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Author Topic: Stereo to mono cable or mixer  (Read 11256 times)

George Friedman-Jimenez

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Stereo to mono cable or mixer
« on: January 17, 2011, 10:53:48 pm »

As a musician who runs a mono sound system from the stage and plays recorded music (CD, iPod) between sets, I am still looking for a better way to connect the stereo outs of 2 small battery portable CD players or iPods to stereo inputs of my miniscule mixer. My mixer has only 1 aux and 4 mono line ins (used for mics), so I would want to use one side of the stereo line ins and one side of the main outs. The balance control on the stereo ins does not function as a pan control like on the mono line ins. So bottom line, I want to make a stereo to mono summing cable as suggested in several old posts, with details in the Rane website http://www.rane.com/note109.html
The iPod and CD player are consumer level outputs and the 470 ohm resistors seem too high for this application. Has anyone made such a stereo to mono cable for an iPod or commercial portable CD player with smaller resistors? How low can I go on the resistance? This cable would be solely for this use, not for mono sub output or other outputs from line level sources like the mixer outs.
Another option would be a stereo to mono summing mixer or DI box I could use for each source, that would then plug into the main mixer. I would prefer to avoid this to keep things as small and simple as possible, assuming a configuration for the cable can be found that will give reasonable input signal strength.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 02:08:52 am by George Friedman-Jimenez »
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Tim Padrick

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Re: Stereo to mono cable or mixer
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 02:26:33 am »

The resistor values in the Rane poop sheet are fine, as the signal loss is very low regardless of the signal level.
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: Stereo to mono cable or mixer
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 07:09:43 am »

Thanks Tim. I will go ahead and try it.
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: Stereo to mono cable or mixer
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 09:38:17 pm »

Well I got the parts, built the cable per the Rane suggested circuit, and it works great, does exactly what I want for light and cheap. The only problem was the microsurgery required to solder the 3  1/2 watt resistors inside a normal Neutrik TS plug without unintended shorts. Anyone have a suggestion for a high quality TS plug that works well with balanced/unbalanced jacks on small mixers and has enough room inside for 3 1/2 watt resistors? I am using small diameter (4 mm) 2 conductor shielded cable and want a physically sturdy connection.
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Brad Harris

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Re: Stereo to mono cable or mixer
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2011, 01:42:31 pm »

For these kinds of things I just utilize the (small) space made available by both connectors rather than trying to cram it all in one end. It makes it a little easier to manage.

Also I use 1/4w resistors rather than 1/2w as they are smaller and easier to fit. Keep the leeds short as possible and heatshrink over exposed ends. Nothing sucks more than when you put on the shell it shorts out what you want it to do!

Well I got the parts, built the cable per the Rane suggested circuit, and it works great, does exactly what I want for light and cheap. The only problem was the microsurgery required to solder the 3  1/2 watt resistors inside a normal Neutrik TS plug without unintended shorts. Anyone have a suggestion for a high quality TS plug that works well with balanced/unbalanced jacks on small mixers and has enough room inside for 3 1/2 watt resistors? I am using small diameter (4 mm) 2 conductor shielded cable and want a physically sturdy connection.
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: Stereo to mono cable or mixer
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2011, 04:51:55 pm »

I am using the smallest right angle 3.5mm plug (Neutrik NTP3RC)http://www.neutrik.com/us/en/audio/204_1167228197/3.5_mm_Tiny_Plug_productlist.aspx on the iPod end, so as to minimize physical strain on the headphone out jack. That makes it impossible to fit a resistor in that end. I will look for some 1/4 watt resistors, that should make the soldering job a bit easier in the tight space. Thanks.
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Tracy Garner

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Re: Stereo to mono cable or mixer
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2011, 06:35:57 pm »

I have been using the 1/8" to RCA and then an RCA-to-XLR and haven't had any problems related to phantom or otherwise. This combination works for the iPod or the cheap battle mixers used by the Djs. In the case where there might be computer hum, ALL of my problems have been mitigated by the 3 prong to 2 prong adaptor on the power cable of the laptop.
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: Stereo to mono cable or mixer
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2011, 09:51:56 am »

From your description, I am not clear on the actual circuitry you are using. Are you using a simply Y-cable circuit, iPod headphone out > stereo 1/8" TRS plug > cable > 2 RCA plugs > 2 RCA to 1 XLRM Y-cable > single XLR input to mixer? Or, equivalently, iPod headphone out > stereo 1/8" TRS plug > Y-cable > 1 RCA plug > XLRM > single XLR input to mixer?
Or is there some other circuitry that prevents the output from 1 channel of the iPod from being applied across the output of the other channel? That is what I am using the 3 resistors for.

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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Stereo to mono cable or mixer
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2011, 09:51:56 am »


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