XLR\RCA\1/4 etc

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hydrogen
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Re: XLR\RCA\1/4 etc

Post by hydrogen » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:04 am

this article cleared a lot of stuff up for me.... http://www.tweakheadz.com/all_about_cables.htm

very nice post hades... i can totally relate to everything you've gone on about...
Hades wrote:they always say it's dead easy to make your own cables, and you save lots of money, but to be honest, when I looked around the prices for high quality cable + connectors, I didn't have the impression I was gonna save tons, plus I simply couldn't be bothered to spend all those hours on it.
Yup... I found its not cheaper to make your own cables... you can definitely get them pre-made for much cheaper unless you are buying cable at a Huge volume. but then again... you can buy premade cables at bigger volume and get a deal too. Last year I spent about $600 on cables just to wire the whole studio and get everything going. I got low end cables too... HOSA! :/ i just use my cable tester to make sure they are good before i plug them in... and i'm pretty happy with it. I havn't done any ABX testing with some monster/mogami type sh!t. I just don't buy into the hype about cables, other than good quality cables will take more abuse and this is why i got the cable tester. (plus i've heard stories where the wires get switched around in the cables and thats no good. test your stuff...

Here is a great cable tester at a low price ( http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-CT100-C ... B000CCIVCA )

Also, if you want cheap cables... find a place to get them in bulk... I recently found a place that carries these rainbow colored cables... which are so nice i think if you've got a bunch running into the patchbay... sh!t gets HECTIC! http://www.speakerrepair.com/mm5/mercha ... gory_Code= (I havn't cut them open to see what the wire is like but i've had no problems with them.)
Hades wrote:I gets really irritating once you gotta hook everything up through patchbays.
I recently bought a new mixer, and had to recable the whole studio. I had to run all the outputs of my gear to my 3 patchbays which all took 1/4 balanced jacks, as well as run all the inputs and outputs of my mixer to the patchbays too.
Yup and this is sooo many cables!! i've got piles of them... and i will still need more. sh!t gets crazy. takes 3+ hours to wire up the studio and write everything down. every time i do it, i swear i wish i'd never got any of this stuff... but then i listen to everything and I change my mind.
Hades wrote:But about a month ago, all of a sudden I had my jomox giving me massive trouble.
90% of my kicks were giving an irritating popping sound, like the outputs were massively distorted. First I checked all the normal stuff : took a different channel on my mixer, took a different channel on my patchbay, changed cables,...
And the strangest thing was, if I used the headphones output of the jomox instead of the indvidual output, I was able to get a much better signal.
This was the biggest problem for the kicks, but the claps and hi-hats gave some trouble as well.
I could only use my kicks if I turned the main output down to 30 instead of the recommended 127 (Jomox manual), which meant I had to turn up the gain too much so my signal was way too dirty.
Imagine having a real nice equiped studio you've been working your azz off for about 10 years to assemble it all together, and then having the heartbeat (your kick) giving you this kind of trouble !
I swear I seldomly had a more irritating problem in my studio !! (-)
hmm... i'm wondering if i have a similar issue with the mBase11, i swear it doesn't sound right... i mean it sounds good but not super ace! ;) i've got a TS cable running out of the mbase into the TRS patchbay... then all the connectors/cables in the patchbay are TRS to the soundcards and mixer. Does that sound about right?
------------------------------------------------------
http://soundcloud.com/kirkwoodwest

Hades
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Re: XLR\RCA\1/4 etc

Post by Hades » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:01 am

hydrogen wrote:this article cleared a lot of stuff up for me.... http://www.tweakheadz.com/all_about_cables.htm

very nice post hades... i can totally relate to everything you've gone on about...

Yup... I found its not cheaper to make your own cables... you can definitely get them pre-made for much cheaper unless you are buying cable at a Huge volume. but then again... you can buy premade cables at bigger volume and get a deal too. Last year I spent about $600 on cables just to wire the whole studio and get everything going. I got low end cables too... HOSA! :/ i just use my cable tester to make sure they are good before i plug them in... and i'm pretty happy with it. I havn't done any ABX testing with some monster/mogami type sh!t. I just don't buy into the hype about cables, other than good quality cables will take more abuse and this is why i got the cable tester. (plus i've heard stories where the wires get switched around in the cables and thats no good. test your stuff...

Here is a great cable tester at a low price ( http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-CT100-C ... B000CCIVCA )

Also, if you want cheap cables... find a place to get them in bulk... I recently found a place that carries these rainbow colored cables... which are so nice i think if you've got a bunch running into the patchbay... sh!t gets HECTIC! http://www.speakerrepair.com/mm5/mercha ... gory_Code= (I havn't cut them open to see what the wire is like but i've had no problems with them.)



Yup and this is sooo many cables!! i've got piles of them... and i will still need more. sh!t gets crazy. takes 3+ hours to wire up the studio and write everything down. every time i do it, i swear i wish i'd never got any of this stuff... but then i listen to everything and I change my mind.



hmm... i'm wondering if i have a similar issue with the mBase11, i swear it doesn't sound right... i mean it sounds good but not super ace! ;) i've got a TS cable running out of the mbase into the TRS patchbay... then all the connectors/cables in the patchbay are TRS to the soundcards and mixer. Does that sound about right?
yeah, the tweakheadz site was a big help to me as well many years ago. I mean, 10 years ago, there was no other site to be found anywhere like tweakheadz, a good site that explained all kinds of basic things for the home-studio musician.
Nowadays you can probably find tons of them, but back then he was definitely a pioneer in a way.

You know what is funny ? About 8 years ago, when I was still so new to most of this, I went into at least 5 different music stores here and asked for balanced jack mono cables to hook up my synths. They all said the same : "there are no balanced jack cables, only XLR is balanced"
I didn't know that a balanced jack cable is only possible if you take a stereo jack cable (TRS), and not mono (TS), but I kept saying "but guys, all my synths have balanced outputs, it says so in their manual, why would they have it if there's no connector to use it ?"
I mean, seriously, they did not know that it's possible to have a balanced jack cable. ALL OF THEM !!!
And these guys work at a music store.
I only found this out about 2 years later when I read the "Dance Music Manual" (which is although it has a horrible title a terrific book, as complete as the tweakheadz site but on a much more production-wise level).
How come people that work at music stores can't know such a basic thing ??? :shock:

and for the record, I'm not a cable elitist either.
But while I was building my studio for years, I always had a limited budget. The last 3 years some loved ones died and I inhereted some money and property, so I didn't have to watch my money constantly. (trust me, I'd rather have the loved ones back instead of the money)
I found it rather stupid to buy very expensive equipment like my H8000fw and then cut back on the cabling.
They always say your studio is only as good/bad as your weakest link. I'm very sure that counts for monitors/mixer/soundcard and of course your synths/sampler, because I've heard it myself when upgrading my gear. But if there's such a huge difference between OK cables and expensive ones, I'm just not sure, cause I never heard that much difference, in fact I had to "downgrade" for my jomox. :idea:
And good cables can break just as well. Maybe not as fast as the others, but they can just as well break.

BTW, I colour-coded all my cables. I just bought 8 different colours of "electrical tape" (or whatever you call these), and attached straps at both ends.
I guess it's my old dark soul but I don't like too many colours in the studio, and that way my cables itself all stay black.
I guess I gotta post some pics of my setup some day, cause it really looks cool nowadays, honestly.

When I redid the studio with the recabling when my new mixer came in, it took me 1,5 days !!!
I had just had a small surgery done on one of my legs (they removed a small birthmark), and I swear my stupid crouching down, climbing over/under, lying on the floor to see where the cable could get in the patchbay way under,... made the wound go all open again.
And the funny part is, you're just totally wrecked at the end of the day from that kind of work, because you really need to keep your head at it while you're setting it all up. But once it's all done and you've written it all down correctly, it's heaven to work in !!

with the mbase : I have it like you now : an unbalanced cable going to the balanced patchbay and then leaving the patchbay on a balanced cable going to the (obviously) balanced mixer.
I asked mr Jomox if he thought it might be a better idea to use an unbalanced cable all the way (so also one from the patchbay to the mixer),
but he didn't reply to the question, instead going like "there are many good sites you can read about this on the net" and "unfortunately, I do not get paid for responding to mails about your issues in the studio outside the jomox",...
man, I swear I have this huge massive respect but still getting on my nerves thing with him. I mean, I got my xbase 888 and it broke down in 3 days. It had some circuit board inside that short-circuited. He said it was probably static electricity. Anyways, he did the repair and all was fine.
But can you blame me for thinking it was probably another problem with this same unit
when all of a sudden I had this popping problem with my kicks ?
He said : it's probably your crappy mixer. No sir ! No crappy mixer !
I can understand you can't take the time to talk to people about their setups and all that. No problemo !
But for god's sake, if people MUST use unbalanced cables or the signal gets massively distorted, then just put this in the manual somewhere, so people can know to watch out for it, and then they don't bother you again by email either !
I LOVE my xbase 888, it's NEVER leaving the studio. But mr Jomox is a strange fellow to deal with. -frown 2

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Re: XLR\RCA\1/4 etc

Post by NoAffiliation » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:16 pm

radial JDI ftw

analogue hardware is usually unbalanced because of the voltage used to tune osc/filters


running unbalanced cables into a balanced patchbay or mixer does not magically balance the signal. you need a direct box that changes the impedance

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Re: XLR\RCA\1/4 etc

Post by Hades » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:25 am

NoAffiliation wrote:
running unbalanced cables into a balanced patchbay or mixer does not magically balance the signal.

well, I knew that much, thank you...
but since every decent mixer and patchbay has balanced connectors, it seemed logical to hook things up with balanced cables.
It worked perfectly with my 5 other pieces of analogue equipment.
NoAffiliation wrote:radial JDI ftw

analogue hardware is usually unbalanced because of the voltage used to tune osc/filters
.....
you need a direct box that changes the impedance
but could you maybe explain this a bit more ?

radial JDI ?
so this is a box that makes you connect unbalanced stuff to balanced stuff ?
seems handy, only way too pricey !! :shock:
I mean, it's all great if you only need it for one stereo signal, but if I would want one for my jomox so that I can use every individual output, I'd be looking at buying 2 of those big JDI boxes,
and they look like they cost above 1000€ each.
That's kind of absurd.
you have any experience with any of these boxes ?
care to share your personal opinion on them ?


and why does analogue hardware usually use unbalanced because of the voltage used to tune osc/filters ?

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Re: XLR\RCA\1/4 etc

Post by steevio » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:10 pm

one thing that hasnt been mentioned here is the fact that balancing isnt really necessary these days, its a throw back to some extent to the days of recording studios full of heavy noisy equipment, nowadays with super-quiet kit you would probably find it very difficult to tell the difference between balanced and unbalanced in a small electronic music studio.

i have a lot of kit switched on at any one time in my studio and i dont have a single balanced connection, i dont even bother to balance things which have the capability, and there is virtually no noise

edit; actually Themis alluded to this earlier sorry

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Re: XLR\RCA\1/4 etc

Post by Hades » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:36 pm

steevio wrote:one thing that hasnt been mentioned here is the fact that balancing isnt really necessary these days, its a throw back to some extent to the days of recording studios full of heavy noisy equipment, nowadays with super-quiet kit you would probably find it very difficult to tell the difference between balanced and unbalanced in a small electronic music studio.

i have a lot of kit switched on at any one time in my studio and i dont have a single balanced connection, i dont even bother to balance things which have the capability, and there is virtually no noise
when I switched to balanced cables a few months back after using unbalanced cables for years, I never heard a single difference anywhere.
All I had was trouble with my jomox...

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Re: XLR\RCA\1/4 etc

Post by Themis » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:23 pm

in a little studio setup, balance/unbalance doesnt matter.

its only for professional use, not cause it sounds better, but because a 30 meter unbalanced cable will not work probably cause the interference is too high.

if you have a 2 meter unbalanced cable from you computer to some hardware it doesnt matter at all, except you have a high voltage super electro magnet in your studio.

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