Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby madtheory » Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:53 pm

What Stab said. XLR is only to reduce noise pickup, it doesn't affect any other aspect of sound quality (assuming nothing is broken).
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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby Untouchable_888 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:18 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:No a TRS -> XLR connection will give you worse quality for the following reasons:
- The XLR inputs are low impedance mic inputs. The synth's outputs expect a high impedance line input and can have difficulties supplying enough current to a low impedance input, particularly cheap, low power units like the JP-08 and Volca.
- The ring -> cold connection will be floating which means it'll be able to pick up extra noise rather than performing its job of reducing noise.

What you need are unbalanced leads going into the line inputs of your interface.

Great thanks for the information!
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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby gmeredith » Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:49 am

We came across this issue when we did a gig in a smallish venue. We had about 6 unbalanced synth outs (some stereo) to go to his stage box (with no unbalanced inputs), but he only had 4 mono DI boxes with him. The mixing desk was about 20m down the back of the hall and we or he didn't have any instrument cables that would reach that far to go in his line input channels on his desk.

We now have a quad DI box in case we're caught out again.
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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby pflosi » Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:54 am

Bringing your own DIs also has the big advantage that you can tell the live tech to go away with those B€hringer DIs he wants you to use :thumbright:
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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby madtheory » Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:39 pm

The Behringer DI has been around for so long now that everyone knows they're totally unreliable shite. The thing with turning up at a venue is that it's usually immensely helpful to have sent a stage plan and channel list in advance, and touched base with the in house engineer. That way, they'll have enough DIs or whatever else you might need. And they'll have the monitors etc. laid out before you arrive, giving more time for dinner.
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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby pflosi » Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:40 pm

That always sounds so great! On paper.

Then you arrive.
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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby Stab Frenzy » Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:52 pm

I always get bands to send me a stage plot before the show so we both have realistic ideas of what to expect. The venue I work at has 7x BSS DIs and a couple of Radials and I have 5 channels of Radials of my own so DIs are never a problem.

When I'm doing festivals or shows at other venues with bands I work with I always send through an up to date stage plot and input list and get a venue tech spec before hand so I know what to expect before I walk in. Any band who needs more than two DIs would be wise to invest in a few Radial passive DIs, they're cheap and sound great and you never have to worry about what a venue supplies.

Those DI100s are complete garbage, but not as bad as the DI120, I had one of those and left it at a show once, the venue manager called me cause it had my name and number on it but I didn't bother going back to get it. Most venues around here that used to have the DI100s now have Radial Pro D1s which is great. Much better built and sound a lot better, particularly in the low end.
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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby gmeredith » Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:04 am

We actually sent the stage guy a stage plot and mentioned unbalanced outs on the diagram but when we arrived lo and behold... :roll:

The SM Pro quad di is working well for us, and I never presume we'll get what we draw out on paper when we turn up, so it's a nice safeguard to have even if we don't have use it.
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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby madtheory » Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:59 pm

Well you've got to be specific, assume nothing, and yes paper is not enough. Telephone and email are amazing for communication. Like, talking and stuff.

Stab how do you rate the Radials against the BSS? I've found Radials to be unreliable, but also you don't see the much in this neck of the woods. The BSS are bullet proof and sonically transparent.
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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby Stab Frenzy » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:11 am

Which Radials have you found to be unreliable? I've been taking mine around to gigs for quite a few years (5+) and the only issue I've had involved a very heavy hit to a connected XLR in a D2 which pulled the thread out of one screw on the MXLR, was simple to fix. Similarly the BSSes are quite reliable, the weak point tends to be the switches I've found, but they're pretty simple to replace. Both are very well built but of course nothings last forever.

Sonically I prefer the Radials but they're both really good. I guess I just like the character from the Jensen xformer more than the OEP. I happily use the BSSes though, and often won't bother carrying my Radials to a show if I know there will be BSSes there, cause the Radials are pretty heavy.
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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby madtheory » Sat Mar 19, 2016 6:22 pm

A JDX and what must have been a mk1 JDi, both dead inside, not the sockets. I didn't give them much time TBH. We have BSS here for 12 years now- student proof :)
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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby Untouchable_888 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:40 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:No a TRS -> XLR connection will give you worse quality for the following reasons:
- The XLR inputs are low impedance mic inputs. The synth's outputs expect a high impedance line input and can have difficulties supplying enough current to a low impedance input, particularly cheap, low power units like the JP-08 and Volca.
- The ring -> cold connection will be floating which means it'll be able to pick up extra noise rather than performing its job of reducing noise.

What you need are unbalanced leads going into the line inputs of your interface.


Bump.. so how is one supposed to get unbalanced gear into tube preamps?
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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby pflosi » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:29 pm

Depends on what the tube preamp wants to see on its input.

Is it a mic preamp? Then you want a (passive) DI (assuming you're using an active instrument, for passive ones use an active DI).

Does it take line level sources, without impedance mismatch? Then you can just wire a cable according to Rane 110:

http://www.rane.com/note110.html

Or maybe it already has a "DI" or "instrument" input or something like that? Then, plug your unbalanced source just straight to that. That is the same as a separate DI before the mic input.
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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby Untouchable_888 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:52 pm

One pre amp I have (Behringer mic2200), does have line inputs, but the tube can only be access via the XLR input.
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Re: Synth outputs... balanced or unbalanced?

Postby jxalex » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:04 pm

couple synths more with balanced outputs

Korg Wavestation A/D
Roland XV88

However, there is always way to make yourself that DI (or in other words decoupling transformer).
The last bits of the noise is still induced becouse of impulse power supplies.

Yesterday I had a glitche with some sort of nightmare in studio.

WHen I moved the mouse, then the mouse data transfer buzz was heard from the speakers. It take a moment when I realized why -- the tape monitor unsymmetrical cable input was active, and not connected, but it crossed the mouse cable. So about cable shielding and the open cable lines. :)

Last time when I heard this kind of trouble, it was becouse screen and computer ground wires.
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