The Audient ASP800 is an 8-channel mic preamp that incorporates the same Class A preamps from Audient’s high-end consoles, featuring class-leading Burr-Brown converter technology, two JFET D.I’s and two Retro channels with revolutionary tone control.
The Audient ASP800 is the result of 20 years of Dave Dearden’s preamp design experience. Founder of Audient in 1997, Dearden makes no secret of the fact that he’s an ardent supporter of transparency in electronic amplification. In his estimation, preamps that impart a noticeable character or “color” to a signal are “one-trick ponies,” since the buildup of harmonic distortion eliminates the option of removing or selectively applying that flavor as you layer tracks. The ASP800 is a best of both worlds solution insofar as it incorporates both transparency and the ability to add character to taste in the form of two unique variable harmonic Color controls on channels one and two—HMX & IRON. Designed to emulate tones often associated with 1960’s tube designs and the coveted “big iron” transformer sound of British audio in the 1970’s, HMX & IRON will add color as you choose instead of the preamps choosing for you. Along with class-leading Burr-Brown A/D converters, the ASP800 provides an excellent means to add eight mic channels to your rig via ADAT connectivity—the same mic amps found on Audient’s high-end consoles at a very affordable price.
Audient ASP800—Just the Facts:
- 8 x Class-A Audient console mic pres
- 2 x retro channels with Dual-Stage COLOUR saturation controls, HMX & IRON
- 2 x discrete JFET instrument inputs
- Pristine 118dB Burr-Brown A/D converters
- Balanced analog line outputs
- ADAT output for expandability
- Word clock input
- All-metal enclosure
- Free plug-ins and software with ARC
Audient ASP800—Under the Hood
Audient console mic preamplifiers
Not only is the Audient mic pre renowned for being clean, punchy and musical, it is often regarded as one of the most versatile mic pres available. Its impressive dynamic range enables faithful reproduction of the source, with greater realism in the audible range and better blending of instruments, plus just enough color to give the signal some character.
The Audient ASP800 mic pre is an all-discrete, high-grade op-amp design that delivers low noise, low distortion, and high common mode rejection (CMMR) at all gain levels, which is part of the secret of Audient design. According to designer Dave Dearden, “A successful mic pre doesn’t just have to amplify a low-level signal up to something more usable. It must also be protected against external attack such as static, phantom power, and radio frequency interference (RFI). This is where component choice is vital, especially the low-noise transistors and even passive elements such as resistors and RFI filters.”
Audient is the only company that uses the same Class-A mic pre design throughout their entire product range, whether you’re in the studio with an Audient console, or on the road with an iD4 interface, you’re always guaranteed the same renowned Audient sound.
The Retro Channels
Retro Channels 1 and 2 feature two unique variable harmonic Color controls per channel—HMX & IRON. Designed to emulate tones often associated with 1960’s tube designs and the coveted transformer zing of British audio in the 1970’s, HMX & IRON will add new dimension to your audio by providing warm, sparkly tones. Better still, you can combine them to get anywhere in between!
HMX— Harmonic Mosfet Saturator
Engineers love the sound of tubes/valves and if you’re one of them, then you’re going to love the ASP800’s Harmonic Mosfet Saturator (HMX). Travel back in time with ASP800’s very own custom harmonic distortion control. Similar to vintage valve preamplifier designs of the 1960s, HMX provides a sweet, thick tone that will sound incredible on anything from drums to electric guitars. (TIP! Try it on bass synth, or 808 too!)
IRON transformer saturator
British transformer saturator, IRON is a testament to Audient innovation. IRON uses a custom British transformer with a high voltage MOSFET drive network designed to recreate that sparkly, “sounds like a record” signature of 1970’s recording.
Channel expansion via ADAT
Whether you’re recording drums or simply need more channels, ASP800 is the perfect tool for expanding your existing interface via ADAT. Its flexible and intuitive feature set will transform your current setup into the complete recording rig, perfectly at home recording both acoustic and electronic instruments.
DI instrument inputs
As well as offering you 8 channels of Audient microphone amplification, the ASP800 has two harmonically rich JFET DI inputs. Designed to replicate the input stage of a classic tube amplifier, you can plug in your guitar, bass, keyboard, or drum machine and record a clean signal that sounds great as it is, and also offers the possibility of enhancement with amp and effects modeling plug-ins.
Immaculate converter technology
In keeping with Audient’s transparent preamp design philosophy, high-quality AD/DA converters are a vital factor in accurately hearing what you're recording or mixing. Audient has chosen some of the best converters available to make sure all of its products offer you stunning translation. The ASP800 incorporates the highest grade converters from Burr Brown, the leaders in converter technology. The integral ADC guarantees you will have the best conversion possible. This isn't just the best converter in a mic pre, it also stands up against dedicated converters as well, so you can focus on the music and let ASP800 do the heavy lifting.
How much do converters matter?
- Do you find your recordings grainy and not as clear as you would like them to be?
- Do you find that you have poor translation when listening to your mixes on alternative playback systems?
- Do you struggle to hear detail when listening to your favorite albums?
- Have you ever struggled to perfectly time your delay or reverb tails?
All these issues are symptoms of poor quality AD-DA converters, which clearly demonstrates why-high quality converters are vital to improving your mixes or listening experience. High levels of distortion, crosstalk, and poor clocking are commonly caused by low-quality converters. These factors largely contribute to lower quality recordings and poor translation when making mix decisions. To ensure this doesn’t happen Audient products use class-leading converters that will take those thin and grainy sounding recording and give them clarity and dimension.
Audient’s approach to conversion
Audient engineers spend months testing and listening to new technologies in order to make the best sounding products they can—a process applied not only to analog components but also converters. After listening to dozens of different converters, Audient engineers came to the conclusion that Burr Brown was the perfect choice for iD22, iD14, ASP800, and ASP880, while a set of audiophile-grade AKM (Asahi Kasei Microdevices) paired nicely with the iD4. Through detailed listening tests on multiple monitors and in various environments Audient found that these converters consistently offered the most natural and organic representation of the source, enabling you to hear your audio more accurately than ever.
Built to last
ASP800 has been designed to last, its all-metal construction and hand-milled aluminum knobs will stand up to countless late nights in the studio and days on the road.
ARC is Audient’s creative hub. ARC features a comprehensive range of software and offers from some of the industry’s leading innovators. If you own any current Audient product all you have to do is register your product and take advantage of these great Free offers.
ASP800 included software:
- Wall of Sound Cabinet Emulation
- 1GB LoopMasters samples and 500 free Loopcloud credits
- Cubase LE & LE2 for Mac/PC & iPad
- Two free courses at Producertech.com
- 10 free masters at LANDR ( Over $120)
- Waldorf Edition 2 LE (Attack, PPG Wave 2.2v, DPole)
Audient was founded in 1997 by David Dearden and Gareth Davies, who met while working for Soundcraft. Dearden started his career in 1968 as an assistant to David Manley (original founder of Manley Labs) and later became a junior maintenance engineer for Advision Studios, which led to work with studio designer Eddie Veale, building a custom console and private studio for John Lennon’s Imagine sessions, as well as studios for George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Gus Dudgeon (Elton John, David Bowie), and Chris Squire of Yes. Dearden met Audient co-founder Gareth Davies while the pair were working at Soundcraft. They decided to jump ship, founding DDA (Dearden Davies Associates) consoles in 1980. Not only did David Dearden design DDA’s most highly regarded consoles, (many of which are still in use), he also designed consoles for Midas after Klark Teknik took over DDA (now you know why older Midas live-sound consoles were being used in studios for their preamps). After his tenure at Midas, Dearden and Davies teamed up once again to resume doing what they did best, founding Audient with the goal of creating high-quality, cost-effective pro audio consoles and outboard.
The first choice for thousands of studios, Audient’s ASP800 microphone preamplifier will transform your sessions into world-class recordings. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Specialist today—or order yours online now.
Microphone Preamplifier: (measured to balanced DB25 analog outputs)
- Mic gain: 0 to 70dB (extra gain stage for more!)
- Switchable pad: -15dB (all channels front panel switchable)
- Line gain: -10 to 60dB (-25 to 45dB inc. PAD)
- Phantom power: 48V ±4V @ 10mA / channel
- Mic EIN: < -127.0dBu
- CMRR: >80 dB @ 100Hz to 2kHz
- Maximum input level: +20dBu (+35dBu with PAD)
- Input impedance (Mic): >2k ohm balanced (approx. 2.2k ohm)
- Input impedance (Line): >8k ohm balanced (approx. 8.6k ohm)
- frequency response: ±0.5dB 10Hz to 100kHz @ min. gain
- Crosstalk: < -90dBu 10Hz to 10kHz
- THD+N @ 0dBu (1kHz): <0.003% (-90.5dBu) mostly 3rd harmonic
- SNR: >90 dB @ min. gain; >90 dB @ min. gain
- XLR Combi female: Pin 2 (Hot), Pin 3 (Cold) & Pin 1 (Shield)
- ¼" TRS : Tip (Hot), Ring (Cold) & Sleeve (Shield)
Discrete JFET DI: (measured via microphone preamplifier circuitry)
- I gain: 0dB unity gain (0 to 70dB)
- Maximum input level: +17dBu
- Input impedance (DI): 1Meg ohm unbalanced
- Frequency response: ±0.5dB 10Hz to 50kHz
- THD+N @ 0dBu (1kHz): <0.01% (-80dBu) mostly 2nd & 3rd
- SNR: >85dB @ min. gain
- ¼" TS jack: Tip (Hot) & Sleeve (Shield)
Balanced Analog Line Outputs: (ground sensing compensation scheme)
- 8-channel DB25:25-Pin Tascam Format
- Maximum output level: +22dBu
- Output impedance: <200 ohm ground sensing <100 ohm unbalanced
A-D Converter: (measured under AES-17 sans microphone preamplifiers)
- Chipset: Burr-Brown PCM4204 24-bit PCM
- Digital reference level: Selectable via Rear Panel
- 0dBFS = +18dBu (iD22 Professional)
- 0dBFS = +12dBu (iD14 Prosumer)
- Frequency response: ±0.1dB 20Hz to Fs/2 (Nyquist)
- Crosstalk: <-110dBFS @ 1kHz & <-90dBFS @ 10kHz
- THD+N @ -1dBFS (1kHz): 0.0015% (-96.5dB)
- THD+N @ -6dBFS (1kHz): 0.0009% (-101dB)
- Dynamic range: 113.5dB un-weighted; 116.0 dB A-weighted
- Peak LED lineup: -2dBFS (moves with reference level)
- Signal LED lineup: -38dBFS (moves with reference level)
- ADAT 8-channel SMUX: 44.1 to 96kHz
- Clock: Internal Crystal or External Source
- Word clock input: 75 ohm BNC - switchable 75 ohm termination
- Low-noise shielded linear PSU fanless, quiet operation: custom transformers 35W Maximum Consumption
- Internal DC power rails: ±15V, +48, +30V & +9V
- Switchable mains voltage: 100, 120, 220 or 230Va.c
- Fuse: 200mA (UK) or 315mA (US)l Time-delay (T) slow-blow type
- 9 lb. / 4.5kg
- 19" x 11-5/16" x 1-11/16" / 482mm x 286.5mm x 44mm (W,D,H)