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External preamp into MOTU 8pre - possible?
Old 12th November 2009
  #1
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External preamp into MOTU 8pre - possible?

Hi guys,

I have plans on buying a GAP 73 because they're affordable and sound good. However, I use a MOTU 8pre as my main interface, and I'm pretty sure it's not possible to bypass its preamps. There are no line inputs, so I don't really know how to properly connect the GAP. I don't think it's even possible with this interface? Is there anything cheap I could buy to fix this? Perhaps I'm overlooking something. This stuff is just for my private mobile rig so no big budget I'm afraid heh

Best!
Old 12th November 2009
  #2
I'm in the same boat and have been wondering the same thing. A longtime-engineer friend of mine came over with his band and his drummer's Firepod to record in my space and he brought along an API 3124 that he was renting. He just turned the inputs on the Firepod all the way down and used it as a converter, and used the API as the pres. Granted, there was no A/B comparison b/n this setup and a line-input setup, so who knows how much better it would be if the Firepod wasn't involved, but the end result was a fantastic sounding EP. And it was WORLDS better than just recording on the Firepod.

So, I've been thinking of doing the same thing with my MOTU 8 Pre, but I don't have a quality pre to test with. It does feel a bit like shooting yourself in the foot putting unnecessary things into the signal path, but ultimately, it comes down to whether you can make good recordings with what you've got, and that route definitely worked for that project.
Old 12th November 2009
  #3
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Lifted's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPeters86 View Post
Hi guys,

I have plans on buying a GAP 73 because they're affordable and sound good. However, I use a MOTU 8pre as my main interface, and I'm pretty sure it's not possible to bypass its preamps. There are no line inputs, so I don't really know how to properly connect the GAP. I don't think it's even possible with this interface? Is there anything cheap I could buy to fix this? Perhaps I'm overlooking something. This stuff is just for my private mobile rig so no big budget I'm afraid heh

Best!
Quote:
Originally Posted by staticwhitesound View Post
I'm in the same boat and have been wondering the same thing. A longtime-engineer friend of mine came over with his band and his drummer's Firepod to record in my space and he brought along an API 3124 that he was renting. He just turned the inputs on the Firepod all the way down and used it as a converter, and used the API as the pres. Granted, there was no A/B comparison b/n this setup and a line-input setup, so who knows how much better it would be if the Firepod wasn't involved, but the end result was a fantastic sounding EP. And it was WORLDS better than just recording on the Firepod.

So, I've been thinking of doing the same thing with my MOTU 8 Pre, but I don't have a quality pre to test with. It does feel a bit like shooting yourself in the foot putting unnecessary things into the signal path, but ultimately, it comes down to whether you can make good recordings with what you've got, and that route definitely worked for that project.
As far as I know Line Input still colors the signal, because you are taking the signal through the interface circuitry. (Yes, you do have Line Inputs. You have a XLR/Line Input combo jacks like me, so that means if you plug a TRS cable into the input, it treats it as Line Level Input Signal, and bypassed the XLR input, so the impedance changes as well. Example: I have Saffire Pro 40 with the same combo jacks, and it goes like this: Mic: 3K, Line: 10K)

There is nothing odd about plugging a signal from the pre-amp into the interface, because the pre-amp amplifies a mic level signal to line level signal, so the interface will have a line level signal coming in, that you need to have in the first place, unless you want to use the interface pre-amps instead and it will do exactly THAT, but without your stand-alone pre-amp.

It will most likely color your signal just a little bit, but that may not be a bad thing.

On my Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 the pre-amps are very clean, so it barely adds anything when I come out of my pre-amp, into the interface.

I wouldn't stress at all about it. That's very normal.
Old 12th November 2009
  #4
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Thanks for the replies. So if I understand this correctly: the difference will be very minimal?
Old 12th November 2009
  #5
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Lifted's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPeters86 View Post
Thanks for the replies. So if I understand this correctly: the difference will be very minimal?

Difference between what and what?
Old 13th November 2009
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifted View Post
Difference between what and what?
The GAP into the 8pre, instead of the GAP directly into a line input without letting the signal pass through a second preamp.
Old 13th November 2009
  #7
Old 13th November 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Thanks man
Old 13th November 2009
  #9
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Lifted's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPeters86 View Post
Thanks man

Anytime
Old 13th November 2009
  #10
Gear Head
 

Just for clarification....

You were worried that the Motu might bypass any pres with its built in pres? But the best way to avoid Motu's pres is to use the line in and not the XLR?

Just so I know exactly what to do in the future.
Old 13th November 2009
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jams44 View Post
Just for clarification....

You were worried that the Motu might bypass any pres with its built in pres? But the best way to avoid Motu's pres is to use the line in and not the XLR?

Just so I know exactly what to do in the future.
I was wondering if it was OK to just connect the GAP to another preamp, since it's not possible to bypass the MOTU's preamps, and what influence it might have on the sound.
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