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Thread: Quick balanced input question

  1. #1
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    Quick balanced input question

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    I'm trying to think ahead w/ my setup -- and I've got an Otari MX-5050 8 track 1/2" in the shop, almost done

    Rather than bother w/ a patch bay, I'm trying to minimize my startup cost and go without one, if possible. So here's the deal:

    I understand that the Otari has balanced ins and outs. So, can I connect the tape outs directly to the XLR channel mic preamp inputs on my M-308? Or would that signal be too hot to run through the preamps?

    It'd be nice to have an all-balanced signal flow if possible, but not if it's gonna clip all the time.

    Thanks! I know I remember seeing an answer to this somewhere, but there's just way too many posts to count!

    -callie-

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    If you are going to be doing it track by track, I seriously recommend a patch bay. I guess if the mixer is your only other tool, you could get by without it. but to go behind my reel and rack and mixer every time I want to record the next track was such a pain the ass! try it out, but it might really suck!!

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    I TOTALLY understand....but

    The post-tape signal will pretty much be hard-wired. I hope to just run an 8 track XLR snake from the tape-outs to the channel ins on my board. Any outboard effects will be normalled to EFX send/return 1 and 2. My master recorder will be normalled to one of the several stereo bus outs.

    The pre-tape signal is the only one that would be slightly difficult. I'd just have to manually plug the proper snake cable into the proper mic preamp, into the proper tape input snake cable. Same with gates and compressors. I'll probably HATE THAT and just bite the bullet and patch up all my pre-tape signals. But, I know it IS doable. My arrangement is such that the back of the desk is easily accessible, and walkable.

    My only concern is the voltage of the tape-outs from the otari, going into a mic preamp on my board. Will that be too hot of a signal?

    thanks!


    BTW -- the Otari is alive and kicking, and for only 200 bucks. Can't wait to pick it up!!!

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    i dont think that it will (be too hot). as far as i know, the preamp is the same regardless if you are going thru the xlr or line input. i think. you should probably post that question separately in the mixing mastering forum.

    i would try it with a mic cable before you order your snake just to be sure. the board doesn't have TRS line inputs??

    and yeah if you are going to use external preamps and crap i really recommend using a bay. i tried without for a while (16 tracks) and I am the kind of guy who will lay down a bass, then guitars, then run and do a couple vocal tracks, all myself, and seriously, it sucked without the patch bay. you'll find out soon enough.

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    The balanced microphone connectors on the 300 series mixers are perfectly suited to handling balanced, +4db signals from your Otari recorder provided you turn the trim control fully counter-clock-wise and depress the PAD button. Doing so will electrically align the input to work at standard +4db signal strength.

    The only drawback to doing this will be that you will have to unplug the channel in question when you wish to plug in a microphone and re-adjust the trim and pad to accommodate the Mic's lower signal output. This is where the luxury of having more mixing channels then you do tape tracks comes in handy so as to avoid all the cable swapping and level re-adjustments.

    The 300 series of mixers only offers 4 balanced, +4db recording outputs so here too, cable swapping and/or making use of a balanced patch-bay become necessary add-ons to make your recording rig more usable and less tedious.

    Cheers!

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    Awesome. Thank you Ghost.

    I remember seeing the pad button, just making sure that's what it was meant for.

    The Otari actually has (as far as I know) built in mic preamps, plus I've got a few decent outboard ones as well. So, the mixer will not be involved whatsoever with the pre-tape signal, and tracking process. So the M-308 will work perfectly for what I will need to do.

    So yes, I will have to most likeley get a balanced patch bay for all the pre-tape stuff, and whatnot. Cool beans.

    -callie-

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