processors in its signal path, making it the ideal color box for sound designers and mix engineers alike.

Of course, Warm Audio offers a handful of other mic pres that aren't mentioned in the above video—those of us that prefer 2-channel units or 500 series modules will find themselves with plenty of options for endless tone-shaping possibilities.

"This article is part of a paid partnership with Warm Audio. From time to time, Reverb partners with trusted brands and manufacturers to highlight some of our favorite products we think our community will love."
comments powered by Disqus

Reverb Gives

Your purchases help youth music programs get the gear they need to make music.

Carbon-Offset Shipping

Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments.

Oops, looks like you forgot something. Please check the fields highlighted in red.