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Budget 8 Channel Pre + Compressor combo w/ 48v Phantom Power?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Question Budget 8 Channel Pre + Compressor combo w/ 48v Phantom Power?

Hi, I’m looking to connect 8 mics to a UA Apollo (silver), with a <$600 budget in mind. My goal is for each XLR connected mic (likely SM7b’s) to have its own preamp, paired with its own compressor, and to be able to supply phantom power as well for a Cloud Lifter or FetHead. It’d be amazing if this was all housed within one rack mountable unit. I also don’t plan to really use the compressors much, except to stop clipping when the signal hits the AD converter of the Apollo (basically for if people yell into the mic, as this is for podcast setup). I’ve decided I don’t really want to use a hardware mixer, as I’ll be using the Apollo Console software. Mostly, I’m just wondering what my options are.

So far the closest piece of gear I’ve stumbled up is the Tascam SERIES 8p Dyna ($550 new, no used ones yet), and as a distant second option comes the Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic 8-Channel (around $350 used).
  • The Tascam looks like it would do the job wonderfully, and I’m curious if I might be able to get by on its 58db of gain, after I normalize (has anyone tried this with an SM7b?) It also has an analog DB25 output, so I could connect it right to the Apollo, yay!

  • The Focusrite looks to be digital in nature. I’m having a hard time finding out if the onboard pres and compressors are digital or analog from its product description. It looks like I would have to use its TRS line outs and adapt it to a db25 to connect. I'm also not sure if these line outs are true analog, or if it's converting it to digital on the way in, then converting it back on the way out.

So far, these are the only units I have found that I could get by on. Do you know if there’s other units similar in features to the Tascam out there? I would love to give them a look! I’m totally down to use older gear as long as it does the job. Many thanks!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

The Focusrite is analog with digital outputs, at least according the Sweetwater description ("per channel analog compression. (It also has analog outputs.) So you'd have AD converters that you wouldn't need.

There's a discontinued product that might be able to find used - the 8MX2, originally branded the ATI 8MX2, then later the JDK 8MX2. 8 high-quality pre's with a simple limiter per channel (just to protect against overloads). It also has a ton of other features which you don't need; basically it's a one-rack-space 8 channel mixer with panning, summing, cue system, headphone output, etc. You could of course just ignore all that other stuff. But the cheapest I've seen one used is around $1k, and often they're more.

Doesn't the Apollo already have some mic pres built in? Do you really need 8 more, or is it just the convenience of all the pres in one unit that you're looking for?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirker View Post
The Focusrite is analog with digital outputs, at least according the Sweetwater description ("per channel analog compression. (It also has analog outputs.) So you'd have AD converters that you wouldn't need.

There's a discontinued product that might be able to find used - the 8MX2, originally branded the ATI 8MX2, then later the JDK 8MX2. 8 high-quality pre's with a simple limiter per channel (just to protect against overloads). It also has a ton of other features which you don't need; basically it's a one-rack-space 8 channel mixer with panning, summing, cue system, headphone output, etc. You could of course just ignore all that other stuff. But the cheapest I've seen one used is around $1k, and often they're more.

Doesn't the Apollo already have some mic pres built in? Do you really need 8 more, or is it just the convenience of all the pres in one unit that you're looking for?
Thanks for this info, I truly appreciate it! I'll definitely check out the ATI/JDK.

While some models do, the Apollo I use doesn't have any pres built in, it's only a firewire interface with 16 line inputs and 16 outputs connected by DB25 ports. So while I still need processing before anything hits the Apollo, per your question, I am definitely looking for something that also makes it as convenient as possible.

Edit: Even if it is a little pricey, that 8MX2 looks really promising! It does everything I would need, and even connects with DB25s. Plus, 65db of gain per mic is a bit more than the tascam. Thanks again for showing me this option! Might be able to get by without FetHeads or CloudLifters with something like this too!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
I don't like buying used kit so I'd go for the Tascam, I really like Tascam pres. The one knob compressors are more like limiters - but that's what you said you wanted.
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