How to connect a preamp with XLR out to TRS in?

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

How would you connect a preamp that only has an XLR output to an
interface that doesn't have any line level XLR inputs? Would you buy a
XLR to TRS cable? Would that distort the sound a bit?

For example, if you have an Avalon 737SP and a Digi 002 rack, what
would you do to connect the Avalon to the Digi 002?

I have a Presonus Eureka right now with an Audiophile 2496 soundcard.
The soundcard has S/PDIF connectors but I would need to buy an ADAT
card for the Presonus to connect it like that. Right now I use a little
adapter that goes into the TRS output in the the Eureka and gives me an
RCA connection and I put the RCA cable into my soundcard recording the
sound in mono.

I'm thinking about moving to the Protools world and need some help on
how I would connect it, and is Windows XP recommended, or should I just
stick with my nice little Adobe Audition setup.

So the real question is, should I just buy a card for my Eureka and
hook it up with the S/PDIF in my soundcard? Or should I try going into
the Protools world? Or should I just leave everything alone and use the
rca cables with my Eureka as I'm doing now?

Oh, and how do you get sound from a preamp that has only XLR out to an
interface that has only 1/4" inputs?

Thanks.
11 answers Last reply
More about connect preamp
  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    www.HassanAnsari.com - Writer / Singer / Rapper / Producer wrote:
    > How would you connect a preamp that only has an XLR output to an
    > interface that doesn't have any line level XLR inputs? Would you buy a
    > XLR to TRS cable? Would that distort the sound a bit?
    snip
    > Oh, and how do you get sound from a preamp that has only XLR out to an
    > interface that has only 1/4" inputs?

    You would use an XLR female to 1/4"-TRS male cable. There is no signal
    loss, distortion, or anything. It's just a difference in connection
    connection. No big deal.

    --
    Eric

    Practice Your Mixing Skills
    www.Raw-Tracks.com
    www.Mad-Host.com
  2. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    After researching it in the IEEE archives, I discovered that when going
    from XLR balanced to an unbalanced input, there is actually no accepted
    standard as to whether or not pin 3 of the XLR (cold lead) should be
    grounded to the shield. With some equipment, such a
    balanced-to-unbalanced line won't work if pin 3 is grounded, and with
    other equipment it will. Same with NOT grounding pin 3: will work with
    some equipment but not others. You need to try it both ways.
  3. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In othe words,

    Pin 1 of the XLR = ground/shield
    Pin 2 of the XLR = hot (+ve) (to tip of TR plug)
    Pin 3 of the XLR = cold (-ve) (to sleeve of TR plug)

    MAYBE connect pin 3 of XLR to pin 1
  4. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "www.HassanAnsari.com - Writer / Singer / Rapper / Producer"
    <AbnoticCo@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:1110938688.560590.58430@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
    > How would you connect a preamp that only has an XLR output to an
    > interface that doesn't have any line level XLR inputs? Would you buy a
    > XLR to TRS cable?

    If the interface has TRS jacks, yes.

    > Would that distort the sound a bit?

    No, not if the interface has TRS jacks. If it has only TS (unbalanced jacks)
    then, depending on the preamp's design, you may want to rig up a special
    cable.

    Peace,
    Paul
  5. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <1110938688.560590.58430@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com> AbnoticCo@aol.com writes:

    > How would you connect a preamp that only has an XLR output to an
    > interface that doesn't have any line level XLR inputs? Would you buy a
    > XLR to TRS cable?

    Yes.

    > Would that distort the sound a bit?

    It depends on how the output and the input are designed, and how the
    cable is built.

    > For example, if you have an Avalon 737SP and a Digi 002 rack, what
    > would you do to connect the Avalon to the Digi 002?

    Buy an XLR to TRS cable.

    > I'm thinking about moving to the Protools world and need some help on
    > how I would connect it

    There are a few different cases (fortunately not an infinite number).
    But unless you can ask someone who has (and understands) the same
    thing you have, you can rarely find out for sure what wiring
    configuration will work. You need to just try something, see what you
    get, and if it's not right, change it. Anything can be connected to
    anything as long as the levels match reasonably closely and there
    isn't excessive loading of the source device by the destination
    device. Designations such as "high impedance" are in most cases
    irrelevant when connecting line level devices. And generalizations
    such as unbalanced connections (RCA or 1/4" jacks) are high impedance
    and XLRs are low impedance are just plain wrong.

    > and is Windows XP recommended, or should I just
    > stick with my nice little Adobe Audition setup.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If it's a "nice" setup, it ain't
    broke.

    > So the real question is, should I just buy a card for my Eureka and
    > hook it up with the S/PDIF in my soundcard? Or should I try going into
    > the Protools world?

    I don't know. Do you like salmon, or would you rather have a beer?

    > Or should I just leave everything alone and use the
    > rca cables with my Eureka as I'm doing now?

    Yes. And when you know enough to know when (if every) you have a
    problem, you'll be better equipped to either solve it yourself or ask
    a more meaningful question.

    > Oh, and how do you get sound from a preamp that has only XLR out to an
    > interface that has only 1/4" inputs?

    But an XLR-to-1/4" cable.

    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
  6. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Hassan, there is no one standard method for connecting a balanced
    output to an unbalanced input, and given the diversity of the circuitry
    that exists, there can be no one standard method that is safe and gives
    the best result in all cases.

    You must take into account the type of output circuit in the source
    component. It's best to read and follow the instructions in the manual,
    and wire accordingly.
  7. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "www.HassanAnsari.com - Writer / Singer / Rapper / Producer"

    <AbnoticCo@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:1110938688.560590.58430@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com

    > How would you connect a preamp that only has an XLR output to an
    > interface that doesn't have any line level XLR inputs?

    My preference would be to get an adaptor cable. Connector adaptors would be
    my second choice because they can put more mechanical strain on the
    connectors.

    > Would you buy a XLR to TRS cable?

    Been there, done that although I usually made said cable up myself.

    >Would that distort the sound a bit?

    Not in the least!

    > For example, if you have an Avalon 737SP and a Digi 002 rack, what
    > would you do to connect the Avalon to the Digi 002?

    A cable that was long enough and had the right connectors. ;-)

    > I have a Presonus Eureka right now with an Audiophile 2496 soundcard.

    > The soundcard has S/PDIF connectors but I would need to buy an ADAT
    > card for the Presonus to connect it like that. Right now I use a
    > little adapter that goes into the TRS output in the the Eureka and
    > gives me an RCA connection and I put the RCA cable into my soundcard
    > recording the sound in mono.

    This could be about as good as it gets.

    > I'm thinking about moving to the Protools world and need some help on
    > how I would connect it, and is Windows XP recommended, or should I
    > just stick with my nice little Adobe Audition setup.

    I'm fine with Audition. Certainly, there are no sound quality issues with
    it.

    > So the real question is, should I just buy a card for my Eureka and
    > hook it up with the S/PDIF in my soundcard? Or should I try going into
    > the Protools world? Or should I just leave everything alone and use
    > the rca cables with my Eureka as I'm doing now?

    Unless you've got some problems with audible hum and noise, what you have
    could be about as good as it gets.

    > Oh, and how do you get sound from a preamp that has only XLR out to an
    > interface that has only 1/4" inputs?

    Usually, getting a cable with the right connectors on each end does the job.
    ;-)

    There's a standard reference that shows the best way to handle all sorts of
    situations like this, which can be found at http://www.rane.com/note110.html
    .. It's on the conservative side, which I think is exactly right. IOW, there
    are sleezier alternatives that might work as well as what they say, but then
    again maybe not in every circumstance.

    I think a little common sense goes a long ways with questions like this. If
    you hook things together you generally get:


    (1) Good sound
    (2) Less sound than you expected, but still its all good.
    (3) No sound at all.
    (4) Sound with audible hum and/or noise.
    (5) Really badly distorted sound.
    (6) Something is subtly wrong with the sound.

    Item one is the usual case. Item 2 is disappointing, but its one of those
    things you can get used to. Items 3-5 are pretty obvious and beg to be dealt
    with. Item 6 is pretty rare.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    www.HassanAnsari.com - Writer / Singer / Rapper / Producer wrote:
    > How would you connect a preamp that only has an XLR output to an
    > interface that doesn't have any line level XLR inputs? Would you buy
    a
    > XLR to TRS cable? Would that distort the sound a bit?

    The 1/4" TRS tp XLR (both male and female) are about
    the most common cables in my room. No distortion that
    wasn't already there.

    > For example, if you have an Avalon 737SP and a Digi 002 rack, what
    > would you do to connect the Avalon to the Digi 002?
    >
    > I have a Presonus Eureka right now with an Audiophile 2496 soundcard.
    > The soundcard has S/PDIF connectors but I would need to buy an ADAT
    > card for the Presonus to connect it like that. Right now I use a
    little
    > adapter that goes into the TRS output in the the Eureka and gives me
    an
    > RCA connection and I put the RCA cable into my soundcard recording
    the
    > sound in mono.

    The PreSonus option card for Eureka is sync and SPDIF,
    not ADAT. Since the 2496 accepts SPDIF that would work.
    But I doubt you would hear any (noticable) improvement
    over the converters in the 2496. The shortcoming of the
    2496 is not it's sound quality, it's that it lacks
    balanced I/O.
    The Eureka has both 1/4" and XLR outs. Since it's
    reasonable to assume that someone might use a 'guitar'
    cord coming out of the unit, the 1/4" was designed to
    allow both balanced or unbalanced connection. You can
    get a decent quality 1/4" (TS) to RCA cable and avoid
    any adapters.
    You can also use the insert send on the preamp and
    bypass some of the circuitry you may not be using.

    > I'm thinking about moving to the Protools world and need some help on
    > how I would connect it, and is Windows XP recommended, or should I
    just
    > stick with my nice little Adobe Audition setup.
    >
    > So the real question is, should I just buy a card for my Eureka and
    > hook it up with the S/PDIF in my soundcard? Or should I try going
    into
    > the Protools world? Or should I just leave everything alone and use
    the
    > rca cables with my Eureka as I'm doing now?

    Changing software will not solve any hardware issues
    or vice-versa. Audition has some advantages over PT.
    Have you upgraded to 1.5 ?
    Just get a good 1/4" to RCA cable and eliminate the
    adapter, and you are set with what you have.

    > Oh, and how do you get sound from a preamp that has only XLR out to
    an
    > interface that has only 1/4" inputs?

    You can never have enough cables and adapters.

    good luck
    rd
  9. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Thanks, I think I'll just get a new cable so the adapter is out of the
    way and stick with this setup. I like the sound, but people using the
    expensive stuff usually intimidate me a little...that's why I keep
    having 2nd thoughts about upgrading the whole setup. I haven't heard an
    Avalon 737SP / Digi002 combination that sounds worst than my
    setup...but I have heard better...not a lot better...but better. But
    then again, I guess spending multiple grands just to improve the sound
    a little is not worth it. Thanks people.
  10. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    By the way, here's a little sample of my sound right now:

    http://www.unparagoned.net/snippet.mp3

    Would love to get some feedback. It's 256kbps mp3...shouldn't be too
    bad.
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