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Topic: Connecting unbalanced instrument to balanced inputs

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  1. #1

    Connecting unbalanced instrument to balanced inputs

    I need to connect my keyboard, wich has 2 unbalanced 1/4" jack outputs to my recorder, which has balanced XLR inputs. Would it be possible to use two balanced TRS (stereo jack) to XLR cables for this? I.e. is there no problem plugging a TRS jack into a mono jack output?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: Connecting unbalanced instrument to balanced inputs

    No problem. Just plug it in.

    The only issue is if your recording device is a mic preamp, which is very sensitive and usually has XLR inputs, or a line preamp. You want line. Maybe there's a +4/-10 db switch on your recorder. The -10 setting has more gain.

    At the high-gain setting you might have more noise. You're better off with a low gain input setting and the gain turned up on your keyboard.

    For purists there are 1/4" to XLR adapters with built-in transformers that can gain up and down the signal. They're about the size of a large marking pen.

    -JF

  3. #3

    Re: Connecting unbalanced instrument to balanced inputs

    Thanks, Jon. Actually, I plan to go from my keyboard, wich has 2 unbalanced 1/4" jack outputs to an Apogee MiniMe preamp, which expects line signals via XLR (and hiZ via jack). Since I can't seem to find TS jack to XLR cables anywhere, I thought I'd just use TRS jack to XLR cables to carry the unbalanced signal to the preamp. So you're saying this will not compromise quality? Moreover, I could also use these TRS jack to XLR cables on keyboards/modules that do have balanced outputs..

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