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cables for monitors and the use of 1/4 to xlr cables

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cables for monitors and the use of 1/4 to xlr cables

Postby flexiblemile » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:26 pm

Ok so my situation is that I'll bring my tascam US2000 to my jamspace to record some stuff with my band.

The problem is that since the two guitars, the bass and the voice will be going direct in, we'll need something to hear ourselves as we record. Theoretically there's no problem because we have two nice big yorkville powered speakers that we usually plug our mixer in when we just rehearse.

However, the outputs on my tascam are two 1/4 jacks. Now I'm pretty sure that my regular guitar cables won't work for this, correct? Although if they will, please let me know, it'll save me some money :P

So when I was looking at speaker cables I noticed some were 1/4 to 1/4 but some were 1/4 to XLR.

My two questions are:

-For the purposes of connecting my sound card to the speakers, is there a difference between the two kinds of cables?

-Also, for the purposes of plugging an acoustic guitar into a mixer for rehearsals and recording DI and recording electric guitar DI, is there an advantage to using a 1/4 to XLR cable?

Thank you!
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Re: cables for monitors and the use of 1/4 to xlr cables

Postby DGL. » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:27 pm

Guitar cables should be fine, There may be an advantage to using balanced cables to reduced the chance of ground loops/hum but it would probably be best to suck it and see.

Speaker cables are NOT the right cable, they are for connecting speakers to amplifiers and use completely different unshielded cable and therefore should not be used.

If you need/want to go balanced depending on the speaker configuration either use a balanced/stereo TRS - TRS audio Cable (if the 1/4" input is balanced as sometimes it is not or if the 1/4" input is not balanced use the XLR input with a 1/4" TRS to 3 pin XLR Male audio cable.

As for connecting the guitars and such if you are using a DI then it probably doesn't matter unless the DI's output is mic level then anyway it should have XLR outs anyway.
For the Electric Guitar if not using a DI and the inputs are high Z then keep using 1/4" leads, if not high Z get an appropriate DI and cable accordingly.

as for the acoustic with some pickups it matters and with some not, I'll let someone with more knowledge chime in here.


Hope it helps
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Re: cables for monitors and the use of 1/4 to xlr cables

Postby James Perrett » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:27 pm

flexiblemile wrote:

-Also, for the purposes of plugging an acoustic guitar into a mixer for rehearsals and recording DI and recording electric guitar DI, is there an advantage to using a 1/4 to XLR cable?

No - you need a DI box for the electric guitar and also for the acoustic if it doesn't have a built in preamp. If the acoustic guitar has a preamp you can usually get away with plugging it into a line input using a jack to jack lead although it may be a bit quiet so a DI box might be a better solution if you want to be sure of it working.
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Re: cables for monitors and the use of 1/4 to xlr cables

Postby flexiblemile » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:50 pm

Thank you very much, I'm happy to know I won't need to buy extra cables.


Regarding the DI for the acoustic guitar though.... Would it affect the tone or just the volume? Because we don't have an issue with volume, but the sound through the PA isn't all that great, pretty tinny.

Thanks!

EDIT: The guitar is a godin acousticaster so it has a preamp
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Re: cables for monitors and the use of 1/4 to xlr cables

Postby James Perrett » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:53 am

The typical pickups in an acoustic guitar produce a sound that is nothing like the guitar sounds in the room. Some people are happy with that while others prefer to use a mic of some kind on the guitar rather than using the pickups. It is quite normal to use some pretty drastic eq on acoustic guitar pickups in order to make them sound acceptable.
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Re: cables for monitors and the use of 1/4 to xlr cables

Postby zenguitar » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:29 pm

That Godin should be capable of producing a reasonable sound at least.

I would take a close look at the pre-amp settings on the guitar. Typical guitar pre-amps have EQ bands with +/- 15 to 18dB cut or boost. That's way more than is required for tweaking the sound, but a lot of guitarists do use massive cuts and boosts on the built in pre-amps.

I would make sure that the guitar pre-amp has the EQ set flat, a new battery fitted, and do your tone shaping from the mixer/DAW.

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Re: cables for monitors and the use of 1/4 to xlr cables

Postby ronmac » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:59 pm

The Acousticaster has a very high-mid and high end spectrum voice, designed to cut through a very loud stage mix of electric instruments. Thre is a video on this page that will give you an idea of the voice it was designed to have: http://www.godinguitars.com/godinacousticaster.htm

If this is what you are hearing with your setup, then everything is doing its job. If not, then it is a matter of sorting out where in the signal chain things are going off the rails. Have you tried the guitar direct fed in to a good acoustic amp?
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