Transparent audio interfaces?

BlofeldsCat

Member
Messages
81
The Presonus Audiobox and Focusrite 2i2/2i4 come with preamps that are designed for the input of an instrument only (and the use of plugins to generate sound) not a line input from a preamp/modeller. As a result, any signal sent via a preamp gets coloured plus such an input can blow the interface preamps. This has come from Presonus & Focusrite tech support.

Therefore can anyone recommend a <£150 transparent interface that doesn't have preamps and can handle an input straight from my modeller?
 

Endr_rpm

Member
Messages
3,265
I've had a 2i4 for a couple years now, and I have no idea where the tech support got that idea? I will say that the 2i2 preamps were very touchy, and had some of the issues you mentioned, but, due to the -10db pads on the inputs, my 2i4 has been motoring along like a champ. I usually use a Tech 21 pedal for amp sounds in the loop of a Line 6 M13, and just watch my input gain. I've found the 2i4 to have very pleasing pre amps when I mic stuff, detailed and true to the source, IMO.

That being said, I know some of the upper range Focusrites have non-preamped inputs, but I don;t know if you're going to get what you want at the price point you are willing to meet.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,316
The 2i2 has a Line/Instrument switch, right on the front.

If it's set to "Line" I don't see how it would be possible to "blow" the preamps.

I think you talked to wrong guy...
 

BlofeldsCat

Member
Messages
81
I've talked to a few people at both companies. Some try and help and some just fob you off but each time you reply you get someone different, which is frustrating. It's got to the point where I've had enough. People all over are plugging their modellers & FX into interfaces and are recording fine but I get overtly bassy-sucked-out-EQ, Mes-style scooped mids sounds no matter how much I alter the settings on my modeller and not getting anywhere.

The Presonus has mic and instrument inputs but tech support confirm they are identical so I assume the same goes for the Focusrite.

If you check out any of my vids you'll see what I mean.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,316
The Presonus has mic and instrument inputs but tech support confirm they are identical so I assume the same goes for the Focusrite.
The Scarlett has a switch for Line level, so you'd be wrong about that.

Have you tried using that?
 

BlofeldsCat

Member
Messages
81
Last reply from tech support:

the main thing that seems to be the overarching problem is this:
"My chain is guitar > Line6 Pod preamp > Audiobox > computer"
Plugging ANYTHING in to the AudioBox other than a microphone or a guitar (with passive pickups) can, and frequently will, damage the preamps inside the device.


If you're getting a lot of strange EQ issues then the preamp is likely blown out. It does not matter if you plug it in to input 1 or 2. I know the device appears to say that one input is for mics and the other is for instruments but the inputs are 100% identical. They both have the same preamps inside of them.

The long and the short of this is that, as indicated within the manual you should not be plugging your effects processors or other powered hardware in to the AudioBox.


A previous agent did try to help via:

1. On the Pod, take 2 cables from the left and right outputs and plug them into channels 1 and 2 on the Audiobox
2. Make sure the gain knobs on the Audiobox are all the way "Down" (to the left)
3. Make sure that the main output volume on the POD is NOT turned all the way up. About half way should be good at least in the beginning of this setup.


But as I explained, I have a Pod-type (the V Amp 2) and it has both volume and master so not sure which volume he was referring to in bold.



Then two people on the forum backed up what tech support were saying about not being able to handle the input:

Your Pod needs to be connected to a line level input. The Audibox USB only has instrument level inputs. Line level inputs have a typical input impedance of 10 kohms whilst Instrument level inputs have a typical input impedance of 0.5 to 1 Mohm. Your problem is most likely due to an impedance mismatch causing a muffling of your guitar signal.


And

Look at your AB. Notice the combo connector inputs are labeled mlic/instrument. When you connect your line-level out from your pod to the instrument input on the AB, you are not getting the best performance due to an impedance mismatch. Get yourself a DI box that has pad control on it so you can plug into the mic input instead. The DI box will adjust the level and impedance of the pod's output to properly match the mic input on the AB. Those instrument inputs are meant for when you want to plug a guitar or bass directly into the AB, using the computer (your DAW host/plugins) to generate any effects you might want.

But what is so annoying is I was told to get the interface to balance the signal and avoid sound quality issues but now I'm told to get another bloody device! I'd rather just sell my Audiobox and get a new interface that can cope with a signal from my modeller.
 

BlofeldsCat

Member
Messages
81
The Scarlett has a switch for Line level, so you'd be wrong about that. Have you tried using that?
I haven't got one - I got put off buying one when they told me what I said above o I got the Audiobox instead. I'm willing to try if that's true
 

Endr_rpm

Member
Messages
3,265
I haven't got one - I got put off buying one when they told me what I said above o I got the Audiobox instead. I'm willing to try if that's true

I prefer the Focusrite stuff at this tier to the Presonus gear I have used. Take a look at the 2i4, IMO, it designed for what you want (stereo capture from a modeller.

But you're still going to have to overcome your basic lack of knowledge about how your pre-existing gear works.
 

fisticuffs

Member
Messages
5,405
There are very few interfaces that don't have line inputs. Many more than have instrument inputs and/or Mic inputs but really aside from some $50 DJ stuff with RCA's they all do line/Instrument and Mic right out of the box. You got very bad info.

I stand corrected. I cannot believe they didn't give it Line inputs.line inputs are actually cheaper components than instrument or mic.
 
Last edited:

dman72

Member
Messages
549
The Presonus 22vsl cannot handle line inputs just like the audiobox...I have a safesound P1 and I can confirm that it doesn't work running the line out into it. It distorted and clipped at the lowest levels, plus I was picking up radio frequencies for some reason.

I now have a 44VSl I bought used, and inputs 3 and 4 have line level inputs, and it works great with my P1.

From everything I've seen, the Focusrite stuff all have switches for line level.
 

Rock Johnson

Member
Messages
4,745
I run my modeler through the Audiobox all the time, no issues.

RP1000 master output set at about 40.

Audiobox preamp gain set all the way counterclockwise. I record a test track and increase the gain until the wave form is about 2/3 the size of the track. That seems to work just fine for me.
 

BlofeldsCat

Member
Messages
81
Audiobox preamp gain set all the way counterclockwise.
You mean the 'off' position?

I record a test track and increase the gain until the wave form is about 2/3 the size of the track. That seems to work just fine for me.
Perhaps this is where I am going wrong. I have no idea what wave form you are talking about. All I have is the mix VU mix meter and I was told to make sure it doesn't peak above +6db And to also watch out for the red clop light coming on (on both the VU mix meter and in the interface itself).
 

mattball826

Senior Member
Messages
20,810
record your tracks at -6 in track amplitude is what they probably meant. clip indicators should not peak. leave enough track headroom for plugin effects and gain staging of tracks. when you start adding tracks they are additive to the master, so keep them around -6db. i know some guys when doing 4 tracks or more of just guitar keep the tracks around -10, -12 area.

modelers can have as high as +20db of gain on tap so yeah be cautious of the modelers output settings.
 






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