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Running balanced cables from mixer to studio monitors

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm currently running TS->RCA cables from my mixer to the unbalanced RCA inputs of my studio monitors. But my mixer outputs say they support both balanced and unbalanced. So would running balanced TRS->TRS or TRS-XLR cables from the mixer to the monitors reduce any of that background hiss? Or will all hiss from the source remain in the line whether balanced or not? Thanks.

post #2 of 6

You may continue running TRS to RCA cables, however what is your source of your inputs? And are you having any ground loops (two device sharing the same power line grounds)? What is the length of the transmission cables? You can try switching to XLR first to see if it solves any noise problems related to grounding.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

My mixer receives an unbalanced stereo input from my computer's soundcard. I'm sure that's probably the source of the majority of the background hiss. It's about a 4-5ft run. The mixer-> monitor runs are about the same length.
 

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

OK, so I just put some balanced TRS cables between the mixer and the monitors. The signal level dropped, which I guess is expected. But what I'm curious about is whether the mixer just passes through the unbalanced signal to the monitors, or if it converts it to a balanced signal before sending it out.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by FieldEffect View Post

OK, so I just put some balanced TRS cables between the mixer and the monitors. The signal level dropped, which I guess is expected. But what I'm curious about is whether the mixer just passes through the unbalanced signal to the monitors, or if it converts it to a balanced signal before sending it out.

From what I know now, your mixer is sending unbalanced signal to the monitors as the Mackie block diagram does not include transformers to reject ground noise(if it really is a noise problem)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FieldEffect View Post

My mixer receives an unbalanced stereo input from my computer's soundcard. I'm sure that's probably the source of the majority of the background hiss. It's about a 4-5ft run. The mixer-> monitor runs are about the same length.
 

It might be the sound card problem? Old soundcards can be fairly noisy with little EMI protection. Can you try connecting the soundcard and monitors directly to see if the noise persist? 


Edited by firev1 - 5/26/12 at 9:25pm
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

You're probably right. I probably just need a better soundcard. I went back to the unbalanced interconnects because they deliver a higher level signal.

 

I'm looking at the Asus Xonar Essence sound cards for future.

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