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Hi my qustion is this- (may sound realy stupid)
my setup is the following- a Mackie CR1604 mixer to a dbx 266xl (compresor/limter) in to my Digi002 console. Im thinking of buying a 8channel preamp for my setup hoping it will make my sound a bit fater/warm/ you think it is a wize idea?
if so which preamp would you recomend? (I have a pritty low budget- around 700 bucks for 8 channels)

thanks a lot!


BobRogers Fri, 11/03/2006 - 13:16
I did this, and I don't think I'd do it again. I got a [=""]Focusrite Octopre[/]="http://www.sweetwat…"]Focusrite Octopre[/] with the ADAT card. This connects to channels 9-16 of the 002R. On the plus side I now have 16 direct inputs to the Digi. I also have a one button compressor/limiter on each of the channels. Not much flexibility but it helps if used sparingly. On the minus side, I got more quantity without really big improvements in quality. The pres aren't really any better than those in my A&H mixwiz. (Or the brick or RNP that I have.) The compressors are not as good as the RNC that I have.

So one thing to note is that I could have (and you could) expand the number of channels in the Digi002 by buying a multichannel A/D converter and putting my A&H (or your Mackie) through it. I can't offer any advice on this, and I can't really even comment on the posts on converters I have read here. Frankly, while comparing mics and pres is pretty natural to me, I don't even know what to listen for when comparing different converters. My guess is that the $400 [[url=http://="http://www.sweetwat…"]Alesis unit [/]="http://www.sweetwat…"]Alesis unit [/]and your 1604 would be in the same ballpark as the $800 octopre with $200 ADAT card. (but that's without ever having seen the Alesis,)

Here is another related but not completely parallel thought - I bought the Octopre because I wanted to record 16 tracks in the studio. In fact, I rarely do that. When I record a lot of tracks - it's remote, and I bought an Alesis 24HD for that. (Usually use it with the A&H). So if that's why you are looking for an 8 channel pre, think hard about why you need that many tracks.

I realize that none of this may really apply to your situation, just thought I'd throw it out.

Pro Audio Guest Fri, 11/03/2006 - 23:57
To answer your question directly. If you have around that amount of money look into getting a digimax lt. I am assuming you are looking to use your adat lightpipe input.

As someone said earlier, why do you need 8 additional mic pres? You may be better off just saving up your money to get 2 great sounding mic pres rather than getting an additional 8 mic pres that won't sound any better than the ones in your Mackie board. If you are recording a band see if you can't get them to track seperately.

TeddyG Fri, 10/27/2006 - 15:13
Not at all a stupid question, the answer though..?

One would think spending 100 per channel for a pre should help? As opposed to the few bucks each in the mixer? Unfortunately it depends on WHAT pre? Would you notice any difference? Would it make ENOUGH diffference? Really hard to say.....?

If you spent $1000 per channel, even then??? What about the mics, the room, the speakers you're listening on? What wold you run your new pre into? The mixer? Direct to soundcard? What soundcard? Lots of questions.

All of this is not exactly a crap-shoot, but, it is, often, just hard to say...

If I had $700 to spend, I "THINK" I "MIGHT" spend it all on one or two channels of pre and use IT for my most important inputs??? On the other hand, I AM just waiting to have(May be awhile!) around $3000 for a SINGLE channel(I do voiceover) just to hope I then, magically, begin to make MUCH more money because of my investment(The mic I want is another 3 G's.)..? I'd be satisfied to hear even this stuff make any real difference?

Look over what's available in your price range, ask specific questions about what you find, here and everywhere, try to hear one - good luck - before purchase, send in your money and... hope...

Best success!


RemyRAD Fri, 10/27/2006 - 23:13
noamlev5, in what application are you using this? Music recording? Voice over work?

And so you are taking the stereo output from your 1604 into the DBX 266 to 2 inputs on your Digi 002 system? Or perhaps, bypassing the mixing bus and just taking 2 direct outs to the 266 and then to your Digi system??

When the 1604 mixer first came out, my friend bought one and we did a shoot out using an AKG 414 passively split to both the Mackie and an API 3124 and found a little more sweetness in the high-end on the API but the Mackie sounded quite nice albeit a little more neutral/neutered sounding.

In what way do you believe you need better preamps for? Although I am a big proponent of tracking with some compression, compression overused can certainly squash the life out of anything, leaving you with a less than stellar sound. Better preamps cost. $100 per channel is peanuts. That barely is enough for just a good microphone transformer not to mention the supporting circuitry to make it all work. However I have enjoyed the sound of some single IC chip five dollar microphone preamps, depending on the application and how its used. Check out and search for the microphone/preamp shoot out. I think you will be surprised?

Surprisingly practical
Ms. Remy Ann David