More direct path then Mic Pre->Mixer->AD converters ?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by anonymous, Apr 23, 2004.

  1. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I am sure we would all agree that the ideal signal path would be direct from Mic Pre to line in of the soundcard when recording to a DAW.

    However I still need to monitor the Mic Pre source, so what I do like many others I suppose, is to go direct to my line in on my small mixer and take a direct line out of that to the soundcard.

    This way I can monitor without any latency my microphones and the output of the DAW. Of course using the mixer's preamps would solve this problem but I want to use some better quality preamps than what comes in the mixer.

    How is everyone else monitoring? I know some do it straight from the computer but I always find any latency very annoying.

    It just seems that going via the mixer is putting my Mic Pre output through an extra stage to buffer it out again.

    Are there any soundcards that have 2 outputs (one for computer and one for mixer). If I split the signal physically wouldn't that affect the quality by loading the output?

    Just something I have been wondering about.

  2. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Feb 16, 2001
    Home Page:
    If your preamp has both balanced and unbalanced outputs you can run one to the mixer and the other to the soundcard. Or you can run the preamp to a compressor with dual outs to do the same thing.

    I have a MOTU 2408mkII with balanced inputs, and I run my preamps into a Fatso before the MOTU, even if I don't use the processing on the Fatso.

    Since the Fatso has both balanced and unbalanced outputs, the balanced outs go to the MOTU and the ub outs go to my mixer for monitoring. And though I'm adding the electronics of the Fatso into the signal path, it still sounds better than going through my mixer first.

    I understand your stuff may or may not be able to work this way.
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Most modern mic pres are able to drive a load that is split (or multed) without any audible artifacts. This is a very common practice. I have all the outputs of my mic pres patched into a patch bay that is half normalized to my A/D converters. I can take a feed off the top row (where the mic pres come up) and route it to any mixer input I wish for monitoring. If you don't have a patch bay you can use a simple "Y" cable..

    Kurt Foster
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I guess it being a low impedance source it loads less. I'll have to try and see if I can hear any artifacts. I know on high impedance sources some frequencies will suffer.

    Thanks for the input it gives me more confidence in trying that next.

  5. ironsheik

    ironsheik Guest

    I just monitor the returns like any tape machine. Most interfaces use input monitoring so latency is hardly an issue. That way you go Pre -> converter -> mixer for monitoring.

  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Yes I am noticing the newer ones are getting better at this. Mine doesn't so a new one may be in order.


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