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Mic preamp-avoid interface preamps or not? Audio Interfaces
Old 4th September 2011
Here for the gear

Mic preamp-avoid interface preamps or not?

I've got a high-end boutique mic pre (hand-wired unit not found retail),that I am sure is better than the preamps in my Motu 828. The Motu only has pre's on the first two inputs. So, my theory was to bypass those by inputing on channels 3 and 4 of the Motu with an xlr to TRS cable.

However, those input channels on the Motu (balanced TRS), require me boost on my external preamp quite a bit more. I figured it was better to boost my external pre and not on the Motu.

So, even though I'm pretty sure I've got some serious boost on the external pre, would I be better off just plugging into the the Motu's mic pre's so I don't have to crank my external pre quite as hard?

Is there a unity position on a Motu 828's inputs?
Old 4th September 2011

Since you have a boutique pre-amp - you'll have to try it both ways and see which sounds better on each source....

The other thing to remember is that with 24 bit converters and generally rendering to 16 bit, you have a lot of headroom that you don't have to use - as long as the noise floor is acceptable for the signal...


Old 4th September 2011
Lives for gear
I have a 896HD, and the transient response of the pres is awfull
I think it has 3 input selections by each plug,line level,+4,-10.
Kind of hard to see when everything is plugged in.It caused me some problems for a while,but it will sound so much better with a decent o/b pres
Old 4th September 2011

Actually, at reasonable gains and with a bit of headroom, the 896HD pre-amps that I had in an early unit were quite good... Not a pre-amp I liked to see any red lights on ever.

But with a boutique pre-amp in front of it, pushing it a little may add the magic sparkle that the OP is after...


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