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GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

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GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby matteovi » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:52 pm

Hi there!
I need your help for the most important thing to set properly my home-studio: wires and connections! I’ve got a bunch of gears and need to connect them properly to my Focusrite interface.

I’ve got a great Scarlett 18i8 audio interface (bought a couple of days ago) and I need to connect to it all these gears (direct connection in the interface, there’s no mixer in between gears/audio interface)

- Moog Mother 32 (analog synth)
- Dreadbox Nyx (analog synth)
- Novation Circuit (digital synth)
- A Condenser Mic
- Various no-condenser Mics
- Guitar

a) Which type of cables do I need for each gear? TS/TRS?

b) Do I need a DI box? For which gear? What kind of cable goes from gear to DI box and from DI box to Scarlett 18i8?

c) Which gear must be connected to which type of input of the interface?? Instrument/Line

I’m a little lost with all that I’ve read on various forum and need a professional help!
Thank you
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:21 pm

If your cable runs are short then the synths should be fine into line inputs using TS-TS cables, the guitar into an instrument input using TS-TS, the mics all into mic inputs using XLRF-XLRM (i.e. standard mic cables) the capacitor mic will need phantom power active (switchable per input in there control app IIRC).

Oh and welcome to the forum.
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby matteovi » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:56 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:If your cable runs are short then the synths should be fine into line inputs using TS-TS cables, the guitar into an instrument input using TS-TS, the mics all into mic inputs using XLRF-XLRM (i.e. standard mic cables) the capacitor mic will need phantom power active (switchable per input in there control app IIRC).

Oh and welcome to the forum.

Thank you Sam for the fast reply!

And if the cables are 3m long? Or 1.5m long? Is there any maximum size?

If I plug the synths in the "instrument inputs" all of them work fine but neither of them work when I plug them in "Line" input of the Scarlett.

This is why I'm asking if I need a DI Box to connect the unbalanced TS output of the synth (all of them got an unbalanced output I guess) to the balanced input of the "Line" input.

This audio interface just has 2 instrument inputs where every gear you connect works fine.
The problem appears when I connect synths to Line input and I can't hear anything...

thanks again for your help!!
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:24 pm

Not sure why you're having a problem into the line inputs, AFAIK the instrument/line switch in the app only changes the gain/sensitivity of the input. Will try to have a look later (I have a Saffire Pro24) but gigging all weekend so may not find time.

edit :- the jack inputs 1-4 have a much lower input impedance in line mode than in instrument mode and 10dB less gain. None of which should cause problems with your synths though.
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:32 pm

The OP's reply seems to have disappeared? Or am I imagining things (again....)?
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:48 pm

matteovi wrote:If I plug the synths in the "instrument inputs" all of them work fine but neither of them work when I plug them in "Line" input of the Scarlett.

Most odd! They should work fine, but will be at a noticeably lower level (-10dB or so) which you should be able to correct either with the volume control on the synth itself, or in your recording software.

Assuming you have selected the line inputs correctly, the only other possibility is that you have some rather oddly-wired instrument cables (they are TS-TS types, aren't they?) , or you're not inserting them fully, such that the plug tip is making simultaneous contact with both the tip and ring contacts in the socket.

H
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:51 pm

It's back again :headbang:
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:09 pm

In a home studio environment, cable length doesn't matter for balanced cables, you can easily run 100m or so without problems.

Unbalanced cables should be kept as short as practical to minimise noise pickup, but you shouldn't have a problem with good quality TS-TS cables at line level (apart from maybe a bit of extra noise) with 10m or so cables. Normally you'd be using shorter than that.

Passive guitar pickups have a high impedance output so guitar cable lengths should be minimise to avoid high frequency loss. But if you've got a guitar or bass, you should know that already.

The 'instrument' setting on the line inputs is designed for use with guitars and basses etc. with passive pickups that like to see a high impedance input. Whilst the sound shouldn't suffer from using a keyboard/synth into an input set to 'instrument', you are best using them into inputs set to 'line'.

Unless you have a very faulty interface, the problem with the rear line inputs 5, 6 7 and 8, is probably a software routing one. I don't know the Focusrite Control Mix software at all, but you''ll need to open it up and make sure those inputs are enabled. If you want to hear them through direct monitoring you'll have to do that through the Control Mix software. You may also be able to alter their gain or use a pad on them (as I said, I don't know the software at all). Then you need to check that those inputs are also enabled in your DAW if you want to record with them.
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby matteovi » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:20 pm

Wonks wrote:In a home studio environment, cable length doesn't matter for balanced cables, you can easily run 100m or so without problems.

Unbalanced cables should be kept as short as practical to minimise noise pickup, but you shouldn't have a problem with good quality TS-TS cables at line level (apart from maybe a bit of extra noise) with 10m or so cables. Normally you'd be using shorter than that.

Passive guitar pickups have a high impedance output so guitar cable lengths should be minimise to avoid high frequency loss. But if you've got a guitar or bass, you should know that already.

The 'instrument' setting on the line inputs is designed for use with guitars and basses etc. with passive pickups that like to see a high impedance input. Whilst the sound shouldn't suffer from using a keyboard/synth into an input set to 'instrument', you are best using them into inputs set to 'line'.

Unless you have a very faulty interface, the problem with the rear line inputs 5, 6 7 and 8, is probably a software routing one. I don't know the Focusrite Control Mix software at all, but you''ll need to open it up and make sure those inputs are enabled. If you want to hear them through direct monitoring you'll have to do that through the Control Mix software. You may also be able to alter their gain or use a pad on them (as I said, I don't know the software at all). Then you need to check that those inputs are also enabled in your DAW if you want to record with them.

Thank you, I'll check the routing on Focusrite mix control app.
I'd like to be able to play all the instrument through the interface also without opening ProTools/Ableton (my two principle daws),
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby zenguitar » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:22 pm

Just for Sam's sanity. You aren't imagining things. I approved the reply and read the topic with the reply in place. Then it appeared again in the list of posts pending approval, so I approved it again and that's when it vanished.

Haven't a clue what happened, but probably a cache issue in the background.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:30 pm

You'll need to open the Control Mix software to configure the direct monitoring to allow you to play back without opening au your DAW, but once you've doe that, you should be fine to do so. The software should (hopefully) then allow you to save that as a preset, so it's easy to recall.

If you ever want to monitor those inputs directly from the DAW, maybe to hear some effects you're adding, then you'll need to disable the direct monitoring of those inputs as you;ll get a mixture of straight and delayed processed sound (due to the interface and computer latency) and get nasty sounding comb-filtering. So that's another simple preset you could create.
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:32 pm

zenguitar wrote:Haven't a clue what happened, but probably a cache issue in the background.:

Cache? I didn't know you had to pay to post these days. ;)
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby matteovi » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:46 pm

Wonks wrote:You'll need to open the Control Mix software to configure the direct monitoring to allow you to play back without opening au your DAW, but once you've doe that, you should be fine to do so. The software should (hopefully) then allow you to save that as a preset, so it's easy to recall.

If you ever want to monitor those inputs directly from the DAW, maybe to hear some effects you're adding, then you'll need to disable the direct monitoring of those inputs as you;ll get a mixture of straight and delayed processed sound (due to the interface and computer latency) and get nasty sounding comb-filtering. So that's another simple preset you could create.


Thank you, I'll checking out deeper the control mix app functionalities!

There's another question, always related to this "connections stuffs":

I've got and external TC Electronic multi-effect (TC-M350) rack and I just want to connect it to the audio interface and decide to which instrument assign the effects.

Usually in the past I did this with the send/return on the mixer but actually I don't want to use the mixer anymore, just the audio interface (I own a cheap mixer and it affects the sound quality, so I've decide to go straight to the audio interface from the synths and other instruments).

So now I suppose the only way to do this it's inside a daw (ProTools), creating an aux track for the TC Electronic effects rack and then routing digitally inside the daw the effects to the track I want to be effected, is it correct?

I mean, there's no way to do it without a daw because there are not send/return I/O in the Scarlett, isn't it?

many thanks again!
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:11 pm

Difficult with only 2 outputs, it may be possible to route them to the fx and bring it back into some line ins but only if the headphone output can be assigned separately from the 'monitor outs'.
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby ef37a » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:29 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Difficult with only 2 outputs, it may be possible to route them to the fx and bring it back into some line ins but only if the headphone output can be assigned separately from the 'monitor outs'.

I would suggest the mixer is examined again? Used well under its headroom limit and for line level signals even the lowliest Behringer should add little or nothing to the proceedings?
In any case, if the mixer is in the path of some sound mangling FX what the harm or difference?

The OP could increase his input count dramatically with an ADAT unit but yes, bit stuck for outputs.

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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:46 pm

The Focusrite and the TC both have S/PDIF connections. A couple of S/PDIF cables and there's your send and return to the unit.

I don't know if the Focusrite software allows you to send two separate signals as the L and R channels to allow you to use the dual effects setup of the M350, or whether just one signal with a stereo return (rather then two mono returns), but at least it lets you connect up to it.
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Re: GEARS/AUDIO INTERFACE CONNECTION AND WIRES

Postby matteovi » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:12 pm

Wonks wrote:The Focusrite and the TC both have S/PDIF connections. A couple of S/PDIF cables and there's your send and return to the unit.

I don't know if the Focusrite software allows you to send two separate signals as the L and R channels to allow you to use the dual effects setup of the M350, or whether just one signal with a stereo return (rather then two mono returns), but at least it lets you connect up to it.


great!! I was thinking to do it through spdif, so here your confirmation, I'll try it out and let u know how it works. thank u!!
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