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Metric Halo 2882 pres really that bad?
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TRA
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#1
19th July 2011
Old 19th July 2011
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Metric Halo 2882 pres really that bad?

I'm doing research before buying the Metric Halo 2882, but so far everything I've read is conflicting. On one hand everyone raves about it, but then I've read a bunch of posts about the pres being noisy and not very good.

Is there a general consensus?
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19th July 2011
Old 19th July 2011
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I've had one for over a year and the 2882 is a high performing firewire interface. I and many others are huge fans of Metric Halo as you can tell from the many thread here on Gearslutz, but since you asked about pre's I'll discuss them specifically.

The pre's are fine if you don't need more than about 25db of gain. Above that they are noisey. This is widely known and a function of its initial design being that it could run off the firewire buss and be buss powered.

I've used the pre's for VO and foley in major video game projects as well as to record acoustic guitars for some high end marketing (ad) spots. The pre's are clean and neutral but simply don't have much gain before their signal to noise makes them unusable. So for me I'm using the pre's on paying client projects pretty often, which sums up their usefullness right there imho.

So think of the 2882 as the sum of all that it offers, an incredibley reliable driver, the MIO console, the MIO plug-ins, the flexible routing, the great sounding headphone amps, and 8 clean and neutral preamps that have relatively low gain.

Sure, if I had the money I"d have gotten the ULN8 but its well more than 2x the price, and I already have a Panasonic WZADM96k that I use that offers 60db of useuable clean gain. So I went with the 2882. I think most users find the 2882 pre's serve as utilitarian extras and have a nice outboard unit they use for critical or high gain purposes, but the 2882 pre's within the 25db gain range are fine, and then you can always use the character modeling if you desire....
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20th July 2011
Old 20th July 2011
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Thank you very much for the response. Is the level of noise completely unusable or just background hiss similar to cassette? The only reason I'm so concerned is I regularly use ribbon mics and the SM7b which require a pretty substantial amount of clean gain.

I'm so on the fence, but the only other options are roads I've already been down.
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20th July 2011
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I wouldn't call them unusable at all. They are fine preamps, they just don't have much gain. If you are using those mics with sources that have a healthy level, they might be perfectly fine. When you are recording very quiet sources, you can just put another pre in front of the 2882. The line inputs work fine. I did this with Grace, 7th Circle, API and other pres. These days, I have a ULN-8, so that handles the quiet stuff, but the 2882 regularly records, drums, vocals, etc.
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20th July 2011
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I love my 2882 for it's compact functionality, and awesome support. I can't use any of my ribbon mics with it. Dynamics are fine for kick and guitar amps, and maybe some loud vocalists. And the 25 db of gain you do get still seems much quieter than 25 db of gain on, say, a traveler. The 2882 has a lot of features and customizability, but most of the modern boxes seem to be catching up. And while features are cool, in the end it's job is to capture mics to tape, as it were. It sounds excellent, but I guess I just need more "oomph." I do seem to keep from selling it, so maybe it is unfair to diss on it, and MH absolutely rocks as a company!!! I just wish I could justify a uln 8!

Rock on!!!
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20th July 2011
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I was in the same situation and I went with the ULN2. The pre's on it are fantastic! I have a lot of great Pre's, Great River, API, Pacifica, UA, and I have issue using the ULN2's Pre's when I want clean. I use my MH for remote recording and it works amazing.
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#7
29th September 2011
Old 29th September 2011
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I've always meant to ask, and it's topic-related ... is there something horribly wrong in using preamps in their signal to noise sweet spot then bumping up the gain digitally afterwards?
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30th September 2011
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At 24 bit or higher, it is far better to do that than to record preamp hiss, or clipping.
re: 2882 - the pres are nice-sounding, but low gain as others have said. ULN2 pres are less colored, though not completely sterile, and twice as much gain.
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1st October 2011
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1) They´re not bad at all....just listen to how much gain you can get out of them......as already mentioned they´ll be sufficient for a lot of purposes already....


Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
At 24 bit or higher, it is far better to do that than to record preamp hiss, or clipping.
re: 2882 - the pres are nice-sounding, but low gain as others have said. ULN2 pres are less colored, though not completely sterile, and twice as much gain.
2) exactly....see how far you can come level/noise wise by bumping up the gain digitally...just don´t get overboard.

3) as a Line interface there´s nothing in this price league that comes remotely close feature and soundwise....so if you get the 2882

this maybe all you need for ribbon/dynamics:

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#10
1st October 2011
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Why not just get the ULN-2 expanded?

There's not much in it and the pre's are better!!
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1st October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomdarude View Post

3) as a Line interface there´s nothing in this price league that comes remotely close feature and soundwise....so if you get the 2882

this maybe all you need for ribbon/dynamics:

+1

I use a pair of Triton Audio FetHeads with my ribbons, when used as drum room mics.
#12
1st October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
Why not just get the ULN-2 expanded?

There's not much in it and the pre's are better!!
Because of the 8 i/o's.

Tritonaudio's FetHead is also a nice gizmo for ribbons and low gain preamps.
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1st October 2011
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This is an easy one. Do you need 8 channels of "adequate" pres or do you want no compromise "real deal" pres (ULN-2). I went for the two. I am frustrated at times at the two analog channel limitation - but never by the sound. Do you want both ? ULN-8. Cost vs features about sums it up.
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11th May 2012
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Bump to an old thread. I'm using a ULN-2 2D and a Sound Devices USBPre2 currently and it would be nice to just have one box. I use mics that have a ridiculously hot output, meaning that my gain is set to 0 or I'm actually using the trim most of the time. I'm wondering if the 2882 would be a step down if I'm not needing any gain on my mics?

Thanks!

Chris
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11th May 2012
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2882 sounds great as long as your not recording really quiet sources..just gets a bit hissy
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11th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Accurate View Post
Bump to an old thread. I'm using a ULN-2 2D and a Sound Devices USBPre2 currently and it would be nice to just have one box. I use mics that have a ridiculously hot output, meaning that my gain is set to 0 or I'm actually using the trim most of the time. I'm wondering if the 2882 would be a step down if I'm not needing any gain on my mics?

Thanks!

Chris
Maybe a small step down. The pre's are different on the two units, although the 2882 pre's have a nice sound with good realism, with a hot enough input. The circuitry on the two boxes is also slightly different, resulting in some sonic difference, slight advantage ULN2, IMHO. You might also miss the knobs and inserts not present on the 2882. The 2882 does however have the fantastic ability to easily set up multiple different monitor and headphone mixes right off the rear of the box. Both are excellent products, I own and use both, usually use external pre's with the 2882, and use it as a headphone monitor hub for the studio. ULN2 handles main A/D/A and main monitor speakers, and it's pre's do get used alongside my Millennia and Avalon etc.
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13th May 2012
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Thanks for the comments, hmm... I may end up sticking with the current set up, I do like the knobs on the ULN-2...
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13th May 2012
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you can get a great drum sound with a 2882.
#19
27th October 2012
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Hey,
I got really interested in 2882 and found a second hand without 2d card.
I own a Motu Traveler MK3 and like portable gears. Looking for upgrading to higher level of industry standard. I record mostly my solos (Acoustic instrument), but plan to record my jams perfectly in order to publish.
Do you think MH 2882(without 2d) would be a good choice? Got sick of buying and upgrading gears...
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27th October 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Areft View Post
I record mostly my solos (Acoustic instrument), but plan to record my jams perfectly in order to publish. Do you think MH 2882(without 2d) would be a good choice?
If you're going to use onboard pres, I would recommend a ULN-2 for acoustic instruments. The 2882 yields approximately 42dB of clean gain. Not sure how hot your mics/instruments are but if you need more gain, the ULN-2 yields approximately 72dB of clean gain. Good luck!
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29th October 2012
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Definitely a ULN2 for acoustic instruments, unless you have very high output mics or need more channels. Sound Devices USBPre2 I nice also. You won't need to upgrade either of those.
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10th November 2012
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Anyone here has tried Tritonaudio Fethead Phantom and Fethead with MH 2882 preamps? I just want to record some acoustic instruments. Adding another unit (preamp) to my backpack is a bit too much.

FetHead - tritonaudio
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10th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Areft View Post
Anyone here has tried Tritonaudio Fethead Phantom and Fethead with MH 2882 preamps? I just want to record some acoustic instruments. Adding another unit (preamp) to my backpack is a bit too much.

FetHead - tritonaudio
Have, and do, use Cloudlifter, works great.
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11th November 2012
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Thanks edva, but that just works for dynamic and ribbon mic. I need something for condensers as well.
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11th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Areft View Post
Thanks edva, but that just works for dynamic and ribbon mic. I need something for condensers as well.
Sorry if i misunderstood.
Most condensers have enough output for the 2882, even if the recorded level is a bit lower than you'd ideally like, at 24 bit it's really not much of an issue. I personally would not put a fethead in circuit, the 2882 pre's have a good sound on their own. But, YMMV.
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11th November 2012
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28th November 2012
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I use a 2882 in my project studio. I've found the quality of the pres to be fine for synths, drum machines etc etc but with Mics once I exceed about 25db gain a large amount of hiss is generated - to the point where I don't use it for mics anymore - rely on outboard preamps for that instead. That's a shame really because the converter quality is decent and the preamps are very flexible in (all 8 can switch between instrument, line -10, line+4 & mic sources). I'm thinking of trading it in to part-finance an Apogee Ensemble - anyone think that is a bad idea?
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28th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicky T View Post
I use a 2882 in my project studio. I've found the quality of the pres to be fine for synths, drum machines etc etc but with Mics once I exceed about 25db gain a large amount of hiss is generated - to the point where I don't use it for mics anymore - rely on outboard preamps for that instead. That's a shame really because the converter quality is decent and the preamps are very flexible in (all 8 can switch between instrument, line -10, line+4 & mic sources). I'm thinking of trading it in to part-finance an Apogee Ensemble - anyone think that is a bad idea?
Apogee Ensemble
RME UFX
UA Apollo

all better choices.
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28th November 2012
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anyone interested in swapping a mint ULN2-2D for a 2882 2D ?, pm me please
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28th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicky T View Post
I use a 2882 in my project studio. I've found the quality of the pres to be fine for synths, drum machines etc etc but with Mics once I exceed about 25db gain a large amount of hiss is generated - to the point where I don't use it for mics anymore - rely on outboard preamps for that instead. That's a shame really because the converter quality is decent and the preamps are very flexible in (all 8 can switch between instrument, line -10, line+4 & mic sources). I'm thinking of trading it in to part-finance an Apogee Ensemble - anyone think that is a bad idea?
It depends. I really like the workflow of the 2882 (including the DSP and summing and routing options), so I would keep it and get some outboard pres for the times where I need more gain. It would be a great excuse for me to break out the soldering iron and build some 7th Circle pres!
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