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Which cable ?

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Which cable ?

Postby krooner » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:34 am

Hi all,
I'd appreciate some help.
Think I may have been a bit quick to maligne my synth [MO8], though goodness knows, I've had it long enough; its always sounded a bit dull played live through the monitors.
I read something yesterday that started me thinking ----- maybe I've been using the "wrong" cable to link the synth [ mono out] to the preamp with a single unbalanced cable ?

Should I have been using two stereo 1/4 jack to jack cables connected to the pre, using a stereo adaptor ?

Please advise.

Kj
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Re: Which cable ?

Postby James Perrett » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:06 am

If the synth output is unbalanced then you are probably using the right cable.

What monitors are you using? If they are active PA speakers set to mic level, it is possible that their input impedance is a bit low for some devices as I know some speakers with an input impedance of only around 1k ohm on the mic level input.

James.
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Re: Which cable ?

Postby krooner » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:32 am

James Perrett wrote:If the synth output is unbalanced then you are probably using the right cable.

What monitors are you using? If they are active PA speakers set to mic level, it is possible that their input impedance is a bit low for some devices as I know some speakers with an input impedance of only around 1k ohm on the mic level input.

James.

Hi, James,
Many thanks.
I'm using KRK 5s [RPG 2], with a volume setting of +3dB.

Cheers.
Kj
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Re: Which cable ?

Postby Scramble » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:57 am

I've looked at the manual and it doesn't say anything about having a balanced output, so it won't have one (only a few modern keyboards have this). So an unbalanced cable is the right one to use.

Are you sending both channels out (ie. are you running it in stereo)? A mono output will sound less impressive than stereo. And when you say dull, what are you comparing it to? What it sounds like through headphones? What it sounds like at someone else's system? Other keyboards you've had?

And what do you mean by the pre-amp? What's in-betwen the synth and the monitors? And by live do you mean "live on stage" (I'm guessing not if you're talking about KRK).

It might also be worth having a look to see if there is some EQ setting on the final outout (esp. if it's second-hand, someone might have set this beforehand for their system).
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Re: Which cable ?

Postby James Perrett » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:51 pm

There's absolutely nothing on the Yamaha website that tells me any electrical specs for those connections but you probably want to connect the L output to one monitor and the R output to the other monitor using standard screened jack cables (guitar cables would do). If you are just using a single cable you're only going to get a mono sound which may sound slightly less exciting than a stereo sound.

There is also a digital output which, if partnered with a high quality DAC, has the potential to give you even better sound.

James.
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Re: Which cable ?

Postby krooner » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:19 pm

Hi,Scramble
I'm running one T/S cable from the, L/mono OUTPUT of the synth to channel B of the two channel RNPre-amp.

Compared to my old, Roland E-16, which has on-board speakers, the MO8 sounds quite dull, no sizzle, despite tweaking the EQ. It does, however, sound a little better on playback, [having been recorded {cubase}].

It had been used to demo before I bought it, but as I say altering the EQ doesn't improve things much.

Many thanks,
Keith
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Re: Which cable ?

Postby krooner » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:36 pm

James, Hi.
From what you say, using two unbalanced cables will give me stereo, that TRS cables aren't required.

Thankyou very much for your advice.
Keith
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Re: Which cable ?

Postby Scramble » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:40 pm

The Hi-Z input socket you've presumably plugged into on the RNC pre-amp isn't quite the same as a line-level input, it's more designed for guitars and basses. Don't use it. Try hooking up your synth directly to the line-level input sockets on your monitors (if it has jack sockets, they'll be line-level). Or into some line-level inputs on a mixer or an audio interface. Some pre-amps have line-level inputs as well (although yours doesn't).

And yes, balanced (aka TRS) cables aren't required.
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Re: Which cable ?

Postby krooner » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:48 pm

Thanks, Scramble,
You and the other guys have been very helpful.

Cheers!
Keith
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Re: Which cable ?

Postby Scramble » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:44 pm

So did bypassing the pre-amp work?
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Re: Which cable ?

Postby krooner » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:00 pm

Scramble wrote:So did bypassing the pre-amp work?

I'm going shopping over the weekend for a couple of cables, Scramble.

I'll post in a couple of days.

Cheers!

Keith
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Re: Which cable ?

Postby krooner » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:33 am

Scramble wrote:The Hi-Z input socket you've presumably plugged into on the RNC pre-amp isn't quite the same as a line-level input, it's more designed for guitars and basses. Don't use it. Try hooking up your synth directly to the line-level input sockets on your monitors (if it has jack sockets, they'll be line-level). Or into some line-level inputs on a mixer or an audio interface. Some pre-amps have line-level inputs as well (although yours doesn't).

And yes, balanced (aka TRS) cables aren't required.

Having just read the post, " balanced - Vs - unbalanced ", makes me wonder if, before buying unbalanced, should I consider the pseudo-balanced cables.

Thanks.
Keith
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Re: Which cable ?

Postby Scramble » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:43 am

For now I would just get some standard TS/unbalanced/guitar cables from a music shop or even Maplin to test with. You should have some of these already, the ones that go from your pre-amp to your monitors (if you're using TRS/balanced cables for that, then they'll do as well).

If you notice some hum or buzz then the pseudo-balanced cables might help with that. But they won't make any difference to the dullness you're noticing with your keyboard. I'd sort that first (and it's a good idea to have spares of various cables in your room, so don't worry about having left-over cables at the end of this process).

Does your keyboard sound okay through headphones? Have you tried it through any other monitors? Have you tested your monitors with other sound sources to make sure it's not them? There's quite a few things that could be going wrong, but the most obvious problem lies in your going into the Hi-Z input.
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Re: Which cable ?

Postby krooner » Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:14 pm

Scramble wrote:For now I would just get some standard TS/unbalanced/guitar cables from a music shop or even Maplin to test with. You should have some of these already, the ones that go from your pre-amp to your monitors (if you're using TRS/balanced cables for that, then they'll do as well).

If you notice some hum or buzz then the pseudo-balanced cables might help with that. But they won't make any difference to the dullness you're noticing with your keyboard. I'd sort that first (and it's a good idea to have spares of various cables in your room, so don't worry about having left-over cables at the end of this process).

Does your keyboard sound okay through headphones? Have you tried it through any other monitors? Have you tested your monitors with other sound sources to make sure it's not them? There's quite a few things that could be going wrong, but the most obvious problem lies in your going into the Hi-Z input.

Hi, Scramble,
I think you've nailed it!

The synth sounds loads better through headphones, so no longer will I be going into the Hi-Z input.

Unbalanced cables it is.

I'll post with the results in a couple of days. If not, [ being a newbie ] it'll probably be because I'm wrestling with the UA-101 patchbay settings .

Many thanks for your help.
Keith
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Re: Which cable ?

Postby krooner » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:25 pm

Scramble wrote:So did bypassing the pre-amp work?

Hi, all,
Well, as advised, I've just hooked up the MO8 directly into the UA-101 with a pair of unbalanced cables, and I'm delighted at the results.
A much brighter sound, and far more sensitive to tonal, and EQ tweeks.
Also, [ I'm assuming ] running the leads straight into the interface has gotten rid of the latency problem, which I hitherto got around by having to adjust the input/output monitor volume.

Scramble, et al, many thanks once again.

Cheers!

Keith
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