Can I connect a hardware compressor to my bare bones interface?

Discussion in 'Soundgear' started by Bill Vkerchi?, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Bill Vkerchi?

    Bill Vkerchi? Kapellmeister

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    Hi, I should say that I had never worked with audio hardware before and I know next to nothing about the technical side of it.

    So I had an idea to buy a standard rack sized compressor and connecting it to my Audient Id4 which has two outputs for monitors, a headphone port, DI and mic inputs. So my rationale is - I'll connect a monitor out to the input of the compressor, and the output of the compressor to the mic or DI in. And I'll monitor through headphones.

    Will this work? I know there's some sort of stuff about balanced/ unbalanced signals and impedance etc. that might not make this work. So that's what I'm asking. Any pitfalls? Any ways around them? Any info would be appreciated.

    Thanks a lot.
     
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  3. digitaldragon

    digitaldragon Audiosexual

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    Is the intent to apply hardware compression to individual tracks as an insert, or to apply it to the 2bus/drum bus, etc. or simply to reign in levels for monitoring?
     
  4. TW

    TW Guest

    A racked sized compressor that will beat in the box compression will cost a you a quite nice amount of money.I think it is better to compress in the box and spend the comnpressor money for an interface upgrade with more ins and outs, if you want outboard gear. just my 2 cents ...

    I am not sure if this works cause i am not sure how you route this from your daw? If you want to apply it on a single track. I think you have to go all the way through the master bus? Cause you are using the monitor out? I guess you have to simply test this.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2017
  5. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    Everything will be fine for as long as you connect the cables properly. Main monitor outputs that are balanced TRS [or XLR] go to balanced inputs on the compressor, then balanced TRS [or XLR] outputs from the compressor go into the line inputs of your audio interface, not DI or MIC. Otherwise the impedances won't match and you will get a bit distorted audio.
     
  6. dbmuzik

    dbmuzik Platinum Record

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    With your interface not even having in/out 3 and 4.. the only thing you could benefit by having outboard compression is if you want to catch a signal on the way in. Only sense it would make to catch your 2bus on the way out is if you went from your interface, to compressor, to external recorder with studio monitor outputs. What you're currently talking about doing is looping into the digital stage of your 2bus and trapping yourself into monitoring and rendering with your headphones. (Also, your interface has only 1 balanced line input. You'd have to Y-cable in and end up with a mono mix) If you want to bring hardware inside your DAW you need an interface with multiple ins/outs so you can route through channels/sub groups.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  7. Bill Vkerchi?

    Bill Vkerchi? Kapellmeister

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    Yup monitoring through headphones and rendering a single mono track was my best bet. Now i'm trying out how i'll theoretically monitor a signal after compression. Maybe through one speaker connected to the other out port? I'm getting feedback loops for now). It seems not worth the trouble.
     
  8. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    At this stage, with this audio interface, indeed it is not worth the trouble. Get a multichannel interface and you will be in hardware heaven. If you want to. :wink:
     
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