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Online I found a second hand Audient Mico Mic pre-amp for sale. I already have the Drawmer 231 Compressor/limiter and the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd gen.

I have the Drawmer for a few month now, but haven't used it much yet. Would it be a nice combo to get my mic signal into the Audient Mico - Drawmer 231 - Focusrite Scarlett 18i20, and apply some mild compression before going into the DAW. I know I have plenty of compression options in my two DAW's, but sometimes I have the feeling some anoloque processing is nice for the sound too.

I can get the Audient Mico for about 225 to 250 US Dollars or some 200ish Euro's.

Any thoughts? Thanx in advance!


Boswell Thu, 01/07/2021 - 05:03

In audio quality terms, the Mico is the top piece of gear in your chain, followed by the Scarlett and lastly the Drawmer compressor, so I would be a little cautious of only using the routing you have suggested.

I'm a great advocate of not compressing tracks on their way into a DAW (limiting is a different matter), as it's often very difficult to undo any compression that has already been applied at the input if it turns out not to fit well with other tracks in the mix.

That said, the route you have outlined will work, provided you deal correctly with the line level signals out of the Mico, through the Drawmer and into a line input on the Scarlett. However, you could additionally record a better-quality (uncompressed) signal by connecting the S/PDIF output of the Mico into the S/PDIF input of the Scarlett and selecting the Scarlett's clock to be taken from the S/PDIF input. That would mean that you would have a reasonable-quality compressed track and a high-quality uncompressed track coming into your DAW. At mixdown, you could compare them and make a choice, adding compression to the S/PDIF track if necessary using DAW effect processing. With care, you could use them both together as a form of parallel-compression, but to do this, you may have to nudge one of the tracks forward or backwards in time by a few samples to ensure they align, as they will have come in via different digital paths.

I've owned an Audient Mico for many years, and was sorry when it was discontinued. However, the quality of its pre-amps and converters made me want to get the Audient ASP880 8-channel pre-amp/converter. I am very pleased I did.

miyaru Thu, 01/07/2021 - 05:22

Thanx for your reply! I have my S/P Dif inputs already taken by my Lexicon MPX-1, which I use to provide no latency reverb/delay in my monitor path of the Focusrite. So you suggest to let the Drawmer out of the equation? The testing I did with the DRawmer did not dissapoint me, but that was testing on Spotify material, which is compressed the hell out already.

The last 20 years I recorded into an interface directly to what kind of DAW I used at a certain point in time. From there I processed it, and maybe it should continue doing so, but a while back, a friend of mine gave me the Drawmer, and I thought - could be nice to have an analog path again.......

Boswell Thu, 01/07/2021 - 06:19

OK, try using a lightpipe to go from the Mico optical output to the LH optical input on the Scarlett, and select S/PDIF protocol for the lightpipe in the Scarlett control panel. I assume you are clocking the Lexicon MPX-1 from its S/PDIF input, so there is no clock conflict there.

Next you are going to say that you are secretly using the Scarlett optical inputs for something else....

miyaru Sat, 01/09/2021 - 05:59

I haven't bought the audient yet, but I have my doubts. I was happy just to use my Focusrite Audio Interface. Then I got the Drawmer as a sort of present. Then I wanted to have a pre-amp before it....... And so the story goes on! Maybe I should go back how I did it for twenty some years......