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Best IO for analogue desk preamps (Soundtracs Topaz)
Old 2nd September 2019
  #1
Gear Head
 

Best IO for analogue desk preamps (Soundtracs Topaz)

In the process of building an OTB home studio which I’ve not done before.

I’ve picked up a Topaz 16 track and thinking about interfaces to track in and out of Ableton.

All the chat in the low-end theory section is around the 18i20, ADA8200 etc. But from what I understand you can't avoid the pres in those units - since I'll be using the desk pres, are these interfaces the right thing for me to be using? Or is double-preamp a non issue?

The goal is to have the desk be the centre of the whole setup. All synths, mics, and outs from Live will be recorded and mixed through it.

Thoughts and recommendations appreciated. This is a budget build obviously, so with that in mind...

Thanks!
Old 2nd September 2019
  #2
Gear Head
 

Btw I originally posted this in a Soundtracs thread but figured it was going too far off topic so should start a fresh one. Thanks!
Old 4th September 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
I know the conversion on new interfaces is quite good, but yeah not being able to disable preamps can be terious. I know with my motu 8pre that if i turn the pres all the way down it is essentially "bypassed" according to motu. Maybe try that with one of these?

I am looking to do simillar things on a budget, was considering either slaving a second 8pre to my system or waiting to take the plunge till i could get one of those aio models from motu with a ton of balanced ins and outs.
Old 5th September 2019
  #4
+++
Gear Nut
 
+++'s Avatar
 

I do not have any experience with your interfaces but both have LINE inputs. If you haven't tried the following, it might help: Use the +4 from the Topaz direct outs and go into those LINE inputs. Run a test tone down each channel (search GS/Google for how-tos if you're not sure how to do this) into the LINE inputs with all gain knobs on interfaces at 0. Check levels/continuity. Let us know the results.
Old 7th September 2019
  #5
Gear Head
 

Thanks for the replies so far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by +++ View Post
I do not have any experience with your interfaces but both have LINE inputs. If you haven't tried the following, it might help: Use the +4 from the Topaz direct outs and go into those LINE inputs. Run a test tone down each channel (search GS/Google for how-tos if you're not sure how to do this) into the LINE inputs with all gain knobs on interfaces at 0. Check levels/continuity. Let us know the results.
I don’t have any interfaces yet, so I can’t test this. Was hoping for recommendations of best options. Surely there are IO options that don’t include pres??
Old 8th September 2019
  #6
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by hazza View Post
Thanks for the replies so far!



I don’t have any interfaces yet, so I can’t test this. Was hoping for recommendations of best options. Surely there are IO options that don’t include pres??
How many channels of i/o are you wanting? And whats your budget?

I can give you a couple routes but budget is a factor.
Old 9th September 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by hazza View Post
In the process of building an OTB home studio which I’ve not done before.

I’ve picked up a Topaz 16 track and thinking about interfaces to track in and out of Ableton.

All the chat in the low-end theory section is around the 18i20, ADA8200 etc. But from what I understand you can't avoid the pres in those units - since I'll be using the desk pres, are these interfaces the right thing for me to be using? Or is double-preamp a non issue?

The goal is to have the desk be the centre of the whole setup. All synths, mics, and outs from Live will be recorded and mixed through it.

Thoughts and recommendations appreciated. This is a budget build obviously, so with that in mind...

Thanks!
Ive got a topaz going into an ada8200 . Its fine.
Old 9th September 2019
  #8
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojanmantony View Post
I know the conversion on new interfaces is quite good, but yeah not being able to disable preamps can be terious. I know with my motu 8pre that if i turn the pres all the way down it is essentially "bypassed" according to motu. Maybe try that with one of these?

I am looking to do simillar things on a budget, was considering either slaving a second 8pre to my system or waiting to take the plunge till i could get one of those aio models from motu with a ton of balanced ins and outs.
Unless you just need the mic pres if you can afford it buy a motu 8a and run the 8pre via adat or even better sell your 8pre and get the 8a and an ultralite avb. Then you can link em and run up to 192k. You would have 16 analog in 14 line level and 2 mic pres amd 16 analog line out. Plus midi i/o.
Old 15th September 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hazza View Post
In the process of building an OTB home studio which I’ve not done before.

I’ve picked up a Topaz 16 track and thinking about interfaces to track in and out of Ableton.

All the chat in the low-end theory section is around the 18i20, ADA8200 etc. But from what I understand you can't avoid the pres in those units - since I'll be using the desk pres, are these interfaces the right thing for me to be using? Or is double-preamp a non issue?

The goal is to have the desk be the centre of the whole setup. All synths, mics, and outs from Live will be recorded and mixed through it.

Thoughts and recommendations appreciated. This is a budget build obviously, so with that in mind...

Thanks!
I went down the "affordable interface with fuly bypassable preamps" road this year and ended up with an old M Audio Profire 2626, which does completely bypass the preamp circuitry when using the line inputs. I'm pretty happy with it for the money. Never used it as an interface though, only a 24/48 ADAT expander for my main interface, so I can't comment on its hihg sample rate performance or driver stability. For the 10 months or so I've been using it I've got no complaints, though.Not the best interface in the world or anything but a good deal IMO.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlessDinosaur View Post
Unless you just need the mic pres if you can afford it buy a motu 8a and run the 8pre via adat or even better sell your 8pre and get the 8a and an ultralite avb. Then you can link em and run up to 192k. You would have 16 analog in 14 line level and 2 mic pres amd 16 analog line out. Plus midi i/o.
Nah I've already decided on a different upgrade path. Scored a tubeopto8 for 80 bucks just gonna use those Pres mostly until I can get the 8pre-es then slave my tubeopto8 and an audient asp880 to it and feed all the outputs to patch Bay.

I don't think I'll have a large mixing desk unless I can get a really good deal on one maybe one that doesn't work since I am a skilled solder proficient kind of guy and have no problems recapping and upgrading equipment. I just really want to focus on having really clean preamps which is why I want the 8 pre and the audient and the each tube preamps I have now sounds way better than my firewire 8pre does and I intend to do a lot of modeling to this unit as well so I guess I can have some coloration with this unit.
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