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19 votes
4 answers
126k views

Is there a significant difference in sound quality between 1/4" jacks and XLR inputs for microphones?

I have a mixer that has 4 microphone channels. Each one has both a 1/4" jack input, and a three pronged input (XLR). I can choose one or the other for connecting my microphone. I am about to buy ...
Questioner's user avatar
12 votes
6 answers
4k views

Preventing tangled mic cables

It seems like no matter how carefully I wind up my mic cables, the next time I get them out I'm fighting tangles and knots. And untangling mic cables is not one of my favorite things to do in front ...
BenV's user avatar
  • 3,705
10 votes
2 answers
23k views

Does having a long 3.5mm cable degrade audio quality? [closed]

I've been looking into mics and I've heard that 3.5mm cables have problems with audio degradation over long distances. How long does the cable have to be before I start experiencing issues?
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the difference between TRS and XLR connectors?

Aside from the obvious differences in the physical connectors, is there an advantage to one over the other? Specifically, I am looking to connect powered near-field monitor speakers to my USB audio ...
user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
22k views

Maximum length for an unbalanced cable?

Is there a maximum length for an unbalanced audio cable after which you should use balanced?
user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Potential problems with chaining mic cables?

Will connecting several mic cables together impact the quality of the recording? Obviously with every additional cable there's an added risk of a loose connection, but assuming my cables and ...
BenV's user avatar
  • 3,705
8 votes
4 answers
32k views

How to connect two (2) MIDI devices to an Audio Interface with only one (1) MIDI In port?

I have one large keyboard (Roland KR-370 [MIDI IN/OUT]) and a small one with pitch/mod wheel (microKorg [MIDI IN/OUT/THRU) and I'm trying to connect them to my Audio Interface (MOTU Traveler [MIDI IN/...
chamberlainpi's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
13k views

What is a TRSF connector?

This HOSA cable/adapter says it has a TRSF adapter. Is that a typo? What is TRSF?
Evan Carroll's user avatar
  • 1,123
7 votes
6 answers
22k views

I have two computers with audio output, and I'd like to monitor both, simultaneously, with one set of speakers. What do I need?

I have two computers with audio output, and I'd like to monitor both, simultaneously, with one set of speakers. What do I need? I know I could feed the line-out of one computer into the line-in of ...
Chris W. Rea's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
23k views

TRS/TS vs RCA cable?

I have to purchase an instrument, that its output (mono) can be either 1/4 TS or RCA. The device signal goes to a preamp (If I'll go for the RCA version, the cable will be RCA to TS). My question is: ...
Shimmy Weitzhandler's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
6k views

Do XLR cables wear out?

Is there any noticeable difference in sound quality if you use a new XLR cable instead of a well-used 10 years old one? I work at our local church and can borrow a cable from there to do some ...
Friend of Kim's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
755 views

How can I reduce noise with many cables?

I have a home studio with 10 microphones cabled up. These cables all connect from the audio interface to the microphones, and follow generally the same path. I have heard that parallel cables add ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Headphone cables: Coiled v.s Straight

What's the difference between the two? Is it just the convenience of one over the other or does it affect sound quality?
user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
221 views

what causes the difference in cord quality between brands?

While "jamming" with a friend over the weekend, I noticed that every single one of the cables in his setup were the same brand. I even have one of the same type (but didn't know which it was from not ...
Travis Crum's user avatar
  • 1,141
5 votes
4 answers
21k views

Difference between 3.5mm and quarter inch plug?

What's the difference between these two types of plugs? Why do they exist? Why can't all plugs be 3.5mm ?
user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
8k views

Neutrik XLR 1/4" Combo Jacks and Phantom Power

For devices that support mic input on the XLR and line level input on the 1/4" parts of one of those Neutrik combo jacks, do I generally need to worry about phantom power being sent to my line-level ...
Brad's user avatar
  • 2,588
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

CAT5 UTP for Audio?

It is possible to get good performance when sending line level or mic level balanced signals down a lengthy piece of CAT5 UTP? I assume that 4 wires would be used... hot wrapped around ground, and ...
Brad's user avatar
  • 2,588
4 votes
6 answers
18k views

Wiring an XLR 1/4" jack combo wall box to a single cable (Neutrik ncj6fi-s)

I purchased one of these sockets for my home studio and I need some advice wiring it up. I purchased a balanced cable XLR > 1/4" jack, cut the XLR end off and wired it up like this: I have limited ...
cronoklee's user avatar
  • 161
4 votes
2 answers
272 views

Connecting a microphone to a camera with a 25 foot cable - is it possible?

I've been assigned to document our class's stage play and I'm having trouble with the audio. I only have one shotgun mic (3.5mm output) and I'm planning on putting it on a tripod and leaving it on the ...
user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
843 views

XLR Y-Cable in signal chain

Hey, I'm thinking of adding an XLR Y-cable into my setup when I'm only recording with one mic to allow me to have a back-up recording at a lower level. This should be particularly useful when ...
Alan Pring's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
4k views

Balanced/unbalanced audio and TS/TRS jack issue with mixer

Following my previous question regarding which mixer to buy, I have now bought the one I was talking about but I'm having some issues setting it up. My understanding of balanced/unbalanced audio is ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
11k views

What's the difference between 3 pin, 4 pin, and 5 pin XLR intercom headsets?

I'm looking for new headsets for an old Clear-com intercom system in a community theatre. All the plugs in the walls for the system are 3-pin XLR, but shopping around I can't find anything but 4 and 5 ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 247
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Does professional quality stereo to mono conversion require a special adapter

I know this is going to sound like a really stupid question, but here it goes... I have dual mono 1/4" jacks for the main output from my soundboard. I currently, only have the left side being sent ...
Steven Doggart's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why does using an extension cable on my headset with a TRRS jack cause the stereo signal to leak into the microphone signal?

I've been trying to get an extension cable for my various wired headsets. These headsets have a standard 3.5mm TRRS jack using the CTIA standard, so the cable carries both a stereo out signal and a ...
Bri Bri's user avatar
  • 155
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Mono vs Stereo connections

I have an RCA stereo connector with a single 1/8 inch pin. I want to connect to a mixer with a 1/4 to 1/4 mono cable to either a mono channel or stereo channel and would like the best way to do it. ...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
529 views

How can I tell if a 1/4" female jack is balanced or unbalanced?

I purchased a used Yamaha Clavinova CVP-65 and there are two 1/4" female output jacks labeled L/L+R and R on the underside. The manual does not indicate if these are balanced to be used with two ...
KenV99's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
5 answers
42k views

Is there a sound quality difference between RCA (analog) and optical (digital) connections?

All other things being equal, if there's an option for connecting two components using RCA cabling or connecting the same two components using an optical cable, is there any reason to prefer one ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Opposite of a Y-cable

I recently asked a question about monitoring two recorders with one pair of headphones. I have been struggling like crazy figuring out a solution that will work in the time frame I have (short as heck)...
Andrew Spitz's user avatar
  • 6,311
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Mic level or line level for long runs?

When running sound for a group with keyboards and other devices that have balanced outs, I will often run them through the same snake and attach them to the line level input on my mixer. I don't ...
Brad's user avatar
  • 2,588
3 votes
1 answer
280 views

XLR-1/4'' vs XLR-XLR cable

I recently bought a Shure SV100 dynamic microphone that came with an XLR-1/4'' cable, which I'm plugging into a Focusrite Scarlett Solo 2nd gen. interface. This interface has two input jacks: a line/...
Fernando Martin's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is there such a thing as Balanced stereo cable?

From the look of it, left and right channels have common ground, but still all the cables I've found so far are just two balanced cables glued together. Why no one created 5-wires cable and saved 20% ...
Gleb's user avatar
  • 161
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

Wire mono microphone to stereo jack?

I have a microphone with 2 wires, and a cable jack with 3 wires. How do I wire them together? Basically i took apart a usb headset and got a microphone with 2 wires, then i cut a jack cable 3.5mm. I'...
user avatar
2 votes
15 answers
5k views

What is your favorite type of microphone cable?

Technical question regarding mic cables: What is your favorite type, and why? I shot out a few kinds and I found Monster Cable to be the best overall for my purposes of recording voice and vocals. ...
Utopia's user avatar
  • 14.2k
2 votes
4 answers
7k views

Mono and Stereo cables / balanced and unbalanced audio

Does the number of rings in 1/4" connectors has anything to do with mono/stereo. My understanding so far is 1/4" connectors with 2 rings are balanced stereo audio and one ring is unbalanced mono audio....
chrisnanny's user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
7k views

TS (1/4'') to XLR cable. Balanced or unbalanced?

Hi I've recently bought this TS to XLR cable: http://www.adamhall.com/en/ah_Cables_Liveline_Series_-_Microphone_Cable_XLR_male_to_6.3_mm_Jack_mono_6_m.html I know that TS is a typically unbalanced ...
andresp's user avatar
  • 43
2 votes
1 answer
7k views

What would happen if I plug in a mono/TS phone jack into a balanced output socket that requires a TRS phone jack?

I want to plug two phone-to-RCA adapter into the stereo output of a mixing console. The output I'm going to use is a stereo out with a balanced TRS phone socket for each channel. I want to plug in ...
Yudhi G.'s user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Digital AES50 and REAC (CAT5) connecters, normal RJ45 with XLR eye candy?

I want to prepare the wiring in our church to use a digital snake system. We haven't decided which brand we're going for yet, but both M-2001 - S-1608 (REAC) and X32 - S16 (AES50) combinations have ...
Louis Somers's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
871 views

Convert traditional HiFi to wireless?

I have a great Wharfedale Vardus 5-piece set and I'd like to understand if/what options I have to replace the cable connections with a wireless solution (I understand there are bluetooth and WiFi ...
AVIDeveloper's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why do we need ground connection on balanced cable?

There are 3 connections on balanced cable. Hot, cold and ground. I understand you can do "ground lift" and still get the right signal. So what is the point of ground?
Moe Sweet's user avatar
  • 195
2 votes
1 answer
10k views

Do audio cable splitters reduce signal quality or add noise?

I'd like to record audio coming out of a DJ mixer that has only one output. So I thought I'd use those 'Y' shaped cable splitter plugs which take the L and R cables as input and output to two. ...
immutabl's user avatar
  • 186
2 votes
1 answer
579 views

TS vs balanced TRS cable: does it make any difference, with a mono signal?

Is there any difference in using a TS cable or a balanced TRS cable (pictured below) if you're carrying a mono signal (for example, an output from an audio card or an instrument)? My understanding is ...
Saturnix's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
1 answer
56 views

What should I take into account when I want to switch to wireless sub/speakers?

I'm a mobile DJ so I'm setting up my circus tent and breaking it down multiple times a week. Staying organized really helps, and anything that can save time is precious. Currently I have a sub and ...
Raj More's user avatar
  • 175
2 votes
1 answer
530 views

What makes XLR so durable?

According to this wikipedia page (2nd alinea), XLR have a durable construction and so are used in combination with a microphone. But what makes a XLR connection so durable? (And why aren't TRS ...
Simon Ravelingien's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
807 views

Is it safe to use a stereo cable to carry dual mono audio?

My mixer takes stereo line input via 2 mono TS jacks. My e-drum outputs stereo via 2 mono TS jacks as well. Normally I will need to run 2 mono cables with TS jacks at each end from e-drum to mixer. ...
Moe Sweet's user avatar
  • 195
2 votes
1 answer
408 views

Audio source to amplifier 20 meters away

I have a mac mini with 3.5mm audio out which I want to connect to an amplifier which is in another room, 20 metres away - the speakers are cabled back into the classroom. As well as a typical 3.5mm ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
191 views

How do I get the signal from shotgun mic for cameras into audio interface?

Want to get the sound from my Sennheiser MKE 400 --- a battery-powered shotgun mic with a 3.5 mm TRS output --- into my Audient Evo 4's XLR/TRS combo inputs. I first tried using a 3.5 mm (1/8") ...
markvgti's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
2 answers
11k views

What is the difference between XLR cables and TRS cables in a live environment and in a recording environment? [duplicate]

What is the difference between XLR cables and TRS cables in a live environment and in a recording environment? Which should we use in a performance? We are contemplating whether to do it inside or ...
Lanz's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

3.5 mm vs RCA for home stereo (both unbalanced)

I have two home stereo amplifiers in different rooms. I tried connecting Zone 2 with (the other room) with 50 feet of RCA cable and noticed there was some noise (I live right next to an AM radio tower ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
941 views

Aux/monitor send to In ear monitoring system

Hope someone can help, can't find exactly my situation. I have a Mackie proFx16 v3 which has 3 × 6.3 mm (pre fader switchable) Aux sends. (Well 4, but one of them is dedicated to Fx.) My band is ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
652 views

Can I use speaker wire for stereo headphone?

Can i make a stereo type plug with only 2 wires or will it only be mono? I have seen pics of the female wall jack that only has 2 wires but is stereo sound. I am unsure if this is effective.
soridian's user avatar