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I have been using/playing around with the Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer for patching my PC audio, PS4 audio, and XLR microphone to various places. Mainly into the PC to stream to Twitch, and from the PC into my Astro A50s.

I would like to patch my PC into the mixer to make use of the analog volume knobs to use. The problem is when connecting my PC to the mixer, using a 1/8" (3.5mm) to 1/4" cable (or 1/8" to dual 1/4"), the audio sounds very messed up. It's hard to explain how it sounds.. Maybe like if you have your ear buds only plugged half way into your phone? You get sound, but it's not full and seems to be lacking certain parts.

Is there something I need to do to get this to sound right? This is my motherboard with onboard sound card. I am thinking of getting an external sound card anyways so I have more inputs/outputs, would that help at all?

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  • Are you using a stereo cable?
    – Johannes
    Dec 22, 2015 at 16:21
  • 2
    photo? recording of sound?
    – Corey
    Dec 22, 2015 at 18:54
  • It sound be different when using a 1/8" to dual 1/4" (which is almost certainly the correct cable) versus using a 1/8" to single 1/4" cable (which I expect would be terrible if plugged into a balanced input). Dec 23, 2015 at 3:16
  • @Johannes as stated in the question, the cables I tried were an 1/8" to single 1/4" and also an 1/8" to dial 1/4".
    – Josh Riser
    Dec 23, 2015 at 4:07
  • I understand, I just wanted to make sure...
    – Johannes
    Dec 26, 2015 at 21:02

6 Answers 6

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I know I'm a little late here, but I just ran into the same problem and was trying to find a solution. It turns out that I was pumping a stereo signal into a mono input and then listen to the stereo signal mixed from that, which created that 'half' sound. Be careful with the type of cable you're using to split the signal. Some of those 1/4" splitters only duplicate the stereo signal instead of splitting it into right and left. I would try using an 1/8" to RCA cable or just set your device to mono and do a single channel input.

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If things sound a little 'karaoke' out of the computer, the connection isn't being "normalled" - often caused by misaligned connections (tip making contact with a ring etc).

This is usually a symptom of a miabehaving component. Time to troubleshoot. Have you plugged cans directly into the PC output to check it's working ok? Have you swapped out the cable and tried another output device? Have you checked all mixer ins and outs?

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I don't remember where I found it at, but I saw someone say something about using a Direct Box. I ended up buying this one and it has been working perfectly.

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If it sounds like when you plug your ear buds into your phone halfway (shorted) then that is likely what is happening.

It doesn’t matter that the plug appears to be all the way in the jack, or that you appear to have the correct plugs and jacks. Phone plugs are 19th century technology that is not well-standardized and has been extended in various ways. Some plugs will simply not match up to some jacks, especially if one or the other is extremely cheap and therefore poorly made. Some plugs and jacks have extra rings that prevent them from matching up. Some plugs have gigantic handles on them that prevent them from plugging all the way into some jacks. This is especially true of the 1/8th inch plugs.

The PC phone jack could also have become shorted on the inside, or it may have moved since manufacture so that it is shorting against the case.

What you can do is try with a different 1/8th phone cable. You might try a few and find one that works with the PC. Or you might find that none of them work and suspect the PC phone jack is faulty. But for the same expense as that, you can get a USB audio interface for the PC (which can be very cheap) and just get the audio out of the PC digitally. You will likely also get higher-quality sound because the interior of a PC is a bad place for audio gear.

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A classic case of sending unbalanced stereo into an input intended for balanced mono. 3.5mm is almost always unbalanced stereo (TRS or TRRS, tip and ring are right and left and I think the sleeve is ground). The inputs on pretty much any sound board has instrument in for right and instrument in for left. You're probably using a regular 1/4" to 3.5mm adapter to plug the computer in at just the right or left input on the board. A short bit about unbalanced vs balanced: so when you send an audio signal by itself across a cord that's really long, it is susceptible to rf interference. Radio waves in the air can interfere with it and distort it. What balanced audio does is it send two identical signals across 2 wires. It compares the two signals at the end and removes anything in the signal that isn't shared by both. Any interference experienced by one cord won't be experienced by the other cord the same way. So by removing anything that isn't identical in both cords, you remove anything that is interference. That's balanced audio in a nutshell. [EDIT: Strike that, reverse it.]

Now let's talk about how music engineers mix music when it is being produced. A lot of sounds they want to pan left or right to make the music interesting. You might want the bass sort of on the right and you may want the drums a little on the left. You may want piano a little in the middle and the guitar to go back and forth between ears. That's a really exaggerated example. But the point is that the signal sent to the right ear is intentionally different from the signal sent to the left ear.

When your audio board receives a signal in that left or right mono input, if there is signal both on the tip and on the ring, it expects both signals to be identical and anything that isn't exactly identical will be removed. The board thinks anything that isn't identical between ears is RF interference.

The audio sounds weird because your audio board thinks that anything in the mix that isn't panned directly in the center must be rf interference. It removes what it thinks is rf interference. So it removes a huge portion of your music. It makes your music sound super strange.

The solution is to get a cord that turns the unbalanced trs into unbalanced, separate, 1/4" ts cords.

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You should definitely take the native sound card out of the mix. There are a lot of devices you can use to, even mixers similar to what you have that can be plugged into the USB port of your computer to bypass the sound card.

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  • 1
    This really doesn't answer the question, nor does it give any good reason why the built in card must be bypassed.
    – Johannes
    Dec 22, 2015 at 16:28
  • Perhaps you should let the user decide
    – Stormy
    Dec 22, 2015 at 16:37
  • 1
    Those other than the asker are able to and even encouraged to vote and comment on answers for a good reason, I would say. Dec 23, 2015 at 3:17

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