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Thread: Routing/connection question

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    Routing/connection question

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    So I've got a modified Presonus MP20 mic pre on the way, about which I'm really excited, because my experience with external pres has been very limited thus far. Here's my question, though:

    I'll be using this pre with two machines mainly:
    Fostex R8
    Audio Technica AT-RMX64 (4-track cassette)

    The Fostex has RCA inputs, but the AT has both 1/4" unbalanced and XLR balanced inputs.

    The Presonus has XLR outputs only.

    I already have 8 channels of my Tascam M216 mixer wired up to the inputs of the Fostex. If I go through the Presonus, come out of that into a channel on my Tascam via XLR, and then out to the Fostex, will it negatively affect the signal coming from the Presonus (since it will also be running through the Tascam's channel)? Obviously, I won't have to use any gain on the Tascam, but it will be running through the fader, etc.

    It's not that I dislike the Tascam mixer, but I'm just curious how it's normally done.

    Regarding the AT-RMX64, I can just plug the output of the Presonus straight into the XLR channel input on the AT. Again, will that, in a sense, kind of nullify the extra clarity I'd normally achieve via the Presonus?

    Regarding the Fostex, should I get two XLR to 1/4" adapters (one for each channel on the MP20) and plug straight into the patchbay that feeds the Fostex (normally fed by the Tascam mixer)?

    Thanks for any help.
    famous beagle

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    I would (and that's how I do it with all my pres)...go direct from the pre to the recorder...of course, watching my levels since the R8 is most likely -10....and whatever the AT is.

    If you need to monitor the pre...you bring the output of the recorders to the mixer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    I would (and that's how I do it with all my pres)...go direct from the pre to the recorder...of course, watching my levels since the R8 is most likely -10....and whatever the AT is.

    If you need to monitor the pre...you bring the output of the recorders to the mixer.
    Thanks!

    If I remember correctly, you have a fairly advanced setup, and you obviously have several different pres from which to choose. Do you have some them always connected straight to certain tracks of your recorder? Or are they connected through a patchbay? When you want to change pres, do you repatch manually or use a patchbay?

    What about if you want to compress something before going to tape? Do you just run straight out of the pre, into the compressor, and then into the recorder? Again, do you do all this by hand every time or do you use a patchbay?

    Just curious. Thanks!
    famous beagle

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    Well..it's all done "by hand"...but I know what you mean, do I reach around to the back of the units and re-patch or use a PB.

    I have EVERYTHING wired to PBs. I have mic/pre-input XLR PBs and then I have several Line In/Out PBs where all the other gear is and where I have the pre-outputs wired.

    So it's all just a matter of a patch cable from one to another...and I can add other things into the signal chain all at the PBs. Also...I don't have anything set to any specific tracks. Even if tend to say...always drop bass guitar on "track 5", and I always use the same pre/DI...I still don't keep that as a permanent hook-up.

    But...even without the PBs, I would still want to go right from the pre (or last unit in your chain) to the recorder. Going through the mixer to got to the record has no real value, only adds more noise. Like I said, to monitor those tracks at the mixer, send the outputs of the recorders back to the mixer. I know without PBs, you might be tempted to have dedicated pre-to-tape hookups...but I find that forces you to work with a cookie-cutter mentality.
    I find it more interesting to start each new session from "zero" even if some things end up the same as they were on the last song.
    And yeah....PBs make it all so much easier to connect stuff and allow you to step away from pre-configured SOPs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    Well..it's all done "by hand"...but I know what you mean, do I reach around to the back of the units and re-patch or use a PB.

    I have EVERYTHING wired to PBs. I have mic/pre-input XLR PBs and then I have several Line In/Out PBs where all the other gear is and where I have the pre-outputs wired.

    So it's all just a matter of a patch cable from one to another...and I can add other things into the signal chain all at the PBs. Also...I don't have anything set to any specific tracks. Even if tend to say...always drop bass guitar on "track 5", and I always use the same pre/DI...I still don't keep that as a permanent hook-up.

    But...even without the PBs, I would still want to go right from the pre (or last unit in your chain) to the recorder. Going through the mixer to got to the record has no real value, only adds more noise. Like I said, to monitor those tracks at the mixer, send the outputs of the recorders back to the mixer. I know without PBs, you might be tempted to have dedicated pre-to-tape hookups...but I find that forces you to work with a cookie-cutter mentality.
    I find it more interesting to start each new session from "zero" even if some things end up the same as they were on the last song.
    And yeah....PBs make it all so much easier to connect stuff and allow you to step away from pre-configured SOPs.
    That's what I was thinking. I do have 3 patch bays, so I know I have enough space to do it, but they're all 1/4" inputs (one has RCA connectors on the back). However, since the Fostex has RCA inputs anyway (and the AT has XLR or 1/4", I don't suppose an XLR patch bay would do me any good anyway, huh? I guess I should just use XLR-to-1/4" adapters (or cables) from the Presonus to get it into the patch bay. I already have all my other things (compressors, processors) wired up to the patch bay, so I'm used to doing that.

    Thanks for the help!

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    Well...if you have 1-2 pres....it might be overkill to use an XLR patchbay....but you can make your own with either single, double, triple...rack-space panels, which is what I did.
    One XLR panel holds 12 XLR connections...so you have enough for six 2-channel preamps.
    All you want to use them for are the pre inputs from the mic outputs...and you put that XLR patchbay right next to your preamps.

    I have a bunch of racked pres...and they sit on one side of my console in a rack...and below them are 3 rows of XLR preamp inputs.
    My Line I/O patchbays all sit on the right side of my console in their rack...and to them I sent the line outputs of the preamps.

    It's just better/safer to keep the pre inputs away from your line level gear....keeps the phantom power away form the other gear, and possible ground loops/hum away from your preamps.

    Also, when you mix unbalanced/balanced gear and -10 and +4...it can all live in the same PBs...just watch how you wire everything and be aware of which gear is running at which level when you interconnect it.

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