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286s as processor only?

marktmarkt Posts: 18
edited December 2012 in Configuration Wizard
I'm thinking about getting a different stand-alone mic pre for my VO work, but I like the simplicity of the processors on the 286.

Is there a way to use the 286's processing section only with/thru another pre? I've never tried anything like this before, and could use some advice. I've read a bit about the inserts on each, but am still a bit hazy and hesitant on this.



  • GadgetGadget Posts: 4,915
    I have a 286A... but I'm not sure what you are asking?
    Is there a way to use the 286's processing section only with/thru another pre?

    You'll need to be more specific than this...

  • marktmarkt Posts: 18
    Thanks for the reply. I'd like to bypass the preamp on the 286 and use it's processor only thru/with another mic pre that doesn't have any processing features.
  • GadgetGadget Posts: 4,915
    I don't know... I'm not real happy with the whole thing actually...I suspect that maybe you could use the ring on an insert but I'm not sure where in the chain it inserts the signal...
  • marktmarkt Posts: 18
    Ok. I don't quite understand why you're "not real happy with the whole thing," but thanks anyway.
  • GadgetGadget Posts: 4,915
    well, you asked.. I didn't care for the sound, I didn't care for the dynamics section, There isn't much headroom.. I could never say that the sound was better than the preamps on the mixer, and that wasn't saying much to begin with...(used in livesound primarily) Perhaps a better mic preamp would be better..
  • marktmarkt Posts: 18
    Wow Gadget, did I misunderstand you! This is kinda funny to me now...

    I thought you were 'unhappy' with the setup I was suggesting, but now that you wrote that, I think you were saying that you're not real happy with the 286 in general, right?

    For my VO work, I'm used to the expander/gate on the 286 to get rid of as much ambient noise as I can, then do any more clean-up in my DAW.

    I can't afford any more gear beyond the pre I'm getting and thought maybe I could find a way to make use of this part of the 286 coupled with my new pre.

    I guess I'll take a much closer look at the book...
  • GadgetGadget Posts: 4,915
    I have moved to the Presonus platform mixer and interface and I have to tell you there is a WORLD of difference! I am using the Studio one/2 DAW and you just wouldn't believe how this thing works! The audio is so fat and warm and detailed. Studio one is an incredible piece of work that has revolutionized DAW workflow. It's all drag and drop, and integrated work flow... if you want to get your mind blown, go to the Presonus site and check out the videos of the studio one workstation...

    The Presonus mixer platform has opened up a whole new world to me... I have a 16:4:2 studio live, and I can mix remotely with a laptop, I can also control all my monitor mixes from an Iphone! I can record, multitrack, all my shows, and even have a mixdown pair recorded as well..I can even route tracks to the DAW in real time and send them back to the mixer for live sound using all the DAW plugins...

    Mind blowing stuff in this price range.
  • marktmarkt Posts: 18
    Thanks for the tip on the Presonus! I'm gonna check it out...
    If you know anyone with any ideas on the 286 thing, please send them my way!
  • GadgetGadget Posts: 4,915
    Are you saying you HAVE a 286A?
  • marktmarkt Posts: 18
    Yessir. I have the 286s; Pretty much the same. I was hoping to couple it with a Focusrite ISA One.
  • GadgetGadget Posts: 4,915
    Ok, so I guess I'd make an XLR to 1/4 " balanced (stereo headphone jack) but pin one, XLR, open, pin 2 hot (positive) pin 3 cold (negative) on the other end, tip open, (this will eliminated the mic pre I think) ring to pin 2 of the XLR and sleeve to pin 3 XLR... this would send the signal from the Focusrite into the output section of the 286...

    Some level discrepancy might be there but hopefully there is enough gain to be able to make it all work...The impedance differential my require you to use the line level outs of the focusrite... but I'd try the XLR out first.

    Can't hurt to try, it's all line level after all...
  • Hey Markt,
    I'm wondering if you ever got an answer to this question about using just the processing on the DBXs and bypassing the preamp on it and instead using the preamp on your ISA One. I see one post with a (to me at least -- pins/positive/cold etc) very confusing answer. I'm terrible to tech stuff. Did you ever figure out the right way to hook it all up? I have the same system -- I'm using Logic (DAW) and just bought an ISA One, a Neumann TLM 103 and a MOTU 828Mk3 and want to only use the gate of the DBX (I'm a voice over guy). Any solution would be great.

  • marktmarkt Posts: 18
    Hey Sam!

    Although I have a different pre now, I'll still patch thru my 286 when I want to gate pre-DAW.

    Yes, Gadget is right in that one can have a custom cable configured, but I'm going to give you the simple fix from one VO guy to another! And yes, this will bypass the preamp section of the 286...

    If you don't already have one, get a 1-2 ft.(the shorter the better)patch cable with a female XLR plug on one end, and a 1/4" TRS plug on the other & another short patch w/TRS on both ends.

    Here's the chain: (Power off please)
    Mic>ISAONE-ISAONE Output>DBX Insert(with your new XLR/TRS cable)-DBX Output>Interface or Computer (with other TRS cable). Now, THIS IS IMPORTANT! Pull the 1/4" DBX INSERT PLUG OUT ONE CLICK. (You'll feel it).

    Turn down input and outputs and power-up! Increase sets to taste. I Kept the DBX Output Gain at 12:00 (0dB).

    This should work.

    Good Luck,
  • Great answer, Mark. Simple for me to follow. I really appreciate it. I'll give it a try. I've never worked from a home studio and usually the studio engineer does all this stuff, so these online forums (I'm new to them) are a huge help. I haven't bought any recording gear since the original MOTU 828 came out and I only used it to write some music. But these forums didn't really exist back then, so it was pretty much a "do it alone" situation, and that can be REALLY frustrating. Thanks, again.

  • marktmarkt Posts: 18
    I know how you feel Sam! Always in studio myself till I got up and running at home about 4 years ago. To be honest, I'd still rather let others do the engineering...

    Please do let me know if that setup works for you!

    All the Best,
  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    Hey guys, I thought you might be interested in this, since you are doing voice-over work. The first is a NAMM "infomercial" that describes the Cloudlifter. The second is voice-over guys review and demo, and the third is a review but used with a mic'd instr amp. Pretty cool gizmo. Be sure to watch with decent computer speakers (built in monitor speakers don't cut it).

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