In Part 1 of this article, I described how to make the MIDI and audio connections from the Avid PRE into Pro Tools and how to configure the MIDI. In this part we'll take a look at the final steps necessary in order to get your mic preamp up and running and controllable from Pro Tools.
Configuring PRE in Pro Tools
Just a couple more steps are necessary in order to get the PRE fully up and running. In Pro Tools, choose Setup > Peripherals and select the Mic Preamps tab.
From the Type column, choose PRE and set the Receive From and Send To options to the MIDI channel you’re using. If you have more than one PRE, configure them here as well.
Assigning PRE Outputs to your audio interface
Having already physically connected the outputs of your PRE to the inputs on your interface, you will now need to map them in I/O Setup. Go to Setup > I/O and click on the Mic Preamps tab. Click the box which corresponds to the interface inputs yo’ve connected your mic preamp to.
That’s everything now configured! You can view and control mic preamps from either the Mix or Edit window. Just go the View menu and enable it from either the Mix Windows Views or Edit Window Views section.
Once displayed, all aspects of each mic pre channel can be controlled from Pro Tools. I usually do this from the mix window. If a channel has an input which corresponds to a mic input, the controls will be available at the top of the mix window.
As well as gain and the mic/line/DI selector, you also have access to controls for source impedance, phase, high pass, pad, insert and phantom power.
With the ability to connect up to 9 Avid PREs to a single HD system, you can have up to 72 preamp channels all controllable from Pro Tools without needing to touch the front panel of the hardware itself. This can be especially convenient if you’ve got your PRE units in a rack in a machine room. Should you wish to eliminate the possibility of somebody physically adjusting the mic pre in the other room, go back into Setup > Peripherals > Mic Preamps and enable Remote Lock-Out Mode. Now the settings can only be changed from within Pro Tools.
Third Party Mic Preamp Support
As I mentioned earlier in the article, some third party manufacturers have produced their own mic preamps which are compatible with the Avid PRE protocol, allowing them to be controlled in the same manner from Pro Tools. These include:
- RME Micstasy
- Millennia Media HV-3R
- Grace Design M802
- Prodigy Engineering Anima
- Aphex 1788A and 188
- Summit Audio MPE-200
Whichever option you choose, it’s certainly convenient to be able to control mic preamps from Pro Tools and it can be especially handy during big recording sessions.