Black Lion Audio Auteur MkII Mic Pre Review

by | Jun 27, 2016 | Best Audio Interfaces, Home Recording

The Black Lion Audio Auteur MkII Mic Pre Provides Commercial Studio Sound at a Price any Home Recorder Can Swallow

The gap between professional and personal studios has been narrowing in the last decade. But it always seemed like getting a decent preamp to integrate to smaller interfaces was severely lopsided; too many channels and inputs for a 2-channel interface box, for far too much money, and that wouldn’t complement a DAW. Black Lion Audio’s Auteur MkII Mic Pre is a great balance of those two worlds.

[RELATED: Read our review of the Black Lion Audio B12A MKII Mic Preamp.]

The Black Lion Audio Auteur MkII Features

The half rack unit is perfectly simple, with selection of phantom power, a 10dB pad, and phase reversal, along with a gain knob for each channel. Inputs are XLR, and outputs are 1/4” TRS only. Connecting it to a standard 2-channel digital interface box, it can really liven up anything you choose to run through it. It’s ultra-low signal to noise ratio means the gain can really be applied, bringing “more” to anything run through it.

Black Lion Audio Auteur MKII rear

Black Lion Audio Auteur MKII rear panel

Vocals, drums, and guitars all sounded equally excellent through it. Put simply, it’ll add an analog sound to your set-up that was previously only available through large vintage consoles (most of which are now commanding ridiculously high prices on the secondary market). As the only parameter/control is the gain knob, maximum settings still bring plenty of sonic goodness, without overpowering things. Inexpensive “industry standard” mics like SM57s and the like sound even better than they ought to though this! There’s plenty of warm, low end fatness that still retains sharp clarity, and the high end sharpness exists in a good, musical way, with more overall range and room to move.

Every studio is always looking to get back some of that warmth and musical dynamic that digital recording can be missing, and this is a super easy way to solve that problem. With a street price of $649, it’s well worth it for any home or pro studio running an interface with less-than-impressive built-in mic pres; trust us, this investment is worth making. For a commercial studio, a pair (or more) of these wouldn’t break the budget, and will bring amazing warmth to any DAW-driven environment.

New 2ch preamp just showed up for review. Thanks @blacklionaudio!

A photo posted by Performer Magazine (@performermagazine) on


Excellent sound quality and price.





Black Lion Audio Auteur MkII Mic Pre Specs

• Dual Channel
• Ultra High-Speed Input Stages
• Edcor Output Transformers
• 65dB Gain
• Extended Frequency Response
• Low Distortion & Noise
• Phantom Power
• Phase Switch
• 10dBu Pad
• XLR Microphone Input
• TRS Line Output (balanced)