Mic/Line inputs and DI box newbie question

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of monki monki 3 years ago.

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  • #70258
    Profile photo of D.J.
    D.J.
    Participant

    You indicated that none of your cable runs would even approach 20′. In that case I would have no hesitation whatsoever using TRS-XLR cables and being done with it. I have done just that many times in the studio and have never had an issue or audible difference that I could detect when coming from an unbalanced 1/4″ jack output of a given device. I would, however, have a good power conditioner on the front end of everything (not just a surge protector, but a true “power cleaning” conditioner) to take care of any hum, noise, or other power-induced imperfections. At the end of the day, you want an SQ so buy it. I did and although there are small things I wish it had, it is still a great upgrade from my Qu-32 and I don’t regret purchasing it in the least. In your case, get the mixer you want, go with the right cables and you are good to go. I don’t think there will be anything about your recordings that will disappoint you given what you have described to us.

    #70305
    Profile photo of whatsoup
    whatsoup
    Participant

    Thanks DJ, sounds great, but I do wonder why there are conflicting opinions regarding going from 1/4″ straight to XLR. Can there be risk of any damage, either way, with phantom power and such? I am looking into power conditioners now, they seem relatively cheap, but I’ll try get a good one

    #70315
    Profile photo of whatsoup
    whatsoup
    Participant

    UPDATE: I contacted support and they have replied really fast! Asking about going from 1/4″ to XLR, part of the response was:

    “The SQ also accepts line level and microphone level signal, so if your synth outputs line level signal this is also fine”

    Which sounds like my impressions of the quick start the manual were correct, the ports are both, unless I have completely misread his response, which is great.

    Just putting this out there for anyone else in the same situation as me, thanks! Looks like I’ll be getting the SQ: )

    #70316
    Profile photo of GCumbee
    GCumbee
    Participant

    That was always understood. The question remains is how to hook them up. I still suggest DI boxes. That’s how we’ve done studio and live sound for decades. Your synths are likely unbalanced. You can make it work but have to use proper wiring protocol and NO phantom.

    #70323
    Profile photo of whatsoup
    whatsoup
    Participant

    Gcumbee, maybe I misunderstood that it was mic level only that needed the DI box. From what I gather from my support ticket, it will act like a normal line in and out, without line to mic level problems. If I can’t cause any physical damage I think I will take my chances. Hopefully you could clarify that I can’t do damage, by accidentally enabling phantom power or something, I wouldn’t know! Thanks. I am also going to assume I can use a TRS jack out of synths to XLR instead of the more corrrect TS to XLR to suit my unbalanced synth outputs. I appreciate your patience

    #70333
    Profile photo of GCumbee
    GCumbee
    Participant

    Seems like we keep going in circles on this. Factors here are 1 level which AH has addressed along with us. Most synths are between mic and line level. That is not -50 or +4 but usually around -20 to -10 So could be considered either way. I have owned at least one with XLR +4 and 1/4″ TS -20. But most don’t have XLR.

    So we’re talking about level but also impedance matching and basic connections. You can do TS to XLR by either dropping one leg which drops the level or shorting pins 1&3. The later is the concern for phantom. Phantom is 1 0vdc. 2&3 equal +9-52vdc. So obviously shortly the – or pin 3 to 1 is a big no no.

    Does that help you understand? All of these things are eliminated using a good DI. Period.

    #70345
    Profile photo of whatsoup
    whatsoup
    Participant

    That’s fine, thanks. I didn’t realise it was as simple as a sliding scale of levels (as well as impedance), I thought it was much more binary than that. It looks like I will end up getting DI boxes, even if it’s at a later date. At least I know it should work without, for now. Thanks again 🙂

    #78855
    Profile photo of monki
    monki
    Participant

    Just to necro this thread with my 2 cents

    I bought an SQ-5 and am using it as a fully recallable line mixer for all my synths, sampler etc. As for interconnecting with the SQ-5..

    First off, many synths etc these days are equipped with ”imoedance balanced” TRS 1/4” outputs. You can plug these directly into the SQ with the appropriate cables (TRS into XLR male for mic inputs, or TRS-TRS for the ST1 / ST2 inputs).

    If your synth/sound source does not have impedance balanced outputs, You have at least three options on how to interconnect to the SQ:
    – DI boxes
    – Line level shifters
    – Using special TS-XLR cables such as these:
    Sound On Sound = Pseudo-balanced cables

    DI boxes are the most commonly used solution, but can be very expensive if you need several channels. Multichannel line level shifters can be a more cost effective solution for large channel counts.

    As stated above, only DI boxes will protect your equipment if you accidentally engage 48V phantom on an input. Thankfully however, the SQ series UI makes accidental phantom powering quite hard..

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