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  1. The Savior

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    Default converting xlr to 1/4 inch

    ****, ive been gone for a long time. maybe this belongs in chit chat. i was just curious to know if there is any loss of quality when converting an XLR to a 1/4 cable. because of some restrictions with my mixer, and a liar at guitarcenter i have to do this so i dont ruin my mics.
    :cool: im poor

  2. conqistador de pollo

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    Quote Originally Posted by flesh_kite
    ****, ive been gone for a long time. maybe this belongs in chit chat. i was just curious to know if there is any loss of quality when converting an XLR to a 1/4 cable. because of some restrictions with my mixer, and a liar at guitarcenter i have to do this so i dont ruin my mics.
    what do you mean by "ruin my mics"?

    a high quality XLR->TRS adapter should offer ZERO quality loss, since it is essentially the same as using a cable with a different connector. the part that needs to be stressed here is a QUALITY adapter. dirty/oxidized connectors or poor internal solder joints can result in a loss of fidelity.
    Official Recording Tip of the month for November:

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  3. Premier Artist Birch

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    unless you are running a ribbon mic, then im not sure what you mean by ruin your mics..
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  4. .:paranoid, but no android:.

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    Butnutz is right. Get a quality adapter, not one that is cheap. My friend has a cheap one to use w/ a mic, and it does affect the sound quality, makes it sound like it has tons of gain on it.
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  5. Moderator

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butnutz
    a high quality XLR->TRS adapter should offer ZERO quality loss, since it is essentially the same as using a cable with a different connector. the part that needs to be stressed here is a QUALITY adapter. dirty/oxidized connectors or poor internal solder joints can result in a loss of fidelity.
    High quality is the key word here. Using a cheap adapater can certainly introduce noise or cause some audio issues. I personally prefer cables designed for the purpose. In other words, female XLR to male TRS cables. You will eliminate the extra connection (and in turn, the extra chance of losing audio quality)
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  6. .:paranoid, but no android:.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SLIPKNOT1
    High quality is the key word here. Using a cheap adapater can certainly introduce noise or cause some audio issues. I personally prefer cables designed for the purpose. In other words, female XLR to male TRS cables. You will eliminate the extra connection (and in turn, the extra chance of losing audio quality)
    Great point, just get a new cable.
    Studio

    Quote Originally Posted by Tay
    I can now officially say you have one of the best Sessions on the Forum...
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  7. The Savior

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    thanks folks. my mixer/recorder (korg d888) sends phantom power to all xlr inputs. the guy at guitar center said it would only mess up ribbon mics running through the xlr, so i wasnt worried about it until after a few recordings. it made my mics sound terrible, like garbage, real dead, a lot of noise, i was mad. i tested all my mics with/without phantom and decided to get adapters. it sounds better now. im running the Audix F10s/F15s/D6. thanks for your input.
    :cool: im poor

  8. Registered User

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    Sorry gang, but I have to respectfully disagree with the advice that's been dispensed heretofore.

    If you're connecting a mixer to an amp or a mixer to active cabinets, it isn't going to matter whether you're going XLR to 1/4" TRS, 1/4" TRS to XLR, XLR to XLR, or TRS to TRS. All will deliver the same sound quality (assuming all are using the same grade of cable and connectors). The output is balanced line level and the input is balanced line level.

    It's not going to work the same when you're connecting a microphone to a mixer. The biggest issue you'll have by going XLR to 1/4" (TS or TRS) is that you'll be bypassing the mic pre-amp of the mixer, and that most certainly is going to affect the sound. Furthermore, you'll have gain issues. A low-z mic should go into the XLR (mic pre-amp) of your mixer. Instead, you'll be connecting it to the 1/4" jack of your mixer. The jack is looking for an instrument level or a line level signal and a mic isn't going to deliver that level.

    So, in my opinion, converting XLR to 1/4" won't in and of itself affect the quality of the signal, but I believe you will notice a difference in the quality of the signal since you're bypassing the mic pre-amps and connecting to an input on the mixer which is intended for a different purpose.

  9. Registered User

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    And as far as full-time phantom power, you will always have issues if at least one of the mics connected to the board doesn't require phantom power. Or at least that's been my experience with the various boards I've had over the years.

  10. conqistador de pollo

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    Quote Originally Posted by JGthatsme
    Sorry gang, but I have to respectfully disagree with the advice that's been dispensed heretofore.

    If you're connecting a mixer to an amp or a mixer to active cabinets, it isn't going to matter whether you're going XLR to 1/4" TRS, 1/4" TRS to XLR, XLR to XLR, or TRS to TRS. All will deliver the same sound quality (assuming all are using the same grade of cable and connectors). The output is balanced line level and the input is balanced line level.

    It's not going to work the same when you're connecting a microphone to a mixer. The biggest issue you'll have by going XLR to 1/4" (TS or TRS) is that you'll be bypassing the mic pre-amp of the mixer, and that most certainly is going to affect the sound. Furthermore, you'll have gain issues. A low-z mic should go into the XLR (mic pre-amp) of your mixer. Instead, you'll be connecting it to the 1/4" jack of your mixer. The jack is looking for an instrument level or a line level signal and a mic isn't going to deliver that level.

    So, in my opinion, converting XLR to 1/4" won't in and of itself affect the quality of the signal, but I believe you will notice a difference in the quality of the signal since you're bypassing the mic pre-amps and connecting to an input on the mixer which is intended for a different purpose.

    you are running on the assumption that the line level input bypasses the preamp gain stage, which on high end professional gear, it will. on lower end prosumer or semi-professional gear, it usually doesn't. the impedance should technically change, but the gain stage still exists in cheaper circuit designs.
    professional consoles with line level inputs usually have line level trim, as well as microphone preamp gain controls.
    Official Recording Tip of the month for November:

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  11. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butnutz
    you are running on the assumption that the line level input bypasses the preamp gain stage, which on high end professional gear, it will. on lower end prosumer or semi-professional gear, it usually doesn't. the impedance should technically change, but the gain stage still exists in cheaper circuit designs.
    professional consoles with line level inputs usually have line level trim, as well as microphone preamp gain controls.
    While the signal from the mic preamp (XLR input) and the instrument/line level input (1/4" input) will both eventually flow through the same gain/attenuation/trim circuit on a lower end prosumer or semi-professional board, the mic signal will first be boosted to line level upon connecting it to the mic preamp. This preamp adds certain color and tonality to the signal which you will not get by connecting the mic to the instrument/line input. The 1/4" input goes directly to the trim control. It doesn't pass through the mic preamp.

    If you used an external preamp, how would you connect it to your mixer? You would connect it to the line level input of your mixer for two reasons. First, the output of the external mic preamp is line level, so you'd want to use the line level input of your board. Second, by connecting to the line level input of your board, you bypass the preamp built into your board. If the signal from your external preamp passed through the preamp on your board, it would defeat the purpose of using an external preamp.

    The purpose/benefit of seperate trim knobs on high end boards is simply to dial in a more precise setting for the mic or instrument signal. It has nothing to do with a mic signal bypassing the line level input or a line level signal bypassing the mic input because this how it is on every board from low-end to high-end.
    Last edited by JGthatsme; 11-12-2007 at 10:09 AM.

  12. conqistador de pollo

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    Quote Originally Posted by JGthatsme
    While the signal from the mic preamp (XLR input) and the instrument/line level input (1/4" input) will both eventually flow through the same gain/attenuation/trim circuit on a lower end prosumer or semi-professional board, the mic signal will first be boosted to line level upon connecting it to the mic preamp. This preamp adds certain color and tonality to the signal which you will not get by connecting the mic to the instrument/line input. The 1/4" input goes directly to the trim control. It doesn't pass through the mic preamp.

    If you used an external preamp, how would you connect it to your mixer? You would connect it to the line level input of your mixer for two reasons. First, the output of the external mic preamp is line level, so you'd want to use the line level input of your board. Second, by connecting to the line level input of your board, you bypass the preamp built into your board. If the signal from your external preamp passed through the preamp on your board, it would defeat the purpose of using an external preamp.

    The purpose/benefit of seperate trim knobs on high end boards is simply to dial in a more precise setting for the mic or instrument signal. It has nothing to do with a mic signal bypassing the line level input or a line level signal bypassing the mic input because this how it is on every board from low-end to high-end.

    dude, you misunderstood my post.
    some cheap preamp designs send the Lo-z or line inputs input through the MIC input gain stage, which is actually controlled by the Trim pot because of cost cutting attempts in the circuit design. thats the point i was trying to make.
    a true line input(like on a good A/D convertor) wont have a gain or trim control(though it will somtimes have a calibration pot or screw) except on specialized units or consoles, where the TAPE returns have line trims to accomodate very hot signals being printed to tape. typically, if recording at high levels on a tape machine, the result of summing 23 or 46 tape returns+fx returns and parallel busses is overloading the master bus, so you run the tape return line trims at -6 or -9. this is also done to avoid using VCA faders or VCA trim, such as is found on SSL E/G series consoles without ultimation.
    Official Recording Tip of the month for November:

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