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The Warm Audio Tone Beast TB12 is one of the highest quality microphone preamplifiers on the
market in its price range. It uses quality USA made components found in preamplifiers with much
higher price tags. In addition to its unparalleled quality and price, the Tone Beast has unique toneshaping features that give users flexibility usually only found by acquiring an assortment of different
Home-based musicians and professional studios alike will find the Tone Beast to be an extremely
powerful, versatile and fully professional piece of gear that is capable of warming and shaping both
input signals and mixes in a way that is very pleasing to the ear.
Front Connections
Back Connections
Microphone level input (XLR): This input is designed for dynamic,
condenser and ribbon microphones. Other instruments or devices
that put out a low level microphone signal can also be plugged into
this input.
Microphone level input (XLR): This input is designed for dynamic,
condenser and ribbon microphones. Other instruments or devices
that put out a low level microphone signal can also be plugged into
this input. The input impedance can be set to either 600 or 150
The input impedance can be set to either 600 or 150 ohms.
Hi-Z Instrument input: The front panel ¼” input sends the
instrument's signal through the entire preamp circuit including the
input transformer, discrete op amp (operational amplifier) and output
The thorough layout of the Hi-Z's signal path ensures that
instruments are subject to the same robust pre-amplification as
You can connect a variety of instruments via the Hi-Z input on the
front panel of the Tone Beast including: acoustic and electric guitars,
bass guitar, keyboards, synths, drum machines, etc...
Line Input: This TRS input is padded -25db's and is designed for
line level instruments or sources that put out line level signals such
as keyboards, electric instruments or audio interface outputs.
Insert (Send & Receive): This input and output are designed to
allow another device such as a compressor or EQ to be inserted in
the middle of the Tone Beast's circuit. These connections insert the
secondary device into the circuit after the input transformer, PAD,
POL, TONE and DISCRETE AMPLIFIER selections, but before the
output transformer.
Balanced Outputs (XLR & TRS): 2 outputs are provided, balanced
XLR and TRS. These outputs can be used simultaneously or
independently. When using 2 TB12’s in stereo as a mastering bus,
one set of outputs can be assigned to the monitor speakers while the
other set returns the conditioned signal back to the DAW for
Input Control
Tone Control
Hi-Z switch: This feature engages the front panel ¼” input and turns
off both XLR inputs.
Discrete Op Amp Switch: This switch allows you to choose
between 2 completely different discrete analog operational
amplifiers. One of the op amps is built to the schematic of the
classic 1731 style op amp, and the other to the schematic of the 918.
The 1731 has a more noticeable “vintage tone,” the 918 is more
Line Input Switch: This feature engages the TRS line input on the
back of the Tone Beast and disconnects the xlr microphone inputs.
+48V Switch: The 48 volts feature provides power for condenser
mics and any other devices requiring continuous phantom power
through the XLR input. This power is supplied at a constant level to
prevent any degradation of audio quality.
Both op amps are socketed and use the classic 2520 6 pin footprint.
This allows users to remove the op amps easily (without soldering),
and replace them with their own op amp(s) of choice.
-20db Pad Switch: Engaging this feature applies -20db to the
incoming signal. This is a very useful feature for reducing the level
coming into the Tone Beast and thus preventing the signal from
clipping or distorting. This may occur due to high output level from a
microphone or other device. Padding the input serves to provide
increased “headroom” for the operator while lessening the likelihood
of signal overload.
Tone Switch: When engaged the input impedance of the Tone
Beast is 150 ohms. When dis-engaged the input impedance of the
Tone Beast is 600 ohms. The 150 ohm (switched-in) setting
increases the gain of the Tone Beast by +6db changing the
maximum gain from +65 to +71db. This feature will make a
noticeable tone change to most microphones and instruments. The
Microphone, Line and Hi-Z inputs are all altered by this feature.
Polarity Switch: This feature inverts the polarity of the signal. Use
the polarity switch when recording with more than one open
microphone to combat phase cancellation between microphones.
The 600 ohms impedance setting is recommended for condenser
and dynamic microphones, and 150 ohms is recommended for
ribbons. This switch is labeled “Tone” for a reason though, we
strongly suggest you experiment with both settings on all sources to
find the best possible tone for your mixes.
Hi-Pass Filter: Removes unwanted low frequencies from your
source signal below 80hz.
Gain & Saturation Control
Gain Knob: The gain control is variable and adjusts the Tone Beast's
gain from +29db to +65db or from +35db to +71db when the “Tone”
switch is engaged. The “Pad” feature lowers the minimum and
maximum ranges by -20db when engaged.
Output Control Knob: This knob controls the signal exiting the Tone
Beast. It ensures that the amplified signal doesn't exit the Tone
Beast too loud and overload the inputs on the user's interface. It also
gives the user greater ability to drive the gain of the preamp harder
resulting in greater colorization and tone shaping within the various
Power Switch: The power switch is used to power the unit on and
off. To extend the life of the electronics please turn the Tone Beast
off when not in use.
Capacitor Switch: This switch changes 2 capacitors in the circuit
from tantalum to electrolytic. The “vintage” setting is for tantalum
capacitors, the “clean” setting is for electrolytic. Of all the tone
features provided in the Tone Beast this option is the most subtle but
still noticeable to many ears depending on the source being treated.
Output Transformer Bypass Switch: This feature removes both
the nickel and steel core transformers from the circuit. Use this
option when seeking for less character or a more transparent signal
The signal will experience a loss of -8db when this switch is
Output Transformer Selector Switch: This feature allows the user
to switch between 2 CineMag output transformers of different
tone/make. The steel core transformer sounds more “vintage” with a
fairly “mid-forward” tone. The 50% nickel core transformer has a
“cleaner” tone than the steel and was custom designed by CineMag
specifically for the Tone Beast. The nickel version uses a unique
laminating method that gives the signal a more linear response than
the steel option but still treats the signal slightly, and gives it a
smoothness that's hard not to fall in love with.
Now Go Forth And
The information contained in this manual is written to help you get quickly started using your TB12.
Because of the endless combinations of DAWs and Microphones, we encourage you to read through this manual then experiment
with your unit until you find the settings you like.
Don't forget to log on to to register your unit!
All Content Copyright 2013 Warm Audio - All Rights Reserved
Round Rock, Texas USA
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