•8 balanced XLR mic/line inputs with 85 dB gain range
•Standard 19" box / 2 Rack Spaces High
•Intelligent Clock Control (ICC)
•SyncCheck®, SteadyClock, TotalGain, AutoSet
•MIDI over MADI
•Analog input level from -56.5 dBu up to +30 dBu
•High-end circuitry with 4 relays per channel, super low-noise microphone front-end
•Near click-free gain changes in steps of 0.5 dB
•Large frequency range (200 kHz) with special EMI input filtering
•8 balanced TRS line / instrument inputs with Hi-Z option
•8 balanced XLR line outputs, maximum level +27 dBu
•4 x AES/EBU Out per D-Sub, 8 channels @ 192 kHz
•2 x ADAT Out, 8 channels @ 96 kHz
•Optional MADI I/O (I64 MADI Card)
•Symmetrical hi-pass (Lo Cut) with super-low THD, 18 dB/oct
•LED level meter with 13 LEDs per channel
•M/S de-/encoding for the digital output
•AutoSet: Automatic gain reduction with multiple linking
•Current state can be stored to 8 user presets
•Fully remote controllable via MADI or MIDI
This is my assessment of the RME MICSTASY
; a complete overview of features is available at the RME website,
The designer of this box was obviously looking very carefully at the APHEX 1788/1788A as the inspiration for the design. The two units share allot of the same features and functions. Because I was asked to review the MICSTASY and not the 1788, as a multi channel Mic Pre/DA conversion set for DAW recording, I will not attempt to compare these two in terms of functionality one over the other.
The manual for the MICSTASY is very informative and even goes into some very useful digital theory and is loaded with definitions of terms, but does not give an example of a typical setup for which this device was intended. After looking it over, it appeared to be targeted to anyone who would be in need of a set of remote located preamps with MADI networking (although this is an optional add on card) as the primary interface to the recording, public address or broadcast format. It does offer AES/EBU out, ADAT out and analog out of all eight channels simultaneously, for other configuration possibilities.
The company has a very lengthy explanation about the design of the mic preamps and their proprietary STEADY CLOCK that is used as the internal master sample reference for all of the analog to digital conversion onboard the unit. Eight XLR connectors have been dedicated to the output of each preamp before the analog to digital converter. This unit also has a very unique feature in that the mic and line inputs have an automatic gain control circuit that senses the incoming signal level and adjust the gain of the preamp circuit rather than using a limiter circuit after the pre amp. It can be activated to prevent the output of the preamp from overloading the convert inputs and any device connected to the analog outputs.
This is my first time using any RME device with their STEADY CLOCK of which they boast in great detail. According to RME it has the ability not only to provide incredibly precise sample clock for the onboard converters, but will repair and refresh any word clock that is routed to its word clock input, and can also supply STEADY CLOCK to any device routed to its word clock output. A special software utility is provided for the remote functionality the unit via MIDI and or MIDI/MADI. The manual also suggests that some functions on this unit can be controlled in Pro Tools although they stress that it is not as accurate as using the RME utility.
•Very nice sounding Mic Pre amps
•Very nice sounding AD converters
•STEADY CLOCK is amazing
•AES/EBU, ADAT, MADI interfacing
MICSTASY would be a good fit for a worship hall or venue that would need to split mic signals to a PA and DAW simultaneously. Remote control is a bonus. The clock is superb and can tighten up other common converters very noticeably.
RME Micstasy 8-Channel Microphone Preamp
at Front End Audio