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Drum Machine recording - need pre-amps?
Old 27th January 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Drum Machine recording - need pre-amps?

Hey guys,

Really appreciate any help.

I am looking at buying this drum machine http://www.jomox.de/product_details....=&product_id=1 Jomox Xbase 999.

I would like to record each of the drums using the 10 individual outs available on the drum machine.

I currently use an RME Babyface, which does not have enough inputs to do this.

However, I was looking at upgrading to a Fireface 800 or UFX to record it.

My question is:

The 800 and UFX have 4x pre-amp/XLR/line inputs, PLUS quite a few TRS inputs without preamps, that would make enough inputs to cover the drum machine outputs.

However, can I use these TRS inputs? Or won't the drum machine have enough oomph to record wtihout the pre-amps at the front end?

Also, is it ok to record mono drum machine outputs into the stereo TRS inputs?

Thanks very much for your help
Old 27th January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
UltimateOutsider's Avatar
Drum machines and synths do not have to be run through pres in order to be recorded on a typical audio interface. You generally only need pres with microphones and electric guitars.

Also, most synths/drum machines have unbalanced, TS connections, but you can use either TRS or TS cables to run them into TRS ports on your interface. Your interface might also give you the option of inputting at +4dBu (for devices with balanced outputs) or -10dBV (for unbalanced devices), but if not you can work around it with your gain/trim controls.
Old 27th January 2013
  #3
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Output Level: about +4dBu at max. volume on all outputs


Yeah, should work fine going into the TRS inputs.
Old 27th January 2013
  #4
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
awesome thanks very much guys! really appreciate the quick response, thanks!
Old 27th January 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Technically you should go though a di to preamp, since rrum machines don't output line level. Many dont follow this. They still make music. It should sound better but will cost more.Your call.
Old 27th January 2013
  #6
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I like the API style DI a lot for drum machine and synth inputs, or anything really, but that many of those would be an expensive order.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #7
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrides ➑️
Technically you should go though a di to preamp, since rrum machines don't output line level. Many dont follow this. They still make music. It should sound better but will cost more.Your call.
If you have a line input with any kind of reasonable gain available a DI isn't necessary. Every drum machine I have ever used put out line level. Maybe not +4 with 20 dB headroom kind of line level but still close enough to grab without a preamp.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton ➑️
If you have a line input with any kind of reasonable gain available a DI isn't necessary. Every drum machine I have ever used put out line level. Maybe not +4 with 20 dB headroom kind of line level but still close enough to grab without a preamp.
None of the samplers or drum machines I own (around 10) output the proper line level required by most converters. Technically a di into preamp should be used as I stated before.
What you do is not uncommon also as I stated above.
It is not unheard of to see a Radial JD6 in the rack where drum machines ans samplers are used either.

Usually the non di / pre choice is driven by lack of knowledge, cost, or disregard.
....and recrds are made.
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #9
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrides ➑️
None of the samplers or drum machines I own (around 10) output the proper line level required by most converters. Technically a di into preamp should be used as I stated before.
What you do is not uncommon also as I stated above.
It is not unheard of to see a Radial JD6 in the rack where drum machines ans samplers are used either.

Usually the non di / pre choice is driven by lack of knowledge, cost, or disregard.
....and recrds are made.
OK I see what you are saying

I'm old school and always have a console to interface drum machines etc. In my world a signal that has low impedence drive with a nominal level appreciably above (20-30 dB) a microphone or instrument pick-up level is taken into a line input of the board and amplified there before hitting the converters. Drum machines, synths etc.
My DI's are used for bass, guitar and other low level pick-ups that need 30 dB and up of gain and generally don't do well without the low impedance balancing that the DI supplies.
When I'm tracking a live band with multiple keyboards I'd need up to 20 Di's if I went that route. Since I have a weakness for good gear 20 Reddi's would be a tough hit on my wallet!

Regarding the statement in bold, using a DI when you don't need to is taking a chance of degrading the signal. More processing isn't always the correct answer.
Old 28th January 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton ➑️
Regarding the statement in bold, using a DI when you don't need to is taking a chance of degrading the signal. More processing isn't always the correct answer.
That would fall under disregard. The potential risk is higher than the potential reward. It happens quite often.
Some without console nay look at impedance and gain and make a different choice. Besides something like a desk doctor 24 will only set you back around $2500. This is GS. Not BudgetSlutz!

Or...one could just plug directly into conveters, make some noises and see what happens.
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #11
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrides ➑️
This is GS. Not BudgetSlutz!
Ha Ha!
Old 28th January 2013
  #12
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I bet if Aphex Twin were going through this he would probably just use some cheap as sht mixer like a Mackie or something and get on with it. I dunno I kind of like his weird hollow empty sounds.

I was thinking about getting a cheapish mixer just for my eventual more-than-a-few synths in the room thing I plan to get going.

I bet running into your line inputs would be more or less fine, without having to buy anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bower88 ➑️
Hey guys,

Really appreciate any help.

I am looking at buying this drum machine http://www.jomox.de/product_details....=&product_id=1 Jomox Xbase 999.

I would like to record each of the drums using the 10 individual outs available on the drum machine.

I currently use an RME Babyface, which does not have enough inputs to do this.

However, I was looking at upgrading to a Fireface 800 or UFX to record it.

My question is:

The 800 and UFX have 4x pre-amp/XLR/line inputs, PLUS quite a few TRS inputs without preamps, that would make enough inputs to cover the drum machine outputs.

However, can I use these TRS inputs? Or won't the drum machine have enough oomph to record wtihout the pre-amps at the front end?

Also, is it ok to record mono drum machine outputs into the stereo TRS inputs?

Thanks very much for your help
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