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Unbalanced signal into balanced compressor?

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Unbalanced signal into balanced compressor?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Feb 28, 2020 12:09 pm

I’ve taken your advice and lowered my recording levels to avoid clipping, and it’s worked with our marimba.
That’s all fine, but as a belt and braces measure, and for creative compression, because I can’t sell a lot of things here, I’ve decided to keep them and press them into service.
One such thing is my BSS DPR402 compressor, I thought I could use it across the output of my mic preamp, before my audio interface. But, the compressor only has balanced inputs, and the mic pre has unbalanced -10dB outputs. I need a converter to sort this out, I’ve already got a Clean Box Pro but that’s being used elsewhere, and prices have gone up, just wondering if there is a simple, unbalanced to balanced box without the extra things that are on the ART?
I thought about unbalanced to balanced leads, but the level doesn’t really drive the compressor.
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Re: Unbalanced signal into balanced compressor?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Feb 28, 2020 12:42 pm

Arpangel wrote:I’ve taken your advice and lowered my recording levels to avoid clipping, and it’s worked with our marimba.

Gosh! :shocked: What a surprise... :think: Who'd a thunk it? :lol:

...the compressor only has balanced inputs, and the mic pre has unbalanced -10dB outputs.

Dealing with unbalanced outs to a balanced in is trivially simple to resolve, but the low nominal output level is more likely to be problematic as you may not be able to get the compression threshold low enough to do anything...

I need a converter to sort this out, I’ve already got a Clean Box Pro but that’s being used elsewhere, and prices have gone up, just wondering if there is a simple, unbalanced to balanced box without the extra things that are on the ART?

There are lots of similar devices, and a few that offer conversion in a single direction rather than both ways... but they all seem to end up at the same sort of price as the ART anyway.

To be honest, if you really want to hook a compressor up to the output of the preamp your best bet is to pick up another CleanBox Pro for £60...

Alternatively (and preferably in my book), leave the compression until you're in the box... or if you really want to use external hardware, hook the compressor up around a spare output/input of your interface where it can operate at sensible levels and with a balanced I/O.

H
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Re: Unbalanced signal into balanced compressor?

Postby The Elf » Fri Feb 28, 2020 4:12 pm

Arpangel wrote:That’s all fine, but as a belt and braces measure, and for creative compression, because I can’t sell a lot of things here, I’ve decided to keep them and press them into service.
I'd go for the simplest path between mic and DAW, then sort out the rest later if it needs it. Just adding a compressor, especially one you had decided to be rid of, seems unnecessary.
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Re: Unbalanced signal into balanced compressor?

Postby Arpangel » Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:59 am

I seem to have ended up with loads of compressors I can’t sell, and don’t need.
I think a local charity shop is going to be due a visit soon.
As Hugh said, just feeding an unbalanced signal in isn’t going to be ideal, if I do decide to use it I’ll just get another Clean Box.
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