I have a Yamaha MX synthesizer and would like to record in stereo using the Scarlett 4i4 audio interface connected by two TS cables I use for my guitar. Should I use the TS cables or should I buy two TRS cables for balanced stereo?

I am also unable to determine whether or not TS is safe for both my synthesizer and my audio interface. The Scarlett has a LINE/INST switch to change between "line level" and "instrument" (like guitar). I assume I should switch to INST but is this what I should do?

  • Synthesizer outputs and recording interface inputs for instruments are designed to accept TS cables with no harm. Often one can get balanced connection by using TRS cables. If this option exists at both ends of the cable TRS really can reduce hum and buzz caught by long cables and ground loops. Get the manuals of your synth and audio interface to see do TRS cables provide at both ends the balanced connection. Only at one end it's not better than what's got by using TS cables. INST is for guitar and bass and LINE is quite surely the balanced option = ON, but check the manual to be sure!
    – user35252
    Jul 3, 2022 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


Use two TS cables. You need only balanced signals if the cables are really long and the signal is weak (low voltage). And of course the keyboard needs to output a balanced signal, what I doubt, because nearly all output an unbalanced signal. That's why you should use the TS cables.

The keyboard provides a line-level signal, so set your interface inputs to "line".

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