SQ5 + Lots of Synths ⇒ Do I need DI?

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This topic contains 30 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of avetisk avetisk 2 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 31 total)
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  • #101892
    Profile photo of avetisk
    avetisk
    Participant

    Thank you Mike C for your feedback 🙏

    Now I have a better idea of what to do.

    The only thing left is breaking the piggy bank…

    #102104
    Profile photo of Nemydom
    Nemydom
    Participant

    All the keyboards on the photos are connected directly without any DI boxes, using XLR-TRS cables. That includes the Nords with unballanced output. All the cables are 3 to 5 metres. Worked without issues. Just ensure you set the preamps into “line level” – that preset is available on SQ.

    #102105
    Profile photo of Nemydom
    Nemydom
    Participant

    Sorry couldn’t attach photos to the message

    #102107
    Profile photo of Nemydom
    Nemydom
    Participant

    see attached

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    #102110
    Profile photo of avetisk
    avetisk
    Participant

    Thank you soooo much @nemydom 🙏

    That’s exactly what I was looking for!

    And actually yesterday I found that the only thing that matters is that if the output of my synths aren’t higher that the max capacity of my mixer’s inputs, then there’s no issues.

    So I checked all of them: they are all far from it.

    But your real live example is worth more than all my theoretical searches.

    Thanks again 🙏

    #102121
    Profile photo of Nemydom
    Nemydom
    Participant

    I also recommend to get some of those: D’Addario PW-P047Z
    It’s called D’Addario Male XLR male to balanced 1/4″ female adapter. Please do not be confused with the low price: this thing is of the highest quality: has gold plated contacts etc.
    Now the story:
    I tried to connect a GEM rack synth from early 90s (sorry, can’t recall the model) to SQ5’s XLR input. I used the same cable as I mentioned above.
    Unfortunately the result was unsatisfactory: no low frequences, and generally there was something very strange with the sound: like a kid has played with a graphic eq’s sliders on the way from the synth to PA 🙂
    I changed to another input of my SQ, thinking that something wrong with the settings – no changes.
    At that time, I had another digital console with me (Midas brand), which had XLR/TRS combo inputs. I plugged the same TRS/XLR cable into MIdas and everything worked as it should.. So the connection was: GEM’s output > TRS/XLR cable > XLR to Midas’ XLR/TRS combo jack.
    After that I connected the GEM with a TS cable, using D’Addario PW-P047Z adapter, and suddenly everything worked as it should. So once again: GEM’s output>TS cable> D’Addario PW-P047Z adapter> SQ XLR input. At the same time, I had two NORDS with unbalanced outputs connected directly, using XLR/TRS cables without issues!
    I was trying to understand what was going on. I am not a professional audio engineer, but I do have some technical background, I do understand balanced vs unbalanced etc… unfortunately I could not find any reasonable explanation of what has happened.
    So, two things:
    If someone has any idea of what has happened with GEM to SQ connection – I’m very interested.
    Secondly, in any case, I do recommend getting the D’Addario PW-P047Z adapters – they are great.
    Actually one more piece of advice: If you have any equipment with unbalanced outputs, I wouldn’t go for a show without having some DI boxes, even if works well at home. I personally didn’t have any bad experience, but I am a hobbyist, and only use SQ for fun jamming with friends…The real stage experience may be right opposite.

    #102131
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    @nemydom

    It sounded like you had or have some phase cancellation issues and or incorrectly wired 1/4 to XLR cable, both would cause a thin sound lacking low end.

    I looked at the D’Addario adapter you linked to, the thing I don’t like about that stle of adapter is when you plug a cable into it it starts to get fairly long and can put
    a lot of stress on the XLR jack in the mixer from the cable alone and even more so if the cable gets pulled.

    #102133
    Profile photo of ioTon
    ioTon
    Participant

    Hi Nemydom,

    you got the phase cancellation because you used a stereo Jack Output, for an balanced Input:

    Tip (Left Signal) -> +
    Ring (Right Signal) -> –
    Shleeve -> GND

    The low frequencies are mostly “Mono” so they canceld out! While the GEM is doing stereo on the upper Freq!

    The D’Addario PW-P047Z adapter is a STEREO to MONO adapter, and is shortening the minus of the balanced input to GND, and L+R Signal will go to the hot input.
    -> so you loose Stereo.

    Better is a Y-cable like it is used for inserts!
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08SQNH4TH/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_2P3QR6ZVTX48MYA37BQM?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

    greetings,
    dd

    #102134
    Profile photo of ioTon
    ioTon
    Participant

    But of course, the BEST is to use DI-Boxes. But you’ll need still the Y-cable to split the Stereo Signal into 2 Mono Signals (Stereo TRS -> 2x Mono TRS)

    #102135
    Profile photo of Søren Steinmetz
    Søren Steinmetz
    Participant

    It should be a TRS into two TS, if you take an unbalanced stereo output (like a headphone output) into two mono inputs.

    #102136
    Profile photo of ioTon
    ioTon
    Participant

    correct!

    #102138
    Profile photo of Nemydom
    Nemydom
    Participant

    Hi Mike, ioTon and Soren, sorry but don’t think you are right in the following:
    1) it was not a stereo Jack Output on the GEM – there were two jacks: one left and one right. Not sure if the two were balanced or not, though.
    2)D’Addario PW-P047Z is NOT STEREO to MONO, it is XLR to TRS. I realize that TRS can be a stereo, but it’s not applicable to my situation.
    3)Hey guys, D’Addario PW-P047Z adapter actually resolved the issue (along with a TS cable, and yes, it was two of each – for left and right) – so the problem is not related to the adapter.
    4) incorrectly wired 1/4 to XLR cable – not the case – worked fine for other equipment
    You are right in the following:
    1)”when you plug a cable into it it starts to get fairly long and can put a lot of stress on the XLR jack” I absolutely agree! But where is the official solution from A&H? Probably an XLR to TRS cable?
    2) “it should be a TRS into two TS, if you take an unbalanced stereo output (like a headphone output) into two mono inputs” Agreed! (…but it’s not applicable) ;).

    #102146
    Profile photo of Søren Steinmetz
    Søren Steinmetz
    Participant

    My comment, at a sleepyhead time of day, was an attempt to mention a Y-cable, if needed, should be from TRS to two TS…..

    It was not about the main case as such (I prefer to use DI’s when ever possible, then again I mainly do musicals and live concerts = longer cableruns inbetween power and DMX lines)

    And I just recently had a longer talk with a client, who had a very hard time to grasp that TSR are both used as stereo unbalanced in some cases, and mono balanced in other cases.
    (he even claimed that when you put a channel into stereo, you only needed a TRS-XLR to run a stereo signal into the console *sigh* 😉 )

    But yes, you need to know if the jack outputs are balanced TRS or unbalanced TS to get the right cable.

    #102148
    Profile photo of Nemydom
    Nemydom
    Participant

    No problem Soren – all good:)
    “But yes, you need to know if the jack outputs are balanced TRS or unbalanced TS to get the right cable.” Yes, but using wrong cable not necessarily cause a problem: You can plug a Balanced cable into unbalanced Nord’s output and it will work perfectly with SQ or other equipment with balanced input. …and I can give you lots of examples like that, not only Nord.
    … or vice versa: You can plug an unbalanced cable into the balanced output of Yamaha Montage or Fantom G, and it will work without an issue.

    #102149
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    If in one way or another when you connect an unbalanced input source to a true balanced input and you do not tie one of the balanced inputs legs + or – to ground you will get
    a “thin” sounding signal and lower level.

    If you were using a TRS to TRS 1/4 cable plugged into the adapter you linked to and in the equipment that you plugged the 1/4 inch TRS cable into the ring of the TRS plug did not make any connection to ground you would have that issue. That is assuming the D’Addario adapter is wired straight through pin to pin.

    Same thing would happen if you used a TRS to XLR straight through cable.
    If you buy or make unbalanced TS 1/4 to XLR cables you will need to be sure that
    the ground is tied to pin 1 and pin 3 on the XLR.

    Phase cancellation is completely different and “ioTon” already covered that.

    Not sure why you think “But where is the official solution from A&H? ”
    This is not an A&H issue, if look at other digital mixers many do not have 1/4 inputs
    on the input channels and only offer limited if any 1/4 inch line level inputs.

    The QU series is an exception with both 1/4 inch and XLR inputs on every channel on the surface, the stage boxes are XLR only.

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