ASP880 8-Channel Mic Pre with Variable Impedance and HPF
The Audient ASP880 is an 8-channel mic preamp that incorporates the same Class A preamps from Audient’s high-end consoles, featuring variable impedance, high-pass filters, and transparent A/D conversion, all in a 1RU rackmount chassis.
The Audient ASP880 is the product 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. For example, you may want a lot of distortion on an electric guitar or snare, but none on an acoustic guitar to let its natural tone shine through. With that in mind, Dearden has spent his career refining his preamp and console designs to provide the ultimate in transparency while still retaining the unmistakable musicality of analog character. In the case of Audient, transparent does not equal sterile. The ASP880 gives you eight such channels of Class-A Audient preamplifiers, the same as those found on Audient’s high-end recording desks. The ASP880 also reflects the same high regard for transparency in its onboard converters, plus a versatile feature set including variable impedance, variable high-pass filters, plus AES, ADAT, and S/PDIF digital I/O.
Audient ASP800 key features:
- 8 x Class-A Audient console mic preamplifiers
- Clean and punchy with musical character
- Flexible topology with a design-optimized gain range between 0 - 70dB gain
- Low noise floor, 30,000 times quieter than the signal level
- Wide-bandwidth design preserves transient detail
- Transformerless, RF immune input stage for detailed resolution
- The Audient Mic Pre Guarantee
- Over 20 years of design heritage at your fingertips
- High-performance Burr Brown AD converters
- Variable input impedance
- Variable high-pass filters
- 2 x discrete JFET instrument inputs
- 8 x insert points (between the mic preamps and AD converters)
- ADAT, AES, and S/PDIF digital outputs
- All-metal enclosure
- Over $650 (£500) worth of plugins and software with ARC
Audient ASP880—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 ASP880 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.
If ribbon mics are a preferred part of your signal chain, as they are with many who track guitars these days, then the ASP880 is made for you. Variable impedance allows you to match the pre to your favorite ribbon mic. You’ll find that a lower input impedance will enable you to retain the punch and frequency response the mic was designed for. It also works on your other mics, just more subtly.
Variable high-pass filter
There’s a difference between filtering unwanted lows during a mix and dealing with it at the source with a simple-to-use, variable high-pass filter. Take control of low-end rumble, tweak proximity effect and more by quickly sweeping anywhere between 25Hz and 250Hz. The result is a clean, ready-to-record signal that won’t burden your converters or preamps with headroom-eating low-frequencies.
DI instrument inputs
As well as offering you 8 channels of Audient microphone amplification, the ASP880 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 ASP880 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 ASP880 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
ASP880 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.
ASP880 included software:
- Cubase LE
- Cubasis LE2
- Two free courses at Producertech.com ($20 voucher)
- Eventide Ultrachannel and Ultraverb (over $450)
- 10 free masters at LANDR ( Over $120)
What the pros are saying about the ASP880
The ASP880 has a wonderful true clarity to its sound. I find it incredibly transparent! — Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran, One Direction)
These are amongst my go-to mic pres because they’re just so clean and transparent, they’re just beautiful pieces of kit. — Charlie Andrew (Alt-J, Madness)
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 ASP880 microphone preamplifier/ADC will transform your sessions into world-class recordings. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Professional today—or order yours online now.
Audient ASP880 specifications:
Microphone Preamplifiers: (measured to insert send)
- Mic Gain: -10 to +60dB (-10dB Pad)
- Line Gain: -16 to +44dB (-10dB Pad)*
- Phantom power: 48v +/-4v @ 10mA/Channel
- Mic EIN: <-127.5dBu
- CMRR: >80dB @ 100Hz to 10kHz
- Maximum input level: +22dBu (+32dBu with Pad)
- Mic Lo: 220 ohm balanced
- Mic Med: 1.2k ohm balanced
- Mic High: 2.8k ohm balanced
- Line (all Z): >6k ohm balanced
- Frequency response: +/-0.5dB 10Hz to 100kHz
- Crosstalk: <-85dBu @ 1kHz & 10kHz
- THD+N @ 0dBu (1kHz): 0.003% (-90.5dBu)
- SNR: >90dB
- HPF: Sweepable from 25Hz to 250Hz, 2nd-order (12dB/octave)
- XLR: pin 2 (hot), pin 3 (cold) and pin 1 (shield)
- 1/4" jack: Tip (hot), ring (cold) and sleeve (shield)
* Line input level at the combi jacks will be affected by the input impedance switch position, this can be used as a second pad control to adjust line input ranges on all channels.
Discrete JFET DI (Channels 1/2): (measured to line outputs / insert send)
- DI gain: -10 to +60dB (-10dB pad)
- Maximum input level: +16dBu (typical), +22dBu
- Input impedance: 1M ohm unbalanced
- Frequency response: +/-0.5dB 10Hz to 50kHz
- THD+N @ 0dBu (1kHz): <0.03% (-70dBu)
- SNR: 89dB
- 1/4" jack: Tip (hot) and sleeve (shield)
Line Outputs (insert sends):
- Maximum output level: +27.5dBu
- Output impedance: <100 ohm balanced
- ADC Line inputs (insert returns): (measured at optical output under AES-17)
- Maximum input level: +18dBu
- Digital reference level: 0dBFS = +18dBu
- Input impedance: >10k ohm balanced
- Frequency response: +/-0.5dB 10Hz to Fs/2
- Crosstalk: <-80dBu @ 1kHz & 10kHz
- THD+N @ -1dBFS (1kHz): <0.002% (-94dB)
- THD+N @ -6dBFS (1kHz): <0.002% (-94dB)
- Dynamic range: 113dB un-weighted; 115dB A-weighted
- Peak LED lineup: +16dBu (-2dBFS)
- Signal LED lineup: Variable brightness from -30dBu to -10dBu (-28dBFS)
- ADAT 8 channels SMUX: 44.1 - 96kHz
- AES | S/PDIF 8 channels: 44.1 - 96kHz
Clock Internal or External:
- World clock input: 75 ohm BNC
- Optional 75-ohm termination
- High-stability, low-noise internal SMPS
- Fan-less, quiet operation
- Works anywhere in the world without reconfiguring
- Line voltages: 90 to 264V (AC)
- Internal rails: +/-18VDC, +48VDC & +5VDC
- Fuse: T1A (1A time delay)
- Consumption: Maximum 40 watts
- Weight: 8.8 lb. (4 kg)