The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Plugging unbalanced jacks into balanced jack inputs?
Old 1st April 2005
  #1
Registered User
 
Ijustmake-Beats's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Plugging unbalanced jacks into balanced jack inputs?

I've run into a problem with my new mixing console in that it has all balanced inputs, even on all the quarter inch jack inputs, though I don't actually have a single balanced jack in the house, just your normal garden variety ring-tip style.

Does it affect the sound if I just plug unbalanced jacks into the balanced jack inputs?

Also, all my synths and samplers have to the best of my knowledge unbalanced outputs, do they make leads that go from these to balanced inputs, or do I just use the balanced variety all the way through?

Now I've said balanced so many times that it just sounds weird.

Sorry if these questions are like common knowledge.
Hope someone can help me out, thanks.
Old 3rd April 2005
  #2
Registered User
 
Ijustmake-Beats's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Not that I've had any replies but if anyone is interested I borrowed some DI's to convert my unbalanced synth/sampler/module outputs into balanced signals and the difference has been amazing. My Midas finally sounds good. So it seems that plugging unbalanced leads/signals into balanced inputs can affect your sound pretty dramatically, in a bad way.

Now, can anyone recommend a good quality DI box? Or even better can anyone recommend a rack unit with say 8 DI's, I'm going to need almost 16 all up?
Old 3rd April 2005 | Show parent
  #3
Registered User
 
Hysteria's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You should be able to get away with plugging unbalanced outputs from synths, drum machines, samplers, fx units, etc. into balanced mixer inputs.

Just makes sure Phantom power isn't supplied these inputs or is off. Typically that will only be an issue on XLR inputs and corresponding balanced jack inputs (for the same input) don't have phantom power but some might.

There may be a level difference (can't remember whether your unbalanced signal will be quieter into a balanced input) but it shouldn't degrade the signal unless you are feeding the mixer with a high impedance source like an electric guitar with passive pickups, this is where a DI box is essential.
Old 3rd April 2005 | Show parent
  #4
Registered User
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
Ideally you 'have to' wire up your studio to match those balanced inputs ... meaning you 'have to' make the cables yourself or have them made.

There are specific wiring diagrams to be followed coming from an unballanced output ... going to a ballanced input and vise versa. In theory you have to match them all for every device in your studio. And fwiw, that's what I do.

Some of these rules include for example disconnecting the ground on one end of the connection for example. >To avoid stuff like hums and groundloops.

Maybe a question to ask in the geekslutz section.
Old 3rd April 2005 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
GP_Hawk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Wire up your own, it's easy. For unbalanced to balanced, wire up the hots together and the unbalanced ground to the balanced cold and ground. If you have ground loop probs, leave off the ground of the balanced side.

Old 4th April 2005 | Show parent
  #6
Registered User
 
Ijustmake-Beats's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yea, it's true that saying my Midas finally sounds good was an overstatement but the DI did add a little something nice, also I believe that the mic inputs in the Venice have different circuitry too. I didn't know about that wiring stuff, thanks for the tip.....although if you can afford it then having a nice balancing transformer in the signal path (via DI) wouldn't exactly be a bad thing, am I right?
Thanks,
Makin' beats..
Old 11th April 2005 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
drockfresh's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
How did it work out with the Midas and the balanced inputs? I am thinking of getting one as a front end for my keyboards...

thanks.
Old 18th April 2005 | Show parent
  #8
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
Now, can anyone recommend a good quality DI box? Or even better can anyone recommend a rack unit with say 8 DI's, I'm going to need almost 16 all up?[/QUOTE]


check this out

http://www.gainesaudio.com/
Old 17th July 2005
  #9
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ijustmake-Beats
I've run into a problem with my new mixing console in that it has all balanced inputs, even on all the quarter inch jack inputs, though I don't actually have a single balanced jack in the house, just your normal garden variety ring-tip style.

Does it affect the sound if I just plug unbalanced jacks into the balanced jack inputs?
I have the opposite question. Is it a problem to connect TRS balanced jack into unbalanced phone jack input?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coley
The unbalanced inputs/outputs on those interfaces are RCA though and unbalanced outputs on samplers are usually 1/4".
Old 17th July 2005 | Show parent
  #10
Registered User
 
brianroth's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Kmotr, that depends *completely* upon the design of the balanced output circuit. If it's transformer coupled, you should have no problems at all. You strap the "-" output (typically XLR pin 3 in newer gear) to the sleeve of the phone jack.

An "active electronic" balanced output will require a wiring configuration based upon the circuit's design. You pretty much need to do a case by case solution based upon what the manufacturer suggests.

Bri
Old 17th July 2005 | Show parent
  #11
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ijustmake-Beats
Yea, it's true that saying my Midas finally sounds good was an overstatement but the DI did add a little something nice, also I believe that the mic inputs in the Venice have different circuitry too. I didn't know about that wiring stuff, thanks for the tip.....although if you can afford it then having a nice balancing transformer in the signal path (via DI) wouldn't exactly be a bad thing, am I right?
Thanks,
Makin' beats..
I have a better solution to your problem - a balancing box. I have 8 channels available that i would consider selling you, or just tell you where you can get a few good ones for cheap. They saved my life!

email me at: [email protected]

tyson
Old 14th August 2005 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Kestral's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I just bought a Radial JDI passive direct box today. It's got the Jensen transformer. Plugged my 52 Telecaster RI direct into the JDI into the Neve 1073 and Urei 1176. Sounds great! Can't wait to get my new audio interface so I can go into something like Guitar Rig and do some sound clips thumbsup You can get these for $179 USD brand new. thumbsup

Used ones are very rarely listed on eBay. That's why I finally broke down today and bought one brand new.
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 8 views: 5088
Avatar for Apemandan
Apemandan 18th March 2008
replies: 3268 views: 292703
Avatar for thismercifulfate
thismercifulfate 1 day ago
replies: 273 views: 58600
Avatar for DavidChampoux
DavidChampoux 28th October 2020
replies: 77 views: 66762
Avatar for AnythingAbout
AnythingAbout 14th January 2021
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump