I've recently bought a small mixer (YAMAHA MG102C) for my semi-complex routing needs and have trouble incorporating it in my current setup. The mixer works flawlessly but when the time comes for recording the sound I cannot find a reasonable way to connect the mixer to my sound card (E-MU Tracker Pre).

There is an obvious output, but I need a good explanation why it was made like that...

So, there are basically 5 ways to get sound out of the mixer:

  • stereo outs
    This produces noise when recording, but works fine when connected to an amp > speakers.
  • monitor outs
    Same as above, and I need it for my monitors anyway
  • phones
    I don't think I should be recording off here, and I need it for my phones
  • aux
    This is a single mono line, what the... why would I even need that?
  • rec out
    This looks like the right one to use but I have a few problems with that:

First off, why RCA? These cables are unbalanced and are thinner than a TS line == more prone to picking up noise. On top of that, unlike the +4dBu (~1.8dBV) lines on other outs, this thing is -10dBV which results in almost 12dBV difference in signal level while the noise floor stays the same. Shouldn't the recording signal be of top quality and be given more priority than the other outs?

What would be the correct way to connect the mixer to my sound-card for the best recording quality?

  • 2
    The aux out is for an effects send. Often there is an aux send (mono) and pots on each channel to send signal to the aux bus. Usually, you'll also find a stereo return to come back from the (often stereo) effects processor.
    – JoshP
    Commented Jun 5, 2013 at 15:49
  • The RCAs are used for two track (2 TRK), which can basically be everything like tape, minidisk, other simple analog recording device. It won't help you anyway since you cannot separately control the volume of this output. Have you tried switching the usage of your main and monitors outputs? Try to use the monitor for record out and main as monitors.
    – Eugene S
    Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 4:24

2 Answers 2


This is an extremely basic live board that isn't really designed for recording. What are you doing with monitors and headphones? Do they actually have independent feeds? If not, I would suggest simply using the headphone output on your EMU and feed in in to a headphone distribution amplifier to send the output to multiple outputs.

You are getting noise on the stereo output and monitor output because they are running at +4db for output to an amplifier. The added power is making it noisy on the EMU which probably expects line input to be something like an electric guitar input rather than a higher line level signal like the +4db signal you are sending it. I'm actually a little surprised that it even works with the Phones output since I would kind of expect a similar problem there, but it is a lower power level so it might fall within range.

The aux output is for monitors or a grouped effects rack. The purpose is that it can have a separate mix sent to it which is controlled by the aux knobs on each channel. A single aux channel is extremely limited and would primarily be used in a live environment or an older analog recording setup.

Rec Out is for use with a tape or CD deck. Lower end decks typically take input on RCA, so that is what most lower end boards put out. That's also why the 2TR IN is RCA. Sometimes these are labeled as tape out and tape in.

  • I am a newb with this stuff myself, but his EMU manual (p.49) says "all [ins and outs] are designed for EITHER balanced or unbalanced cables [...] balanced signals provide +6db on inputs [...] problems with hum and noise, use balanced cables". Does this mean that the device is auto-sensing based upon the type of 1/4 inch cable, and so he should try a TRS cable?
    – horatio
    Commented Jun 5, 2013 at 14:39
  • @horatio - I don't know if it would pick up on a TRS balance 1/4". On cheaper devices, the "detection" is typically that when you plug in an XLR cable, it connects with the balanced pinout and when you connect a 1/4 inch it connect with the unbalanced. You also don't have a balanced output from the board do you?
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jun 5, 2013 at 14:57
  • the paragraph is accompanied by imagery of 1/4 inch balanced and unbalanced cable ends. For the stereo/monitor outs, the mixer manual gives "+4dbu nominal, 150Ohm imp, 10kOhm 'appropriate impedance'; phone jack trs connector"
    – horatio
    Commented Jun 5, 2013 at 15:19
  • @Horatio - Could be worth trying maybe. TRS doesn't always mean balanced, but I doubt it would hurt anything to try.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jun 5, 2013 at 15:23
  • Monitors and phones go to my studio monitors and headphones. The monitor/phones fader controls both.
    – Alexander Ivanov
    Commented Jun 5, 2013 at 16:26

Actually the problem is fixed - it was a combination of interference form my computer (the mixer was standing on top) and interference from my neighbors (CRT TV set on the other side of the concrete wall). Moving the mixer and my audio interface away fixed the problem.

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