Unbalanced into Balanced

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Member Since: Feb 05, 2008

hey guys, im about to purchase an interface that has some line ins i will use with a preamp to increase the number of simultaneous tracks. the preamp i'm looking at has only unbalanced outs and the audio interface has balanced ins. is this going to be a problem?

this: www.guitarcenter.com/Nady...277-i1125361.gc

into this: www.zzounds.com...item--TASUS1641

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Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Feb 18, 2008 04:44 pm

No, not a problem at all. Balanced helps reject noise from getting into your chain through the cable itself. So if you have short cables, and don't run these short cables by any noisy things, then you won't have a problem.

Noise sources can be power cables, flourescent lights, dimmer switches, and the like.

Just keep 'em short, and you won't have a problem.

Plus, balanced cables help keep mic level from getting noisy, whereas line level signals are much beefier, so they don't get noisy near as easy.

I use a Hosa snake for patching between components, like my mixer preamps over to my audio interface.



Since: Feb 07, 2005

Feb 18, 2008 04:49 pm

Heya TipMcVenus,

I have that exact pre-amp and I haven't had any problems at all. I checked out the Tascam and just wanted to point out that it comes with 8 pres. Did you need a total of 16? Just a heads up in case you missed that part.

The eight mic inputs employ TASCAM Pro mic pres for 60 dB of gain and phantom power for studio-quality recordings.

Since: Feb 05, 2008

Feb 19, 2008 12:05 am

thanks for the info and yes i definitely wanted the additional inputs for live recordings.

to clarify: i can use either TS or TRS cables?
this is what i was thinking: www.guitarcenter.com/AP-A...source=4TEM8XOC

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Feb 19, 2008 07:35 am

Yep, using a balanced / stereo cable in a mono jack will only use one side of the signal. In balanced context, that means only one side of the balanced signal. This is what gets sent in an unbalanced cable, so it's no different than using unbalanced / mono cable in the first place.

To give a little history, balanced circuitry sends two copies of the same signal, plus a ground. That's why there's 3 connectors in an XLR jack, and a TRS 1/4" plug. These connectors are called hot (+), cold (-), and ground. The hot and cold are 180 deg out of phase from each other. At the other end, the two signals are put back in phase, and any noise picked up along the way (on the cable) is nulled out, thereby eliminating any noise from the cable.

In mic cables, where there's possibly 20 or 30 feet of run, it's easy to pick up noise, since the mic signal is very weak. Balanced helps keep noise out. Plus, having 2 signals makes mic cables able to be longer. In line level patch cables, the signal is alot bigger, compared to mic level. So it's better at not picking up any noticable noise. That's why unbalanced line level cables are much more acceptable.

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