New Toys: Neve 88M Dual Mic Preamp & USB Audio Interface

AMS/Neve Limited has an audio interface called the Neve 88M; it is the most professional-level featured desktop USB 3.0 interface I've seen anywhere. Pro features start with Marinair input transformers as used in the 88R studio consoles. 

The 88M is built like a tank with both mic and headphone connections right on the front panel. I liked the push-button mic gain control to toggle between XLR mic, Line level or high impedance DI inputs. +48-volt phantom power is a separate push button and there is a signal present/level tri-colored LED to show relative recoding levels with hot, and close to clip input levels clearly indicated. Monitoring facilities are excellent with both easy-to-reach front-panel volume and stereo headphone level controls.

There are four monitoring modes selectable by pushing in the headphone level control. First monitoring mode is Dir and routes the input channels' audio directly without using a DAW. Mix mode blends the inputs/mics signals with a stereo backing track also without any latency. The 3rd stereo DAW mode is the way I use the 88M with Pro Tools since I like to hear what I'm recording along with my monitor mix and all effects. Lastly, Mono Mix is a direct feed of both input channels in mono on top of a stereo DAW mix.

The 88M's utilitarian features continue with balanced line level Send/Return insert jacks on the rear panel for both Ch1 and Ch2. It is awesome to use my (hardwre) UA 1176LN limiter on any recording or even a Zoom call easily. There are also ADAT Lightpipe TOSLINK connectors making the 88M able to handle up to 10 inputs and outputs simultaneously all with the unit acting as master clock up to 192kHz rates if required. 

I think it is a no-brainer to have the portable professional interface that will handle just about ANY situation that a pro recording studio facility could. Highly recommended. The Neve 88M sells for $1,245 MSRP.