Line Inputs

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by msb65, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. msb65 macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2008
    Hi Everyone,

    I am very new to home recording. While researching an audio interface appropriate for my needs I have come across the term "line inputs/outputs". For example I am very interested in the Presonus Firebox. According to Presonus, "two additional balanced TRS line inputs are located on the rear of the FireBox along with six balanced TRS line outputs". These inputs are 1/4", and so I was under the impression you plug a bass or guitar into them. However I have been told that is not case.

    Could somebody please explain to me what line inputs are used for, and why they can't be used directly with instruments or microphones? Is it possible to add a preamp between your instrument or mic and use these line inputs?

  2. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    yes, you can use a mic preamp to convert the very low signal of a mic up to line level. you can also interface synthesizers and other line level gear, such as compressors and EQs, through the line inputs.

    guitars and basses need what's normally called a Hi-Z input, which is also a 1/4" input but the instrument sees a different load. if you need this, then either look for an interface that also offers Hi-Z inputs (sometimes also called a "guitar input"), or get a direct box for your guitar, which would then go into a mic input.

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