There have been several threads going on around here forever about the virtues (or lack-thereof) of passing the signal through a compressor on the way into a software-based DAW (hard drive). I am not here to once again debate whether or not this is good idea, let's just say for the sake of argument in this thread, that it *is* a good idea. This post can apply to compression, de-essing, EQ'ing, pitch-shifting, limiting, gating, whatever...I want to process on the way to "tape". The question becomes, in this day of mixerless home studios and channel strips and mic pres without channel inserts, how is everyone patching in these hardware devices? For example, my RNC is not balanced, nor is my dbx 263A de-esser. My problem is that I do not have any inserts in my mic pres, so I am assuming that I going to do the following: <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">line out from the mic pre to the in on the RNC <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">line out from the RNC into the A/D converter, and on into the DAW <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> If indeed this is the correct way to patch this together, how do I deal with the balanced vs. unbalanced cable issue? The line outs from the mic pre are balanced, as are the line ins on the A/D, whereas The i/o on the RNC (and the dbx 263A) are unbalanced. So do I patch this all together with balanced or un-balanced cables? Bottom line: How do I patch all this, and with what type of cable? Thanks!