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using a high-z input for mic preamp

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by Terrapin, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. Terrapin

    Terrapin Guest

    I have a question about using the high-z inputs on my board. I currently use a Mackie Onyx 1620 which has 8 mic preamps and then 4, 1/4" stereo channels. Of course I wish I had the slighty larger board with 16 mic preamps because I routinely need more than eight channels, but instead I end up plugging my extra low-impedence cables into a low-z to high-z adapter and then into the mono side of one of the stereo channels. Seems to work, but not that great. Definetly seems like the input volume goes way down when I do that.

    My question is; am I commiting a big no no? Is there perhaps a better way to do what I'm doing?

    Any insight would be much appreciated.
     
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    OK. Those 1/4" inputs on the Onyx are LINE LEVEL, not MIC LEVEL. Because of the differences in signal level sensitivity and impedances, these LINE level inputs will not really work well with the relatively low level output of a mic, regardless of design or brand of mic. There are other reasons to not use those inputs for mics, but it won't blow anything up.
    What these 1/4" inputs ARE designed to accept is gear like synth/keyboard
    /drum machines/ modellers, CD/tape decks, or preamps/mixers.
    SO, what you need to do is grab a nice little (we'll call it a 'sub' mixer) mixer (Mackie 1202VLZ,etc), run your extra mics through THAT. Then,you can either route the stereo mix outs from the "sub" into 1 of the stereo channels' 1/4" inputs, or , if you need more flexibility, send the channel direct outs from the "sub" inputs into the 1/4" ins on the Onyx channels.
    Or, you can pop for some stand-alone mic preamps and "convert" each of the line channels to be mic channels. A little bit more $$$. And it's really cost-effective to do the 1202VLZ route. I am always finding new uses for mic couple of 1202's, they are a great investment.
     
  3. Terrapin

    Terrapin Guest

    Thanks for clearing things up for me, I thought it had something to do with line level. That is a good idea about using a 1202 as a sub mixer, a cheap fix that will get me up to having 12 good channels for recording. I knew I should have got the onyx 1640 instead of the 1620, but at the time its all I could afford. I think I'll start looking at ebay for used 1202's. Sounds like that'll tide me over till I can afford a true 16 or 24 channel mixer
    Thanks again.
     
  4. Terrapin

    Terrapin Guest

    Thanks for clearing things up for me, I thought it had something to do with line level. That is a good idea about using a 1202 as a sub mixer, a cheap fix that will get me up to having 12 good channels for recording. I knew I should have got the onyx 1640 instead of the 1620, but at the time its all I could afford. I think I'll start looking at ebay for used 1202's. Sounds like that'll tide me over till I can afford a true 16 or 24 channel mixer
    Thanks again.
     

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