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Author Topic: How to Connect Stage Monitor to Mixer  (Read 1119 times)

jackmoore

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How to Connect Stage Monitor to Mixer
« on: October 14, 2018, 03:50:08 pm »

Hi,

This may be a silly question, but I'm trying to sort out the audio at my church.

We have a Tascam M224 mixer which has a foldback out on it, which I think is more commonly called an Aux Out now. This is a 1/4 jack connection.

We want out musicians to hear themselves so are looking at getting a Mackie SRM450 to be a stage monitor. This however doesn't have a 1/4 jack connection, and instead has XLR and RCA.#

What is the best way to connect this? Do I need to use a DI box or is there a cable I can run to connect this?

Thanks,
Jack
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Brian Jojade

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Re: How to Connect Stage Monitor to Mixer
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2018, 05:43:07 pm »

All you need is a 1/4" to XLR adaptor and you're good to go.
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Brian Jojade

jackmoore

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Re: How to Connect Stage Monitor to Mixer
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2018, 05:55:04 pm »

All you need is a 1/4" to XLR adaptor and you're good to go.

Thanks!

So this?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/VCE-2-PACK-6-35mm-Stereo-Adapter/dp/B072N56F2S/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1539553703&sr=8-4&keywords=1%2F4+to+xlr+adapter

And then run an xlr across the church to the stage monitor?
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Ray Aberle

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Re: How to Connect Stage Monitor to Mixer
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2018, 08:20:33 pm »

Thanks!

So this?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/VCE-2-PACK-6-35mm-Stereo-Adapter/dp/B072N56F2S/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1539553703&sr=8-4&keywords=1%2F4+to+xlr+adapter

And then run an xlr across the church to the stage monitor?

Yarp. You can also use something like the Audiopile Adapter Cable that will accomplish the same goal.
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Rob Spence

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Re: How to Connect Stage Monitor to Mixer
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2018, 01:37:14 pm »

If buying the speaker, there may be many better choices than the Mackie unless it is practically a gift.


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Brian Jojade

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Re: How to Connect Stage Monitor to Mixer
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 06:18:25 pm »

If buying the speaker, there may be many better choices than the Mackie unless it is practically a gift.


Yeah, I concur with this. The sound of the SRM450 is not the greatest, and as a stage monitor, not all that pleasing.  Of course, there are worse units available, but given the opportunity, I'd stay away from that box.
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Brian Jojade

jackmoore

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Re: How to Connect Stage Monitor to Mixer
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2018, 04:56:40 am »

If buying the speaker, there may be many better choices than the Mackie unless it is practically a gift.


Yeah, I concur with this. The sound of the SRM450 is not the greatest, and as a stage monitor, not all that pleasing.  Of course, there are worse units available, but given the opportunity, I'd stay away from that box.

What would you recommend instead?

I've seen the JBL EON612 and Yamaha DBR10. Are either of these good?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 04:58:48 am by jackmoore »
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Ken Webster

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Re: How to Connect Stage Monitor to Mixer
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 06:04:48 am »

As you are connecting ¼ with XLR, this suggests there may be a mismatch of balanced and unbalanced signal types.  This may in some cases get tricky and there is also the issue of keeping noise low over long unbalanced cabling runs.  So, the 1st thing to determine is the input and output signal types.  ¼ TRS may or may not be balanced while ¼ TS is always unbalanced.  There are ways to test this but it is easier if your user manual tells you.
I couldn’t find a user manual for the Tascam M224 mixer.  However, I did find a service manual here:
http://thesnowfields.com/manuals/Tascam%20M-208,%20M-216%20Service%20Manual.pdf
The service manual suggests that all of the mixer’s outputs including XLR! are unbalanced.
The specs on the Mackie SRM450 speakers here: https://www.fullcompass.com/common/files/19262-MackieSRM450V2SpecSheet.pdf
say the XLR input is balanced.

You may/probably be able to connect them directly as suggested but it depends on the type of balanced implementation used (there are 3 major types).  However, even if you do successful connect this way, you are likely to get noise, radio interference etc over what I assume is a long cabling run.  The general rule of thumb with unbalanced cabling is no more than 3 m or 10 ft.  You could use a DI at the mixer end so the major length of the cable is balanced and therefore rejects noise.  A much cheaper way is to use an audio isolation transformer like this:
https://www.selby.com.au/unbalanced-to-balanced-converter-rca-xlr-male.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwmJbeBRBCEiwAAY4VVVAeod1jqQUbSvvYAik7i05J_734gTu6WcAkg2XZkQtXSYSkyiZNnRoC4joQAvD_BwE
The trick is to keep the unbalanced cable as short as possible.

The advantages in doing the connection this way are:
1.   There is no direction between the mixer and the stage amps which eliminates any possibility of ground loop hum which can occur when equipment is operating at different earth potentials and appears to be greatly exacerbated if the earth connection between them is at high impedance which is often the case with aged wiring.
2.   Optimal S/N is maintained.

Ken
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jackmoore

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Re: How to Connect Stage Monitor to Mixer
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2018, 06:33:12 am »

As you are connecting ¼ with XLR, this suggests there may be a mismatch of balanced and unbalanced signal types.  This may in some cases get tricky and there is also the issue of keeping noise low over long unbalanced cabling runs.  So, the 1st thing to determine is the input and output signal types.  ¼ TRS may or may not be balanced while ¼ TS is always unbalanced.  There are ways to test this but it is easier if your user manual tells you.
I couldn’t find a user manual for the Tascam M224 mixer.  However, I did find a service manual here:
http://thesnowfields.com/manuals/Tascam%20M-208,%20M-216%20Service%20Manual.pdf
The service manual suggests that all of the mixer’s outputs including XLR! are unbalanced.
The specs on the Mackie SRM450 speakers here: https://www.fullcompass.com/common/files/19262-MackieSRM450V2SpecSheet.pdf
say the XLR input is balanced.

You may/probably be able to connect them directly as suggested but it depends on the type of balanced implementation used (there are 3 major types).  However, even if you do successful connect this way, you are likely to get noise, radio interference etc over what I assume is a long cabling run.  The general rule of thumb with unbalanced cabling is no more than 3 m or 10 ft.  You could use a DI at the mixer end so the major length of the cable is balanced and therefore rejects noise.  A much cheaper way is to use an audio isolation transformer like this:
https://www.selby.com.au/unbalanced-to-balanced-converter-rca-xlr-male.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwmJbeBRBCEiwAAY4VVVAeod1jqQUbSvvYAik7i05J_734gTu6WcAkg2XZkQtXSYSkyiZNnRoC4joQAvD_BwE
The trick is to keep the unbalanced cable as short as possible.

The advantages in doing the connection this way are:
1.   There is no direction between the mixer and the stage amps which eliminates any possibility of ground loop hum which can occur when equipment is operating at different earth potentials and appears to be greatly exacerbated if the earth connection between them is at high impedance which is often the case with aged wiring.
2.   Optimal S/N is maintained.

Ken

Thanks for this! Would have missed that. I'm now thinking getting the JBL EON612 or Yamaha DBR10. Are either of these good? And does the same as you said above apply?

Also, the transformer you linked goes to RCA, does it not need to be an XLR output?
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Ken Webster

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Re: How to Connect Stage Monitor to Mixer
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2018, 07:07:17 am »

Thanks for this! Would have missed that. I'm now thinking getting the JBL EON612 or Yamaha DBR10. Are either of these good? And does the same as you said above apply?

Also, the transformer you linked goes to RCA, does it not need to be an XLR output?

I can’t advise you on the speakers, best to just go and listen before you buy IMO.  However, you just need a short cable with a ¼ TS at one end and RCA at the other to connect the mixer's unbalanced foldback out to the transformer's RCA (16a in link below). Then it’s XLR to XLR for the longer balanced line.  We just have a roll of cable and a few spare plugs etc at church that I use to I make up whatever we need.  You can buy converters but they tend to be trouble IME.

https://www.rane.com/note110.html

See connection 13 if you just want to use a direct cable, but I think the transformer is worth the money.  If I had to lash something together fast or for a 1 off, I'd probably use the direct cable method but for the permanent system, definitely recommend a better solution.

Ken
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 07:34:25 am by Ken Webster »
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