ART USB Dual Pre

USB Preamp/Interface with 2 x XLR/TRS Inputs, 2 x TRS Outputs, Phantom Power, Monitor, Mix, and Level Controls, and Production Software
4/5 15 Write review Item ID: USBDualPrePS
ART USB Dual Pre image 1
ART USB Dual Pre image 1
Sweetwater Savings: $20.00 MSRP: $99.00
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ART USB Dual Pre
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An Affordable and Compact USB Interface/Preamp Combo!

The ART USB Dual Pre interface/preamp makes it easy and affordable to plug your mic or audio source into your computer. The USB Dual Pre packs a fully-featured dual preamp and a USB interface into a very compact, tough housing. This unit can use your computer for bus power, or you can use a 9-volt battery or an external 12-volt power supply (sold separately). It features two combination XLR/1/4" TRS inputs, phantom power for up to two mics at a time, a mini headphone jack, and two balanced 1/4" outputs (these can be used to go to your speakers or as preamp outputs). Independent channel gain, monitoring, and mix controls are also included on the USB Dual Pre.

ART USB Dual Pre USB Interface/Preamp at a Glance:
  • Made for a variety of applications
  • A great choice for mobile or desktop recording
  • Flexible, latency-free monitoring options
  • Plug-and-play USB interface

Made for a variety of applications
ART's USB Dual Pre is designed to work over a wide variety of applications, from remote field recording to desktop/studio tracking. Each of this unit's two low noise input channels has up to 48dB of clean gain with signal present and clip LED indicators. Inputs can be either XLR balanced or 1/4" TRS. Each of the 1/4" TRS outputs is buffered low impedance balanced.

A great choice for mobile or desktop recording
The USB Dual Pre is powered via the USB bus. An internal 9-volt battery or an optional external 12-volt power supply (or any combination of USB, battery, and power supply) can be used, depending on application. When running powered by battery alone, you should expect in excess of 50 hours of operation with phantom power off. Battery life will drop to approximately 20 hours (depending on microphone) when phantom powering is engaged (still enough time to get through an average session). The built-in low noise +48 Volt phantom power supply allows you to power up to two microphones as well as the preamplifier when running from any power sources, including the USB bus.

Flexible, latency-free monitoring options
For monitoring, an 1/8" TRS mini headphone jack with level and monitor mix controls on the rear of the USB Dual Pre allow for latency-free local monitoring of the inputs while recording as well as playback monitoring of the USB bus. The monitor mix is also routed to the 1/4" TRS balanced outputs. This lets you use the USB Dual Pre's 1/4" outputs as either preamplifier outputs or as the monitor feed to your powered monitors.

Plug-and-play USB interface
The USB interface that's built into the USB Dual Pre is fully compliant with USB 1.1 specification and uses USB adaptive mode for playback and USB asynchronous mode for record. It will work with the USB audio device drivers built into Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista and Apple OS9.1/OSX computers with native USB support. No special drivers are needed. Plus, the USB Dual Pre comes complete with Audacity recording and production software.

ART USB Dual Pre USB Interface/Preamp Features:
  • USB connectivity to desktop and laptop computers
  • Low-noise, fully balanced XLR and 1/4" TRS combo inputs
  • Up to 48dB of clean gain n built-in low-noise phantom power supply
  • Latency-free monitoring, mix, and level controls
  • Independent channel gain controls
  • 1/4" TRS monitor outputs and 1/8" headphone output
  • Includes Audacity recording and production software
  • Flexible 3-way power from USB, external 12-volt power supply (sold seperately), or 9-volt battery
  • Includes USB cable
The ART USB Dual Pre interface/preamp makes recording on your computer easy and affordable!

Additional Media

Audio Interface Buying Guide
USB Dual Pre User Manual

Tech Specs

Computer Connectivity USB 1.1
Form Factor Desktop
Simultaneous I/O 2 x 2
Number of Preamps 2
Phantom Power Yes
A/D Resolution 16-bit/44.1kHz
Analog Inputs 2 x Combo (Mic/Line)
Analog Outputs 2 x TRS, 1 x 1/8" (Headphones)
Bus Powered Yes
Depth 4.7"
Width 4.6"
Height 1.75"
Weight 1.3 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number USBDualPrePS

Customer Reviews

Based on 15 reviews
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Got more than I was looking for.

I went shopping for a dual mic preamp to use with my performance rig based on iPad and iPod Touch. I ended up with not only a fine dual pre, but a very functional USB audio interface with 0-latency monitoring and mixing capability. I suppose I didn't study the description enough, because I was not expecting such full function. I had the impression is provided audio input in only. A very good set of functions at an excellent price. And it sounds good. Now I just need to decide if I need 2 more.
Music background: Equipment designer, teacher, ambient performer

Excellent value for the money

You will get what you paid for, and a little more. For the price, this unit is almost priceless. It works without a smallest hitch powered through USB port (even via a Belkin USB unpowered hub!). Considering its size (another big selling point for a touring musician!), it is very well designed; compact and sturdy. Both preamps are very quiet. The manufacturer claims that the unit may be used as an audio interface and, apparently, is valued for its clean, warm sound. As every one, I take such statements with a grain of salt. Yet what the manufacturer says is completely true! The sound is indeed clean and warm. ( If used for recording, I recommend normalising afterwards.) I use it with the fantastic Edirol FA-101 interface, connected through ins 3-4. Under MacOSX no drivers are necessary. Also, I was able to create an Aggregate Device on my Mac, combingthe Dual Pre with the Edirol interface, giving me 10 ins/12 outs; this works great with Ableton Live 8. I played recordings made with this setup (plus a pair of Samson cardioid mics) for a couple of top notch pro engineers. They were positively surprised by the very high quality of the resultant sound. I recommend this product very warmly. BTW, Sweetwater service was superb and friendly, at least as good as what we are used to in Canada. Overall VERY POSITIVE experience.
Music background: Composer/Pro Performer

Does exactly what it says...great unit.

I'm giving this little a 5 start rating because I'm considering its price. You get 2 ins (XLR-1/4") and two outs (1/4") plus a headphone output. Works great, no noise, decent gain-level, USB powered, and ultra portable! I'm using it only for rehearsals with string quartets, solo bassoon, solo cello, etc and it works great. I'm using it both for MaxMSP and Logic. You can get decent materials out of it. Highly recommended for these occasions. However, I wouldn't use it for a live situation or a more serious recording project. Overall, highly recommended, and for $80 you can't go wrong. Trust me!
Music background: Composer, Classical music, Live-Electronics.

Can record stereo mics to any PC USB with this.

Gets it's power from the USB This unit takes XLR or high impedance input. (Dynamic or condenser mics, switchable phantom power) Headphone or XLR output. Using Audigy software, can edit/splice and output to MP3 and create CDs I really like it.
Music background: Serious Amateur Pianist/Musician

Very Versatile and Handy

Consumer reviews can be very misleading due to prejudices, misunderstandings and both positive and negative over reactions . I try to be objective and realistic because I like to be actually helpful rather than vent. Now on with the review. The Art USB Dual is a JEWEL Pre. The caveats? It'is neither a Grace Design preamp nor a 24 bit 96kHz Cakewalk interface. It's not intended to be a high end studio console that fits in your pocket. It is an extremely handy tool of excellent quality that can make remote productions very convenient and make your day. It is the most versatile product of it's nature. There's nothing else to compare it with. Let's take a close look. It's relatively tiny and very compact. That makes it easy to carry and store. The disadvantage here is the slight clumsy use of the controls. The preamps sound very good and he phantom power is claimed to be a full 48 volts. My unit seemed to be prone to slight hum on the USB line which turned out to be caused by my laptop a/c adapter. The bit depth is 16, which seems troublesome for folks who think numbers are the end all answer to sound quality . Sixteen bit depth at a 44.1 kHz sample rate is absolute CD quality and is the best your end product will be, no matter what. If you are doing very complex studio mixing and editing, you may need the 24 bit headroom. In that case you probably wouldn't be using a USB interface. Technique and mic quality are far more significant considerations. The battery compartment issue is interesting. I purchased the latest version, hoping the overly tight fit would be fixed. It is however, still a problem. If you insert the battery all the way it may become a permanent installation. I am actually going to turn this into a positive. Simply don't put it all the way down. It stays very secure even with the battery half exposed. The positive note here is that it helps to remind you to remove it after the job, thus saving battery leakage or drainage from forgetting to turn it off. Nothing is perfect, but I do think the USB Dual Pre is the perfect solution for portability and versatility. A combination USB interface and an analog preamp for providing a couple of extra inputs can make all the difference in achieving a successful project. As I said, there's nothing comparable. .
Music background: Radio Theater Sound Engineer, Radio Show host/ producer
See also: USB Interfaces, ART, ART USB Audio Interfaces