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> Which Cable Do I Need?, XLR <-> Jack
Skalde
post Jul 31 2008, 03:24 AM
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Hello,

I want to connect my microphon(XLR) to my soundcard(jack)
Do I need an instrument or an audio cable?
stero/mono?
What does symetric mean?
My soundcard has '2 analog Inputs' what does that exactly mean ?
unsure.gif

would be nice, if someone could enlight me wink.gif

This post has been edited by Skalde: Jul 31 2008, 03:24 AM
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kjutte
post Jul 31 2008, 06:13 AM
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QUOTE (Skalde @ Jul 31 2008, 04:24 AM) *
Hello,

I want to connect my microphon(XLR) to my soundcard(jack)
Do I need an instrument or an audio cable?
stero/mono?
What does symetric mean?
My soundcard has '2 analog Inputs' what does that exactly mean ?
unsure.gif

would be nice, if someone could enlight me wink.gif


My amp also has an XLR output, so I simply have an XLR->jack converter at the end of it.
Get a stereo cable, more versatile and does the same job.

Sounds like you have the same soundcard like me maybe? Emu tracker pre?
ANYWAY, symmetric means that it's all lined I guess. I need a context for that one.
And 2 analog input means 2 audioinput. Audio isn't a digital language (101010101). The transistors from your preamp is making an analog audiosignal for your soundcard to process in mA (milli Amperé)

Ok, hope that helped.

Edit:
Oh and stereo=2 channel, mono, 1 channel. meaning that if you go stereo, you will for example only play with on one side on your headphones.

Mono is the way to go for monitoring.

This post has been edited by kjutte: Jul 31 2008, 06:14 AM
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 31 2008, 10:40 AM
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What soundcard do you have? Usually when you plug in the microphone in it - it requers a microphone preamp, because the signal of the microphone alone is a little weak. But this doesn't mean you can't amplify it later, it just means the sound will not be as clear as you would get it with microphone preamp. Anyway, you will need a XLR-jack converter, it can be bought in any electronic store, try searching there, because they are cheaper there then in music stores.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jul 31 2008, 01:10 PM
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When you say Symmetric - is that a translation from German? It sounds like you are talking about a "Balanced" lead perhaps? Balanced connectors (usually XLRs) are a professional way of hooking up audio cables that rely on 3 wires instead of 2 and have a lot better hum reduction capabilities. High end audio equipment accepts balanced XLRs as inputs and outputs, regular PC soundcards will not however.

Ivan was spot on though, what you really need is a microphone amp that accepts an XLR in, and gives a Line level output. The line level output should plug into your PC with no problems once you have the right lead.

It is possible to go straight from a microphone to line in with an adapter as Kjutte says, and I have done this in the past but the results usually leave something to be desired - the level will be very low, and the tonal balance will be wrong because of impedance mismatches.

The best solution would be to get an external interface like a toneport, that has an XLR input in it already, and you will get much beter results than you would with your soundcard.


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Skalde
post Jul 31 2008, 01:23 PM
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Thank you for the answers. The soundcard I own is a emu0404. I also have mic preamp(BEHRINGER MIC200 TUBE ULTRAGAIN). It has two inputs(XLR and Jack) But they can not be used at the same time.
As I said My soundcard has 2 inputs. My plan was to use the left input for my Guitar(Guitar ->Micpreamp -> emu 0404 -> Guitar Rig)
And the right input for my microphon(Shure sm57 -> emu 040)
Then I want to route the signals so that they can be heard on both of my speakers. Is this possible? My soundcard has very good routing options, but its a little bit confusing.

Ivan, Do you think my soundcard can amplify the signal of my microphon(dynamic - no phantom power is needed) without a preamp?
I won't use it for recording a instrument this way. Just my voice. Quality is not that important. Just for the case I want to make a student instructor lesson and I need to record my guitar and my voice at the same time.

I am not sure if this will work. When I use a input(left or right) with a mono signal. It must be possible to route the signal to both of my speakers, isn't it?
I also have a S/PDIF input, but as far as I know it's optical, so this won't do me any good.

Just on more question.
What is the difference between an instrument and an audio cable. I heard that you should never interchange them.
Guitar <instrument cable> micpreamp <audio cable> soundcard
Is this correct?

/edit:
Andrew, Yes, you are right, that was a translation from german. I didn't know that it is not the same word.

best regards,
Skalde

This post has been edited by Skalde: Jul 31 2008, 01:25 PM
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kjutte
post Jul 31 2008, 01:45 PM
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QUOTE (Skalde @ Jul 31 2008, 02:23 PM) *
Thank you for the answers. The soundcard I own is a emu0404. I also have mic preamp(BEHRINGER MIC200 TUBE ULTRAGAIN). It has two inputs(XLR and Jack) But they can not be used at the same time.
As I said My soundcard has 2 inputs. My plan was to use the left input for my Guitar(Guitar ->Micpreamp -> emu 0404 -> Guitar Rig)
And the right input for my microphon(Shure sm57 -> emu 040)
Then I want to route the signals so that they can be heard on both of my speakers. Is this possible? My soundcard has very good routing options, but its a little bit confusing.

Ivan, Do you think my soundcard can amplify the signal of my microphon(dynamic - no phantom power is needed) without a preamp?
I won't use it for recording a instrument this way. Just my voice. Quality is not that important. Just for the case I want to make a student instructor lesson and I need to record my guitar and my voice at the same time.

I am not sure if this will work. When I use a input(left or right) with a mono signal. It must be possible to route the signal to both of my speakers, isn't it?
I also have a S/PDIF input, but as far as I know it's optical, so this won't do me any good.

Just on more question.
What is the difference between an instrument and an audio cable. I heard that you should never interchange them.
Guitar <instrument cable> micpreamp <audio cable> soundcard
Is this correct?

/edit:
Andrew, Yes, you are right, that was a translation from german. I didn't know that it is not the same word.

best regards,
Skalde


Well, there's really nothing called an audiocable, becuase that could be both signal and power wires.
What is ment by this however, is signal cable. The Power cables have much thicker wires, and aren't noiseless.

Anyway, your soundcard will most likely be able to run your mic without any preamp.
Why don't you just try it out? It's just for voice anyway.
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Andrew Cockburn
post Jul 31 2008, 02:01 PM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ Jul 31 2008, 08:45 AM) *
Well, there's really nothing called an audiocable, becuase that could be both signal and power wires.
What is ment by this however, is signal cable. The Power cables have much thicker wires, and aren't noiseless.


Right - there is a difference between power and audio cables but an instrument cable IS an audio cable smile.gif

Ok, you have an EMU 0404 - that has 2 line level inputs. Your MIC has a low level output, your guitar also has a low level output, both ideally need amplifiers or impedance matchers to boost the level to what the soundcard can accept.

You should have no problem at all if you go through the ultragain - this is exactly what you need to sort the microphone out so, MIC -> ULTRAGAIN -> 0404 will work perfectly. You should be able to use a regular XLR cable between the mic and the UG, and a regular instrument jack cable from the UG to the 0404 - it has a balance output, your 0404 doesn;t but it will work fine if you use a regular mono instrument cable.

GUitar into the 0404 might cause problems because again, it is an instrument level device going into a line input. Properly speaking you should use a DI box for this, but here is a cunning workaround - do you have a pedal, any kind of pedal, say a distortion or similar? They will take an instrument level input from your guitar and boost it, even if it is on bypass usually, so do this:

Guitar -> Effects Unit on bypass -> 0404 and you should get a reasonable result. By all means try it directly as Kjutte suggests and see if you get a decent level - your mileage may vary. You can;t use the UG to help with this though if you want to use the mic at the same time.

Finally, the best way to do this is to record each track separately at the same time using reaper or similar software. You can then post process the recordings, using Guitar rig as a VST plugin rather than standalone, and you will be able to control the panning of both tracks,

Assuming you are videoing at the same time, you can then use your video editing software to import the mixed version of the audio track from reaper and align it with the video to get good quality soundm then diable the sound from the video camera if it has any. This is basically how all the instructors build their lessons and it works well smile.gif


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