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Help with set-up Audio Interfaces
Old 8th June 2018
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Help with set-up

I just purchased a very nice new mic, mid-to high end and I am using a really nice pre. Without going into detail, I like the mic through the pre, because it (the pre) has a headphone jack and I can listen to the signal. The mic sounds glorious.

I have connected the xlr output of the mic pre to the xlr input on my Saffire Pro 14. The sound quality has changed. It sounds tiny compared with listening directly through the pre's headphone jack.

So my question is...Am I doing something wrong or is it time to think about changing my interface? I am considering the Antelope Discrete 4 if it matters. Or is it another issue that I may not be aware of. My concern is that there seems to be a loss of quality from the pre to the interface.

Please feel free to comment on whether or not you think I have a signal path issue or if I am doing something wrong. Also, you can throw in your two cents about my equipment, etc.

I withheld the name of the mic and pre, because I don't want this thread to veer off topic.

Thank you.
M.
Old 8th June 2018
  #2
Gear Head
 
Ramon Malone's Avatar
 

The first thing I would try is making sure the gain on your interface is at unity, so you're neither boosting or attenuating the signal. As much as interfaces and converters vary, they shouldn't degrade your signal significantly.

It occurs to me also that the headphone amp on the preamp may be colouring the signal in a pleasing way that your interface is failing to do. Trying your mic and preamp through another interface would certainly shed light on what's happening here.

Last edited by Ramon Malone; 8th June 2018 at 10:11 PM.. Reason: grammar
Old 9th June 2018
  #3
Gear Addict
 

So, I guess it sounds like the gain completely drops when I put it through the interface. It sounds like a completely differnet mic when monitoring through the interface.
Old 9th June 2018
  #4
Gear Addict
From what I can see, you should be connecting to the TRS line input on the back. Have you tried that?
Old 9th June 2018
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Hi Dan,

No, I haven’t since I am running a mic signal. It just made sense to run to output to the xlr in on the front of the interface. I will try to switch up the connection and report back. I am currently out of town so it’ll wait until I return on Monday.
Thank you for all the input. I will keep you all posted.

M
Old 9th June 2018
  #6
Gear Addict
 

I should add, that I have played back some clips and they sound fairly normal. I’m just not hearing the breadth of the mic like I would hear it through the headphone output of the pre. From what you’ve all described, it sounds like the way I am connecting the Pre to my interface. I will try all of your suggestions and report back.
M
Old 10th June 2018
  #7
Gear Addict
Hi,
If you're running your mic through a pre, then into your interface, you're got a line level signal at the interface. Unless I've misunderstood what you're doing.
Old 10th June 2018
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shobud View Post
Hi,
If you're running your mic through a pre, then into your interface, you're got a line level signal at the interface. Unless I've misunderstood what you're doing.
Thank you for clarification. So I shouldn’t be running my pre into the preamp in on the front of the interface, but rather into a line level input? Should I use a direct box? I’d so I don’t risk damaging my pre?

One other thing I just thought of that I forgot to mention earlier (I am weary from traveling to Europe for work), is that when I plug the mics directly into the front of the interface and use the Pres in the Saffire Pro, the headphone monitoring signal is significantly decreased from the out on the pre itself. I hope I am explaining it correctly. I.e. I am getting significantly louder audio monitoring on the Pre headphone output than on the interface itself with the mics directly connected.

Thank you all for your replies! I really appreciate your responses.

I am also trying to find out if this is user error or an issue with my interface.
M
Old 10th June 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 
MarkF48's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSR74 View Post
I am also trying to find out if this is user error or an issue with my interface.
M
Why not tell us what the preamp is. Perhaps there is a 'user' error in some way that you are using it or setting it.

If the preamp is indeed line level out, which it likely is, either use the 1/4" line input of the front combo jack or one of the rear 1/4" line inputs. Rear might be preferable as it is less likely to use any of the mic preamp circuitry. No direct box needed.
The XLR input you have been using has an input impedance of 2k Ohms, the 1/4" line inputs are 10k Ohms. The output of the preamp will be loaded down less using the line inputs of the Saffire. I don't know if this will make a difference or not.
Old 10th June 2018
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF48 View Post
Why not tell us what the preamp is. Perhaps there is a 'user' error in some way that you are using it or setting it.

If the preamp is indeed line level out, which it likely is, either use the 1/4" line input of the front combo jack or one of the rear 1/4" line inputs. Rear might be preferable as it is less likely to use any of the mic preamp circuitry. No direct box needed.
The XLR input you have been using has an input impedance of 2k Ohms, the 1/4" line inputs are 10k Ohms. The output of the preamp will be loaded down less using the line inputs of the Saffire. I don't know if this will make a difference or not.
Thanks Mark,

I am using an SPL Channel One.

Thanks.
M
Old 10th June 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
 
MarkF48's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSR74 View Post
Thanks Mark,

I am using an SPL Channel One.

Thanks.
M
- You can connect the SPL Channel One output to the Saffire Pro 14 Line input with a 1/4" TRS to 1/4" TRS cable.

Quote:
....... is that when I plug the mics directly into the front of the interface and use the Pres in the Saffire Pro, the headphone monitoring signal is significantly decreased from the out on the pre itself. I hope I am explaining it correctly. I.e. I am getting significantly louder audio monitoring on the Pre headphone output than on the interface itself with the mics directly connected.
I think if you route the Line Outs 1 & 2 of the Sapphire Pro with a pair of 1/4" TRS cables back to the 'Play Back Inputs' on the SPL Channel One, you may be able to monitor what the interface audio is. It also may give a little more volume than the Sapphires headphone jack. May also give an idea if the SPL's headphone circuit is altering the sound. Doing this may be dependent on the ability of the software routing the Sapphire is capable of.
Attached Thumbnails
Help with set-up-saffire.jpg  
Old 11th June 2018
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Mark,

Thank you for taking the time to research and provide a diagram of the signal path. I will give it a try and report back.

M
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