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Review Of The Audient ASP800 8-Channel Mic Pre And ADC

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Review Of The Audient ASP800 8-Channel Mic Pre And ADC

The Audient ASP800 8-channel mic pre and ADC is just like its predecessor, the iD14, hence featuring the same type of mic preamps present in the mixers. The ASP800 is an eight-channel mic preamp and an analog-to-digital converter that connects to the optical input of the iD14 or any other interface with optical I/O.

The 1U rackmount ASP800 is designed with all of its mic/line combo jacks on the back panel, and all of its channel-specific controls on the front. The only front-panel jacks are 1/4" DI inputs for channels 1 and 2. Having all the mic pres on the back makes it possible to have a lot of front panel knobs, although it would have been a bit more convenient to have at least one mic input on the front, for easy connection without having go to the back of the rack.

Each input channel has individual 48V phantom power switches and -15 dB pad switches plus gain knobs. Audient calls channels 1 and 2 the “Retro Channels," because they’re equipped with two types of coloration circuitry (Dual Stage Color Saturation Controls) that can add vintage style sonics to the input. HMX is a tube emulation. IRON is a transformer-based circuit. When they are off (both channel 1 and 2 have an individual on-off switch for the HMX and IRON features) the preamps are designed to be neutral.

In addition individual switches to turn on HMX and IRON, each channel has control knobs for each of the Retro flavors. The HMX knob ranges from Sweet to Thick, and the IRON knob from Sparkle to Growl.

Channels 1 and 2 also have phase reverse switches. All eight inputs are equipped with peak and signal present indicators. A manual sample rate adjustment switch is provided on the front. The max sampling rate it can handle is 96 kHz. The unit features Burr-Brown A/D converters, which are an important part of the excellent sound quality you get through the digital output.

 

In addition to the combo inputs, the back panel has a DB25 (Tascam format) connector, which gives you analog outputs for the channels, but you’ll need to buy a DB25 cable snake from a third party to access them.

The optical outputs are ADAT SMUX format, and can give you eight channels at 44.1 or 48 kHz, or four channels at 88.2 or 96 kHz. They can also be configured as two channels of S/PDIF.

The unit is powered via an IEC mains input on the back, with switchable voltages, giving it international compatibility. There is no on/off switch, however. We guess it’s assumed that the rack will have a master power switch, but it would have been more convenient to have the ability to turn a unit on and off individually when needed.