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Thread: Getting Audio Interface Mic/Instrument inputs to the FRONT of the rack

  1. #1
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    Getting Audio Interface Mic/Instrument inputs to the FRONT of the rack

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    Hi all,

    Man, I haven't visited this forum since 2007! Anyways, I have a question about audio interfaces, particularly rack-mounted ones. Here's my "dilemma". I have been using the Presonus FireStudio Project audio interface for years (since 2007 actually!). I've uploaded an image of it. It's on the fritz, but got excellent use out if. I always like the rack-mount form factor, and what has been nice about this audio interface is that all of the mic/instr inputs are on the FRONT of the device. I never have to climb under and behind my music desk when recording multiple instruments at once (as in live-recording of a singer, multiple guitars, basses, and sometimes mic'ing up drums)

    Now, I'm seeing new rack-mounted interfaces, and most of them have just a couple of mic/instrument inputs on the front, but most of them are at the back. Is there a good way, like a patch bay, or something, that can help route all of the back Mic/Instr ports to the front of my rack, so I can plug-in a guitarist, vocalist, etc?

    Thanks in advance.

    presonus-firestudio-project-p-5538-jpg

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    You can get an XLR patch bay, but you'll need cables or a snake to patch the back to the interface. I would just get an XLR snake with a stage box on the input end, maybe something like this:

    Hosa Little Bro' 8X0 Sub Snake - 25' | Sweetwater

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    The Firepods, FP10s and Firestudios had a range of features that are not replicated on any contemporary interfaces (including newer interfaces from Presonus) that I can see.

    The features are:

    1 Combo inputs on the front. Having them on the back defeats their purpose, seeing as you have to clamber round the back to swap XLR to TRS and vice versa. Connecting via snake and stage box (or using a patch bay) nullifies the 'combo' bit.

    2 Inputs one side, controls the other side. This stops leads getting in the way of adjusting gain knobs.

    3 TRS outputs, plus main out outputs plus cue outputs on the back.

    4 A physical input/playback balance knob on the front panel.

    5 Inserts on channels 1 and 2.

    The interface that comes closest is the Behringer UMC1820

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    I have mine on patch bays and snakes. There are still interfaces with front inputs available. Depending on your use and space , a small digital mixer with USB outs could be just the thing.

    Before you decided , i recommend future proofing by thinking about what you may want to do "later" also.
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    The fact that the 8 mic inputs and two line/inst inputs are on the front panel was one of the contributing factors in me getting the Tascam 16x08 vs the Scarlett 18i20 or the Presonus Studio interfaces that I considered.

    I considered the Zoom UAC8, but finding any real information regarding performance, etc was really tough.

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    I brought a reel of microphone cable and a bunch of XLR adapters and soldered away 1ft lengths going from my Scarlett 18i20 to an XLR patchbay, I can not imagine having to climb behind the rack to plug cables in. I still have a lot of cable left, enough for a lifetime probably.

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