Mic Pre's For MOTU 1296

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by Ed Kinsella, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. Ed Kinsella

    Ed Kinsella Guest

    Hiya fellas,

    Have just picked up a pair of MOTU 1296 interfaces, and need to get mic pres next.
    Now budget is a problem, so Neve's etc are out of the question.
    Has anyone tried the Tascam 8 channel 1U mic pres? I know they ain't gonna be the best, but might they be acceptable?
    Would like to go for the Fousrite Octopre, but really can 't afford it (need 24 channels in total).

    Any thought?

    Cheers guys :D
  2. The Sytek MPX-4 seems to be the best deal out there in big-time pres. One of those and an M-Audio AudioBuddy should provide a nice firm foundation that you can grow from and get your Neves down the road when you can afford 'em.
  3. Ed Kinsella

    Ed Kinsella Guest

    thanks man, but the Mpx 4A comes in at about $3,000 retail, that makes $18,000 for the number I need! A bit out of my range for now. The Tascams would come in at about $600 for the full 24 channels, how bad can they be?

    Any more thoughts gratefully recived
  4. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Feb 28, 2001
    Hi Ed

    Dunno about the UK, but here in the states, they're quite a bit less than $3k. This site had them for <$1k. I believe they are often sold on eBay as well.

    Out of curiosity, what is your application?
  5. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    When I bought my Sytek a few years back, street price was $800-900. But if you need 24 channels it's still gonna add up. You really track 24 mics at a time? What do you do, mic top and bottom of every drum? I almost always can get by with just 16 mic pres in almost any situation.

    But assuming the need for 24, here's what i would do. Rather than buy 24 channels of mediocrity, buy two channels of top quality preamps and then get a $1000-$1500 board with useable preamps for the rest, and then gradually add quality pres over time. This means getting an Allen & Heath or Crest or Soundcraft, etc. for the bulk of the pres, and using a Great River, Vintech, Tube Tech, Millennia, John Hardy, etc for the two most critical tracks and for overdubs.

    The "good" preamp will be good for a lifetime, and as you can afford it, you will gradually add more good preamps (with the option of different flavors and colors) to your collection. This is essentially how I got started. Now, five years later, I've got 21 channels worth of high quality preamps!

    It's kind of like sports - a $5 million per year "all-star" player is generally worth more in the end than five $1 million dollar per year "average" players.
  6. Yeah, I was assuming you wouldn't NEED 24 channels of pre right off the bat
    Mike S.(the designer) is distributing new units off E-Bay now and they generally go for under $800...and that's with the Burr Brown option on a pair of the channels.
    If you absolutely need 24 channels of pre, then littledog has better advice.
  7. Ed Kinsella

    Ed Kinsella Guest

    Great Replies Guys! thanks :eek:

    I will taking delivery og a Midas Venice shortly (32 Channel) and have heard good things about the pre's in there.

    So I reckon 8 or so channels of really good pres for stuff like Vox, Orchestra Crosspairs and overdubs, and use the Midas Direct outs for the rest till a bit more money becomes avaliable.
    Where do you think the Digimax fits into this in terms of quality, because if I'm only gonna get 8 channel of out-board Pre's I can got to about $1500 or so.

    Thanks very much guys.

    PS. The 24 channel Rig is quite multi purpose really, is to be used for a lot of live venue recordings perhaps some classical work (Hence 96Khz Capable, for slightly better stero image)and various location things. Probably won't need all 24 channels up straight away so this gradual approach maybe the way forward.

    I will have to write to Midas to make sure the supply my desk with the direct outs pre-fader. :p

    Thanks again.

  8. subspace

    subspace Guest

    I would skip the Digimax, half what you're paying for is converters, which you already have covered. Likewise the Tascam, these are pretty low end pres.
    Using two 1296s with a 32 channel Venice will be somewhat awkward for tracking without external pres. It's not a recording board, so there's no in-line monitoring or separate monitor section. Using the first 24 channels to monitor the 1296 outputs will leave you with 8 channels free for microphone inputs. I use a 32 channel Trident with MOTU 1224s, and configure it so channels 1-16 are for monitoring, 17-32 are for mic inputs.
    You might want to check out the Trident-MTA IX-One for 16 more channels of pres. Use that for going direct to your converters, and use the last 8 channels on the Midas for any inputs you'd like EQ or sub-grouping capabilities on. It's being discontinued, so it can be found for under $1000 US on the scratch and dent page at joemeek.com or the german musicians-gear.com sites. HTH
  9. tcastudios

    tcastudios Guest

    One of the reasons for me to get a Midas Venice was the fact that both the Mic-Pre inputs and the Line inputs are active at the same time. This means that it actually can be used as a multitrack desk. I have my two 1296´s inputs connected from the Direct outs of the Venice and the 1296´s outputs connected to the Line ins of the Venice.
    Using Logic with "Software Monitoring" OFF and "Punch On The Fly" as well as "Auto Inputmonitoring" ON, the faders in Logic acts as the "TapeMonitor-Volume".
    The only "drawback" is when a Microphone is connected the the MicPre, the Line input is damped approx. 20dB. This is not a problem per se, since that damping (of the "Tape"-signal) is just about right when recording.
    However as soon as a Mic is disconnected the Linesignal (from the 1296) is of coarse back to normal level, that is, the correct 20dB higher level.

    I hope this is of any help for anyone looking for a good value when chosing a midpriced Prodesk.

    TCA Studios Sweden
  10. Ed Kinsella

    Ed Kinsella Guest

    Thanks Tca!

    Well thats very cool to hear about someone with the exact setup I was thinkin of. Okay, will go for the pres on the desk for now, and build up the neve's a bit later on!


  11. Clueless

    Clueless Guest

    Wow! This is the first I've heard of this feature (it doesn't seem to be really well documented in any Midas literature). I want to make sure I understand:

    If I put a signal through the XLR connector and a signal through the Line-In jack, the channel will sum the two (less 20db for the Line-in jack) all the way through?

    In the case of stereo, is the XLR input split across both channels, or just assigned to the L channel? If there are stereo inputs, the XLR signal appears on which channels? I note that on the stereo channels, the XLR in and line in trims are separate, so one really could achieve "normal" balance across 4 mono and 4 stereo inputs, yes?

    Neat! (I think...)
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