Audient ASP880 8-Channel Mic Pre Review

What’s up Gear Mortals! Alex Nasla here and today we’re checking out the Audient ASP880 8-Channel Mic Pre!

First, let’s quickly go over the specs of the unit. It’s an 8 channel mic pre with 2 DI inputs in the front on the first 2 channels. The first 2 channels also have the ability to engage a pad, in case the signal coming into those channels are too hot. And on every channel is Phantom Power, Phase Flip, High Pass Filter, a Mic Pre Bypass A-D button, and a I/P Z switch that lets you switch between different impedance levels allowing you to get a different sound depending on what mic you use. The mic gain goes up to 60DB, while the pad will lower the incoming signal by 10DB. The converters used in the ASP880 are Burr-Brown, which are some of the best out there, and the sample rate can go up to 96 kHz. On the back, you have ADAT light pipe connections, combo XLR/TRS jacks for each channel, and 2 DB25 connectors for Line Output and ADC Input of the unit. That is actually one of my favorite things about this unit. I needed a way to have my mic pres be connected to the Live Room for recording but also wanted to be able to make use of the sweet converters in this unit. By using the ADC Input connector, I am able to connect a bunch of my outboard gear into the ASP880 and whenever I’m not using a mic pre, I can just press the A-D button on that channel, and now that channel is receiving audio from my outboard gear instead. So, for instance, say you want to use channel 1 as a Mic Pre to record vocals, but you have an outboard compressor also connected to Channel 2 of the ASP880. Just pressing the A-D button on the channel engages the ADC Input for channel 2. Now you can record the vocal track dry from channel 1 and processed through your outboard gear from channel 2. It’s really convenient having this kind of flexibility, and it just means a lot less time fiddling around with cables and more time actually recording music.

The sound quality out of these Mic Pres also deserves praise. I did a video using the ASP880 showing how to do proper gain staging when recording drums, and one of the things I wanted to show to everyone is what a bad and clipped signal sounds like. While I, of course, was able to get it to clip, it wasn’t anywhere as bad as clipping a mic pre usually is. Even when I had the gain cranked, and the signal well into clipping territory, it was still a useable signal! Not many Mic Pres I have come across can pull that off.

The build quality of the unit seems great and the knobs feel good. Audient recommend leaving a single space above the unit open for better ventilation of the unit. I don’t really have the space to spare, but I haven’t had any problems at all with it having no space above. The unit sells for $1400, which I think is more than reasonable for what you get. I looked around at other 8-Channel Mic Pres, the features they offer, the quality of the Pres and converters, and I couldn’t find anything that packed as many high-end components into an 8 channel pre as with the ASP880.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

If you are interested in checking the awesome people that helped us record this demo, you can find links to them here:

Vocals: Elizabeth Matson – https://www.youtube.com/user/ElizabethJMatson

Drums: Kelly McGovern – https://www.facebook.com/lightblackproductions and https://www.youtube.com/user/Destinydividedband/

Guitars: Trey Xavier – https://www.youtube.com/user/geargodsnet

Keyboards and Orchestration: Alex Nasla – https://www.youtube.com/user/cvbz and https://www.facebook.com/alex.nasla

Bass: Devin Reiche – https://www.facebook.com/devin.reiche.5

Clean Guitars: Isaac Stolzer-Gary – https://www.facebook.com/theworldisquiethereband/

Written by

Alex Nasla is a keyboardist, producer and mixing engineer. He keeps busy making audio plugins for Rosen Digital, is audio director at multimedia company Toxic Creativity and is involved in 3 different musical endeavors.