wiring for "pro" preamps

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by MarkG, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. MarkG

    MarkG Guest

    I am considering moving up from my average preamps to some more professionally acceptible models (starting with Solo 610 maybe).
    The problem is All of the good preamps I am looking at only have 1 xlr out per channel.
    How do I hook this up so that I can send a signal to my monitor mixer and to the recording interface at the same time? You kind of need to hear what you are doing, don't you?
    I was considering using a mic splitter, but have serious reservations as to what this would do to the sound.

    I know you can monitor through Protools (I am using 002) But even the shortest delay is still annoying. I have been accustomed to using the Twintrack pro (biggest disappointment in my recording career!) which has separate monitor sends.

    Please be nice even though I know this question is exposing me as a complete rank amatuer!
  2. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    You'll want to route the mic pre out into your interface, then monitor though that. You really don't need a splitter as long as your signal routing is correct, the 002 shouldn't have any delay.
  3. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    there is always some latency

    many of those good pre-amps probably have the grunt to run the line input of both the 002 and your monitor mixer

    which mixer are you using ?

    these days most inputs are of high impedance
    ... some call this a bridging input

    from the web site
    Maximum Output Level into 600 ohms +14 dBu, 1% THD+N Ratio
    Maximum Output Level into 100k ohms +18 dBu, 1.0% THD+N Ratio

    a simple y cord could do the trick
    some trickery with ground and ground lift may be needed to solve a possible ground loop

    1 x XLF and 2 XLM and some wire
    it's worth a try
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Have you played around with the buffer size in PT? If you make it smaller this will reduce latency. As Kev says, there is always some latency, but you may be able to make it acceptable to you and keep your signal chain clean. Of course, you then may want to increase the buffer size when you mix and are using plug-ins. But it is a simple housekeep task that you can get used to pretty quickly.
  5. MarkG

    MarkG Guest

    The delay at the 64 sample setting is not a problem but I quickly get to the point where the 1024 setting is a must (like after 20 tracks and 3 reverbs and an amplitube and some midi strings)

    I have monitored through protools acouple of times out of necessity, but another problem, which is actually more of a nuisance than the latency, is that when you take the channel out of record mode then the mic is shut off. So if the band wants to just practice for bit then the whole rig has to be in record mode
    Am I being too picky, or is this the way it is normaly done?
  6. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Makes sense. Some suggestions: (1) Track without the reverbs. (2) Cut down on the number of reverbs by using a reverb bus. (3) Bounce down to a stereo tracking mix. This doesn't have to be used in the final mix if you want to change things. It's just a reference for your overdubs. Use as many plug ins as you want. Increase the buffer size and bounce to a single stereo track. Then you can use a minimal buffer size and reference your additional tracks to a single dry stereo track.

    On the other issue, it has never bothered me to leave the track in record mode when rehearsing. I think I had an old tape machine that worked that way back in the day, so it never seemed unusual.
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    You should be just fine with a Y-cable wired as XLR(F) to 2x TRS jack plugs, assuming your monitoring mixer has balanced line inputs on TRS jack sockets.
  8. magicdog

    magicdog Guest

    This is a useful thread...!

    I am also in a similar predicament - I have a MOTU 828 MkII soundcard, Soundtracs Topaz 32:8 analog mixer and I've just bought my first decent preamp, an A-Designs MP2 (MMmmm...!).

    I have wired the MP2 directly into the 828 via XLR->TRS balanced jacks and it works fine but monitoring is tricky - would I be better with a Y-cable so I can send one input to the mixer for monitoring..?

    Are there other ways of monitoring the MP2 output..?

    Many thanks
  9. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    a google search on A-Designs MP2
    found a web page

    in the spec we have
    *Balanced Output: dual XLR

    you may not need a Y-cord
    just a XLR->TRS and an XLR to your mixer

    no wait
    it's a dual mic-pre
    so the dual output may just be a single XLR for each channel ... d'oh

    go the Y cord to suit your system ... watch for ground issues
  10. magicdog

    magicdog Guest

    Thanks Kev - it is a dual channel pre...!
  11. MarkG

    MarkG Guest

    Fortunately ground problems are fairly easy to hear and correct.
    I was curious more about sound quality and the performance of the amp.
    Does it work anything like a guitar, where if you put different loads on the pickups it will change the sound of the guitar? or is ground loops the only thing that needs to be worried about.

  12. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    No, it's not like a guitar. The pre-amp output will drive two separate inputs without a problem or a performance degrade. Use a Y-cable, but keep your cable lengths as short as is reasonably practical and you will be good to go.
  13. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    as Boswell said, it's not like a guitar
    however some of the principles do happen
    it's all a matter of degrees

    any input will load an output
    the effects can be dramatic as per the Sender single coil type of situation
    a ballsy line output capable of driving a small Auratone Speaker at 8 ohms
    ... these outputs can do well even into 3 or 4 600 ohm inputs without obvious loss in sound quality

    the average 600 ohm output these days is not the same beast ... except those found on some of the boutique stuff that is emulating the units of the past . so you may find that the average CAN NOT drive two 600 ohm inputs

    generally today most inputs are what is called 'bridging' and so have a much higher impedance than 600 and can be around 10K ohms or more,
    so as a load are much easier to drive.
    Two 10Ks will feel like 5K
    so a 600 ohm ready output should be fine

    obviously an inspection of the schematic would be needed to get specific and there can be subtle situations of cable choice and cable length coupled with a specific set of components that might do the unpredictable
    it will work

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