You are here

Compact mixer pre into Zoom R16?

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: Compact mixer pre into Zoom R16?

Postby dkelley » Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:43 pm

Any time. IMHO old threads are better to keep posting to than creating new threads, as long as it stays on topic. Fortunately, the idea of necro threads is long gone, and now we actually have something to talk about during the dang pandemic!

Yea they're noisy alright LoL, but with loud sources they work just fine. Quieter sources, like how we're using them in quiet home environments now instead of out for live settings that no longer exist LoL, well yea, that's where the external preamp really helps.

I honestly think any external preamp will help, because between the two, they both don't need as much gain, reducing noise from cranking either one. maybe?
dkelley
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:17 pm

Re: Compact mixer pre into Zoom R16?

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:02 pm

I used to use one with a set of SMPRO PR8E preamps fronting it... Good enough (just!) for location work... whether I'd be happy with it now having got used to higher-end gear I'm not so sure... :)
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7673
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Compact mixer pre into Zoom R16?

Postby Darren Lynch » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:42 pm

I have a lot of time for my R16 - back in the day I did a lot of recording in Croydon’s various 16 track studios, and now I have a basic 16 track studio in a very likeable box. Still, when I ran the R16 up against the Mix Pre 3m, it was such a mismatch to the point of being unfair. The Mix Pre is like an audio mirror...it goes in, it comes out uncannily the same.
Darren Lynch
Frequent Poster
Posts: 515
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Compact mixer pre into Zoom R16?

Postby dkelley » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:53 pm

yea, I believe that!

I have had my zoom open a couple of times now, and I keep thinking to myself, I wonder how hard it would be to tap in before the mic pre gain stage to get an unbalanced low gain input that I could throw a couple of transformers on (preferably 1:2 or 1:3) to both increase input level to a line level and to created a balanced connection... the mic pres in this thing are VERY simplistic yet give, what, 50db gain about? so there must be a couple of gain stages, and they must have somehow managed to find the only remaining purchasable op amps that are so noisy in this day and age LoL.

With so many op-amp based discrete balanced mic pre schematics out there in the public domain, I don't understand how they made it so noisy.

But I still at least can confirm the setup I have with a very high gain mic preamp, (70db gain), and solid output stage level into the R16 set with it's gain nearly all the way down. It works wonders for keeping noise level down.

If only it had switched gain levels so you could actually switch the mic pre out of the circuit, like on high end channel strips.... but of course that's asking way too much.

Actually, I'd be happy even if it had an adat connector or wahtever that one is that gives you 8 channels of digital inputs. I used to throw a behringer 8 channel pre with digital outs into the 8 channel in on my main card and the s/n ratio was excellent actually.... which again shows it's the cruddy analog stages that are the problem here.
dkelley
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:17 pm

Re: Compact mixer pre into Zoom R16?

Postby dkelley » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:55 pm

Darren Lynch wrote:I have a lot of time for my R16 - back in the day I did a lot of recording in Croydon’s various 16 track studios, and now I have a basic 16 track studio in a very likeable box. Still, when I ran the R16 up against the Mix Pre 3m, it was such a mismatch to the point of being unfair. The Mix Pre is like an audio mirror...it goes in, it comes out uncannily the same.

actually that brings up another issue - not just noise in the R16, but it's slightly uneven response, and lack of deep bass .

Another thing I found with it was keeping it's input gain low kept the frequency response much more neutral - if you crank the R16 input gains it seems to start to shelf off lows audible, and the highs sound less good.

Ah well, that's what we get for being cheap, right?
dkelley
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:17 pm

Previous