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How to bypass mixer pres when using outboard mic pre?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by TYY, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. TYY

    TYY Guest

    Hello all, this is my first post here. Please excuse my ignorance.

    I am about to get my first outboard mic pre (I think a presonus MP20 used at GC for $300). How do I run the signal into my mixer without going through the board pres? My mixer has balanced line ins, but they are pre-preamp. It also has inserts.

    Should I run the signal into the insert? Can I do a half-plug kind of thing? BTW, the outputs on the MP20 are only XLRs. Also, if I want to use my RNC while tracking, how is the best way to set everything up? The MP20 has a balanced insert loop (with ins and outs, not an insert plug) What is the advantage of using the insert, vs just connecting the comp after the pre, then into the board?

    Sorry for all the questions!


    Thanks,

    Tyler
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Tyler,
    You had several questions.


    “Should I run the signal into the insert? Can I do a half-plug kind of thing?”

    Yes.

    “BTW, the outputs on the MP20 are only XLRs.”

    “Also, if I want to use my RNC while tracking, how is the best way to set everything up?”

    The best way to deal with this is to interface everything through a patch bay using XLR to ¼” cables.


    “The MP20 has a balanced insert loop (with ins and outs, not an insert plug) What is the advantage of using the insert, vs just connecting the comp after the pre, then into the board?”

    The MP20 probably has an input trim as well as an output level. By using the insert on the MP20 you can turn up and down the level of the compressed signal without affecting the rate of compression.

    Kurt
     
  3. TYY

    TYY Guest

    Thanks! The bit concerning the insert on the pre makes imminent sense. I don't know why I didn't think of it! Adjusting the pre output level with a comp after it would be a real pain in the ass for sure.

    My little home (bedroom) studio is very small, and the only outboard gear I have is a the RNC and soon to be pre, so I don't think a patchbay is really all that necessary at this point (though it might be helpful). I'm sure as I add more gear a patchbay will be the only option for flexible routing.

    So, should I get a xlr to 1/4 TRS cable to run from the pre output into the insert on my console? Are there any drawbacks to this technique?

    Thanks again,

    Tyler
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Tyler,
    It is much easier and affordable to get on top of it with the patchbay at the start. Patchbays aren't the only expense involved, there's cabeling too. If you get on top of it at the start, you can get cables as you go instead of waiting until you have to fork out $500 to interface a 24 channel mixer and a rack of gear. Kurt
     
  5. TYY

    TYY Guest

    I am a bit of a novice on patchbays, so explain how I would set one up, and how it would function in my small setup. (normalled/half-normalled, etc.)

    I have 16 input 4 bus mixer. (has direct outs, but i want to monitor from the mixer while tracking, so I run through the buses) Balanced line ins are pre-pre, inserts are pre-EQ.

    I have a RNC, and let's assume an MP20 soon (btw what do you think of that pre at $300 used?)

    I have a 4 in, 4 out interface into my computer. It has balanced I/O. I mix digitally.

    I usually only record 2 tracks at once (even though I can do 4 simultaneously). I record both mic'd sources and synth/keyboards. I would like the ability to run the synths directly to the board, or through the MP20 for color if I choose. The inputs for the DI on the MP20 are on the front of the unit - how is the best way to set this up with a patchbay?

    How many cables will I need to set it all up??

    I'm sure I'll spend more on cables than the patchbay!
     

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