The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Will a average Pre degrade quality of a High end Pre? Studio Monitors
Old 7th August 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 
rids's Avatar
 

Will a average Pre degrade quality of a High end Pre?

Well, I was wondering how it works when connecting 2 preamps in a series and if one pre can generally take away from the better pre's sound? I was thinking about getting a Mackie Onyx mixer (w/firewire), but was wondering if the preamps on those would degrade the signal from my more expensive Chandler Germanium pres? I currently have a Motu 828 as my AD DA and am not liking it's pre/ADDA.
Old 7th August 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
feyshay's Avatar
 

You should not need to engage the pre's on either the MOTU or the Mackie. You would run XLR out of your Germanium to a Line-In (XLR or 1/4 TRS) and make sure that any preamp is not engaged. (You'll just add excessive noise, and it would not make sense.)
The Mackie's job is then just to do the converting of the unadulterated Germanium output.
Old 7th August 2006
  #3


Most of the pre-amps people like the sound of are actually not as accurate. The Onyx is an accurate pre-amp. It probably won't do anything to the sound but add a -little- noise (they are pretty quiet).

But, as suggested by Feyshay, you should probably run right to the converter from the pre-amp you want - the Onxy doesn't have the EQ available to the direct output anyway.....



-tINY

Old 8th August 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 
rids's Avatar
 

Tiny, so you are saying don't get the Onyx, it will just mess up the sound? What did you mean the Onyx doesn't have EQ on the direct output? I was hoping there was a way to bypass the preamp of the Onyx, but use the EQ of it. I've never had a quality analog mixer, so I'm inexperienced with them.

Sounds like from what you guys are saying, maybe I shouldn't buy a mixer and just get something like a Echo Audiofire or something and add a patchbay for the extra inputs I need.
Old 8th August 2006
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Dave Peck's Avatar
 

Each channel of the Onyx has two inputs - a MIC PRE IN and a LINE IN. If you're using an outboard mic pre, connect the outboard mic pre's output to the Onyx's LINE IN. Don't run the signal through two mic pres in series.

DP
Old 8th August 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Dave, is that a true insert bypassing the preamp, or just padded and in parallel with the mic pre? As most mixer "line inputs" are....

re the signal degradation -- yes, running the "good" preamp into a lower grade preamp can change the signal. Of course, going straight from mic pre to ADC is by far the best.

However, if mixer inputs are what you have to work with, it can be done without too much tragedy.

In my experience, the result is usually still *far* preferrable to using only the weak preamp.

I run my live SR rigs this way, Gordon mic pres to Allen & Heath mixer, using the "line" inputs, which are really only low level connections to the A&H mic preamps.

Balancing the gain is key -- set the preamp the mic sees to give strong signal with no internal distortion at the source's maximum output. Then start with the mixer input trim at minimum and gradually raise it if necessary to provide proper signal, again without distorting on peaks. Set the channel faders to keep headroom at the master.

Steve
Old 8th August 2006
  #7
Lives for gear
 

It's still a good question though. Onyx still sends thier line-in's through the pres'.
http://www.mackie.com/pdf/onyx1640_om.pdf
I do a split on my pres' just to stay in the 'when in doubt, short path is best mode. The mixer is for monitor and phones, out of the tracking chain.

edit; Ah, squeegybug covered it too.heh
Old 8th August 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 
rids's Avatar
 

So the Onyx pres can't be bypassed at the 'Line In'.? That is kind of lame. The more I think about, the more I'm realizing how much more easier a mixer would make things for me, not to mention better workflow. I think I might just deal with the pres on the Motu 828 and focus on getting a mixer right now. Later I can see about getting a Audiofire or something like that.

Are there any other mixers besides the Onyx you guys might suggest, and hopefully the pres can be bypassed?
Old 8th August 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rids View Post
So the Onyx pres can't be bypassed at the 'Line In'.? That is kind of lame. The more I think about, the more I'm realizing how much more easier a mixer would make things for me, not to mention better workflow. I think I might just deal with the pres on the Motu 828 and focus on getting a mixer right now. Later I can see about getting a Audiofire or something like that.

Are there any other mixers besides the Onyx you guys might suggest, and hopefully the pres can be bypassed?
With what you said here, herer's another angle; A good working method is important.
Second you can use a mixer and have it both ways. Split some of your best outputs, use the direct outs and or the mixer's pres on some (you were going to do some kind of gain control anyway or why not just skip right to the A/D?), and send some through the eq and bus out.

Last edited by Wayne; 8th August 2006 at 07:02 AM.. Reason: spl
Old 8th August 2006
  #10
Gear Nut
 
Open Sky's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
I do a split on my pres' just to stay in the 'when in doubt, short path is best mode.
How do you split it, Wayne? I wanted to do this, but was worried about compromising the signal with something as basic as a Y-cable. What do you use?
Old 8th August 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Open Sky View Post
How do you split it, Wayne? I wanted to do this, but was worried about compromising the signal with something as basic as a Y-cable. What do you use?
I'm using combination of balanced splitters; TRS or XLR to male TRS to the mixer, x fm TRS to the A/D to accommodate a few pres and a Precision 8 which has it own split. But in this case, all of the A/Ds and D/As (and the P8's monitor split) are one eight ch TRS x d-sub snakes, so the snakes come to the gear, the splitters can be fairly short.
A patch bay could do it with less mess but it's clean pretty flexible.
Old 8th August 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rids View Post
So the Onyx pres can't be bypassed at the 'Line In'.? That is kind of lame.

Are there any other mixers besides the Onyx you guys might suggest, and hopefully the pres can be bypassed?
Actually most MI type mixers sum the line and mic pre inputs like this. The "line level" is usually just padded -20 dB or so.

Looking at that 1640 manual Wayne posted, I see that mixer already has inserts on every channel, plus 4 AUX returns. You can easily use those to bypass the mic preamps. The insert returns are pre-EQ, pre-fader though... might be handy, or not.

re the passive Y-cables -- I use those all the time for many things. No problems for splitting, just don't use them to combine signals.

Steve
Old 8th August 2006
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Albert's Avatar
 

Right, you need to go into the inserts to bypass the preamps on the mic or line inputs. Most small format budget mixers are set up like this.
Old 8th August 2006
  #14
Lives for gear
 
nathanvacha's Avatar
 

re: what squeegybug said last, regarding aux returns... i thought of something I never considered before. In low end mixers like that that usually have some mono/mic channels and then a few stereo channels, would it be fair to assume that they are actually legitimate line-level inputs?
Old 9th August 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 
rids's Avatar
 

Ok, so the Onyx has inserts for each channel. So what if you want to use a certain preamp on say about 4 different sources, is there like a global insert to hook up to the mixer and have all your instruments run through the outboard preamp? And at that point, would there be a way to bypass the preamp if you wanted to hear the signal without the preamp?

I'm thinking this would be where the Main Inserts come in.

How does a 'Sidechain' differ from the Main Inserts? I was thinking mixers had a sidechain in like an insert.
Old 9th August 2006
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvacha View Post
re: what squeegybug said last, regarding aux returns... i thought of something I never considered before. In low end mixers like that that usually have some mono/mic channels and then a few stereo channels, would it be fair to assume that they are actually legitimate line-level inputs?
Yes. But even aux returns and stereo' channels have line amps on them. Which brings up an interesting question. Whould this be any better or worse than the padded 'pre amp in a given mixer?
Old 9th August 2006
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rids View Post
Ok, so the Onyx has inserts for each channel. So what if you want to use a certain preamp on say about 4 different sources, is there like a global insert to hook up to the mixer and have all your instruments run through the outboard preamp?
What you seem to be describing here is grouping several inputs and running them through some second-stage process. But this extra treatment would not (generally) be a mic pre. That would typically happen only once. The group would be a sub-buss, which could then go out via that buss's insert.

Quote:
How does a 'Sidechain' differ from the Main Inserts? I was thinking mixers had a sidechain in like an insert.
No. That is an insert or send/receive on a compressor used to alter the detector.

Blow up the block diagram in that Mackie pdf and print it if you can. There is a world of explanation in there.
Old 17th February 2009
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Out of the Germanium with a balanced XLR to unbalanced tip sleeve 1/4" into the channel insert point of the onyx. If you want you could leave the shield connected at the Germanium and wire up the 1/4 jack to be + & -. Might kill the potential for noise, might make it worse. Dunno, never tried it...
Top Mentioned Products
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
demel / High End
36
mindseye / High End
69
proaudiocanada / High End
42
NIGHT'SCHILD / High End
17
SeventhCircle / So Much Gear, So Little Time
1

Forum Jump
Forum Jump