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Running sports commentary from ISDN mixer to Macbook

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Running sports commentary from ISDN mixer to Macbook

Postby marrsy5 » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:04 pm

Hi, first-time poster and something of a novice (in case my enquiry as follows makes no sense!).

I was tasked with producing live streaming for a football club this past few months and while the video element of it has gone very well, linking audio commentary has been more of an issue.

For reasons out of my control, rather than just plug two headsets into an input next to our camera position, I need to share our local radio station's commentary from a position 50+ yards away.

So currently, I have a poor-quality setup where two nearby mics pick up their voices, run the signal through a long XLR lead, into a USB audio interface and then to the laptop. It works, but their voices mingle with background noise, wind and the fact they are not speaking directly into our mics but into their own headsets.

So what I'd like to do is run an XLR from the mixer output of their Glensound ISDN unit, taking their headset audio direct into the Macbook. I tried it with an XLR into our Behringer USB audio interface but the result was very muffled, full of static and background noise. They suggested I needed to run the XLR into a line-in in a mixer rather than into the mic input. Anybody know what if they're right and what I'd need to accomplish it.

I tried to visualise this a little better below...

Image
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Re: Running sports commentary from ISDN mixer to Macbook

Postby blinddrew » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:47 pm

One of the pros will likely be along soon but I think the radio guys are right in that the output from their mixer is at line level, by running it into the mic input on your mixer you're then re-amping it unnecessarily - leading to the distortion.
But the input you highlight is capable of being both a mic and a line-level input.
If you plug in an xlr the interface assumes it's a mic-level signal.
But if you buy a little XLR to TRS lead then it'll recognise it as a line-level device.
You can buy XLR to TRS plugs, but they can put a huge strain on the socket so I'd suggest a little lead like this: https://www.gear4music.com/G4M/XLR-F-Ba ... le-1m/108S
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Re: Running sports commentary from ISDN mixer to Macbook

Postby Kwackman » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:54 pm

I'd agree with Drew, if plugging in an XLR makes the interface think there's a mic coming, then you need a cable as he describes.
As added safety, turn the phantom power OFF, (I think there's a switch on the back of that Behringer?)
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Re: Running sports commentary from ISDN mixer to Macbook

Postby marrsy5 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:07 am

blinddrew wrote:You can buy XLR to TRS plugs, but they can put a huge strain on the socket so I'd suggest a little lead like this: https://www.gear4music.com/G4M/XLR-F-Ba ... le-1m/108S

Thanks guys... actually, I just realised the Behringer unit I posted was the wrong one, I have the two mic input here: http://tiny.cc/1846tz so it doesn't have a line-level input.

I've read about a DI box, would that work for the line-level, or do I simply need a different unit with a line-in?
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Re: Running sports commentary from ISDN mixer to Macbook

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:11 am

That interface has combi jacks with line level on the TSR socket in the middle of the XLR.
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Re: Running sports commentary from ISDN mixer to Macbook

Postby blinddrew » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:25 am

What Sam said ^^^^.
That mic socket on the front is a combi socket. It can handle an XLR or a jack. Just make sure it's a TRS jack (like a stereo jack) not a TS jack.
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Re: Running sports commentary from ISDN mixer to Macbook

Postby marrsy5 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:29 am

Sam Spoons wrote:That interface has combi jacks with line level on the TSR socket in the middle of the XLR.

D'oh! I never realised that was the case but just checked now and there they are! Thanks a lot everyone.
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Re: Running sports commentary from ISDN mixer to Macbook

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:44 am

marrsy5 wrote:I tried it with an XLR into our Behringer USB audio interface but the result was very muffled, full of static and background noise. They suggested I needed to run the XLR into a line-in in a mixer rather than into the mic input. Anybody know what if they're right and what I'd need to accomplish it

Yes, of course they are right. You need an XLR (female) to TRS plug cable (or an adapter, but the cable will stress the interface input socket much less!).

The Glensound comm unit has a transformer-balanced mixer output at standard line level.
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Re: Running sports commentary from ISDN mixer to Macbook

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Dec 05, 2020 10:03 am

I'm sure their kit is impeccable and there will be no issues whatsoever...

But... as a rule of thumb, when connecting to someone else's set-up - or them wanting to connect to mine - I also wanted to see a DI box with a transformer or an isolation transformer somewhere in the line connecting the two systems.

That means that if any gremlins creep into either system they don't also creep up the connecting line into the other system.

Back in the '70s (I know... 'Uncle Albert'... :lol: ) some organisations would not allow you to connect to their kit without an iso-transformer... and some of them carried one in case you didn't have one. When I started doing Outside Broadcast work some 25 years later I remembered that and, however impeccable their kit, also put an iso-transformer in the link between the two systems.
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