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I am new to this forum. I've been reading it for a couple of weeks now. I apologize for asking this question if it has already been addressed. My search was unsuccessfull.

I am looking at buying the MOTU 828mkII audio interface. In addition to the 2 XLR mic/line inputs in front, it offers 8 1/4" inputs in back. Ok, now the question...

If I want to hook up more than 2 mics at once, would I just need to get some XLR to 1/4" couplers ?

I know this is a simple/stupid question but I'm a beginner. Thanks! :oops:


jonyoung Thu, 09/02/2004 - 07:42

I'm not familiar with the MOTU stuff, but the upshot is you want to use a low impedance input for a mic, otherwise you won't have enough gain to work with. 1/4" inputs are generally high Z. You'd be best off buying a fourway or larger mic preamp and feeding the outputs of that into your available 1/4" inputs, assuming they can be set to line level.

David French Thu, 09/02/2004 - 07:50

You can record a microphone's output through the back, but you will need some kind of preamp. The level of signal coming out of the mic is very low and the 1/4 inputs on the back expect a much louder signal such as what would come from a keyboard or CD player. The two XLR inputs on the front have preamps built in that give the mic's signal gain before it is recorded. You should look into buying a multichannel preamp. Most of these have 1/4" outputs, so you could plug your mics into the preamps, then plug the preamp outputs into the 1/4" inputs on the 828. As for which multichannel preamp to buy, you will find lots of opinions by using the [=""]search[/]="http://www.recordin…"]search[/] feature. I haven't heard this pre, but you might want to look into the [[url=http://="http://www.studiopr…"]Studio Projects SP828[/]="http://www.studiopr…"]Studio Projects SP828[/]. It would be a good match for the MOTU, in I/O and in name ;)

anonymous Thu, 09/02/2004 - 08:04

Good point. And it's rack-mounted so it takes up less space too.

I picked up a book called, "Practical Recording Techniques" by Bartlett. It has explained alot. I guess I just missed where it explained the difference or what it means - balanced and unbalanced.

Could you explain the difference between balanced / unbalanced?

jonyoung Thu, 09/02/2004 - 08:25

Balanced has three conductors, two for signal and one is a shielded ground. It has a couple of advantages. It will reject noise from power cords to nearby gear and also from RF sources. A long unbalanced mic cable will cost you high frequency content also, because it's a crude capacitor, whereas a balanced line will not lose high frequencies over a long run.

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