Using Exter­nal Preamps

This guide will step you through con­nect­ing and using the exter­nal pre­amps within GR 2/3/4 — In this case we will be con­nect­ing a mic sig­nal from within the con­trol room into one of the golden age pre­amps — how­ever the same will apply for any pre­amp within the room.

Input Patch­bay:

1. First we will con­nect our mic sig­nal into the left hand side patchbay.

As it is a sig­nal from within the con­trol room we can patch straight into the pre­amp we want to use — in this case it is the Golden Age Pre In (1).

If you’re record­ing a sig­nal from the live room you would patch a small XLR lead from stage box out­put into whichever pre­amp input you want to use.


Pre­amp:

1. Then, turn on the rel­e­vant pre­amp mak­ing sure phan­tom power is on if needed.

Adjust the gain para­me­ter until you have a strong enough sig­nal. You most likely won't be get­ting an out­put of this sound but you can still check the gain — almost like a PFL signal.


Bantam Patchbay: 1. Locate the out­put of your cho­sen pre­amp on the patch­bay at the bot­tom right of the room. In our exam­ple we used the first golden age pre­amp there­fore we will patch out from ‘Golden A Out (1)’.

Insert a ban­tam cable into this out­put.


At this point you need to decide whether you want to mon­i­tor your sig­nal Pre-​fader or Post-​fader. Pre-​fader means you will mon­i­tor the out­put of the pre­amp that is com­ing back from Pro Tools, and the onboard gain and pre­amp of the SSL XL desk will not affect or colour the sound. Post-​fader will mean that the out­put of the pre­amp will go into a chan­nel on the SSL XL and can be coloured and affected by its gain or colouration.

Pre-​fader:

1. Take the other end of the ban­tam cable from your pre­amps out­put and plug this into ‘Motu 16A Line In (1−8)’

This will patch your sig­nal straight into the sound­card, bypass­ing the desk — the num­ber in which you patch into will cor­re­spond to the input you set on Pro Tools.

In our exam­ple we have patched into num­ber 1.

2. Within Pro Tools cre­ate an audio track with the cor­re­spond­ing input to which you patch. The out­put will be what you mon­i­tor to hear your sig­nal, for our exam­ple we had chan­nel 8 spare so we out­putted it down this channel.

We can then make sure the DAW but­ton is pressed on chan­nel 8 and raise the fader and we should be able to hear our signal.

This would make our sig­nal pre-​fader as the SSL input fader will not affect gain — but post Pro Tools as we are mon­i­tor­ing the Pro Tools output.


Post-fader:

1. If you wanted to track with the onboard chan­nel EQ and com­pres­sion of the SSL XL desk you would need to patch your sig­nal post fader.

To do this, take the other end of your ban­tam that is com­ing from the out­put of your pre­amp and patch this into ‘SSL XL DAW In (1−8).’ This will bring your input sig­nal onto whichever chan­nel cor­re­sponds with the num­ber you patched, for exam­ple we have patched it into DAW In 1.

You can then add EQ or com­pres­sion at will and this would record as this is on the input not out­put of that sig­nal. With the DAW but­ton unpressed you would also be able to mon­i­tor this sig­nal on the fader.

2. Then, within pro tools cre­ate a new audio chan­nel and set the input to whichever DAW In you patched, in our exam­ple that is chan­nel 1.

You could set the out­put to the same chan­nel and use the DAW but­ton to chose whether you wanted to mon­i­tor pre/​post pro tools. Alter­na­tively, if you set the out­put to a dif­fer­ent chan­nel you could mon­i­tor pre/​post Pro Tools on dif­fer­ent faders.