Audient ASP880 and Variable Impendance

The Audient ASP880 8 channel microphone preamp and ADC is loaded with features all housed in a 1U rack. This fresh take on the popular ASP008 provides eight of Audient’s renowned console mic pres, pristine converter technology and a versatile feature set that includes Variable Impedance and Variable High Pass Filters. You can view the complete list of specifications here, but for this blog post, we want to focus on the Variable Impedance feature found on each of the ASP880’s 8 channels. This feature basically provides you with three tonal variations for each input. How’s that for a studio workhorse?

Audient’s own Tom Waterman has provided an excellent blog post on Using Variable Impedance & What to Listen For. His posts digs in deep to explain how variable impedance works, and how best to use it. Here’s a great summary section that focuses on what to listen for:

To describe how I hear it – the ASP880 when set to HI provides detail, punch and a fast presentation with lots of low end weight.

On MED the sound becomes a bit tighter and mid focused with a good balance of everything – a classic kind of presentation.

Set to LO, microphones tend to take on a different personality with a more glued transient to the main body of the sound, an overall slower presentation with some loss of space/detail – great for making a bad room sound a bit better!

Of course – each microphone reacts differently and it is definitely a case of FLIP THE SWITCH, LISTEN & DECIDE.

Award winning audio engineer and Sound on Sound contributor Mike Senior (The Charlatans, Reef, Therapy, Nigel Kennedy, and Wet Wet Wet) breaks it down with isolated drum tracks, letting you hear the difference with each impedance setting. His Audient blog post Switchable Mic Preamp Impedance – What Does It Sound Like? is a must read. He provides sound clips of commonly used mics on drums and guitars with each of the three impedance settings the ASP880 provides. The mics include:

  • ADK S7 large-diaphragm condenser mic
  • Blue Kickball phantom-powered dynamic mic
  • Shure KSM137 small-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone
  • Shure SM57 dynamic microphone
  • Avantone CK1 small-diaphragm condenser microphone
  • KSM141s stereo pair set to their cardioid mode
  • AKG CBL99
  • AKG C414B-XLS  with its figure-eight polar pattern
  • Groove Tubes GT55 large-diaphragm cardioid condenser
  • Sennheiser MD421 dynamic mic

He had the band Brushes Held Like Hammers “…perform a section of one of their songs three times in quick succession so that I could record comparison files with each of the three input-impedance settings (5000 Ohms, 1200 Ohms, and 200 Ohms) across 12 simultaneous microphones that were all running through Audient preamps.”

The result is three .wav files for each of the twelve mics so you can hear the effect on each of the drums, room mics, guitars, etc. Powerful stuff! Have a listen and let us know what you think. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better 8 channel mic pre and ADC for the price and quality than the ASP880. Contact us to connect you with a local dealer and to setup an in person demo.