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Mic pre —> D.I Audio Interfaces
Old 13th February 2018
  #1
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23onibaba's Avatar
 

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Mic pre —> D.I

Dear gearslutz,

Simple enough question. Can I take an Output SIGNAL from an external microphone preamp and go into a D.I input on an audio interface (Audient ID4)??? If the di is on zero gain, will this function by bypassing it allowing me to control the microphone signal with the external pre? My basic understanding is that di inputs are for guitar, bass, keyboard signals that are of high impedance so wasn’t sure whether I will 1)get a decent recording 2)destroy my equipment? Please help oh those of you in the know?
Old 13th February 2018
  #2
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kennybro's Avatar
Audient claims there is no way to bypass the mic pre circuitry in the Audient ID4. Properly, the pre output should go into the Line input, but this still goes through the pre. I'm guessing the instrument level input goes through the pre also, because the pre is wired to the converter. Try the line input, and see what it sounds like.
Old 13th February 2018
  #3
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mike vee's Avatar
What you want is a line input that bypasses the preamps, not DI. The entire point of DI is to use instruments into preamps. Some interfaces can do this, others cant. Regardless, if not bypassable, line input select button should position the internal preamp with very little, set gain, thus adding very little if any color. The converters are after all of this regardless of configuration.
Old 13th February 2018
  #4
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Thanks for reply guys. I know external mic pres should normally connect via line level. however I was hoping to utilise the di using an external mic pre to make stereo mic recording possible. Surely this will work? A mic signal into an input that brings signals down to a mic level?
Old 13th February 2018
  #5
You aren't going to be able to record in stereo using the id4. It's a single input, 1 preamp. You wouldn't be able to record the mic input, and di at the same time. I believe that that is the big difference between the id4 and the id14. Well, that and the software mixer.
Old 13th February 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee View Post
What you want is a line input that bypasses the preamps, not DI.
Audient's info says that the line input sends the signal through the mic preamp. The mic preamp is directly wired to the converter, and there's no other way into the converter. So, I'm assuming that even the DI input goes through the converter.

From Audient website... "Quite simply; no you can't. The preamps of the iD14 are wired up to the convertors and there is no way around this."

The iD4 is essentially the same as the iD14, except for two things. 14 is stereo and it has an optical input. 4 does not have optical, which would bypass the pre if you had a pre with an optical out.
Old 13th February 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Audient's info says that the line input sends the signal through the mic preamp. The mic preamp is directly wired to the converter, and there's no other way into the converter. So, I'm assuming that even the DI input goes through the converter.

From Audient website... "Quite simply; no you can't. The preamps of the iD14 are wired up to the convertors and there is no way around this."

The iD4 is essentially the same as the iD14, except for two things. 14 is stereo and it has an optical input. 4 does not have optical, which would bypass the pre if you had a pre with an optical out.
but see it has to be mapped out, you can just plugin to every input and expect it to end up on a track in your DAW. The line, DI and preamp share the same SINGLE AD converter - which means one source and one track at a time. Plus, a stereo setup with different input formats/ levels would sound terrible anyway.
Old 13th February 2018
  #8
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Old 13th February 2018
  #9
Old 13th February 2018
  #10
I stand corrected.
Old 13th February 2018
  #11
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 23onibaba View Post
Ummm. Hmmm. Not sure where you guys are getting your info about the id4 because I just found this
Right. I didn't mean "stereo" actually. I meant the 14 has two mic inputs and the 4 has only one.
I actually did know the 4 puts out stereo. DUH Aimed at myself.

I was just addressing the ability to bypass the mic preamp. I didn't see anything defining that the DI does not go through the pre to get to the converter, but your info seems to suggest that the DI does indeed bypass the mic pre.
Old 13th February 2018
  #12
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The gearslut in me wanted to maximise inputs. I think a passive Di in reverse in between my external preamp and the id4 Di input is the way to go. Then it should take my line level signal, convert it to Di level then the Di does the reverse. Ridiculous really. Might work. Not really after achieving proper stereo recording but as I say , maximising inputs. I would normally go in at line level on an interface after my pre but I bought the id4 and saw the extra Di channel and wondered if possible to hook a mic pre up to it. It might not be as sonically pure as going through a true line in but it seems like it might give a sound. Most likely full of distortion, static and fuzz. I’ll stick it on the bass drum
Old 14th February 2018
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Forgetting about impedance mismatch issues, the output of a mic preamp is going to be wildly hotter in level than what the DI is expecting. It might be pretty hard not to absolutely cream it, and possibly even do some damage to the DI input, depending.

What you could do that would be technically more correct, while still somewhat low end and janky, would be to use a step up transformer (whirlwind, audio technica, hosa, vintage ev or shure)... and plug the output of a dynamic mic directly into the DI.

One of the main differences between many *active* DI inputs along these lines and a mic pre, is essentially the lack of an input transformer (there are exceptions to this for sure). An in-line step up transformer will perform what is basically the same function.
Old 14th February 2018
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
Forgetting about impedance mismatch issues, the output of a mic preamp is going to be wildly hotter in level than what the DI is expecting. It might be pretty hard not to absolutely cream it, and possibly even do some damage to the DI input, depending.
From Audient's own literature, the line input central 1/4" also passes through the preamp. I'm guessing there has to be some kind of internal attenuator pre-preamp on the line input. There's little documentation detailing the flow of the DI input through the unit. that light also go through the preamp to get to the converter section. I could be missing something, but this is how I read it.
Old 14th February 2018
  #15
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Apparently many companies keep costs down by making the line in go through the pre and that in our time of low distortion devices it doesn’t probably really matter but you are correct that it’s not a true line in which the preamp is bypassed
Old 14th February 2018
  #16
I still haven’t tried it, but one cat here said he runs his mic pres into the DI on iD22 for some extra mojo.
Old 14th February 2018
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesewhiteman View Post
I still haven’t tried it, but one cat here said he runs his mic pres into the DI on iD22 for some extra mojo.
That sounds promising!
Old 15th February 2018
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 23onibaba View Post
That sounds promising!
Yes, try both the line input and the DI, and see which sounds better. You might find that one sounds better with some sources and the other with other sources.
Old 15th February 2018
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Yes, try both the line input and the DI, and see which sounds better. You might find that one sounds better with some sources and the other with other sources.
I imagine the line in without a doubt will give me the truer source even despite it not being a true line in and going through the mic pre. With the volume of the mic pre on null I’ll achieve a perfectly acceptable signal. Whether it is better than the Di , that might be debatable?
When the id4 arrives I’ll try it out. Might still need a passive Di in between.
Old 15th February 2018
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 23onibaba View Post
I imagine the line in without a doubt will give me the truer source even despite it not being a true line in and going through the mic pre.
Bottom line is that mic pre's, even cheap ones, are basically flat. This is not going to color your tone to any appreciable degree. And the ID4 is like 170 bucks. What kind of pre are you sending into it? Probably not a $1000 Neve. If that's the case, you'd be far better off dropping that cash on a better interface or mic.

IOW, go ahead and plug your pre into the line input or the DI. But you might be just as well off using the Audient preamp. I have the ASP880, along with Neve's, UA's, SCA's, Grace, etc... and I quite like the sound of the Audient preamps alongside all these others.
Old 15th February 2018
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Bottom line is that mic pre's, even cheap ones, are basically flat. This is not going to color your tone to any appreciable degree. And the ID4 is like 170 bucks. What kind of pre are you sending into it? Probably not a $1000 Neve. If that's the case, you'd be far better off dropping that cash on a better interface or mic

IOW, go ahead and plug your pre into the line input or the DI. But you might be just as well off using the Audient preamp. I have the ASP880, along with Neve's, UA's, SCA's, Grace, etc... and I quite like the sound of the Audient preamps alongside all these others.
Already have various other interfaces(with true line ins), mics and pres. A good mix of low and high end really. Purely bought the id4 for extra ins and outs, because it was really cheap and only have heard good feedback about it. Thought I’d give it a whirl.
Old 16th February 2018
  #22
Did you just buy it?

Why not return it and purchase a unit that is actually meant to do what you want to do?

Your proposed set up is janky and even if it works, will never sound as good as using an interface with two dedicated mic pres.
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