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  #1  
Old 07-05-2021, 10:45 AM
mtpollack mtpollack is offline
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Default Best way to add more mic pres to HDX/Omni system?

Hi all,

I have a Pro Tools Ultimate HDX system, running on Windows, with an HD Omni interface. Most of my work consists of mixing (and various small overdubs & MIDI stuff), so I generally get by just fine with the two pres in the Omni.

I want to add 8 more mic-pres, though, and the necessity to connect via Digilink seems to be a terrible limitation. I imagine I'll end up getting a Focusrite Red 8, but it seems there is a whole world of good multi-preamp boxes that I can't use just because they can't connect to my HDX card via Digilink.

Is there some way around this?

Thanks,
Malcolm Pollack
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2021, 06:48 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Best way to add more mic pres to HDX/Omni system?

Not sure why you think Digilink is limiting. Pick up a used 192 for around $300 and you'll have 8 analog and 8 digital inputs(unless you get a 192 DIGITAL). Assuming 44.1 or 48K sample rates, any of available lightpipe preamps will work. But my favorite option is the Midas XL-48(absolutely killer on drums).
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2021, 07:19 PM
mtpollack mtpollack is offline
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Default Re: Best way to add more mic pres to HDX/Omni system?

Hi Dave, thanks.

How does the connectivity work without the Digilink? Do I bring in the XL-48 through the Omni's optical connector? Would I end up with 10 pres in all, that way? (That is, would I still be able to use the Omni preamps?)
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Old 07-05-2021, 07:41 PM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: Best way to add more mic pres to HDX/Omni system?

Keep in mind the Omni is still limited to 8 total inputs, regardless of if they are analog or digital. If you hooked up an 8 channel preamp with digital outs, you could use 6 of those channels while still using the 2 Omni pre's.

That's why Dave was suggesting to get a 192 digital. It's cheap because it's the older model, but that would allow you to have up to 16 more inputs digitally. You would then use something like the XL48 hooked via Adat, or any other preamp that has built in analog to digital conversion and adat outputs.

Now if you want the same analog to digital conversion as the Omni, you would need to get an HD IO, which even used would be much more expensive. But that would allow you to hook up any analog preamps of your choice.
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Old 07-05-2021, 07:42 PM
mtpollack mtpollack is offline
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Default Re: Best way to add more mic pres to HDX/Omni system?

Ah, I see - get a used 192, connect that to the second port on my HDX card, then something like the XL-48 and bring that in through the 192. All under $2k - with room for expansion if needed, because I'd still have 8 channels left over on the 192.

AND I still get to use the two (very respectable) pres on the HD Omni, and all its other IO.

Does this seem like a good plan? Thanks, MP
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Old 07-05-2021, 07:50 PM
mtpollack mtpollack is offline
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Default Re: Best way to add more mic pres to HDX/Omni system?

Yep, catching on now - even if I want to spring for the nicer conversion in the HD IO, I can still get one of those, used, for maybe $1500, so that plus a thousand for the XL-48 is still way less than the cost of a new Red 8 at $4K. (I don't mind spending what's necessary, but I see no need to spend more than I need to.)

Got it. Thank you all!
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2021, 08:14 PM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: Best way to add more mic pres to HDX/Omni system?

If you decide to go for the HD IO, then whatever preamp you get does not have to have digital outs like the Midas, so you have a lot more choices. And all 8 channels do not have to be the same unless you want that. You could get two 4 channel preamps, or four 2 channel preamps, or eight different 1 channel preamps, and so on. That could also get expensive though.
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Old 07-06-2021, 09:46 AM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Best way to add more mic pres to HDX/Omni system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nst7 View Post
If you decide to go for the HD IO, then whatever preamp you get does not have to have digital outs like the Midas, so you have a lot more choices. And all 8 channels do not have to be the same unless you want that. You could get two 4 channel preamps, or four 2 channel preamps, or eight different 1 channel preamps, and so on. That could also get expensive though.
This^^^ is a great idea and is what I did when I had my Nashville studio. Here are some things to consider:
1-add an 8-10 slot 500 rack and fill it with pairs of matching preamps(I had 2xVintech 573, 2xFiveFish X-12 and 2xChameleon Labs 581's)
2-anything connected via lightpipe will be bypassing any converters(so the HD IO is less important for just connecting a lightpipe preamp).
3-if you need higher sample rates(and you probably don't), the XL-48 has analog, as well as AES outputs.
4-a "standard" 192 has 8 analog IO and 8 digital IO(so that could handle the XL-48 on lightpipe AND 8 channels on analog)
5-just an FYI, the 192 DIGITAL can't take analog cards at all(but you could use 2 lightpipe preamps for 16 more inputs).
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Old 07-06-2021, 11:12 AM
mtpollack mtpollack is offline
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Default Re: Best way to add more mic pres to HDX/Omni system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nst7 View Post
If you decide to go for the HD IO, then whatever preamp you get does not have to have digital outs like the Midas, so you have a lot more choices. And all 8 channels do not have to be the same unless you want that. You could get two 4 channel preamps, or four 2 channel preamps, or eight different 1 channel preamps, and so on. That could also get expensive though.
Right. Thank you!
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  #10  
Old 07-07-2021, 01:04 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Best way to add more mic pres to HDX/Omni system?

Used 192 "standard" should be around $300US and the Midas XL-48 should be around $900US. A 192 DIGITAL should be more like $200. You will need an old-style Digilink cable AND a Digilink to Mini digilink adapter(which might have been included with your OMNI) and a pair of BNC cables for the LOOP SYNC connections. Be prepared to fuss with the settings under the hardware menu to get the proper digital inputs working as its not exactly intuitive(once I got mine figured out and working, I save screen captures so I could restore quickly at a later date. Trashing prefs will reset this to default)
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