8-channel pre

WinstonN

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
491
I'm wading through the options for adding more mic pre/channels to my 003. I searched on this and got a couple of older threads and wondered if there were any other opinions. I'm considering stuff in the $700 to $1000 range for 8 channels. I'd go a bit more if it were worth it. I'll be running it into my 003 via ADAT lightpipe.

The usual suspects include:
Focusrite OctoPre
Mackie Onyx 800R
Presonus DigiMax (several varieties)
Audient ASP008 - looks too pricey at 2K
Seventh Circle requires more skill and time to put together than I'm willing to commit.

Any thoughts? Thanks!
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,344
I'm wading through the options for adding more mic pre/channels to my 003. I searched on this and got a couple of older threads and wondered if there were any other opinions. I'm considering stuff in the $700 to $1000 range for 8 channels. I'd go a bit more if it were worth it. I'll be running it into my 003 via ADAT lightpipe.

The usual suspects include:
Focusrite OctoPre
Mackie Onyx 800R
Presonus DigiMax (several varieties)
Audient ASP008 - looks too pricey at 2K
Seventh Circle requires more skill and time to put together than I'm willing to commit.

Any thoughts? Thanks!
I'd probably go w/whatever's cheapest. Any of those choices are going to be about the same quality as your 003.

Loudboy
 

WinstonN

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
491
I'd probably go w/whatever's cheapest. Any of those choices are going to be about the same quality as your 003.

Loudboy
Sounds like good advice, but now I'm wondering...Does the 003 influence the signal of the pre amps coming through it via ADAT, or does it pass straight through to Pro Tools? Does the 003 "dumb down" the signal, or could I benefit from preamps better than the 003 (theoretically, anyway)? thanks
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,344
Sounds like good advice, but now I'm wondering...Does the 003 influence the signal of the pre amps coming through it via ADAT, or does it pass straight through to Pro Tools? Does the 003 "dumb down" the signal, or could I benefit from preamps better than the 003 (theoretically, anyway)? thanks
Hard to say, but in the price range you're looking it's not really an upgrade.

Loudboy
 
Messages
5,703
SoundDoes the 003 influence the signal of the pre amps coming through it via ADAT, or does it pass straight through to Pro Tools?
i'd be absolutely dumbstruck to find out that digi impinged the ADAT signal from external pres. that would be like shooting ones self in the foot.

i'm w/ loudboy in that none of the pres U mention would be a upgrade. go w/ the cheapest.
 

GaryNattrass

Member
Messages
738
I looked into these options a few years ago and ended up just getting the Behringer ada8000. It does the job and the pre-amps are about the same quality as the 002 it is used with.
It cost around $300
 

Jack Bulter

Member
Messages
21
I don't have any experience with the 003, but a used Presonus M80 with
Jensen transformers might be an upgrade.
 

WinstonN

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
491
Thanks for the info, but now I've got more questions (another opportunity to show how little I know about this stuff!).

It is clear how to add one of the 8x pres to the 003 via ADAT, but what about pres wit analog outs?

How do I connect a quality preamp pair to to the 003? I already have a Pacifica that I intend to use with vocals and on more critical tracks. Now I'm not sure I've been plumbing it to the 003 correctly. I've been putting it through one od the 4 mic inputs on the 003, but if I run a mic through the Pacifica and into the 003 on mic-in, isn't the 003 pre influencing the pacifica signal...so how do I get the signal from the pacifica into protools cleanly? I want to make sure that I'm getting the most out of the good pre.

If the Pacifica runs into 2 of the 4 mic pres on the 003, I'm still at 4 mic-ins. If I can bring the PAcifica signals in without occupying 2 of the 003 mic slots, I'm up to 6. ...add another pair of pres and I'm up to 8: 4 OK pres with the 003 and 4 nice ones. Am I looking at this wrong?


I've begun to get some fair recordings and I'm getting more familiar with the process, but there are still some basics I need to understand...clearly.
 

wolf9309

Member
Messages
407
Let me just disagree with everyone really quickly and say that the Mackie Onyx sounds significantly better than the octopre or anything else I've found in that range (also a little clearer sounding than the Digi pres). I went through the same thing a while ago and IMO, those are definitely the best. Not great pre's but good pre's.

For bringing an external analog pre in, you just plug it into one of the 4 lines in that isn't paired with a mic pre (5-8) and you have 6 analog mic pres.
 

vladshap

Member
Messages
112
If you look on the back of the 003 (im assuming its about the same as and 002 becuase i have the 002) You will see to the left of the 4 mic inputs, Input 5, 6, 7, and 8. Take your pre, and plug the output into the of the inputs 5-8. So now you have your normal 4 pres on your 003, and plus your other pre going through. (hope that makes sense.)
 

WinstonN

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
491
If you look on the back of the 003 (im assuming its about the same as and 002 becuase i have the 002) You will see to the left of the 4 mic inputs, Input 5, 6, 7, and 8. Take your pre, and plug the output into the of the inputs 5-8. So now you have your normal 4 pres on your 003, and plus your other pre going through. (hope that makes sense.)
Yep - make sense. The Pacifica signal bypasses the 003 pres and goes right into PT, if I understand it right.

If I want more mic pres, I could get something with fewer than 8 (and better) pres.
 

Greggy

Member
Messages
13,440
It's a shame you aren't willing to try Seventh Circle. I recently built 2 channels of the T15 pre. Very impressed so far. Used on acoustic guitar it shines. On electric guitars it is good, but probably not as good as the API module I'm working on. Will hear for myself very soon.
 

WinstonN

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
491
It's a shame you aren't willing to try Seventh Circle. I recently built 2 channels of the T15 pre. Very impressed so far. Used on acoustic guitar it shines. On electric guitars it is good, but probably not as good as the API module I'm working on. Will hear for myself very soon.
I really am very intrigued by the Seventh Circle stuff. I just don't know if I'm up to the task. With my limited soldering skills it probably would take me ages to build one and I'd question the quality of my work the whole way...
 

DaveDaveDave

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
437
I have an octopre.

I like the preamps. More so than the Mackie VLZ pres I used to have, and less so than the Yamaha i88x pres (supposedly designed like a DM2000 pre). But the built in compressors have you interested, I'd put it lower down the list - the fixed attack and release make it pump badly on anything except drums.

Hope this helps...
Dave
 

thepimpdaddy

Member
Messages
193
Sounds ridiculous, but SM Pro Audio PR8E offers 8 channels of clean preamp for about $20/channel. Yes, it's chinese, yes, its mass produced - not a cork sniffers delight, but a nice solid pre . . . should be sufficient unless you're running a professional studio for money . . . Hell, it's probably worth a try for less than $200 - would at least give you another flavor in your home studio, even if it doesn't end up being your go-to pre . . .
 

rockabilly69

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,891
I bought a bunch of these pres as I was looking to expand my RME Babyface to 10 channels and I'd say there were two standouts. The pres in the Digimax LT sounded great and that pre had inserts so I could use my 4 channel Drawmer compressor and and gates with it when using the RME as mobile setup to record drums, the downside it wouldn't do 96K. The later Presonus Digimax models didn't sound as good to me and seems to be cheaper built. But the best sounding of the lot would be the Mackie, and I'd say a used one ($300 to $400) would be your best bet. I think they sound great. Do a search on reviews and you'll see many people agree with me. And they are surely better the the 003 pres. Also they have variable impedance on he first two which is really helpful with ribbons.
 

Papanate

Member
Messages
19,863
Sounds like good advice, but now I'm wondering...Does the 003 influence the signal of the pre amps coming through it via ADAT, or does it pass straight through to Pro Tools? Does the 003 "dumb down" the signal, or could I benefit from preamps better than the 003 (theoretically, anyway)? thanks
The 003 preamps are not great preamps. And yes the signal is colored even through
the ADAT port - but not by the 003 preamps - but by the AD convertor - which is
about average on the good scale.

Depending on what you are after - I would consider changing your DAW out
before I would consider trying to improve the 003. Pro Tools is still a decent
DAW - but there are better than decent DAWs out now that you will hear remarkable
sonic improvements on.
 




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