So there’s this new silly thing, kids now pair microphone preamps and all kinds of other audio gear to music genres. It comes up on audio forums quite frequently: “What kind of preamp should I get? I play cookie monster metal and my brutha lays down some crappo-schmappo rap beats. We tune the guitars down 1213452463 semitones so it sounds fukken thick, and brutha yells them words out hard over them beatz like there’s no tomorrow. I just don’t know what preamp would suit these styles”. Well my dear facepalm inducing friend, it doesn’t matter. The poor mic preamp will not be able to recognize your pant shittingly hip genres, so you might as well just get one that you like the sound of and that can give you enough gain for the microphone you are going to use, and the sound source you want to record. Then use it for everything you are ever going to capture the sound of.
Your mic’s gonna cut it, don’t worry
Same goes for microphones. Sure, there’s this snobbery that you need a certain million dollar mic for aunt Nancy’s vocals when she’s singing in the toilet while crapping out on a sunny morning, then you need another fancy micro-schmicrophone for her pet gorilla, when they whistle the same extremely popular random tune in unison, right after dinner. The truth is, you only ever need to get a couple of the same mics, ones that you think sound good (and ones that you can afford). You might also need to consider getting ones with different pickup patterns, then you will be covered for most any recording situation.
So your preamp makes coffee
Trust me, your playing performance, the room/cave/barn you record in, and to some extent, the instruments you play (yes, even your voice) matter so much more than the tiny little nuances between a one million dollar microphone and the few hundred bucks one that you can afford. Once you know the main differences between certain kind of microphones, preamps, compressors and gear in general, you will notice that you can start out way cheaper than you first dreamed of on one of those sleepless nights. Learn to use what you have and enjoy making music, then let me mix it for you.