Question: Going from a dedicated PREAMP into audio interface

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Wild-Bill, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    Hey all,

    Ok, so I have been using the MOTU Ultralite for a number of years now. I end up working on my music off and on, so I am by no means "experienced" in this arena. (I come from the days of the old cassette-based 4-track).

    Anyway, after reading rave reviews of the FMR Audio RNP (Really Nice Preamp), I bought it. Having recorded acoustic guitar using a Rode NT1-A into the preamp, and then into input 1 on the MOTU, I've had good results.

    Here is my question.....

    When I record guitar (1978 Gibson ES-335 with factory coil-tap :D ) , is it better to go from the PREAMP into one of the LINE-INs on the MOTU interface, OR go from the PREAMP into one of the two MIC / INST inputs on the MOTU ?? Isn't that like using two preamps?? I don't use the 48v boost or pads on the MIC / INST input on the MOTU.

    For an experiment, I tried going PREAMP > Line-In (Ch3) on the MOTU, loaded up one of the guitar channel strips in Logic, and recorded.

    I found that by setting the preamp level to +18db on the RNP (can go from 6-66db of gain), setting the TRIM on the MOTU line input 3 to about 7, I was getting a decent signal. Prior to this, I'd have only 6db of gain on the preamp, the trim on MOTU line 1 set at about 4, and I'd have to use a noise gate quite heavily.

    I'm not sure if it's my imagination or not, but it seemed to sound better going through the line-in input. That's my problem!!! I am not sure what the best method is.

    The RNP has two channels with HI-Z 1/4 inputs in the front, and two standard XLR jacks in the rear for microphones, both channels also having a +48V button for phantom power for microphones. Additionally, the MOTU first two channels have a 48V toggle switch and pads.

    Can anyone provide insight into my dilemma ?

    Thanks! :)
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    once the RNP has done its work, it'll be sending out a line level signal. so you should use the line ins on the MOTU.

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