I'm not sure if the distinction between "line amp" and "mic preamp" is critical here, so I think it makes the most sense to break this down into two related questions:

1) is there another interface on the market (aside from the MH LIO-8 which I have now) that has analog line amps on the inputs so that I can control the level as much as +30db (ish, I could work with less) and even drop it by as much as 10db before it hits the converters ?

2) as far as input impedance is concerned, should I worry about using a mic pre built into an interface to do relatively small amounts of amplification on the way in for my line level signals ? (this I suppose would mean losing the ability to drop a few dbs from the signals on the way in, but I could live with that if it works otherwise).

What I am hoping to do is get something that lets me do what I do now, from another manufacturer, because I've had issues with MH. I use 42 db fixed gain mic amps and passive EQs pretty much exclusively (despite not being the technically inclined person you might imagine with have a rig like that), so the MH line amps are handling makeup gain for the EQs and also boosting some lower output signals .   That makes the variable line amp the only place I can electronically control signal level upward.

I have googled various interfaces but none seem to have this. If I have to buy something with full blown mic pres that I will not be using as mic pres, I guess I need to check all their specs to see how little gain they can add when you are going through the pre. I was just looking at one that starts at 10db, which would be more than I need sometimes.


iampoor1

Re: practical alternative to Metric Halo line amps on an interface ?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2019, 11:20:14 PM »
Why not just get a custom box built with the line amps you need and then use an interface with fixed gain line inputs?

abbey road d enfer

Re: practical alternative to Metric Halo line amps on an interface ?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2019, 01:10:34 AM »
I'm not sure if the distinction between "line amp" and "mic preamp" is critical here, so I think it makes the most sense to break this down into two related questions:

1) is there another interface on the market (aside from the MH LIO-8 which I have now) that has analog line amps on the inputs so that I can control the level as much as +30db (ish, I could work with less) and even drop it by as much as 10db before it hits the converters ?

2) as far as input impedance is concerned, should I worry about using a mic pre built into an interface to do relatively small amounts of amplification on the way in for my line level signals ? (this I suppose would mean losing the ability to drop a few dbs from the signals on the way in, but I could live with that if it works otherwise).

What I am hoping to do is get something that lets me do what I do now, from another manufacturer, because I've had issues with MH. I use 42 db fixed gain mic amps and passive EQs pretty much exclusively (despite not being the technically inclined person you might imagine with have a rig like that), so the MH line amps are handling makeup gain for the EQs and also boosting some lower output signals .   That makes the variable line amp the only place I can electronically control signal level upward.

I have googled various interfaces but none seem to have this. If I have to buy something with full blown mic pres that I will not be using as mic pres, I guess I need to check all their specs to see how little gain they can add when you are going through the pre. I was just looking at one that starts at 10db, which would be more than I need sometimes.
I think you have not looked well enough. Many interfaces have mic inputs that can handle line level and provide gain in the range you need, for example the Steinberg UR series have line inputs that can handle +14dBu and have gain in the range -6 to +48 dB.
Another option is using a mixer with built-in converter, such as the Behringer Xenyx USB series or Yamaha AG.
I would say you're spoilt for choice.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

Re: practical alternative to Metric Halo line amps on an interface ?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2019, 11:18:51 PM »
Welp, the issue I had recently with one of my inputs turned out to not be a MH issue at all, it was a DB25 cable between  my interface and patch bay(which had been disconnected/reconnected exactly once since 2010 !), so I'm scrapping plans to change.  Thanks folks.

abbey road d'enfer, Steinberg was not on my radar, but the UR series 8 channel interface has built in mic pres. As far as I know any interface with a built in mic pre is able to have an input selected as a line in and to provide less gain than a mic pre, but for my situation I was asking about line inputs with analog line amps only as the LIO has, meaning I would not want to buy 8 channels of clean mic pres that I would barely if ever use, which does bring up the price quite a bit. 

A mixer isn't a natural fit with my setup either. I don't want extra stuff in the signal path, don't want to buy any more modern gear than necessary, and don't need more pres, EQs, or routing.

iampoor1,  I've been deterred by the idea of a custom line amp box because of the expense and time involved in getting something built, and because I avoid new gear other than the interface and computer.  It would be the way to go for performance and convenience I think, especially if it could be done well in 1 rack space.

abbey road d enfer

Re: practical alternative to Metric Halo line amps on an interface ?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2019, 01:50:52 AM »
abbey road d'enfer, Steinberg was not on my radar, but the UR series 8 channel interface has built in mic pres. As far as I know any interface with a built in mic pre is able to have an input selected as a line in and to provide less gain than a mic pre, but for my situation I was asking about line inputs with analog line amps only as the LIO has, meaning I would not want to buy 8 channels of clean mic pres that I would barely if ever use, which does bring up the price quite a bit. 
Actually, that is not entirely true, depending on the class of equipment.
The cheapest interfaces have mic pres, because that's where the market is, and mass production helps minimizing costs.
There are much fewer interfaces with line inputs only, from Antelope, MOTU, RME, Prism Sound, and indeed Metric Halo.

Quote
A mixer isn't a natural fit with my setup either. I don't want extra stuff in the signal path, don't want to buy any more modern gear than necessary, and don't need more pres, EQs, or routing.
In modern products, a mic input does not imply "extra stuff in the signal path"; I agree that, in terms of workflow, the extra knobs and switches may be a hindrance, though.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

Re: practical alternative to Metric Halo line amps on an interface ?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2019, 11:57:31 AM »
Actually, that is not entirely true, depending on the class of equipment.
The cheapest interfaces have mic pres, because that's where the market is, and mass production helps minimizing costs.

Understood, but it didn't seem worth spelling out that exception since I would not be considering low end interfaces.




Re: practical alternative to Metric Halo line amps on an interface ?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2019, 02:54:31 PM »
I should have said, thanks guys for reading and responding.

Re: practical alternative to Metric Halo line amps on an interface ?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2019, 08:33:44 AM »
The line ins on MOTU's AVB series of interfaces have a 22dB trim range, with a maximum input level of +24dBu.


 

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