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DAW that lets me use my own Preamps?

Member for

21 years
Thats right, I would like a audio interface for the PC so I can do digital recordings, however I am having trouble finding any that don't have built in preamps. I am sure there some with great preamps out there, but if I happen to have some high quality preamps, and would like to keep them in the signal loop while still switching to digital, would I have any options? I heard the Delta 1010 doesn't have built in preamps, but it also doesn't have xlr inputs, at least from what I could tell in the picture. Anyhow, just an audio interface that lets me provide the preamp and mixer. I'm an analog junkie so I'm a bit new to the digital interface gig. :oops:


Member for

21 years

Member Thu, 12/20/2007 - 22:06
It would be nice to keep the price under $1000, but of course there can be exceptions. The connection to the computer can be anything, usb 2.0, firewire, pci, whatever. Also, at least 8 channels would be cool, but I'm not sure if there would be enough bandwidth in the computer connection to handle that many.
Sorry for the late reply

Member for

15 years 5 months

Boswell Fri, 12/21/2007 - 05:41
Some interfaces for you to consider:

Creamware A16 Ultra
MOTU 2408 MK3 with PCIE-424

These vary in price, features and sound quality, although all the listed ones are reasonable quality. Probably only the RME range is in the top rank.

Depending on your computer, I wouldn't push USB2.0 beyond 8 channels. FireWire is generally good up to 16-24 channels. Interface boxes that come with their own PCI cards can cope with larger number of channels. Note particularly the MOTU 2408 with the PCI-Express card, one of few PCIe boards to become available.

Member for

13 years 10 months

bent Fri, 12/21/2007 - 07:21
it just doesn't feel right to have to convert from xlr

It's not conversion, it's adaptation for interconnectivity's sake.
I do it everyday, with solder and / or with adapters - it's nothing special at all. No rocket science here.
A balanced line is a balanced line, regardless which connector is on the end.

To hammer home the point Boswell made, the 24I/O does 24 simultaneous ins and outs via the PCI bus (they use a FW type of interconnect that they've dubbed 'Audiowire') - that's 48 channels simultaneous up and down the wire, USB doesn't come anywhere close.

Member for

15 years 5 months

Boswell Tue, 12/11/2007 - 02:53
Be careful here. Just because an interface has inputs labelled line level doesn't mean to say these by-pass the internal pre-amps. It's very common for the line inputs to be attenuated and then passed through the same circuitry as the mic inputs.

Also, I would not hold prejudices about XLR versus TRS jacks for line inputs. At line level, you are not going to lose anything from using TRS jacks, and, as Bent says, adaptors are easy to come by, or just use XLR-TRS cables from your pre-amps.

It's a bit difficult to give specific recommendations for an interface, as you don't say what type of computer connection you are looking for - FireWire, PCI etc - or how many channels you need, or some idea of how much you want to pay. For example, if you can stretch to an Apogee Rosetta 800 with FireWire card you will be getting a very good unit.

Come back with a few boundary limits and we can advise further.