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Mic and line levels on Focusrite Clarett 8pre USB

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Mic and line levels on Focusrite Clarett 8pre USB

Postby fictionman » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:14 pm

Hi everyone,

Here is my questionning:

I've got a 8 channel preamp that I love (Yamaha HA8) and I want to use it rather than the preamps of my audio interface (Clarett 8pre USB).

The problem is that the only multipair cable I have is an 8 XLR female to 8 XLR male.

And when I read the manual of the Clarett, it says:

"You should only connect microphones to the XLR Inputs. Connecting Line Level or Instrument Level signals via XLR will cause these signal to pass through the full Mic Preamp stage.
The Mic Pre is not designed to accept these levels and doing so could produce poor quality sound, distortion or in some cases damage the units."


So if I connect the 8 line outputs of my external preamps to the 8 inputs of the Clarett via XLR cables, the interface will understand that the signals will be very low whereas they will be very high.

So the question is:
Is there any solution to connect these two separate units with the XLR cables of my multipair?
Or should I definitily have to buy or build a new multipair (8 XLR female to 8 jack TRS 6.35)?

Thanks a lot for your answers :)
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Re: Mic and line levels on Focusrite Clarett 8pre USB

Postby The Elf » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:29 pm

fictionman wrote:Or should I definitely have to buy or build a new multipair (8 XLR female to 8 jack TRS 6.35)?
Yes!
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Re: Mic and line levels on Focusrite Clarett 8pre USB

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:39 pm

fictionman wrote:Is there any solution to connect these two separate units with the XLR cables of my multipair?

Not really. The risks and disadvantages* far outweigh any small benefit of not having to buy a new snake.

Or should I definitily have to buy or build a new multipair (8 XLR female to 8 jack TRS

Yes. Buy or rewire a snake with TRS for the interface.

*The most obvious risk is accidentally switching phantom power on the interface, which could damage the HA8's line output drivers. And to avoid overloading the interface preamps you'd have to run the HA8 with low gain, degrading the signal to noise ratio, which would be further compounded by running through the interfaces preamps also at low gain. Any benefit of the HA8 would be lost. Build, modify or buy a TRS loom to connect via the proper line inputs.

You already know it makes sense.
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Re: Mic and line levels on Focusrite Clarett 8pre USB

Postby James Perrett » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:34 am

If you aren't going to be moving things around much then something like this will work

https://cpc.farnell.com/pulse/pls00108/ ... dp/AV18911

I use one for my ancient MM mixing desk which only has balanced jack inputs.
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Re: Mic and line levels on Focusrite Clarett 8pre USB

Postby fictionman » Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:16 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Yes. Rewire a snake with TRS for the interface.

That's what I'll do. I'll solder 8 jack TRS 6.35 connectors in place of XLR male ones.

Thanks a lot
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Re: Mic and line levels on Focusrite Clarett 8pre USB

Postby ef37a » Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:38 am

Or, https://www.cabledepot.co.uk/6.35mm-ste ... 67EALw_wcB

You can also buy short XLR to TRS 'slug' cables.

Just come to me (only one coffee so far!) IF you decide to replace the XLRs with jacks, cut them off with say 200mm of cable left assuming the cables are long enough. Never hurts to have a ready made XLR to FA for some special purpose. Also make VERY sure you wire the polarity correctly. No smoke but an OOP cable could cause you all kind of headaches and bad words down the line!

Dave.
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Re: Mic and line levels on Focusrite Clarett 8pre USB

Postby fictionman » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:01 am

ef37a wrote:Or, https://www.cabledepot.co.uk/6.35mm-ste ... 67EALw_wcB

You can also buy short XLR to TRS 'slug' cables.

Indeed.
The less expensive one on my regular provider website is 6.60 euros.
When you multiply it by 8 it gives 50.40 euros.
Soldering 8 TRS jack connectors will be cheapier I think.
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Re: Mic and line levels on Focusrite Clarett 8pre USB

Postby ef37a » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:43 am

fictionman wrote:
ef37a wrote:Or, https://www.cabledepot.co.uk/6.35mm-ste ... 67EALw_wcB

You can also buy short XLR to TRS 'slug' cables.

Indeed.
The less expensive one on my regular provider website is 6.60 euros.
When you multiply it by 8 it gives 50.40 euros.
Soldering 8 TRS jack connectors will be cheapier I think.

Well yes, if you do it properly with Nukes, https://www.studiospares.com/Cables-Lea ... 575890.htm you could save about half that.
HAVE to say, with my energy levels now and state of eyes I would happily pay the diff!

Dave.
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